Monday, June 30, 2008


"Who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)

In order to pass the faith from culture to culture and generation to generation, the early church formulated "rules of faith." These summaries of the Apostle's teachings helped to preserve and define the faith as it was being tested by Judaism, gnosticism and other Egyptian and Persian religions b
efore the canon of scripture was affirmed as authoritative by the Council of Carthage in A.D. 457. The Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, and Chalcedon Creed arose out of the debates and discussions over competing interpretations of scripture and apostolic teachings.

In my preparation for a message on creeds I came across a modern creed formulated by Masai Christians in Africa. It is a beautiful re-writing of the creeds using the language and imagery of their culture. Several people asked for a copy of it so I put it here for all to read. Tell me what you think. Who you YOU say that Jesus is?

We believe in the one High God, who out of love created the beautiful world and everything good in it. He created man and wanted man to be happy in the world. God loves the world and every nation and tribe on the earth. We have known this High God in darkness, and now we know him in the light. God promised in the book of his word, the bible,
that he would save the world and all the nations and tribes.

We believe that God made good his promise by sending his son, Jesus Christ, a man in the flesh, a Jew by tribe,
born poor in a little village, who left his home and was always on safari doing good, curing people by the power of God, teaching about God and man, showing the meaning of religion is love. He was rejected by his people, tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died. He lay buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, he rose from the grave. He ascended to the skies. He is the Lord.

We believe that all our sins are forgiven through him. All who have faith in him must be sorry for their sins, be baptized in the Holy Spirit of God, live the rules of love and share the bread together in love, to announce the good news to others until Jesus comes again. We are waiting for him. He is alive. He lives. This we believe. Amen.


Maryanne said...

I haven't been on RCC's website in awhile and something prompted me to go there today. It might have been the fact that I was having one of those days where you wish you could go back to bed and start over again. The first thing I saw was the beautiful creed of the Masai Christians, and it touched my heart just as it did when we recited it during the service a few weeks ago. I grew up with "creeds" and prayers that were meant to be memorized but not necessarily understood and certainly not felt by the heart. For me, the Masai creed brings God to life. It helps me not just to believe in God, but to feel God. When we recited it in church a few weeks ago, I experienced one of those magical moments when all seems to be right with the world. And I realized, yes I DO believe. Thanks for posting this beautiful prayer.

dave longstreth said...

that was a great series, bill, thanks for the teachings.

Eddie Slayton said...

Great series, Bill. Good to see Riverside giving this kind of deeper teaching. After listening to a few, I wonder if you're more Anglican than you know or I'm more Pentecostal than I'd like to admit

Hey, it's all good . . . . . .

kathy said...

I really appreciated the "Anchor" series which I had been looking forward to because of several big committments I had made to follow Jesus and do his works.

I have prayed that I could convey to others the concept of "faith in the rescurrection" as the only requirement for salvation" ...yet make others understand their responsibility ("privilege") to follow Him in their Christian walk, rather than "works" through sacraments......the Anchors helped me do this.
Thank you