Adopt the Belhar, South African Delegate Says

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Rev. Motlalentwa Godfrey Betha brought greetings to Synod 2012 from the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa.

Rev. Motlalentwa Godfrey Betha: “Adopt the Belhar.”
Photo: Karen Huttenga

While commending synod for taking the matter of the Belhar Confession in what has been “a journey of faith,” Betha warned delegates that if they failed to recognize the Belhar as a fourth confession of the Christian Reformed Church, they would be making a mistake.

“Any attempt to adopt policy statements and theological studies on the subjects addressed by the Belhar Confession and appeal to it as a contemporary testimony or witness, in our judgment, would not treat the Belhar with the integrity and respect which it deserves,” Betha said.

Betha quoted Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, former general secretary of the Reformed Church in America, who compared looking at Belhar as anything short of a confession to a couple who lives together without getting married.

Later that day, Synod 2012 adopted the Belhar as an Ecumenical Faith Declaration, giving it some status in the church but not adopting it as a fourth confession.

 

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About the Author

Jeff Arnold is the Banner’s regional news correspondent for classes Kalamazoo and Lake Erie.

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