© EBS Administrators
The credenda of a religion are things that one simply must believe in order to profess membership. The credenda vary from one denomination to another within Christianity, but the following is from an authoritative site
. EBS responses are in gray.
- First, we believe in the authority of Scripture, which is another way of saying that the Bible is God's inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word. It's the ultimate source for knowledge about God, as well as the definitive guide for our daily lives.
- Are all versions of the Bible, with various discrepancies between them, the inerrant word of God? When the Bible contradicts itself, is it still inerrant? If there was only one version, which was self-consistent, this would be easier to believe, but under the circumstances, we're not even sure what we're being asked to believe. We "think" that we're simply being asked to believe, without the object of that belief being clearly specified. If so, the belief is meaningless, since it isn't attached to anything in particular. It would be like believing in "seventeen" — one might ask, "Seventeen what?" Without stipulating the subject, those are just unassigned phonemes. So we rather believe that scripture should be an inspiration, not a constraint.
- Next we affirm the existence of a triune God or one God in three distinct persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This God is self-existent, eternal, unchanging, omnipotent, omnipresent, holy, righteous, and loving. God created the universe from nothing and He rules sovereign over His creation, including both human and angelic beings.
- We're not sure of the utility of the Trinity — we believe that God is a spiritual essence, present in all things, and not in the animist sense — we believe that God is the only essence. As such, God can be condensed into any number of different forms in order to become comprehensible to humans, while none of those individual forms constitute His entirety. That much is relatively easy to understand, and it is useful. To say that God is at once one and three is a fruitless mystery.
- We do not believe that humans can comprehend creation. So for our purposes, matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed — it can only change forms.
- We do not believe that Jesus was the son of God — we believe that all people are metaphysically the same — we're all just witnesses.
- We also hold that man is a physical and spiritual being who is created in God's image. But because of his sin or transgression, man has lost his fellowship with God. The extent of sin is so great that its effects continue to this very day in the form of cruelty, sickness, suffering, and death.
- We do not believe in "original sin" — we believe that this is a theological invention that tries to preserve the perfection of God, despite having created beings in His own image that are far from perfect. Thus God is perfect, and God created man in His own image, and man used to be perfect, but then man messed up, so it's all man's fault. EBS doesn't have this problem — not having a conception of creation means not having to blame anybody for the world's problems. Rather, matter in motion causes conflicts, and only with wisdom can those conflicts be resolved. So the more we learn, the closer we get to God, and the more problems we can solve.
- By God's grace, Jesus Christ — Who is fully God and fully man — was sent to save us from our bondage to sin. We believe that Christ was born of a virgin, died for our sins, physically rose from the dead, and will one day return to judge the world and deliver His people. Faith in Christ alone (not faith + works) is the only means by which an individual can escape eternal damnation and judgment.
- We believe that this is the clearest statement of amorality ever included in a popular religion. To explicitly state that it doesn't matter what you do — faith alone (not faith + works) is sufficient for salvation — totally abandons the Ten Commandments, and invalidates all other references to moral behavior in the Bible. Thankfully, few Christians actually take this to heart, and most good Christians abide by a strict moral code, which goes way beyond just adhering to the Ten Commandments — they consider it to be their duty to help others, which is good. The Christians who do believe that "works" don't matter are a menace to society, and have perpetrated atrocities on humankind.
- Finally, we recognize the church as God's ordained institution headed by Christ. The church is composed of all believers, and is organized for teaching, worship, fellowship, for the administration of communion and baptism, for spiritual growth and support, and for evangelizing the world. True believers seek to be part of local church assemblies where the Word of God is taught accurately.
- This isn't a theological tenet — it's merely the self-promotion of an institution. And said institution clearly isn't headed by Christ, since the Church has done things that Christ never would have done (e.g., the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc.). So this is just a gatekeeper scam.