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The Confession of Belhar (). 1. We believe in the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who through Word and Spirit gathers, protects and cares for the. The Belhar Confession, drafted in by the Dutch Reformed Mission Church ( DRMC), has its roots in the struggle against apartheid in southern Africa. In this. should not adopt Belhar Confession. Commentary by Viola Larson, Naming His Grace blog, July 1, The th General Assembly will.

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Listen for yourself at the CRC website. If the existing Reformed confessions inadequately guide us in their applications, then maybe more education on those applications is desirable.

Why the Belhar Should Not Be a Confession | The Banner

We ought learn from that history and, while we might accept the Belhar’s objectives as our own, adopt our own means. The principle that Christians should care for the poor and marginalized of society is non-negotiable.

About the Author Dr. Whether it is the insurance executive or the government bureaucrat who rations care, both seem conffession willing to deny that care to older people on the basis of cost and profit though the politician measures profit in terms of votes more than dollars, it is also with the understanding that the former leads to the latter.

Will the issue be continually brought up in future synods? Some time later the Confesxion acknowledged that the document’s contents were true, with the proviso that references in the Belhar Gelhar to “the poor” not be regarded as an implicit reference to non-whites. In many years of public policy analysis and legislative liaison, I have had occasion to witness numerous examples of how the wealthy and influential are able to wrangle government contracts, i.


One of the most concise, insightful and informative comments on this subject.

The Belhar Confession

Instead, there is much waffling and debating leading to strife, confusion, and dissent. In the absence of guiding principles of application as distinguished from “belief” Christians often rely on secular principles For example, with regard to health care, my views differ substantially from those of fellow Christians who rely on principles far clnfession closely aligned with Ayn Randian objectivism or Rand’s successors e.

A Senate Majority Leader, who was a fellow Christian, voted to oppose additional resources to drug courts. The mutual participation in sinful human nature of both rich and poor gets short shrift.

Maybe definitions not supplied of the terms “confession” and “doctrinal standards” would have helped reduce the confusion. With regard to society’s poor and marginalized, the hundreds of biblical references form a pattern.

Do you think our adoption of the Belhar Confessionn would be potentially divisive, as Cooper claims? Surely personal responsibilty is important, but do we want to be the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son? Several of those revisions have occurred within the last 25 years or so.

Instead, it simply assumes the poor are ennobled by their poverty and the wealthy are tainted by their wealth. The profile of the opposition to the Belhar does not inspire optimism.

Charities are freer to respond to this confesskon of the Spirit than are government systems where they are bound to the letter of law and cobfession regardless of circumstance. Apartheid was carried out by people of our own tradition who affirmed all of our confessions, yet failed to act as the body of Christ in a very sobering and destructive way. Languages Afrikaans Nederlands Edit links. Get All the Updates! I appreciate Cooper’s insight that it seems motivated by “symbolic relevance and a few ecumenical relationships”.


I am not particularly supportive of corporate welfare for it, too, is often unjust. Moreover, its prologue states that it was not meant to be a doctrinal standard.

The creeds are typically not that specific, nor should they be. CRC members should be aware that the playing field on this issue is not level. I agree with Dr. PNR Thanks for your well-reasoned response. Belydenis van Belhar is a Christian statement of belief written in Afrikaans in PNR Maybe one of the benefits of Belhar discussion will be a closer examination of your division of people into “the prudent” and “the imprudent. Each of these experiences has undoubtedly informed my judgments about the value of the Belhar as a confession.

Who, then, looks at the institutional practices that affect all in the community – confezsion or potentially? Other con voices have been IMHO essays. Scripture deals with matters of personal salvation, not with social relationships. The answer to these questions is a prudential judgment based on experience in part.

Views Read Edit View history. According to the confession, God is the God of the destitute, confeseion poor, and the wronged, and for this reason the church should stand by people in any form of suffering. The emphasis conefssion private property stems from the notion that this is what God has entrusted to me, as opposed to another, just as some land was given to Benjamin and other land was given to Judah, and within that land, it was subdivided by clan and household.

Whether we adopt the Belhar as a confession or not, we are I hope!