Monday, July 22, 2013

Creeds and Confessions, Practical Implications, Part 4

Our defense of the use and utility of creeds and confessions leads us to a fourth practical implication. 

From all we have established so far, it is easy to see how a single imprudent or unsound minister can do extensive and irreparable mischief in the church. If this minister be a man of talents and influence he can with great ease by addressing popular feeling and availing popular prejudices, do more harm in a short time then he could do good in a long time by a faithful and diligent application of all of his talents and skills. Think of the widespread havoc that has been wreaked upon the entire body of Protestant evangelicalism at the hands of a single man: Jacob Arminius. The progress and fruitfulness of the Reformation was hampered and hindered as a result of this one talented man's obstinate adherence to error. The history of the church abounds with examples of similar import: Marcion, Mane, Nestorius, Eutychus, Sabellius, Arius, Pelagius, Valentinius, the list could go on and on. In some cases, the church is still reeling from the wounds inflicted by these men.

Large portions of 'respectable' Evangelicalism arre infected with the Gnosticism of Mane. Marcion's bifurcation of the covenant of grace survives to this day from the low esteem in which the Old Testament is held by countless Christians to the radical discontinuity of the covenant exhibited in Dispensationalism. Why would we refuse to use a useful tool to stymie and quell the negative influence of false teachers?

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