Confession/Statement of Faith

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I understand that some people really need clarification, but for the most part, why do churches bother to go through creating new ones for newly found churches?

    Isn't the true church already founded? Isn't the bible out confession and statement of faith?

    I'd just fall over backwards in happiness if I walked into a church, asked for their written statement of faith, and they held up a Bible. ;)

    Do you ever just get tired of all the big words and long explanations?

    I'm all for studying and conversations and theological discussions. They're fine and wonderful, but occasionally....just occasionally mind you --I wish everyone would just be quiet and simply read the Bible and let it go at that.

    How about you?
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

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    No, I think every congregation should have a statement of faith. Think of it this way...when someone asks you what you believe...and you say, "I believe...." whatever follows is your creed/statement of faith, whether you write it down or not.

    Everyone has a creed/statement of faith.

    What a written creed does for a congregation is help people both in the inside and outside know what it is they beleive about things.

    For example, we take the "no creed but the Bible" folks, and ask them, What do you believe, and they say "I believe the BIble" and they ask, what is it about the Bible you believe...

    You may get a lot of different answers. I don't trust churches really...they say they are "bible-based" but what do they mean? When I wanted to find this out about the church I am currently a member of, I was glad to find their confession of faith which states concernign the BIble:

    Note: I am not expecting you read this...but I think it illustrates the point. lol

     
  3. Revmitchell

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    Someone tells me they believe in Jesus I want to know what about Jesus do they believe.

    We are told to contend for the faith we were taught,mark them that teach things contrary to what we were taught and avoid them. The Bible is not a smorgasboard to pick and choose from. We need to take the whole counsel of God even when it makes us uncomfortable.
     
  4. Jerome

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    "Away with the idea that believing sound doctrine and chaining ourselves to a cast-iron creed is vital godliness and eternal life! Orthodox sinners will find that hell is hot, and that their knowledge of predestination will not yield a cooling drop to their parched tongues. Condemning other people, cutting off the saints of God right and left, is but poor virtue, and to have these blessed doctrines in the head while neglecting them in the heart is anything but a gracious sign." ---Charles Spurgeon
     
  5. ReformedBaptist

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    Explain the purpose of using this quote.

    Added in: "...ye must be saved by Sovereign Grace, through the operation of the Holy Spirit upon the heart, or you will not be saved at all."

    Just wanted to add a little more of Sprugeon's sermon to your quote.
     
    #5 ReformedBaptist, Sep 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2009
  6. annsni

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    It is obvious that there are many men and women, and many churches who interpret things differently in Scripture yet if you asked them, they'd tell you that they are only listening to Scripture.

    A statement of faith will just clarify, in less than 66 books, what the church believes about the basics of the faith. Their view on the Bible, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the church, church leadership, baptism and the Lord's Supper, missions and the like will help me to understand if the church is what I believe a true Biblical church to be.
     
  7. Lux et veritas

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    That's just good ole' Jerome. The resident master of cherry-picking quotes from others and putting them in a non-contextual format, making their authors appear to say something they actually did NOT believe in.

    And every time he (Jerome) does it, he is guilty of breaking the commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness".
     
  8. Allan

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    You have not proven anywhere that I know of where he was wrong in his accertions thus bearing false witness . I have proven few times to you that his quoting certain persons on certain things were exactly what what the author intended. (ex. of a recent one - John Calvin and his view of women pastoring being only institutional and subject to change by the church). Therefore your continued accusations of him bearing false witness is in fact nothing more than 'you' bearing false witness against Jerome.

    Just stick to the OP as much as possible, it helps.

    And speaking of the OP;
    It would be great if everyone believed and understood the scripture like I do, but the fact is - they just don't :)
    Therefore we need to set out what we understand for a two fold purpose; 1. to allow for unity with those who believe in like manner (not exactly alike) , and 2. to distiquish ourselves from those who stray from those basic biblical teachings and truths, to man made religions.
     
    #8 Allan, Sep 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2009
  9. Psalm 95

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    Below are what Spurgen said of the Baptist 1689 confession, at detailed confession of faith:

    This ancient document is the most excellent epitome of the things most surely believed among us. It is not issued as an authoritative rule or code of faith, whereby you may be fettered, but as a means of edification in righteousness. It is an excellent, though not inspired, expression of the teaching of those Holy Scriptures by which all confessions are to be measured. We hold to the humbling truths of God's sovereign grace in the salvation of lost sinners. Salvation is through Christ alone and by faith alone."
    C. H. Spurgeon
     
  10. Allan

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    Very true, and it mirrors Jeromes post exactly from Spurgeon.
    That was Spurgeons point, that certain people become fixated upon their creeds and confessions to the point of exaulting them to an equal or almost equal status with scripture itself. Neither Creeds nor confessions should be set up so, they are nothing more than men's understanding of what scripture is saying. Therefore devotion to a creed or confession will yeild a man who not showing the maturing growth of one who is devoted to reading the word, but instead one who is devisive, ungracious, and seldom if ever showing kindness and mercy. Therefore it is important to remember our creeds and/or confessions can be in error, yet scripture will not ever be in error. As such the one we pour ourselves into is the one we will most be like - either like unto men who are ungracious and unmerciful or like unto children of God who are full of grace and mercy.
     
