In my best Newsboys singing voice:
In this time of desperation
I believe every single word in this song... I can sing this song in worship feeling 110% convicted that Jesus came to earth, died a sinless death as hung on a cross, three days later rose from the grave... all because God loves me that much.
I grew up in religion. I grew up with the understanding that I would have to ask forgiveness in a dark little box with man on the other side of the grated wall. I am not sure what sins I had at that young age that I needed to have a panic attack about confessing. I wasn't sure why I needed to talk to a priest when I was already talking to God in my prayers. I wasn't sure how being sent back to a pew to say a few Hail Mary's was going to wipe the slate clean until the next time I was forced to go to confession again. I just knew I had to do that to be worthy of taking communion each week. All in the life of a Catholic student, I guess.
Since those days, I have come into a real relationship (please note, I did not say religion) with Jesus Christ. I have invited Jesus into my heart to be my Lord and Savior. I know I am not perfect, that's why I need Him. I was not made to be perfect. I was made to love God and love others. My salvation is not based on how many prayers I say, how many good works I do. My salvation is based on my love of Jesus.
Right now, in the Land of Mormons (Yes, I am from Utah. No, I am not Mormon. No, they don't have horns.) they just had their biannual church conference and there was a big to-do about Mormons being Christian and a new movie "Meet the Mormons" that is coming out. Although I have many friends and even family members who are LDS/Mormon, I do not believe their church teaches Christianity. I believe their church teaches religion. I believe they follow man made rules that their prophet calls them to believe. I do not believe that Jesus is the brother of Satan. I do not believe that we are going to be gods and have our own planet when we die. I do not believe that I need special permission to go into a building to do secret acts to earn my way to the highest level of heaven. I do not believe that I need to baptize dead relatives. I do not believe that we need any other set of instructions outside of the Holy Bible.
I believe Mormons have good hearts and are good people. I am blessed to live in the community that I do because they are very caring people and good neighbors. I just pray that one day they will see the light of Christ and realize that salvation isn't as hard as they make it out to be.
Utah has a lot of hopes of perfection... and that leads to a lot of antidepressants, plastic surgery, and suicide. My heart aches for these wonderful people and the brokenness I see that comes from their church. I pray that the light of Christ comes through my words and actions... that someone will come to know Jesus through that.
We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He's given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He's comin' back,
He's comin' back again!
He's comin' back again!
I do believe... with my whole heart. God is so good!