Saturday, March 11, 2006

Let's Go Old School


Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem coeli et terrae, visibilium omnium, et invisibilium. Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero. Genitum, not factum, consubstantialem Patri: per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem descendit de coelis. ET INCARNATUS EST DE SPIRITU SANCTO EX MARIA VIRGINE: ET HOMO FACTUS EST. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis, sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in coelum: sedet ad desteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est com gloria, judicare vivos et mortuos: cujus regni non erit finis. Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum. + Et vitam ventura saeculi. Amen.

How up to date are you on your Latin? You're not? Oh well....I won't torture you dear reader. What we have above in the italics is none other than the Nicene Creed (or more properly the Nicene-Constantinoplitan Creed).

Christians should know this one, for it is commonly recited Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and most Protestant denominations. It was finalized all the way back in 381 AD during the Council of Constantinople, after having been begun and approved in its orginal form at the Council of Nicea.
When I think about it, how truly amazing is it that this ancient creed (and also the Apostle's Creed) have survived so long. Survived heresy's, the Eastern schism, the Middle Ages, the Rennaissance, the Reformation, the Counter Reformation, and up into modern times. It stands as a testament to God's faithfulness to His Church and to the faith of Christians everywhere.

Wait...maybe not everywhere. Let's look at the Latin for a minute...and I'll translate.... there appears to be something more than some will confess:

And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."
Do you see it, a part of the Creed that some will leave out when reciting it..."We confess one baptism of the remission of sins." Now why would this be a problem? Well it depends on one's view of baptism, yet for over a thousand years this is how the Creed was recited. I just find that a bit interesting, being the student of history that I am (despite 2 degrees in engineering) I would say that those who truncate and delete this portion of the Creed are being dishonest at least and liars at most. It's a mark of deception to say you are reciting the Creed when in fact you are skipping a piece you disagree with. Now those who don't know better, those in the pews or chairs, I will not put in this category because they may not undertake the study or research the history. However, I will apply it to those in the charge if they are knowingly truncating. For they play a shell game with the faith and consequently may be playing Russian Roulette with the souls of the faithful.
I don't claim to know why some would edit the Creed. I could guess at a great many reasons, but that would be mere speculation. The question that must be asked, why is this portion of the Creed sometimes ommitted? Is it because of the views of baptistim? That there is no grace in baptism? That more than one baptism may be needed in direct contradiction to Scripture?
Or is it a purposeful intent to keep the faithful in the dark and from asking questions about their faith and its early history? I don't know these answers, I could opine on them but it is probably not a good idea to do so without more research.
From a simply historical point of view, it's a dishonest practice to edit the Creed. It ranks high on the radar of something is wrong here. Ultimately, the reasons for doing so don't mean whole heck of a lot. In the end they are nothing but excuses to cover a dishonest practice.
Whatever your opinion though, it is an interesting question if your congregation uses the Nicene Creed as a confession of faith and does not recite it in its entirety. Is it still the Nicene Creed if it is altered? If it is not, then why claim to hold the Nicene Creed when it is an abridged version?
Just something to chew on and throw around.
In the meantime, may the Lord watch over you and your household and keep you safe.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.
Amen

5 comments:

Andy said...

Ed,

What congregation edits it out?

Ed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ed said...

I don't know. It came up in conversation the other day at work of all places. A co-worker was talking about how their congregation was leaving this part out, I thought it strange and worth posting about.

Ed said...

p.s. I don't see it as my place to ask, but if they volunteer the info, I'll let you know.

Vastine said...

people frequently jack with the Creed. Ever listen to Choral Evensong? they're Creed is missing quite a bit of the wordage in the Creed. They open with "I believe in God" and then miss something after that, if memory serves correct. I'm so confused about what the actual and historical Creed is!