Recently, while professing the Nicene Creed at Mass I reflected how years of reciting Saint Peter's sermon (Acts 2) has changed my attitude about life.
A common word in the first sentence among the four predominant paragraphs of The Profession of Faith articulate centuries of what Christians believe and affirms what I believe IN.
For example, when I say, “I believe in…” versus "I believe that..." a definitive belief is being claimed. An important clue here is the phrase, " I believe in..." as the tone is motivational, passionate, and inspiring. As a result, a clear understanding of what is believed is evident.
Watch out! Believing in will change people. For those who have known me a while know my behavior is different than when I was younger. Friends, family, and colleagues have all turned heads. Complicated? Na.
For me, when I say, “I believe that...” it borders a less meaningful certainty and hints toward a deficiency of confidence. The difference between “believing that” and “believing in” is noted by a decisive response with the later. In other words, I might say, "I believe that I can swim across the lake" but the likelihood of me acting on that statement is low. The word, “that” in the statement is a clue that I might not be so sure.
On the other hand, when I say “I believe in” while reciting the Nicene Creed, I am committing to the oath based on cherished convictions close to my heart and mind. Challenging enough, trust is also affiliated to the action of believing in as my decisions about living a life with Christ intertwines with The Creed. I trust in the history of the Church and its proclamation (325 A.D). Just like the Fathers of our faith during antiquity, a communal promise is made among the faithful and therefore requires belief and trust in the community.
Now for readers that may claim this blog is more about semantics than faith, I say, “Believe in me”. My approach towards writing this narrative is making you a believer and does not relinquish the fact that when I make a statement about what I believe in; it is founded in a deep relationship with God the Father, his only Son Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit and abides in the Apostolic Church. Amen.