Belhar Confession: Acts of Profession

Act of Profession 1

East:

We believe that God has revealed himself as the One who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among men;

West:

that in a world full of injustice and enmity He is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged and that He calls his Church to follow Him in this;

East:

that He brings justice to the oppressed and gives bread to the hungry;

West:

that He frees the prisoner and restores sight to the blind;

East:

that He supports the downtrodden, protects the stranger, helps orphans and widows and blocks the path of the ungodly;

West:

that for Him pure and undefiled religion is to visit the orphans and the widows in their suffering;

East:

that He wishes to teach His people to do what is good and to seek the right;

West:

that the Church must therefore stand by people in any form of suffering and need, which implies, among other things, that the Church must witness against and strive against any form of injustice, so that justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream;

All:

that the Church as the possession of God must stand where He stands, namely against injustice and with the wronged; that in following Christ the Church must witness against all the powerful and privileged who selfishly seek their own interests and thus control and harm others.
--Excerpt from The Belhar Confession, paragraph 4

--submitted by Nolan Palsma, Pitcher Hill Community Church, North Syracuse, NY
 

Act of Profession 2

East:

We believe that God has entrusted the church with the good news that we have been reconciled in and through Jesus Christ;

West:

That the church is called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world;

East:

That the church is called blessed because it is a peacemaker;

West:

That the church witnesses by what it says and by what it does to the new heaven and the new earth, where righteousness dwells;

East:

That through the life-giving work of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, God has conquered the powers of sin and death, and so also of alienation and hatred, bitterness and enmity;

West:

That Christ through his Spirit will enable the church to live in a new obedience, obedience that can open new possibilities of life for society and the world;

East:

That when those who proclaim the message of reconciliation
nevertheless separate people by race,
promoting and perpetuating alienation, hatred, and enmity,
the credibility of this message of reconciliation is seriously affected,
and the beneficial work of this message is obstructed.

West:

That anyone who
1) attempts to justify racial separation by appealing to the gospel,
2) is not prepared to venture on the road to obedience and reconciliation, or
3) denies that the gospel has the power to reconcile
because of prejudice, fear, selfishness, and unbelief,
that person holds to false doctrine--which doctrine we reject!

--submitted by Nolan Palsma, Pitcher Hill Community Church, North Syracuse, NY
 

Act of Profession 3

We believe that God has revealed himself
as the one who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among people

West:

that God, in a world full of injustice and enmity,
is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged;

East:

that God calls the church to follow him in this,
for God brings justice to the oppressed and gives bread to the hungry;

West:

that God frees the prisoner and restores sight to the blind;

East:

that God supports the downtrodden,
protects the stranger,
helps orphans and widows
and blocks the path of the ungodly;

West:

that for God pure and undefiled religion
is to visit the orphans and the widows in their suffering;

East:

that God wishes to teach the church to do what is good and to seek the right

West:

that the church must therefore stand by people
in any form of suffering and need,
which implies, among other things,
that the church must witness against and strive against any form of injustice,
so that justice may roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream;

East:

that the church as the possession of God must stand where the Lord stands, namely against injustice and with the wronged;
that in following Christ the church must witness
against all the powerful and privileged
who selfishly seek their own interests and thus control and harm others.

West:

Therefore, we reject any ideology which would legitimate forms of injustice
and any doctrine which is unwilling to resist such an ideology
in the name of the gospel.

East:

We believe that, in obedience to Jesus Christ,
its only head,
the church is called to confess and to do all these things,
even though the authorities and human laws might forbid them
and punishment and suffering be the consequence

West:

Jesus is Lord.

East:

To the one and only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be the honor and the glory for ever and ever.

--submitted by Nolan Palsma, Pitcher Hill Community Church, North Syracuse, NY
 

Act of Profession 4

We believe that Christ's work of reconciliation is made manifest in the Church
as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another;
that unity is, therefore, both a gift and an obligation for the Church of Jesus Christ.
We believe that this unity of the people of God must be manifested
and be active in a variety of ways:
in that we love one another;
and that we experience, practice and pursue community with one another.

--submitted by Nolan Palsma, Pitcher Hill Community Church, North Syracuse, NY 
 

Act of Profession 5

We believe in the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who gathers, protects and cares for his Church by his Word and his Spirit, as He has done since the beginning of the world and will do to the end.

We believe in one holy, universal Christian Church, the communion of saints called from the entire human family.

We believe that Christ's work of reconciliation is made manifest in the Church as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another. That unity is, therefore, both a gift and an obligation for the Church of Jesus Christ. This unity of the people of God must be manifested and be active in a variety of ways:

in that we love one another;

that we experience, practice and pursue community with one another;

that we are obligated to give ourselves willingly and joyfully to be of benefit and blessing to one another;

that we share one faith, have one calling, are of one soul and one mind;

have one God and Father, are filled with one Spirit,

are baptized with one baptism, eat of one bread and drink of one cup, confess one Name;

are obedient to one Lord, work for one cause, and share one hope.

To the one and only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be the honor and the glory for ever and ever.

--Colts Neck Reformed Church
 

Act of Profession 6

1:

We believe in the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who gathers, protects and cares for his Church by his Word and his Spirit.

2:

God has done this since the beginning of the world and will continue to do so to the end.

1:

We believe in one holy, universal Christian Church, the communion of saints called from the entire human family.

2:

We believe that Christ's work of reconciliation is made manifest in the Church as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another.

1:

Therefore, we believe that unity is a gift to the Church of Jesus Christ.

2:

Therefore we believe that unity is an obligation for the Church of Jesus Christ.

1:

Through the working of God's Spirit Christ's reconciliation is a force that binds us together now.

2:

Through the working of God's Spirit Christ's reconciliation is at the same time a reality that must be earnestly pursued and sought, a reality that we, the people of God must continually be encouraged to build up.

1:

We believe that unity must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity and hatred between people and groups is sin.

2:

These are sins that Christ has already conquered.

1:

They have no place in the Church and must be resisted.

2:

The unity of the people of God must be manifested and be active in a variety of ways.

ALL: 

We show it in our love for one another.

1:

It is evident as we enjoy, practice and pursue community with one another.

2:

Our unity appears as we obey Christ's call to give ourselves willingly and joyfully to one another for mutual benefit and blessing.

1:

We share one faith, have one calling, are of one soul and one mind.

2:

We have one God and Father, are filled with one Spirit, are baptised with one baptism, eat of one bread and drink of one cup, confess one Name, are obedient to one Lord, work for one cause, and share one hope.

1:

Together we come to know the height and the breadth and the depth of the love of Christ.

2:

Together we are built up to the stature of Christ, to the new humanity.

1:

Together we acknowledge and bear one another's burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ.

2:

We need one another.

1:

We need to build one another up, admonishing and comforting one another.

2:

We also suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness.

1:

We pray together.

2:

We serve God together in this world.

1:

Together we fight against all which may threaten or hinder our unity.

ALL:

Jesus is Lord.
To the one and only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be the honour and the glory for ever and ever.