The creed was (and is) the primary instrument used by the orthodox to insure conformity in the church. In his book,
Jesus Against Christianity Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer has some searching things to say about the Apostles Creed, especially the phrase "born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate". On page 153 he wrote, "A life not mentioned is by implication unimportant. It's not a coincidence that a creed that ignores Jesus' life and softens imperial Rome's role in his death has given rise throughout history to many expressions of Christian faith influenced by and comfortable with stately power."
Much more could be said about the creeds. Chief among Early Christian creeds were The Three Historic Ecumenical Creeds of the Christian Church. The text of the three with considerable discussion is found in this website.
Go to The Hall of Church History for a comprehensive survey of Church History from a
fundamentalist viewpoint. They include exhaustive material on the dissenting brothers, although they're referred to here as the heretics.
Definition of heretic: one who doesn't conform to the prevailing tradition.
(Most of this post was taken from My Hypertext Bible.)
(Friend Jon has interesting things to say about the creed in a recent post.)