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Creeds and Conclusions

A Creed of a Church, congregation or individual is written as a profession of faith and is not meant to be all inclusive nor limit the beliefs of the faithful. It is a brief outline of the tenets by which and individual or group choose to live.

If Christ thought particular teachings were important we would see Jesus teaching those doctrines. If Christ is not in us we will not be found seeking the Kingdom and the righteousness of God, nor striving to do the will of the Father, nor will we be keeping His commandments.

No matter what Creed we write or speak Christ will not be made manifest in us or in the fruit of what we do if He is not here. We have a caveat from Christ Himself.

"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46

"All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." Matthew 23:3

"Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this [which is done] to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done." Matthew 21:21

In examining Creeds of the many churches that have professed Christ from the second century to the present we see a lengthening of creeds, an addition of many ideas the were not prevalent in the early Church, and the wanton neglect or even deletion of the directives of Christ.

Some have suggested the adoption of a creed like similar to what is contained in the Assembly of God Constitution, Section V. There are sixteen points in that Creed.
http://ministers.ag.org/pdf/2007ConstitutionBylaws.pdf

Why is that Creed needed today and other much simpler Creeds were sufficient years ago at the beginning of the Church. Is it because it is though by some that so much more is need in our belief system at this time which was simply not that important in the early days of the Church.

There were at least three Ecumenical Christian Creeds that appeared centuries after Christ, The Apostles' Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Athanasian Creed. The Apostles' Creed was named after the The Nicene Creed was in existance.

Why were men so much closer to Christ satisfied with simple statements of faith and other men like Ambrose found a need to add more and more? Why do modern Christian feel a need to embelish creeds?

First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325 in Nicaea located in what is Turkey today. This was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.

Since there were over 1800 known bishops at that time and barely 300 showed up the word "consensus" can hardly apply. Constantine sat on a golden throne ruling over the proceedings claiming the title of “Bishop of Bishops”, not as the servant of servants but as a dictator of the assembly.

http://www.hisholychurch.org/pdfiles/book2/napostasy.pdf

The Nicene Creed was compiled in 325 during this Council of Nicaea because of opposition to Arius an Alexandrian presbyter. It is here the first forms of "I believe," or "We believe," were first written. Eusebius who would be employed by Emperor Constantine claimed that the Nicene Creed was based on the statement he put forward at that council in the defence of his personal orthodoxy, hence the "I believe" format, although Eusebius' statement of faith was significantly modified in critical places.

Before the time of the Council of Nicaea, the Hippolytus speaks of letting every man believe things which are given by God.

The Nicene Creed was not originally intended for every Christian but for bishops amongst those few who came to the council. The Apostles' Creed had circulated amongst common believers but was called the Apostles' Creed. The Nicene Creed contained more technical expressions rather than the baptismal questions as recorded by Hippolytus. The current Apostles' Creed seems to have gotten its name from a letter written in 390, when the Council of Milan referred to the "creed of the Apostles, which the Roman Church has always kept and preserved undefiled."

The creed elements were current around 100 AD.

We see similar elements in the Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus (c. 215 AD);

Do you believe in God the Father All Governing?

Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, Who was begotten by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary, Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died (and was buried) and rose the third day living from the dead, and ascended into the heavens, and sat down on the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and the dead?

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, in the holy Church and in the resurrection of the body?

We also see elements like these in the Creed of Marcellus (340 AD);

I believe in God, All Governing; And in Christ Jesus His only begotten Son, our Lord, Who was begotten of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and buried, Who rose from the dead on the third day, ascending to the heavens and taking His seat at the Father's right hand, whence He shall come to judge both the living and the dead;

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, life everlasting.

Also the elements were found in the Creed of Rufinus (c. 404 AD);

I believe in God the Father almighty, invisible and impassable;

And in Christ Jesus, His only Son, our Lord, Who was born by the Holy Spirit from Mary the Virgin, crucified under Pontius Pilate and buried. He descended to hell. On the third day He rose again from the dead, He ascended to heaven, where He sits at the Father's right hand and from whence He will come to judge both living and dead;

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of this flesh.

 

 

If there was an original Creed written by the apostles we should expect to find it in everyone of the Gospels and perhaps we do. It simply is not labeled the creed. An early form of a creed is presented as an Apostle's Creed.

The Apostle's Creed declared:

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

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father ,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 and was incarnate and was made man;

He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven;

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

And in the Holy Ghost.

The present text of the Apostles Creed is dated c. 700 AD

I believe in God the Father Almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

and born of the Virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again.

He ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and life everlasting. Amen

Present text of Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,

the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation

he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day

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.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the Prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come.

Amen.

