Every Church and Christian organization has a statement of faith. The statement spells out what the group believes. In most cases, it states the most basic elements or tenets of their belief.
Within the Christian faith, there are certain basic tenets, which we embrace or believe. Without them, there is no Christian faith. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, emphasized the importance of believing in the right things. He wrote, “…but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31
The word, “believe” comes from the same Greek root word (pisteuo) as "faith" and "trust". To believe is to have faith and trust in that which we believe. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines believe as “to accept or regard (something) as true”. Every other definition of the word “believe” is fairly identical.
Why is what we believe so important? According to Atheist, Austin Cline, “Beliefs are important because behavior is important and your behavior depends on your beliefs.”* Even atheists believe in the importance of what people believe.
In fact, everyone believes in something. John Lennox, a professor of mathematics at Oxford University, argues that everyone has "faith" in something—even atheists. Lennox notes that the word faith isn't just a religious word. It comes from the Latin word fides, which means "trust" or "reliance”. Lennox writes, "The irony is that atheism is a 'faith position,' and science itself cannot do without faith."**
The question isn’t “do people believe?” but rather, “In what do people believe?” Everyone believes in something.
Over the next several Thursday blogs, I will share several basic or core tenets of the Christian faith. These are the things I believe.
As you read them, ask yourself the question, “Is this, what I believe to be true?”
It will be something to think about…
*About Religion, “What is Belief? What Does it Mean to Say ‘I Believe’ Something is True?” Austine Cline.
** Adapted from John Lennox, Gunning for God (Lion UK, 2011), pp. 37-48.