As an amatuer in theology, I’ve concluded one way to understand “old Christianity” is the “Nicene Creed”. A variation of it is called “Apostle’s Creed”. It starts out, “I believe in God the Father..maker of heaven and earth..”
It goes on the state other things and “facts” one is supposed to “believe”. These include the virgin birth of Jesus and his death and resurrection. This is called a creed, but its origin is a pledge of allegiance or oath to a government.
This is because the creed/oath originally was adopted by a government as the beliefs of its citizens. The government was that of Constantine in 325 CE.
The idea of the national creed/oath was to stamp out other religions or gods of the time. The required orthodoxy and government were a seamless combination. It serves the same purpose today, but the orthodoxy is that of branches and denominations of Christianity.
Nevertheless, if you are one who considers himself/herself an independent thinker, and especially, not in favor of government deciding your beliefs for you, you should be among those uncomfortable reciting the Nicene Creed.
Millions of U. S. Christians, who would regard themselves as patriotic, do not recite this creed. Baptists, for example, have never required it. Liberal branches of the faith like United Church of Christ do not use it.
It’s easy for me to imagine discomfort in young people reciting this primitive oath and its mythology. They are trained to decide for themselves, not to accept their “beliefs” off a written script.
RED RIVER FREETHINERS MEET THIS SUNDAY, FEB 17, 1 PM, PLAINS ART MUESUM. GRAND FORKS FOLKS, A CAR POOL IS BEING ORGANIZED. MESSAGE ME IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.