While I believe in the church as being the people, as inferred by the Gospels and Epistles of the Bible. While there are four tenets, or marks, of the Church as referred to in the Nicene Creed.
…I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church…
One may refer to the one church, the one belief (to which the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed was intended to clarify.) The one brotherhood of mankind. However, the word “catholic”, unbeknownst to me, was a reference to (note the small “c” in “catholic”) the church universal or the undivided Christian church. I have always been of the mind of “to name it is to kill it.” Meaning that once you name something, you limit it by placing it into a neat little box…without any ability to expand barring the change of its name.
Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. ~1 Corinthians 1:10 NKJV
Holy refers to the holiness of the Church which is presence on earth. Sadly, all too often, the Church in the eyes of many men and clergy is the building not the people. But we are reminded by Christ, Himself, that
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. ~Matthew 18:20 NKJV
Catholic, more than likely, refers to the origins of the Catholic Church in Rome, this was part of the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed created, or modified, at the second Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople (381 A.D.) which was convened by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I.
Apostolic may refer to:
An Apostle meaning one sent on a mission:
- The Twelve Apostles of Jesus, or something related to them, such as the Church of the Holy Apostles
- Apostolic succession, the doctrine connecting the Christian Church to the original Twelve Apostles
- The Apostolic Fathers, the earliest generation of post-Biblical Christian writers
- The Apostolic Age, the period of Christian history when Jesus’ apostles were living
- The Apostolic Constitutions, part of the Ante-Nicene Fathers collection
Specific to the Roman Catholic Church
I am all for Churches and their administrations to develop studies and creeds to make life easier for the people they serve. However, when those nice steps to make things easier for the people are later used as a noose to help hang those, proverbially speaking, by trying to get them to yield more and more of their income in trying times is abhorrent to me! The purpose of the Church is to teach the people and spread the word, to glorify God in their selfless acts of kindness. To encourage and build up the people to go out even further to repeat what was done for them. We are all called into the ministry and priesthood to further God’s word.
Sadly, from my perspective looking through history, the latter creed (381 A.D.) was re-clarifying the church to be the center of the people’s minds and hearts, as opposed to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (the Trinity) who was to be the center of the people’s minds and hearts.
Personally, I believe I could accept the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed without any modifications:
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilot;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
It being more personal, I would change out all of the “We”s for “I”s.
While I do not accept the Catholic Church as God’s Church on this earth, I believe they did and do serve a purpose in His God and Holy works on this earth. Most of what we have and know was protected by the early Church fathers which later became the Catholic Church. However, in my personal opinion, the Catholic Church, itself, has strayed from the Biblical tenets and God’s purpose, then became themselves more self absorbed and centered into the power they have acquired. My case in point is their consistency in protecting their clergy from prosecution in sexual misconduct among their ranks. Their history in denigrating the abused and victims of such crimes.
PLEASE, do not take this blog post as a snipe or shot at the people of the Catholic faith. Just as all others within Christianity are fallible, so are Catholics. Remember what King David told us and was reiterated by the Apostle Paul (Romans 3:10 NKJV):
They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one. ~Psalm 14:3 NKJV
Is your faith and belief based upon the bible and tenets, therein, or are they based upon doctrines taught to you without your researching what is being taught? We must be very careful, my friends. Jesus warned us
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. ~Matthew 10:16 NKJV
This warning of Christ to His own Apostles, applies to us as well. Wisdom comes from learning and studying, including learning from our mistakes! We become harmless when we show the love of God to those who wish to do us harm. Remember ever when the Jews wanted to harm Jesus…He walked right through them or went out another way.
Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. ~John 6:15 NKJV
Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. ~John 8:59 NKJV
Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. ~John 10:39 NKJV
Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way. ~Luke 4:30 NKJV
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
Refer to this for a Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of 381