Monday Miscellany, 6/17/24

Monday Miscellany, 6/17/24 June 17, 2024

Baptists consider adopting the Nicene Creed.  Opinions are changing on transgenderism. And taking your parents to a job interview.

Baptists Consider Adopting the Nicene Creed

Southern Baptists have been considering adding the Nicene Creed to their official statement of faith.  A proposal to do so was presented at the church body’s annual convention in Indianapolis.  Another motion suggested also adding the Apostles’ Creed and the Athanasian Creed.  Both motions were punted to the Executive Committee.

For Baptists to even consider adopting the historic creeds is remarkable.  It reflects a larger trend of evangelicals looking to the early church and historic Christianity–even to St. Thomas Aquinas!–for guidance and to make their theology more robust.

Baptists have traditionally said, “No creed but the Bible!”  But the need to be explicit about exactly what they think the Bible teaches has led to the adoption of a statement of faith called the Baptist Faith and Message.  But that’s all a creed is, a statement of faith and message!  Historic creeds are extremely good statements of faith and message, both because of their profundity and succinctness and because they provide continuity with Christ’s church through the ages.

The Baptist initiative would add to their Faith and Message document an article affirming the Nicene Creed, with perhaps the others.  The main purpose would be to strengthen the denomination’s affirmation of the Trinity and the Deity of Christ.  The main Baptist objection to these creeds, from what I can gather, is the statement of belief in the “holy catholic church.”  Creeds seem “too Catholic” anyway to most Baptists, and even if they know the term means “universal,” it still sounds too much like allegiance to the Church of Rome.  (We Lutherans just translate away the problem, following a pre-Reformation practice in the German of rendering the meaning as “Christian”:  we believe in the “holy Christian church,” meaning all Christians universally.)

I would think the bigger problem with the Nicene Creed for Baptists would be “I
acknowledge
one
Baptism
for
the
remission
of
sins.”  Despite their names, Baptists have a very low view of baptism, seeing it as just as an act of obedience for church membership.  In the words of the Baptist Faith and Message,  “it is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith” and “a church ordinance”–they don’t even use the word sacrament–that “is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.”  I don’t see how a Baptist, while still being a Baptist, could acknowledge the connection of baptism to the remission of sins  as we Lutherans, as well as Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, do.

Then again, Calvinists also affirm the Nicene Creed, though I am pretty sure they don’t believe that baptism brings the forgiveness of sins either.  I’m sure they have a way of interpreting that part of the creed so that it accords with their theology.  (Calvinist readers, please say what that is in the comments.)  I once visited a Reformed church that included the baptism of an infant, but before the rite the minister explained to the congregation that this child was not really being “saved,” but that this was being done in hope that he would “accept Christ” when he got older.  Which put a damper on the proceedings.

Opinions Are Changing on Transgenderism

Contrary to common assumptions, not all change is in a progressive direction.  The acceptance of transgenderism, after shooting up from out of nowhere a few years ago, is now going down.

According to a recent Pew report, in 2017 only a scant majority of Americans, 53%, believed that gender is determined at birth.  Today nearly two-thirds of Americans, 65%, believe that.

Breaking it down by political affiliation, in 2017, 79% of Republicans believed that “sex assigned at birth determines gender” (Pew researchers still talk that way), which means that one out of five, 21%, did not.  But today, 91% believe biology determines gender.

Democrats are much more open to transgender ideology, but some of them have also changed their position.  In 2017, only 30% believed in the connection between biological sex and gender.  Today 39% do.

In related news, the Biden administration’s Department of Education had issued a ruling stating that when Title IX of the Civil Rights Law forbids discrimination on the basis of “sex,” that includes “gender identity.”  But a federal judge has ruled that the administration has no authority to make that addition to the law.

Taking Your Parents to a Job Interview

I have heard of job applicants bringing their parents with them to the interview, but I had no idea that the practice was so wide-spread.

A study has found that 26% of  “Zoomers” (members of Generation Z, aged 12 to 27) have brought their parents to a job interview.  Of those, 37% of the parents waited in the office, 26% sat in the room where the interview was taking place, and 7% answered questions for their son or daughter.

Though adult children depending on their parents to such an extent may seem pathetic–as does parents hovering over their adult children at the very moment they are launching out on their own–there is a silver lining.

At least these children, unlike other generations, are evidently not embarrassed by their parents, not cringing at their very presence.  And, as one expert quoted in an article about this phenomenon said, Generation Z “values the guidance and experience that parents can undoubtedly provide.”   That’s something towards the recovery of the Commandment about honoring one’s father and mother.

But the parents would do well to use their wisdom and guidance to teach their children, once they are old enough to apply for jobs, to function as adults.

 

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