Christ Above Creeds

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Jesus Christ came to earth to initiate spiritual love
more widely and to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
of God which includes of course, the preaching of God’s
Love.

Unfortunately after Christ physically departed this
earth, many believers eventually and in time became
less concerned about the relationship with Christ, who
did not seem immediately evident, and more concerned
with belief about Christ.

The shift in interest from a relationship with Christ
who was Love to a statement of belief about Christ
and His Churches called a creed was, not unlike Adam
and Eve and the Garden of Eden, the “fall that
changed everything."

While many believers still loved God and each other,
the slow shift in emphasis to creed about Christ and God,
instead of the relationship with God, was happening.
Creedal belief became far more important than loving.

Love moved down the line in priorities, something the
church talked about, but only a few people in the
churches practiced. The administrators of the churches
were hell bent on creedal agreement first, love second,
and tolerance, a product of love had not been discovered widely
yet.

While some believers were still vital, believing people, still
having a relationship with God, but most members of the churches
were, as they are today, conventional folk who said a Sunday
creed about God but had little or no relationship with Christ.

Here it is: the shift from a loving active relationship with
God which Christ preached in saying the Kingdom of God had
arrived, to today when a Sunday creed is said about belief.
Then everyone, most thinking they have been saved by the
weekly Sunday statement of theoretical creedal belief by which
they became church members, lapse back into religious passivity.

What is the trouble with creeds? Very little if Christ and a
relationship with Him is kept in Central Place. That is if Love
comes first.

But quite a lot is wrong when creed comes first. Creed
then becomes something to war about. People become ugly
over creeds. People look down on others because of creed.
People have had innumerable wars over creeds. With Christ
came love, but with creeds came wars. Why? Because without
Christ at the center, religion offered belief and countless
other things to fight about. Religion without Christ, God and
Love at the center offers a lot to fight over but not anything
to live by.

That seems to be what happened slowly, slowly over time: Christ
faded, having ascended, God, being invisible, was pushed out
of public thinking, while love vanished as being irrelevant
to a godless and materialistic life of technology sometimes
to be used hideously and heinously on each other.
Who led the believers? The churches! And who led the churches,
Those who put creed first. Those who told people belief in creed
was THE important thing. The ones who told the people they would
be damned if they did not believe in the jots and tiddles of
finite creeds trying to express the infinite and the
often inexpressible.

I do not tell you not to love your churches. The churches
were called into being as institutions to help spiritualize
the new raw materialism of earth. Its schools, its programs,
its services, all and more are needed. Yes, very good and
support of them is good.

But the churches are human organizations that often
slip the spiritual leash and run panting and steaming
after the wrong goals: creeds before Christ’s love,
wealth to impress, approving materialism without morals,
and a pagan life style without judgment, glorying
in a world without natural law, lives without hubris,
substituting ugliness for toleration, presenting
the old evil as the new good.

I hope with some of these goals you disagree. If not,
I tried bravely, so that we may learn how to disagree
on matters in a spirit of respect. Let us bring Christ
to the tables where we discuss.

If you do not think, you will have a dead religion and no
living and creative spirit. If you think, you will sooner or later
disagree on something. That is fine. To disagree shows you are
thinking in grace. But can you disagree on grace with grace?
That is the question that separates the Christians from the
churls.

Whenever we argue or express different views, and this is
no bad thing, but disagreement causes insecurity, and
insecurity causes anxiety, and anxiety breeds anger at
the situation we are in. But this is a short range view,
a myopic view, because only if we think together supplementing,
dissecting, reasoning do we find long range solutions.
Christianity maintains cooperation is grace, and this is
true, but sometimes not cooperating or agreeing also takes
grace, maybe more. Would you, could you have cooperated or     agreed in sending Jews to the Holocaust? I believe Hitler
called that the “final solution,” but then Hitler did
not have any understanding of the spiritual world. or
how to find a spiritual solution.

Religions must go further than trying to find “final
solutions” which are fake solutions. No major religion
in world faith is going to vanish overnight. Intolerant
intractability on this issue only ensures the problems
of creeds hating each other will continue. The blood
of any martyrs is the seed of their religion.

We in America are at the stage where anti-god liberal
materialism has spoiled many younger ones as Christians
but it hasn't made satisfied materialists out of them
either. They are a long way from accepting one
dimensional materialism too. This is going on all
over the world. It is the same in many communist
areas. There is a discontent with one dimensional
materialism. They have been ruined as strictly
materialistic communists but they have not found
Christ yet either.

What is to be done? We must reclaim God, Christ
and Love and put them at the center of real believing
churches. We must preach a Christ Spirit more important
than creeds. We must preach a love for people of all creeds.
Not only must we preach it, we must demonstrate it. Christ
is an invisible Spirit, but when His ways are seen through
us. He that is in us goes out to them. We must tolerate
that we be tolerated. We must not tolerate with smugness.

Is sin then going to vanish? Hardly, but why should it?
It serves a purpose. When Christ is contrasted with sin,
His spirit, like the light veins in dark marble, stands
out and are seen. Because of the darkness, men recognize
the light.

We need in Christianity believers who know Christ
through any or many of a variety of ways. But those
who know Christ and put His Love above creed and
above violence will go far towards solving the problem of
churches full of inaction and passivity,
creedal hate and intolerance. Reclaiming these,
we reclaim the central facet of the New Testament
Church that the world as well as America now lacks.

It can take a combination of your Free Will acting, deciding
to open your mind and heart to Christ, and lightning like grace,
illuminating reason, sent by God to you, lighting up your mind
and heart, allowing you to come to terms with God.

And God said for there to be light and there was light,
(Genesis 1: 3) Grace is like light. If God orders it, it will
be. Then there can be grace as you have never known before.
Or Grace can come slowly, gradually, growing, spreading
in your mind and heart until you know. Grace has a thousand
doors. God will open one, though which one I cannot say,
nor when, nor how. But God and grace are out there!

How do I know this? Because I have experienced it.
If you think that mad, I believe, as Shakespeare said,
there is method in such madness. When I was a materialist,
I heard only one note. Now that I am a spiritual person,
I hear a symphony. I will ever praise God for it, because
He has done it, and I will wait on His name, “for it is
good.” (Psalm 52:9)

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Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.