Why I don’t have a Statement of Faith

Posted: January 8, 2011 in christian living, ecclesia, Jesus
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Here is an old post written against a statement by John McArthur where he said that it’s a sign of ‘new age’ influence when ‘ministries’ don’t have a statement of belief, a doctrinal statement… taken from http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/why-i-dont-have-a-statement-of-belief

Here is a statement of my faith as to why i don’t have a ‘Statement of Faith’.  : )

Actually, i do have a statement of faith, and it’s my works, my life, as James declared, that our life declares what kind of faith we have.

The spirit of antichrist manifests in MANY different ways, and many times has no problem giving it’s assent to a sound statement of faith like the Apostles Creed.

I agree with the content of that creed, that what is stated in that creed is true, but i don’t agree that it should exist in the first place as “a creed” : how and why it is used, that is, the reason for it’s existence. I can’t see anywhere in NT scripture where there is anything that points toward the justification of a creed or the use of a creed.


Just bcos someone says they believe in sound doctrine, a creed or even the Scriptures, what does that, in itself, prove about who they are or whether they are in right relationship to Jesus Christ? Nothing.

That’s why i don’t put out a Statement of Faith. If i did, and then someone reads it and says,  Wow, that’s great, now i know that Ian is legit – then they’re dangerously naive.

Relational life is WHY there are no creeds given in the NT Scriptures. Whatever we believe, on each point, we need to have understood the truth of the Scriptures for ourselves and then, as the need arises, we can articulate the truth : No parroting of creeds as a basis for unity, the devil also believes and he trembles, and he’s also good at parroting creeds.

But the LIFE of Jesus in us can’t be parroted, can’t be faked, and when someone is filled with the Holy Spirit they are filled with the fruits of righteousness, and they will love and obey every word of God; they will love the truth of Scripture.

Which comes back to the Wisdom of God for His Church : if He had desired that His people recite creeds, He would have said so in Scripture and it would be clear in the foundational work of the Apostles. If it wasn’t God’s wisdom then, it’s not now.

We need to care enough about people to know them; to know their life as a statement of faith : all that we say, do and are is our statement of faith. But if you don’t care to get to know a person, why waste your time trying to have some input in their life?

So, if anything i say or do clashes with Scripture please let me know and we can discuss it. That’s IF you are praying for me, otherwise, what’s the point of the exercise?

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Comments
  1. ketch22 says:

    I truly find it strange that you wrote this. You of all of the blogs I read are the one that consistently proclaims what is wrong, false, evil, out of line with doctrine, etc… in Christianity today. You have basically set forth your own creed with your many blogs.

    I don’t think a creed is needed to be a believer, however, I do think it is valuable in setting forth the basics of who a Church believes Christ is… especially with all the false doctrines out there that people get involved in thinking that they are following the true Christ.

    I have actually NOT gone to a Church because they believed that baptism was needed for salvation. Very useful in determining what their creed is. Even house Churches have varying beliefs. We just found out that they are really becoming involved in Randy Clark and his “Global Awakening” which I believe is a cult… but they believe in this type of healing movement.

  2. fleebabylon says:

    “You have basically set forth your own creed with your many blogs.”

    I am not sure you read brother Ians post correctly.

    “I have actually NOT gone to a Church because they believed that baptism was needed for salvation. Very useful in determining what their creed is.”

    With this I agree with you – it is useful in a sense that way.

  3. ian vincent says:

    RE: “You have basically set forth your own creed with your many blogs. ”

    Exactly, that’s exactly my point. Creed – Credo means what we believe.

    Why would we write or say amything we did not believe?

    All our life is our creed.

    If we walk together in fellowship we can discuss what the Scriptures say, together, rather than join a clique.

    from my blog:

    Just to add: It doesn’t bother me at all if brethren publish a statement of faith.

    And it is true that there is a new age tendency today to avoid essential doctrine.

    Not having a statement of faith doesn’t mean we don’t have essential doctrines, such as salvation by grace and not law, the eternal Deity of Christ, three persons of the Godhead etc.. It means that the Bible alone is the basis for truth. And people should be able to articulate directly from the Bible what the truth is, rather than parrot something.

