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Should We Follow Man-Made Creeds?

Man-made creeds or the Bible?Most religious groups have, in addition to the Bible, some other authoritative statement of their doctrine and practice. This statement may be called a creed, a manual, a catechism, or a discipline. Should we follow creeds or the Bible?

An example of a man-made creed, the Methodist Discipline, states plainly that it is "a book of church law" (1972 Edition, page v). Since all such creeds are formulated by men, have you ever wondered what God thinks about them?

First, we must understand that God has already given us a perfect religious guide. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 says that the Scriptures (the Bible) are given by inspiration of God, are profitable to instruct us in righteousness, and provide us to all good works. Why then do we need any other standard of authority? The Bible is complete, it can be understood, and above all, it was inerrantly spoken by the infallible God. How could fallible men possibly write a better standard? The results of our puny human efforts are sure to be incomplete, unclear, and plagued by human errors.

Now consider what Jesus said in Matthew 15:9: "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Isn't it clear that man-made creed books contain man-made doctrines? Therefore, they make our worship to God "vain" or worthless! To worship God acceptably, we must worship in truth (John 4:24), and truth is found in God's word, the Bible (John 17:17).

All man-made creeds differ in some ways from the Bible. Since the Bible is perfect, any creed containing more than the Bible, contains too much. And any creed containing less than the Bible, contains too little. All human creeds are written on the egotistical assumption that weak, fallible humans can write a better guide than the one written by the infallible God!

We invite you to investigate the church that has "no creed but the Bible."

For more information on this subject, please visit our Bible Instruction web site at /instruct/ and study our in-depth articles there about the importance of Bible study, how to study the Bible, and the danger of human authority in religion. 

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2015;

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