The Baptist Layman’s Catechism, Questions 2&3

Q.2. Are church and denominational creeds necessary and desirable?

A. Creeds or confessions of faith are necessary from the nature of the human mind and the character of revealed truth. Without a creed there could be no preaching, no church organization, no doctrinal fellowship, no evangelical faith, no singing and no praying.

Q.3. Why do so many religious teachers, both in oral and written discourse, disparage the use of creeds and confessions of faith in matters of religion?

A. (1) When the grounds of their objections are disclosed, it is generally plain that these teachers do not object to creeds as such, but only to such as are out of harmony with their views and oppose their methods. The young man, representing the Young Men’s Christian Association, with a limp Bible under his arm, often objects to creeds, but no one has more creed than he has; he is objecting to any one’s having any creed but his; it is all right to believe as he does. He is not alone. (2) Again, the substitution of a creed for piety and a Christly life has no doubt driven many really earnest people to disparage creeds, regarding them as substitutes for vital Godliness. Good old Andrew Fuller says, “The man who has no creed has no belief, which is the same thing as being an unbeliever; and he whose belief is not formed into a system has only a few loose, unconnected thoughts, without entering into the harmony and glory of the Gospel. Every well informed and consistent believer, therefore, must have a creed–a system which he supposes to contain the leading principles of Divine revelation.” (Fuller’s Works, Vol. 3, p. 449.)

an excerpt from R.A. Venable’s The Baptist Layman’s Hand-Book, pp.9-10.

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