From the Pastor's Desk - April 2018
April 1, 2018 - Pastor Tom Kraft
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28
A number of years ago a relative of mine was talking to me about what they believed. I said that what they believed wasn’t Christian. They said that was my opinion, you have your Christianity, I have mine. We live in a culture where people just make stuff up and call it truth. Part of our identity as Americans is that we allow people to believe and say anything they want.
So is Christianity the same? Do we just make it up as we go along?
When Christianity began, Jesus told the disciples to “baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teach what he commanded.” He didn’t say to “just make stuff up you like.”
But how do we know what the Apostles were taught?
In the early days of the church the Apostles wrote what they believed. This happened before the New Testament of the Bible was completed. It was a simple statement of faith. They called it the Old Roman Symbol because the church at Rome took care to keep it intact. Most of what we call the Apostles’ Creed came from the Old Roman Symbol. In this simple creed are the most essential elements of our faith like: the trinity, immaculate conception, the church, the Holy Spirit, the resurrection of the dead, the crucifixion, and creation. For the months of April and May we will look at the Apostles’ Creed, with the Bible, to understand the basic beliefs of our faith. With a few exceptions, these beliefs are held by all people who call themselves Christian. It goes beyond Methodists, Roman Catholics, Baptists, or Lutherans, to the beliefs of the Apostles as taught to them by Jesus.
The Constitution actually says as Americans we are free to “just make stuff up.” In our faith, we look to scripture and the ancient creeds to guide us in what makes us who we are. I would like to invite you to an adventure in understanding who we are and what we believe as we journey back to the beginning of Christianity.