By now, if you are someone who makes New Year’s resolutions, you most likely have abandoned them or feel that you have failed. No judgment here. As the pastrix of COHR, I decided that a creed would be something I could write to better describe me and the Church of Holy Rebels. A creed is “a way of life”–following Jesus, the risen Christ–is a “way of life”. Your complete agreement or acceptance of this creed is not necessary to be a Holy Rebel. Freedom to disagree, discuss with kindness is yours. Simply stated, this is my 2020 New Year offering from COHR:
The Church of Holy Rebels Creed
I believe in a Divine One who is not created in my image.
I believe in an “Otherness” a “Holiness” a “Divinity” that I cannot fully grasp, understand, explain, contain, describe and be fully certain about.
I believe that this Divinity is a mystery that no doctrine or orthodoxy created by humanity can rightly own or perfectly practice.
I believe that divinity and holiness from the Divine One exists inside of me, and Christians name this the Holy Spirit as do I.
I believe that daily I must work to exercise, practice, fail, succeed and never give up to express the divinity and holiness that exists inside of me.
I believe that the exercising, practicing, failing, and succeeding of expressing divinity and holiness inside of me is in loving others as I love myself, in forgiving others when I can and moving on when I cannot, in having mercy for others, and in fighting injustice wherever it raises its ugly existence.
I believe the Bible is a collection of stories written mostly by Jewish men greatly influenced by Greek and Roman traditions, from ancient times in a culture and society far removed from the time and place I live, who were attempting to describe and explain their own and their community’s relationship with a “Divine One.”
I believe that many religions in this world work to connect with the “Divine One” and that the Christian religion does not have the best, sole, and unique claim to the “Divine One”.
I believe in the faith of Jesus. The faith he had to trust that the “Divine One” was at work inside of him, empowered, and informed him to make decisions that were countercultural and rebellious against the status quo or the “empire”. Faith that inspired him to believe, trust and to teach others to believe, trust that our life continues into eternity for us even when we physically die on this earth. He invites us, as his followers, to have the same faith.
I believe that each person decides to work to connect with the Divinity and Holiness inside of them and to respond to the “Divine One’s” pursuing us to connect with its Divinity and Holiness to be in partnership to help make creation—all of it—divine and holy.
I believe the “Church” has been completely hijacked by men and women seeking their own power and self-centered morality and today is a poor representation of what church is about— exercising, practicing, failing, and succeeding in expressing divinity and holiness inside of us through loving others as we love ourselves, as we forgive others when we can and moving on when we cannot, as we have mercy for others, and as we fight injustice wherever it raises its ugly existence.
I believe that the Divine One desires to be “one with us”, loves us continuously and unconditionally, to work to create church among us as the space where we love, respect, teach, confront one another with kindness, and free one another to work to experience the unconditional love of the Divine One.
I believe that humor, not taking myself too seriously, doubt, disagreement, uncertainty, openness, childlikeness, playfulness, kindness, mental and physical exercise, meditation, contemplation, prayer—communing with the Divine One, letting go, adventure seeking, curiosity, lifelong learning, becoming friends with people who are not like me, giving, receiving, being hospitable, welcoming, and optimistic are just some of the characteristics of living an abundant life.
I believe that hell is our choice of separation from the Divine One, and that the description of hell and our need to believe in hell—the description and existence of hell formed mainly by Dante’s “Inferno”, a novel and not what is in the ancient stories of the Bible—is a necessity to make people, especially Christians, feel good about being better than others.
I believe that colorful four letter words, used with discretion, are critical to being on the way to becoming closer to the Divine One.
I believe that who I am today is not who I will be tomorrow because the Divine One continues to desire to be one with me, and I continue to fail and to desire to grow closer to the Divine One.