I am currently in Seminary and I thought it would be interesting to post my responses to this week’s assignment questions or “discussion board posts.” I have another blog post that I want to write but I have not yet find the time to do it. It is rolling around in my noggin but it will have to stay there for now.
The Seminary assignment is to answer or discuss a series of questions in reference to the topic of the week which is, Creeds and Confessions of Faith. To be honest, if the church I grew up in or if the church I attend now has an adopted confession of faith, I am not aware of it. I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but I digress. The following are the questions that have been proposed to me and then my responses. Feel free to discuss and let me know your thoughts on this matter.
What are some pros and cons churches should consider in adopting a confession of faith?
Some of the pros adopting a confession of faith is that it provides some sort of structure and may serve to remove any ambiguity for members and for visitors who may ask “what does this body of believers believe?” Yet I understand that in saying that, just because a confession of faith has a particular stance, does not necessarily mean that every member will consider themselves following or subscribing to said confession.
There are several cons that I can think of when thinking whether or not a church should consider adopting a confession of faith. One, there will be the temptation of prescribing authority on the confession of faith. Meaning, shared or sole authority with scripture. This may never be the intent or the spoken outcome, but one need only to observe a few churches to see that their veneration for a particular confession of faith seems to trump or be glorified more than scripture. If this church body does not subscribe to the doctrinal authority of sola scripture (scripture alone) then I believe the skies the limit to whatever confession they want to adopt. Man is fallible. Therefore, any creed or confession outside of scripture is capable of being corrupted by the error of man. This is why I believe that there are potential cons that a church should consider when adopting a confession of faith. Anything apart from a church placing their hope in the person and work of Christ alone will simply lead to preaching and adherence to Cheap Law. This is the greatest con possible; that a church’s hope would be in a confession of faith rather than in Christ.
That was my initial response. There are more questions but I need to read more of this week’s reading assignments.
What are your thoughts on Confessions of Faith? Is there anything more than saying what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “for I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified?” Do we really need anything more than that? Hope in the person and work of Jesus? On a side note I’d like to make an observation…I wonder if Paul did not include that Jesus had come back to life in this confession because it was a well understood truth in the time period of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians that Christ did rise because they saw him after his crucifixion? Just a thought.
I have been under the impression that the following are essential beliefs that should break or create unity between self-professing Christians: The Trinity, the Person and Work of Jesus, the Authority of Scripture, and Justification by Faith alone. But my question is, if an individual has been given the gift of grace of having faith in who Jesus is and what He has done…is that not the only confession we need? Or better yet, is our confession not that we have done anything in order to cling to Christ, but that because of who Jesus is and what He has done, Christ is clinging to us?
I no longer look at my salvation as me accepting Christ, but instead Christ accepting me. I no longer look at my salvation as me giving my life to Christ but Christ giving His life to me. My confession is Christ Alone.
My Confession is that Salvation only comes to sinners by Grace Alone Through Faith Alone In Christ Alone.
My Confession of Faith is GATFAICA.
I am so thankful that God loved me first.
I am so thankful for God’s grace. Without His grace, confessions are just words.