More Ponderings from Belhar
Another section of the Belhar Confession from the South African Church
also addresses present conditions, standoffs, and stalemates that are occurring in our world:
- that God has entrusted the church with the message of reconciliation in and through Jesus Christ; that the church is called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, that the church is called blessed because it is a peacemaker, that the church is witness both by word and by deed to the new heaven and the new earth in which righteousness dwells.
- that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit has conquered the powers of sin and death, and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity, that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable the church to live in a new obedience which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world;
- that the credibility of this message is seriously affected and its beneficial work obstructed when it is proclaimed in a land which professes to be Christian, but in which the enforced separation of people on a racial basis promotes and perpetuates alienation, hatred, and enmity;
- that any teaching which attempts to legitimate such forced separation by appeal to the gospel, and is not prepared to venture on the road of obedience and reconciliation, but rather, out of prejudice, fear, selfishness and unbelief, denies in advance the reconciling power of the gospel, must be considered ideology and false doctrine.
As Christian disciples who have been taught by Word and example that in Christ
there is no east or west, no slave nor free, no male nor female, no Jew nor Gentile,
we are Advent People who live to increase the span of Christ’s embrace of all people.
As followers of one who came “not to be served but to serve,”
we are Advent People who live constantly serving the least and the last of God’s children,
the vulnerable, the marginalized, the oppressed,
in order that they might find their rightful place in the household of God.
As those Christ called to be “light of the world” and “salt of the earth,”
we are Advent People who cannot rest until the broken places and people of the world
know themselves subject to the healing reconciliation of God.
As people who sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” with great gusto,
we are Advent People who sing it with swelling confidence and promise
in the midst of a world of people clamoring for “kingship”
that indeed, now and always, in the past and in the future,
Christ is “King of Kings and Lord of Lords . . . forever and ever and ever.
That is good news . . . from South Africa . . .
from the United States of America . . .
from the Word of God and from the world that is God’s.
Just pondering . . .
Peace . . . Lynn