In 1987, while I was a member of a religious sect that does not accept the Bible as a complete inerrant scripture,
I began to realize that the corresponding beliefs that I accepted contradicted the Bible rather than transcending
the Bible. That discovery was not the result of contact with people outside of the sect, but simply the result
of increased contact with the Bible in my personal studies. Over the following ten years I documented a careful
analysis of the theology that I personally found in the Bible. I used the Bible (a KJV Bible published by the sect) because in order to maintain membership in full standing
I was discouraged from viewing outside sources. Towards the end of that 10-year
period after I had already formulated my personal systematic theology, I read
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, which I had received as a gift.
Although an evangelical Christian, Lewis is an author who is approved by and
often quoted by the sect that I belonged to at the time. My beliefs (my personal
theology) that resulted from that period of personal study are exactly
as presented in this web site.
Therefore, I would classify myself as an evangelical Christian. By "evangelical" I mean Christ-centered and Bible-based. Since most people who consider themselves to be Christians would probably describe themselves with this terminology, let me be more precise in my use of these terms in order to make them distinguishing characteristics. By "Christ-centered" I mean that Jesus Christ is the ultimate leader of my life, through his teachings and example in the Bible, and through personal revelation. Of course I seek counseling from Christian leaders and accept advice from other Christians. But if there is ever a conflict between church leaders and Biblical teachings, then Christ rules in my life through the Bible and through personal revelation. By "Bible-based" I mean that the Bible is the primary (or overriding) source of doctrine. Of course I respect and follow the laws of the land and the guidelines of church organizations with which I associate. But I do not accept the notion that the rules of modern society overrule Biblical doctrine or that Biblical teachings can be considered obsolete because they may have applied only locally to those in the vicinity of the Biblical writers. I also seek to learn through the doctrinal interpretations provided by Christian prophets and teachers through the ages. And I think that some of the traditional Christian "creeds" contain merit, but since I believe that creeds are fallible, I see no need to defend them. If there is ever a conflict between the Bible and any other source of doctrine, then the Bible is the authoritative source.
Therefore my personal statement of faith consists of two points. All of the rest of my beliefs, as contained in this web site, are derived from these two points:
(Click Beliefs for my doctrinal statement of faith.)
The difference between true Christianity and all other religions (including many that call themselves Christian) is that all other religions teach that if you do certain rituals or live by certain rules, God will reward you with increased happiness, better health, or a better life after this one. However, Jesus and his apostles in the Bible gave the world something entirely different. They taught that because of our sins we are not able to achieve eternal life by glorifying ourselves through rituals or rules. Instead, we must recognize our sinfulness and recognize our need for a Savior, and then put our complete faith in Him. Through that, the Lord will lead us to repentance and transform us and make us one with Him eternally. The authors of the Bible taught that the purpose of our lives is not to exalt ourselves through rituals or piety, but to glorify God by allowing Him to do his work through us.
May God bless you!
This entire web site © 2011 William C. Hamer