Silly Christian Comments – Part One – No Creed but Christ

3 12 2008

With an apparent intent to focus exclusively on the person of Christ, many well meaning Christians use the statement “No creed but Christ.”  Now while it is possible that this statement is not intended to undercut the message of Christ, the way in which they focus on the person of Christ is done in such a way that the content of who Christ is is sacrificed.  The Ecumenical Creeds make specific Biblical statements about who Christ is and who Christ is not.  The creeds make specific claims.  The Apostles’ Creed talks about how Christ was concieved and was born, how he was crucified, dead, and buried, and how the third day He rose again from the dead.  The Nicene Creed goes into great detail on the nature of how Jesus was both God and Man, explaining that he is “the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made.”  The Athanasian Creed focuses on how the Son is both distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit and yet unified with the Father and the Holy Spirit as a member of the Godhead.

To claim that having no creed but Christ is a way in which to uphold a pure Biblical faith, is to call into question the attempts to summarize or explain who Christ claimed to have been.  This claim is merely an intellectual duck to avoid making tough statements that by their very nature embrace certain statements while rejecting others.  To our modern ears the anathemas of the Reformation sound harsh and unforgiving.  In fact the purpose of providing anathemas was to make certain the the boundary of orthodoxy was recognized.  Both affirmative and negative statements are necessary to make this clear.  Thus having not creed to bind Christians together with respect to what they believe is foolishly simplistic.  There are ways to present the Gospel in simple clarity, but to reduce the Christian faith to Christ alone does not mean to empty that faith of its doctrinal content.

So do not fear the creeds.  They have served the church well for centuries.  They have bound the church together across time and across the planet.  Both what is included and what is excluded is necessary to define our faith in juxtaposition to other faiths.  One cannot claim to know Christ while knowing nothing about HIm, no can they?

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One response

28 05 2010
Lindsey Covington

If I had a dime for every time I came to itstheword.wordpress.com! Incredible post!

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