No Longer a Quicky

Hi again.

As promised I will respond to the second point a Pastor made about my writing. He says:

“2) You pick isolated statements out of the Athanasian Creed and identify them as law – correct. But you do not take the whole of the creed, or its context into consideration.”

Nope I read the lot, still don’t like it. For me it just seems like mans attempt at describing a God that goes beyond description and then saying “this is the one true faith”. I do understand the context and understand why people find it important…..BUT we need to remember it is not the Word of God. I find it misleading and unhelpful.

For example, a good friend of mine told me about when she became a Christian. She felt peace, love and joy in ways that she had never felt before. It wasn’t for long though  – soon came the laws. Christian people are like this, they don’t do that. You mustn’t watch this or be a member of that. These feelings of peace were soon replaced with fear. This creed is not helpful for me and I think is similar to the laws that cloud the Gospel as in the example above.  So I really don’t feel any need to keep it. I can’t understand some of it let alone believe it to an extent that my salvation could be assured.  Have a read and make up your own mind…..tell me what you think.

 

1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith; 2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;42. and shall give account of their own works.43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

 

Is it interesting that a Pastor quickly jumps in to defend church constitutions and the rightful place of the Athanasean Creed but ignores the the current issues that hurt and marginalize?

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Comments
22 Responses to “No Longer a Quicky”
  1. Wally Schiller says:

    I simply pointed out what you did: took one aspect on its own without reference to the rest or the context. And your answer still fails to do that.
    Yet again, to conclude, you mete out the judgment: “Is it interesting that a Pastor quickly jumps in to defend church constitutions and the rightful place of the Athanasean Creed but ignores the the current issues that hurt and marginalize?”. Law at it worst!

    • Tapman says:

      It was a question that leads one into making a judgement – yes – but the law is good as it leads us to repentance.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        And?

      • Tapman says:

        I am calling for the church to repent.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        You have a shot at me and then suggest that it is calling the Church to repent? You leave me baffled! In any event, what is the Church? It is people!
        It seems much more appropriate that the call to repentance should ring out to those who have been so blatantly and falsely judgmental upon the Church in pursuit of their personal goals when the Church has more than most shown itself to be earnestly seeking to be faithful to Scripture and to bring the good news of God’s love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ to all – regardless of who they are.
        Yes, no doubt you will come back and attempt to say that it has not done the latter – well, if you dare attempt to do that, come first and sit in my pew on a Sunday and then argue with what I preach.
        You will quickly gather that many of us are quite tired of this constant bleating against the Church when no substance is produced except dodgy exegesis.

      • Tapman says:

        Thanks again for replying. I wrote a simple exegesis which suggested that perhaps we are reading well worn verses out of context. The proof I delivered was that it seems incorrect to suggest that small pre-adolescent children have committed the idolatry suggested in Romans. It is incorrect theologically and morally to place this burden on children. The children in my example have already lost their lives to bullying and suicide. When I asked you to tell me which one of these children was so steeped in sin that God handed out this punishment of making them gay you refused to answer. It is not a dodgy exegesis – incomplete yes – but I will complete it in due time. I didn’t want to rush it, no point offering a different context until the reader can see that the words don’t make sense in their current context. I don’t give a shit about exegesis – all I know is that there are literally hundreds of thousands of gay people that have had their lives damaged – often beyond repair by churches that try to pray away the gay and provide cruel therapies to fix them. This is substance enough to call you and the church to repent.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        Well, you have made your position on exegesis clear – in a sad way! But, it probably points to the futility of further discussion here!
        There are undoubtedly examples of the Church handling specific cases badly and I do not condone that. However, that does not permit dodgy exegesis. Nor does it permit you to demand that the Church suddenly change the meaning of Scripture – simple!

      • Tapman says:

        Did you actually read a single word I said?

      • Wally Schiller says:

        Yes, all of it!

      • Wally Schiller says:

        And, no – I have not refused to answer the question. I have told you the question is wrong, so there is no point. Fix your exegesis and come up with the right question.

  2. Erich says:

    Tapman,

    Below are two links that will explain what I think of the Athenasian Creed. I, along with the Pastor, commented on the post to which you refer in this series and replied in response to your complaint against the Quinque Vult:

    “The Athenatian Creed is one of the three Ecumenical Creeds of the Church. It is also my favorite. I do understand how this can be a troubling creed; there is that introduction; as well as this:

    “…all men shall rise again with their bodies;

    42. and shall give account of their own works.

    43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

    44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.”

    That sounds like works righteousness to me, but it is not. From a Lutheran perspective these are not additional Laws, they are not things that we must do to be saved, but rather evidence of being saved. Thanks to our faith in the promises of Jesus to the Grace of God we know that even though we are sinners that Grace works through us and produces the good works that we will be held accountable for. The introduction to the Quinque vult is a comfort, not a condemnation.”

