Michael C. Carson

The immortal Richard Pryor in the legendary movie “Car Wash” played the role of “Daddy Rich.” Daddy Rich’s theme song and “credo statement” was “You Gotta Believe” by Rose Royce and sung by The Pointer Sisters: “You got to believe in somethin', why not believe in me? You got to believe in somethin', why not believe in me?”

Daddy Rich’s “credo statement” was self-evident. A credo statement is a declaration of one’s theological belief. Now on a more “reverend level,” if you will, The Apostles’ Creed is a foundational credo statement.

I was listening to a credo statement made by the Gaither Vocal Band: “I believe in a hill called Mount Calvary. I believe in a hill called Mount Calvary. I believe whatever the cost. And when time has surrendered, and earth is no more, I'll still cling to the old rugged cross.”

While attending Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary working on my Master of Divinity Degree, one of the graduation requirements was to write and defend my own personal credo statement — my personal statement of faith.

It is paramount to your faith to be able to exclaim what you believe and why you believe what you believe. This will help to ensure that you are standing on a firm foundation.

Paul, in the midst of experiencing some struggles in his life, shares with Timothy his credo statement: “I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: Nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:11-13.)

A major spiritual project to engage in — if you have not already done it — would be to meditate on and write your own credo statement. Then, verbally defend it.

When a person is able to declare what they believe, and defend why they believe what they believe, this will greatly enhance their theological witness.

One thing for sure: Daddy Rich was very clear in what he believed and what he wanted other people to believe in. “You've got to believe in somethin', why not believe in me? You got to believe in somethin', why not believe in me?”

A “more excellent” credo statement is from the “gospel according to the Gaither Vocal Band.” “I believe that the Christ who was slain on the cross has the power to change lives today. For He changed me completely. A new life is mine. And that is why I will stay by the cross. I believe in a hill called Mount Calvary. I believe whatever the cost. And when time has surrendered, and earth is no more, I'll still cling to the old rugged cross.”

“Brother Mike, how do I begin working on my credo statement?” Friend, simply begin by meditating on God in your life and write down “I believe …” The rest will follow.

I’m just saying!

Peace with justice, be blessed real good, attend worship, and families matter.

Dr. Michael C. Carson may be reached by email at refreshingcoach@gmail.com.

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