If you have come across (or perhaps been) one of those people who boasts that he or she doesn’t subscribe to any –ism, refuses any denominational –ist, and is somehow above the fray of doctrinal positions, then Charles Spurgeon had some wise words in response.
“I like a doctrinal religion. I do not believe in the statement of some people, that they have no creed. A man says, for instance, “I am not a Calvinist, and I am not an Arminian, I am not a Baptist, I am not a Presbyterian…” But this is only the licence he claims for his own habit of disagreeing with everyone. He is one of that kind of people whom we generally find to be the most bigoted themselves, and least tolerant of others. He follows himself; and so belongs to the smallest denomination in the world. I do not believe that charity consists in giving up our denominational distinctions. I think there is a “more excellent way.” Even those who do not despise faith, although they almost sacrifice it to their benevolence, will sometimes say, “Well, I do not belong to any of your sects and schisms.” There was a group of men once, who came out from all branches of the Christian Church, with the hope that everyone else of true heart would follow them. The result, however, has been, that they have only made another denomination, distinct alike in doctrine and discipline.
“I believe in creeds, if they are based on Scripture. They may not secure unity of sentiment, but on the whole they promote it, for they serve as landmarks, and show us the points at which many turn aside. Every man must have a creed if he believes anything. The greater certainty he feels that it is true, the greater his own satisfaction. In doubts, darkness, and distrust, there can be no consolation…
“The anchor we have is sure and steadfast. I thank God that the faith I have received can be moulded into a creed, and can be explained with words so simple, that the common people can understand it, and be comforted by it.”
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 11, sermon number 659, “Simeon”.