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How Little Can We Believe, and Still be Christian?

March 11th, 2011
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Pastor Weedon offered these wise words on his blog site. I like how he turns the question on its ear.

In Bible Class last Sunday: can a person who denies a specific part of the Creed still be regarded as a Christian? I thought immediately of how the Methodists (at least, last time I checked) dropped “He descended into hell” from the Apostles’ Creed, and I said: Yes. Yes, but…

And the but is this: the Creeds hand over the faith as a whole body. Can you still live, if you chop off your hand or your leg? Yes, but living becomes that more difficult, and the danger of infection runs rife – zeroing in on the beating heart. Can a person be healed and learn to get along without some piece of the Creed’s confession of the faith? Yes, but if they suggest then that hopping around on a single foot is actually all one needs, and a whole body isn’t that important and they wish to stop chopping off our feet…well, you can see where I’m headed. Luther famously said: Lass das Sakrament ganz bleiben – let the Sacrament remain whole. Same for the Creeds that express the faith of the Holy Church. Let them remain whole. They hand over to us the faith of our fathers to us not in pieces, but in whole.

It becomes a deadly game to play: how much can I chop out and still remain alive? Rather we should ask: why settle for anything less than the fullness, the whole corpus of the faith, that the Creeds witness to and confess?

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  1. Randy Keyes
    March 11th, 2011 at 10:31 | #1


  2. Adam
    March 11th, 2011 at 11:56 | #2

    Rev. McCain great post! When folks start asking if we cut out or deny certain parts of the creeds I get fired up. First of all, like you said, why would you settle for anything less? Secondly, the creeds witness to Scripture, if you wouldn’t deny Scripture, why would you do so to the creeds. Thirdly, the creeds are not about US. They witness to the truth and are there for us as we are assailed by satan, and historically they helped to fight against satans false doctrine. If the creeds where just about US and OUR beliefs then our consciences would be thrown into a world of doubt. However, the creeds witness to the truth, to Christ, and when we realize that we begin to see that its not about US but is about what CHRIST HAS DONE and CONTINUES TO DO, we begin to realize that the creeds link us with the entire body of Christ, both the saints living today and those who have gone before us and then we remember we are not alone. Why would anyone, with this knowledge, cut out parts of the creeds or not believe parts?

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