THE CREED interpretation 2

Rev. Dr. Doru Costache

respecting the secular authorities and praying for their peace, the only one worthy of worship is God.

Testifying of Christ’s lordship is in full accord with the beginning of the Creed, which states there is only one God. Speaking of the only one God, and by this The second article of the Creed designating the Father, also speaks about the eternal identity of speaking of the only one Lord, and our Lord Christ. It addresses those by this designating the Son, we are opinions concerning whether Jesus not confronted by a disaccord, the was in fact the Son of God and Father and the Son being ‘one,’ a truly God. The Church unity of being, life and honour (cf. nevertheless affirmed that Christ John 10:30). prior to anything else was true God. This affirmation was based Jesus Christ – It is interesting that upon the divine revelation and the the fathers of the Church who composed the Creed did not start experience of the Church. speaking of the second person in The text in the Creed which reads: the Holy Trinity from his divine “And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal name, but from his human only-begotten Son of God, name, as it was assumed in begotten of the Father before all history. This indicates that our ages, light from light, true God faith never delivers new teachings, from true God, begotten not made, preferring to refer and to correctly of one essence with the Father; characterise persons and facts through him all things were already known. We came to know made,” may be analysed as the Son of God under his human follows: name, Jesus Christ. This name was symbolically chosen by divine One Lord – The first point regarding Jesus’ identity confirms providence. In Hebrew, Ieshua, transliterated in Greek by Iēsous that he is our Lord and Master. (Jesus), means ‘the Lord who This qualification announces saves.’ Similarly, the Greek term indirectly the full affirmation of his divine identity. Of course from Christos (Christ) translates the Hebrew Mashiah, meaning ‘the respect we call people ‘lord’ or ‘master,’ but it is obvious that the anointed’ and ‘the one chosen’ by God. By this association of the only true Lord and Master is two names (Jesus Christ), his Christ. Many of our services contain the call to worship (‘let us eternal identity (the Lord) and mission (the Saviour, the Chosen) worship and bow’) Christ, ‘our king and God.’ Eventually, even page 3

11th hour
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People feel quite comfortable condemning the intelligent, who have to work for years to arrive where simple people easily stroll. So, what’s the point of intelligence? The simple person says there is none, that the wise have been made fools, and that the first will be last and the last will be first. That is fine. Let the simple have what is theirs – the right to injustice. The first will be last – all the way to the eleventh hour, at which time the house is rebuilt, and this time on the most solid rock.

year XXX September - October

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Media Release - National Council of Churches in Australia (7 October 2005)

PEAK AUSTRALIAN INTERFAITH BODY CONDEMNS TERRORISM AND FANATICISM
While all Australians are engaged in debates on the balance between civil liberties and the necessity to properly protect all of us from the threat of terrorism, Australia’s Christians, Muslims and Jews have the opportunity and responsibility to work together to strengthen the ethical foundations of Australia, participants in a recent meeting of the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims & Jews (ANDCMJ) concluded. The ANDCMJ expressed strong support for the "Peace and Harmony Conference", organized by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils last weekend and its aim of strengthening essential moral and social tenets of Australian society. At the meeting at the Great Synagogue, Sydney, the representatives of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) and The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), offered their support to all serious initiatives to breakdown racial and religious stereotypes and to strengthen Australian defenses against terrorism and religious fanaticism. The Dialogue paid particular attention to the way in which Islam, Judaism and Christianity understand the term ‘martyr’. “All true religion teaches you how to live well. That can include learning how to die well, in the cause of the basic tenets of faith, but it does not include planning to kill others especially innocent persons by killing oneself. Religion gives no mandate to that. There can be no justification for such actions and any attempt at this is the warped outcome of twisted reasoning, and although some try to justify it through circumstances, it is never right”, Amjad Mehboob, leader of the AFIC delegation stressed. John Henderson, General Secretary of the NCCA added, “The history of religious martyrs is a long and honoured one, but it remains controversial. Martyrs are inspirational examples of people who live out what they believe whatever the personal cost. Their emphasis is on living, not dying. Martyrdom is not a cult of death, and it does not support the view that somehow killing oneself, and taking others with you, is a short cut to paradise. When people take such a step they separate themselves from their faith, and the effect is the opposite of what they intend”. On behalf of the ECAJ representatives, Jeremy Jones concluded, “Genuine martyrs do not choose martyrdom. Martyrs are people who, by living out what they believe, suffer consequences at the hands of others which can include their own death. They do not choose death as a means of justice, revenge, or as a weapon to destroy others”. The dialogue partners identified the following important principles: ■ Accountability to God for all our actions ■ The centrality and truth of religious teaching in personal and community life ■ The necessity for believers to live by what they believe ■ That true religion emphasises good living and responsible, caring relationships among family, friends, community, and

the world at large Further, there was unanimous agreement that all Faiths must condemn : ■ The use of the methods of terror by any side in a dispute ■ So-called ‘suicide’ bombings as legitimate acts ■ The use of violence to overcome violence Objectives of the ANDCMJ are: ■ To be a model of how different faiths can live harmoniously together in Australia ■ To build understanding, good will and a sense of community between people of different faiths ■ To explore and learn about each other and our faith traditions ■ To share our knowledge and insights with others ■ To work together to achieve common goals in Australia ■ To support each other in times of difficulty
Further information: John Henderson, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia: 0419 224 935 or secretariat@ncca.org.au Amjad Mehboob, CEO of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils: 0408 234 434 or amehboob@afic.com.au Jeremy Jones, Spokesperson, Executive Council of Australian Jewry: 0411 536 436 or ecaj@tig.com.au

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Have you seen the New Jerusalem hanging from Heaven like an overripe fruit, about to fall – any minute now?

