The instinct to formulate and rehearse the specifics of the Christian faith is evident in the writings of the New Testament. The apostle Paul wrote to his churches that the particular confession of the faith is “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3). John made it clear that to be a Christian doesn’t just mean to believe in Jesus, but to believe in certain things about Jesus: that he is the Messiah (1 John 2:22) and that he came to earth in the flesh and blood of a human (1 John 4:2-3). The Holy Scriptures are filled with these creedal statements that clarify the truth and sweep away any false beliefs or confessions.
In today’s postmodern world in which the accepted truth is that there is no truth at all, we can no longer take for granted the articles of the Christian faith. Biblical literacy is low, doctrinal literacy is low. And the best way to keep from being blown here and there by every wind of doctrine is to have a doctrine. There is a tremendous need for the Church to refocus the center of our faith, to get a better grip on our true identity as Christ-followers. We’ve got to get clear on our core. So during this coming year at Central, we’re going to immerse ourselves in the ancient Apostles’ Creed.
(Now, take a deep breath. Close your eyes and think peaceful thoughts. Go to that happy place in your heart. OK? One more deep breath. Now, slowly open your eyes and continue reading.)
We know, we know: in the Churches of Christ we have “No Creed But Christ!” That, ironically, is one of our better known creeds. We have traditionally rejected human creeds because “We call Bible things by Bible names and do Bible things in Bible ways.” Again, that’s one of our hard-held creeds. Funny, huh?
Consider this: all communities operate from a center of belief and practice. What is ours?