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Word Magazine October 1958 Page 5
The Orthodox Christian approach to life for
salvation of the soul
I BELIEVE . . .
Compiled by: Father Michael Welborn
St. Elijah’s Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I BELIEVE that there is one God, who created heaven and earth: I believe that there are three Persons in God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: that all three Persons are distinct and equal in all things: that God has a deep concern for my welfare.
I BELIEVE that the Father Almighty out of nothing created both spiritual and corporeal creatures, namely, the Angels, then the world, and finally man. I believe that God takes care of all created things, preserves them, upholds them and governs them, so that there neither is nor can be anything that happens without God’s will or permission.
I BELIEVE that it is most helpful to make the Sign of the Cross often and devoutly, because as a three-in-one sign it is a reminder of Jesus dying on it and arising from the dead to redeem us from sin.
I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus Christ came down from heaven and took human nature while remaining God..
I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ lived, suffered, and died to redeem me from my sins, and opened the gates of heaven which had been closed to me by the sin of my first parents, Adam and Eve.
I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, by his own power and reunited His Soul to His Body to live again in His human nature, immortal and glorious, as the promise and guarantee of our resurrection: that Jesus Christ ascended from this earth into heaven.
I BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, equal in all things to the Father and to the Son. I believe that the Holy Spirit came down visibly upon the Apostles on Pentecost: that He confirmed them in their faith and filled them with the fullness of all gifts, so that they might preach the Gospel and spread the Church throughout the whole world.
I BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father as the Creed says in its original form. I believe that the Holy Spirit will guide my Orthodox Church without error in the way of truth and love until the end of time.
I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ will come again at the end of the world, for a Last Judgment to reward me or punish me, according to the good or evil I have done in this life. I believe that the chief purpose of my life is to give glory to God and to save my immortal soul.
I BELIEVE that our first parents, Adam and Eve, lost their original state of union with God, together with other marvelous gifts of grace and nature because of pride and disobedience; that they became subject to concupiscence and death, and that through original sin, we have
inherited the effects of their sin.
I BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit begins the work of saving and sanctifying my soul by incorporating me into Christ through grace; that He gives me life, knowledge, virtue and the will do good and avoid evil. I believe that the principal way of acquiring these graces in through prayer and the sacraments.
I BELIEVE that a Christian is a person baptized into the Mystical Body of Christ; that henceforth, he becomes a follower of Christ; 1) by professing entire faith of Christ and 2) by striving before God and neighbor to keep the law of Christ according to his state of life. I believe that God created me to know Him, to love Him, and serve Him so that after death, I might possess God and thus be happy with Him forever.
I BELIEVE that my success in life depends not on amassing wealth or on winning honor but on my serving God and neighbor. I believe that it will avail me nothing to gain the whole world, if I suffer the loss of my own soul.” I believe that I am put in this life to live at peace with God and my fellowman, and to perform my duties to the best of my abilities. I believe that I must rise above the evils of the world to God, for Whom I was created.
I BELIEVE that I have a revealed CREED to believe, a Christian CODE to live, and a CULT to worship God. I believe that Sunday use of the Service Book is a review of my Christian belief and practice and a most practical way to worship God at Mass.
I BELIEVE that Jesus always has “compassion on the crowd.” I believe that spiritual depression is the root of all our misery on earth; that social envy, discontent, greed, lack of justice and charity become widespread in private and public life when men fail to seek first “the kingdom of God and His justice.” I believe that only Jesus, by the example of His Human Life and the strength of His Divine Grace, can supply the incentive necessary to realize the principle of justice and charity.
I BELIEVE that emphasis should be placed, both by prayer and action, on keeping respect for the dignity of labor by a decent living wage; on the rights of a business man to a reasonable profit, on upholding religious and political liberty; on restoring God to our schools of learning. I believe that the Orthodox teaching concerning justice and charity should be given more publicity and translated into modern activities of labor, government, education and home life. I believe that Jesus Christ will save society in the way of social justice, only through His Church, which is the Kingdom of God on earth.
I BELIEVE that if the majority of individuals kept His Commandments; if families became again what He wishes them to be; if men, inspired and assisted by His Sacrifice, loved service to one another, there would be prosperity within nations and peace among nations. I believe that personal reform necessarily leads to social reform; that any other type of social reform winds up in failure.
I BELIEVE that Christ established only one Church, to which he wishes all men to belong. I believe that the one true Church which Christ founded exists today and will continue to exist until the end of time. That the Orthodox Faith is for all people without distinction of race, nationality, or color; that it is my duty and privilege to help spread this Faith to all men.
I BELIEVE that the Orthodox is the one true Church. I believe that the Orthodox Church is the only living, infallible guide which can lead me to eternal life. I believe that the Orthodox Church has the right and duty to preserve unalloyed the teaching of Jesus Christ, and to preach it to every creature.
I BELIEVE that the Orthodox Church is not a mere organization, but a living organism; that it is the very Mystical Body of Christ; to the Church He says: “He who hears you, hears Me.” I believe that it is not enough for me to be a member of the Orthodox Church in order to save my soul alone, but that I must live in accordance with the teaching of the Church.
I BELIEVE that I must assist at Mass every Sunday and on the 12 Great Feasts; that to be habitually late to Mass is sinful and disrespectful to God; that only serious illness or extreme distance should ever keep me from Mass on the above days. I believe I should keep the required four fasts each year; that I should pay proper respect to the Reverend Clergy and especially to my own Father Confessor.
I BELIEVE I should make Penitential Confession to an Orthodox priest and receive Holy Communion at least once each year; that I must not attend the religious meetings of heretics or schismatics except for the baptism, marriage or funeral of the non-Orthodox; that I should pray God constantly and always for His mercy upon every estate of man.
I BELIEVE that I should observe such Regulations as Bishop may appoint; that I should support the welfare of the Orthodox Church and of my local parish in particular; that I should refrain from celebrating marriage in any way except as the Orthodox Church directs.
I BELIEVE that it cannot be a matter of indifference to which church I belong. I believe that since Christ established one Church, I am not free to belong to any other, that I cannot conscientiously say that one religion is as good as another. I believe that, nevertheless, all those outside the Church through no fault of their own, will be saved if they follow their conscience and do not die in sin.
I BELIEVE that those who are honestly ignorant of the true religion are not thereby condemned by God. I believe that those will be lost who are convinced that the Orthodox religion is the true religion, and yet refuse to embrace it. This is what I mean when I say: “Outside the Orthodox Church there is no salvation.”