Creed or no creed?
If someone wants to know in a few short statements, how you differ from other groups - what makes you distinctive - then out of necessity you have to make a list of what you consider to be non-negotiable in what you believe.
Consider this: when you are involved in politics in a democratic society, it goes without saying that you will put out some kind of statement which outlines where you stand on various issues. Then you have to tell your members, “If you want to join our party, you must sign up to - and be prepared to defend - these policies.”
In the days when it was very difficult to leave a religion (because of family and societal pressures), forcing belief upon people was a very big issue; if you could not leave your religion to join a group which shared your views, inevitably you would be expected to uphold beliefs and values that your conscience was opposed to.
Nowadays, those pressures no longer exist for people who live in democratic, pluralistic societies. For this reason, we think it is fair – and honest – to have a core statement which outlines the essential features of one's religion.
After all , in the world of politics, in the Conservative party (UK) or Republican party (USA), it would be unacceptable for a fully paid-up member to begin advocating state-control over all aspects of the economy. Such a person has the complete and total freedom to leave the party, and go and join the Communists.
So it should also be with religion. Those who disagree with the group they currently belong to, should be free to leave, and join a group with whom they have much more in common.
Having a core statement of beliefs and principles, can be beneficial to all parties:
*anyone who wishes to join, is informed beforehand of what the group stands for;
*any individual is fully aware of the boundaries of that group’s set of beliefs.
The existing traditions of the Way are quite diverse. However, there are some essential core points that are common to all Talmidi groups:
These are the main, basic tenets to which all Followers of the Way adhere to.
Please navigate through the articles under ‘The essentials of Talmidi belief’ to see in more detail what Followers of the Way teach and believe.