Lemuel K. Washburn: “Creeds”

This is the age of revision. Churches are all hurrying to catch up with the world. There is a desire to square ideas with facts, and shape beliefs with knowledge. Religion must suffer in this process. Something will be lost, but only what is bad, false and wrong. Creeds are out of date. They are behind the times. They are the dead leaves from the tree of knowledge, the dead branches on the tree of life. The world’s faith is in the living; in the bud, the blossom, the promise of things – not in the husk, the shell, in dead and useless things.

New creeds are to take the place of old ones. What people believe now, not what people believed hundreds or thousands of years ago, must be put into a profession of faith. For a man to profess what his father and mother believed is to make birth useless and existence valueless. We are to live to add to life, not to repeat it. Is theology the only thing that people put their trust in? A theological creed has to be accepted with the eyes shut.

We want a creed of the heart, of the head, of the senses, of the whole person. There is no theology worth believing in. The creed of the Church is a gravestone.

If we were to make a creed for the world of men to accept we would make it out of human hearts.

We would go where a man had helped another; where a woman had sat beside the sick and suffering; where man had been crucified for being true; where he had been burned for being honest; where he had stood against the world protesting against its wrongs and proclaiming the right, and where he had fallen with a martyr’s crown upon his forehead; and we would write these into a creed, and have men say: I believe in men and women who have lived good lives, who have taken the unfortunate by the hand and lifted up the fallen, who have pardoned a woman’s fault, who have shown their love of truth by being true, and who have done right even when they were wronged for so doing.

The grandest life is the grandest creed; and, if man’s faith was faith in what has made the world better and brighter and happier, he would be better off than by believing in a God that is cruel, unjust and unkind, and in a heaven where the highest joy is found in laughing at those who are in hell.

About The Great One

Am interested in science and philosophy as well as sports; cycling and tennis. Enjoy reading, writing, playing chess, collecting Spyderco knives and fountain pens.
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