Statement of Faith (Rev. Bruce Incze)

                         Statement of Faith                          Rev. Bruce Incze

 I am intentional about my faith.  I strive for awareness of what it is I actually believe and why it is that I believe it.  I am always exploring whether my beliefs have been imprinted on me by my culture and my life story (including seminary) or whether my beliefs transcend time and context.  I very much enjoy conversations with spiritually thoughtful people of all stripes.  I believe that all spiritually thoughtful people have something valuable to share.

I believe that thankfulness is one of the hallmarks of relationship with the Lord.  Thankfulness may be expressed as praise, but it might also be reflected in joy or duty or in many other ways.  When I find myself being naturally thankful, many aspects of my relationship with the Lord also seem to be at their healthiest.  I am deeply grateful that my parents modeled thankfulness all of their days.

Another hallmark of spiritual health is found in the fruit of the Spirit.  I know that my Lord continues to shepherd me, because he continues to cultivate and mature my character into his likeness.  Perhaps the most dramatic representation of the fruit is found in the transformation of my acerbic anger into a peace that passes my understanding.

I find that I am more progressive than most of my self-identified evangelical friends and way more evangelical than most of my self-identified progressive friends.  I generally find fellowship with either community comfortable, as I see authentic Christianity in all of them.  I would feel like I was cheating myself out of abundant living if my circle of friends were less diverse than it is.

I have high regard for the Westminster Confession and Catechisms.  My heart rejoices at the deep understanding of Scripture that went into their crafting.  Some of the language is dated and some expressions are overly categorical, yet I am humbled by their worship-filled richness whenever I read them.  B.B. Warfield has also written a very fine essential tenets document with which I have strong theological alignment.  God continues to bless his Church with people of faith and powerful teaching methods.   I find that Eugene Peterson’s writings speak to how my heart and my spirit hold the truths of Scripture.  And Max Lucado, in his imaginative writings, breaks rigid constructs of how the pieces fit together in everyday living.  The simplicity of Marva Dawn’s story telling is delightful and sticky.  And I very much enjoy listening in on Beth Moore, as her teaching style is crisp and penetrating.

Using more traditional Statement of Faith language, I am Christian, a Christ-follower, a Trinitarian.  I love Jesus the Christ, who is the only begotten Son of the Father, who lives in perfect communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit.   I believe that all creation and the history of redemption are designed to magnify God’s glory.  I believe that God graciously invites, effectively calls, and equips the elect to meaningfully participate in magnifying his glory.  I believe that sin is a real problem, causing brokenness in our relationship with God and having negative consequences for ourselves, those around us and the broader community of creation.  I believe that God is steadfast, faithful and loving.  God is engaged and cares about every aspect of every life.  I believe that humans are image bearers of God.  [This truth drives how I view people.]  I revel in the promise that Christ came that we might have life abundantly.

I believe that we all have a God-given purpose for our lives.  I believe that I have been born and shaped to guide and equip the faithful and the future faithful to consider the goodness of God and to pursue a satisfying relationship with the One, True, Triune God of the Bible that is expressed in deep worship, peace-filled friendship, and power-filled service.

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