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J.S. Whale has said that one of the greatest dangers that theologians face is that we put a pipe in our mouths and our feet on the mantelpiece and sit down in an armchair to discuss theories of the atonement instead of bowing down before the wounds of Christ, that we scurry round the burning bush taking photographs from suitable angles instead of taking our shoes off our feet for the place whereon we stand is holy ground.
William Barclay, The Apostles’ Creed for Everyman (New York: Harper & Row, Pub., 1967), 23.
"I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I’d rather one would walk with me than merely show the way. The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear; Fine counsel is confusing but example’s always clear. And the best of all the preachers are the ones who live their creeds, For to see good put in action is what everybody needs. I soon can learn to do it if you let me see it done. I can watch your hands in action but your tongue too fast may run. And the sermon you deliver may be very wise and true, But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do, For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give, But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live."
The rock group Creed sings the words, “Only in America we stamp our god, “‘In God we trust.’” (Creed, “In America”)
Bruce Larson said, “The events of Easter cannot be reduced to a creed or philosophy. We are not asked to believe the doctrine of the resurrection. We are asked to meet this person raised from the dead. In faith, we move from belief in a doctrine ...
"I prefer to remain forever damned"
During a Billy Graham crusade in Australia, a Melbourne daily paper received this letter:
"I have heard Dr. Billy Graham on the air, viewed him on television, and seen reports and letters concerning his mission. I am heartily sick of the type of religion that insists my soul and everyone else’s needs saving, whatever that means. I have never felt that I was lost nor do I feel that I daily wallow in the mire of sin, although repetitious preaching insists that I do.
Give me a practical religion that: teaches gentleness and tolerance, that acknowledges no barriers of color or creed, that remembers the aged and teaches children goodness and not sin If in order to save my soul I must accept such a philosophy as I have recently heard preached, I prefer to remain forever damned."
(Galatians: Liberated For Life Rev. John F. Mac Arthur Pg. 135)
Not what, but Whom, I do believe, That, in my darkest hour of need,
Hath comfort that no mortal creed to mortal man may give;
Not what, but Whom!
For Christ is more than all the creeds, And His full life of gentle deeds
Shall all the creeds outlive.
Not what I do believe, but Whom!
Who walks beside me in the gloom?
Who shares the burden wearisome?
Who all the dim way doth illume,
And bids me look beyond the tomb
The larger life to live? But whom! Not what, But whom!
John Oxenham, the English poet
There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate government action.
PERSPECTIVE: Adapted. The author is Linda Senese
On Monday there were people fighting against praying in schools.
On Tuesday you would have been hard pressed to find a school where someone was not praying.
On Monday there were people were trying to separate each other by race, sex, color and creed.
On Tuesday they were all holding hands.
On Monday we thought that we were secure.
On Tuesday we learned better.
On Monday we were talking about athletes as heroes.
On Tuesday we relearned what hero meant.
On Monday people went to work at the world trade centers as usual.
On Tuesday they died.
On Monday people were fighting the 10 commandments on government property.
On Tuesday the same people said "God help us all" while thinking "Thou shall not kill."
On Monday people argued with their kids about picking up their room.
On Tuesday the same people could not get home fast enough to hug their kids.
On Monday people picked up McDonalds for dinner.
On Tuesday they stayed home.
On Monday people were upset that their dry cleaning was not ready on time.
On Tuesday they were giving their time to line up to give blood for the dying.
On Monday politicians argued about budget surpluses.
On Tuesday grief stricken they gave money for relief efforts as they sang "God Bless America"
On Monday we worried about the traffic and getting to work late.
On Tuesday we worried about a plane crashing into our...
I’d rather see a sermon
than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way.
And the best of all the preachers
are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action
is what everybody needs.
1 from Sermons4Kids.com
From Tim Zingale’s Sermon: Sisters
Sermon Central Staff
Unity is not simply an intellectual exercise. We can believe the same things, recite the same creeds, belong to the same denomination, but that does not mean we have unity.
In his book Soul Talk, Larry Crabb writes:
"Which is worse? A church program to build community that doesn’t get off the ground or one person sitting every Sunday in the back of the church who remains unknown? A Sunday school class that once drew hundreds but has now dwindled to thirty or a Sunday school teacher whose sense of failure is never explored by a caring friend? A family torn apart by the father’s drinking, his wife’s frustration, and their third grader’s learning disabilities or a self-hating dad, a terrified mom, and a lonely little boy, three human beings whose beauty and value no one ever discovers? A national campaign that fails to gain steam for the pro-life movement or a single woman on her way home from an abortion clinic in the backseat of a taxi, a woman whose soul no one ever touches?"
We may notice the unknown pew sitter, we wonder how the teacher of the now small class feels, we worry over each member of the torn-up family, and we feel for the guilt and pain of a woman who has ended her baby’s life. But we do what’s easier. We design programs, we brainstorm ways to build attendance, and in our outrage over divorce statistics and abortion numbers we fight for family values.
These are all good things, but we don’t TALK to the pew sitter; we don’t ASK the teacher how he’s feeling; we don’t INVITE the dad to play golf, the woman to lunch, or the little boy to play with our children; we don’t let the aborting woman know we CARE about her soul.
That response to hurting people, I would label disunity. Disunity is not just fighting over personal preferences. It’s not just leaving the church because someone hurt your feelings. It’s not just gossip that tears down other members of the body. It’s leaving needs unmet. It’s failing to love people the way God would have us love. Unity is lived out in caring concern for others.
(From a sermon by Bret Toman, Unity For the Glory of God, 1/3/2011)