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 Post subject: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:06 am 
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I am currently in dialogue w/Christians from a congregation who have a rather vague set of beliefs. As you can see below...
Quote:
Hope the following is helpful and we welcome you to come visit one of our services.  In addition to affirming the historic creeds of the Church, such as the Apostle’s
Creed, we believe:
 
 
The Bible is God’s unique revelation to people. It is the inspired Word of God providing an authoritative and trustworthy rule of faith and practice.
 
There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
 
Jesus Christ is God’s son, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, willingly took upon Himself all of our sins, died and rose again bodily, and is at the right hand of the Father. He will return to consummate history and to fulfill the eternal plan of God.
 
All people are created in God’s image having an innate value and dignity but alienated from God by sin and justly subject to God’s wrath.
 
Salvation cannot be earned through personal goodness or human effort. It is a gift that must be received by humble repentance and faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross.
 
The indwelling presence and transforming power of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all Believers a new life and a new calling to obedient service.
 
All Believers are members of the Body of Christ, the one true church universal.


I am wondering, is it nonsensical to believe creeds but not consider the authority of the councils behind them and their decisions? What is the relationship between creeds, councils and what is to be believed? How could you express to someone who believes what I quoted that creeds alone are not enough to combat heresey, nor we're they intended to cover everything?

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:13 am 
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baptist bumble wrote:
I am wondering, is it nonsensical to believe creeds but not consider the authority of the councils behind them and their decisions?


Yes, it is. And I would point out that Protestants don't really believe the Nicene Creed, because there are passages in it which need to be re-interpreted to be consistent with Protestant theology.....such as the part about believing in 'the communion of saints', which is a reference to praying to saints, the part about believing in 'the forgiveness of sins', which is a reference to the sacrament of confession, the part where the creed says 'I believe in one baptism for the remission of sins' which is a reference to baptismal regeneration....and especially the part about believing in 'one, holy Catholic and apostolic Church', which if they really did believe that, they'd be Catholic...

So Prostestants can't recite the Nicene Creed in good conscience without re-interpretating about half of it so that it is consistnt with Protestant theology....

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:47 am 
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.such as the part about believing in 'the communion of saints', which is a reference to praying to saints, the part about believing in 'the forgiveness of sins', which is a reference to the sacrament of confession, the part where the creed says 'I believe in one baptism for the remission of sins' which is a reference to baptismal regeneration....and especially the part about believing in 'one, holy Catholic and apostolic Church', which if they really did believe that, they'd be Catholic...


And how might I demonstrate that those "Catholic doctrines" are what those creeds were referring to? Other than just simply stating it.

Also, what was the purpose or function of the creeds in general? Obviously they were not to be setup as a rule, independently.

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:04 am 
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baptist bumble wrote:
And how might I demonstrate that those "Catholic doctrines" are what those creeds were referring to? Other than just simply stating it.


Depends on whom you are talking to....some people just won't believe anything that suggests the Catholic Church might be right about something no matter how strong the evidence is....but if you are dealing with someone whom you believe to be open to evidence, direct them to the writings of the Fathers, particularly the ones who were contemporaries with the Council of Nicea.


Quote:
Also, what was the purpose or function of the creeds in general? Obviously they were not to be setup as a rule, independently.


The purpose of the creed was to create unity within the Church....the Nicene Creed, more properly called the 'Nicene-Constantinoplean' creed...was the product of a couple of decades of evolution....but it was all a reaction agaisnt the Arian heresy....at its peak, the Arians outnumbered the orthodox Catholics by about 2-1 or maybe even 3-1 in some places....and it was always a very divisive issue.

In order to heal the division in the Church, the emperor Constantine convoked a council of all the Church's bishops to definitively 'settle' the Arian question....

Over the short term, the Council of Nicea was a failure...it failed to heal the Church and if anything it actually made everything worse. For this reason, a second council was convoked to try to 'settle' the queston a second time....this was the Council of Constantinople in 381.

The creed was basically a way for faithful Catholics to find a parish which was fully orthodox was to see if they accepted the creed....those parishes which accepted, and recited the creed were 'good' parishes, whereas those which did not recite the creed were 'bad' parishes....

Reciting the creed is basically a kind of 'loyalty oath' to the councils of Nicea (325) and Constantinople (381)...it is much like, during war time, a soldier might not be certain whether someone he meets is on his side, or is allied with the enemy. So they set up a 'code word' or somethign to be recited to verify allegiance.

Since no Arian could recite the Nicene-Constantinoplean creed in good conscience, the recitation of the creed was a useful 'code word' to determine if a parish was loyal to the councils.

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:32 pm 
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baptist bumble wrote:
Also, what was the purpose or function of the creeds in general? Obviously they were not to be setup as a rule, independently.


