Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rector's Rambling - August 31, 2008

A very important part of the life of the Church is to have agreement on the fundamentals of the Faith. Of course, the Scriptures are our primary source for this, and the Creeds have been the other central unifying force in the Church. The word “Creed” comes from the Latin word Credo, the opening word of the Creed, “I believe”
The Creeds were written as statements of what is essential for belief, because the contents are true. The Apostles Creed (also called the baptismal creed) is the earliest such formula. This is the shortest of the three creeds, and answers the basic question of who is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. This is the Creed we recite at Morning and Evening Prayer.
Subsequent Creeds, Nicene and Athanasian (commonly called), were written in response to questions raised that were not specifically answered by the Apostles Creed. These Creeds were adopted by the Councils (gatherings) of the worldwide Church before the 5th Century.
In our modern age there have been attempts to change the Creeds. New liturgies begin the Creed “We believe”, which can leave out personal accountability for every article (I have heard this excuse used, saying, “I may not believe one or two phrases, but overall enough of us here do so I say it on Sunday”). Others have written new ‘creeds’ which have no basis in scriptural truth but rather in political and/or personal agenda.
Recently an Episcopal priest had published a letter in the national church newspaper , stating that the creeds are “defective and need to be taken out of service.” Why? Not enough of his personal interpretation about Jesus. His justification? A quote from a gnostic text rejected as a false teaching over 1700 years ago.
The Church must have unity on fundamentals—The Creeds– or we will be stifled in our mission to proclaim the Truth of Jesus Christ!