We believe in God,
the creator of all life and beauty,
who blesses our journey.
We believe in Jesus Christ,
who lived as a friend and savior to all he met
as he traveled the countryside,
who ate and laughed,
wept and celebrated with people in all walks of life.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
who rides on the breeze in the country
touching all with gentleness and love,
who strengthens our commitment,
who offers us eternal hope.
We believe in the church,
which stands open to all travelers
and bears witness to the everlasting love of God.
I don't know who actually wrote this "creed," but it comes from Kate Wyles' book From Shore to Shore: Liturgies, Litanies and Prayers from Around the World. I find it deeply flawed. I'll touch on just a few of the reasons why.
Affirming belief in a God "who blesses our journey" makes God sound more like a life coach than the God revealed in scripture. And this creed also assumes that our journey is, in fact, worth blessing. The Church cannot and should not affirm all viewpoints and interests, and God does not bless everybody's journey.
The section about Jesus reveals the most about this "Affirmation of Faith" precisely by what it does not affirm. For starters, it speaks of Jesus only in the past tense. That makes sense, because there's nothing here about the Resurrection (not even in a watered-down, "spiritual" sense). Also missing are any affirmations of the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, the Crucifixion, the Ascension, the Second Coming, and the Final Judgment. All of which begs the question: why Jesus and not some other prophetic figure from the past?
The Jesus of this "Affirmation of Faith" sounds like a really great guy. But he is not affirmed as a living Lord. Luke Timothy Johnson gets it right: "To consider Jesus simply as a figure of the past means to consider Jesus not from the perspective of a Christian but from that of one who stands outside Christian conviction."
I also note that in this "Affirmation of Faith" the Holy Spirit has been "niceified," allowed only to be gentle and loving without convicting anyone of sin. But since there's no affirmation of the forgiveness of sins here (and thus an acknowledgment of a serious problem with human nature for which we need forgiveness and healing), that omission makes perfect sense. We're okay just as we are.
It's good to state that the Church is "open to all travelers." We certainly want to be inviting and welcoming. But as with the opening part about a God who indiscriminately "blesses our journey," this "Affirmation of Faith" embraces a half-truth. Yes, it's true that everyone is accepted in Christ. But it's also true that no one is affirmed as they are.
I think this "Affirmation of Faith" goes well beyond what H. Richard Niebuhr described as liberal Protestantism's devotion to "a God without wrath [who] brought men without sin into a kingdom with judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross." Indeed, it strikes me as post-Christian. So why would anybody want to use it in Christian worship?