It’s amazing to me how quickly the end comes, either for individual or for groups, after having departed from confessional Christian Orthodoxy (canonized for us in the ancient ecumenical creeds: Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian). Said a slightly different way: I never cease to marvel at how, after setting aside the orthodox confession of faith and opening the door for alternative beliefs based on human philosophy and speculative reason, human beings jump radically off-course into stranger and stranger beliefs and teachings.
Some may nitpick confessional, historic Christianity for our strict adherence to the creeds (such as some of the non-denominational congregations and certain Baptist groups who proclaim: “deeds, not creeds!” and “we have no creed but the Bible!”), but the creeds and our commitment to them are the reasons we Lutherans (and other credal/confessional types) don’t see the same type of mass-confusion about which beliefs are essential for salvation (from which point Universalism is just howling at the door) that is so prevalent in modern American Evangelicalism.
Wow. How’s that for a run-on sentence?
Anyway, the creeds are vital: they keep you grounded, they keep you confessing, they keep you safe from the wolves.
For an example of what happens which a congregation foregoes teaching its people credal orthodoxy and instead takes up teaching speculation-laced human philosophy, see this article* about a church congregation that made its study of Jewish Kabbalah the center of its mission instead of the Gospel of Christ and Him crucified (as outlined in the creeds) and ended up mass-converting to Judaism.
*And please note that the opinions espoused in the linked site in no way necessarily reflect my own.