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January 4, 2022
March 21, 2024

A Better Creed

Have you seen the yard signs around Austin? The ones that say, “Black lives matter, Women’s rights are human rights, Science is real, Love is love,” and so on? For many these sentences make up a new kind of secular creed—a set of beliefs that bind people together and are put forth as a way of living.

All of these values seemingly stem from a passion for the ideals of unity, compassion, and justice. For those who hold these lawn-displayed beliefs to be self-evident, they are putting forth this creed because they feel that other belief systems, including Christianity, aren’t doing an adequate job at promoting positive values of love, charity, honesty, kindness, and others. This creed is their call to a higher and more loving worldview.

And we, as believers, can feel sheepish and ill-equipped to engage conversations with those who hold to the Secular Creed above the Apostle’s Creed. We can hear their claims and wonder if they are more relevant and altruistic than the truths we see from God in the Bible. Are their beliefs more compelling and loving than the claims of Scripture? Does God’s Word offer a greater and more enduring hope for mankind?

One of the saddest realities for humanity today is that we simply do not see or understand the message of God through the Bible. Our own biblical illiteracy and hardness of heart causes us to miss the clear and unwavering heart of God to define and deliver good things to His people, a heart clearly displayed through the Bible. Because we cannot (or will not) see Him as He reveals Himself in His Word, we believe He is lacking. We believe He is outdated and that we have outpaced Him in progress.This is the same error the first humans made in the Garden of Eden, the tendency to distrust God’s goodness is still a seed we all carry in our hearts even today.  

But the God of the Bible cannot be outpaced in goodness. He IS goodness and all other goodness comes from Him (James 1:17). If there is dignity, it was bestowed by Him. If we know of justice, mercy, and compassion it is because He wrought them within us from His own character. There is no higher call to love than the call to be loved by God and love others as He loved us.

Author and speaker, Rebecca McLaughlin, has written The Secular Creed: Engaging Five Contemporary Claims for Christians who feel unmoored when they come face-to-face with the secular creed. A book she hopes will instill a confident and compassionate conviction within us as we show the world that God is more loving than they could ever have imagined. Below is an excerpt from the book’s description:

“Black lives matter. Love is love. Gay rights are civil rights. Women’s rights are human rights. Transgender women are women. You may have seen signs like this in your neighborhood. They offer us an all-or-nothing package deal—in short, a secular creed. In this book, Rebecca McLaughlin helps us disentangle the beliefs Christians gladly affirm from those they cannot embrace, and invites us to talk with our neighbors about the things that matter most. Far from opposing love across difference, McLaughlin argues, Christianity is the original source and firmest foundation for true diversity, equality, and life-transforming love.”

If we cannot see the beauty of God through His Word, it’s not because God has ceased to be beautiful, it’s because we have exchanged true beauty for a golden mirror—one where goodness looks more like us and less like Him. Our greatest service to a world desperate for love and beauty is to turn away from our mirrors and, together with them, to behold the Source of all the good we are after—to believe the better creed.

Article Details

Val Hamilton
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Austin Stone Institute