Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Being grateful on Thanksgiving Day

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           Reading: Luke 12-19 (NKJV)

12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Luke 12-19 (NKJV)

Jesus Christ heals 10, only one thanks Him

Thanksgiving Day is a day filled with spiritual meaning, despite the way most of the United States celebrates it: football games, feast-size eating, travel to visit friends and relatives. There is nothing wrong with any of these things. And in a way, I rank Thanksgiving Day up there with Christmas and the Easter season's Holy Week events, as No. 3 on the list of significant seasons in the year. 

Why? It is a time we can use to reflect on something other than ourselves. It helps us to remember that we all have something for which we can be thankful. The reading from the Gospel of Luke shows us several things to ponder on during the busy holiday week.

God expects us to turn to Him for help. In Luke's account, Jesus was not surprised that the 10 lepers would cry out to him for help. Their situation was desperate, because among other things, their leprosy had caused them to be cut off from their families and communities. It was an unbearable isolation. They were considered "unclean," and could not be approached by healthy people.

Jesus responded to their dire request for healing, and instructed them, as was the Jewish custom of the day, to report themselves to the priests. The priestly confirmation of healing would allow them to reincorporate into their families and communities, and to resume their normal lives.

One of the 10 was not Jewish; he was a Samaritan, which is why Jesus referred to him as a 'foreigner.' The Samaritan was the only one of the 10 that returned to thank Jesus for healing him. 

No doubt the others were thankful too for what they had received, but for some reason they did not consider it important to personally thank the one who had healed them and who had dramatically changed their lives. Perhaps, it didn't take long for them to take the miracle for granted.

Jesus also wondered why the other nine did not come back to thank Him. "Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

This tells us that God expects us to express our gratitude for His blessings. How can someone who's done something for you tell that you are grateful unless you let them know, better yet show it? Gratitude goes beyond what we may think; it involves an act of the heart that leads to an act of thankfulness. Gratitude is a shared event.

The Samaritan, who belonged to a community that Jewish religious leaders did not fully accept, had more reason not to go looking for Jesus than Jesus' own kinsmen. There was constant friction between the two camps. But, the Samaritan was overwhelmed with gratitude that he had to seek out Jesus; he had to personally thank Him.

In an act of humility, the Samaritan threw himself down at Jesus' feet, and in this way he also expressed his total dependency on the one who had the power to make him whole. The Samaritan had understood - and acknowledged - the source of the miracle he lived to experience.

Thanksgiving Day is used to commemorate certain events that took place in the early history of the United States, led then by religious Puritans and Pilgrims. There are competing dates and events in our national history that claim to be the nation's first Thanksgiving Day. Competing to be thankful, that is a good thing ....

Needless to say, the United States is one of only a handful of countries that observes an "official" thanksgiving day. According to Wikipedia, Thanksgiving , is observed by the United States, Canada, Liberia, Grenada, Saint Lucia, the Australian territory of Norfolk Island and the Dutch municipality of Leiden. It begs the question - what about the others? Worldometers Countries says there are 195 countries in the world.

On this Thanksgiving Day, let us consider the many ways that we are blessed, and show God our gratitude. There are many ways to do this, such as visiting shut-ins, inviting someone new to dinner with the family, donating to the poor, sending a thank you card to someone who blessed you, and so on.

I like the way that some believers in traditional African-American congregations express their gratitude during services: 'if you woke up today, thank God. If you have breath and your heart is beating, thank God'.... We often don't realize that we actually have something to be thankful for, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every single day of our lives. 

Diana Washington Valdez


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Poor People's March 2017: Cemelli De Aztlan presents her testimony

Cemelli De Aztlan (DZN photo)
'My Super Power' - I can see you


By Cemelli De Aztlan

Oct. 22, 2017

Thank you Border Network for Human Rights and Co-Conveners the Rev. William J. Barber II (NAACP) and the Rev. Liz Theoharis for hosting this Mass Meeting of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

The call for a Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders, organizations and movements fighting to end systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, environmental destruction, and related injustices, and to build a just, sustainable and participatory society. 


We draw on the history, vision and unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.

I had the honor to share my testimony and I'd like to share my words with you:

I have a SUPER POWER! … I can see through walls.


It started when I was young. Alongside my curious nature, and being raised by Chicano activists and an empowered Chicano community, I was taught to always question everything. I was also taught to listen to the Earth and love her creation, but always question everything, and that included my bratty sister, my noisy neighbor and the police officer who threatened to arrest me at a protest when I was 9 years old.

So when I began to realize that I could see through walls, it meant that I could see right through people, too, right through their facades, their masks, their walls.

