Unfortunately, there aren’t many things that unify Christians.
It’s easy to list things that divide us (baptism, communion, music, liturgy, hierarchy, and on and on…), but the things that unify us are few and far between. One of those few things is the Apostle’s Creed. It’s one of the earliest statements of faith that centers on the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Christians all over the world say it in unity together (With the exception of “debts” vs. “trespasses”. See, we can’t even agree on that!) as it focuses us on our one faith found in the triune God. Three times in the creed we say,
“I believe in God, the Father Almighty…”
“I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son…”
“I believe in the Holy Spirit…”
So back at the beginning of the year, John Dickson, Director of the Centre for Public Christianity in Australia sent out a tweet into the online world. He was hoping to turn something that divides the church (MUSIC!) into something that unifies us. It was in this spirit that he wrote,
Later, John expanded on his 140 character thought…“I just thought a song that really was reminiscent of the Apostles’ Creed, that covered its main points, would be a beautiful way of calling modern churches to reflect on the foundation of the faith that unifies us.”
So the team at Hillsong did just that. Ben Fielding, one of the writers, took the assignment seriously and headed back to scripture to find a biblical basis for the song. Ben writes,
“Romans 10, says,
‘If we believe in our hearts that Jesus rose from the dead and we confess with our mouths that He is Lord, we will be saved.’
There is a power when what we believe in our hearts is brought together with the confession of our lips.”
So as we start 2015, we are going to sing this song every week. It’s a reminder of the core of the faith. It’s a call to find what unifies believers and then work together to build the Kingdom of Jesus Christ across cultures, languages, nations, ethnicities and denominations.
After hearing the finished song, John Dickson commented,
“I can well imagine, right across the spectrum of denominations, people singing this and going, “Wow, this is the core. This is what unites us—the Father, Son, Spirit with a focus on the work of the Son on the cross for us.””
This I believe.
*Thanks to the Hillsong Blog for the quotes in this post!
**John Dickson is a great thinker. If you want to read something else he has written, check out his insightful book, Humilitas.