Tuesday, April 26, 2011


What a core belief means in my life...

I belive that a core belief is more than just a set of doctines. It is not just what I beleive. It speaks to the core of who I am.

So if my core belief is Jesus, and specifically that he died for my sins and was raised from the dead, then what does that mean to me individually?

I made a conscious decision to participate in my core belief. I was baptized into the death of Jesus, I was buried with him, and raised to new life. Because I shared in his death, I will share in his resurrection. That is how Paul explained baptism in Romans 6. In Galatians 2, he writes of being crucified with Christ. Core belief that demands participation.

So when people ask what I believe, I don't just talk about something intellectual. My core belief is life. It is something that I can invite others to share in also.

In fact, you cannot "just" believe these facts about Jesus. You have to make a decision about him. To believe Jesus died for your sins and was raised from the dead demands a response.

I believe it, I have participated in it, I live it. And I will forever.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Core Belief: Jesus died for our sins ...

Paul describes the core belief this way: Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, he was buried, and he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

That is my doctrinal position. That is the core doctrine of Southern Hills. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and came back to life.

When asked what we believe, it is that we are Jesus people. He died for our sins. Cross centered doctrine. Cross centered commitment. Cross centered living.

That's what we believe. That is who we are.

There is so much contained in that simple phrase. It is not about us, but Jesus. We are all sinners. We are all saved by the grace of the cross. We are forgiven.

We are Scripture people. His death and resurrection were foretold in the Old Testament Scriptures. That is the good news in the New Testament Scriptures.

He was buried. For three days. It is real.

He was raised. He came to life. We believe it. I believe it. Because he did... we will. I will.

That's it. That is what my core belief system is. Jesus died for my sins, he was buried, and he was raised. Cross and Resurrection.

That's who we are at Southern Hills.

Cross and Resurrection.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Core belief description

I found the key to my core belief -- and to the one Southern Hills has adopted -- in a statement from Paul. Here is his description from I Corinthians 15:1-3.

I am not sure there be anything more core than that.

And it is Jesus.

That is my core belief. That is the core belief of Southern Hills church of Christ (description, not a title). Everything in my life and in my church must be about Jesus. He is the doctrine. He is the program. He is life.

Next time I'll look at what Paul says about Jesus. But for now, Jesus is the most important, he is the key to salvation, he is the place where I stand, he is the foundation of the church, and he is the good news.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Thinking about core beliefs

I have been thinking quite a bit over the past few months about what is absolutely, without compromise, my core conviction. Our elders at Southern Hills have had vigerous thought and discussion about what our congregational core beliefs should be. I will share in later posts what we came up with -- and it fits with my personal conviction. But first I want to share the thought process. First of all, I wanted it to line up with Scripture. I want my core conviction to line up with what God says. Second, I wanted it to reflect Jesus. After all, I worship -- and serve as elder -- at a church of Christ and I believe that to be descriptive not a title. In practical terms, I wanted it to be easy to remember and to share. I am convinced that if we can not easily explain our beliefs to each other and to outsiders, then we are probably not going to be able to live in harmony with what we say is core. In other words, I wanted an answer to the question "so what does Southern Hills (or the church of Christ, or your church, or you) believe anyway?" I wanted it to something that translates into life. I am convicted that our beliefs must be something that can be lived out in this world. Something more than just intellectual assent, but that demanded life buy-in. Finally, I wanted to be sure it was only the things I could not -- would not -- compromise on. I wanted it to be the belief that any church I went to must have. I wanted it to be only what is essential for God's people. So there are lots of things I believe that are not part of my core beliefs. I believe them to be true and right, but not core. I did come up with three things that are my core beliefs. Our elders did too. Southern Hills members will be hearing more about this over the next few months. And obviously my core convictions and the ones of Southern Hills align. They may not work for everyone. Some may think core things are left out. Others may think things included are not core. But it is simple to understand, easy to share, and it is doable as kingdom people in this world. I will be sharing them over the next few posts. So in the meantime... what process do you value to determine your core beliefs? What did I miss that should have been factored in?

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