Sunday, August 17, 2008

General Assembly Resolution: Baptism/Apostles' Creed

Note: Bracketed text [ ] are words that are to be deleted from the current Manual. Underlined text ___ are words that are to be added to the current Manual.

800.1. The Baptism of Believers

. . .
The earliest and simplest statement of Christian belief, into which you now come to be baptized, is the Apostles' Creed, which reads as follows:
"I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
"And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
"I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic* Church [of Jesus Christ], the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting."
. . .
(In a footnote) *universal

FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

1. One denomination ought not have the authority to change the wording of an ancient and ecumenical creed which belongs, not to any one denomination, but to the whole Church.

2. Christian baptism ought to be consistent with Ephesians 4:5-6 which describes "one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Our current rendering of the creed confuses in the minds of our people the one faith into which all Christians are baptized.

3. Rather than lose the language of the Church, and thus reinforce ignorance along with a sense of division and prejudice within our own people against our Christian sisters and brothers in other branches of Christ's Church, we should teach our people the meaning of such important words. The footnote allows the perfect opportunity to do so.

4. Our people need to know that the opposite of catholic is not protestant, but rather heretic. Protestant Christians are not Roman Catholic Christians. However, protestant Christians must hold to the catholic (i.e., universal Christian) faith, else we will find ourselves to be heretics rather than Christians.

3 comments:

Eric said...

so moved!

Katharine said...

Excellent. Educate away!

Nicky Renee said...

Doesn't catholic ( with a small c) mean universal anyway? Just wondering. We are working on the apostles creed in our Christian Formation class, So I am still working on learning more about it.