Clearing up the Misconceptions about The Apostles Creed
| As a writer and speaker I am always amazed at how fairly insignificant points made in print or in a message are occasionally picked up on and, for various reasons, become crucial points to some who are reading or listening. In fact, often these side points become as important as anything the one communicating is trying to convey in the message or article. Sometimes, because of the background of the person in reception of them, particular things said or read just stick out. One such case occurred over the past few days as a result of a passing comment I made in my article "When Discernment Turns Ugly."
A few people wrote wondering why I mentioned the Apostles Creed favorably. Some were perplexed, particularly former Roman Catholics, because they've come to believe that the Apostles Creed was a Catholic invention. Some from denominational backgrounds bristled because the Creed was something merely repeated in church services past and it likely dredged up old and unpleasant memories of religion based on form and not on a relationship with Jesus.
So, as a point of instruction here, I felt that including one of the notes I received concerning this and my reply would be helpful to many. In fact, when I sent what you are about to read to my editor, she immediately chimed back that she and one of her close friends had been discussing this very thing yesterday as a result of Jan Markell's (olivetreeviews.org) forwarding the abridged version of my article to her subscribers a few days ago.
Let me say up front that I am not what some would call "creedal." I have never been a part of a church that employed the Apostles Creed (or any of the various other creeds from the past). Nor have I ever been a Roman Catholic or in any way friendly to the RCC. Anyone who knows me understands how opposed I am to both the Roman papal system and the extra-biblical religious trap that is Catholicism. It is pretty shocking to me that one pastor, who I thought I knew and who I thought knew me, has accused me of being a closet Catholic of some sort! How silly yet scary at the same time that any other Christian would resort to making these kind of wild claims - yet hasn't even bothered to call or even email me concerning it. I suspect that such a statement is but an attack on me because I dared to rock the boat of some with "When Discernment Turns Ugly."
Regardless, rest assured that I am not a Catholic. (It seems ridiculous to me to even have to say that.) I'm kind of in shock at such an accusation but such is life in the world of apologetics, especially in an age of extremes. After 30 years in this ministry, I'm resolved that I can't please everyone, and the same article may cause people to hurl opposite insults at you, one claiming you're a liberal and another crowing that you are a legalist instead.
With all of that said, I challenge any true Bible-believer to just erase the title "Apostles Creed" from the top and then carefully go through each of the twelve points in it. As you do, ask yourself, "Is there any offense or error in any of these points?" At first glance some might think there are and, as proven by the reaction I received from a few folks after reading my article, some might never understand or receive what's in the Creed if it's, well, "in the Creed." Nevertheless, what it embodies is simply the nuts and bolts of essential Christianity, something I learned to embrace above all peripheral issues long ago from my mentor, the late Dr. Walter Martin. The Apostles Creed, as I point out in the following piece, contains the non-negotiable doctrines that glue us together as believers and, more importantly, that cement us to the Savior, Jesus Christ.
So with that as an introduction, I encourage you to click here to see one of the questions I received and my response concerning the history of the Apostles Creed.
The Submerging Church part 1
Eric interviews pastor and filmmaker, Joe Schimmel about his new documentary DVD set "The Submerging Church."
In this first segment, both men tell of their spiritual search before surrendering to Jesus Christ. Each also share unique perspectives on how millions inside Christian churches today have so easily accepted Emergent postmodernism and how it is submerging many congregations both in America and around the world. Joe and Eric also recount how they became aware of the growing Emergent Church and its troubling diversions into cultic and occultic philosophy.
Included are many definitions and problematic quotes from Emergent leaders which will help you to effectively communicate warnings concerning the many problems inherent in the movement.
Being that both Barger and Schimmel come from backgrounds deeply immersed in mystical beliefs and New Age, esoteric practices, both the personal experience and in-depth research they offer serve as bold warnings to those who've shelved the Bible to dabble instead with Emergent heresy.
Be sure to share this Take A Stand! Radio series with anyone lost in New Age thought or those traveling down the unbiblical Emergent road. Also find Joe Schimmel at www.goodfight.org.
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