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mizzdy
Mar 26th 2008, 06:44 PM
Hi,

Not sure is this is the right place to post this but here goes. It has been drawn to my attention that one cannot be a christian or within the body of Christ unless one adheres to a 'creed'. :confused Is this really so? Where in the bible does this come from? Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks.

karenoka27
Mar 26th 2008, 06:49 PM
Are you a part of a particular religion? just curious.

The only way that one can become a Christian and be a part of the body of Christ is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died, and was buried and rose again, having victory over sin and death.

1 Corinthians 15:3-"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"



John 3:16-"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

mizzdy
Mar 26th 2008, 07:07 PM
Karen,

No, I am not part of any denomination or religion. My faith and belief is firmly based in God and that Christ died, was buried and raised for my sins. Although I have been told that this is the basis for all christians to be sure yet it seems that christians must confess and agree with at least one creed. It is always possible that I am wrong :D but I have yet to see anywhere in the scriptures that show me that I have to do just that. It sounds more like joining a club to me than being part of the body of Christ. Am I way off or what? Thanks.

HisLeast
Mar 26th 2008, 07:17 PM
The creed ensures people understand the real fundamentals, which curbs heresy. In a way its like saying, we might disagree on points X, Y, and Z sometimse... but in points A, B, and C there can be no differentiation and still be Christian.

Is the creed usefull? Yes. Is it the basis for salvation and inclusion in the body of Christ? Most assuredly, no.

karenoka27
Mar 26th 2008, 07:20 PM
mizzdy welcome to the board by the way!

Hisleast...good answer...

Buck shot
Mar 26th 2008, 07:38 PM
My faith and belief is firmly based in God and that Christ died, was buried and raised for my sins. Although I have been told that this is the basis for all christians to be sure yet it seems that christians must confess and agree with at least one creed.


Welcome Mizzdy,

You are correct. Creeds are of men not of God. The problem with us humans is we don't (as a whole) spend enough time in scripture to get a good understanding of Biblical Doctrine.

Doctrine (Latin: doctrina) is a code of beliefs or "a body of teachings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teaching)" or "instructions", taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belief_system). (from Wikipedia 3/26/08)

Because we fear that people will not study to show themselves approved we make up creeds (or guidelines) to keep folks in the straight and narrow.

This is where being a part of a "good" church family helps because you can join in worship and study of the Bible and grow some solid roots.

markedward
Mar 26th 2008, 07:44 PM
I don't really have a problem with the creeds, but what I think is a problem is when people place the creeds on the same level as, or even above, the authority of the Bible.

Scripture is accepted by Christians as being God-directed.

The creeds are interpretations of Scripture.

While I believe that the creeds are often spot-on, they should not be used as a method to determine if a person is a Christian or not, because they are not Scripture, but interpretations of Scripture.

mizzdy
Mar 26th 2008, 07:59 PM
HisLeast,

I certainly agree that creeds have nothing to do with my salvation!! Creeds at some point in history may have indeed curbed heresy yet today I don't see that especially if one visits some of forums on the net. :D From what I see there many denominations that don't or seem not to be able to agree on just one creed. No unity in that from what I see. I have even read from some is that when they went to join a new church the elders told them if they wanted to be in their church they must agree to a creed and all doctrine related to that particular church. To me that is wrong. But I digress, sorry. So if someone does not agree with any of the creeds are they not christian, are they considered heretic's? Thanks

Hmm on a side note I typed a message and tried to use an icon and the whole thing disappeared. This normal or just me?:hmm:

mizzdy
Mar 26th 2008, 08:00 PM
Karen,
Thanks for the welcome!!!!!!

mizzdy
Mar 26th 2008, 08:11 PM
Buckshot,
Thanks for the welcome!

<<Because we fear that people will not study to show themselves approved we make up creeds (or guidelines) to keep folks in the straight and narrow.>> LOL I have to copy and paste myself since I cannot figure out this board yet!

