This year during WIRED the students will be going through a series called “Creeds, Councils & Cults.” Over the past 2,000 years every imaginable false teaching has popped up in regards to the Bible, Jesus, the Trinity, mankind, and on and on. Those serious about their faith today might feel as if they are standing alone for truth and the proper understanding of God’s Word. They may feel as if Christians are being overwhelmed by the prevailing culture…both by the secular culture outside of the church as well as by much of the culture and teaching that can be found inside of some of the church.
Contrary to how that person may feel, though, Christians today are really experiencing nothing new. Since Christ ascended so many years ago, every imaginable heresy and false teaching has reared its head and God has providentially protected His church so that not only has she survived, but she has flourished! In the first few centuries of the church, this was very evident as the early church fathers had to repel all sorts of false teaching as they defended what God’s Word taught about the deity of Christ, the deity of the Holy Spirit, the relationship amongst the Trinity, and many other doctrines.
In response to these false teachings from time to time councils would be called to help formulate a position on a particular doctrine or teaching that had come to be disputed. From these councils then, once consensus was reached, a written document would be produced called a creed. These creeds, most of which were written in the first few hundred years after Christ lived, have stood the test of time as documents that clearly, faithfully, and succinctly articulate what the Scriptures teach on different topics.
As we look at the councils and creeds and see what types of false teachings were being responded to, we will see how so many of the false religions we find around us today can actually trace their roots back those early-century false teachings. We will see that our Jehovah’s Witness neighbors subscribe to the teaching of Arius that was soundly refuted at both the councils of Nicaea and Constantinople. We will see much of the same thing in regards to our Mormon friends.
As the students look at how God has preserved His church over the millennia, the hope is that we will all see that Christians don’t stand alone today. Rather, we stand under God’s providence just as the thousands and millions of Christians who have gone before us have. We also stand firmly grounded on God’s Word aided in our understanding of it by the creeds that so many faithful men penned guided by the Spirt of God.