    You also seem to be rather fixated on church being a place to feel good, that salvation is something that is assured through feelings. I would argue that this is a fallacy. I recently came a cross a very good post that touches on this: http://marc5solas.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/top-10-reasons-our-kids-leave-church/

    The author addresses feelings in this way:

    “You’ve tried your best to pass along the internal/subjective faith that you “feel”. You really, really, really want them to “feel” it too. But we’ve never been called to evangelize our feelings. You can’t hand down this type of subjective faith. With nothing solid to hang their faith upon, with no historic creed to tie them to centuries of history, without the physical elements of bread, wine, and water, their faith is in their subjective feelings, and when faced with other ways to “feel” uplifted at college, the church loses out to things with much greater appeal to our human nature.”

    Feelings are unreliable. Unlike God’s promises they change.

    When it comes to the Law, however, there are uses of the Law, and perhaps you should talk to a pastor in order to delve a little deeper in to just what the three uses of the Law are, but my short version is that the Law condemns. In preaching it is used to point out the failures of the flesh; that no man can do anything on his own behalf, and yes, this is terrifying on its own. But, the Law should never be proclaimed without Grace, without the promise of God that all is well when the Grace freely given is accepted. Perhaps the pastor can put a finer point on this, as I am just a layman and a sinner, but…

    Here are the links to my writings on the Quinque Vult:

    http://kittyaloneandi.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/green-beer-shamrock-shakes-and-the-holy-trinity/

    http://kittyaloneandi.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/holy-holy-holy/

    Blessings,
    Erich

    • Tapman says:

      Thanks for the reply

      “You also seem to be rather fixated on church being a place to feel good, that salvation is something that is assured through feelings.”

      This is not my belief – but feelings are how we experience life….and even God. The whole Law/Gospel approach relies on feelings. Why would I turn to the Gospel if I felt indifferent to the law.

      The creed and emotions seem to be stumbling blocks that prevent you from hearing what I am saying.. Sorry have to be brief..off to work.

      • Erich says:

        Your post does seem to be about the Creed and emotions. If it is not could you please clarify.

        I wrote so much about the Creed and provided the kinks as I thought you’d asked for them when you wrote: “Have a read and make up your own mind…..tell me what you think.”

        I too am interested in what you think, but I do not understand your response to my comment.

        Pax,
        Erich

      • Tapman says:

        “Free thinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, priveleges or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse that useless.” This was the quote that started this discussion – what I am finding is that when people discuss things they get bogged down with side issues because as Tolstoy says : “they clash with their own customs and beliefs.” For me the creed thing is something I used in a broader discussion – even you agreed that parts of it sound like works righteousness. My primary reason for my initial post was a lament on my part – I was lamenting the fact that our enemy the law is alive and well in our churches. You seem to be bogged down on my criticism of the creed and my mentioning of emotions. I will read the links you sent me but I expect we will have to agree to disagree – for me the Athanasean creed is not helpful and I believe that we have an over the top fear of emotions. I hope you will continue to read some of my further posts as I explain more about what the Gospel means to me. Have patience with my replies as I often get comments in the morning just before I have to go to work. 🙂

      • Wally Schiller says:

        I have argued that you have ignored the context – and you continue to.

        The Athanasian creed was written in response to a particular issue at the time. The fact that it remains a creed of the Church implies that the issue is still understood in the manner answered by this creed. The fact that it is used rarely (I have on a few occasions used it on Trinity Sunday, for example) also makes a point: it is not designed to be a regular statement of faith to be used in the way that the other two creeds are – so, if it doesn’t appeal to you particularly in terms of the way it is set out, so be it! But, please don’t decry it just because you don’t like it – you will end up decrying the issue for which it stood.

      • Erich says:

        Pastor,

        I do believe that the traditional rubric of the liturgy does not replace the Nicene with the Athenasian Creed on Trinity for the Principle Mass. (I know it’s not terribly Lutheran, but I tend to call the Divine Liturgy Mass.) I think it’s may be more appropriate to use it as an offertory, or anthem, if you can find a good setting. One of the links in my comment above has a recording of a chanted version. It is appropriate to use for Prime, or Morning Prayer, or Matins, Whatever you want to call that service on many days throughout the Church Year.

        From a response on http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=120 :

        “In traditional Anglicanism, the rubrics directed that teh Athanasian Creed be sung or said in place of the Apostles’ Creed on Christmas Day, Epiphany, St. Matthias, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost (“Whitsunday”), St. john the Baptist, St. James, St. Bartholomew, St. Matthew, St. Simon adn St. Jude, St. Andrew, and Trinity Sunday. These usuages were made optional in the 20th century prayer books. There are lovely musical settings of this Creed in the Anglican psalter books.

        “Lutheran use doesn’t appear to have been quite as vigorous, but did apparently extend beyond Trinity Sunday in several places. Even in the US, one of the synodical hymnals had this Creed printed in one of the orders for morning service.”

