Need the Creed?

Here is a nice article on why we need the Creed from Jessica LaGrone, a United Methodist Pastor.  The Hymnal of The United Methodist Church has several affirmations of faith for use in the Liturgy, with the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds being chief among them.  In my experience most churches do use the Apostles' Creed on most Sundays, which is a good thing. While this can be a time in the service when church-goers "zone out" and "go through the motions" Reverend LaGrone's article gives us a couple of really instructive stories that remind us why we need the clear and universally acknowledged statements of our faith that we find in the classic Creeds:

A young woman was sitting around one evening with a group of friends when the conversation turned to religion. While politics and religion are known to be dangerous subjects among even the closest friends, the way things have gone in the political sphere lately, religion may have been the safer topic! As her friends went around discussing their convictions, it was clear that most of these young adults weren’t really sure what they believed. They spoke in vague generalities, and some of them weren’t able to articulate what they believed at all.  Finally, she realized everyone was looking at her.

Somebody said: “Well, you’re quiet, what do you believe?” She opened her mouth without even knowing how she would answer. She started out: “I believe… I believe in God.” Then out of nowhere heard herself say:  “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord.” Almost unable to stop herself she continued: “He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate..."
A friend of mine moved to New England several years ago and found a church that she felt was the right fit for her. She liked that it was a church that labeled itself “progressive,” valuing tolerance and openness to all beliefs instead of proclaiming one set of beliefs in particular. The church had few members and wasn’t growing, so they decided to put together a brochure to put the word out about who they were. The committee tasked with writing the brochure agreed that the cover should say who they were.

So they began by writing: “We are a church that believes that…”
And that’s where they stopped. They couldn’t agree on what to say next. They thought about putting the name Jesus on there, but they knew that might offend some people. They thought about saying something more generic about God, but they were concerned that might turn some people off.

“We are a church that believes that…”

Wait, someone said, we can’t really say that we all believe the same thing.
So they backed up: “We are a church that…"

Wait a minute, someone else said – should we even use the word church in there? Someone might have had a bad experience with church, and be put off by that word.

“We are a…”

They had to disband the committee. They couldn’t even agree on what to call themselves. My friend left that church. As progressive as she was, she knew there was no life in a church that cannot even express what it believes. 
Read it all here

Using the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed in worship not only helps us to articulate a universally acknowledged (that is "catholic" in the broad sense of the word) statement of Christian faith, it also connects our worship and our belief with the many generations of saints and believers who have come before us, because these creeds have been used since the early centuries of the Church. 

It just so happens that today, May 2, is the feast day of St. Athanasius, one of the principle framers of the Nicene Creed who insisted on the Biblical truth that Christ always exists as "God from God" and is not simply a created thing.

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Blogger SusanU said...

I have only recently been attending an Episcopal service. But whenever I recite the creed, I often ponder how different things would have been for me as a teenager if I could have regularly recited the creed to help bolster my faith.

8:21 PM, June 03, 2013  
Anonymous Vernita said...

This is cool!

11:14 PM, August 05, 2013  

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