Why Do Many Christians Foolishly Argue Against Creeds, Confessions, and Catechisms as if They Threaten the Authority of Scripture?
Reformed Christians talk a lot about the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, Canons of Dort, Westminster Standards, and creeds such as the Apostles’, Nicene, Athanasian, and Chalcedonian Creeds. They are not making the case that confessions, catechisms, and creeds should replace Scripture. Quite the opposite. Reformed Christians use confessions, catechisms, and creeds to clearly articulate what they believe Scripture teaches.
Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. 8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
It makes little sense to me to argue against creeds. There are Christians who foolishly state, “No creed but Christ” or “No creed but the Bible.” Rather than giving a nod of approval to the necessity of creeds which explain what exactly is believed, they simply reject creeds as if accepting and confessing creeds is somehow compromising the preeminence and authority of Scripture as our rule of faith and life. I would say that creeds are inescapable. They are simply necessary. We cannot propagate the law and the gospel without creeds. Why do I say that? Scripture can be read and heard to say various things. To ensure a correct hearing and believing of a passage of Scripture, God has provided ministers/teachers/shepherds to give the meaning of the passage read. Scripture necessitates explanation. This is seen in Acts 8:26ff with the Ethiopian eunuch. The eunuch needed someone to explain Isaiah to him, which Philip was glad to do. When Philip taught him, Philip was speaking in credal language.
Nehemiah 8:7–8 (ESV)
Every time a preacher ascends the pulpit to read and explain God’s Word, He is speaking creedally. It is inescapable. The moment he begins to explain the meaning or sense of the Scriptures, he is giving his creed. He is saying, “I believe that this Scripture means this, and here is why I believe it means this.” Explanation is absolutely necessary.