Having not come from a church background, and then having my conversion and spiritual growth come in an evangelical environment, I have spent most of my time here on earth blissfully ignorant of the historical Church. In some ways, this is a good thing – new wineskins and all. But in many others, it has left me without a very significant root to my faith.
I’m learning, however, and one of the things I’ve learned is how much more complex we make faith out to be than it actually is. Is it inerrant, infallible, or inspired? Is it immersion or sprinkling? Hymns or praise songs (or something else entirely)? George W. Bush or John Kerry (or, heaven forbid, Hillary!)?
The Creeds cut through all of this nonsense. Creator God? Check. Virgin Birth? Check. Crucifixion and Resurrection? Check.
No mention of inerrancy verses any other type of “in.” Nothing about predestination versus free-will or any other things we use to exclude one another from fellowship. A simple list of basic beliefs, adherence to which makes one “Orthodox.”
I’m pretty orthodox by that standard, although I suspect some people would question that orthodoxy based on some of my views of scripture. But do I believe the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds? You betcha.
Of course, I have a sinking suspicion that even these creeds present entirely more hoops to jump through than Jesus himself did. As a matter of fact, the only creed I really ever heard him say was required for eternal life was the following:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
There, now that was easy, wasn’t it?