Ulfilas' creed

Posted Oct 04, 2012 by Adrian Zaranski in Christian History Hits: 3,256

My recent thoughts were driven to a time, when Christianity was in its beginnings. I'm trying to study out, what kinds of processes led, on the one hand, to the formation of the Catholic Church, and on the other hand, to some heresies which were rejected by this Church. While venturing through the themes of two rival theological schools (of Alexandria and Antioch, respectively), I reminded myself of Ulfilas.

Maybe some of you know, who Ulfilas was. He lived in the IV century, he is considered to be a disciple of Arius, who went on to evangelize Gothic tribes, north of the Roman Empire. Since he was a disciple of Arius, he is considered to be a follower of Arianism. Yet, he has left us his creed, which I believe is very meaningful in its message. It tells us much about his beliefs.

This is his personal confession of faith (from Wikipedia under "Ulfilas", this is a quote from Heather and Matthews, Goths in the Fourth Century, p. 143. - with added paragraphs for a better reading):

"I, Ulfila, bishop and confessor, have always so believed, and in this, the one true faith, I make the journey to my Lord;

I believe in one God the Father, the only unbegotten and invisible, and in his only-begotten Son, our Lord and God, the designer and maker of all creation, having none other like him (so that one alone among all beings is God the Father, who is also the God of our God); and in one Holy Spirit, the illuminating and sanctifying power, as Christ said after his resurrection to his apostles:

"And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49)

and again

"But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8);

being neither God (the Father) nor our God (Christ), but the minister of Christ ... subject and obedient in all things to the Son; and the Son, subject and obedient in all things to God who is his Father ... (whom) he ordained in the Holy Spirit through his Christ."

He seems to consequently name Christ his Lord and his God, of Whom he is a follower. He doesn't use the "created" language, when refering to Christ - only that He is the "only-begotten" of the Father. He also states, that Christ is the maker of all creation, puting Him outside it - regardless of what Arius believed (or is thought to have believed).

I don't know how about you, but I believe I would be able to subscribe to this creed. If someone would like to study out the theme, Benjamin Wilkinson's "Truth Triumphant" has a whole chapter on Ulfilas and the Goths.