Old Apostolic Church

Doctrines, Theology & Practices of the OAC

 

The Confession of Faith : Alteration and misinterpretation

The Old Apostolic member has a preprogrammed response when asked the following question:

Who wrote the Confession of Faith?”

The answer most likely would be, “The apostles”.

In all likelihood “the apostles” referred to by the Old Apostolic’s answer would be the apostles from the OAC organisation. They believe somehow that the confession of faith is the organisation’s statement of belief that was established by the leadership in the Old Apostolic Church. This would be wrong.

Some OAC officers and members would suggest that the Confession of Faith is shared among all denominations and that nobody really knows what it actually means and that is it open for interpretation. This again would be wrong.

The truth is quite different.

The truth is that in the year 320AD, the bishops in the original orthodox Christian faith were forced to gather in order to settle a dispute. Christians up to that point had always taught and always believed that Jesus the man was not only fully human, but that He was also fully God.

A bishop named Arius, however, believed and taught that Jesus was a lesser god to God the father. He taught that Jesus was a man who was inspired by the Holy Spirit and so was adopted as God’s son. (For an Old Apostolic this would sound very familiar)***write more attack on divinity***

The emperor Constantine requested a gathering of over 250 of bishops (overseers) to settle the dispute. Interestingly, Bishop Nicholas (the original figure behind the myth of Santa Clause) was at this same council which lasted for years. He was also strongly opposed to Arius’ teachings of Jesus and the Father being of a different essence.

At the end of the council, it was established by all the bishops/overseers that Christians could never adopt a “new” view on Jesus Christ. This was because the goal of the church has always been to preserve the original doctrine and teaching as established by Christ and the apostles.

The conclusion reached by all the bishops culminated in the Confession of Faith (also known as the Symbol of Faith) which states the following:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end.

However, a few years later, a group emerged referred to as “Spirit fighters”. They advocated that the Holy Spirit that conceived Jesus, was in fact not God, but simply a creation of God. They did this in an attempt to disprove that Jesus was not fully God as Jesus would be the offspring of a spirit created by God. Therefore they suggested that He was not the Son of God but the Son of the Holy Spirit which is inferior to the Father.

If, as they suggested, the Holy Spirit is merely a created energy or being then Jesus also would not be directly conceived of God.  Attacking the Holy Spirit was a direct attack on Jesus Christ’s revelation of being the Second Person in the Trinity. These attacks continue even in the present day by the spirit of the antichrist (Sidenote: Antichrist means to be “in the place of Christ”. It does not simply mean “against Christ”. Anything that wants to substitute the real Jesus Christ with something else, even a different version of Christ, is antichirst.)

However, almost half a century later it was confirmed at the Council of Constantinople 381AD that Christians have always believed and taught that the Holy Spirit is indeed God together with the Son and the Father, the Holy Trinity, One God. Hence the rest of the confession of faith which reads in its entirety:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end.

And [we believe] in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. In one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

So what we have above is THE confession of faith as written by the orthodox bishops of the original faith, almost 18 centuries ago in response to specific heterodox teachings that were misleading many christians away from the true faith.

It is worth mentioning that another bishop called Athanasius was also part of the council. He was the first bishop (overseer) to compile a list of the acceptable books of the bible in order to prevent false books from misleading the Christians. In other words, Athanasius made the list and compiled the bible that is known today (although there are some books that have been removed from the modern protestant bible). Athanasius made the canon of books known as the Bible. Therefore whenever you open the bible, be aware that you’re reading the books as confirmed to be in tradition by Bishop Athanasius. I am sharing these details to help you understand that these were overseers/bishops/episkopos who were in the original Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit to protect the Truth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore one cannot dismiss these bishops as irrelevant. If they are irrelevant then the bible is irrelevant, since they compiled the bible you use today and protected the gospel which has been unchanged for 2000 years.

I highly encourage everyone who desires to know the truth, to research the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed to understand where it comes from and why it exists.

Now, there is a major point of contention regarding the Confession of Faith between the OAC and original Christianity and it is the following:

The scripture and the Confession of Faith was written by specific Christians, at a specific time, for a specific purpose.

Should the Old Apostolic Church, today, read the Confession of faith as it was written and meant to be read by those Christians, or should they disregard the original purpose of the scriptures and creed and simply interpret it as they imagine it  mean?

Any Christian that wishes to remain within the original Christian teaching and doctrine would be required to confess the same faith as the generations of original Christians before them. In the New Testament, the importance of the original and true teaching  (doctrine) and understanding of the faith is highlighted:

John 7:16The Doctrine is Divine

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.

Acts 2:42  The Doctrine as received from Jesus was passed on by the apostles 

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Romans 6:17The Doctrine is to be obeyed and to be delivered and received, unchanged.

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Romans 16:17avoid people who teach anything contrary to the original doctrine

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Ephesians 4:14avoid man made doctrine.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

1 Timothy 1:3  Do not teach a doctrine that differs from the original faith.

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine

1 Timothy 4:6Be nourished by good/sound doctrine. 

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

1 Timothy 4:16Pay attention to the original doctrine and continue in it for salvation.

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

2 Timothy 3:10It is essential to know the doctrine of the apostles (Paul, Peter, James, John etc)

But thou hast fully known my (Apostle Paul’s) doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience…

2 Timothy 4:3Sound doctrine will be rejected in favour of “teachers” who tell people what they desire.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Titus 1:9Sound doctrine is essential for the gospel to be taught and accepted.

Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

2 John 1:9If one does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, then one does not have God.

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Again, I ask:

Should members and officers of the Old Apostolic Church interpret the scripture and Confession of Faith according to their own understanding? Or Should the Old Apostolic Church learn and teach scripture and the Confession of Faith according to the doctrine, tradition and gospel as revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles?

The scriptures regarding doctrine quoted above clearly states that there is no place in God’s kingdom for doctrine, teaching or gospel that contradicts the original faith. The Confession of Faith as confirmed by Christians 1800 years ago confirms what they had always been taught and what Christians had always believed. Anything “new”  that contradicts the original faith could not be true.

ok

In addition, the rule agreed upon and inspired by God’s Holy Spirit was that no person or congregation could change the confession of faith. Anyone who were to change the Confession of Faith would be anathema (cut off) from the Church, having a different faith than that which was passed on by the apostles themselves.

Unfortunately, right from the start, the Old Apostolic Church has altered the Confession of Faith in content and meaning which automatically cuts the organisation off from the original faith. This is not the most grievous error, but it is worth noting. Compare the differences on the next page.