What does the Nicene Creed have to do with Christian Nursing?

What does faith in nursing have to do with the Nicene Creed? I say “a lot!” To better explain myself, I need to share with you my history with the Nicene Creed. If you have read  a previous blog posting on January 2013, you will see that Tove Giske asked me to contribute four Christian nursing articles for the Journal of Faith and Profession a journal published in Norway, 2012. While I was praying and thinking about the series of articles, I thought of the 4 essential concepts to Christian nursing: Faith, Compassion, Prayer and Excellence. These topics became the 4 articles with accompanying Bible studies. After their publication, I compiled the 4 together with international edits, etc to create  Our Faithful Journey in Nursing: A Teaching on Faith, Compassion, Prayer, and Excellence in Nursing (available as an eReader through Amazon).

It was while I was researching and writing the article on Faith, that I came across the Nicene Creed. My home church and denomination does not use any creed or written prayer as part of the liturgical service. I experienced the congregation reciting the creed as a statement of faith  when I attended other Christian services, like Catholic, etc.

Also, during this time around 2011-2012, I was researching and learning about the postmodern philosophy and culture exploding in the USA and other western societies. In a nut shell, postmodern philosophy denies absolutes, objectivity, and dogmatism to one of relativism, subjectivism, and tolerance. For Christians, who hold to a faith defined by Truth (big T–God) and obedience to rules, postmodern philosophy is in sharp contrast to our faith.

I have also been a student of world religions. I came from a Mormon back ground, explored various religions and philosophies during my ‘seeking’ years, as well as live and work in a melting pot of cultures, religions, and philosophies. All this to say, I seek to understand other people and their beliefs, as well as stay aware of how a simple interpretation of words in the Bible can be the basis for different religions and sects.

Okay… I admit I am getting long winded here, but the point is when you learn how various religions say who Jesus is and how that is different then Christianity, you become a life long student of the Nicene Creed. For example, Islam views Jesus as a prophet, etc.See  World Religion Chart for more information.

The Nicene Creed was written during a time (325 AD) when there was much dispute between the scholars and theologians about the Truth of Christianity. Who is God? Christ? Holy Spirit? What is salvation? and other BIG questions. Also, remember this was before the Bible or Scripture was available to everyone. The typical Christian went to church and memorized scripture, prayers, creeds, etc as a way to live their life and teach their family.

Okay…here is the point…The Nicene Creed is the basis of our Christian Faith and is a spiritual questionnaire of what each one of us truly believe. Here is the best online version I have found with scriptures supporting each statement Nicene Creed w/ Scripture .

So what does the Nicene Creed have to do with Faith in Nursing? Everything! stay tuned

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A Different Response to Gay Marriage

As I continue to watch the media regarding Christian businesses boycotting selling cakes and flowers to gay couples getting married, I wanted to provide a different perspective. Besides, when the Lord continues to tap on my heart and spirit, I know I need to say something.

To properly discuss this, I need to share some personal stories. For this issue is more than just about an institution, or sin it is about people.

As a nursing instructor I take nursing students into hospitals and teach them how to care for patients. Many years ago I met a wonderful nurse manager who was supportive and caring to my students. She was warm, friendly and that wonderful person you want to collaborate with for the best learning opportunity. She was also a lesbian. The year is 2008, and as a California resident, I was grappling with the issue of gay marriage head on. As a Christian who participates in our nation’s democratic process, I was not only praying for the election I was truly seeking God for his wisdom of how to respond to both Christians and non-Christians. The incident brought back a time when I first came into academics and met a professor who shared with me the “gay-bashing” him and his partner had faced. It was so horrible. They had uprooted their lives and moved to the Bay Area. All of this was stirring in my spirit and I was at a loss of how to respond, how to vote, and even at times how to pray. What could I do? What would Jesus do? How can I be a nurse and teach students about non-judgmental nursing care in the hospital, yet be hateful and rude in the community. I was dazed and confused and continued to pray, seeking the Lord’s wisdom. Since that time two things have spoken into my life and faith, that I use today as a barometer for these ethical and moral dilemmas:

–What if I am the only Jesus they see? In other words, what if Jesus Christ reflected through me is the only opportunity gays, lesbians, or anyone else have the chance to see him? What will they see? Judgment? Hate?

–The second was humility before God and his Word. When I stand before God and give an account of my life, I would rather say, “Lord, where I erred in following your ways, I erred in love.” When I am confronted with the challenges of living during this time, I have chosen love. From this simple, yet complex mysterious word comes kindness, gentleness, and other loving attributes of the Holy Spirit. Many times I fall short of being a caring, loving person and depend on the Holy Spirit to teach me how to walk and reflect his holiness.

Which leads me to my next perspective–I think the Christian Church, body of Christ is missing the boat. We are to be holy, not the world. I am not a theologian, nor do I have an M. Div (Pastor degree), but I have extensively studied the scripture. The Epistles, the New Testament letters, were written to the the Church. Here we see the apostles/disciples exhorting, encouraging, and guiding Christians in living out our faith. We are called to be holy, blameless, and loving; not the world. If there is a bandwagon to jump on, it is cleaning up the church. I will use my husband’s wise statement, “How can we expect the ungodly (those who don’t know God) to behave godly?” Even those who know God, don’t do a good job.

Final notes:

1. Don’t leave me a hateful message–I will delete it, for obviously you have missed the point.

2. As brothers and sisters in Christ embodied by the Holy Spirit, let’s commit to pray about the issue. I am not writing, because I am right. I am humbling seeking the Lord through prayer and scripture.

 

Verses: 1 John 4:8; 1 Corinthians 13:1-7; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 Timothy 6:11; James 3:13-18; Galatians 3:26-27