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I read a book by George Fox, founder of Quakerism, where he spoke of his reluctance to endorse any creed, and part of the reason seemed to be the abuse he received in prison for being a heretic.

Q: What biblical or historical justifications have been given by those who eschew creeds & catechisms in their Christian faith walk?

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1 Answer 1

The short answer is that The Bible itself claims to be God's authoritative Word, and as such, it is sufficient for teaching and preparing us to do God's will. (2 Timothy 3:16,17)

Along with that, Scripture warn against following any "gospel" other than the one preached in the Bible, and that false doctrines/teachings would arise. (Galatians 1, 2 John 1:9-11, Revelation 22:18-19, 1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

In addition, God gave each and every one of us the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth and an understanding of God's Word. (John 16:13, John 14:26)

The Biblical basis to reject creeds is an application of the verses above, and more like them. The idea is that creeds are man-made, while God provides His Word and the Holy Spirit to guide us in to Truth. The idea is that man is fallible, and we shouldn't be following man's teachings, but rather God's.

A more detailed response highlighting the same points can be found at thegospelway.com.

George fox, who you asked about, seems to have taken a similar view, using much the same logic. From George Fox and Christian Theology

Westcott wrote,4 "was then commonly preached with a crude violence which shook the very foundations of morality." Moreover, God was not a God at hand, but One afar off: He had prisoned Himself in a book to which no page had been added for fifteen hundred years; all the knowledge men now had of Him was bound within the covers of the Bible. It was against this gloomy creed that Fox came with his message of a God who was close to men, still speaking to them as in the days of prophets and apostles, teaching, leading and controlling them by His Spirit in their own hearts. The Bible was not the only fount of truth, for the same Spirit that inspired it was still at work, and only as men were enlightened by that Spirit could they understand or use the Bible aright. This last had been Luther's conviction, and it had been expressed (with caution) in the Reformed Confessions of Faith; but it had been largely overlooked and forgotten. There can be no doubt that to most of Fox's converts the assurance of a God who was in direct touch with their own souls was a joyful discovery that transformed their lives, and that it is this discovery which explains their attitude towards the Bible and theology.


In fairness, the response from those that find value in creeds would likely be "So these creeds, which are based on Scripture, written by those that have studied it, taken time to distill the meaning, in a rigorous fashion, with many minds working together to prevent error are less likely to be erroneous than the interpretation of individuals who may or may not have the same level of knowledge, experience, and discipline?"

Therefore, I'd like to point out that this answer is not endorsing nor rejecting the idea the creeds should be endorsed or rejected. I'm just giving the basis for which those that do reject creeds.

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Excellent! I would add, from a confessional perspective, that the statement "No creed but the Bible" is itself a creed. The word "creed" comes from the Latin "Credo", which means "I believe". As the Bible itself commands us to be ready to give an answer for the faith that we have, a credo is absolutely necessary. –  Adrian Keister Aug 12 '13 at 12:35

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