The Bible 101 class I taught over the last couple of weeks has morphed into a class investigating the history and core beliefs of our denomination. This is good since I am attending a church of a denomination I know nothing about. That sounds really weird I know but you have to understand that I am not a person who leans on tradition. If I encounter God in worship and find Biblical teaching within an accepting community of believers, I can call it home. The denominational “rules” don’t generally mean too much to me. Maybe that’s not the way to go about it – I’ll have to give that some consideration.
But back to the class. This past week we talked about the denomination’s history. At the end of class I handed out a copy of the Apostle’s Creed to everyone and asked them to identify it. They stumbled a bit at finding the answer. If I had started reciting it without putting it in front of them, I’m pretty sure every person in that room would have been able to recite right along with me. But they couldn’t look at the words on the page and tell me what it was.
Things that make you go hmmm….
Do you know what you believe? The creed starts with “I believe…” and many people the world over make those statements every week. The great songwriting Rich Mullins even set it to music for us. But have we considered what we really believe? Have we searched the Bible for supporting scripture and really considered our own experiences and heart thoughts and established for ourselves what we believe? Do we know?
The challenge this time is to take each piece of the Creed and study, meditate, PRAY and determine what we believe. It’s only a two-week adventure and I hope it takes everyone a little deeper. Consider this a trip back to the foundation of your faith.
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 Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;*
the third day he rose 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 Spirit,
the holy catholic** church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
What do you believe? I fear that many times we rely on the faith that was handed down to us from previous generations and we continue in the path just because that is the way things have always been done. And while generational faith is a Biblical concept (Deuteronomy 6:1-9), each person must find their faith in God individually.
Even the wise Solomon was charged by his father King David to seek God personally.
1 Chronicles 28:9
As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father and serve Him with a whole heart and willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.
So one more time, I will ask. Do you know? Or are you relying on the faith of the generations who have gone before you?
##If you choose to explore a piece a day with my class, I would love to hear your reflections. You can tweet me your thoughts using #IBelieve @Cavvy6Pack or just leave them here in the comments.