Foundations of Social Order

Within modern day Christianity the creeds are often looked upon as boring and non-essential. After all, that is ancient history! The formal creeds were developed during church history to protect the Christian body from non-biblical concepts that tended to mix with the Gospel message. Some very important ones include the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Creed of Chalcedon. These creeds were written with very specific purposes in mind. First, they were written to refute heresies that had arisen in the church. For example, the Nicene Creed was written to counteract the dangerous Arian heresy. This heresy denied the full and unqualified deity of Christ. Secondly, the creeds also provide a very positive affirmation of what we as Christians hold in common. The Athanasian Creed, for example, affirms the truth of the Trinity, Christ’s Incarnation, Ascension, second coming, and the final judgment. So it’s not a bad idea to teach the creeds to our children and to reinforce them in church. However, it is important that we teach our people why these teachings are important and the history behind why they were developed. This makes the study of the creeds interesting and serves to educate our church members about heretical concepts that we see within the culture today.