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A creed may be nothing more than a doctrinal rut, serving to channel the mental activities of those upon whom the creed is imposed into certain desired directions. Whether it be a rut or a river-bed, in either case the result is identical – in other words, limitation. Perhaps a better simile would be that of a dam, for a channel, or rut, does not hinder the motion, it merely directs it, whereas a dam is altogether repressive, forbidding motion. The theological dams of Christendom have always acted thus, until at times the flood-tides of thought, or reason, have burst through the barriers. …
When creedal statements acquire a fixed finality we may gravely question whether such fixity is the immutability of immortal perfection or simply the rigor mortis associated with mental or doctrinal death. Creeds, like their makers, are mortal, and some of them are corrupt. A creed may be the Bethlehem of important truth; but alas! most of them are but the graveyards of Christian thought, in which the faith of millions has interred the questions and doubts of a thousand years.
Alan Burns (1884-1929)
Unsearchable Riches, Vol. 8, page 145
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