About Me – On Confessions

If you don’t know, this is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on today’s topic.

In our present age, there is this common thought that one’s religion should be kept unshackled from the doctrines, dogmas, and creeds (or confessions) of the past. They think this makes them better and freer than those of the past. As such, they tend to be anti-creedal.

However, it is impossible to truly be anti-confessional. To state you have no confession or that there should be no confession is to inherently make a declarative statement that takes on the role of your confession. By merely taking a stand of any kind, you’ve confessed your position and thereby put forth your creed or confession. Therefore, it is more honest to be forward and state what you have as your confession.

Heretics historically proclaimed that they held to the Scriptures so simply stating “our creed is the Bible” isn’t enough. In fact, confessions were often written in response to historical heresies in order to have a succinct message upon where the church stood that could be referenced against such heresies. These also serve as useful teaching tools for the congregation at large.

I personally enjoy both the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed and my current church subscribes to the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (also called the 2nd London Baptist Confession).

I also think quite highly of the Westminster Confession of Faith.

There are many other creeds and confessions out there and many that are useful for teaching and historical study that I have not mentioned here.

My greatest point is that confessions are important and that a church that claims it doesn’t have one or refuses to state one has thereby made its stance (confession) clear, and such a church is therefore a potentially dangerous place as it will have difficulty identifying and calling out false doctrine. Such a place is not the sort of place one should look to for growth in Christ.

Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.

Quote #25 – Scripture (parallel)

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Philippians 3:8 (ESV)

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

Philippians 3:8 (NASB, Updated 1995)

Quote #24 – Machen

While speaking on the subject of doctrine . . .

If the Church were led to wipe out of existence all products of the thinking of nineteen Christian centuries and start fresh, the loss, even if the Bible were retained, would be immense. When it is once admitted that a body of facts lies at the basis of the Christian religion, the efforts which past generations have made toward the classification of the facts will have to be treated with respect. In no branch of science would there be any real advance if every generation started fresh with no dependence upon what past generations have achieved. Yet in theology, vituperation of the past seems to be thought essential to progress. And upon what base slanders the vituperation is based! After listening to modern tirades against the great creeds of the Church, one receives rather a shock when one turns to the Westminster Confession, for example, or to that tenderest and most theological of books, the “Pilgrim’s Progress” of John Bunyan, and discovers that in doing so one has turned from shallow modern phrases to a “dead orthodoxy” that is pulsating with life in every word. In such orthodoxy there is life enough to set the whole world aglow with Christian love.

J. Grescham Machen in Christianity & Liberalism

Note: if you’re not familiar with the term “vituperation”, think of it as: the act of being invective; you are attempting to censure or put away with abusive language.