The Apostles’ Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Sixteenth Century Confessions of our Church are each and every one of them the product of the greatest upheavals and the most intense crises in the Church of Christ. Creeds are born, not made. They are wrung in the agony and anxiety of a Confession at an epoch fraught with the possibility of perilous consequences to the confessors.
Such creeds, the mighty foundations of our Fathers, do not bind us, but they plant us on solid ground. They do not throttle, but they protect us. They specialize, differentiate and qualify our Church’s activity, render it more effective, and save much experimental waste. They no more hem us in and bind us down than noble old trees, planted by our fathers, hem in, destroy and narrow down the landscape. -Theodore Schmauk. The Confessional Principle. pp. 22-23