A couple of my posts were recently referenced in a blog by some Christadelphians. If you aren’t familiar with the Christadelphians, they’re a rather newish sect that has dredged up and repackaged some of the old Christological heresies of the early church. More specifically, they deny the deity of Christ and argue that He could never be considered at the same level as God the Father.
It’s interesting, though unfortunate, to see groups like this springing up. It means all of the work done by the great theologians of old in putting down these heresies was rejected. Notable theologians such as Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great, Augustine, Athanasius, and many more, all worked tirelessly to show how the divinity of Christ is clearly found in Scripture. This is why the church set down in writing the statements of faith we know as the three ecumenical creeds: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. These creeds definitively declared what the Church believed. The Church did not adopt these statement because they were authoritative in themselves. These statements were adopted because they express in simple and concise language what Scripture clearly states. The most important aspect of the creeds is their affirmation of the Trinity, three Persons but one God. To affirm anything else is to set yourself outside of the Church and is to reject what God says about Himself in Scripture as early as Genesis 1.
Since the writing of the creeds, they have worked their way into the liturgy of the Church, such that they are now regular affirmations of our belief. God reveals Himself to us through Scripture and He reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Seeing and hearing this revelation, we respond, “I believe…” God has revealed Himself to each of us and given us the entirety of that revelation in Scripture. Each of us carries the faith with us, such that, if the entire rest of the congregation were to die in some horrible tragedy, the church would still exist because you are still there to proclaim the Gospel. This is why the creeds were often called the “Symbol of the Faith.” Like an ID badge, they openly declare who we are and in whom we place our faith and trust. This is who we are and this is the God we worship and we want everyone to know it.
The creeds also serve another purpose. There is the positive side to the creeds, declaring who we are. There is also the negative side to the creeds, declaring who we are not. Those who reject what God says about Himself in Scripture have separated themselves from Him and from His people. They have given into their own idolatry in setting their own interpretations over and against the time-honored and Biblically-abundant doctrine of the Trinity and everything that arises from that doctrine. Despite what some may say, we do not worship the same God as the Jews and the Muslims do. Our God is Triune and cannot be known as anything else. Whatever else they may say or do, if anyone does not confess the doctrine of the Trinity distilled from Scripture into the Creeds, they are not Christian and have put themselves outside of God’s kingdom. That includes the Christadelphians, the Jews, the Muslims, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons, and anyone else that might bear some resemblance to Christianity.
Take joy in your Creed and confess it proudly. Let the world hear what God claims you as His own. Confess His salvation. Let the world know there is only way to salvation, and that is through the work of the Spirit who brings you to Christ, who then cleanses you with His own blood, that you may be pure and holy to stand before His Father and ours.