An Invitation to Those Who Recite the Creed

The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed includes the words, “I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.” Catholics and many Protestants use this Creed. Catholicism teaches that *it* is the Church referred to. Many Protestants believe that the Church referred to is invisible, unknowable here on earth, and will only be revealed in heaven, and some, that it even ceased to be between the years 100 (or 313) and 1517 or so.

My invitation to you is to consider what is the Church of the Creed.

Consider that the Nicene Fathers were presumably talking about their own Church, visible and active in the world “but not of it,” with certain teachings and practices and experiences of Faith and fellowship (communion, koinonia) like those described in my blog. Does their Church still exist? It’s the Church against which the Lord promised and prophesied “the gates of hades will not prevail.” So it can’t have ceased to exist between the Apostolic Age and the Protestant Reformation, without making the Lord a liar. Does your Church teach and live and experience the same Faith as the Nicene Fathers, and the Fathers and Mothers of the other six commonly-accepted Ecumenical Councils, or does it disagree with them in some ways, or has it added new doctrines to theirs? Was your Church, or its founding Church, perhaps represented at one or more of those Ecumenical Councils, and if so, has it kept faith therewith, or has it undergone any significant changes in direction since then, maybe once, maybe more than once? Can your Church trace the actual human bonds of fellowship between those Council Fathers and its own today, or has that communion across the ages been interrupted? Is your Church set up like theirs was?

It would be really interesting to get a list of the Fathers of the Councils, the Bishops, because each of them was bishop of a place, a local Church, a diocese. Those dioceses were scattered throughout the greater Mediterranean and beyond. And to see if those dioceses still exist, and if their faith is still like that of their Fathers, and then see the dioceses they founded in other lands, and see if their faith is still like that of those Fathers, and so on, throughout the world.

If you do so, you may discern the outlines of the Orthodox Church, the Church of the Nicene Creed, i.e., The Church.

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