I realized that the walls I was seeing through were not concrete walls, not brick walls, but socially constructed walls, self-imposed walls, walls that I didn’t build, nor that I could tear down - but I could see through them. And, when you are able to see beyond the walls of social constructions that affect families, communities and economies, you can also see how those walls hold people back, confine, cage, exclude and discriminate. The walls we build inside our hearts are some of the hardest walls to see though, but I see you.

In my lifetime, I’ve had many teachers, one comes to mind, now as we begin to deconstruct the structures that hold us down, and as we begin to transform a new construction of creation of our own visions of peace, equality and unity.


The Lakota Native Hoop Dancer Kevin Locke is a ceremonial hoop dancer who will spin multiple hoops, each limb overtaken, while dancing in unison with the cycles of the planets. He said to me, “We must learn to live with the cycles of the universe, because we are part of the universe.” He also observed that most of us, unfortunately, live a square-pegged life…

Locke went on to share: “You wake up in your square bed, walk on your square carpet, in your square room, in your square house, to your square mirror and your square sink and your square tub, to your square table and your square chair, stare at your square walls, walk out your square door, onto the squared sidewalk, to your square car, down the square road, to your square school, and sit at your square desk, with your square paper, lunch from your square tray in your square cafeteria, play in your square yards, sitting on your square sofas, watching your square T.V.’s….

He also said, "It’s too bad we create all these squares. It's like were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole when we should be thinking in circles. In ceremony, we always respect the circle. The circle reflects and replicates the cycles and movement of the universe, the Earth and our own body. The circle creates a space of accountability, because we can all see each other, when we sit in a circle, face to face, simultaneously.

My sisters called me ‘the Scientist’, because I would always figure out a way to make something out of nothing. We come from a people that have that amazing ability; we're here because we survived. Our people can turn a seed into a crop and a peso into a dollar. A story into a lifetime. A dream into a reality.

We come from scientists. Scientists who taught us that we have a kinship relationship with creation. As children, my sisters and I planted and watered corn, beans and squash in our back yard. That corn eventually grew taller than us. There was a sense of relationship when we watered the corn, spoke to the corn, picked the corn. We knew they were family. The elotes the Earth fed us were were gifts, for all our hard work.

I was a scientist because I made things. And, that may be my super power, too; but, we all have that power- look around- someone made you, too.

To this day, when I introduce my daughter to people, I always begin with, “Look what I made!”

I want to stand here and reclaim the power and dignity of the mujeres in my life: La Mujer Obrera, my mother, my grandmothers, my foremothers, my ancestors. 


My parents were both teachers. My mother was a born teacher; as the first-born of nine children, she taught them everything they know; and eventually, after 15 years of struggling to complete her degree, she became the teacher that she already was, plus some.

For those of you that don’t know, teachers and mothers are over-worked, under-appreciated and under-paid. My mother was always busy or exhausted; yet, she brought the classroom into to our casa. Since our mother was over-worked, we raised ourselves with the books, paints and anything else she brought home to make our casa into a classroom!

I grew up sleeping on the floor of the living room - mother and three daughters, no beds, no doors. On some summer nights, I would sleep outside, under the moon, dreaming with the wind. I remember feeling connected to the Earth. Those nights I would listen to the lessons of stars, teaching how to be a co-creator with the skies.

Through it all, I began to imagine what other people’s lives were like. So, like any good scientist, I began to observe. I’d sit outside for hours, days sometimes, depending on the occasion, and I would people-watch, though not in a creepy way.


I would watch people and, I would wonder, what’s behind the walls of their lives? Did they walk into their homes like "Mr. Rogers," take off their shoes at the door, put on a sweater and sing? Did they have food ready at the dining room table when they got home? Did they have food? A table? Did they have glass tables and glass ceilings? Did they have bedroom doors and beds?

After school, while my mother was still at work, my friends always wanted to go to our casa, because we had paints, markers, chalk - all the stuff that classrooms have, but there, we were our own teachers.

Although everyone loved going there, I was embarrassed of our casa. We always had a mess, dish piles, clothes piles, dust and stains. Our casa looked like a circus, and the roaches lived with us.

Our roaches arrived the day the community center was shut down and my Chicano activist father brought home all the archives home: boxes of newspapers, flyers, and altar offerings. Those boxes of history brought the roaches to our casa, by the hundreds. The little foot soldiers prepared for nuclear war.

Were we poor? Were we poor, or did we have super powers? A single mama, sleeping on the living room floor of a roach-infested house, making our way through the world .... Were we poor? I’d say we had super powers.

We always had beans, corn and squash - and our community. Community had more value than money.

