Read a Creed in Church?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by 12strings, Jun 19, 2013.

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  1. 12strings

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    Would anyone be opposed to reading a Creed congregationally in a worship service...or what about a corporate prayer that a pastor wrote and had people read outloud?

    Answer carefully, because your answer must be consistent with your answer to: Is it ok to sing "Holy, Holy, Holy"...or sing a song that your song-leader wrote?

    Have fun.
     
  2. InTheLight

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    I would not have a problem with it if it was done on occasion and not during every worship service.

    BTW, nice to see you again 12strings.
     
  3. agedman

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    In the back of the old "Baptist Hymnal" used in most SBC churches in the 60's - 70's. There are responsive readings.

    One of those readings is a "creed" or agreement in which the assembly holds.

    In ever SBC church that I attended, that reading was done at least once a year.

    For those who have not read it, find an old hymnal and see just what the SBC USED to stand for!
     
  4. 12strings

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    1. Do you know if that was in the 1956 or 1975 hymnal? I want to know where to look.

    2. What does your last sentence mean?
     
  5. Iconoclast

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    I do not think there is too much value in just reading a creed out loud.Some like the Roman church do, but it becomes a vain repetition.
    At a baptism service sometimes a church covenant or creed is read to remind the members of what they are expected to do as a local body of believers.

    These tools have value if used to get a better understanding of the word of God by working through them.
     
  6. agedman

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    The "Baptist hymnal" replaced the "Broadman hymnal" somewhere in the 50's and by the early 60's most SBC churches had it in use.

    When you read it, it will be sort of self explanatory.
     
  7. agedman

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    My opinion is that all assemblies need to read their founding documents such as the statements of faith and constitution once a year.

    The assembly needs to be reminded of what actual Scriptural truths that they gather and hold as truth.

    IMO, Much typical SBC strife and camp gathering on what a person thinks is right would diminish in churches if these documents were well known by the assemblies.
     
  8. 12strings

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    I agree that there is value in church members actually knowing what the official statement of faith of their church says...but I doubt simply reading it one a year would have the effect you wish it would.
     
  9. Arbo

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    As long as it did not become vain repetition, I'd have no problem with it. I would view it the same way as saying the church covenant once per month.
     
  10. 12strings

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    FOLLOW UP:

    Are you refering to the "Church Covenant" that is printed in the back of the 1956 Baptist Hymnal?

    It took me a while to remember to look for it, but I found it...Here it is...

    I still don't understand exactly what you mean by your last sentance about what the SBC Used to stand for. The only possiblilites I could think of are:

    -They were generally more spiritual and actually did all the things listed in this covenant?
    -They abstained from alcohol?
    -They did less backbiting and infighting?

    ANY CLARIFICATION?
     
  11. Tom Bryant

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    Yes, I have a problem with it. Why do i want to spend time reciting a man's statement of what he or a groupd of people believed? Singing a song like "Holy, Holy, Holy" is far different than reciting a creed. I am durectly worshipping God. The creeds are "I believe ... "

    As far as going back to the "founding" documents is concerned. It seems that a Baptist's founding documents is the Bible.
     
  12. 12strings

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    So to clarify, If a man were to have written "Holy, Holy, Holy." And you were asked to read it corporately, you would have a big problem with it...but if you add music, It's OK?

    What about a corporate prayer that a pastor had written? Something like, "Dear Father, our Creator, we recognize that every good gift comes from you, so cultivate in us a spirit of thanksgiving?"

    would reading that aloud as a congregation be any different than singing "For the Beauty of the earth"?
     
  13. Tom Bryant

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    If we were to read "Holy, Holy, Holy" on a regular basis, then yes, i would. I might be mistaken - and often am - but it was written as a hymn of praise to our God. The purpose of the Creeds was to codify what a group or an individual believed.

    I don't write out prayers for other people to read. I don't even think that the so called "Lord's Prayer" was meant for us to repeat.

    It just seems to me that there is entirely too much determining what we believe on the basis of some creed rather than the Word.

    I don't care of others do it, but I just think it's worthless in terms of the worship service.
     
  14. 12strings

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    But don't you recognize that some hymns were written for the same purpose, that is, to teach people doctrine? Hymns can influence beliefs quite a bit. If it is OK to sing them, how does reading something similar without music change it?
     
  15. Tom Bryant

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    Hymns can teach doctrinal truth, of course. I am saying that the primary purpose of the hymn is for worship. I don't think that the creeds were written for the purpose of worship.

    But my main rejection against repeating the creeds is that, at least as I understand Baptists, our creed is the Bible. I am just not that enthralled with creeds as a whole.
     
  16. saturneptune

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    I was a Presbyterian for 25 years. (PCA, not PCUSA) We read the Apostles Creed every Sunday. I have no problem with it, because the doctrine is solid, as long as the congregation does not become so familiar with it they are chanting like a parrot.

    I think each local church should come up with their own "creed," or statement of faith, and occasionally read it aloud.
     
  17. agedman

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    Thank you for finding it.

    There are four major sections of this short statement.
    1) We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality and to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
    2) We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
    3) We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
    4) We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.
    I'm going to paint with a rather large brush, for each church is supposedly and independent group and the area may have a bit different view.

    Relief of the poor - does the typical SB church still actively reach out (without being asked) to seek the poorest and destitute, or is it a delegated task?

    Secret and family devotions - as recent thread had those reporting that in some churches folks don't even come with a copy of the Scriptures.
    How are they to be actively engaged in religiously educating their children if they don't show respect and exalt the Scriptures above all things in this world.

    Deportment - in the 50's the SB did not attend to ungodly and worldly activities. Dances, movies, and other such activities were held as worldly and not appropriate for the believer. Can you imagine what those folks would consider the modern SB worship and conduct?

    "avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, intoxicating drinks as a beverage;" Do I need to really address these? What SB church would rebuke or even remove a member for not abstaining from any in this list?

    Christian courtesy in speech - as evidenced on the board that is working out really well. I have a suspicion that some folks have an agenda of actually driving others off the BB and proclaiming to them self that it is righteous. I know this isn't a church, but one can imagine what the heart is allowed to express here is a hidden disease at church.



    Again, I know it is with a really wide brush, and there will be those who defend their church.

    But perhaps a great adult Sunday School series would be investigating this document, compare it to the founding document of the church, and see how folks respond.
     
  18. Herald

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    We have two scripture readings during our worship service (call to worship and call to repentance) and five hymns. Typically one or two of the hymns is a psalm. We do not read either a creed or the Baptist confession because they are secondary documents. Our hymns are basically scripture put to music, so that would not be the same as reading a creed or confession.
     
  19. Benjamin

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    I’d say if first thing out of a churches’ mouth concerning their doctrine is making obsessive claims such as “…increasing number of church groups who are drifting from the Scriptures, we have committed ourselves to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith as a guide…” and this directly after making the rather empty claim that the scriptures alone are their rule of faith and practice then as Dr.JamesAch has pinpointed out about the common practice of creeds, which can also be commonly observed by those who hold their members to creeds that they will often add in a “preemptive clause to give plausible deniability when the issue is brought up” to their doctrinal statement which in this example below is obviously concerning how they really arrive to their interpretations of scriptures.

    Then in such a case as the doctrinal statement above I don’t see how full discloser and transparency would be honestly achieved without bringing their interpretational “guide” to the forefront by reading it in church.
     
    #19 Benjamin, Jul 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2013
  20. convicted1

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    Talking about a parrot, I heard that right before you left the PCA, one of your fellow members had a parrot come up missing. Fess up. Did it taste good baked with taters and carrots?
     
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