    ——————————–

    The church was never intended to be something you could pick and choose, like a supermarket, and tick all the boxes to see if you can “attend it”.

    Th relationships that held the early church together are barely known today.

  4. ian vincent says:

    My main point, again: It means that the Bible alone is the basis for truth. And people should be able to articulate directly from the Bible what the truth is, rather than parrot something.

    • ketch22 says:

      ian… I can see that you are a believer… however, you try to hard to hold stances that aren’t necessary. The Bible alone is the basis for truth… nobody who is a true believer would argue with that… catholics not included. A creed is just that… articulation directly from the Bible. I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth (from the Bible) and in Jesus Christ His only Son, I believe in the virgin birth (from the Bible). I believe in the man of sorrows, bruised for eniquity, I believe in the Lamb who was crucified and hung between two thieves (from the Bible). I believe in the resurection on that third and glorious day, and now He sits at God’s right hand and prepares a place for me (in the Bible).

      So they aren’t “parroting something”, they are parroting the Bible. Because of the many false interpretations out there, and I would submit that you folks here have a few, a creed is can be a blessing and necessary thing.

  5. fleebabylon says:

    Thank you Ian,

    To give an example I remember a thread about John Piper (who I consider a true elder brother and thank God for despite some diferences). He had invited Mark Driscoll, the pastor of a large congregation to speak at a conference. Driscoll is clearly disqualified from any eldership position based on his words and actions. People were like why would John Piper invite this guy to speak? The answer was becase Driscoll was a calvinist as Piper is. So there you have a false unity based on empty creeds rather then a true unity based on the bond of the Holy Spirit.

    Later on John Piper went so far as to invite Rick Warren to speak at a conference because Rick Warren had spent the last year reading Jonathon Edwards (a calvinist). Warren didnt even have to agree with the creed, just enjoy reading someone who did. In the words of Edwards himself “what sottish madness”.

    There may be a new age movement going on that disowns creeds for an evil purpose but there is error on both sides of the highway of holiness friends.

    If we walk in the light as He is in the light then we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

    • ketch22 says:

      I don’t believe there is a false unity here, but rather a unity in Christ. Maybe Driscoll is not qualified to be an elder, I don’t know, I don’t follow him and his teachings, but it is for his congregation and the other elders to determine his qualifications, not those on the outside. But the point is… the creed is not at fault for the get togethers, but rather the people. The creed is a tool to start to understand the basic beliefs of a congregation or a person… how that person adheres to the creed and practices his faith is another thing… but not the fault of the creed.

      • fleebabylon says:

        ketch-

        if Driscoll was an armenian Piper would never have invited him – no question about that. It was for Piper to determine if Driscoll was fit to speak at his conference where the speakers were all elders. You just like to argue.

        -Jim

      • ketch22 says:

        Actually I don’t like to argue… in fact out of all of the “Christian” blogs I read, this is the only one I disagree with time and time again. It seems the writers here just search for things to disagree with other Christians on. If Driscoll was an armenian, Piper would never invited him… correct… and that might have been revealed by his creed. You make my point.

  6. ketch22 says:

    <>

    True… true. But what if somebody is “walking in the light” but is led to believe that Christ is not God… but was created by God to save us from sin (JW)? Wouldn’t a creed spell out the basic beliefs of the Church so that person could study up and read why we believe so? Otherwise they could stay in their confusion and never ask the questions. It doesn’t have to be a written creed, but at least teaching and study with the family of God so that their beliefs are made known… and this is a creed.

    • fleebabylon says:

      Ketch – you are missing the point a bit, in a true new testament fellowship that is RELATIONAL rather the RELIGOUS the creed is not needed because you actually know more about the people in your fellowship then what the back of their head looks like.

      I am not against creeds though – I would just say again

      “There may be a new age movement going on that disowns creeds for an evil purpose but there is error on both sides of the highway of holiness friends.”

      -Jim

    • ketch22 says:

      Jim… thanks for the clarification, however… I would never get to that true relational fellowship if I never went to the fellowship in the first place. And I wouldn’t go to fellowship with others unless I knew what their basic tenets of faith were. “We love Jesus” is not enough… there are plenty who “love” “Jesus”. You must believe in the same Jesus I trust in… therefore I still believe a creed is very useful.

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