By now many of you have probably caught wind of the “Sparkle Creed”. An ultra woke attempt by a church in Minnesota to cap off Pride Month by having its members confess together their belief “in the nonbinary God, whose pronouns are plural.” And “in Jesus Christ, their child, who wore a fabulous tunic, and had two dads and saw everyone as a sibling child of God.” It is a sad and pandering attempt to remain relevant while undercutting any claim the church might have had on authority or for that matter any sense of integrity.
And while I really want to encourage any who are members of such a church to flee, to shake the dust off their shoes as a place that no longer is concerned with proclaiming the Word of God, I doubt that any of these members are reading this blog. And I’m not going to reprint their blasphemous creed here (you can ceritnaly look it up if you are so inclined). Instead, I thought this might be a perfect time to recall just what it is to confess as the people of God.
When we talk about confessing, I think we usually think about confessing our sins, about speaking how we’ve sinned in thoughts, words, and deeds. But we also talk about confessing the faith, we might think of it as professing, speaking it out loud. We could even say this to acknowledge something or someone. So, Matthew 10:32-34 in the King James reads, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” But the English Standard Version reads, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
The Greek word used here is homologéō which means to “same say”. To confess is to same-say, to parrot if your will, the words of another. To make their words your own. And while we may not always think of it this way, a big part of what we do when we go to church together, the core of our worship if you will, is same-saying our God. We speak what he has first spoken to us.
If you gather in worship and your service begins with a confession of sins, where does that confession come from? Did you discover it on your own, did you know the depths of your sin, that you’ve sinned against your God by your thoughts, words, and deeds, by what you’ve done and left undone? I doubt it. You confess these things because they are the things that God has first declared to you. His Word, his commands and decrees have described you as sinners. You are simply speaking back to him what he has said to you. He says, “You’re a sinner” and you say back, “I’m a sinner.” That’s the pattern that is what it is to confess.
And so it is with the Creeds of the church. These ancient statements of faith are not some new clever concoctions of mankind but are a faithful proclamation of the faith that we have first received from our Lord. The faith that I confess is not just mine but the churches, it is the faith handed down from generation to generation, it is the faith of Apostle’s and prophets. This isn’t some quaint discovery of our own, it has been tested by the Word of God and delivered through the blood of the martyrs.
So, when you hear about nonsense like the “Sparkle Creed”, your first question ought to be who they are same-saying? Whose words are they taking up as their own? It doesn’t take a great theologian to see that these words do not flow from the Word of God. They are not handed down through the faithful men and women who have gone before us. No, this is a parroting of our age. It is to eschew the teaching of God and turn to instead to the teachings of man. Even worse it attempts to pass off the teaching of man for the Word of God. This will only lead to doubt, to confusion and ultimately to condemnation – all for the sake of being relevant.