creeds

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by jaigner, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. jaigner

    jaigner
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    The last thread on this issue was shut down unceremoniously, so let's begin again with a new take. Here was the last response I received:

    Original quote by jaigner (discussing the concept of Church (universal vs. church): Since independent churches have long had a problem with this, we're not going to agree, but the Church (universal) is a completely orthodox belief that is both understandable and in line with the biblical account.

    Response: Orthodox is not always Biblical. Please discern between the two.

    jaigner: Maybe not, maybe so, but "orthodox" means that people doing their best to be faithful to the Bible interpreted it that way.

    Original Quote by jaigner: Well, the rest of us who hold to the beautiful and unifying tenets of the historic Christian creeds that resulted from the Nicene councils would disagree.

    Response: You are on a Baptist Board. Why are you here? If you knew anything about Baptists you would know that they are not a creedal people. You may be a collector of creeds. My final authority is the Word of God, not creeds.

    jaigner: Since I was raised Baptist instead of Catholic, I actually know pretty well what "Baptist" means. There is no such thing as non-creedal. Even saying "I have no creed but the Bible" is a creed. Sing hymns? Those are statements of belief. They are creeds.

    Baptists usually operate with an implicit motto: "We don't believe in creeds unless it serves our purpose." If you can't subscribe to the tenets of the early Christian creeds (such as Nicene and Apostles'), that's pretty scary.

    And I'm not a collector of creeds. I believe in the truths they state with all my heart. (I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth....begotten, not made...the whole nine yards) I'm also not afraid of judgment by the baptist police if I call them creeds.

    Original quote by jaigner:pick up a book, Turning Points by the incredible historian and theologian Mark Noll if you need refreshing. It's one of the best books on Christian history available.

    Response: I teach church history. I don't need it.

    jaigner: That's a strange statement. Teachers always have use for books from a wide range of viewpoints. I'm a teacher. I teach school and at church. I have a theology degree, but I wouldn't be caught dead without good academic sources to back up my research and teaching.

    That's a scary statement, indeed.

    _____________________________________________________________

    So, I ask others to join in this discussion. What do you think about the historic creeds of the Church?

    Here are two of the most well-known.

    Apostles' Creed

    Nicene Creed
     
  2. jaigner

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    In other words, is there anyone here who really believes they are not part of a creedal denomination?
     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    If your definition of being creedal is that if we have sung a hymn or made a statement that we have no creed but the Bible, then we are all creedal. But I don't accept your definition.

    I may agree with the varying statements but they don't guide what I believe. I don't measure someone's beliefs by comparing it to the 2 you mentioned or any other statement of beliefs.

    Yes, I don't think Baptists are creedal. Even our statement of faith (the Baptist Faith and Message) is very general and I don't use it to determine if a church or a person is biblical.
     
    #3 Tom Bryant, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2010
  4. John Toppass

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    Why in this world, would someone need a creed when the Bible, which is the Word of God, is sufficient??????
     
  5. Old Union Brother

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    And if I may add The Bible should be our only rule of order, doctrine, and practice.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    Baptists are, historically and presently, a confessional people.

    Creeds are boxes to put churches in that define their totality of belief. Confessions are frameworks in which affiliated churches collaborate.
     
  7. Salty

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    Here is a list of several Baptist Denominations - along with other groups as well.

    They all believe the Word of God - but some of the beliefs contradict each other -
    thus a "creed" or statement of faith is necessary so folks know exactly where you stand on certain doctrines.
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Creeds are historical evidence of beliefs, and not a recital of faith. In this sense are not creedal. We have our distinctives, generally 5 or 6 of them, but still variations to those.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    Why.......Mormons and Jw;s say they believe the bible also.
    Of course the bible is sufficent. But what does it teach? When you answer that question......that is your creed or confession.
     
  10. Aaron

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    There is no difference between a creed and a confession.
     
  11. Humblesmith

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    One does not have to have a creed to be biblically sound......people can get this from the Bible alone. However, I must add quickly:

    1. Whether people use the historic creeds or not, the concepts they teach are essential. The teachings of some historic documents are essential doctrine. For example, the statements from Nicea and Chalcedon about Jesus are essential. These documents accurately reflect what the Bible teaches.

