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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Credo

Church Steeple, Mayflower Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
This Easter Sunday, I was the Worship Leader at my church, Mayflower Congregational UCC. Among the duties of the Worship Leader is to deliver some personal remarks during a segment of the service called "Prayers of the People." I decided to offer my personal faith statement or Credo.

Some weeks ago, Rev. Meyers called for a renewal in the Christian church “comparable with that of the Reformation.” Consider this my own modest, very modest, contribution to that reformation. Don’t worry, I don’t have anything like "Ninty-Five Theses", just a brief testimony of my faith.

I believe in God because it seems to me that there must exist a Freedom that allows all other freedoms to exist, a source of Love that makes all love authentic. I don’t know if God is a person, but because I respond best to people, I regard God as a person. This makes my responsibilities towards God personal.

I do not believe that Jesus is God. I think that we can take a cue from our Muslim friends who affirm that there is but one God. I believe that Jesus was a man sent by God to show us what God is like and how we should live as children of God. Now, I may be wrong about this, and if I get chance to meet Jesus some time, some place, I’ll offer him my sincerest apologies. But I have a feeling that he would say something like, “That’s okay. That wasn’t the important thing anyway.” For it seems to me that too many people worry more about who Jesus was than they do what he taught about how we should live. Many say they want to be like Jesus, but not a lot of us seem to want to live like him.

And as far as I have been able to figure it out, the way we are supposed to live involves living lives of righteousness on a personal level and lives promoting justice on a social level. I do believe in good and evil. I believe that I have a moral responsibility to live in a right relationship to God and God’s universe. One family motto my wife and I have goes, "Life is a work in progress. (We hope!)" Righteousness is my personal responsibility, and I have an equal moral responsibility to Justice, to end or at least mitigate social sins, those evils that deny others their right to human dignity, evils like greed, intolerance, and racism. This is what I pray for when I repeat that part of the Lord’s Prayer calling for God’s rule on earth as it is in Heaven. I pray also for the courage to act on my convictions.

So there you have my Credo, not as dramatic as Martin Luther’s statement before the Diet of Worms. (I first heard that name when I was a child, and I’ve always loved it.) But this is the best I’ve been able to come up with so far, until I make more progress. I hope

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