1998-03-10 - Setting a Standard
2 Peter 1:21 For no prophecy was ever produced by an act of human will, but men filled by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
OK, friends, here it is...the question. What is the most significant event of the last millennium, years 1000-1999. I will say it is October 31, 1517, the day Martin Luther posted his 95 points of debate on the door of the schlosskirche (castle church) at Wittenberg. With this one act I would also make Luther the "Man of the Millennium" … history was changed!
But the number two act could be on this day, March 10, 1629. This is the day that King Charles the first, dissolved Parliament. This led to the religious leaders gaining the upper hand in affairs of state and church. This also led to the forming of the most complete statement of faith in the Christian church. This is not to say statements such as the Nician creed, Apostles creed, Scots confession of 1560, or the Covenant of 1638 are not all great creeds. The creed adopted by parliament, after 8 years of work, in 1648, is simply more precise, and it is this event, on March 10, 369 years ago, that leads to this memorial.
Why do we need creeds? Is not the Bible enough? Let us be emphatic here, let us be blunt, we need no creed but Scripture! Let the Bible rule and let everything else fall and decay as rubbish. We need no creed but Scripture!!!
But as Hebrews chapter 12 says, we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. There are godly men and women who have left us legacies as to how they viewed Scripture and we would be fools to ignore their insights into God's Holy Word. Therefore when we have a creed or confession of faith before us, we should take it to the Word of God and see if these things are so. They may not be, but the only way to know is to know God's Word.
Creeds would be meaningless without a standard like God's Holy Word. But we have God's Word, and we must seek to understand it. It is here where creeds help. March 10 is a day of great triumph for creeds and truth . If you know your history it is a day where Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Separatists, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, and a host of others can say, "This is the day my denomination started!"
An unrelated quote for today: There is much being said about President Clinton and events around his life. I came across this quote recently …
"We live in an age that hath more need of good examples than precepts." ---George Herbert, a quote 400 years old (400 years later, we still do)
Soli Deo Gloria,