Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Statements of DRC and URCSA on Belhar Confession

Translated statement from the Dutch Reformed Church:
*The Moderamen feels that Southern Africa has in more ways then one reached a cross road.
* The Moderamen confirms the conviction that the Church in a time like this, must be directed by the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, the prophetic voice of the one and catholic (Algemene/ general) Christian Church as it came to us throughout the centuries, as well as the formulations as it is expressed in die confessions of the church.
* In light of this, the Moderamen of the General Synod in line with decisions of the General Synod of 1998 and 2004, accepts the Word of God, the Three formulas of Unity and the content of the Belhar Confession as guideline for our decisions and actions.
*We are convinced that our existing confessions still express the essential truths of our faith in a comprehensive and conclusive manner.
* We are convinced that the Belhar Confession expresses crucial truths, which give to us Biblical guidelines to approach the important contextual challenges of our day in a Biblically responsible way. We accept the Belhar Confession as a gift to guide us on this way.
* At the same time we hope that a serious conversation about confessional issues can be held in the near future to discuss the current functioning of our existing confessions.

This was translated from the following Afrikaans statement:

Die Moderamen van die Algemene Sinode en die inhoud van die Belydenis van Belhar
* Die Moderamen voel aan dat Suider-Afrika in meer as een opsig by ‘n kruispad gekom het.
* Die Moderamen bevestig die oortuiging dat die kerk in ‘n tyd soos hierdie gerig moet word deur die Skrif, die Heilige Gees, die profetiese stem van die een heilige en algemene Christelike kerk soos wat dit deur die eeue na ons toe kom, asook formuleringe soos dit veral tot uitdrukking kom in kerklike belydenisse.
* In die lig hiervan aanvaar die Moderamen van die Algemene Sinode, in lyn met die Algemene Sinode-besluite van 1998 en 2004, die Woord van God, die Drie Formuliere van Eenheid en die inhoud van die Belydenis van Belhar as rigsnoer vir ons besluite en optrede.
* Ons is oortuig daarvan dat ons bestaande belydenisse steeds die kernwaarhede van ons geloof op omvattende en beslissende wyse verwoord.
* Ons is oortuig daarvan dat die Belydenis van Belhar kernwaarhede verwoord wat aan ons Bybelse riglyne verskaf om van die belangrikste kontekstuele uitdagings van ons dag op Bybels-verantwoordbare wyse tegemoet te gaan. Ons aanvaar die Belydenis van Belhar as ‘n gawe om ons as gids op diĆ© pad te begelei.
* Terselfdertyd hoop ons dat ‘n ernstige gesprek oor belydenisaangeleenthede in die nabye toekoms gevoer sal word om onder meer die huidige funksionering van ons bestaande belydenisskrifte te bespreek.




The reponse of the URCSA is as follows:

We, the Moderamen of URCSA, took note that the Moderamen of the DRC declared that the Belhar Confession
1) express fundamental truths on some of the key challenges of the day;
2) accepts the Belhar Confession as a gift to guide them on these matters.

We also took note of the lack of advocacy in the said statement that the Belhar Confession should be part of the confessional basis of the re-united church.

Therefore we reaffirm our decisions of the General Synod of 2008 and our commitment to assist the DRC and other churches on the study of the value and importance of Belhar Confession, as a confession. in a re-united church and the acceptance thereof.
(Decided at Moderamen meeting-13 July 2009)
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