Deeds, Not Creeds: The Slogan for Unbelief

You may have heard this latest catch-phrase being bantered about by various people — both in support and in opposition to the concept. This slogan effectively communicates in three short words a whole body of religious thought. It was a phrase first adopted by the Unitarian Universalists, but now has found its way into New Evangelical churches as well. For example, the Washington Post reported the following:

Emperor Constantine (center) and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea of 325 as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

Rick Warren, a megachurch pastor and philanthropist who is courted by political leaders worldwide, says he thinks Christianity needs a “second Reformation” that would steer the church away from divisive politics and be “about deeds, not creeds.”

This slogan fits every-so-nicely into a growing Gnostic worldview — a worldview that erases all distinctions which, in this case, creeds effectively created. The ancient creeds, such as the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed and the Chalcedon Creed were all written to battle Gnostic teachings that were propagated to undermine and destroy the Christian faith as articulated by the Apostles themselves.

Also, Creeds were created to affirm certain crucial historical events and the sovereign God who directed those events to occur. They summarized the facts of history, and as such, were not an affirmation of religious feelings or sentiments. They were affirming historical realities. So, when the Nicene Creed begins by stating ‘We believe’, one was affirming the reality of historic events.

We Christians like to talk about ‘preaching the gospel’, yet we miss the original meaning of the word, ‘gospel’. This word was used by the Roman world in a journalistic sense. It was a word to describe a very positive and noteworthy event. If the Roman army had successfully and decisively won a battle, the general would send a messenger back to Rome with a ‘gospel’ — that is, a report of the good news. This is why today, we sometimes say the ‘good news of the gospel’. Technically, this is redundant, because ‘gospel’ means ‘a good news report’. All of this is to make the point that the Christian Gospel is declaring to the world some very good news of certain historical events.

So, New Evangelicalism and the Emerging Church movements, who are moving the so-called Christian church toward ‘deeds, not creeds’, is really seeking to negate the importance of history — and specifically, the history related to Jesus Christ. Deeds cannot, and will not, ever, supplant the importance of the ‘gospel’ of Jesus Christ. We must always insist on belief in those historical events, as has been accurately and completely reported by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Deeds do not, in themselves, lead anyone to eternal life. In fact, they lead to eternal destruction. Creeds, to the extent they represent Biblical events (which the aforementioned creeds do), will indeed lead one to eternal life — if someone will merely BELIEVE them. And, that belief will result in deeds. Deeds must flow out of Creeds — otherwise, deeds are worthless.

So, I urge you to flee from New Evangelicalism and the Emerging Church. They are the modern-day expressions of Gnosticism. These settings will destroy you and your family.

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