We are taught to see through people's walls and to look deeper to see a person’s divinity. These are not easy skills to hone, but in our circles and in our ceremonies we learned them by observing the Earth and our elders. Like little scientists, questioning the world, we found answers through our relationships with others and through our own self-reflections.

Each day, when we woke up, we sent a prayer to the sky and to the warm morning sun and to each other, and simply recited the words "In Lackech." It's an ancient word of our people that means: You are my other me. If I do harm to you, I do harm to myself, If I love and respect you, I love and respect myself. In Lackech.

May you all come to know your super powers and use them to change the world, heal the world and create the world, together, again.

Thank you. Ometeotl
.

Cemelli De Aztlan is a network weaver for the El Paso Equal Voice Network in El Paso, Texas, an academic, and serves on the board of La Mujer Obrera. De ztlan, who is also a minister, was a presenter at the mass meting of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival at the U.S.-Mexico Border.The march and mass meeting took place Oct. 22, 2017, in El Paso, Texas.

(Reprinted with permission, 2017)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Update: The Bible, Ancient Aliens and the Antichrist Prophecies

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The Bible, Ancient Aliens and the Antichrist Prophecies

“... I am making everything new.” Revelation 21:5

Diana Washington Valdez

Commentary

If we believe that what the Bible says is true, then we
must also accept that there is a spiritual dimension to our lives that is unseen. 

The Bible makes it clear that when it comes to time and space, we live in parallel worlds, in the present world with its confines and in an eternal one with its infinite possibilities.

Interestingly, the existence of "parallel worlds" was mentioned by one of the experts interviewed for an "Ancient Aliens" episode that aired Oct. 20 on the local cable TV outlet. Although the popular History Channel presents several interesting facts during its episodes, especially the archaeological and other scientific findings, I consider "Ancient Aliens" as mostly a venue for entertainment, not something on which to base your life. Ancient Aliens

To be honest, we’re so caught up with the routines of daily life that we rarely think about that other spiritual dimension. I wonder how we would define “time” in the eternal world, or if such a concept even applies.

These issues, including the question of what death is all about, are raised by the Book of Revelation. The Christian Bible has much to say about life and death, as well as about the meaning of life.

It also describes two kinds of deaths, physical and spiritual, and what it is that kills the body and spirit. These are other subjects that we will no doubt take up in a future discussion. For now, we will get back to some points about prophetic messages that are contained in Revelation and other books of the Bible.

Recently, we learned that a writer who described himself as a "Christian numerologist" predicted that the end of the world would occur on September 23. Author David Meade's prediction did not come to pass then, and he set October 15 as the new date for the cataclysmic event. The prediction of the author of "Planet X" also came with somewhat of a qualifier: it was not to be the end end but the beginning of the end. That leaves things pretty open-ended, for now. Meade theory

Over the centuries, prophecies have come and gone. They've come from Christians and from people of other faiths and cultures. One of the best known historical figures who engaged in prophecy was the French doctor Nostradamus (1503-1566).

The entire Book of Revelation is about the "end times," and we know that Jesus Christ confirmed to his disciples that such things (as were later mentioned in Revelation) would happen before his second coming, which also is something that not all Christians believe.

In fact, I still remember quite vividly how the young daughter of a military chaplain -  she must have been 10 to 12 years old - broke into a conversation that several of us adults were having about the expected return of Jesus Christ.

The young girl who was listening to us dropped what she was doing, came closer and asked earnestly, "Jesus is coming back?" Her father, an ordained Protestant minister, apparently did not teach this, and probably did not believe it himself. There are numerous ministers (of all faiths) who studied in seminaries and do not believe in the parallel spiritual dimension of life, and who do not believe in a literal heaven or hell. Revelation mentions hell as a lake of fire [1].

Many Christians, including other members of the clergy, also do not believe that a literal "antichrist" will arise sometime in the future to rule over mankind, and that he will wage war against believers and the forces of heaven in the run-up to Armageddon [2]. Revelation gives details about the characteristics of the antichrist, but his identity remains a mystery. The "666" and other clues aren't enough to make him obvious, at least not at this time.

Just like those who have set dates for the end of the world, there have been numerous old and modern-day prophets who swear they know the identity of the antichrist. The internet is filled with their findings. It's amazing how many former presidents and other world leaders have been labeled as the antichrist.

For all it's worth, over my lifetime, I've heard at least two messages about the antichrist that caught my attention. They occurred more than 30 years apart, with the two different times acting like bookends for these two claims.

I heard the first message from a Christian evangelist from Africa who had some connection to the international Youth with a Mission (YWAM) ministry. During a religious service in Germany, he shared a prophecy he had heard somewhere else. I don't recall the minister's name, but he was a respected and serious man.

