From Letters to the Editor:The Council of Nicea was hegemonic, got that? So you thought it was in answer to some heresy, boy, are you behind the times. More...
The Rev. John Beverley Butcher ("Creeds are lacking") is not alone in sensing the creed's complete exclusion of Jesus' life and ministry, mentioning only his birth and death and nothing in between. In the flow of the liturgy, Scripture, passing the peace, prayers of the people, the sermon and the Eucharist, Jesus Christ's ministry and gospel are present. The creed, instituted by Roman decree more than three centuries after the Resurrection, leaves out both entirely. The Council of Nicea's purpose was to institutionalize Roman power and authority.
We are Episcopalians and have been open to the Holy Spirit to help us in the evolution of our worship from the beginning. In the Nag Hammadi discoveries, we are now fortunate to have the gospels of Thomas, Philip and Mary Magdalene to read. None of the four original Gospels nor these new findings contain the creed.
Women also have sensed the irony of referring to the Holy Spirit as "he" when it is a feminine word in both Hebrew and Greek and would best be translated as "she." Patriarchal language is problematic in a church with a woman presiding bishop.
Grateful thanks to the Rev. John B. Butcher's ("Creeds Are Lacking" comments. The creeds are metaphysical abstract statements, probably relevant in the fourth century to philosophical arguing, but not understandable for Christian living or to anything Jesus lived and taught. What really does any of that speculative conjecture loved by theologians mean to the average person, those to whom Jesus ministered then and now?Truly, I'm dazzled by such deep theological thinking. Just in case you were interested in what spurred such incisive treatises, take note:
If the creeds are sacrosanct and cannot be replaced, could an alternative be given as an option? Jesus' summary of the law to love God and love your neighbor is mentioned several times in Scripture, the Old and New Testaments. Why isn't that our creed, easily understood and a guide for living? It also seems to me to be truly the Great Commission from Jesus, not Matthew 28:19, which is mentioned only once and never was called the great commission by Jesus; that probably was the label put on by some Bible scholar when the Bible was able to be printed.
CREEDS ARE LACKINGGospel of Mary Magdalene...you know, trumps all of Scripture handed down to us by the patriarchal, power-hungry, and oppressive Catholic Church so we have a right to claim our own authority. Follow it!
Perhaps you have noticed that the creeds speak of the birth of Jesus and then of his death. There is no mention of the life of Jesus, no mention of the teachings of Jesus, no mention of the healing power of Jesus.
The heart of the gospel is missing. The creeds are defective and need to be taken out of service. Instead, let us proclaim clearly the gospel of the Resurrected Jesus, "The seed of true humanity is within you. Follow it!" Gospel of Mary (Magdalene) 4:5.
The Rev. John Beverley Butcher