Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | November 30, 2011

creed, schmeed, what do I believe?

I’m having deep thoughts again. Before I start on this, I do want to say that this blog is, as Julie would call it, a Hate-Free zone. All creeds are welcome and tolerance and acceptance are the only rules here.

Recently, it dawned on me that something was different in church. We no longer recite the Apostle’s Creed every Sunday. I always felt a little weird saying it as there is quite a lot of it I don’t really deeply believe. And some of it, while I kind of believe, I would word differently. For instance, it starts out with “I believe in God the Father Almighty.” While I definitely (almost all the time) believe in a higher power, a divine spirit that orders the universe, to assign a gender, a human gender, no less, seems too limiting to me. I think that much of our religions, our definitions of God, are to try to put into human terms that which is too great to be defined.

While there are days that I’m an atheist and days that I’m agnostic, mostly this is what I believe:

I believe that there is a divine spirit, a power for good in the universe. To keep things simple I call this God. I believe that we have free will and can chose to turn towards God or chose to turn away from God, but that God never turns away from us. I have no idea what happens after we die, but I believe that in some way we are reconciled to God if we chose to be. To chose to turn towards God is to try to live a life that makes the world a better place for our having been in it. In the words of Micah, it is to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly. In the words of Jesus, it is to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Because we are human, it is not possible for us to do this all the time, but it is possible for us to try and if we fail, to try again. I think that all of the trappings of religion are, at their most basic, supposed to give us ways to live like this. There are, unfortunately, a lot of accretions on religion that obscure these basic truths. This personal creed is a work in progress and probably always will be a work in progress. I don’t think that your beliefs or faith need or even should be etched in stone; mine certainly aren’t!

Back to why we don’t say the creed anymore. I think it is because the minister of our church is an accepting man that understands that different people believe different things but that we are all working toward the same kind of ideals. I like that. I like that it is okay to not totally adhere to the stated tenets of our faith, that not adhering doesn’t make you a bad person or not worthy of being included.

Today’s challenge: Stimulate your kidneys and release shoulder tension with 10 standing torso twists. I passed on this one since my back, while MUCH better after yesterday’s torture physical therapy session and all the stretching every hour on the hour, is still not back to normal.

Today’s gratitude: I’m thankful that I live in a country which espouses freedom of religion. I’m going to do my part to keep it that way.

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Responses

  1. Beautiful. Thank you.

    I don’t know what is meant by “standing torso twists” exactly, so I just did my own version of them. Glad to know that you have some improvement with your back.
    Julie

    • Thanks. 🙂 And thanks again. I think they are when you try to keep your hips straight and turn your upper body. I don’t know, whatever.

  2. OMG … I am always vaguely weirded out by the Apostle’s Creed and mumble a disagreement during most of it. I refuse to be ordered what to think by the First Council of Nicaea!


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