Why I Think Every Christian Should say the Apostles’ Creed

Why I Think Every Christian Should say the Apostles’ Creed December 5, 2018

Since the Apostles’ Creed is all the rage on the internet today, I’d like to share with you my experience with it, and why I believe every Christian should say the Apostles’ Creed. I am not trying to add to the controversy and my intention is not to be mean-spirited. I must confess the Apostle’s Creed is new to me and I am not an authority on it.

Stained glass window in a church.
2.1 I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,  2.2 And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord;

Here is the Apostles’ Creed just in case you aren’t familiar with it:

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

 2.1 I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, 

2.2 And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. 

2.3 I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen. 

Book of Confessions – Presbyterian Church (USA) | 2.1—2.3 pp. 5-7

We say this together every Sunday at church, which is something I’ve never done. I knew of the Apostles’ Creed and had studied it in Bible College, but it was never a part of my church experience, as both a church-goer and pastor. I spent 20 years being part of a church tradition that doesn’t practice creeds. 

My background as a Christian.

I became a Christian at a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, but soon after I got involved in a church plant that was part of the Restoration Movement / Stone-Campbell Movement. 

I spent the past 20 years serving as a pastor in Restoration Movement churches. For seventeen years I served as a youth pastor and neighborhood pastor, and the last three and a half years I served as a senior pastor. Most of my education—undergraduate and graduate studies, were at Restoration Movement colleges and seminaries, with some of my studies at a Conservative Baptist Seminary.

Background to the Restoration Movement / Stone-Campbell Movement.

Church with steeple in Yosemite Valley.
The Restoration movement, also known as the Stone-Campbell Movement can trace its beginning to 19th Century American Frontier.

The Restoration movement, also known as the Stone-Campbell Movement can trace its beginning to 19th Century American Frontier. In this Movement, there are three branches: The Churches of Christ non-instrumental, Disciples of Christ and the Independent Christian Church/Churches of Christ. The branch I belonged to was the Independent Christian Church/Churches of Christ. This branch has no formal denominational affiliations with other churches, but may share similar characteristics of belief and worship. 

Slogans of the Restoration Movement:

 • “Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent.”

 • “No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible, no law but love, no name but the divine.”

 • “We are Christians only, but not the only Christians.”

 • “In essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; in all things love.”

 • “Call Bible things by Bible names.”

 • “The church of Jesus Christ on earth is essentially, intentionally, and constitutionally one.”

Did you notice bullet point number two? 

 • “No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible, no law but love, no name but the divine.” 

Here is a quote from one of my notebooks I had in Bible College.

“Creeds divide, but Christians should be able to find agreement by standing on the Bible itself (from which they believe all creeds are but human expansions or constrictions.)”

As you can see, the Restoration movement doesn’t like creeds.

In comes the Presbyterian Church (USA).

As I have written in the past, I had three massive heart attacks two years ago which forced me to resign my position as senior pastor at the church I had been serving at for three and half years. We bought a coffee shop, and that’s what I am doing now beside working on my writing career.

My wife and I made a commitment to take time away from being active in a church. We needed time to heal and rest after 20 long years of serving in churches. We agreed to take about an 18 month hiatus, but it ended up to be more like two years. 

About a year ago, I met Andrew who is the pastor of the Presbyterian church in town. He and his wife both came to our coffee shop, and we became friends. As my wife and I talked about going back to church, we gave Andrew’s church a try and we love it. We became members of the church; I guess you can call us Presbyterians now. Interestingly enough, two of the Restoration Movement’s founders Thomas and Alexander Campbell were Presbyterian pastors before starting the Movement. 

And the Presbyterian Church (USA) practices the Apostles’ Creed, which we do every Sunday. 

Christians worshipping together.
I have found reciting the Apostles’ Creed together out loud as a church family to be a beautiful experience. Every Sunday, I get a chance to speak out loud my commitment to my Father in heaven I believe in him and all he has done to reconcile himself to all of creation.

Every Christian should make it a part of their practice as a Christian.

Even though I am a member of a Presbyterian Church (USA), I still hold too many of the beliefs and practices of the Restoration Movement. I believe many of its tenants speak to the core of what it means to be a Christian and a Christian only. 

However, I do believe the Restoration Movement is missing some important practices from ancient church tradition. I believe these practices add vitality and commitment to what it means to be a Christian. Yeah sure, the Apostles’ Creed isn’t in the Bible verbatim, but its principles are. So why not practice it?

I have found reciting the Apostles’ Creed together out loud as a church family to be a beautiful experience. Every Sunday, I get a chance to say my commitment to my Father in heaven; I believe in him and all he has done to reconcile himself to all of creation.

Every Christian needs this reminder. There’s no harm in saying the Apostles’ Creed — you won’t go to hell if you do.

So say it with me:

“I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,…”

About Joe Puentes
Joe Puentes is a ragamuffin, sojourner, writer, speaker, entrepreneur, husband, dad and heart attack survivor. He owns a coffeehouse, which he operates with two of his young adult children. You can read more about the author here.
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