Monday, November 19, 2012

Creeds, dogma, doctrine

I am on a discussion list designed to find ways to heals rifts in Christianity.  Back in March 2011, I wrote a post here musing on this very topic - or rather musing on the possibility there is no one religion called Christianity, but many, many religions claiming Christ as a central figure.

Today there was a rambling post on that discussion listserv about two Christian credal statements: the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed.  The poster did not make a lot of sense as he thought the Apostles creed was more specific than the Nicene, while the opposite is true.  What interested me is the propensity to attempt to delineate faith.  Muslims have the Quran, but also the Hadith.. and also arguments over how one should interpret these and live by them in the world.  While there are not the thousands of divisions as exist within Christianity, there are quiet a few actually.  Jews, of course have several divisions also.  None of this can take account of what goes on in an individual's head and heart either.  What is particularly telling for me is how this listserv which began with Catholics, many types of Protestant and many types of Orthodox debating, often in an most uncharitable way, how to achieve unity - now consists mostly of Catholics and Anglicans and a few Calvinists.  I doubt unity is possible - and perhaps not even desirable.

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