The new (de facto) Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
And I am against abortions,
And I am against homosexuality,
And I am against women in leadership in the church,
And I believe every word of the Bible,
Even though I have never read many of them,
And I believe every word of the Bible is literally true,
Except the parts about selling all you have and giving to the poor.
And I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
Except for when he says to love your enemy, especially if they are Muslims.
I believe Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell, whatever that means.
On the third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead, especially those people who believe differently than me.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church
(Well, I don’t really believe in the “catholic church” in either the Roman or the universal sense. I prefer to think of the church as limited to people who think like I think and believe what I believe.)
I believe in the communion of saints (again, please note, this includes only those saints who believe like I believe), in the forgiveness of sins, my sins anyway, but not necessarily the sins of others, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

Amen

(Note: writing is one of the ways I work things out in my mind. I wrote this tongue-in-cheek satire when my frustration kept rising with regard to what was really important to some Christians. We say we believe the Apostles’ Creed—well, at least some people in some denominations do—but then we keep adding stuff to the basics. The older I get, the more basic I have become. 1) I believe the words of the Apostles’ Creed. 2) I believe the name God gave to Moses is perfect: I AM WHO I AM. 3) I believe I need grace. Thus endeth the note. Marion Aldridge)

Marion Aldridge

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About the Author
Marion D. Aldridge is a popular preacher, public speaker, workshop leader and an award-winning writer. Author of numerous books and hundreds of articles on topics ranging from religion to sports to travel, Aldridge’s interests are wildly eclectic. Aldridge has invested a lifetime in discovering what it means to be a citizen and participant in God’s wonderful world. Aldridge is at home whether having High Tea at Harrods or rafting on the Chattooga or worshiping at our planet’s holiest shrines.

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  • John Sullivan

    I think you could add to the list. And I am against Republicans, And I am against the Tea Party, And I am against those that believe the Bible is inerrant, And I am against anyone who disagrees with me.
    This cuts both ways. I wonder who you are writing this about. Is it your own personal beliefs?

    • Tom LeGrand

      Seems this is written to make us reflect on ourselves. Yet, your comment seems intended to continue to point towards others. And perhaps that is our greatest problem.

      • David Rogers

        To me it looks like Mr. Sullivan merely added more reflective concepts that the more enlightened than thou crowd seem rather blinded towards which seems to be the point of the original post.

      • Dan Webster

        Mr. LeGrand, I think John Sullivan did add things as David Rogers suggest. The problem you have with what he said is that he stepped on your toes. He did not just speak to issues that the left likes. The left hates the Tea Party and the Republican Party. They hate those that they don’t agree with theologically. In short they have their own creed about what is right and wrong and are very intolerant with anyone that has the audacity to disagree with the politically correct view.

        • Tom LeGrand

          Wow, it is stunning how well you know me and have me all figured out based on three sentences on a message board!

          • David Rogers

            Your three sentences have a tone of criticism toward Mr. Sullivan. They are also somewhat confusing. You use “ourselves” and “others” and “our” and I would like to know what are the antecedents of those. Toward whom do you think Mr. Aldridge’s post is directed, and what is wrong with Mr. Sullivan’s expansion? Should those toward whom Mr. Sullivan’s comments seem to be directed be exempt from challenge?

          • Tom LeGrand

            Did I ever say that anyone should be exempt from challenge? Certainly not–but there is a major difference in challenging the actual commentary and inferring something about it that just isn’t there. The original comment was about pointing towards the “other side” (whatever that means) when my reading of the post is that its intent was to get us to reflect on our own actions and attitudes. The very simple answer is that Marion Aldridge didn’t include a political party (although some of these are considered political issues). He didn’t name a single person, group, political organization, church, or denomination. You seem to infer that he is some version of a “leftist” because of his approach to certain issues, but he is referring to this issues in the church rather than political contexts–and there is a difference. The post challenges all of us to consider how we use scripture, how we toss around the term “The Bible says…”, and how we decide to either include or exclude people based on absolute stances on particular issues. And while I’m not attempting to criticize a man personally that I don’t know, I see in his comment the very attitude to which the post speaks and to which I often am guilty of myself. It is directed at all of us, to make us think about what I/WE say or do, behave or act, include or exclude. The original comment was designed to do the opposite–point out what OTHER people do. And as long as we keep pointing, we’ll continue to miss the point.

