Q. My intellect is simple ( I think that is a blessing) and I like a simple explanation, and when I come across a statement of belief that go over my head from a denomination that I will not mention, I wonder how much trust should I put toward this denomination. Could you please help me understand? This is their Statement of Faith: “We believe in what is termed The Apostles’ Creed as embodying all the fundamental doctrines of orthodox evangelical Christianity.” What is the Apostles’ Creed?
A. The Apostles’ Creed is so-named partly because of its great antiquity, dating from the 2nd Century AD. Also, a 5th Century tradition holds that each of the Apostles originally dictated a part of it while they were still alive. Then it was compiled into one document later. Here’s what it says:
“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.”
Don’t confuse catholic church, which means the universal church, with the Catholic church, headquartered in Rome.
This statement was developed to establish certain basic truths to which the Church had to conform to be called Christian. Its purpose was to combat the heresy that came to be called “Gnosticism” that challenged these truths.
A denomination that claims these truths as their own meets the basic requirements for being a Christian organization. Personally I would ask their position on other Biblical matters of importance to get the whole story. For example what do they believe about the End Times, or Eternal Security, or Israel’s place in God’s plan, etc? These topics are not salvation issues but will have a noticeable impact on how they interpret Scripture.