Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vain Repetition or Heartfelt Declaration?

I was recently in a debate over whether or not we should say the Apostles’ Creed every week in our church service. This centuries old statement of belief is traditionally used as a baptismal confession of faith, but has been incorporated into many worship services as an affirmation or declaration of faith.

Opponents to repeating it weekly say that it will lose its meaning. I understand their worry and I hope that isn’t true. I also hope the Lord’s Prayer, which we always say, hasn’t lost its meaning for these people. Another argument is that just because it was a customary part of the service for the past three pastors over the last 20+ years doesn’t mean it should be for the current pastor. I understand and I actually agree.

However, I think there are many more reasons to regularly declare our basic doctrinal beliefs (with the Apostles’ Creed or even some other concise credo) that are valid. I feel passionate about this. First, saying the creed together shows our unity in faith, honors God and comforts us. Any visitor to our service can hear exactly what we believe and Who we believe in.

Saying it often is like studying something so well that you will spot a counterfeit instantly. Therefore, knowing the creed safeguards us against false doctrine and we preserve the basics of our Christian faith to be passed on to the next generation. By hearing it 52 times a year rather than once children will learn it.

Those are my arguments. The decision is left to the pastor. (Click here
for original version of the Apostles' Creed.)