In a previous blog (August 28, 2013), we discussed the various Christian creeds that are in existence. As I have reread and thought about them I noticed that the creeds became longer as time passed. The earliest creeds simply proclaimed belief in God, Jesus and his work here on earth, the Holy Spirit, the universal Christian church, and our spiritual and eternal existence.
Part of the reason the creeds became longer was that differences of opinion arose about certain aspect of the Christian faith, such as the nature of Jesus—was he divine or human or both. But is that a reason to make the Christian faith more complicated?
Jesus placed great emphasis on the unity of Christians. In John 17:21-23 he stated that the world would know God sent Jesus to our world if Jesus’ followers were one like Jesus and God are one. However, with our multitude of creeds, we have divided ourselves up into multiple Christian religions and denominations.
A creed should be as its definition states–a statement of essential or core beliefs. It should not be packed with various opinions and interpretations. In issues that extend beyond our core beliefs, Christians should be tolerant of other beliefs. Instead we seem to be intolerant. We all need to recognize that, as the Bible teaches, we are finite and are in some ways deficient in our knowledge of God’s truth. If that is true, why are we so intolerant of differing points of view?
So how do we decide what are our core beliefs? I’ll get back to you in a future blog.