 

There was a possible source of these creed in the writings of Hippolytus, in the early third century. It presents a creed in the form of questions asked at a water baptism saying:

“'Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty?' And the person being baptized shall say: 'I believe.' Then holding his hand on his head, he shall baptize him once. And then he shall say: 'Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and was dead and buried, and rose again the third day, alive from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and the dead?' And when he says: 'I believe,' he is baptized again. And again he shall say: 'Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, in the holy church, and the resurrection of the body?' The person being baptized shall say: 'I believe,' and then he is baptized a third time.” Hippolytus

When someone was Baptized in the early church they were saying there was “another King, one Jesus”. They were saying they believed in Jesus and His governing ways of faith, hope and charity through love, and caring, in the pure religion of the early Church and not the men of the world who called themselves benefactors but who exercised authority one over the other.

This baptism, as a public profession of faith in Christ changed, not only their thinking, but their whole way of life and their status with the rest of the world. They no longer prayed for their daily bread from men benefactors who exercised authority, like Caesar. The no longer ate the free bread of Rome. Their welfare systems or programs provided care through the church for the widows and orphans and any other needy people of their society. Everyone was compelled to contribute according to their means under threat of punishment according to the statutes of Rome or the Pharisees.

The creed that is written and associated with HHC is not an all inclusive creed as stated on the web site but a simple basic statement of fundamental beliefs in words that are commonly defined in the text.

A Creed of His Holy Church1

I believe in the Father, God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, His words in the garden to man, to dress it and to keep it, in the faith of Abraham, the obedience of Isaac, the resolution of Jacob, the forgiveness of Joseph, and the sacrifice of Moses.

I believe in the birthright of Jesus, His Holy Designation by John the Baptist, His Exalting as the Highest Son of David, His Anointing as Heir to the Throne, the Proclamation of Him as King by Pontius Pilate sealed in His blood, And that He is ascended as Highest Judge and is seated at the Right Hand of the Father in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I believe in the revelation of the Holy Spirit,

The appointment of His Church in service,

The communion of saints in liberty,

The forgiveness of transgressions in love,

The rebirth of the body in the profession of faith.

Some have suggested the adoption of a creed like similar to what is contained in the Assembly of God Constitution, Section V. There are sixteen points in that Creed.
http://ministers.ag.org/pdf/2007ConstitutionBylaws.pdf

Why is that Creed needed today and other much simpler Creeds were sufficient years ago at the beginning of the Church. Is it because it is though by some that so much more is need in our belief system at this time which was simply not that important in the early days of the Church.

There were at least three Ecumenical Christian Creeds that appeared centuries after Christ, The Apostles' Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Athanasian Creed. The Apostles' Creed was named after the The Nicene Creed was in existance.

Why were men so much closer to Christ satisfied with simple statements of faith and other men like Ambrose found a need to add more and more? Why do modern Christian feel a need to embelish creeds?

First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325 in Nicaea located in what is Turkey today. This was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.

Since there were over 1800 known bishops at that time and barely 300 showed up the word "consensus" can hardly apply. Constantine sat on a golden throne ruling over the proceedings claiming the title of “Bishop of Bishops”, not as the servant of servants but as a dictator of the assembly.

http://www.hisholychurch.org/pdfiles/book2/napostasy.pdf

The Nicene Creed was compiled in 325 during this Council of Nicaea because of opposition to Arius an Alexandrian presbyter. It is here the first forms of "I believe," or "We believe," were first written. Eusebius who would be employed by Emperor Constantine claimed that the Nicene Creed was based on the statement he put forward at that council in the defence of his personal orthodoxy, hence the "I believe" format, although Eusebius' statement of faith was significantly modified in critical places.

Before the time of the Council of Nicaea, the Hippolytus speaks of letting every man believe things which are given by God.

The Nicene Creed was not originally intended for every Christian but for bishops amongst those few who came to the council. The Apostles' Creed had circulated amongst common believers but was called the Apostles' Creed. The Nicene Creed contained more technical expressions rather than the baptismal questions as recorded by Hippolytus. The current Apostles' Creed seems to have gotten its name from a letter written in 390, when the Council of Milan referred to the "creed of the Apostles, which the Roman Church has always kept and preserved undefiled."

Hippolytus writes around 200 AD:

"There is, brethren, one God, the knowledge of whom we gain from the Holy Scriptures, and from no other source. For just as a man, if he wishes to be skilled in the wisdom of this world, will find himself unable to get at it in any other way than by mastering the dogmas of philosophers, so all of us who wish to practice piety will be unable to learn its practice from any other quarter than the oracles of God. Whatever things, then, the Holy Scripture declare, at these let us look; and whatsoever things they teach, these let us learn; and as the Father wills our belief to be, let us believe; and as He wills the Son to be glorified, let us glorify Him; and as He wills the Holy Spirit to be bestowed, let us receive Him. Not according to our own will, nor according to our own mind, nor yet as using violently those things which are given by God, but even as He has chosen to teach them by the Holy Scriptures, so let us discern them." (Hippolytus, Against Noetus, ch 9)

Hippolytus clearly promotes the "Holy Scripture" as the declared source for us to look to but also explains that we should learn "whatsoever things they teach". He also states that what we are to believe is dependent upon what "the Father wills our belief to be, let us believe". The Fathers will is revealed with in each of us by the Father and not by men who want to exercise authority one over the other. The ministers of God exercise over their own choices according to God's Holy Spirit but not over the minds of men. For getting this truth has brought about denominationalism and divided people into thousands of churches.

