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This is the 8th in a continuing series on the “We Share…” theme. For background, see the first entry in the series here: We Share #1
Today, “We Share… Basic Beliefs.” Basic Beliefs are “comprehensive, rational explanations of what the church holds to be true, arranged in categories that are part of the broader Christian tradition. In contrast, “Enduring Principles” (covered last week) “are the underlying truths and affirmations that shape the personality of the church.” (Sharing in Community of Christ, p. 26)
“The good news of Jesus Christ is at the center of the faith and beliefs of Community of Christ.” (Sharing …, p. 33) This is of primary importance. We hold firmly to our belief in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. These are the most basic beliefs that connect us to the two millenia of history of the Christian church. Statements of other basic beliefs draw on these foundations and the complementary foundations of scripture. Each member’s experience of these beliefs will be different. Our beliefs are an “open invitation to all to embark on the adventure of discipleship,” to “seek God’s continuing guidance,” and to “encourage all people to study the scriptures and think about their experiences as they engage in the life of the church.” (Sharing …, p. 33)
Statements of our Basic Beliefs are made under the following headings:
It may seem like a long list. Without a statement in each area there would be a lack of comprehensiveness in the total description of our beliefs. Each statement can be seen to build on others which creates a basic “systematic theology.” Members will find that they will give more importance to some statements than to others. What will be particularly meaningful to one person’s faith may be less important in another’s faith. Thus, we have a church with diversity of opinion, thought, and belief that is fully acceptable within the overall unity of the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.
Full statements of each belief may be found on the Community of Christ website and in the book Sharing in Community of Christ, pp. 33-38. In future weeks we will write specifically about our beliefs in Jesus Christ, the Sacraments, and Scripture. (Next week: “Stewardship”) If you would like me to address any other Basic Belief in detail, please send me an email and I will be happy to respond.
For more information about our Basic Beliefs, contact the writer or a congregation near you. Material for this column is drawn primarily from the book, available online, Sharing in Community of Christ: Exploring Identity, Mission, Message, and Beliefs.
I pray for you God’s blessings of joy, hope, love, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
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community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537
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