Creeds, Declarations and Spiritual Warfare.
A Devotional Thought for our Days:
The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemy’s strongholds. Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defence that men erect against the true knowledge of God. We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10: 4-5(Phillips NT)
824 Do you feel as if goodness and absolute truth have been deposited with you, and therefore that you have been invested with a personal title or right to uproot evil at all costs? You will never solve anything like that, but only through Love and with love, remembering that Love has forgiven you and still forgives you so much!
It seems in the last week another religious crusade has erupted. On one side there are those who are signing a creed that defines proper marriage and marital relationships. On the other side a creed that defends people who don’t seem to fit within those relationships. Both have proponents that say unless you support their new creed, you really aren’t a Christian. And that is definitely true if you do support the opponents Creed.
Thousands have proudly affixed their names to one or the other creeds. They call them declarations, but when you define your understanding of the Christian faith by them when you say this is what you believe or what you condemn, they are creeds or confessions. ( Ironically, a lot of those signing these documents come from church brotherhoods or denominations that were against having formal creeds!)
Which is why I will sign neither.
Simply put, I want a creed and confession that gives me hope. I want one that promises reconciliation, one that isn’t condescending or treats those with other beliefs like their enemy. I want one that talks of God’s work in our lives.
Paul says it clearly, our weapons are spiritual, they pull down Satan’s strongholds, revealing to people the true knowledge of God. It doesn’t tear them down but rather reveals God in such a way that people’s thoughts are about Him.
That’s what the historic creeds and confessions do, they bring people to Jesus, and leave them in awe, knowing they are loved, that their sin is forgiven, and that the Holy Spirit is renewing and reconciling them, transforming them into the image of God.
St. Josemaria states it so well if we think our job is defending God’s truth that has been deposited with us (as if He left the building ). Apologists are to give the reason we have hope, not wield a rushing and condemning offense. Our job is to love, knowing the mercy of God, and treasuring is so much we want everyone to have it revealed to them.
Yes, we need to show them the need for it, but we need to do so with love, not with anger, or with statements made without the chance for conversation and revealing God’s grace. That is why there is a call to remember our own brokenness, and how Jesus addressed that with mercy, and do likewise. From out of our brokenness, we approach others differently than if we were the self-appointed morality police. From out of our brokenness, we realize the blessed truth found in creeds and confessions that talk of God’s love and redemption, of His works through one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.
Love them, pray for them, ask God to bless them, and do battle for them, with the intent of saving their souls. This is spiritual warfare, this is the hope our creeds give us!
That the Lord is with us! AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. Furrow (Kindle Locations 3390-3393). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on September 5, 2017, in Devotions, Poiema, st josemaria escriva, The Forge and tagged confessions, creeds, faith, Nashville Declaration, salvation, Spiritual Warfare, Spiritual Weapons, The Statement. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.