I agree that it can be hard to keep on the straight and narrow path and that we must always study and pray for guidance. And yes it is true that having others that love God and Christ in our lives to keep us (hopefully) on that path, I just think it is wrong for anyone to tell me that I am not a believer that I am not saved since I won't recite a bunch of words. Just doesn't make sense to me. Thanks.

grptinHisHand
Mar 26th 2008, 08:11 PM
Hello and welcome, Mizzdy. :)

From a post here by HisLeast:

"Is the creed usefull? Yes. Is it the basis for salvation and inclusion in the body of Christ? Most assuredly, no."

To this I say 'Amen, good answer'.

mizzdy
Mar 26th 2008, 08:14 PM
Mark,
Thanks for this....

<<they should not be used as a method to determine if a person is a Christian or not, because they are not Scripture, but interpretations of Scripture.>>

This is how I look at it.

mizzdy
Mar 26th 2008, 08:16 PM
GrptinHisHand,
Thanks for the welcome and yes I agree that they have nothing to do with my salvation nor my walk with Christ.

HisLeast
Mar 26th 2008, 08:17 PM
I certainly agree that creeds have nothing to do with my salvation!! Creeds at some point in history may have indeed curbed heresy yet today I don't see that especially if one visits some of forums on the net. :D

I see the modern era and the net as being new and greatly improved ways to spread heresy and water down doctrine.


From what I see there many denominations that don't or seem not to be able to agree on just one creed. No unity in that from what I see. I have even read from some is that when they went to join a new church the elders told them if they wanted to be in their church they must agree to a creed and all doctrine related to that particular church. To me that is wrong. But I digress, sorry. So if someone does not agree with any of the creeds are they not christian, are they considered heretic's?

My church will allow you to attend, but "membership" is only given to people who agree to the doctrinal statements. That is done, again, to reduce heresy and ensure doctrine remains consistant.

mizzdy
Mar 26th 2008, 08:46 PM
HisLEast,

<<I see the modern era and the net as being new and greatly improved ways to spread heresy and water down doctrine.>>

Yes you are correct that this happens yet I have read many testimonies that tell me that without the net many people would not have come to saving knowledge of Christ. So like anything else in this life there is pros and cons.

<<My church will allow you to attend, but "membership" is only given to people who agree to the doctrinal statements. That is done, again, to reduce heresy and ensure doctrine remains consistant.>>

I can firmly understand the needs of churches to keep their flock in likemindness and unity. Yet I find that Christ tells me that I must confess Him and not a creed. To me there is a difference in declaring His name as compared to declaring a creed. To me there is no comparison. What I was after is for someone to tell me or explain to me why my salvation was wrapped up in declaring my belief in a creed. It seems its not and I never thought it did. But so many lately have told me different.

Could I ask, does it say anywhere in the bible that we are suppose to sign, confess, (anything other than His name) or anything along those lines in order to part of His church or body? :confused Thanks.

Buck shot
Mar 26th 2008, 08:47 PM
Buckshot,
Thanks for the welcome!

<<Because we fear that people will not study to show themselves approved we make up creeds (or guidelines) to keep folks in the straight and narrow.>> LOL I have to copy and paste myself since I cannot figure out this board yet!

I agree that it can be hard to keep on the straight and narrow path and that we must always study and pray for guidance. And yes it is true that having others that love God and Christ in our lives to keep us (hopefully) on that path, I just think it is wrong for anyone to tell me that I am not a believer that I am not saved since I won't recite a bunch of words. Just doesn't make sense to me. Thanks.

For sure! You are Right! There is no words (or works) of man (other than "The Man" Jesus) that will get you or keep you saved!

I do understand why some churches want folks to read and understand their creeds though. When it comes time, as unfortunately sometimes does, that we have to set down with someone and remind them of how they agreed to live it serves as a reminded of who they once were and what they had said they believed.

As you stated before we cannot agree with all creeds today so this cannot mean you are not a christian or that you are a heretic. Especially if you can back up why you don't agree with scripture. If you can't maybe these are points to study a little deeper.

