We want to be upfront with you about what we believe. Here’s a list of a few of the most important things to us.
God’s Grace and love are for all people
God is love. God loves all people and all families. So do we. Gay, lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, Jew, Christian Muslim, Buddhist, atheist – Jesus welcomes all and so all are welcome at Clackamas UCC.
Who Is Jesus?
Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Word of God made Flesh. What do all of these theological words mean?
They mean that if you want to know what God is like, look to Jesus. In John 14:9, Jesus says, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Christianity is beginning to catch up to this radical statement. Jesus does *not* say, “Whoever has seen Moses or Isaiah or Jeremiah or Paul or 1 Peter or the Book of Revelation has seen the Father.” Of course, those can be helpful, but the foundation of Christianity is not those people or even the Bible. The foundation of Christianity is Jesus Christ. We find God in Jesus, who reveals a God who refuses to kill anyone, but rather offers God’s Self to all of humanity in the name of revealing God’s love for all people. As 1 John states, “God is love.” It’s not that God is love … and a little bit of wrath. No. In Jesus we find that God is love. Period.
At Clackamas UCC, we center our worship service around the Spirit of Christ and the scriptures. You may have heard that the Bible is the Word of God, but the Bible never calls itself that. In fact, it calls Jesus the Word of God. Christianity falls into problems when it elevates the Bible to the same level as Jesus.
The Bible is a crucially important book. As 2 Timothy 3:16 states, “All scripture is inspired by God”. Another way to translate this verse is that, “All scripture is God breathed”. Do you know what else was inspired by God and God breathed? The first man, Adam. And we know that despite Adam being inspired with the breath of God, he didn’t always get God right.
The key to Christianity is Christ. After all, we are not Biblians. We are Christians. The point is Christ. We try to see everything, including the Bible, through the eyes of Christ. In Luke 24, the resurrected Jesus walks with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The disciples didn’t recognize him, but Jesus talked with them and “interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.”
Jesus had to interpret the scriptures to his disciples so that they could see Jesus in the scriptures. Where do we find Jesus in the scriptures? The same place we find Jesus in the Gospels – always as the one who suffers from at the hands of religious people.
This changes our whole understanding of the Bible. So often we interpret God as with the conquerors, the winners, the rich, and the powerful. But Jesus reveals a different way of interpreting the Bible – God is with the victims in the Bible, not with the persecutors. As Jesus says in Matthew 25, what you do for the least of these, you do for him. For more on biblical interpretation, download Pastor Adam’s free ebook “Unlearning the Bible” at the Raven Foundation.
Sin is an ugly word, but sometimes we need ugly words to describe what can be such an ugly world.
Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to love God and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Sin includes all the ways in which we fail to love on a personal level and on a cultural level.
There are personal sins, like when we gossip or steal or harm others. And there are systemic sins, like racism, the military industrial complex, economic marginalization, and political exploitation. Jesus came to save us from our sinful ways of interacting with one another on a personal and systemic level so that we can live out his greatest commandment – that we love one another as he loved us.
God is still speaking
Some believe that God only spoke long ago through the Bible. We believe that God is still speaking today through books, movies, music, and in many different ways. Our job is to listen and discover where God is still speaking today.
The spiritual life is a journey
We’re on this journey together. It’s exciting, but it’s not always easy. Sometimes there are bumps in the road. Sometimes we even fall. But there’s always someone walking alongside us to pick us up on the way.
Doubts and questions are always welcome
Do you have doubts? So do we. We talk openly about our doubts and our faith. We believe God is everywhere, even within our doubts. In fact, the more we learn about God, the more questions we’re likely to have.
Everyone is in ministry
Who is our minister here at CUCC? Everyone is a minister. Everyone has a gift to share. Sometimes it’s listening. Sometimes it’s music. Sometimes it’s helping maintain the building. Sometimes it’s helping to lead worship. And sometimes it’s visiting someone in the hospital.
God is in the restoration business!
We believe that God is restoring all of creation. The future is one of restoration and that restoration is happening now. Our mission is to participate in that restoration today through acts of justice, peace, and reconciliation.