As stated in the question, this is a subjective topic, but I think a few things can be said.
The purpose of statements of faith (SOF) are usually two-fold. Very often they are an attempt to simultaneously explain the following:
- That the church or ministry is operating within orthodoxy, that it shares all the basic tenets of faith with all true believers.
- That the church/ministry operates out of some specific teaching about scripture/the gifts of the Spirit/offices in the Church/etc.
Thus a SOF for an individual, ministry or church usually is not intended to define what is orthodox and what is heresy, unlike the creeds that were put down in e.g. Niceae, Constantinople or Chalcedon, but to affirm that one considers oneself as aligned to orthodoxy.
A SOF may be used to answer critics, clarify teaching and be a general guide of what to expect, sort of like content declarations for food. Thus, when a list of beliefs are being presented it is often hard to tell exactly what weight is being put on each item. There is usually no difference being made between:
- What is being presented as necessary for individual salvation?
- What is being presented as foundational truths, but not necessary for salvation?
- What is required to believe for membership?
- What is required to believe for having a leadership or teaching position?
- What is the guiding doctrines for the church/ministry operations as a whole, but individuals within the leadership team may still disagree upon?
Perhaps one should not differentiate between every item on that list, very much depending on what type of organization it is, but I still think reasoning along such lines would clarify a lot. Or to put it differently, what is being thought of as necessary and what is being thought of as beneficial?
There is also the question about how one reads a SOF. Is it intended to be understood as propositional truths or as general alignment with a tradition? E.g. when stating that one follows the Nicene creed, does that mean a general affirmation of its main thrust, or that one has accepted the neo-platonic metaphysics that guided how the church fathers wrote its details?
On the other hand, providing to much detail may attract pointless criticism and heresy hunters and would make the SOF harder to maintain, since it would need constant upgrades as new knowledge is gained.