          • Jack

            Tom, just admit you are wrong and lets move on. The issues mentioned were hot button issues that those that are more conservative favor and are those that the left uses to demonize those they disagree with.
            I agree with you in your comment about how we use scripture. The problem is that he did not use any issue that is dear to the left and then try to use it to divide. Lets move on and you can admit that you are mistaken on this.

          • Tom LeGrand

            You’re right. I’m an idiot. How did I miss that?

        • Tom LeGrand

          I’m just stunned that you know that these things “stepped on my toes” when you don’t know me from Adam, and presume to know who I hate. And you also seem to know who “they” hate. If anything stepped on my toes it was the tone of the response rather than the issues mentioned.

          You are surely correct that extremism on the left can be just as closed-minded and irritating as the right. The answer to this is, however, is not to point and say, “See how they treat us?” It is to turn towards how Christ would call on us to act towards others.

          For the record, I have never preached a sermon where I knowingly or intentionally encouraged hate towards anyone who claims to be an inerrantist, anti-abortionist, Tea Partier, Republican. I’ve sat through plenty of sermons and meetings where I heard the following: Anyone who is a Democrat is not a Christian. Anyone who is gay is automatically going to hell. You can’t have anything to do with a gay person or you’re risking your salvation. I can’t sit at a minister’s meeting with you because your church ordains women. (And yes, THOSE kinds of statements are surely going to step on my toes).

          I must say that I have disagreed with inerrancy very openly, and I have certainly disagreed with the idea that Catholics are going to hell (another nugget I’ve heard in numerous places).

          I can only hope that I am not responding in kind. If nothing else, I would agree that no one should preach hatred and vitriol towards anyone, including Tea Partiers, Republicans, or inerrantists. And including homosexuals, liberals, or Democrats.

    • David Rogers

      The ABPNews Blog has the perfect right to decide on their commenting policy, namely to allow one comment per article. I have decided to delete my original comment (even though it was left by the site while the others were deleted). I believe this policy diminishes interaction but as noted above they decide their policies, and I will decide whether it is worth my time to comment with such limitations. Some may consider this to be the whining of a troll. You certainly have the right to do so.

      • Dan Webster

        Thanks David. It is selective deleting. If you agree with their views it generally stays. I have seen this several times in the past. The policy was put in place to hinder discussion they don’t like. But again you are correct it is their site and they can do what they like. I do think they need to be up front about it.

      • John Sullivan

        Thank you David Rogers. I have had post deleted before. Nothing new. I have seen some rightfully deleted because someone resorted to attacking another person. However, that is rare. It is generally because they just don’t like what the person says. I have seen post deleted because they refuted De La Torre. He is more guilty of attacking people than anyone I have ever seen post on this site. But you and Dan are right. It is their site. I think if they want to continue what they are doing, they should refrain from called themselves “free and open-minded” Baptists. Just a thought.

  • David Rogers

    The comments made above are not merely about politics, they also include theological issues. I have heard vitriol on both sides. I have experienced both “holier than thou” and “more enlightened than thou” attitudes. The tone of your “additions” to the Creed focused on issues important to those more “conservative.” Mr. Sullivan added a few specifics in his comment that probably he has experienced just as you have experienced those you listed. There have been both conservative and liberal additions and deletions of the “core of our faith.” Some of the comments to your blog post raise some issues you chose not to add. What’s wrong with that?

  • Jack

    Marion, it should be about theology. But when you inject political issues into things it becomes political. You did that. LOL That is ok. Just admit it.