It has been a while since I posted any new blog, however, I continue in adding to my study of the Westminster Confession of faith, with a very interesting question; "why did the Reformers receive and retain the Creeds without any hesitancy?
Let us see what we have uncovered so far! During the centuries without doubt the Creeds were held in great esteem. In the middle ages they were one of the fixed elements in the catechetical instruction by the Church. Alongside the Ave Maria, the lord's prayer and the ten commandment, where all children had to learn the Apostle's creed. No-one would have ever thought of challenging the doctrinal part of the churches life. Where the Reformed church did not bring with it any change at this point. All the great reformers did, Luther, Zwingli, Melanchton, Calvin etc., wholeheartedly accepted the Creeds, as binding formularies for all ministers and members of the church.
Where it was Luther himself who came up with three remarkable statements of the Creed and in part his Small and Large Catechisms:- taking together the Ten commandments, the Lord's prayer he wrote three articles, by explaining, his choice, God himself has given the Ten Commandments, as the basis of instruction, in the Christian faith and morals. And Christ himself has ordained and taught the LORD'S prayer, and the holy spirit has composed and conceived the articles of faith in the shortest and most correct manner.
So in their struggle with Rome the Reformers had learned that there is but one absolute authority: the Word of God. All human traditions however ancient and august, are subject to this Word. Where the Belgic Confession of faith also makes this thought predominately clear. " We may not consider any writings of men, however holy these men may have been, of equal value with those divine Scriptures, nor ought we to consider custom, or the great multitude, or antiquity, or succession of times and persons, or councils, decrees, or statutes, as of equal value with the truth of God, since the truth is above all; for all men are of themselves liars, and more vain than vanity itself. Therefore we reject with all our hearts whatsoever does not agree with this infallible rule which the apostles have taught us, saying 'prove the spirits, whether they are of God'. (Article VII)
Thus to whatever argument that may have arisen within the church or the church of Scotland at the moment whether it be same sex relations, or marriage, Creed or country.
Thus, in all things said and spoken in agreement all must prove itself in agreement with the infallible word of God.