While a creed is a statement of personal belief it should never be considered as set of dictated rules or a formula as a perscription of faith for all which is why even Hippolytus says "let us receive Him. Not according to our own will, nor according to our own mind, nor yet as using violently those things which are given by God, but even as He has chosen to teach them by the Holy Scriptures, so let us discern them."

The responsibility of your faith remains between you and God. The temptation to reduce the revelation of God into sound bites of recited creeds of assumed faith should be guarded against by every soul. It would appear that even Hippolytus was tempted to exercise authority over others while he was a bishop in Rome. we see him write in His The Quartodecimans:

"And certain other (heretics), contentious by nature, (and) wholly uniformed as regards knowledge, as well as in their manner more (than usually) quarrelsome, combine (in maintaining) that Easter should be kept on the fourteenth day of the first month, according to the commandment of the law, on whatever day (of the week) it should occur. (But in this) they only regard what has been written in the law, that he will be accursed who does not so keep (the commandment) as it is enjoined. They do not, however, attend to this (fact), that the legal enactment was made for Jews, who in times to come should kill the real Passover. And this (paschal sacrifice, in its efficacy,) has spread unto the Gentiles, and is discerned by faith, and not now observed in letter (merely). They attend to this one commandment, and do not look unto what has been spoken by the apostle: 'For I testify to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.' In other respects, however, these consent to all the traditions delivered to the Church by the Apostles." (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, book 8, ch 11, The Quartodecimans).

Hippolytus talks about the Quartodecimans, who were assumed to calculated the date for Passover according to the Law of Moses, but he may have been using a false interpretation of the old testament practiced by many Jews. Jews at the time of Christ had long disagreed on the appropriate calendar.

Some went so far as to outlaw Quartodeciman view with the the interpretations of the Nicene creed. Hippolytus implies that the Quartodecimans keep other "apostolic tradition", but rejected a proper calculation of what we call today Easter. This "Easter controversy" is an example of how man-made doctrine, which no one in the first century practiced, began to creep into the thinking of the Christian church. The seeds of these ideas o an authoritarian clergy bloomed in the following century amongst the thousands of new Constintine Christians who were called to be baptised but not called to repentance.

Hippolytus' new way of calculating the date for Passover may have been based on these other jewish traditions. Were the Quartodecimans doing "it the way the Bible says" or according to traditional interpretations of some Jews? Among some Jews we call Essenes there were other calendars.2

It was common amongst all early Christians to take a day of rest on the seventh day or Sabbath but we can also read in The Epistle of Barnabas (100-130 AD, ch 15) "We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead". They did keep and eighth day but also the seventh as their day of rest. The eighth day was a church business day where the labor of the Church began as the government of Christians tending to the daily ministration. More on Sabbath.

But an even more important question is why don't we hear more of what Jesus actually seemed to be emphasizing with his words? Is Christ not sufficient?

The doctrines of the Church are the The Doctrines of Christ? His words only.

http://www.hisholychurch.org/doctrines2.pdf

Let every man in seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness also seek His revelation in all humility and patience and love for one another and love of God the Father of us all and "let us receive Him. Not according to our own will, nor according to our own mind, nor yet as using violently those things which are given by God, but even as He has chosen to teach them by the Holy Scriptures, so let us discern them."

Creed notes in PDF.

http://www.hisholychurch.org/creednotes.pdf



1 Written Creed and footnoted Creed http://www.hisholychurch.org/creed.php

2 The Essene solar calendar attested to in I Enoch and the Book of Jubilees consisted of 364 days divided into seven-day weeks, twelve months of thirty days each except for one extra day in the last month of each quarter.

Then there is the Shawui calendar which also contains 12 lunar months calculated according to the phases of the New Moon just like the Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist calendars and consist of either 29 or 30 days each. This calendar system required that 7 times in 19 years there is also a double month called a "blue moon". In fact there are several calendar systems have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls alone, including solar and lunar systems. Since the many types of calendar systems represented at Qumran, which was an Osseaen Camp, rather than a Nasarene community, are indicative of the controversy over calendars even back then we must ask if calendars are so important why don't we see Jesus settling the matter or even addressing it?

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