Aloha Friday Message – April 6, 2018 – Credo in unum Deum

1814AFC040618 – Credo in unum Deum

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1 John 5:1-2 1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ [the Messiah] is born of God, and whoever loves the father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Did you have a wonderful Easter? We certainly did! Crucita and I attended all three services of the Triduum, cheered on our Elect as they received their Sacraments of Initiation and are now Neophytes, watched as their dad, as well as our son Timothy, came into full communion with the Church, and experienced a ton of blessings in our Retreat with the kids. God is GOOD! (All the time!)

Yesterday, April 5th, was also a very special day. April 5, 1969, I received my Initiation into the Church with my Air Force friends looking on at Lackland AFB in San Antonio. In fact, there have been several important celebrations in my life recently:

  1. March 25, 1977 – Confirmation at St. Bede the Venerable Church in Montgomery, AL
  2. March 27, 1948 – Baptism as an infant at 1st Presbyterian Church in Rapid City, SD
  3. April 3, 1955 – 1st profession of faith at Corona Presbyterian Church in Denver, CO
  4. April 5, 1969 – Baptism and first communion as a Catholic in 1969 at LAFB in San Antonio, TX
  5. April 18, 1955 – Anniversary of my selection for membership at Corona Presbyterian Church in Denver CO
  6. April 19, 1969 – Anniversary marriage: Charles O. Todd, III married Crucita A. Gonzales at Chapel 2 on Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.

In all six of those events, The Apostles Creed had an important, central position. Do you remember that Creed? It goes like this:

Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

I encourage you to look into this a little further than we will here today by following this link to a history of the creed. It’s been around for a long time, and – in the western church – is used by Catholics, and non-Catholics. Knowing, and often reciting, this Creed is very often one of the criteria for being admitted to a Christian Church. Not all religions have such a complex creed. Judaism is in some ways indisposed to formulated creeds as it tends to limit thought. Islam’s “creed” is very short and affirms that Allah is god and Muhammad is his prophet. Christians have used this creed or some form of it since at least 400 AD. So what is a creed?

A creed is any organized statement of doctrine or values. It is a statement of beliefs, such as the ethical standards that guide one’s life. In other words, a creed is a systematic statement, usually written, of one’s personal commitment to one’s beliefs and values. It may be entirely personal and unique, or – as is usually the case – it may express shared beliefs and values. The words in the title of this post are the beginning words of the Christian Creed in Latin – Credo in unum Deum which is I believe in one God. It is used in the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. In Catholic Tradition, the Apostles Creed preceded the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed dates to 325 AD and has remained mostly unchanged since then. Consult the Wikipedia Article for additional insights.

The Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed are both Trinitarian in their expression and content; that is, they express a belief in a Holy, Triune God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as stated in The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Apostles Creed is also sometimes referred to as the 12 articles of faith. Here is how that works out:

  1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
  2. And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
  3. Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
  4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
  5. He descended into hell. The third day he arose again from the dead.
  6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
  7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
  9. the holy catholic Church, the Communion of Saints,
  10. the forgiveness of sins,
  11. the resurrection of the body,
  12. And in life everlasting.

It could be honestly said that we live in a non-creedal or anti-creedal world these days. The very idea of having any form of indisputable statement about anything is just not acceptable “in this day and age.” Some of the reasons for this are –

  • Moral relativism
  • Existential, live-for-the-moment emphasis on personal and immediate gratification
  • Being altogether PC so as to believe any form of doctrine – or not
  • Attempts to over-simplify everything so that it is palatable and inoffensive
  • Ignorance of history and its significance
  • The fear that using, or even having a creed weakens the efficacy of Scripture

This was even a problem in the history of the early church. Here are some examples of what can be found in the Epistles about sticking to the teachings of the Apostles:

Hebrews 13:9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them.

2 Timothy 1:13 13 Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Titus 1:9 He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it. (Referencing the requirements for a Presbyter)

Galatians 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!

I’d like to make one final point about today’s Key Verse. For that, I turn to a verse that shows up often in these pages. John 1:12-13 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. John says  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. Jesus commands us to believe (Mark 1:15), and to observe his commandments (John 14:15), and to love “one another” (John 15:12). We are to love the Children of God, we are to show mercy and compassion to the Children of God, and we are to build up the Church in the Children of God like living stones laid upon the foundation of Christ and the Apostles as in 1 Peter 2:4-5 – Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Jesus is The Living Stone rejected by the builders.

Do not be unbelieving, but believe! God does not lie! Numbers 23:1919 God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and will he not do it? Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? What I tell you is True. I know it is True because it comes from God, and God alone is True. CREDO!

Thank you for your continued prayers. Keep at it. Look to the Rose Garden I sent to you earlier this week. Do you remember the song I come to the garden alone? (↔ Music Link) That beautiful hymn was written by C. Austin Miles (1868–1946) in 1912 as he reflected on the passage in John 20 in which, alone, Mary Magdalene enters the garden wherein Jesus’ tomb is prepared. He envisioned her, holding back her grief, and then her rejoicing greatly as Jesus spoke to her. Go to that prayer list I gave you and read it while you listen to this hymn and think of Mary meeting Jesus there. You will believe, as I believe ~~ The Lord is Risen! He is risen indeed!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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