The Common Good

A Gen-X Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Creed?

There are a lot of emergent folk who shun creeds. They have let go of much of their free-range evangelicalism, but the anti-creedal posture still holds a principal place. Still, I am thinking about music and liturgy, spiritual formation (that troublesome word again, formation), and the creeds we keep in our hearts though no agency has "approved them for community use." Instead these creeds are "sanctified by use," if you will. Here's mine. 

Photo: Man looking for something, © Lord_Ghost / Shutterstock.coml
Photo: Man looking for something, © Lord_Ghost / Shutterstock.com

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I have climbed highest mountain
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you

I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her fingertips
It burned like fire
This burning desire

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds and you
Loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believed it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for 

Yes, I know. I'm all middle-aged white Gen-X'er here. These things happen. It's not original. But that's often the thing with a creed. Sometimes it resonates because it's ubiquitous and not individualist.

There are some great renditions of this creed. My favorite is from Rattle and Hum. This video captures one of the rehearsals. Oh my.

Of course, the profound nod to church just underscores U2's compositional/performative intentions. It's a gospel song. They say as much. And the song is a confession of faith or a creed in lyrical content and, well, in the way that it is embedded in the African-American Gospel Music genre. It also crosses genre from Gospel Song to Rock Anthem...it's in both simultaneously. It's a worldly song. It's meant to be sung in church, played on the radio and at Wimbley Stadium. It's for all these reasons that it's been my creed...It's in the world.  

This is my SBNR creed. When I get back to my spiritual roots, I find myself engaging my SBNR self, my past and my present. In a recent conversation with a colleague we both spoke of how many of the people in our congregations are SBNR and not Religious. Sometimes I am reminded that I am still rather SBNR even as I preach...This tune works as an SBNR creed for me because it sits in the Church and the World so comfortably. I can take it with me wherever I go. 

"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"...it still works for me. I'm still looking, more deeply into the traditions of the Church as well as the traditions of "the World." I'm constantly undoing the false dichotomy and opening myself to entirety of it all.

Do you have a creed? Something personal? Individual? Something everyone knows? Do you have several? I have a few more. This is just the first that came to mind. 

Tripp Hudgins is a doctoral student in liturgical studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Palo Alto, Calif. You can read more of his writings on his longtime blog, "Conjectural Navel Gazing; Jesus in Lint Form" at AngloBaptist.orgFollow Tripp on Twitter @AngloBaptist.

Photo: Man looking for something, © Lord_Ghost | View Portfolio / Shutterstock.com

 

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