The African minister said that according to the prophecy the antichrist had been born. If I recall correctly, the original prophet for this message did not provide details on when exactly he was born or where he was living. The only reason I never forgot it is because of the setting at that time, and the idea that this key figure mentioned prophetically as "the man of perdition" [3]) could be alive in my lifetime.

A more recent and similar reference to the antichrist also caught my attention. This time, it came from Perry Stone, an evangelical Christian minister who has spent decades studying Bible prophecy. Stone is controversial, and I do not agree with all his views, but I can't find many people in Christendom that I agree with 100 percent of the time. Much of the prophetic in the Bible, which hasn't already occurred, frankly, is open to interpretation.

You can listen to a brief version of Stone's message at Perry Stone video for yourself. His organization, Perry Stone Ministries, uploaded it on YouTube last year. "And He (the Lord) let me know that the antichrist ... he is presently, the man, is presently on the planet," said Stone, who claimed that the Lord revealed this to him during a visit to Jerusalem.

If we are to assume the two prophecies are accurate, then it means that the man who could become or is the "antichrist" is a person who walks among us now. Considering the time lapse between these two messages, he is a man who may be in his 40s or 50s. I will speculate that he is probably not from the Western Hemisphere, partly based on the fact that the two prophecies were transmitted in the Eastern Hemisphere. Of course, the many caveats for these two prophecies are self-evident. 

Jesus Christ warned his followers in the Book of Matthew [4] to watch out for "false messiahs" and "false prophets," and He spoke to them at length about the conditions that would exist on the Earth just before His return. A lot of life as usual, and so forth.

Truthfulness was the test of a real prophet in the Old Testament days. Back then, if a prophecy proved to be false, then the prophet who uttered it was as good as dead, not to mention discredited. That was the price to pay for making false predictions in the name of the Lord.


In another video, the aforementioned Perry Stone says he believes that the antichrist will be a political and military leader of the Muslim faith. He also describes another view of the meaning of the name and number of the antichrist, which traditionally has been noted simply as "666." Perry Stone 2

There is a third prophetic message about the End Times worth sharing that differs from Stone's version of who the antichrist might be.

The late Yves Dupont, a French Roman Catholic prophecy scholar, said he believed that the antichrist would come from the Jewish tribe of Dan, born in Israel's Chorazin (Corozain) area to a prostitute, and evil from his youth. Dupont studied numerous "prophecies" from over centuries, and it appears that his conclusions add to the idea that this man is in the earth today. A summary of the information that he compiled and was published in 1975 may be viewed @ Dupont .

I encourage everyone to study the prophetic themes of the Bible, including the Book of Revelation. They are interesting, fascinating, and are meant to be read. Today, we have many study aids available to help guide students through the writings. Some churches have Bible study groups that are willing to discuss the end times, and are not intimidated by the parts that as yet seem unclear.

John, the author of Revelation, states that there is a blessing for those who read and study this prophetic book: "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near." [5]


Those who read Revelation will find that it describes how our "parallel" world will no longer exist side by side but actually intersect. The wall of invisibility will come down. There will come a moment when we will be able to see things as they really are.

I may live long enough to see whether the prophecies I've mentioned - about the antichrist - will come to pass before I die. If not, the very next generation after me will be able to read this blog in the future, and conclude whether it proved to be only a blind alley.

#DianaWashingtonValdez , an award-winning multimedia journalist and a Christian ordained minister, is a member of the International Association of Religion Journalists.

End notes

[1]New Testament (NT): Revelation 20:10.
[2] NT: Revelation 16:16.
[3] NT: 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. (KJV)
[4] NT: Matthew 24: 1-44.
[5] NT: Revelation 1:3.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Selling the end of the world and pending Bible prophecies

Writing instruments

Commentary

Selling the end of the world


"Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." Matt. 10:8 NT* (KJV)

"Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7 OT*(NIV)

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Jesus Christ in Mathew 24:36 (KJV), when he was asked about this.

Diana Washington Valdez
The Digie Zone Network

EL PASO, TEXAS - Get ready everybody, another doomsday deadline is approaching soon, and this time it's October 15, the date set by author David Meade for the beginning of the Biblical end.

The first date he set for this, September 23, did not go as scheduled, so he gave us a new one. He says the explanation for this theory is in his new book "Planet X." End of world article .

Meade, who stated in published interviews that he's a "Christian numerologist," asserts that his dates for the end or the beginning of the end, are based on mathematical calculations and his interpretations of the Christian Bible.

The late Harald Camping, a Christian radio evangelist, also claimed to have used math to come up with May 21, 2011 as the date for the end times, as described in the New Testament Book of Revelation.

