The Apostles’ Creed was not written by the apostles of Christ, but it summarizes their teaching on the basics of the Christian faith. It likely originated as a baptismal confession in the second century, and developed into its present form thereafter. It is still in common use by Christians today; by it we publicly confess our confidence in God’s absolute truth which we cherish. Here it is:
“I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth
I believe in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
And born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate
was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and is seated
at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there He will come to judge the living and the dead
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen!”
Some would suggest that it’s time for a major update, perhaps something like this:
“I believe in a higher power which I call god. This being is the universal parent of us all. It/she/he was the superintendent of the big bang which generated the galaxies billions of years ago.
I believe that it/he/she he was the overseer of hundreds of millions of years of death in the form of violent predation and meaningless extinction.
I believe this process, called evolution, eventuated in life as we know it today on this relatively insignificant planet which orbits a relatively insignificant star.
I recognize Jesus as one of many good teachers who have appeared on the stage of human history. He was only a man, but he gave us a fine example of how to live a good life and handle hatred even to the point of death. I believe that the virgin birth and all the stories of how he walked on water and performed other miracles are helpful myths which expressed the primitive Christian community’s high esteem of Jesus.
Of course, I do not believe that hell or anything like it exists!
I believe Jesus rose from the dead metaphorically speaking. In other words, through his teachings and example, his spirit lives on in his true followers, whose motto is “what would Jesus do?”
This is what is meant by the holy spirit. I believe in that.
I like my inclusive, weekly (optional) gathering, in a judgment free environment, of people who can believe whatever they want so long as it does not include the narrow, extremist idea that an outdated religious text which is subject to diverse interpretations and full of scientific errors, once known as the holy bible, has any actual authority over me and my lifestyle.
I do not believe in a future judgment day nor in a literal, physical resurrection of the body. I believe that at death, everybody rests in peace, no matter what they did in life. Some of us believe that there is nothing after death but oblivion. Okay?”
Which creed better expresses what you believe?
* The term “catholic” refers to the organic unity of the one church of Christ, not to any particular denomination