    #10 Allan, Sep 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2009
  11. wpbarrett

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    I agree with you Gina,
     
  12. Lux et veritas

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    Not at all, Sir Allan.

    By restricting the quote in that manner, Jerome was implying that Spurgeon was against Confessions of Faith.

    And, for your considered contemplation, I was dealing with the OP. It was whether Creeds were valuable or not. Jerome gave a quote that implied a great preacher of the past did not value them. I responded.

    You, however, have not been able to follow the logic of that line of reasoning, so now you have it put simply before you.

    I repeat - it is patently false to quote any man in such a fashion as to imply his beliefs were different than they were in fact.

    I could probably cherry-pick a quote of yours and make you out a convinced Calvinist. And you would be rightly indignant.

    Jerome's misuse of quotes makes him guilty of lying. You defending him, leaves you ... where?
     
  13. Lux et veritas

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    Confessions of faith are valuable for many reasons. Not the least of which, they can be a spring for unity within a church.

    Everybody (almost) says, "I believe in Jesus".

    The question is, "What do you believe about Jesus?"

    And the moment you answer that, you have expressed a "confession of faith" that eliminates some views, and draws you into fellowship with others who agree with you.

    There are more uses than this which I'll come back to later. But I have to run.
     
  14. Tom Bryant

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    It sounds real spiritual to say "We believe the Bible" but whether a person is going to join a church depends on what they believe about pareticular parts of the Bible.

    There are many folks who would join me and say that God created the heavens and the earth. But I believe it is in 6 literal days. They believe it happened over billions of years through the means of theistic evolution. We both say we believe the Bible but they would not feel comfortable in our church because of those differences.

    I believe the Bible teaches predestination and election but not as my Reformed brothers believe. But we would both say we believe the Bible.

    There are many other areas I could mention such as issues concerning the last times or church gov't.

    The doctrinal statement of the church protects the church and the distinctives each church has.
     
  15. ReformedBaptist

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    Tom/Lux:

    You both make the points very well. Those reasons are why I believe every congregation should make some statement of their faith.

    I think there exists a tendency for error to creep in if they do not.
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    You are absurd. You do not know that he intended to misquote anyone(not sure he did) and you are working to read his intentions. Truth is you don't know. Your accusation is unfounded, unnecessary, and false. The false witness is yours.
     
  17. ReformedBaptist

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    I don't think he is being absurd. Nor would I attack my brother as you have and say he IS absurd. We can all act absurd at times.

    I have the same impression from Jerome. It did seem, after looking at what Spurgeon said in context, that Jerome was presenting a quote to make his point that confessions do not have importance. This is not something Spurgeon believed.
     
  18. Lux et veritas

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    Whether Jerome intended to misquote or not is something I have never said. What I said was that he did so by a partial 'cherry-picked' quote of CHS, and in so doing made Spurgeon appear to believe something that he did not. And that is bearing false witness.

    1. You say I have made an accusation that is unfounded. Here is the 'foundation' of my accusation.

    Here is Jerome’s quote (#4)
    Psalm 95 (post #9) put up what Spurgeon really believed about confessions (particularly the 1689 LBC).
    To the most elementary of minds there is a marked difference of Spurgeon's belief when one reads what he said specifically on the subject of the OP (which is Alan's grave concern to me).

    2. You say my previous comments were unnecessary. How is that? Jerome has misquoted a great figure of church history and if left unchallenged, unsuspecting readers of this forum would think Spurgeon was against a church having Confessions of Faith - which, I repeat, is what the OP was about.

    3. You say my previous comments were false. That is something you will have to live with in your own conscience.

    At no time did I speak to Jerome's intentions. Although this is seems to be his modus operandi on this forum, and has been challenged previously on clearly false misrepresentations of other men's writings, and has refused to acknowledge or repent. Therefore one can only assume that his intentions are to use quotes in such a way as to make others agree with a point he himself believes, when in fact they do not.

    A lie is no less a lie because of the intentions of a person's intentions. It is still a lie. And if Jerome and others take quotes out of context, or partial quotes that give a false impression, it is lying.
     
    #18 Lux et veritas, Sep 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2009
  19. Jerome

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  20. Lux et veritas

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    Excellent post. Because it confirms what I've been saying. Spurgeon is preaching against relying on your adherence to a confessional statement as something that will save you. He also goes on to speak against those who are "incessant pray-ers". His argument? Just because you pray much does not mean you are saved.

    Surely we're not going to start inferring that Spurgeon was against praying?

    No aspersions at all Jerome. You are a bearer of false witness. (whether intentionally or not is not the primary issue). You have been caught and exposed. And you show yourself unwilling to admit it.
     

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