Greetings, I am Jamie Carter. I’m terrible with this sort of thing. How do you prepare answers for questions that nobody has asked yet? I suppose the crucial bit of information is what I believe. If I say my theology was informed by this denomination or that denomination, it gives you a frame of reference for my beliefs. My churches have been: Church of Christ (Disciples of Christ), Southern Baptist, Non-Denominational, and Methodist. I’m more Arminian and less Calvinistic, but I can’t say that I’m strictly one or the other because I’m still confused by both of them. I’ve tried looking into Reformed Theology / Systematic Theology and got lost before I got started – so I’m not well versed in that school of thought. I guess you could say that I’m leaving behind a conservative evangelical school of thought and aiming for a happy medium that’s more liberal in form and practice and less legalistic. Now the background is out of the way, here is the core of my beliefs:
1.) Greatest Commandment: (Matthew 22:36-40) Love God, love everyone else.
2.) Golden Rule: (Matthew 7:12) Treat others in the same way you would want to be treated.
3.) Good Samaritan: (Luke 10:25-37) Loving everyone else means being compassionate and showing mercy.
4.) ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ (Matthew 12:7) God prefers that we prioritize the welfare of people ahead of the dictates of the rules.
5.) ‘Not so with you.’ (Mark 10:41-45) We’re called to lay down our own authority, not exercise it over others. We ought to concern ourselves with helping others and not making decisions for others.
Because I place such a high priority on these things, it often puts me at odds with the rules. I already place people ahead of the rules, so I wouldn’t have a problem with women being in ministry as the equal of men in every way – serving as pastors, teaching anyone and everyone who will listen, and as members of the leadership helping to run church and make decisions.
I think that pretty much covers what I believe for now.