As far as the site, I'm still new so I'm learning too! Click quote at the bottom right of a post and it will bring you to the post window. You can edit out what you don't want in the message as long as you leave the [ quote ] (no spaces) at the start and [ / quote ] (no spaces) at the end.
You can multi-quote by clicking on each one you want to respond to and then hit the back button. When you are ready to start responding just don't back up and the quotes will be there.
If you want to break up a post the just type [ quote ] (no spaces) where you want to start and [ / quote ] (no spaces) at the end of that part.(thanks Ken, I just learned this part this week)
That's all I can help you with for now.

HisLeast
Mar 26th 2008, 09:52 PM
I can firmly understand the needs of churches to keep their flock in likemindness and unity. Yet I find that Christ tells me that I must confess Him and not a creed. To me there is a difference in declaring His name as compared to declaring a creed. To me there is no comparison. What I was after is for someone to tell me or explain to me why my salvation was wrapped up in declaring my belief in a creed. It seems its not and I never thought it did. But so many lately have told me different.

Could I ask, does it say anywhere in the bible that we are suppose to sign, confess, (anything other than His name) or anything along those lines in order to part of His church or body? :confused Thanks.

Again, I never said you have to confess a creed. But I also stated that creeds are a good way for a church to find out what people believe. For example, a Jehova's Witness will confess the name of Christ and his sacrifice, but are they saved? No? How do you know? Do you have a list of fundamentals by which you can make the determination? If so, you've got a creed.

Nobody is saying they're mandatory or necessary for salvation. What (at least I) am saying is that they are extremely usefull.

mizzdy
Mar 26th 2008, 11:02 PM
Buck Shot,

Thanks so much for that help. I printed it out and will keep it for reference. I will admit to being not so savvy when it comes to figuring out computer stuff. I just had to replace one and now I have vista and cannot for the life of me figure out the new email program that I have. But I will prevail!!!! lol

Br. Barnabas
Mar 28th 2008, 04:37 AM
I totally agree with HisLeast, in that the Creeds help to establish correct doctrine and understand of the Christian faith and were meant to crub heresy.

Every Christian should be able to state: I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. I believe in one holy catholic* and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

*catholic here just means univerisal not Roman Catholic.

These are the most basic of Christian beliefs, but the Creed will not save you only Jesus. Some churches like the Disciples of Christ do not hold to any Creed. But I think that they would say that they agree with everything that the Creed says. In other words all the Creeds are there to say is that these are the things that Christianity is all about it is based on the Bible.

valleybldr
Mar 28th 2008, 10:45 AM
My church will allow you to attend, but "membership" is only given to people who agree to the doctrinal statements. That is done, again, to reduce heresy and ensure doctrine remains consistant.
Interesting. After attending my congregation for 12 years I decided to become a member. I still have to deal with a humanly authored doctrinal statement that has pieces I would not insure with my life. I'm trying to work through the impasse but I've no desire to cross my conscience.

The whole idea of creeds is to exclude (and historically often execute) those who do not agree with the majority (or victor). I prefer to stay with the bible. It's large enough without humans coming along thinking they can state things better. I prefer to only endorse a list of Scriptural quotes and I will not trace my spiritual lineage through any Christian denomination that has been guilty of murdering their opponents.

todd

seamus414
Mar 28th 2008, 12:10 PM
In my opnion, whether one is a Christian or not is determined by whether one believes in the Creed. The Creed lays out the minimum that a Christian must believe; the non-negotiables as it were. If one does not believe in the Creedal statements then one does not believe in non-negotiable Christian teaching, It's pretty straight forward.

The Creed is this:
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father [and the Son],
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

seamus414
Mar 28th 2008, 12:29 PM
Vallybldr said "Interesting. After attending my congregation for 12 years I decided to become a member. I still have to deal with a humanly authored doctrinal statement that has pieces I would not insure with my life. I'm trying to work through the impasse but I've no desire to cross my conscience. The whole idea of creeds is to exclude (and historically often execute) those who do not agree with the majority (or victor). I prefer to stay with the bible. It's large enough without humans coming along thinking they can state things better. I prefer to only endorse a list of Scriptural quotes and I will not trace my spiritual lineage through any Christian denomination that has been guilty of murdering their opponents."