Have you seen the New Jerusalem hanging from Heaven like an overripe fruit, about to fall – any minute now? No? Perhaps you should die again. You don’t think you can be born again without dying first, do you? It is always the Apocalypse.

Parochial Life | september - october 2005 |

Jokes

It is always the Apocalypse

No? Perhaps you haven’t died, yet. You don’t think you can be born again without dying first, do you? It has always been the Apocalypse.

I’m nobody, nobody is perfect, and therefore I’m perfect. If I save time, when do I get it back? Take my advice, I don’t use it anyway. War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who’s left. Living on Earth may be expensive...but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun. Your future depends on your dreams. So go to sleep!

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past, but it is an eternal relationship: the Father is giving are therefore indirectly asserted. birth to the Son now and ever, and Son of God – The human name of the Son is born now and ever from the Saviour is followed by the the Father. The Creed’s affirmation explicit affirmation of his divine intends only to point out to the fact identity. Christ is not only human, that this relationship cannot be but before everything a God. considered under the temporal According to our faith concerning species, like in the case of created the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ is the things. human name, assumed after the Light from light, true God from incarnation, of the second divine true God – Coming eternally from person. Being a true God, he could the Father, the Son is truly God, not be confused with the Father like the one from whom he and the Holy Spirit; the name Son originates. The Creed makes reveals his personal difference. appeal to an analogy in order to Although we cannot know in what express in an articulate way the manner this difference consists of, manner the Son comes from the we understand that this name Father: when one lights a candle indicates his origin in the Father from another candle, neither the and his relation with the Father. light of the first diminishes nor the The only-begotten – This term light of the second is weaker. confirms Jesus’ characteristic as Begotten not made – The Creed the eternal Son: he really is the comes back to the issue of the Son, involved with the Father in a manner that the Son comes from relationship called begetting the Father, drawing our attention to (whose content we do not know). the difference between the eternal The statement is confirmed and birth of the Son and the way the developed by the words begotten worldly things come into being by not made (see below). creation. Originating eternally by Simultaneously the term alludes to birth from the Father, the Son has the faithful who are graced by God no similarity and natural relation in becoming ‘sons of God’ (cf. with creation (the world). John 1:12-13; the text is read Of one essence with the Father – during the liturgy of the Pascha). The previous expression, true God, We are not sons of God in the way is confirmed: the Son is really by Jesus is; we are adopted by God nature what the Father is, though through the very fact that his Son this does not mean that the Son descended to us and sent us the could be confused as the person of Holy Spirit, the Spirit of sonship, the Father. Furthermore, given the who teaches us to call our God fact the Son is together with the Father. Father truly God, this does not Begotten of the Father before all means they are two Gods. It is only ages – Against those believing that one God, the divine persons the Son is not eternally with the (including the Holy Spirit) sharing Father and created by the Father, the same divine nature. We could the Creed clearly testifies that the approach this mystery by means of Son has no other origin than being an analogy with humanity: there begotten from the Father. The are many human persons, but only Son’s birth is an ‘event’ occurring one human nature. The difference before time, the universe and consists in the fact that whereas the history. In fact, the relation divine persons are living together between the Father and the Son is their common nature (in not something consumed and communion) people are living their reserved as something from the human nature individually.
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Parochial Life | september - october 2005 |

The creed

Through him all things were made – The Creed begins to speak of the Son’s action in the world. Suggesting John 1:3 and Colossians 1:15-18, the syntagm asserts that being uncreated the Son is (together with the Father) the creator of the whole seen and unseen world. In Christian theology, beginning with the prologue of the Gospel of St John, the name of the Son involved in the action of creating the universe is Logos (Reason, Principle, Word or Meaning). The Creed does not mention this name because during the fourth century there developed serious philosophical controversies regarding the identity of the Logos.

Seeing a tree
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A looks at a tree and says “I see this tree.” B says “It isn’t the tree you see, but light reflecting from the tree. The tree itself is never seen.” A insists, “No. I see this tree when I see its light.” B says “Sight is a paradox – an illusion of consciousness.” C agrees with A. “Man, by his Nature, sees the tree itself as he sees its light.” A insists, “No. I see its light when I see this tree.” D agrees with A. “Man, by his Nature, sees only his senses.” A insists, “No. I see this tree when I see its light.” *** A points at a tree and says “I know something about this tree...”
editor: Rev. Doru Costache, PhD layout design: Ion Nedelcu (Bucharest) address: 64 Linthorn Ave, Croydon Park, NSW 2133. phone: (02) 9642 02 60 www.geocities.com/ sfmaria_sydney