Are Creeds Necessary?
Living in an age which could easily be described as anti-confessional, the following quote from William Hetherington may appear harsh:
…the formation of a Creed, or Confession of Faith, is imperatively necessary; and thus it appears that a Church cannot adequately discharge its duty to God, to the world, and to its own members, without a Confession of Faith.
Furthermore, Hetherington’s concluding remarks are extremely helpful, and provide a poignant challenge to those who are quick to reject the historic confessions of the church and adopt a “deeds not creeds” philosophy, or to simply invent their own:
The existence of a Confession of Faith is ever a standing defense against the danger of any Church lapsing unawares into heresy. For although no Church ought to regard her Confession as a standard of faith, in any other than a subordinate sense, still it is a standard of admitted faith, which the Church may not lightly abandon, and a term of communion to its own members, till its articles are accused of being erroneous, and again brought to the final and supreme standard, the Word of God and the teaching of the Holy Spirit, sincerely, humbly, and earnestly sought in faith and prayer.
Read the entire piece by William Hetherington taken from The History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines at A Puritan’s Mind