Pastor westminster PRESBYTERIAN Church, San Jose, CA
Key Theological Issues
The Westminster shorter catechism states, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” While seemingly straight forward, many battles have been waged over what it means to glorify God. Explanations and debates over centuries have polarized the church. Today we are caught in the middle of a revolution in the church, forced to scrutinize between tradition, faith, and belief. We must reexamine what it means to Glorify God.
Being raised in a mission oriented home, I find that one of the most important ways to glorify God is to seek justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our Lord. Thus, I feel that it is important for us to be open to all. When we are open to others, we open ourselves to God. When we are more inclusive and tolerant, we are able to have a truly honest discussion of theological issues.
I find it crucial that as a church we rediscover the importance of dialogue and seeking, knowing that no one person has the complete insight into God, and that those who espouse hate go counter to the glory of God.
I believe that the church should be a place that encourages people to open their hearts to God and create a loving that encourages discussion and honest dialogue. All sides of issues must be heard so that nobody is given a “bully” pulpit in Christian community that espouses to glorify God. To understand God’s mission and presence in this process allows us to focus on how the triune God is impacting our lives.
Statement Of Faith
I believe in God our creator, who made all things both visible and invisible, who formed us from the dust of the ground and breathed life into us, and who is active in this world through creating and recreating.
I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was begotten and not made, fully human and fully God, of one substance with the father. I place my trust in Jesus, who carried out the mission of God by proclaiming the good news of God to the poor and the release of the captives, who healed the sick, and reached out to the sinners and outcasts. He taught us that all humankind sins, and calls all to repent and believe. Through his crucifixion, Jesus suffered the greatest of human pain, giving his life for the atonement of our sins so that we may find forgiveness in Him. After Christ’s bodily death, he descended into hell, rose, and ascended into heaven to dwell with God where he will judge all and whose kingdom will find no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit who is the breath of God that gives us true life and who was proceeded by God the Father and Christ our Lord, who is of the same substance as the Creator and as Christ. The life that we have in the Spirit is a different life, one of joy and enlightenment, a life of pain and persecution. Yet, the life of the Spirit within us gives us power and strength to fervently pursue the righteousness of God. I look to the Holy Church Universal to be the community of the people of God, which comes together to praise, worship, and be in mission – pursuing social justice, the call for peace, an end to poverty, an end to racism, and reconciliation with God and others – with the triune God.
I trust that we are called to act in a Christian way and live a Christian life celebrating the gifts we have been given by God. I believe that righteousness comes from faith and faith alone. The works we do are our expression back. They are our response to the fact that we are justified and made right through Christ by grace, and we respond. I trust that grace is a gift that God gives to us. God gives us grace freely. As an outward sign of God’s inward grace, the sacraments are signs of the real presence of Christ within the church. Through the sacraments, God seals believers in redemption, renews their identity as the people of God and marks them for service. Thus, we are also called to act responsibly with grace and to continually thank God for the gracious acts that God does for us. I believe that grace affects all of God’s creation and all within it.