Rod Dreher

“To live is Christ; to die is gain.” — St. Paul, martyr, to the Phillippians.
“Hold the crucifix up before my eyes so I may see it until I die.” — Joan of Arc, at her martyrdom by fire.
“I have seen Christians in Communist prisons with fifty pounds of chains on their feet, tortured with red-hot iron pokers, in whose throats spoonfuls of salt had been forced, being kept afterward without water, starving, whipped, suffering from cold–and praying with fervor for the Com­­munists. This is humanly in­explicable! It is the love of Christ, which was poured out in our hearts.” — Richard Wurmbrand, Evangelical pastor and prisoner of the communist government in Romania.
“When Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor and martyr of the Nazis.

A Creed for the Twenty-First Century
I believe in God, I guess
well no. I am pretty sure.
I do believe in God.
I don’t know
who God is
what God is
how God is
I believe in God.
I guess.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I guess.
well, I believe in Jesus,
God-born man,
my brother, friend and guide.
Yes, I believe in Jesus.
But as for Christ
anointed one
I do, I guess, believe in Christ,
But wonder
How? and why ?and what?
So I believe in Jesus Christ.
I guess.
Do I believe in Holy Spirit?
well I guess.
For something
part of me yet not,
inborn yet not of me
Something makes me yearn
and search and open
something quite
against my will,
and that, perhaps, is Holy Spirit.
So I believe in Holy Spirit.
I guess.

Sister Sue Elwyn, contemporary Anglican nun.
UPDATE: Let me add a bit of explanation. I don’t read this “credo” ironically; I think Sister Sue means it as a straightforward statement of the amorphous nature of her belief. I could be wrong, and will happily post a clarification here if someone provides it. I did take “spaghetti-spined” out of the title because I don’t want to be in the business of name-calling, and I apologize for using it. The point I am trying to make by juxtaposing this “credo” with the other quotes is that insofar as the nun’s creed is a statement of the quality of faith in the 21st century, then the faith will likely die out, because there’s nothing there to believe in. I have in mind not a theological point, necessarily, but a sociological one. Ideas have consequences, as we all know. I find it hard to imagine how the civil rights protesters could have endured all that they did without a more solid, rooted faith. (This is not, I hasten to add, a liberal vs. conservative point; a social-justice oriented Christian friend of mine, a Democrat in politics, was pointing out the other day how stark the Bible’s commandments are to serve the poor, and how unseriously we Christians take those ideas as a guide to conduct. I think he’s right.)care-bears.jpg

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus