Reformed Theology Why Confessions?  Calvinism

Why Confessions?

Reformed Theology Why Confessions?  Calvinism
Why Confessions?

We are a reformed sub. In our sidebar we give a definition of sorts as to what it means to be reformed. We are suggesting that being confessional is part of it. We know we are hitting a broader category of reformed from which many differentiate between the capital "R" reformed and those of a lowercase "r" but I would argue that regardless of where you fall, being confessional is important. One reason I have noticed recently, as the sub grows, is that it limits the relativist nature some lean towards when it comes to the Scriptures.
Here are some ways professing a confession can limit our attempts to bend the Scriptures, doctrine, and theology towards our personal wills.

1. We learn from hundreds of years of orthodox beliefs. If we worship a God who himself claims to never change (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8) , then we can rest assured that our doctrine can be placed on a firm foundation.

2. By resting on the shoulders of the giants of the past, we are blessed to continue the effective practices of spreading the Gospel without the burden of extensive doctrinal definition. Does this mean we should stop with doctrinal exploration? Not at all. However, instead of allowing our time to be consumed by trying to figure out our personal statements of faith, we can ascribe to the statements (confessions) already written.

3. We can test our beliefs with the beliefs that have endured for centuries. Again, coupled with God's unchanging nature as well as the endurance of hundreds of years, we can rest assured in our beliefs.

4. We can identify local bodies of worship that follow the same, orthodox patterns of belief and worship as we do. We do not need to try and interpret vague or open statements of faith which might fail to proclaim the accurate doctrines and beliefs of a local church.

5. It (can) help remove the temptation of a pastor, elder, small group leader, etc. to stray from true doctrine into relativity. This means we can rest assured that those in authority over us are ascribing to what we believe while leaving little room for abuses of those beliefs.

Where am I going with this? Glad you asked. There have been many posts lately in which those commenting seem to be making up their doctrines as they go and falling into inconsistencies. A lot of those inconsistencies can be dismissed as a new believer or as someone who is still learning. Trust me, I understand this. I debated over the LBCF 1646 and the 1689 for several years before I settled on the endorsement of the 1646.
However, some of the inconsistencies can be chalked up to the belief that all is relative and not concrete. That is to say, we want to make things up that fit our presuppositions and personal beliefs about the triune God and the Scriptures as opposed to what is actually tried and true.
I would encourage all here who have not examined the confessions to do so. It can help answer questions and guide you toward a proper belief. They are not infallible, and you may find some areas in which one may be more helpful than the other. But I believe with prayer, guidance, and study, you will find these confessions beneficial. Even the Presbyterian ones ;-P

Please note, I tend to proof these things after I write and post them, so please understand there may will be edits forthcoming

We are a reformed sub. In our sidebar we give a definition of sorts as to what it means to be reformed. We are suggesting that being confessional is part of it. We know we are hitting a broader category of reformed from which many differentiate between the capital "R" reformed and those of a lowercase "r" but I would argue that regardless of where you fall, being confessional is important. One reason I have noticed recently, as the sub grows, is that it limits the relativist nature some lean towards when it comes to the Scriptures.
Here are some ways professing a confession can limit our attempts to bend the Scriptures, doctrine, and theology towards our personal wills.

1. We learn from hundreds of years of orthodox beliefs. If we worship a God who himself claims to never change (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8) , then we can rest assured that our doctrine can be placed on a firm foundation.

2. By resting on the shoulders of the giants of the past, we are blessed to continue the effective practices of spreading the Gospel without the burden of extensive doctrinal definition. Does this mean we should stop with doctrinal exploration? Not at all. However, instead of allowing our time to be consumed by trying to figure out our personal statements of faith, we can ascribe to the statements (confessions) already written.

3. We can test our beliefs with the beliefs that have endured for centuries. Again, coupled with God's unchanging nature as well as the endurance of hundreds of years, we can rest assured in our beliefs.

4. We can identify local bodies of worship that follow the same, orthodox patterns of belief and worship as we do. We do not need to try and interpret vague or open statements of faith which might fail to proclaim the accurate doctrines and beliefs of a local church.

5. It (can) help remove the temptation of a pastor, elder, small group leader, etc. to stray from true doctrine into relativity. This means we can rest assured that those in authority over us are ascribing to what we believe while leaving little room for abuses of those beliefs.

Where am I going with this? Glad you asked. There have been many posts lately in which those commenting seem to be making up their doctrines as they go and falling into inconsistencies. A lot of those inconsistencies can be dismissed as a new believer or as someone who is still learning. Trust me, I understand this. I debated over the LBCF 1646 and the 1689 for several years before I settled on the endorsement of the 1646.
However, some of the inconsistencies can be chalked up to the belief that all is relative and not concrete. That is to say, we want to make things up that fit our presuppositions and personal beliefs about the triune God and the Scriptures as opposed to what is actually tried and true.
I would encourage all here who have not examined the confessions to do so. It can help answer questions and guide you toward a proper belief. They are not infallible, and you may find some areas in which one may be more helpful than the other. But I believe with prayer, guidance, and study, you will find these confessions beneficial. Even the Presbyterian ones ;-P

Please note, I tend to proof these things after I write and post them, so please understand there may will be edits forthcoming

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Submitted March 14, 2017 at 08:59AM by friardon