What Is Christian Orthodoxy? What Is Its Future?

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.


9 Responses

  1. Knute Thorsgard MD

    Anything presented as a fact is either true or false. Believing or disbelieving does not change the veracity of the statement. It is not a vote. You disbelieve. I believe. Let’s at least agree that a right answer exists. It’s not all relative. Truth exists. It is knowable and it is liberating.

    1. Knute 3:22 Thanks for the first time comment. Glad to have you as a reader and commenter.

      “Let’s agree a right answer exists. It’s not all relative.”

      I appreciate the effort to find common ground to move forward. A more rigorous and methodical way to procede would be to agree on what constitutes evidence and agree on whether or not evidence for the truth exists. At this time, there is not evidence a super natural being lived on earth. The only reference to super natural events is in a book whose authors are unknown individuals and were not present.

    2. entech

      Jon, as usual I mainly agree with you. However I don’t think you start your questioning at the beginning, May I suggest:
      presented as a fact … is it a fact that can be framed as true or false, is it a fact that you still smoke marijuana every night?
      Believing or disbelieving … certainly personal belief doesn’t alter the veracity of the presentation, neither does it help towards determining whether the statement is in fact verifiable, or indeed if it is a fact.
      not a vote – you believe, I don’t — lets agree no, we still have to determine whether an answer is possible before we can decide if it is the right answer.
      not all relative no its not, neither is it relevant to the case.
      truth exists OK it is knowable not invariably. What lies beyond the edge of the known universe?
      <liberating in a religious sense all this seems to do is to liberate you from doubt, leaving you free to interpret it all however you like.

  2. entech

    Like the Bible itself different parts of the different creeds and statements of faith are thought to be true and relevant by different people, all claiming to be Christians. Many of the final “orthodox” beliefs are contradictory, so much so that I am sometime led to the thought that each denomination, even branches within the same denomination, have a different god (too many for an upper case G). To make life easy all of the gods are called Jesus.

  3. Michael Ross

    “The idea of the national creed/oath was to stamp out other religions or gods of the time.”
    Good observation Jon.

    Jesus, when He taught His disciples to pray, He said, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done…”. Jesus strove only for His Father’s Kingdom, and showed no respect for earthly kingdoms. We likewise need to strive for the Kingdom of Heaven, not for any earthly kingdom.

    To whom do earthly kingdoms belong? According to Matthew 4:8-10, the kingdoms of earth are clearly claimed by Satan:

    Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

    Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'”

    The Pledge of Alliegence, likewise, to the U.S. Government is national idolatry, even if “under God” is included.

  4. S.K. Haugen

    an error in thinking that ‘beliefs’ are accepted as ‘facts’. I stepped on lots of cracks in the sidewalks as a youngster, but my mother was never brought to the hospital for a back injury as a result.

  5. buzz marick

    Either you know in your heart and soul, or you don’t. It’s as simple as that. If your restless, irritable, and discontent you need a spiritual overhaul.

    1. buzz 2:37 “If you’re restless, irritable and discontent you need a spiritual overhaul.”

      If a spiritual overhaul works, do that. If you all ready a devout Christian and are restless, irritable and discontent, attend a Freethinker gathering–might help.

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