First of all the reason that the Creed was prepared as for every reader of the Bible there will be a different idea or opinion. The Creed ensures that the teachings of a church or beliefs of a person are consistent with Apostolic Teaching, and not the teaching of a certain theologian or pastor or whatever. Therefore "to stay with the bible" is a pretty meaningless phrase as people from Mormans, to Jehovah's Witness, to "progressive" Christians all claim toi "stay with the bible". The Creed specifically states what interpretation is correct. Without it you have the chaos that has developed out of radical and/or American Protestantism.

About the murder comment - virtually no Christian denomonation can claim a lineage that does not intersect with someone who endorced violence at some point. What denominaton are you?

HisLeast
Mar 28th 2008, 03:03 PM
The whole idea of creeds is to exclude (and historically often execute) those who do not agree with the majority (or victor).
Actually, the whole idea of creeds was not to exclude and execute, but to curb heresy and ensure that people understood the bare fundamentals of Christianity. In antiquity, you're dealing with masses of people who could barely read, yet were in need of salvation anyway. The creed was there to help them understand what Christianity's essence is. Without the creeds you'll have people within the same church, professing "Christianity" but saying things like "Jesus isn't really God, just someone who actualized their innate divinity". That would be heresy, is provable with scripture (like the rest of the creed), and would do nothing but sew chaos.

Just because something was born of an official church (even an old one) does not mean it was created for diabolical means. How about giving your faith's history a little credit?


I prefer to stay with the bible. It's large enough without humans coming along thinking they can state things better.
Except you can't recite the whole Bible if someone asks you what you believe. What you'd probably do is pick isolated verses to show the gist of it. And since people are asking you for what you believe, and not a bibliography, you'd probably merge it into one general statement. And now you have a creed... except you've come up with it on your own (commendable) but decide to damn the one that came earlier, assembled by men who studied the word full time.

seamus414
Mar 28th 2008, 03:08 PM
HisLeast: totally agreed. I think modern Western Christians, when they tout the BIble as they do (I am not diminishing the Bible here at all) seem to forget that most people in history, and many people today, cannot read a word of any language. So, as wonderful as the Bible is, it serves an illiterate person no better than the Sunday comic shot.

Teke
Mar 28th 2008, 03:20 PM
Hi,

Not sure is this is the right place to post this but here goes. It has been drawn to my attention that one cannot be a christian or within the body of Christ unless one adheres to a 'creed'. :confused Is this really so? Where in the bible does this come from? Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks.

You've been given some great responses in this thread, especially by His Least.
From experience in different churches I would say that I prefer to know what the churches statement of faith/creed (what they believe and worship) is up front. I have been in churches which didn't have one and believed some very strange things which didn't come to light for me until issues came of them.

markedward
Mar 28th 2008, 03:27 PM
God is one God, eternally existent.
The Father is God, but He is not the Son or the Spirit.
The Son is God, but He is not the Father or the Spirit.
The Spirit is God, but He is not the Father or the Son.
The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are the one God.
The Son was born as a man by a virgin.
The Son taught the people about the coming Kingdom.
The Son was crucified and died a human death.
The Son was resurrected on the third day.
The Son ascended to heaven, promising He would come.
Eternal life comes only from faith in the Son and not by works.

I think that if there is a "universal" Christian creed, this would have to be the extent of it. It covers the foundations of the faith, the "non-negotiables" so to speak. Everything else is interpretation, plain and simple; the exact meaning of such-and-such parable, the manner of the resurrection of believers, the exact nature of His "second coming," etc.

mizzdy
Mar 28th 2008, 07:25 PM
Teke,

>>From experience in different churches I would say that I prefer to know what the churches statement of faith/creed (what they believe and worship) is up front. I have been in churches which didn't have one and believed some very strange things which didn't come to light for me until issues came of them>>

I also, if I was considering joining a church, would want to know what doctrines and/or theology a church adheres to. Reading these posts and reading also from other forums there seems to be a lot of differing views and it does seem, at least to me, that the people who tell me that I must confess a creed are more than likely in orthodox religions as compared to say a small church setting. That is just the impression I have gotten and of course I have been wrong before. :)

Let me ask something for everyone here: Do you recite a creed, whether it be the one that church uses etc., when you join a church. How is it that you 'become' a member. Ex. Valleybldr wrote that after 12 years he decided to become a member, so now do you confirm a creed as a confession of sorts or is something that ones signs? I've never had to do something like this. Thanks.

