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Friday, May 19, 2006

Don't Mumble It!

My church is a bit unique. We are a part of the Reformed Church of America, and certainly subscribe to their doctrine, but we operate like a pretty typical independent evangelical church. We've got guitars and drums and our pastor just started wearing one of those Tony Robbinsesque boom mikes. We don't talk a lot about our Reformed-ness. We even stopped wearing wooden shoes to church. So what gives us away as a mainline church? Saying the creed.

Every once in a while (twice a year, perhaps) we say the Apostle's Creed. I imagine this is to fulfill our obligation to the denomination. It's always a bit interesting as we stumble through reading the words. Those who lift hands and sway gently during the slo-jam half of the worship aren't doing that anymore. The staid non-hand-lifter, non-swayer types are forced to speak. It's really quite beautiful because of its awkwardness.

As a teacher, I have experienced the ritual of saying the Pledge of Allegiance thousands of times. Most students would be hard pressed to explain the meaning of the pledge. But they certainly know the words. They even have developed an annoying cadence that is nearly impossible to break, a cadence still familiar to adults.

I am happy to hear our faltering rendition of the creed. We haven't made it into a meaningless sequence of syllables. If this is what it takes to keep us alert to its meaning, let us say it as sparingly as we need to. It is a wonderful shock to those who, like me, have grown up believing that such a practice was tantamount to popery to realize that many have gone before us and kept the flame of orthodoxy.

Category: Theoblogia


  • This is a horrible question, but is that a boy or a girl in the right side of the pic?

    By Blogger Garet Pahl, at 7:22 PM  

  • Er, um...that is a horrible question!

    By Blogger Jeremy Felden, at 8:13 PM  

  • clearly, its a boy...any surfer should be able to decifier through the long hair! His akward expression gives him away. ha.

    By Blogger jessica, at 1:33 PM  

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