Religious Creeds

Since the time of people breaking from the Roman Catholic Church, they have been creating creeds to distinguish themselves by. Some have said our earliest brethren did so in the face of persecution. To line yourself up with a church that held strong to a creed meant you were 'in' their circle of trust and protection. It was safer to remain in numbers. Should one, at any time, openly disagree with the creed, they were excommunicated, shunned, and sent out to fend for themselves. I would imagine they had disagreements about teachings, but in the face of such danger who would want to risk their families lives by speaking up?

Anne Hutchinson was one such woman. She held bible studies in her home for other women after church on Sundays and the husbands began to come study with them. The counsel of religious leaders in their community forbade home bible studies outside the direct supervision of their elders and pastor. Anne was arrested and tried for blasphemy. Her husband supported his wife and they stood firm in their deep convictions of grace. They were intelligent and spent hours upon hours studying the bible and found their leaders to be in error. After a lengthy stay in prison, during a pregnancy, she miscarried her infant due to neglect in the jail, she was then released and her entire family was banished from their community. 
Acts19 by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere
Thankfully, we no longer live in such days. In America, we are protected by the Constitution so religious leaders can't have us arrested for disagreeing with their beliefs. We have military and police whose job is to protect us from our enemies should they try to infringe upon our freedom against our will.

In this modern day of technology, we have the freedom and access to study the bible, ancient historical documents, and have the ability to interpret Hebrew and Greek through various websites. I believe we live in a day where we are urged by the Spirit to double check all that we have been taught from our religious forefathers. For far too long we took their word for it, their interpretations, and their education was not questioned by their congregations. How would their congregations know if they were being taught misunderstandings that were passed down through the ages? How would uneducated people know if there was a conspiracy paving it's way through the ages to bring about a new world order religion? How would they be able to identify it? How would they know if the men who canonized the bible were honest and accurate?

We now have the opportunities to discover if all we have been taught is true or not. I believe that millions of people have struggled with some teachings in churches for many years. But their inward struggle was in disagreement with what their religious leaders were teaching them. Do they settle on the leaders interpretation as truth? Or do they follow that sense within their heart to double check for themselves? 

In my walkabout with God in 2010, I was faced with these very same thoughts. What if? I connected with many theologians from all over the world and we began to study together. Over the years, many of them found themselves faced with this same dilemma. Some have left their denominations over their discoveries and they are now sharing with their friends, loved ones, and blog readers, the very things they were taught at their seminaries. The things that they still agree with today and the things they have brought to light, that are mere traditions or false translations. Their discoveries are startling! If only Anne Hutchinson could be here to discover today that we are in agreement with much of what she discovered, and was imprisoned for. She was labeled a blasphemer, a heretic.

Why were her religious leaders so interested in arresting people who disagreed with them? Our very own religious forefathers! They believed in imprisonment, and even death to those who blasphemed their teachings. Anyone who disagreed with them was either excommunicated, put in prison, or killed. Much of this mentality is still practiced in the Middle East and other communistic countries. In America, churches cannot do such things, but they still practice excommunication, disfellowship, shunning, name calling, public shaming, etc. It is in my opinion, that this kind of behavior is that of immature believers who have yet to find their true Anchor in Christ. They remain in their beliefs, but have not yet stepped into the reality of the safe refuge of our Master. No matter what we read about or study, should not bring us into any fear. If we are in fear, we are not in faith. So, just what do people fear when they read things their pastors warn them not to read? Do they fear falling? Or do they fear the treatment they will get if their leaders find out what they have discovered in their personal studies?

My Anchor is in Christ and I know in Him is no fear. Peter was walking on water, by faith. As soon as he lost faith...when fear sank in, he also sank. Walk by faith, not by fear. We were promised God's Spirit would be our Teacher. We have but to listen to Him..recognize his still small voice. Sometimes His voice is in disagreement with the religious leaders. Imagine what it must have been like when the early believers saw Jesus rebuking the Pharisees! The Pharisees were mistreating the people, abusing them, manipulating them, and stoning them to death for not living up to their expectations. All blasphemers were stoned to death. No different than what we see happened in history with the early believers of Anne's time.

Just what is it that religious leaders don't want us to know?

First of all, know the voice of God. He is our Father, Jesus Christ is our High Priest. His Spirit is our Teacher. Learn to hear him. Pray for open ears to hear. 

Secondly, use a Hebrew and Greek interlinear Bible and discover what it really says, as opposed to what so many English versions say.

Thirdly, be willing to discover that you may have been wrong, because your religious leaders have been wrong, and their forefathers before them.

Over this last year, I have tossed the thought of the Creeds back and forth in my head, my heart, my soul. Within that inward part of my heart, I could not reconcile some teachings I was taught. I could not get any settling in my spirit about some of the points in the creeds. Since we live in a time and nation where we no longer need to fear for our lives in order to question religious leaders.

I began with wondering why we need these creeds anymore to begin with. Perhaps so that others who have been discovering the same things can gather together for more studying and fellowship? But will we enforce this creed upon others who may not agree..yet..and then shun them if they sharply disagree? Will we begin that cycle over and over again as our religious forefathers did? Is it not enough to say I believe in Christ and I'm on a journey to discovering what he is showing me on a personal level? Will I want to remain in fellowship with people who reject me if I question a 'creed'? Do you see the dilemma?

Do you follow a creed?
Have you ever really double checked in the Hebrew and Greek to make sure that creed is actually founded in the original scriptures?
Are you willing to?

What you'll find may astonish you, confound you, and quite possible shake you to the core.

Romans 14: 1Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

We each must know what we believe and why we believe it. At the same time, we can live in harmony with one another if we respect each other's beliefs. It's a grand adventure He has us each on. As we mature in Christ, may we extend patience and love to one another as they seek to be convinced in his own mind.

If you have questions you have been nervous about asking, you can email me and I can cover the topic in an upcoming blog post. I will keep your name anonymous.

Comments are under moderation. I may or may not publish your comment. If your comment is a knee jerk reaction to my article with any sort of mental, emotional, or spiritual persecution it will not be moderated. It will be deleted. I am open to dialogue on this topic, but not if your comments are disrespectful to those who wish to question what they were told to believe. We all are in freedom to study and question as God guides us.


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Anonymous at: January 10, 2011 at 12:25 AM said...

Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

{ EdenFire } at: February 6, 2011 at 11:21 AM said...

I love your heart and your work, Sis. I believe in what the Spirit of God is doing in and working through you. Carry the fire.

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