There are some things that are non-negotiable, and by that I mean those things that make Christianity what it truly is. When Christians make a common confession assenting to the essentials of the Christian faith there is no room for negotiation. Christianity is particularly Trinitarian, particularly exclusive, and particularly redemptive through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no room for negotiation. Either God exists eternally in three persons, and either Jesus is the only way to God, and either Jesus provides the only access to God, and either Jesus rose from the dead, or Christianity is a lie. This is the sum and substance of the creedal Christianity that has existed for almost two millennia. This is the faith that Christians have believed and that Christians do believe. It will do no good to embrace a faith that has no substance, and to hold close that which bothers to carry no theological and biblical conviction. Christianity is substantive. Christianity is authoritative. Words mean things and ideas have consequences. We didn’t get here all by ourselves. What this means is that to truly be Christian we align ourselves with those that have gone before us. This is the faith once and for all delivered to us. We are not the beginning and neither are we the end. This is the faith for which men and women have died. This is not cheap easy-believe-ism. This is the faith that transforms. This is the faith for which martyrs have died. This is the faith which may cost you your life. We may come and we may go, but this is the faith that will endure. The temptation is to negotiate. The temptation is to acquiesce. Resist the spirit of the age. Resist the enticement to compromise. Believe. Believe this:
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 and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there 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. Amen.
- The Apostles Creed, 390 AD
*that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places
-DJM, New Years Eve, 2015