Well, if we follow St. Thomas, the creed is also the bare minimum ALL people should believe explicitly to be saved:


    Article 7. Whether it is necessary for the salvation of all, that they should believe explicitly in the mystery of Christ?

    After grace had been revealed, both learned and simple folk are bound to explicit faith in the mysteries of Christ, chiefly as regards those which are observed throughout the Church, and publicly proclaimed, such as the articles which refer to the Incarnation, of which we have spoken above (Question 1, Article 8). As to other minute points in reference to the articles of the Incarnation, men have been bound to believe them more or less explicitly according to each one's state and office.


    Now, that "(Question 1, Article 8)" is this:

    Article 8. Whether the articles of faith are suitably formulated?

    Now with regard to the majesty of the Godhead, three things are proposed to our belief: first, the unity of the Godhead, to which the first article refers; secondly, the trinity of the Persons, to which three articles refer, corresponding to the three Persons; and thirdly, the works proper to the Godhead, the first of which refers to the order of nature, in relation to which the article about the creation is proposed to us; the second refers to the order of grace, in relation to which all matters concerning the sanctification of man are included in one article; while the third refers to the order of glory, and in relation to this another article is proposed to us concerning the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting. Thus there are seven articles referring to the Godhead.

    In like manner, with regard to Christ's human nature, there are seven articles, the first of which refers to Christ's incarnation or conception; the second, to His virginal birth; the third, to His Passion, death and burial; the fourth, to His descent into hell; the fifth, to His resurrection; the sixth, to His ascension; the seventh, to His coming for the judgment, so that in all there are fourteen articles.

    Some, however, distinguish twelve articles, six pertaining to the Godhead, and six to the humanity. For they include in one article the three about the three Persons; because we have one knowledge of the three Persons: while they divide the article referring to the work of glorification into two, viz. the resurrection of the body, and the glory of the soul. Likewise they unite the conception and nativity into one article.

So, in order to be saved, everyone after Christ MUST believe EXPLICITLY two things, the trinity and the incarnation. And both are subdivided into 14 articles (or 12, depending how one counts them). Those 14 (12) are stated in the Nicean-Constantinople creed.


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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Please note that St. Thomas's teaching on this point is not official doctrine.

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Please note that St. Thomas's teaching on this point is not official doctrine.


The Catechism explicitly affirms this interpretation in paragraph 161 by insisting upon the necessity of actual faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.

"Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One Who sent Him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:36; 6:40; et al.). "Since 'without faith it is impossible to please [God]' and to attain to the fellowship of His sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life `but he who endures to the end,'" (Vatican I, Dei Fillius 3, Matthew 10:22; 24:13 and Hebrews 11:6; Council of Trent Decree on Justification, 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:37 pm 
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That is not the entire creed. :fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:22 pm 
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The Apostle Creed is not in the Bible. How do they know it is the historic creed penned by the Apostles?

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Double post, didn't realize it was 12:07AM my time which is when the forum freezes for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:32 am 
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metal1633 wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Please note that St. Thomas's teaching on this point is not official doctrine.


The Catechism explicitly affirms this interpretation in paragraph 161 by insisting upon the necessity of actual faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.

"Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One Who sent Him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation (cf. Mark 16:16; John 3:36; 6:40; et al.). "Since 'without faith it is impossible to please [God]' and to attain to the fellowship of His sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life `but he who endures to the end,'" (Vatican I, Dei Fillius 3, Matthew 10:22; 24:13 and Hebrews 11:6; Council of Trent Decree on Justification, 8)



Holy cow! I didn't realize that part, especially the first sentence!


It's official then. The faith necessary for salvation is more than Heb 11:6.


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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:35 am 
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MyDogma8MyKarma wrote:
The Apostle Creed is not in the Bible. How do they know it is the historic creed penned by the Apostles?


It's not written by any of the apostles.


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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:30 am 
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baptist bumble wrote:
I am currently in dialogue w/Christians from a congregation who have a rather vague set of beliefs. As you can see below...
Quote:
Hope the following is helpful and we welcome you to come visit one of our services.  In addition to affirming the historic creeds of the Church, such as the Apostle’s
Creed, we believe:
 
 
The Bible is God’s unique revelation to people. It is the inspired Word of God providing an authoritative and trustworthy rule of faith and practice.
 
There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
 
Jesus Christ is God’s son, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, willingly took upon Himself all of our sins, died and rose again bodily, and is at the right hand of the Father. He will return to consummate history and to fulfill the eternal plan of God.
 
All people are created in God’s image having an innate value and dignity but alienated from God by sin and justly subject to God’s wrath.
 
Salvation cannot be earned through personal goodness or human effort. It is a gift that must be received by humble repentance and faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross.
 
The indwelling presence and transforming power of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all Believers a new life and a new calling to obedient service.
 
