f The Wittenberg Door: The Necessity of Creeds By Rev. Robert Grossmann

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Necessity of Creeds By Rev. Robert Grossmann

The Word of God calls upon believers to confess their faith. Jesus said, Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven (Matt. 10:32). The apostle Paul concurs: If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Rom. 10:9). To assure a purity of confession, the church has written various creeds over the years. Creeds are universal as summaries of the truth of the gospel.

Even those who proclaim "No Creed but Christ" have a list of propositions that defines the Christ they believe in. The problem is that they are not willing to publish this list since it might change. There should be no fear to publish the teachings of Scripture, though: the Lord got his doctrines right the first time! Nevertheless, as Christians we must agree that, if our creedal summary is in error, we will change it.

The Bible teaches that man's conscience should be bound only by the Word of God (Mark 7:9). This does not lead to anarchy, as one might suppose, because the Bible also teaches the unity of the true faith and separation from those who do not hold to the clear teaching of God's Word (2 Cor. 6:14ff.; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 10).

Basic Christian unity is confessed by Reformed Christians with all who sincerely hold to the teachings of the Apostles' Creed (see Heidelberg catechism, Questions 22 and 54). Historic confessions have generally used the Apostles' Creed, the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer to structure their more specific doctrinal statements.

Reformed churches, along with other churches descending from the Reformation, have followed the ancient church tradition of writing expository creeds which state Biblical teaching in a way that separates believers from unbelievers (cf. the Nicene Creed, which declares that all Christians must believe in the Trinity). Reformed confessions include the Heidelberg catechism, the Belgic Confession of Faith, the Canons of Dort, the Second Helvetic Confession and the Westminster Standards (the first three creeds constitute the confessional base of the RCUS). These expository creeds serve as the skin and bones for the church as an organization on earth. As bones, they give it a unifying structure, since all members and officers confess the truth of the doctrines they set forth; as skin, they separate those of a particular denomination from others outside the church structure.

Because Reformed churches hold that unity in truth is the basis of all other unity (2 John 10), they form close-knit denominational fellowships and establish ecumenical connections with other Reformed bodies holding similar creeds. Such fraternal relations should not be confused with the modern tendency of church unionism.



Blogger Steve Finnell said...


In 1955 James Warren Jones founded the "People's Temple" (purportedly a Christian congregation)in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jonestown , Guyana November 18, 1978. Jim Jones and 900 of his followers committed mass suicide. Jim Jones had previously proclaimed to his people that they did not need the Bible. He told them all they needed was him. He then ripped the Bible and threw it to the ground.

The authority for the "Peoples Temple" was the tradition set by the church, Jim Jones was the church authority. Had the followers of Jim Jones accepted the Bible, and the Bible alone as their authority, there would not have been a mass suicide. The spiritual suicide came first.

Following man-made tradition can lead to spiritual suicide.

1 Timothy 4:1-3 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

Jim Jones was a liar when he told his congregation they did not need the Bible. Are men telling the truth when they says church tradition is the final authority for faith and practice? Do men teach truth when they assert that new books of revelation are from God and they supersede the authority of the Bible.

Do church catechisms, creed books, statements of faith, so-call books of new revelation from God, and other books written by men, annul, displace, supplant or supersede the authority of the Bible?

Mark 7:7-8 'But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. 8 Neglecting the commandments of God, you hold to the traditions of men."

Those who deny that God's word is found in the Bible and the Bible alone have a tendency to invent their own doctrines.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God....

Was Jim Jones inspired by God when he said his followers did not need the Bible? There are those who claim church catechisms are the evolution of God's word, are they inspired by God? When men announce that their new books of revelation annul or supplant the Bible, are they inspired my God? If you honestly believe that creed books should be the authority of your church congregation, are you being inspired by God?


(All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

You are invited to follow my blog. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

3:27 AM  
Blogger The Catechizer and The Deacon said...

It’s clear that you didn’t bother reading the post on which you’re commenting (perhaps you were worried that if you did you wouldn’t be able to use your pre-written text). I recommend not only reading before pontificating, but I also recommend familiarizing yourself with the topic at hand (such as, in this case, what creeds, catechisms, and confessions are and how they’re used by orthodox churches) to avoid making the types of ignorant statements you’ve made here.

5:48 AM  

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