If religion be the food of love, sing on sing on! Praise be to Jesus Christ who is the food of love, He who fills our souls with a joy that all listening souls’ pleasures are beyond measure and the follower’s tongue declare, He is music ev’rywhere.
Being a part of the Interfaith Choir church services for the Grace Episcopal Church and Shepard of the Hills Methodist Church has been rewarding in more ways than just weaving notes in beautiful harmony, but rather the knitting of Christian hearts of various religions together in a warm quilt of love and unity even though there are several differences in our points of doctrinal belief. However, there is a famous saying that “birds of a feather flock together”. There are those who love religion, and those who don’t. WHY?
Where did this dichotomy derive and why is it having such an influence on our society today for both good and bad? Is it the fault of the signer’s of the Nicene Creed in 381 AD, whose underlying purpose was to establish a uniform belief in the Godhead? “The Nicene Creed was adopted in the face of the Arian controversy. Arius, a Libyan preacher, had declared that although Jesus Christ was divine, God had actually created him, and “there was when he was not,” also worded by others of the era “there was once when he was not” and “he was made out of nothing.” This made Jesus less than the Father and contradicted the doctrine of the Trinity. Arius’s teaching provoked a serious crisis for the newly developed Christianity.
The Nicene Creed of 325 explicitly affirms the divinity of Jesus, applying to him the term “God”. The 381 version speaks of the Holy Spirit as worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son. The Athanasian Creed describes in much greater detail the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Apostles’ Creed makes no explicit statements about the divinity of the Son and the Holy Spirit, but, in the view of many who use it, the doctrine is implicit in it. (What shall I to say, whether it be a good or bad word, to my great grandmother Clotilde, a Burgundian Catholic princess, for being an instigator of the baptism of great gramps, King Clovis I), who “had adamantly refused to convert from Arian Christianity to Catholicism….The followers of Catholicism believe that God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three persons of one being (consubstantiality), as opposed to Arian Christianity, whose followers believed that Jesus, as a distinct and separate being, was both subordinate to and created by God. the theology of the Arians was declared a heresy at the First Council of Nicea in 325 AD, the missionary work of the bishop Ulfilas converted the pagan Goths to Arian Christianity in the 4th century. By the time of the ascension of Clovis, Gothic Arians dominated Christian Gaul, and Catholics were the minority. The king’s Catholic baptism was of immense importance in the subsequent history of Western and Central Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of Gaul.
Catholicism did offer certain advantages to Clovis as he fought to distinguish his rule among many competing power centers in Western Europe. His conversion to the Roman Catholic form of Christianity served to set him apart from the other Germanic kings of his time, such as those of the Visigoths and the Vandals, who had converted from Germanic paganism to Arian Christianity. His embrace of the Roman Catholic faith may have also gained him the support of the Catholic Gallo-Roman aristocracy in his later campaign against the Visigoths, which drove them from southern Gaul in 507 and resulted in a great many of his people converting to Catholicism as well.
Great grandfather Clovis’ baptism influenced the conversion of his people from idol worship to Jesus Christ. ” He met with his followers, but before he could speak the power of God anticipated him, and all the people cried out together: “O pious king, we reject our mortal gods, and we are ready to follow the immortal God whom Remi preaches.” This was reported to the bishop, who was greatly rejoiced, and bade them get ready the baptismal font”. Gregory of Tours (539-594): The Conversion of Clovis Fordham University
So, what does this all mean to we the people of religion? Without the Nicene Creed and religion, how would their society been different and how would it have affected us today? Although, the clarification in signing the Nicene Creed by over 300 bishops, marked a detour from early Christian teachings about the Godhead that continues to cause great confusion between many Christians, it did enable the progress of christianity to reach the free and fertile soil of America where the perfect time and place was prepared by God to allow for the restoration of the primitive church in the year 1830 by a prophet of God, named Joseph Smith. “Latter-day Saints reject the doctrines of the Trinity as taught by most Christian churches today. These creeds were canonized in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. and do not reflect the thinking or beliefs of the New Testament church. Comparing LDS Beliefs with First Century Christianity By Daniel C. Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks. p.s. Did I mention, a decree was set that anyone of these 300 bishops who did not sign the Creed would be put to death? Two did not sign the Creed.
Other by-products like existentialism is a prime example of the great confusion of religion in our world today. There has become a great “fallout” in religiosity because, in my opinion, there is not a seesaw balance within truth that people feel and sense which makes them sick of being at the bottom of the ride and never getting the exhilaration of riding high, or putting it in plain terms, people don’t understand, are bored, and most importantly, they don’t want any “guilt” hanging over their heads. Most people don’t see the symbiotic relationship between God and us in just about every facet of life. One example is the evidence of truth about God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost and their relationship with us as seen with seesaw molecular gemometry. Men like philosopher/author Søren Keirkegaard, one of the fathers of existentialism, taught one must find his own purpose in life as a single individual and not within the belief of organized religion. If this lone man was an atom, not only would his theory be unpredictable, but it could cause chaos which is what we are seeing in our society today. We also can see the parallelism and necessity of God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost being separate beings…or like individual atoms creating one molecular bond. Not only do we need Him, but God needs us, in a loving relationship with Him much like we have with our spouse or parents. Jesus Christ was needed to atone for our sins. The Holy Ghost is needed to teach and guide us how to discern between good and bad, right and wrong, and truth and error.
Quilting requires multiple fibers to become a blanket, our society needs all the facets religion provides to keep us safe and warm during our lives no matter our status or age. Thanks to the Roman Catholic church and the Nicene Creed, the kingdom of great gramps Clovis abandoned their idols. Can we who are no different than them in our new age technological world of idol worship, be as humble and quick as they were to obey? “My concern is that when it comes to binding up that fabric in our day, the ‘ligatures’ of religion are not being looked to in quite the way they once were…Call it secularism or modernity or the technological age or existentialism on steroids — whatever you want to call such an approach to life, we do know a thing or two about it,” said Elder Holland. “Most importantly we know that it cannot answer the yearning questions of the soul, nor is it substantial enough to sustain us in times of moral crises…modern technology has given us “unprecedented personal freedom” and “access to virtually unlimited knowledge,” but he added that “neither technology nor its worthy parent science can give us much moral guidance as to how to use that freedom.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I have faith in those of us who are knit together by religion because I know the fibers of our comman threads will weave together throughout the world as we come to overlook our differences, realizing all truth has been reveled and will continue to be made known to us through the Holy Ghost from Jesus Christ speaking in behalf of His and our Eternal Father in Heaven. Religion will once again be the “food of love, Sing on till I am fill’d with joy; For then my list’ning soul you move To pleasures that can never cloy. Your eyes, your mien, your tongue declare That you are music ev’rywhere. Pleasures invade both eye and ear, So fierce the transports are, they wound, And all my senses feasted are, Tho’ yet the treat is only sound, Sure I must perish by your charms, Unless you save me in your arms.” Henry Purcell