Sunday, October 16, 2011

Apostles Creed: Part 2

Note:  I have decided to combine two parts of the Apostles Creed.  I have skipped over the “he descended into hell” part, but that is only temporary.  I’ll get there next. 

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried…  On the third day He rose again from the dead.  

I am not usually this forward with what I believe.  I think if people get to know me they will see that I believe in Christ, so I don’t feel the need to profess that part of me very often.  Let me take this time to do that though.  I do, in fact believe in Jesus. 

That being said, I’m not 100% sure why Jesus’ virgin birth matters in the scheme of things.  I mean, would the work on the cross be undone if Jesus was actually Joseph’s biological son?  I don’t know.  I suppose it would make a difference.

I mean, we are all children of God (1 John 3:1), but we are also imperfect.  We are unholy*, and that leads to us being part of the dead.  (Ephesians 2:1)  So, here is my question; how can the dead bring back the dead?  They can’t.  This is why the virgin birth is important.  Because Jesus is God’s “biological” child, then he is part of the living not the dead. 

Now, if you have grown up in the church at all, the next part of the creed is very familiar.  Jesus was crucified on the Good Friday, and came back to life on Easter Sunday.  This sounds incredible and hard to believe when you think about it.  Short of instances in Hollywood, how often do you see someone come back from the dead?  Even with our advances in medicine, I have never heard of someone coming back to life after having been buried for three days. 

Well, that’s not entirely true.  There is Lazarus.  Lazarus died before Jesus made it to his house.  When Jesus accompanied Mary and Martha to the grave, Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away from Lazarus’ grave.  Martha protested saying that Lazarus had been dead for four days and that the stench was going to be overwhelming.  In the end, Jesus called Lazarus back from the dead and Lazarus came back to life. 

The precedent of God bringing someone back from the dead is there in Lazarus.  The difference between Lazarus and Jesus is the same between the opening act and the main event.  Lazarus’ restoration was meant to show people who Jesus really was.  Jesus’ death and resurrection served the same purpose, but also to restore human kind as well.

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (John 10:10)  In his death and, more importantly resurrection, we are able to more than just survive; we can thrive. 

One of my biggest pet-peeves is the way Christians focus so much on the death of Christ.  Without the resurrection, his death would have meant nothing.  Jesus would have just been another Jew the Romans wrongfully crucified.  It is only in his resurrection that we know who he is. 

So there you have it.  I may not be very forthcoming with my believe using my words, I still have laid out part of what I believe.  I hope people can see my belief in the way that I live, but I feel it may be necessary to say it sometimes. 
*I really dislike the word sin, because of how often it is used in the Christian culture.  We use it to judge those we disagree with and rarely use it in a self-reflective way.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Apostles' Creed

A couple months ago I tore apart the Lord’s Prayer. I was having problems saying the prayer because I wasn’t really sure I meant it. Well, I am kind of having a similar experience with the Apostles Creed. I don’t want to profess belief in something without really digesting what I am saying. So over the next couple weeks I’m going to deconstruct the Apostles Creed and see what it says and see if I actually agree with what it says.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

While this may seem like a no-brainer to me, I do actually believe in God and his creation. While, no, I am not one of those people who believes that God created everything in literally seven days. I’m not saying that He isn’t able to do it in seven literal days. I just think the simplest answer is usually right.

Many new earth creationists believe that God put the dinosaur bones in the earth where they are to test people’s faith. While that is possible, it doesn’t seem very likely to me. I think it is more likely that the earth evolved over time, but that’s not to say it was all random. There is no way God couldn’t have guided the evolution of mankind.

In Genesis, the only thing that God actually uses more than words to make is man. (Genesis 2:7) God formed man from the dust and breathed life into him. That is so much more intimate than just speaking humans into existence. It sounds like He took His time refining and reshaping man.

I have to say, is really cool to think that the God who created everything we see with a word took the time to craft and perfect each of us. When I think about that it brings so much more meaning to Jesus saying,

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you?

God takes care of those things He created out of word; won’t He take care of those He crafted in His own image?

Of course He will.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I have been feeling really bad for myself recently. There have been a bunch of little things that have been piling up over the last few weeks. I could easily just go into the details of my pity party, but that is neither necessary nor helpful.

Tonight, the pity party culminated with me sitting at home watching Netflix and playing Angry Birds. I thought about calling people, but never bothered to do anything about it. I just sat on the couch with my headphones in, feeling sorry for myself. Then my friend sent me a text talking about how Ecclesiastes reminded her of how even when everything feels meaningless God will come through.

Wednesday was See You at the Pole, so I went to pray with the students from my high school. It was cool because some of the high schoolers are in the youth group that I hangout with. The thing started around 7am, which is crazy early for me, but was totally worth it. A couple of the students lead worship for like a half hour before breaking off into small groups to pray. While we were worshiping I was standing on the side of the circle that was facing the sun as it rose. It was incredible singing Canons by Phil Wickham as the sky burst into a beautiful sunrise over the school.

In that moment I realized that what I was missing wasn't just Springfield; I was missing the community I had in Springfield. There is something about knowing that the people around you have your back. I have that here, but the number of people here in Columbus is pretty small. The majority of my support system is still in Springfield. But that doesn't mean I am totally alone. Totally cliché, I know, but it's true this time. I just need to start looking outside of my comfort zone and what not.