My Faith

 

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today,
with approximately 5,000 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members
across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Faith is as valid and more comprehensive a worldview than science.  If it is possible
to know all things - if it is possible to know enough to make one's life as satisfying
as it can possibly be - it is only possible by embracing both faith and science - in that order.

In the final analysis, what we can learn from science is limited.
What we can know in faith is limitless.

 

U

A book I read and recommend is  &  A Body Knows: A Theopoetics of Death and Resurrection - Melanie A. May

    From the front flap:  Claiming the wisdom of her grandmother's expression "a body knows" Melanie May thinks as a theologian not about her body or through her body but in her body as she writes of near-death experience, of surgery for cancer, of depression, and of lesbian love in a homophobic society and religious culture

These theological insights open new perspectives on what it means to be church today, or the future of the worldwide ecumenical movenent, on the practice of ministry, and on preaching. 

U

A Brief Statement of My Faith
Edward John Devine

       The personal God revealed in Scripture possesses a divine nature that is seductive, self-disclosing, and immensely self-giving.  The experience invites us into a deep inner freedom, along with intimacy and the possibility of real friendship - unbelievably with the Divine itself.  The relationship deeply empowers us to friendship and amazing love in the human realm, which is the apparatus of pure joy and peace on earth. 

       I am a life-long American Baptist (American Baptist Churches USA) and have been an active member of American Baptist congregations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.  Over the years I have been a youth leader, a deacon and served as stewardship committee chair and on a pastoral relations committee.  I am ordained in the American Baptist Tradition and served as pastor of an American Baptist church for 11 years from January 2003 - April 2014.  Since then I have been a member of Immanuel Baptist Church.   

      My vision is for mainline Christianity and the institutional church to reclaim their places on the world stage; faith and religion must be progressive for this to be a reality.  I embrace science and am captive to Scripture.  I understand to love God with all my heart and soul and mind is a package deal.  God did not intend for any generation to understand fully, so we can never stop learning.  I read and study Scripture, works of theologians, scholars and others, and pray for guidance.  I hold Scripture as the ultimate authority on all matters and am excited when my study is rewarded with fresh understanding that speaks to the present day realities of all God's children.

       Discipleship extends not only to the love of God and the love of family and friends, but the love of everyone on the planet.  There is no quibbling as to race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other defining factor.  It is also doing the hard work of loving foes as friends.

       In this modern era in America it is difficult to understand God's call to humility and to be humble.  In our society there is resistance to God's authority and certain presence in every aspect of life.  It's easy to be confused about when to honor God's law and when to defer to the ways of mortals.  Spirituality is a 24/7 proposition and it is impossible to separate spirituality from any human construct or endeavor and it takes a lot of conviction, strength, stewardship and wisdom to succeed at it.

       Love of God and love of each and all others is Job #1 for Christians but equally important is love of our universe and any and all other universes.  Peace on earth, global warming, climate change and ecology are all the concern and cause of disciples of Christ.

       The scientific community discovered the world was created 13.7 billion years ago and our faith community knows God created it, and God gave the world meaning 5,774 years ago in a way the people then could understand it. Through intelect and discernment we've come to understand it differently. We know science tell us what happened but can't prove that God was the architect of it all, but faith can.

       Science can scarce comprehend the capacity for knowledge of the human brain or limits of the multiverse, and science is just beginning to confront the reality of the eternal nature of our souls and the evidence of the universal conciousness that is the bedrock of faith and wisdom.  Because of this, it is more than arrogant and decidedly unscientific and just plain wrong to imagine science is the only way to know everything, and everthing scientists don't know does not exist.

      Faith is as valid and more comprehensive a worldview than science.  If it is possible to know all things - if it is possible to know enough to make one's life as satisfying as it can possibly be - it is only possible by embracing both faith and science - in that order.In the final analysis, what we can learn from science is limited. What we can know in faith is limitless. 

 

The Church – As I Know It

Rochester Genesee Region of American Baptist Churches USA has 43 constituent congregations 12 of which are outside what have been traditional regional boundaries. Regional churches are located in 6 counties of NY State and in 7 states ranging from Minnesota to Florida. ABC-RGR has been one of few regions of the ABCUSA which has granted refuge to congregations which for theological and other reasons were forced to find a new region home or choose to align themselves with this region because of theological affinity.

The character of this region has from its beginning been characterized by the distinctives of soul freedom and local church autonomy. It was Walter Raushenbusch who wrote in 1905, "Our Baptist faith, like our American political constitution, is founded on great principles, and even if some misuse it or misunderstand it, or are inwardly traitors to it, its greatness lifts others up to it. Baptists uphold Baptist principles; and Baptist principles in turn lift up Baptists."

 

In a world of religious denominations and divisions, including even some ABC regions that do not always uphold a theology of love and inclusiveness, ABC-RGR congregations stand firmly for love and inclusiveness of all.
EJD

.

.

.

IMMANUEL BAPTIST CHURCH   ROCHESTER GENESEE REGION AMERICAN BAPTIST CHURCHES USA   COLGATE ROCHESTER CROZER DIVINITY SCHOOL   DEVINEREV.COM   MY CHURCH   MY FAITH   ORDAINED CLERGY   REV. EDWARD JOHN DEVINE

Rev. Edward John Devine

www.devinerev.com

 

    

Copyright ©2017 - Edward John Devine

Hosted by Orlando Web Services