Why Christians Need Confessions
I didn’t grow up in the church, so when I became a believer I came in cold. Once I did start going to church I fell in with a bad theological crowd: Word of Faith Pentecostals. After six years of binding, loosing, and demon chasing, I realized that I didn’t know squat about Christianity. That’s where the creeds, confessions, and catechisms came in. They taught me the Christian faith, as they have to millions of believers for generations.
But not only are Christians taught the faith through these documents, but they are also a means of protecting the believer from the church. Indeed, if I had known them when I became a believer I wouldn’t have wasted six years with the big-hair and loud-suits crew.
Carl R. Trueman, Professor of church history at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, offers the following seven reasons why every church needs these standards in an article in New Horizons:
- Confessions delimit church power.
- Confessions offer succinct summaries of the faith.
- Confessions allow for appropriate discrimination between office-bearers and members.
- Confessions highlight that which is of importance.
- Confessions relativize the present and connect us to the past.
- Confessions reflect the substance of our worship.
- Confessions fulfill a vital part of Paul’s plan for the post-apostolic church.
Click here for Dr. Trueman’s explanation of each reason.