Monday, September 26, 2016
Do you know “the Apostles Creed”? It is often repeated in some churches, never in others. The Creed was first mentioned in 390 A.D.
It is rejected by some on the grounds that it is less than what the whole Bible teaches. Yet, don’t we have “slogans” which are in the same category? For example, we state that 1 Peter 4:11 is the background for the slogan, “Speak where the Bible speaks; be silent where the Bible is silent.” It is true that one cannot find “the Apostles Creed” per-se in the New Testament, but the same is true concerning that “slogan.”
Most folks who call upon the Lord have developed expressions that are not specifically stated in scripture, yet use them without guilt or question. Some, if questioned, are irritated by the inquiry. A defense is made to show that the slogan is not only scripture specific, but a statement one should use to demonstrate his soundness. Such paths have the potential of destroying rather than encouraging oneness.
Another known slogan is, “We do Bible things in Bible ways and call Bible things by Bible names.” That may be a noble goal, but short on consistency! For example, some oppose eating in the church building because a “common meal” is never described as evangelism, edification, or benevolence. It is true you can’t find in scripture where “the church” eats a “common meal” in the “church building.” Why? Because there is no evidence of a first century assembly building a meeting house and then making rules concerning what can and cannot be done therein! First century saints did assemble in homes where they were (1) breaking bread, (2) eating meat, and (3) praising God (Acts 2:41-47 KJV; Jude 1:12). How were they doing this? With (1) gladness and (2) sincerity of heart. What influence did this have on the citizens of Jerusalem and church members? The assembly found “favor with all the people.” What were the results of these assemblies? “And the Lord added to their number daily.” That is a pattern that cries for our attention and action rather than inventing rules which God doesn’t require.
In the King James Version we find Paul giving the following instruction,
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15-16).
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
“Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17b).
A statement taken from a creed or slogan, which mirrors a biblical truth, continues to be the truth. If an erroneous application is made from that truth, the truth it was made from continues to be the truth. Only the application should be questioned. This holds true for statements made in an article. In any article. Even in these “My Thoughts”!
The Bible contains false statements made by the devil, yet those false statement do not disqualify the Bible itself. A false teacher may quote the truth, but truth must not be rejected because it is cited by a false teacher. Jesus said, “Take heed what you hear” (Mark 4:24) and “Take heed therefore how ye hear” (Luke 8:18).