All Believers are members of the Body of Christ, the one true church universal.


I am wondering, is it nonsensical to believe creeds but not consider the authority of the councils behind them and their decisions? What is the relationship between creeds, councils and what is to be believed? How could you express to someone who believes what I quoted that creeds alone are not enough to combat heresey, nor we're they intended to cover everything?


It always boils down to authority, doesn't it? :) Where does the creed come from? Allen Hunt talks about this in his book, "Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor." He explains how a group of "elders" in the church will gather every few years and decide on what the creed is.. what to change, what to keep, etc.... based on what? on who's authority? society? butts in the seats? Read Allen Hunts book, he gives a good comprehensive explanation about some of these topics.

Lisa


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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:36 am 
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Doom wrote:
baptist bumble wrote:
I am wondering, is it nonsensical to believe creeds but not consider the authority of the councils behind them and their decisions?


Yes, it is. And I would point out that Protestants don't really believe the Nicene Creed, because there are passages in it which need to be re-interpreted to be consistent with Protestant theology.....such as the part about believing in 'the communion of saints', which is a reference to praying to saints, the part about believing in 'the forgiveness of sins', which is a reference to the sacrament of confession, the part where the creed says 'I believe in one baptism for the remission of sins' which is a reference to baptismal regeneration....and especially the part about believing in 'one, holy Catholic and apostolic Church', which if they really did believe that, they'd be Catholic...

So Prostestants can't recite the Nicene Creed in good conscience without re-interpretating about half of it so that it is consistnt with Protestant theology....

As a non-Catholic Christian, I believed that the "communion of saints" was communion with other Christians, not praying to saints; that "forgiveness of sins" meant just that; "one baptism for the forgiveness of sins" meant just that; and that "catholic" meant "universal," IOW, all Christians. So yes, non-Catholic Christians really do believe the Nicene Creed; they just have never investigated its roots. Besides, many non-Catholic Christians don't ever recite it, anyway, so it's a moot point.


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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:46 am 
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mea wrote:
Doom wrote:
baptist bumble wrote:
I am wondering, is it nonsensical to believe creeds but not consider the authority of the councils behind them and their decisions?


Yes, it is. And I would point out that Protestants don't really believe the Nicene Creed, because there are passages in it which need to be re-interpreted to be consistent with Protestant theology.....such as the part about believing in 'the communion of saints', which is a reference to praying to saints, the part about believing in 'the forgiveness of sins', which is a reference to the sacrament of confession, the part where the creed says 'I believe in one baptism for the remission of sins' which is a reference to baptismal regeneration....and especially the part about believing in 'one, holy Catholic and apostolic Church', which if they really did believe that, they'd be Catholic...

So Prostestants can't recite the Nicene Creed in good conscience without re-interpretating about half of it so that it is consistnt with Protestant theology....

As a non-Catholic Christian, I believed that the "communion of saints" was communion with other Christians, not praying to saints; that "forgiveness of sins" meant just that; "one baptism for the forgiveness of sins" meant just that; and that "catholic" meant "universal," IOW, all Christians. So yes, non-Catholic Christians really do believe the Nicene Creed; they just have never investigated its roots. Besides, many non-Catholic Christians don't ever recite it, anyway, so it's a moot point.


They don't believe in the creed as written, they re-interpret half of its clauses just to make it consistent with their theology so NO they DON'T believe in it, if you have to re-interpret half of a statement before you can accept it then no you don't believe in the statement.


If I re-interpret my wedding vows to mean that I have the right to sleep with as many women as I like....have I really taken the vows?

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:03 pm 
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beng wrote:
MyDogma8MyKarma wrote:
The Apostle Creed is not in the Bible. How do they know it is the historic creed penned by the Apostles?


It's not written by any of the apostles.

I know. But I bet they don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:24 pm 
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MyDogma8MyKarma wrote:
beng wrote:
MyDogma8MyKarma wrote:
The Apostle Creed is not in the Bible. How do they know it is the historic creed penned by the Apostles?


It's not written by any of the apostles.

I know. But I bet they don't.

Actually that is one thing I'm looking for... a bit of reliable history on the writing of the creed. Any ideas where to look?

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:40 pm 
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This is the best book on early creeds and how they came about.

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:41 pm 
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MyDogma8MyKarma wrote:
Double post, didn't realize it was 12:07AM my time which is when the forum freezes for me.


yep...it's always around that time ... didn't realize it was down to a specific minute...i'll try it tonight if i can hang that long 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Creeds and Councils
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:55 pm 
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The Big B wrote:
Actually that is one thing I'm looking for... a bit of reliable history on the writing of the creed. Any ideas where to look?


Bumble, have you delved into the Catholic Encyclopedia online? A wealth of information:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01629a.htm

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