Thursday, September 17, 2015

What matters

My friend Andy and I are having an email face off. Andy loves the creeds of the church, I don't care a whit for them.

Andy wants to convince me the creeds are 'liberating' when we meet on Tuesday. I really don't care if they are 'liberating' or 'constrictive'--I simply don't buy into 'belief' as having any importance at all.

Remember the song from "My Fair Lady" that says "show me". That's what matters to me. Show me compassion, mercy, forgiveness, love, inclusion, acceptance--show me that and I don't care at all what you "believe" about anything. Live into your faith, that's all that matters. The details of your 'belief' matters not.

I know lots of folks who claim no religious belief who live lives that demonstrate they understand Jesus' teachings more than  people who proclaim they are 'Christians' and hate people different from them.

Give me a break, the Nicene Creed was created to 'cleanse' the church of 'heretics', not create a purified church.

Many Christians in the 4th century, CE, couldn't get by the first sentence of the creed without being read out of the church.

"I believe in the Father Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth."

I've read into early Christian texts, like those discovered in the 1940's in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, that tell us lots of early Christians didn't believe the God of the Hebrew Scripture was Jesus' 'Father'.

So, the first sentence of the creed made them heretical and driven out of the church.

I, myself, have difficulty equating Jesus' "Father" with the vengeful, wrathful God of Hebrew Scripture. Jesus' 'Father was full of grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. That doesn't match up to the Yahweh of the Old Testament in my mind.

So, I whisper the Creed, if I say it at all.

Not important to my faith and trust in God.

I'll let you know about Tuesday's conversation with Andy. I really love him, I just can't agree with him.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.