Brevity…is not so easy

Have you heard of the social network called Twitter? I don’t use it myself but I know that each “tweet” (message) from your smart phone or computer is limited to 140 characters. Before I knew the name of those kinds of messages, I called them “twits.” Thankfully, I was corrected before I made an even bigger fool of myself.

This week, Pastor Tony Núñez and I were revising a folded card we have used here to give as an introduction to the church and the Gospel. It includes the standard information about the church—name, address, phone, website, service time, a map, and a brief message. When folded they are the size of a business card. Some of the information needed to be updated. We thought it might be time to make further changes. One change was to include whatever we were going to say in English and Spanish on the same folded card. Previously we made two separate cards. Our already brief message had to be made even briefer-er (is that a word?).

What can you say about what you believe in 140 words (not characters, like Twitter)? Can you say it with clarity and meaning? It is not that we didn’t want to say more. We were limited by the available space. After several hours of word-smithing, here is our conclusion. The English version has 133 words, the Spanish, 134.

“We believe God’s Word, the Bible, reveals the truth about Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God and became fully human. He died in our place as our substitute. His resurrection confirms the Father’s acceptance of His sacrifice as finished, complete, and sufficient for our salvation. This salvation is received only through Jesus Christ by faith apart from any work, deed, or merit we might think we can contribute. God is love and His grace is a free gift. The Holy Spirit is God. He guides us by God’s grace to follow Jesus Christ in the way He chooses to lead us. God is one, made known to us in the BIble as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We worship Him in spirit and in truth to please Him and exclusively for His glory.”

Is our statement complete? No, there isn’t enough room. Is our statement perfect? No, nothing we do can attain perfection—only Jesus is perfect. If there had been more space, we would have included Scripture references to each of the statements above as proof that we weren’t making outrageous claims. We realized those receiving our folded cards probably would not question the source of what is said. If they read the card, we believe God could use it to stir their thoughts to further seek the Truth about Jesus Christ.
What do you think? I would certainly be interested in your thoughts, constructive and critical.