Christian News • Christian Living • Theology • Reviews

Who Stole Jesus?


by Jason Smathers on October 18, 2011

An Indianapolis, Indiana church, Life Journey Church, is running a campaign titled “Who Stole Jesus?” The billboards point to a website which has 10 points the dispute, one of which is:

The real Jesus celebrated diversity in God’s creation, including gay and transgender people (Matthew 8:5-13; Matthew 19:1-12). Many churches today call diversity an abomination.

Before examining the claims being made, it is helpful to understand the church’s doctrinal positions. Their website posts the following as their creed:

We are a Christian Church that embraces the basic doctrines of Christianity. We confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We are part of a denomination called Metropolitan Community Churches. Our denominational Statement of Faith is tied to the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, which have served as the basic creeds of Christianity since the early days of the Church.
Beyond these basics, however, we leave it to each individual to work out the details of his or her faith in accordance with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures. We do not feel it is healthy or wise to try to compel each individual to believe exactly alike. We respect our congregants and treat them like adults who have both the responsibility and capacity to discern God’s will. John 16:12-15.

The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds are solid orthodox statements of faith that unite Christians. However, they are not meant to be a complete statement of faith. They are however some of the basics, as acknowledged by Life Journey. While it is true that the Scriptures are the ultimate rule of faith, this statement appears to be an attempt to veil the church’s theology. The church does teach specific interpretations of the scriptures, but they are not willing to post a complete statement of their faith. The Scriptures have only one meaning, where there are non-essentials where disagreement is acceptable, there can still only be one correct interpretation. The leadership of the church knows what they believe and what they teach, but they refuse to post it. Furthermore, the scriptures are clear that the Holy Spirit is within only those who are Christians, only those who have been saved by grace through faith. Only those who have faith in Christ alone to save them. Therefore, not all adults have the capacity to discern God’s will, only those indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

The following is the statement of faith as posted by their denomination, Metropolitan Community Churches.

We believe:

  • In one triune God, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, of one substance and of three persons: God – our Parent-Creator; Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God, God in flesh, human; and the Holy Spirit – God as our Sustainer.
  • That the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God, showing forth God to every person through the law and the prophets, and finally, completely and ultimately on earth in the being of Jesus Christ.
  • That Jesus…the Christ…historically recorded as living some 2,000 years before this writing, is God incarnate, of human birth, fully God and fully human, and that by being one with God, Jesus has demonstrated once and forever that all people are likewise Children of God, being spiritually made in God’s image.
  • That the Holy Spirit is God making known God’s love and interest to all people. The Holy Spirit is God, available to and working through all who are willing to place their welfare in God’s keeping.
  • Every person is justified by grace to God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Life Journey Church claims their “denominational Statement of Faith is tied to the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds.” However, the above statement appears to be a universalist statement which the writers of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds would have condemned as heretical. In the second statement “showing forth God to every person” clearly is incorrect as not every person has seen or been influenced by the scriptures. Again in the third statement, another universalist statement is made: “all people are likewise Children of God.” The title Children of God is reserved in the scriptures for the people of God, those who believe in Him, and is not for all people. The forth statement again assumes that the Holy Spirit is for all people, when the scriptures are clear that it is only Christians who have the Holy Spirit within them. And finally, the clear statement of universalism is in their fifth and last statement. Not every person is justified, rather, only those who have faith in Christ alone are justified.

Claiming that their statement of faith is tied to the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds is nothing less than dishonest. The authors of those creeds would have said to Life Journey Church “Let you be accursed.”

With this better understanding of Life Journey Church’s theological convictions, we can be discerning when examining their specific claims.

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