Sunday, April 05, 2009

Blind, idolatrous creedalism


“The confessions reflect the teaching authority of the Church. They are one of the ways the church exercises the keys of the kingdom. They outrank us.”

Creeds outrank us? Does the Racovian Catechism outrank us? Does the Catechism of the Catholic Church outrank us? Do the five articles of Remonstrance outrank us?

The teaching authority of which church? Catholic? Eastern Orthodox? Oriental Orthodox? Anglican? Mennonite? Moravian? Lutheran? Baptist? Presbyterian? Methodist? Salvation Army? Assembly of God? PC-USA?

No, creeds do not outrank us. Scripture outranks us. You can’t elevate the teaching authority of the church above the actual content of its teaching. Falsehood is not authoritative. Only true is authoritative.

You need to renounce your sectarian ecclesiolatry.

Yes, creeds are an expression of the church’s teaching office. But we need to test a creed against the word of God. Our duty is not to a creed.

“I realize we live in time when many people can call themselves Reformed and mean anything by it. Yet in cases when people are under the same ecclesiastical umbrella, standards are standards.”

There are many ecclesiastical umbrellas out there. The biggest umbrella is Roman Catholicism. Be very careful what umbrella you stand under.

Yes, standards are standards. The Koran is a standard for Muslims. The Book of Mormon is a standard for Mormons. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a standard for Catholics.

“If you get frustrated when people cite them, then the problem is with you.”

Yes, I have a problem when people quote the Tridentine anathemas to prove that sola fide is a false gospel.


  1. To be honest, this is kind of what creeps me out about a place like Puritanboard sometimes. I remember a thread where a great number of posters were pretty much calling John Frame a heretic for questioning the RPW. He wasn't even denying it, just suggesting changes in our approach to it.

    Another time, there was a discussion about whether images of Jesus were at odds with the commandment against graven images. Someone posted an older article of Steve's on the subject, but it was removed, for no other reason than that it was at odds with the WCF. Not to mention that any discussion about women being managers in the workplace or being deacons are viewed as radical feminism trumping biblical values. I mean there's some very good information there and some great posters (like David King), but the mindset just kind of puts me off.

  2. I know far too many people who depend on the creeds rather than scripture. I even know a couple pastors that would rather preach from the creeds than the Bible. Good post, Steve. Thanks.