Baptists don't exactly do creeds. And I mean creeds as in statements of faith, not creeds as in Creed the band because I don't think anyone is about that Creed anymore. Old school baptist thought is not one that makes a person subscribe to a written statement of beliefs in order to be part of the fellowship. I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly. But I do think creeds are a good way of expressing what we believe in a way that stretches back through the history of the Church.
Before I embark on this "Speak More Freely" series (introduction here), I want to affirm the things that I believe alongside the Church. The following is the Apostle's Creed as it appears in the Church of England's Common Worship:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
The wording isn't perfect. Though God the Creator is frequently referred to as "Father" throughout scripture, the language in the creed gives the impression that God is a guy while I believe that God is neither male nor female. But that's a quibble. And I realize quibbling with ancient Christians is a bit arrogant.
Yet I believe these things. Do I have doubts about parts of this creed sometimes? Sure. But most everyday I can look at these things that have formed the basis for basic Christian orthodoxy and I can say, "I believe."
Even more than a grouping of words, I believe in God and I believe in God as revealed to us by Jesus. I believe that when we look at Jesus then we can know what God is like. Even when I struggle with so many other things, I believe in Jesus Christ.