At CAP Ireland, our faith in God and understanding how we are to live shapes our character, culture and purpose. Our mission to serve the poor through compassionate service with an active pursuit of justice and to share our faith is at the core of what we do.
Our Christian faith is based on a few core beliefs:
The Trinity of God, we believe in one living God, revealed through the Bible as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The universe is the creation of God which reveals His existence, power and goodness.
We are all created in the image of God, to love and obey God, to relate to one another in love and compassion, to seek justice and to care for creation. Every one of us is unique, dignified and equal. God loves and cares for us as shown by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Each of us have sinned (any act contrary to God’s nature) rejecting God’s authority and disobeying His ways. This caused alienation from God and each other leading to an eternal separation from God.
Jesus was uniquely appointed by God to bring salvation or restoration to the world. Being God, Jesus came to earth, teaching and modelling for us the way to new life. By his death, He took upon Himself our sins so that we can be made right with God. On the cross, Christ also entered into our suffering accomplishing reconciliation for all creation. His bodily resurrection, defeated death and gave us the way to eternal life.
The Holy Spirit was actively involved in creation and history as well as in our lives today, empowering us to love generously, experience freedom, support justice and follow Jesus. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, leading to faith and repentance and unites us to Christ. Through Christ, God’s Spirit is poured out on all believers.
The Bible tells the universal story of creation, our rebellion, God’s redemption and ultimately the hope, through the person and work of Jesus Christ. We believe the Bible is the word of God spoken through individuals that it is trustworthy in all it affirms. We view it as the ultimate revelation of God’s identity, character, purposes and actions, and submit to it as supremely and uniquely authoritative for our belief and behaviour.
The Church is the worldwide community of faith called by God to represent His character of holiness and compassion, to bring justice and to fulfil His mission of sharing the new life through Jesus Christ. We exist to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbours.
Therefore, as Christians Against Poverty, we commit ourselves to:
- Live humbly, lovingly and sacrificially
- Make known God’s grace through Christ, calling people to faith, repentance and discipleship
- Demonstrate the values and the power of the Kingdom of God
- Serve those struggling with poverty, vulnerability and marginalisation with compassion and love
- Recognise our Christian duty of mutual encouragement to all who serve Christ respecting the diversity of culture, experience and understanding of others
We are Christians Against Poverty – our faith is very much at our core
Our Faith in relation to Our Services
Every member of CAP’s team, from our founders to our frontline volunteers, would tell you that following Jesus and trusting in God has made a big difference in our lives. Some of us were not brought up in the Christian faith and have found it for ourselves; others were raised as Christians. Either way, we all have joy, hope, peace, love and compassion in our hearts that we believe are the fruit of knowing and following Jesus.
If you took a look at our charitable objectives, you would see that one of them is the advancement of the Christian faith, which we understand can cause some people to ask deeper questions. We thought we would take this chance to explain why our faith is so important to us.
Firstly, we are really upfront with people and do everything we can to ensure they know from the start that being Christian is absolutely not a requirement to receive our services. We will help anyone and have never refused help to anyone because they are not interested in our faith.
When we visit a client to help them with their debts or when they come to one of our other services, it is likely that we will offer to pray with them. We make sure that people feel they can say no, but our annual client survey shows that most people really appreciate it. If people show an interest in exploring a bit more of the Christian faith, we might invite them to church or a social event where they can experience the community of faith that is the Church to see if they feel it is right for them.
Many of the people we help at CAP are classed as ‘vulnerable’, they were already facing significant challenges in life before the weight of debt landed on them. We are so very aware of the need to handle these precious people with extra care. We are careful never to apply pressure or be unclear about the fact Christianity is not a necessity to receive our service.
We love people and we know that forcing our beliefs on anyone is not going to do anyone any good. So, we offer and if people are interested, then great. If not, the life changing service carries on as if it was never mentioned.