After nothing happened in May, Camping, who reportedly spent millions of dollars (from supporter donations) advertising the end of the world, recalculated and changed his date to October 21, 2011, according to published accounts.

Family Radio/Harald Camping billboard.


Camping paid for billboards like the one in the photograph to announce "Judgment Day." He ran a relentless publicity campaign to warn the world that the end was coming. We all know that the evangelist's prophecy did not come true.

Camping, who had a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, died of natural causes in 2013.

What sets Meade apart from the also math-oriented Camping is that Meade believes that a mysterious planet "Nibiru" will pass closely by the Earth, and that this will set off a series of catastrophes worldwide.

NASA on its website has denied that any such planet exists. The idea of the mystery planet has been kicked around in conspiracy theory circles for decades. No planetary collision

The central plot of the Danish-produced movie "Melancholia" released in 2011 involves the end of the world as the Earth is set to collide with another planet. [My review of the movie: It's weird.] NYT movie review


The real countdown


Jesus Christ himself told his followers - who wanted to know - some of the signs pointing to his second coming. It's in the New Testament.


However, I disagree with how Meade has chosen to "alert" his fellow earthlings about the imminent doom that he portrays in his book.

In the first place, the countdown to the end really began after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That most important Earth-shattering event is what really set the clock ticking for what we have come to know as "the end of the world." In the Christian calendar, everything of spiritual significance happens before and after Christ (anno Domini).

Secondly, I believe that when we come closer to a specific end-times period, the Lord in his wisdom and mercy will probably let his church (the body of believers) know it, and not just one or two handpicked persons.


In fact, probably many other people in the world, in addition to Christians, will become aware of the prophetic events that signal a final divine warning.

Moreover, ff Meade truly believes what he wrote, then he should be willing to share his information free of charge (not have to buy his book) with the rest of the world. Why would anyone want to profit from such a warning, if he or she truly believes it?

The heavens and earth will tremble

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land." Haggai 2:6 OT (NIV)


"At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” Hebrews 12:26 NT (NIV)


Tomorrow's doomsday alert notwithstanding, the Bible includes numerous references to the kind of end-times scenarios that we've seen portrayed in movies and popular books.

Just because it won't occur in mid-October doesn't mean we should downplay or ignore the advisories contained in the Bible.


Jesus Christ himself told his followers, after they asked him, about some of the future signs that are supposed to point to his second coming.

Catastrophes can be caused by humans or may arise in nature. Across the globe, previous cataclysmic events have tested the resilience of people and their ability to survive under trying conditions. Prophetically, what's in store though will surpass anything in the known historical record. Until then, we ought to pay close attention to what goes on in the world and remain prayerful [1].

To learn more about the "end times," read the entire Book of Revelation, along with other passages in the New and Old Testaments that foretell these same events in vivid detail. 

(Not all Christians believe that prophecies are intended to be literal events, and prefer to view a book like Revelation as mostly symbolic.)

Life as we know it will not end on October 14. There is no need to lose sleep over it.

While on this earth, we will continue to experience catastrophes in our lives, collective ones and personal ones. All of them ought to serve as a wake-up call for getting into a right relationship with the Creator. Any day is a good day for this, doomsday or not.

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Hebrews 9:27 


(KJV).

#          #          #

#DianaWashingtonValdez , an award-winning veteran journalist, is a member of the International Association of Religion Journalists.



[1] Geopolitically, the most active hot spots at this time are #NorthKorea, the #MiddleEast and the #Baltics region and #Ukraine , according to news accounts and other sources.

* OT is the Old Testament and NT is the New Testament.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Nicene Creed: Historical Christian statement of faith

Inkwell: a writing instrument
The Nicene Creed Historical Christian Statement of Faith

"We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

“And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. 

He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

“And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come." Amen.

Background

There have been some revisions to the Nicene Creed, including one with the “Filioque Clause.” The Council of Constantinople in AD 381 expanded the language of the creed to clarify the orthodox concept of the Trinity. This is the version (shown above) today most commonly referred to as the “Nicene Creed.”

Overall, the Nicene Creed is a good summary of Christian doctrine. There are two primary issues, however. The first regards the phrase "catholic and apostolic church"—this does not refer to the Roman Catholic Church as we know it today. 

The word "catholic" means “universal.” (The true "catholic" church is all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. Please see our article on the universal church.) Also, "apostolic" means "built on the teaching of the apostles" and is not a statement of support for apostolic succession. Second, "baptism for the remission of sins" is a much misunderstood concept. 

See Is baptism necessary for salvation? See Got Questions website for additional background about the Nicene Creed.