    2. Sometimes creeds are said to be divisive, and people feel that holding to creeds creates division. However, just the opposite is the case. Those who do not write down what they believe end up dividing more than those who follow the historic creeds. The Churches of Christ are a prime example.

    So while creeds are certainly not on the same level as the bible, they do summarize essential teachings that cannot be denied and still remain orthodox. I have found that those who deny them dislike the concept of creeds, and often times have not read them to determine if they are important or not.
     
  12. DHK

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    A Baptist church is defined by Baptist distinctives, those distinctives that they hold to that make it Baptist and separate from other churches.
    Apart from that there is a wide variety of Baptist churches.
    They differ mostly on two fronts: their constitutions, and their statement of faiths, the latter which is the most important. Do a survey. Go to a number of different Baptist websites and look at the statement of faiths posted. See how they differ. Very few have the same statement of faith. A statement of faith is not a creed. It is a statement of essential doctrine which that particular church holds to. Take a survey of most pastors of Baptist churches. I would dare say that most pastors have even read any of the historic creeds and don't care to. They don't care about creeds. They care about their local church, their statement of faith, what their flock believes, and how their church is going to function--not about the others in the area or in history.
     
  13. Alive in Christ

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    The ones I have heard are OK. I dont recall ever hearing or reading anything sinful in any of them.

    But the danger of them is that they can produce laziness and a disregard for the scriptures.

    I was raised in the Catholic apostate organization. We sheep would come in every sunday and coldly drone out the words of those creeds in unison.

    And then turn around and leave so biblically Iliterate it was shamefull. And we were not unique. Its the NORM for your average garden variety Catholic church and Catholic parishiners.

    God have mercy
     
  14. Humblesmith

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    Ah, so very true. But it is unfortunate, for the ancient councils were all called to deal with some particular false teaching that had arisen. The councils gathered representatives from the world-wide church, decided the issue, and published a statement of the position of the universal, worldwide church.

    Today, we have the same heresies running around the countryside, and if the local pastors aren't aware of the historic arguments, they are susceptable to repeating them. So the issue is not whether we hold to one creedal document over the other; rather, the issue is the doctrinal questions behind them. We don't want to create the same church splits that happened throughout history.

    So your statement above is quite right. I only wish it were not so.
     
  15. DHK

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    What is important to me as a Baptist?
    1. The Bible is my final authority in all matters of faith and practice (and that is the first and most important of the Baptist distinctives).
    2. Soul Liberty--the freedom to believe what I believe the Bible teaches (another important Baptist distinctive).

    Putting these into practice instead of reading dusty old creeds will keep me from error. Men of God need to be men of the book, men of prayer. The ECF believed many doctrinal errors, if not heresies. Those I am aware of.

    The Bible teaches not to put your trust in man. We are to trust the Word instead. Study to show yourselves approved unto God...
    That is our duty. Not study the creeds; but study the Word.
     
  16. jaigner

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    Uh....the historic creeds do affirm biblical Christian faith. I don't understand what the issue is with that. The creeds are unifying Christian documents that affirm historic Christian faith..

    The first principal you mention is basically an affirmation of the reformation era's sola scriptura. That is hardly a baptist doctrine.

    The point you make that affirming creeds amounts to putting trust in [humanity] is fundamentally incorrect. Also, affirming basic Christian doctrines does not replace prayer and dilligent Bible study.

    Baptists are, inherently, creedal people, even though they refuse to admit it.
     
  17. jaigner

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    This is a good point.
     
  18. jaigner

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    So the fact that one can rotely speak the creeds means that we shouldn't use or affirm them? Not so.

    For cold, non-believing people they are mere words. For those of us who can say them boldly with confidence, they are life-giving truths that connect us to historical believers and believers all around the world today.
     
  19. jaigner

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  20. jaigner

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    You're basically affirming a creed right there. Saying, "I have to creed but the Bible" is affirming a creed.

    Think about it, people.

    Baptists are not creedal except when they want to be.
     

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