Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Without Creedence Pt. 2”

Categories: BAPTIST, DOCTRINE, LUTHERAN, RELIGIONS

(This is a follow-up to the post “Without Creedence”)

Your answer to the difference between creeds and publications that preachers write didn't fully explain a difference between the two.  Can you please show me where different denominations hold their "creed" books to the same standard as the Bible?  I have had many discussions with various Lutherans and Baptists alike, and none of them view their supplements to the same degree of Bible authority.  They all view them as teaching tools to supplement the Word.  Many preachers claim that their writings should be heard because they are "based" on the Word of God.  Many religious groups with creed books would claim the same.  I believe the difference between a creed book and the publications church of Christ preachers write is that we believe that one follows the Bible, and the others don't.  Our friends outside the church make the same claim.  Anytime we hold our opinions and explanations to demand the same level of attention as plain Scripture, we have written creeds by your definition.  Maybe we should simply point people to Scripture and quit offering our opinions.

Sincerely,
Tracking Tracts

Dear Tracking Tracts,

If a preacher takes something he writes and gives it equal weight to the Bible, then he is sinning, but we’ve never personally experienced someone using a tract or commentary that way.  Your statement that “many preachers claim…” is arbitrary, and we can’t speak to personal experiences and subjective viewpoints.  In fact, the discussions you have had with various Lutherans and Baptists are also subjective because most Baptists and Lutherans don’t know what their own creed books even say.  The key is to read the books for yourself and ask what the leaders of these churches say about their creeds.  The Lutheran church uses four creeds: The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Augsburg Confessional.  They teach that these creeds are authoritative guides for their worship and beliefs – they aren’t commentaries; they are distinct belief systems that don’t require Bible authority to back them.  As we said, read them yourselves.

The Baptists are even more blatant about the value they place upon their creeds.  The Standard Manual For Baptist Churches says that baptism used to be a necessary part of salvation, but now things are different (Standard Manual for Baptist Churches pg. 22).  That type of a statement clearly places their manual as a religious authority above the Bible!

Not all people who are part of a religious group understand why they do what they do and where their beliefs come from, but that doesn’t make the creed any less of a guide for their respective denominations.  These creeds add to God’s Word, and that is definitely wrong (Rev 22:18-19, 1 Cor 4:6).