Br. Barnabas
Mar 28th 2008, 07:33 PM
Mizzdy,

In my church when you are baptized or become a memeber of the church you are asked a series of questions, and each question is answered with a part of the Creed. So they ask do you believe in God the Father? Answer: I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. And so on with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. And then we are asked:
Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you persevere in resisting evil,
and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you proclaim by word and example
the good news of God in Christ?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all people,
loving your neighbour as yourself?
With the help of God, I will.

Will you acknowledge Christ's authority over human society,
by prayer for the world and its leaders,
by defending the weak, and by seeking peace and justice?
With the help of God, I will.

I never had to sign anything.

Buck shot
Mar 28th 2008, 08:30 PM
Let me ask something for everyone here: Do you recite a creed, whether it be the one that church uses etc., when you join a church. How is it that you 'become' a member. Ex. Valleybldr wrote that after 12 years he decided to become a member, so now do you confirm a creed as a confession of sorts or is something that ones signs? I've never had to do something like this. Thanks.

Howdy Mizzy,
I can only speak for the Baptist and Methodist Churches I have been a part of. Most used to have a church covenant on the wall but over the last twenty years several have been taken down because of various reasons. We have a doctrinal statement that we offer to visitors that seem interested in joining.

Normally folks come forward during the invitation but not always to join.
We go over what the church teaches and make sure this is how you understand the scriptures in a one on one setting where these things can be discussed.

To join a Baptist Church (I think all of them but things change) you either join in baptism (*could be done at the church) after you have professed your salvation to the church or you join by letter from another church of like faith and doctrine. If the church you are coming from does not scripturally baptize by submersion you would need to be scriptural baptized (*could be done at the church)to join. If you are joining from another church our church would vote on your membership but it is very informal and always passes. The only way I could ever see it not passing is if you were a trouble maker from another church.

I hope this helps.

* we have had some that have wanted to be baptized at the lake.

mizzdy
Mar 28th 2008, 10:45 PM
Buck Shot and Uriel,

Thanks for writing and letting me know what goes on in your churches it is most informative. Since I last posted I talked with my mom again about her church and she tells me that when they get new members they fill out a welcome card and the minister follows up during the week and asks them back. If and when they are baptized they are considered members of the church. Of course if there is ever any doctrinal problems the elders, deacons and/or minister sits with them goes through scripture and the like. My mom lives in a small town and has gone to the same church for just about 30 years. I grew up in the church of christ but left when I was a teen but yet never heard about creeds and all that. I believe I understand it all now with all your help. :thumbsup: Thanks so much.

Teke
Mar 30th 2008, 09:38 PM
Teke,

>>From experience in different churches I would say that I prefer to know what the churches statement of faith/creed (what they believe and worship) is up front. I have been in churches which didn't have one and believed some very strange things which didn't come to light for me until issues came of them>>

I also, if I was considering joining a church, would want to know what doctrines and/or theology a church adheres to. Reading these posts and reading also from other forums there seems to be a lot of differing views and it does seem, at least to me, that the people who tell me that I must confess a creed are more than likely in orthodox religions as compared to say a small church setting. That is just the impression I have gotten and of course I have been wrong before. :)

Let me ask something for everyone here: Do you recite a creed, whether it be the one that church uses etc., when you join a church. How is it that you 'become' a member. Ex. Valleybldr wrote that after 12 years he decided to become a member, so now do you confirm a creed as a confession of sorts or is something that ones signs? I've never had to do something like this. Thanks.

Most churches are more worried about your soul than if you know a creed. However, once they have addressed the issue of the salvation of your soul, ei. baptism, then you are taught their creed. In my church we are Trinitarians and recite the Nicene Creed every Sunday. We don't do this to affirm our membership, but to clarify Whom we worship and uphold the divinity of Jesus Christ.

It's not a matter of signing anything to become a member. A creed expresses the belief of the whole denomination, worldwide. So your correct in that it is usually orthodox religions which do so. :)