No Sparkle In This Darkness
The "Sparkle Creed" is a nasty parody of the faith martyrs have died for.
Last month in Edina, Minnesota, a congregation of church-goers recited a creed to affirm their solemn, heart-felt belief in sparkly-bright rainbow “love” and a god who pretty much worships them. No one died, no one even fainted from embarrassment. Health professionals are investigating to discover why not. They should have, anyway. Others have written about this creed. I’m more interested in the people who spoke it. What on earth were they thinking?
You may have seen the video: A Lutheran pastor leads her congregation in a bubble-gum belief statement called the “Sparkle Creed.” One website described it as “a version of the Apostle’s Creed modified to include the LGBTQ+ community.” No, not even, close. Sure, it rips off language from the Apostles’ Creed, but otherwise it’s a trite little feel-good chant meant to make today’s progressives feel weepy and gooey over the “love” they all feel for each other.
A Creed Indeed?
I’m not overstating that. The creed’s author, Rev. Rachel Small-Stokes, posted it on Twitter early in 2021, and received comments like,
“Oh, I adore this!”
“❤🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤🤍 LOVE THIS.” (Enough rainbow hearts there for you)
Worse yet — and I apologize if you can’t scroll fast enough to get it out of sight soon enough — someone posted this:
It almost seems wrong to use the word “creed” for such blasphemy, but it’s a statement of religious belief, so even though it’s utterly wrong, it still counts. (The word “creed” comes from the Latin for “I believe.”)
I have seen many strange cult beliefs in my day, but this one just about tops them all. Why would anyone believe it? Why would they admit to it in public? It’s nuts and nonsense, start to finish, yet people stand and repeat it, with no sign of being embarrassed over the inanity. Why? How?
The Impossible Sparkle Jesus
Jesus “wore a fabulous tunic,” it says. Would that be the simple homespun robe He wore, just like every other man wore? Or Would it be the purple robe the soldiers forced on Him in mockery, as they beat Him with their fists and flailed the skin off His back with their scourges? Or would it be some garment of their imagination? Obviously the last of these. It’s a fable, no more real than a unicorn story.
The creed says Jesus “saw everyone as a sibling child of God,” but the actual record of his life says the opposite. Not everyone was given “the right to become children of God.” Every person is created in God’s image, but not everyone is a member of God’s family. That’s the Jesus we know from the record. The Sparkle Creed imagines a Jesus not found anywhere but in imagination.
He’s an easier “Jesus” to like, but he’s also a “Jesus” we can be certain isn’t real. How can anyone possibly say they believe in “him”?
Sparkle ‘God,’ and the People It Worships
The creed calls God “non-binary,” as if that meant something when speaking of spirits. It tells of a “rainbow Spirit, who shatters our image of one white light and refracts it into a rainbow of gorgeous diversity.” (You know, to match the LGBT political flag.) He’s some malleable, comfortable god, a god perfectly adapted to progressives’ moral opinions and lifestyle preferences.
Or else they’re claiming that sovereign Creator of all the universe, the unchanging One who rules from eternity to eternity, just happens to think our generation and the progressives’ tribe are smarter and wiser than everyone else God ever created. Why, they might just be nearly as wise as God Himself.
This “God” of theirs tells them, “You’re great, just as you are! I wouldn’t have you change a thing!” — words that always mean admiration. I’m not sure who’s worshiping whom here. This god may not quite bow the knee, but he sure does think highly of them!
It makes me wonder how they can say we’re all children of God. This god is their child. It has a creed, and it says, “I believe in these people. I believe in their rainbow-gorgeous diversity. I believe in their spirit of fabulous love. People, help my unbelief!”
This is how they treat their god. They call it “God,” but they do not regard it as God. I don’t know how they can speak this creed without getting ill over it.
Lovesick in All the Wrong Ways
The creed says, “love is love is love.” Sure. Most parents love their children. Many couples love each other. It’s all love. Love is love is love. A friend of mine loves eating his corn flakes with raw eggs instead of milk. Love is love is love.
A whole lot of us love our cats and dogs. Some people love accosting women violently in the dark and violating them. Abusers say “I love you,” meaning, “I want you for my own purposes.”
But love is love is love, right? Wrong. Obviously wrong. No human could possibly believe that “love is love is love.” The world isn’t all sparkly, neither are its people, and neither is the people’s “love.” Some of it is downright twisted. It doesn’t need affirmation, it needs correction. It needs help. And all the help their god gives them is a platitude, a bland, useless cliche: “so beloved, let us love.” Yecch.
I love syrup on my pancakes, but here it’s too much. I’d get sick trying to swallow it.
How Do the People Stand It?
And yet the pastor stands there in her robes. The candles burn. The bread and wine wait on the altar as if for actual Christian communion. And the people intone their belief in these utterly ridiculous, self-contradictory inventions born of their tribe’s wishes and desires. And it is the people who puzzle me.
You see, I don’t really think the Sparkle Creed is the main problem or even the main question. The real question is the people who affirm it: Why would actual persons say they believe such obvious falsehoods? How could they miss that it’s gibberish? And what could possibly motivate a somber and solemn group of adults to say they believe such a fairy tale?
Where ‘I Believe’ Really Means ‘Wouldn’t You Just Love It if It Could Be True?
Part of the answer, I am convinced, comes from confusion over the meaning of “believe,” especially in religious matters. For the Christians who wrote the Apostles’ Creed, and for the vast majority of those who’ve spoken it since, it actually means we think its statements are true to reality as it really is.
Lately, though, a lot of people have begun thinking religious “belief” is what you decide on because you have some positive opinion on it, or it fits your upbringing, or saying you believe it will help settle you in with a group you like to hang with, people who, like yourself, would just love it if it could be true.
Obviously some people would love it if the god of this creed were real. I’m quite sure that’s part of the reason they “believe.”
No ‘Sparkle’ In That Darkness
It still doesn’t tell us, though, how they can blow right on past all the obvious fables and contradictions in this creed. Why can’t they see them?
The answer lies in the father of lies himself, Satan the deceiver and blinder. As Paul writes:
If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (2. Cor. 4:4)
This creed comes from a darker place than they could even begin to imagine. It is no “sparkle creed,” in other words. It may come delivered in a bright painted-pony box, but inside it’s dark, demonic, and dangerous. Its “rainbow” is in reality a storm of clouds and fire and destruction.
Return to the Light!
It takes a supernatural sort of blindness not to see its deceptions for what they are. Recovery from it must therefore also be supernatural. God stands ready to bring at any moment. Those who propagate these lies bear responsibility for it, but God will gladly forgive if they ask Him in faith, on His gracious terms.
So let us pray for them, and never quit standing for what is true. If you want a great statement of that truth, I’d recommend one that begins, “We believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord … .” I hope it sounds familiar to you.
Tom Gilson (@TomGilsonAuthor) is a senior editor with The Stream and the author or editor of six books, including the highly acclaimed Too Good To Be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality.