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;on the third day he rose again from the dead;he ascended into heaven,and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will 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.
For members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the closest we probably get to being credal is reciting the Lord's Prayer. Anyone who is credal knows, the Lord's Prayer is not a creed. It begs the question: What can I, a minister in the Christian Church, have to say about the Apostle's Creed? Let me begin by saying, I don't plan to dismiss or patronize the creeds. I believe they have served as a valuable tool in the progression of the Christian faith. Even those who claim to not have creeds have been influenced by the creed constructed during the first council of Constantinople, which is the earlier version of the Apostle's Creed.
When the early church Fathers got together to discuss what was important to the Christian faith it began:
"We believe in one God."
Back then, this statement was directly against those who believed in more than one god, a polytheistic belief. Do you realize, in today's culture, how many leaps of faith must come to many before we even get to a 'one God' dialogue? The creeds are great, and help us understand our faith. In today's culture, it's no longer the starting point.
Where We Need to Begin Today:
We believe in something beyond our realm of reality. You want to talk to someone about the wonderful relationship you have in your Christian faith. That is great! It's wonderful! It can no longer start with God. This isn't saying God isn't the most important part of the equation. God is. This is saying that Christianity is now a different language than the culture it is part of. Therefore, we must start as basic as possible. How simple? We believe existence, our perceptible world, is bigger than we realize. At this beginning we can discuss atoms, light waves, and things most high schoolers learn about in their science class. Maybe, just maybe, this universe still has mystery and expense to it. Eternity exists within an atom. There will always be space to see it closer, there will always be room to move away from it. Maybe what we are able to perceive is actually there and exists.
We can then follow it up with a discussion of our arrogance. Did you know, as recent as the 1970's scientists believed we were in the middle of a global cooling? It wasn't a collective theory, but it gained traction because of the slight cooling that happened in the 70's. There was even discussion of tarring the ice caps to heat things up. There was a time we believed the earth was the center of the universe. There was a time when crack cocaine was considered medicine and bleeding someone out was an appropriate method to help someone with a headache.
Every generation we get so caught up in what we know, our arrogance gets the better of us. We think our way is the right way, even though so many generations before us thought the same thing and they were so wrong. For a Christian, it is our humility that says there is something more. Really, it is in our humility where we really start. We believe there is something beyond our understanding that we are mostly blind, mute, and deaf to. It's a reality that cannot be measured, and is greater than ourselves. In our humility we say, "We believe."