Why The Need For A Church Confession Of Faith?

“From doctrines come morals. The relation is philosophical and the bond is indissoluble. All the modern hue and cry against dogma is really against morals. The more we reduce the number of the creed articles, the more we undermine practical religion.

Neither Christ nor the apostles predicate morals on any other than a doctrinal foundation. If we are to walk worthily of our calling, we must first know the doctrine of the calling, that is, unto what we were called. And all our “lowliness and meekness and longsuffering and forbearance toward each other, and diligent keeping of the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” are dependent on the antecedent doctrines set forth, otherwise there is no force in Paul’s “therefore.” And what one of the doctrines in the three preceding chapters or in this can we omit from our creed without omitting something profitable in our life? A Christian’s creed should enlarge, and not diminish, up to the last utterance of revelation in order that each article might be transmitted into experience.

A church with a little creed is a church with a little life. The more divine doctrines a church can agree on, the greater its power, and the wider its usefulness. The fewer its articles of faith, the fewer its bonds of union and compactness. The modern cry: “Less creed and more liberty,” is a, degeneration from the vertebrate to the jellyfish, and means less unity and less morality, and it means more heresy. Definitive truth does not create heresy – it only exposes and corrects. Shut off the creed and the Christian world would fill up with heresy unsuspected and uncorrected, but none the less deadly.

Just so it is not good discipline that creates backsliding and other sins of Christians. But discipline is oftentimes the only means of saving a church. To hold to discipline for immoralities and relax it on doctrine puts the cart before the horse and attempts to heal a stream while leaving the fountain impure. To Christ and the apostles false creeds were the most deadly things, and called most for the use of the knife.

…Very solemnly I would warn the reader against any teaching that decries doctrines, or which would reduce the creed of the church into two or three articles. We are entitled to no liberty in these matters. It is a positive and very hurtful sin to magnify liberty at the expense of doctrine. A creed is what we believe. A confession of faith is a declaration of what we believe. The church must both believe and declare. The longest creed of history is more valuable and less hurtful than the shortest. While “the faith” has many articles, there is unity in them. They articulate. And it is intensely important to bring all members of the church into unity touching all the faith.”

…We may close with these observations: (1) While even babes in Christ may be received into the church for further instruction and development, those appointed to instruct and develop must have far higher qualifications of character, capacity, and knowledge. The minimum of entrance qualification into the church can never be made the limit of the church creed, and especially cannot be made the limit of examination for ordination to the ministry. This would assume that a babe must teach a babe. (2) The limit of ordination examination on doctrine is the maximum of church creed on doctrine. The teacher must develop each new-born soul unto the ultimate height of church belief in doctrine. Therefore the injunction: “Lay hands suddenly on no man – not on a novice.” The minister must be “apt to teach.” A teacher is one long past the milk diet, and who himself nourishes on stronger meat, by reason of use has his senses exercised to discern between good and evil. He must himself be “sound in the faith.” Even a deacon must be a proved man, “sound in the faith.” (3) Unless “the faith” is a needed creed of definite vital truth, there is no basis for examination looking to ordination and no standard up to which the convert must be developed. The church, being the pillar and ground of the truth, must have a standard of truth to uphold and conserve. Upon the one point of the mystery of godliness, Paul cites six distinct creed items. On the plan of salvation he cites many others. See Romans 8: 28-30, 33-34; 1 Corinthians 15: 1-8; and on the ordinances yet others. (4) As the church must publish the truth, it must know what to publish. As the church must illustrate the truth in ordinances it must know the ordinances and their import. As the church must vindicate the truth in discipline, it must know what is a vindication of truth in either doctrine or life.

Again, I solemnly warn the reader against all who depreciate creeds, or who would reduce them to a minimum of entrance qualifications into the church.”- B.H. Carroll*

*Carroll, B.H. (2013-03-08). An Interpretation of the English Bible – COLOSSIANS, EPHESIANS, HEBREWS (Volume XV) (Kindle Locations 2343-2501). . Kindle Edition.

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About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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