Statement of Faith
By John Karmelich
I could copy and paste a number of Bible verses to support the theology shown in the text below. I would rather just speak my heart on these issues even if the wording was not “theologically perfect”. I would describe my categorical view as “conservative evangelic”. The issues shown below are what I consider the essential issues. There are many other smaller, less relevant issues where one can take different positions and still have a biblically supported argument. With that stated, here are my views on key issues:
Trinity: There is only one God, manifested in three beings, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While we don’t understand the full meaning and concept of this Trinity, we do understand each is separate and each is unified. The closest analogy I could think of is a test-tube that is 100% filled with water, steam and ice”, each have different attributes, yet each is the same.
God the Father: God the Father, like Jesus and the Holy Spirit, always has, is and will exist. They exist outside of time. God is perfect. Because God is perfect, God cannot learn and cannot lie, nor can He contradict himself. His plan for the redemption of mankind was set out before the foundation of the world was set in place. Because God is perfect, God can stand no wrong whatsoever. Because God is perfect, He must be perfect in judgment of our faults. Because God is perfect, he also loves us with a perfect love. Because of God’s love, He desires a relationship with all men and women. He reconciles the problem of “perfect love vs. perfect judgment” by having a Perfect God (Jesus) pay the price for our sins for eternity.
Jesus: Jesus is the Son of God and is God. He always was, always is, and always will be. He was manifested in the flesh by a virgin in Israel about 2,000 years ago and died as payment for our sins. On the 3rd day He was resurrected and is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. He intercedes for us as a mediator between God the Father and ourselves. That means we pray to God the Father through Jesus. It is only because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we can approach God the Father in prayer.
Holy Spirit: If God is to be perfect in His communication with us, and then there must be a perfect entity to manifest that communication. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to glorify God the Father and God the Son through us. The Holy Spirit works in our lives in many ways and many forms to glorify God. God the Father gives believers in Jesus specific and individual gifts and talents for the purpose of glorifying God and helping other believers in God. Not all people have all gifts and talents. It is through God the Father sovereign’s will who is to get what gifts and talents. It is one of the great joys of believers to discover what talents and gifts they do have for the purpose of glorifying God.
Salvation: Our salvation is based on the acknowledgement that Jesus died as payment of our sins and God the Father resurrected Him as acknowledgement that the payment made was acceptable. Our faith in that action then causes us to change our behavior in gratitude for what Jesus did for us. For those who have never heard of Jesus, God the Father, who is perfect, and therefore will judge all people fairly based on what knowledge they do have of God the Father and of the Lord Jesus.
The Bible: The sixty-six books that make up the “Protestant” Bible are the Words of God, given outside of time to about 40 different people. The books, in their original autographs are the inspired word of God. The translations we have today are “at least” 99% accurate with the words in question being so trivial that they have no bearing whatsoever on any of the doctrines found in Christianity. The issues that different branches of the Christian church debate over have to due with interpretations of issues and not whether or not such words are in fact the Word of God. There are an additional 14 books that make up the Roman Catholic Bible. All of these books are part of the canon of the Old Testament. These books are rejected by both Protestant denominations and by Jewish scholars and are not considered God-inspired.
The Resurrection of the Body and Soul: All people are resurrected to either eternal salvation or eternal damnation. The Bible teaches that there is a one thousand year separation of these events. There is a judgment for all people, not only as to salvation, but also as to our heavenly rewards or eternal punishment based on our lives here on earth. God created time, and therefore He exists outside of time. We are resurrected outside of the time domain that we know it, and thus, we will exist forever. The thousand-year frame is from our perspective. While some of the details of the nature of the resurrection are debatable from a bible scholar’s perspective, the fact of the resurrection itself is not considered a debatable point.
The 2nd Coming of Jesus: I believe in the literal 2nd coming of Jesus to rule and reign over the earth. God the Father has explicitly stated that no one knows the day nor hour, but at the same time we are to watch for his coming. God instructs us to pray for this event, but there is nothing politically we can do to expedite that event. There will also be a literal-seven year period of a final judgment on the earth prior to the rule and reign of Jesus from the earth.
The Nation of Israel and Christians: God made an unconditional promise to the nation of Israel that the Messiah (Jesus) would rule and reign from the nation itself. If one cannot trust the unconditional promises made to Israel, therefore, how can one trust the promises God the Father made to believers in Jesus? I reject the notion taught by some Christian churches that the Nation of Israel has forfeited their promises in the rejection of Jesus. That would be a contradiction to God’s unconditional promises and the fact that God is perfect, and a perfect God is incapable of going back on His unconditional promises.