Creeds and Deeds

I visited my mom in Michigan this past week and attended church services with her - she is a life long member of the WELS Lutheran church. I was baptized and confirmed in it in my youth and naturally memorized all the creeds (well, not the Athanasian!). It has been years since I was at a WELS service, but was surprised to see that they had made some major changes to the Nicene Creed - I’m not talking about updating from “sitteth” to “sits” - but changes that were drastic enough I had to flip open my hymnal to follow along.

To me, “and became man” does not equal “fully human.” As a statement of faith, beginning the creed with “I believe” says something different from “We believe”.

I am just surprised and dismayed at the lurch toward modernism, updating for the sake of being gender neutral, or whatever impulses drove these changes. This looks to be another avenue of division between Christians. Are other denominations changing the wording (English) as well?

Pope Benedict updated the Nicene Creed translation we use in Mass, notably changing “one in being” to the more accurate “consubstantial” and changing the translation of Credo to “I believe” from “we believe” (which any first year Latin student can tell you is faaar more accurate). Maybe posting the earlier and newer versions, or some of the changes would help us determine why the change came about. “Fully human” from “and became man” seems to be motivated by gender-neutrality.

“We believe” is closer to the Greek, I read.

“And became fully human” is a silly addition, so is the “one holy Christian and apostolic church”, rather than “one holy catholic and apostolic church”.

I am not sure we are so concerned about gender neutrality though, as our denomination bars women from voting in church councils etc. And we take flack for it, but resolutely remain steadfast.

While the changes might annoy, they are appear to be orthodox - with te possible exception of “I believe…” to “We believe…” That irks me. The Creeds are personal statements of faith, albeit common ones shared by all orthodox Christians, but personal nonetheless.

House, any idea why your Synod made that switch? Did ELS follow y’all on that one?

The creeds are in the first-person singular in Latin: credo

They’re in the first-person plural in Greek: πιστευομεν…

Ah. I’m learning something new everyday.

Any idea when we Western Christians started professing in the first person? Has the Latin always differed from the Greek?

The Greek is the statement of faith made by the bishops gathered at Nicaea, thus “we believe” originally was showing the united faith of all the bishops. Over time, the creed became attached to the rite of baptism where an individual professed the same faith as the bishops did in Nicaea. This was obviously done 1) in the first person singular and 2) in Latin (as we are now into the Middle Ages), thus the difference. When the Church confesses the Creed in Greek, the second person plural is still used. When in Latin (or in languages translating the Missale Romanum, which is in Latin) the first person singular is used.

I have read someplace that the Council expressed its teaching as “We Believe …” to express their common agreement. When an individual recites the Creed, he is expressing his personal commitment, not just reciting Church teaching, thus “I Believe….”.

In the LCMC in this city the women could vote but many opted out not top for what they stated were Biblical reasons.
Mary.

I do realize that language useage does change over time - when I memorized the Creeds, Lord’s Prayer, etc it was all “thee” “thou” and “thy.”

And thanks for the good information on the difference between the Latin and the Greek; at least that is understandable.

For those who asked, here is the updated version I was referring to:

NICENE CREED

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and became fully human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who in unity with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

I assume the Wisconsin Synod uses the same hymnal that the LCMS. Does that mean that “holy Christian” replaces “holy Catholic”? If so, it is yet another example of Protestant influence among Lutherans who should know better and so out of sync with the rest of the Lutheran Communion. :rolleyes:

Nope. WELS commissioned their own hymnal, and AFAIK, still uses the good ol’ 1941 The Lutheran Hymnal.

Approximately 80% of LCMS congregations use the Lutheran Service Book (also known as the LSB, below), while the other 20% or so use either the ol’ 1941 The Lutheran Hymnal or the 1982 Lutheran Worship.
http://www.gracedyer.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2006-Lutheran-Service-Book.jpg

While dropping “catholic” for “Christian” is rather silly, it doesn’t alter the meaning of the Creed. Singing hymns to some pagan ‘Mother God’ and altering the creeds to accommodate hyperfeminism, on the other hand, is quite bad. Now, tell me. Which communion is out of sync with Confessional Lutheranism?

No, the LCMS hymnal has the older version and uses a completely different hymnal. I was just really surprised when I started saying the Creed last Sunday, and was so out of sync with the WELS congregation. I always thought of the Creeds as being sort of unchanging (yes yes, I know - TRADITION) and served as a creedal “handshake” between generations of Christians.

I hope I’m not guilty of some sort of creedal idolatry here :slight_smile: I just wish they had left it alone.

And I hope the LCMS has the sense to pass over the gender neutral language for the creeds anyway. Surely, people can figure out that “man” doesn’t necessarily mean exclusive male gender.

Don’t know. I am pretty new to the synod and Lutheranism in general.

I actually prefer “we believe” but that’s just me.

And I would prefer “one holy catholic” instead of “one holy Christian”

Not enough to nail my grievances to the church door or anything.

Gotcha. No biggie, just wondering.

Also, glad you’ve found a home in a sound, Confessional Lutheran body.

Changing “Catholic” to “Christian”, and “I” to “We” in the creed is small potatoes compared to the synods that have declared homosexual unions to be blessed by God, ordained female and homosexual pastors and bishops, etc.

They are the out of sync ones.

Nope. WELS commissioned their own hymnal, and AFAIK, still uses the good ol’ 1941 The Lutheran Hymnal.

Approximately 80% of LCMS congregations use the Lutheran Service Book (also known as the LSB, below), while the other 20% or so use either the ol’ 1941 The Lutheran Hymnal or the 1982 Lutheran Worship.

Yep. Still got the time signatures in there and everything.

While dropping “catholic” for “Christian” is rather silly, it doesn’t alter the meaning of the Creed. Singing hymns to some pagan ‘Mother God’ and altering the creeds to accommodate hyperfeminism, on the other hand, is quite bad. Now, tell me. Which communion is out of sync with Confessional Lutheranism?

I don’t know how this is even allowed in the denomination, it’s not like the denominational leadership can claim they don’t know this is going on?

Predictably, you resort to the worse case scenario whenever the Missouri Synod is criticized. I can easily trade parish for parish of examples of embarrassing Lutheran congregations if that is where you want to go.

Does the LCMS use the word “Catholic” or “Christian” in the ecumenical creeds? And if the Missouri Synod and it’s sister body, the Wisconsin Synod prefer to use the word “Christian” despite historic and Lutheran precedent for using the original language used by Methodist and Presbyterians churches, then what does that say for so-called “Confessional Lutheranism”? The LCMS left the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue, refused to sign the Joint Declaration on Justification [that even the Methodist Church agrees with] and still embraces 'church growth" protestantism.

Sorry steido01 but your Synod is considered on the periphery of what it means to be a Lutheran.

Is anyone else enjoying listening to the Lutherans arguing over which synod is the “real Lutheranism”? It reminds me of a joke…

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over. (original source)

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