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Faith

Believe

Do you Believe?

Belief in God is life changing...

In its truest sense there is evidence of love, the life giving love exemplified through Jesus.

Believing may seem distant because of some of the untruths you have heard.

Maybe we can help you dispel a few. According to Martin Thielen in "What's the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian", there are some misconceptions like:

a. God Causes Cancer, Car Wrecks, and Other Catastrophes.

Although God can and does bring good results out of tragedy,

God does not cause tragic events to occur.

b. Women Can't Be Preachers and Must Submit to Men.

Women are fully equal with men in marriage, in church, and in society.

c. God Cares about Saving Souls but Not about Saving Trees

God cares about personal salvation and social justice and so should

God's church.

d. God Loves Straight People but Not LGBT People

All persons, including LGBT people, are welcome in God's church.

(York Ogunquit is a "Reconciling Ministry" ).

e. It's OK for Christians to be Judgmental and Obnoxious.

True Christians leave judgment to God.

What does it mean to be a Christian?

According to Martin Thielen, it means:

1. Belief in Jesus.

Every person needs to grapple with Jesus' question to his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?"

Christians believe he is "the Christ, the son of the living God."

2. Jesus' Priority (What Matters Most?)

Relationships—with God and others—matter most.

3. Jesus' Grace (Am I Accepted?)

Even with our flaws, Jesus loves and accepts us as beloved children of God.

4. Jesus' Work (Where Is God?)

Although God is not limited to working through people, God primarily works though human instruments.

5. Jesus' Example (What Brings Fulfillment?)

True fulfillment comes from serving others.

6. Jesus' Death (What about Suffering?)

Although God does not prevent suffering, the crucified God fully enters human suffering and works to

redeem that suffering.

7. Jesus' Resurrection (Is There Hope?)

Jesus Christ's resurrection gives us hope for life and even hope for death.

8. Jesus' Legacy (Is the Church Still Relevant?)

In spite of its flaws, the church is still God's primary vehicle for doing God's work, and every Christian

needs to belong to one.

9. Jesus' Promise (Who Is the Holy Spirit?)

The Holy Spirit is God's empowering presence in our lives, in the life of the church, and in the world.

10. Jesus' Vision (What Is God's Dream for the World?)

The "kingdom of God" is God's dream for the world, and we are called to help make that dream a reality,

both in our personal lives and in society.

To get a broader understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ and to make a life changing decision, check out Mark Thelen's book "What's the Least I can Believe and Still Be a Christian" at (Amazon.com)...

Would you like to talk with someone personally?

Call Pastor Jim at 207-363-2749 or email ( pastor.youmc@gmail.com )...

Are you ready to grow in God? Check out resources to help you grow (Grow)

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