Scott Clark has a helpful, informative, and thoughtful post about creeds, promises and covenants over at The Heidelblog:
It is certainly a transaction which ought to be entered upon with much deep deliberation and humble prayer; and in which, if a man be bound to be sincere in anything, he is bound to be honest to his God, honest to himself, and honest to the church which he joins.
For myself, I know of no transaction in which insincerity is more justly chargeable with the dreadful sin of "lying to the Holy Ghost" than in this.
We live in a time of casual relations to promises. They seem to be easily made and easily broken. Businesses do it all the time and the economy is in ruins because of it. Perhaps they learned from the great, prestigious mainline, tall-steeple Protestant churches? After all, after recovering the good news of justification with God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone we confessed our faith, made promises, and swore solemn oaths. But those promises didn’t last very long.
A creed is more than a collection of truths; it is a promise. Forgotten or ignored creeds are broken promises. Take a lesson from king Josiah. The only proper response to broken promises is a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Of such is the kingdom of God.Read it all here