        It may interest you to try to introduce this in to your service more than once a year as there is a precedent there from the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

        Tapman,

        We all come to issues with specific cultural and educational backgrounds and they always inform the way in which we understand the world. I’m not sure that is a bad thing. I am certainly aware of this and I am also open to being challenged, but I will also rebut those challenges. I hope that my arguments are well thought out and based on something other than emotionalism. Take for example the link I provided in an other comment thread that I considered a much better exegesis than the one you provided yet was in support of your argument.

        The Creed in question is an example of a well made kind of argument. Saint Nicholas (that’s Santa Clause to the secular world) made an emotional statement against Arianism (the same heresy that prompted the Creed) when he slapped Arius.

        I do admit that there is a sense of works righteousness in it, but from a Lutheran perspective: not really. It would seem that “…all men shall rise again with their bodies; and shall give account of their own works” or “Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the catholic faith. Whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally.” would imply additional Laws, but they do not speak of how to be saved, but rather the evidence of being saved. Context is important.

        Erich

      • Tapman says:

        Thanks again,

        I think we’ll agree to disagree on the creed thing, I am glad it is a source of blessing for you. Am glad that you listen and challenge. You compared my exegesis with another with the same opinion as mine. You made the statement that the other is better. I agree with you to a point, I would prefer to say mine is different….and incomplete. Your biggest claim against mine is that you see it as emotionalism. I see it as applying our teaching to real life and seeing what it does. This is good practice as our saviour suggests we do this. You will discern by its fruits. The fruits by their nature are emotional, that is unavoidable. Depression,drugs,alcohol,isolation,loneliness,suicide,bullying,despair etc etc. These fruits are evident and directly caused by societies attitudes which are upheld by religion. My exegesis is not normal or the same but it is valid – it points out that one has to twist and change the wording/intention of the writer to continue with the current interpretation.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        On the contrary: All the “twist and change the wording/intention” has been done by those who have suddenly come up with a new exegesis in a vain attempt to support a position that is not supported by Scripture. Again, I call: show me the support in Scripture. It is simply not there without twisting and skirting around issues in an attempt to justify that which is not justified in any way.
        The issue demands that we get back to the understanding of original sin.

      • Tapman says:

        It is not a vain attempt, the day is coming soon when we will have Gay Pastors like the rest of the Lutheran church in the world, I can relax and let God do the work. I am not fighting for myself or for my own personal agenda, I am fighting for what is right. I suggested and showed a reason for why I believe the context of the text being wrong and you dismiss it saying that I need to change My question – to one that you like. You refuse to hear my point of view, which is your perogative. I will not be upset if you don’t change your opinion – but I have to admit it irks me that you decide that I am wrong without listening.

        The doctrine of original sin strongly agrees with what I believe so bring it on. So far you have compared homosexuality to kleptomania and down syndrome – This I believe is what you mean by going back to understanding original sin – we are all under original sin, only some have larger or different crosses to bear. I am atleast a bit more fair – I admit that my heterosexuality is as much under original sin as homosexuality. Your application of original sin sounds unlutheran to me.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        I have listened and read – many of them! And all of them make the same mistake: following a human construct that is not supported by Scripture. The manner of your question deliberately tugs on an emotional line in order to persuade. That is not the method of the Word of God. That is why it is the wrong question
        Gay Pastor(s)? There may well be some now – fine. But, not in the sense of fighting to be allowed to practice, and open so, what the Word of God does not support. If the latter is allowed and endorsed, then the Church will clearly be apostate.
        In regard to my application of original sin, you make a vague accusation “sounds unlutheran” – what is unlutheran about it? Be specific! Let me assure you that my understanding of original sin is entirely Scriptural and Lutheran. The fact of life (and this is purely logic and observable) is that some do have larger or different crosses to bear. There is no escaping that. There is no way that we can bring fairness into the picture to solve this and in the process to compromise the Word of God. We need to do more to help each other bear the crosses that we have to bear as a result of the condition of original sin – not simply smooth them over in order to escape the Word of God.
        I read an article in the Australia a week or so ago by one Brendan O’Neill. He is the editor of an on-line magazine called Spiked. I have no idea whether he is a Christian or not, but he argues very well against the concept of gay marriage – and there is no christian/biblical reference whatsoever in his article. If a person can argue from such a standpoint, it deserves consideration. If I have time, I will scan it and post it – it gives the lie to many things that have been postulated in support of gay marriage, most notable is the fact that the gay movement has a history of being radically opposed to marriage as a “rotten, oppressive institution” and homosexuals are “in revolt against the nuclear family structure”.

      • Tapman says:

        Most of Jesus’ parables tug on an emotional line in order to make a point – this is absolutely the method of God. If you can deny your emotions and idly watch as people are hurting and dying good on you.

      • Wally Schiller says:

        Yes, but they do so under the guidance of God’s Word – this does not. It seeks to manipulate God’s Word.

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