Tuesday, November 12

The Athanasian Creed
Whoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith.
Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity.
Neither confounding the Persons nor diving the Substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
As there are not three Uncreated nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty.
And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and Holy Ghost Lord.
And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord.
So we are forbidden by the catholic religion to say, There be Three Gods or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons, one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another;
But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and coequal, so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
He therefore, that will be saved must think thus of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believes faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;
God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world;
Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood;
Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ:
One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God;
One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.
For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ;
Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead;
He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give an account of their own works.
And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.
This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

That gives me chills.

Friday, November 8

Most people thrive only inside a stable culture. This fact is particularly apparent to me this week as our company experiences the effects of a massive reorganization. People desperately want to be working in an environment that is known and stable and reliable, even if it is not particularly amenable to them individually. In the same vein, people live with oppressive governments because, in spite of their faults, the rules are well-known and they are stable.

I am beginning to conclude that people are made for stability; that it is a characteristic we as a species were made for. God is a God of great order and made a world that has tremendous diversity inside high stability. (I am also learning to type on one of these funky split keyboards and it forces me to use the correct hand when I type various characters - like "B" - which I usually do with the wrong hand.)

People have a great capacity to ignore upheaval in the world around them in order to carry on with their daily lives. I see it here at work during this re-org and I see it in the lives of people who live through war. Something amazing happened in Britain during the blitz – the people kept doing their lives. We have marveled at their resiliency, but I am beginning to suspect that, more than anything, they were acting very human. We do not handle chaos very well, we tend toward stability of some kind, even if it is personally very costly, even if we would individually have more freedom in slightly more anarchic conditions. I suspect that is why many have derisively concluded that freedom scares many people. The jury – in my mind anyway – is still out on the question of whether or not that is a characteristic that deserves scorn, but I do think it is undoubtedly true that we prefer the stability of slavery to the chaos of freedom. Or at least the perceived chaos of freedom.

Perhaps that is part of the challenge – to create an environment that is both free and stable. I suspect the founding fathers understood this need of man very well, for we see them constantly working to create environments that were stable AND free. Most governments tend towards control and stability at the expense of freedom, a few try freedom without regard for control and this makes people very uncomfortable. I can begin to have an appreciation for people who trade freedom for stability, although I still think it is a bad trade. Most people are not capable of working with a rolling deck under their feet. As I get older and lose some of my adventurous spirit, the lure of stability becomes stronger. I must never give in to the siren song of stability at the price of freedom. The two are not antithetical, but it takes a great leader to provide both. In today’s business climate, people are probably prone to go with control and stability because freedom is so scary. Enron and WorldCom look like too much freedom, but that is only true if you believe that freedom and stability are antithetical.

God created a world order that is both free and stable. And that's the kind of world I prefer.