A few years ago, in an effort to drum up some American business, the French advertising agency Soleil Noir came up with a promotional campaign. They called the campaign "Believe" and it opened with these words: "In 2012 if you don't believe you won't make it happen."
Believe in fashion. Believe in health. Believe in work. Believe in entertainment. Believe in your ideas. Believe in yourself.
Very early in the history of the church, shortly after a time of persecution, bishops, priests, monks, and theologians gathered together to formulate a very different list of beliefs. Historians speak of these churchmen as a motley crew. Many came with severed limbs, gouged eyes, and marred faces from torment they had endured for the faith. The document born out of this council came to be known as the Nicene Creed. We recite it to this day:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, The only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made, Being of one substance with the Father, By whom all things were made…
So, I wonder about the competing creeds in my life. After all, each creed compels me to stop, and to reorient, and to catch my breath, and to get my bearings, and to rediscover where "north" is located.
But not all creeds are the same.
Which is winning?
Which is dying?