Objections to the Nicene Creed?

In another post, the OP stated that he (a Mormon, whom profess to be Christian) was interested in joining the Catholic Church but objected to some things such as the Nicene Creed. I responded by asking him what specifically he did not agree with in the creed. I did not see a response, but it made me curious, what is it that a professed Christian would object to in the Nicene Creed?

Seems to me that the creed is the one thing (in addition to the NT) that all professed Christians should subscribe to. What is the objection?

*I 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.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Mormons fall outside of Nicene Christianity. They don’t believe in the Trinity, so obviously they wouldn’t like a Creed that affirms Trinitarian doctrine.

The Eastern Orthodox subscribe to the original Nicene Creed as it was infallibly written at the Council of Constantinople. They do not agree to the later Roman Catholic addition which they regard as an essential change to the creed.

There are lots of things in the faith that weren’t explicitly included in the original Nicene Creed. If the Fathers taught the Filioque, and they did, then doesn’t it follow immediately that it is true?

The problem is that in the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon 451AD a Definition of Faith was given (Including Pope Leo I) and consequences for teaching something different were also given:

Since we have formulated these things with all possible accuracy and attention, the sacred and universal synod decreed that no one is permitted to produce, or even to write down or compose, any other creed or to think or teach otherwise. As for those who dare either to compose another creed or even to promulgate or teach or hand down another creed for those who wish to convert to a recognition of the truth from Hellenism or from Judaism, or from any kind of heresy at all: if they be bishops or clerics, the bishops are to be deposed from the episcopacy and the clerics from the clergy; if they be monks or layfolk, they are to be anathematised.

It is useful to remember that the Nicene Creed was created as a litmus test for orthodoxy: to summarize the main points the universal church agreed on, and to sweep other Christians into anathema (previously there had just been grumbled theological disagreements, but one side could not definitively say the other was wrong).

Anyway, the Christians who were now called heretics would understandably not agree with the Nicene Creed. There are few cases where the lineage of these heretical groups has continued to this day, but some of the interpretations they held were picked up anew by later (mostly Protestant) groups.

Wow, I wasn’t aware of that nugget. From an Orthodox perspective, the Bishop of Rome wouldn’t have any special power to violate this canon. So presumably they felt the same when Paul VI released the Creed of the People of God.

Does that mean that you are anathematised if you say the creed any differently from how it was originally written? This seems to be a problem from the Eastern Orthodox POV, since a few hundred years later, Roman Catholics added the filioque to the creed.

Mormons object to “being of one substance”, rather, believing the the Persons of the Holy Trinity are distinct Gods. Their unity being one of purpose, not substance. They call this a Godhead, and have not used the word Trinity to describe their Godhead until more recent times (last 5 years or so). They do not believe in one God, but a “plurality of Gods” (their term).

The one holy catholic and apostolic church is also a hangup for LDS. Their foundational doctrine is that of a “great apostasy”, where the Church that Jesus established failed, needing a restoration, and of course their church is the restored church. All Christian churches are part and parcel of the “great apostasy”.

“one baptism”, is not a LDS theology. They do not accept the baptism of any non-Mormon, re-baptizing everyone who has not been baptized a Mormon. If a person is excommunicated from their church, re-baptism is required for full reinstatement as a member.

And last, the Catholic Church does not recognize LDS baptism as a valid baptism, and therefore not as a Christian religion. Their rejection of the Trinity, views of baptism (both the purpose and effectiveness), and other non-Christian beliefs put them outside of Christianity, as something not Christian. They view themselves as a Christian religion.

This is pretty spot on Rebecca, and is essentially what I was about to post. I think most LDS would say they could accept “Catholic and Apostolic Church” by reinterpreting the meaning of the words. They’d simply argue that the LDS Church is that Church (being “catholic” as in universal, and “apostolic” as being on the foundation of prophets and apostles).

I’d also add that there’s no way around Mormons being able to accept believing in "One God, the Father Almighty, ** Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.** The Mormon Godhead does not make anything, rather he organizes and reorganizes preexisting matter (which is coeternal) and begets preexisting intelligences into persons.

Yeah the ban was against changing the faith of the creed. Further we see this same ban put in effect more explicitly at ephesus speaking about the Nicene creed not the Nicene-Constantinople creed which we all say today.

If we take your understanding that it is not to change any words, then every christian today including the Eastern Orthodox are excommunicated for adding words to the creed.

Any proper reading will show you that the faith of the creed is what is being spoken of. That’s even acknowledged by most scholars today.

Obviously an ecumenical council can reformulate the discipline established by a previous council. That doesn’t mean any given bishop can do so, and in fact they are prohibited from doing so.

I would be interested in reading sources which support your claim that it was the faith of the Creed, not the chosen words, that was the subject of the Council of Chalcedon’s canon.

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