A Tale of Two Creeds

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One, the creed of Your Best Life Now of the Damnable Prosperity Heretics. The other, the ancient creed of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church. 1

“But God wants you to prosper in your relationships, your health, and your finances. Your lack of faith and self-esteem robs you of the fruitful future God had in store for you.”

The Osteen Creed (which many evangelical churches today recite together, literally or in principle):

This is my Bible. I am what it says I am, I have what it says I have, I can do what it says I can do. Today I’ll be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess my mind is alert, my heart is receptive, I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible ever-living seed of the Word of God. I will never be the same. Never. Never. Never. I’ll never be the same, in Jesus name.

The Nicene Creed (which practically no evangelical church even know): 2

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was Incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And I believe one holy catholic [universal] and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Nicene Creed was especially written in response to the heresy of Arianism, which arose during the 4th century. Its teachings tried to destroy the doctrine of the Trinity and of the Deity of Christ, saying that the Father alone was the eternal God, while the Son was a created being. Therefore, there is one God, the Father, who created a Son (a familiar teaching in our day by the Jehovah’s Witnesses). Both the Eastern and the Western Church confess this Creed, but with one important difference.

The West insisted on the inclusion of the phrase “and the Son” (Latin filioque) in discussing the procession of the Holy Spirit; but the East rejects this phrase. The inclusion of this phrase is important as it protects the consubstantiality of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son; without it the heresy of subordinationism creeps into the doctrine of the Trinity.

In its present form this Creed is the creed of the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.), but the addition of the articles on the Holy Spirit from the Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.) form this majestic creed.

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Notes:

  1. The picture is “The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer” by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1883.
  2. From the website of Christ United Reformed Church, http://christurc.org/creeds.html#nicene

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