We do believe


We do believe. We are right when we say that we are believers. But when we assert that we are believers, we have  also the responsibility to  answer a supplementary  question. What do we believe in?  Unless and until  we  answer this question in a  satisfactory  manner, we cannot say that  we have overcome the   great  chasm that  separates a  believer  from a  non-believer.

To start with,  every religion and every philosophy provide something solid for their  followers to  believe. Those who believe in God have  their faith in  an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient supernatural power. Those who  profess atheism, in fact believe in the human power that drives this  world.  There are others for whom science  is  god. They  surrender their free will to this god  of their own making. 

But there is a  certain gray area  in the  field of  faith. Unfortunately we  ignore it  conveniently, and  do not bother much about the nuances and intricacies of  the  basics of our faith. We simply take it for granted.  If not addressed properly, this will land us in an unenviable situation  where  a  fierce internal struggle between what we know  and  what  we should know awaits us. This confusion, or rather ambivalence in matters of faith is one of the reasons for  many of  us   failing to  confess our faith in its fullness.

For a Christian, there should not be  any dearth of  clarity as to what  he or she believes in.  We have our  Creed, a   beautiful profession of  the  faith.  What all things  we believe as Christians are stated in the  Creed in unequivocal terms.

The Apostles’ Creed  opens  with the   confession of our  faith  in  God the Father.

 ‘I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.’

It is as simple as it looks. Our faith is in a God who is  almighty, who is our Father and  who is the author of creation.  We have no issues with  it  at the theoretical level. But when  we are asked to  make this  belief the  cornerstone of  our  Christian life, it is  not as  simple as we think.  Because faith in a  god  as   confessed in the  Creed forbids us from believing in many other things.

We cannot believe that  this universe is not a  created one. We cannot believe that there are  more than one gods. We should  confess that  God is our Father. It  follows that we are His children. If we are  children, then we are  created in  his image and likeness.  If He is our father, He has  every right to  discipline us. As a good father, it is  in His domain to  decide what is  good and  what is  bad for us. We, the children of  God, are supposed to be  obedient to our Father just the same way good children do.

If God is our Father, the Earth cannot be  our mother. Any teaching elevating the  earth to the status of  a deity is totally alien to  Christian faith. We have no  semi-gods or demigods. We have only one God!

If God is the   creator of  heaven and earth, nothing can exist without or beyond God. In other words, it is He who decides the  destiny of everything that He  created. If we  believe in such  a god, we cannot associate ourselves with  organizations having a soft corner for atheism, nor can we subscribe to any school of  thought that  professes that  man himself is god.  We should admit that  there always exists a  certain  separation  between the  Creator and  the created. Man can never  become God, because   it is beyond our  capabilities to be  like God. Any attempt towards this  direction will ruin us and jeopardize our salvation. This is the  biggest danger in  following   New Age philosophies. They try to highlight the  power of individual human beings, giving little  space for divine intervention, and exhort their followers to  realize the power that is within them so as to  elevate themselves to the  divine realm. But we know that there are no shortcuts to  perfection, because only God is perfect. We cannot  become gods nor can  we   author our destiny. If anybody tells you that the  immense power that is  contained within us, once unleashed, will take us to a level of  spiritual enlightenment  that was hitherto unknown, it is a lie. It is the  marketing strategy of  the devil whose pet theme  always has been  to build a  heaven  without  God!

Though we cannot  become gods, God can  become  man, because he is omnipotent. If our belief is in such a god, then there should be  no doubt in our  minds that  God did come to us  in flesh. This is the reason  we   confess our  faith in the   incarnate Word  immediately after  professing our faith  in God the Father while reciting the    Creed.

What we  see and  experience is a  created  world. Since it has a beginning, it should have an end too. Any philosophy that  tells us that this  universe will exist forever is diametrically opposite to what Christians  should  believe.

Our God is omniscient, and the  knowledge of the divine realm is reserved for Him and Him alone. We are not authorized to  seek this  knowledge until heaven permits us. We have  before us the  experience of a woman and her husband who desired to know  forbidden things. The poison  of desire for the   forbidden is in our veins too as we are  their progeny.

Idols are  nothing before  our God. They have mouths, but do not speak. They have eyes, but do not see.  So a true believer has nothing to do with idols. We should not make any idols for ourselves. Money and wealth  should not  substitute   God in our mind. There is  no scope for  worshiping  two gods simultaneously.

Satan is an usurper by nature. He knows that  he can never occupy  the original throne of God. If you worship Satan, or are in any way lenient towards things demonic, you are far from the   faith that we  confess in the Creed. Sorcery and witchcraft with all its ancillaries are anathema to a believer. Worshiping the  elements or the  powers of  nature goes against  our  faith in  the true  God.  When we give importance to  superstitions, we are  far from  our belief in an omnipotent God. When we value someone more than God, we make him or her another god and  place this  idol in our  heart, which unfortunately does not have  the space to accommodate two gods. The result will be  the exit of  the true God   from our heart. When we try to  please others by  diluting  our faith in the true God, we are denying the  uniqueness of   God, because God will never permit His glory to be shared with others. Religious syncretism, in all its forms, is a direct attack against the  faith in one God, creator of  heaven and earth. Sadly, man sacrifices the  faith in  God the Father, who created heaven and the earth, at the  altar of   religious syncretism for pleasing his  neighbors.

Pride is a sin that  goes directly against the  belief  in the  omnipotence of God. A man of arrogance thinks that  he can do anything by his own   power. To recite the  Creed sincerely  means shunning arrogance and  humbling ourselves before God.

Knowledge is  good.  But when  mixed with arrogance,  it becomes a dangerous and  highly poisonous  concoction. The knowledge that  God is all powerful did not help Satan, because  his arrogance prevented him from  offering the   worship   due to  God.

Let us  say proudly: ‘I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth’. And at the same time  let us not forget that the confession of our faith  in  this God casts upon us the responsibility to   flee from anything that contradicts our faith.

Let us thank our Father with words borrowed from Jesus. ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants’ (Mt 11:25).  Because the  faith in ‘God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth’ is reserved  for those who are infants in spirit.