Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Putting Out The Fire: "We only believe in the Bible"

In a post over at Putting Out the Fire, Frank posts We only believe in the Bible. Frank writes:

Here’s an example of how playing a guessing game as to what a particular church’s confession is has personally affected me: I wouldn’t commune at a church in my hometown because the pastor reworded the Nicene Creed. Why is this a big deal you ask? This pastor had so butchered the creed that I no longer tell if this church, which I had visited many times in the past and communed there as well, shared the same confession of faith. And since I didn’t hear said pastor preach Christ crucified in his sermon, it was as if I was in a church that just liked to make it up as they go. There are no words for how angry I was when I left after the service. I was not fed by either Word or Sacrament in the very place that I know I should’ve been fed. Was I making too big of a deal out of a little matter? No I was not! In his epistle to the Romans 10:9,10 St. Paul wrote “That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” This is why people like me cling to the confessions, because it ensures we are all on the same sheet of music. If you like your music to be of the Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant variety that’s fine, just don’t interrupt my Bach Chorale and tell me we’re listening to the same thing!

In a related post, which Frank used to bolster his point, Pastor Stiegemeyer writes, in Doctrine vs. God's Word:

It matters WHAT you believe, friends. You can't just say, "I love Jesus." Nearly everyone says that from Mormons to Muslims. "Who do men say I am?" WHO is Jesus? WHAT did he do?

If you say that God is not going to judge you according to your doctrine, be careful because it sounds like you are suggesting that your relationship to God is not related to what you believe.

According to St. Paul... (read on)
~ Pastor Stiegemeyer

In my experience, too many evangelicals and fundamentalists do not understand how their ancient Christian forefathers fought false teachings and developed creeds from those battles. Someone who has as their creed, "Just give me Jesus!" or "We only believe in the Bible." might as well be carrying a banner into the future for all the false teachings of the past centuries. At the very least, that person is holding open the door to false teachings in their family's lifetime and for his or her great-grandchildren. Everyone has a creed, spoken or not, written or not. In my youth, I thought it drudgery to state one of the creeds in church; now I see it as hope for the future members of my church.

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