Generational divide: we speak in different media. An older gentleman brought an objection to the floor saying that no one knew about a certain creed we were about to vote to adopt. He wants us young folks to discuss it for a while. He threw up his hands saying we should "talk about it, blog about it, text about it..." and while I don't think I'm quite about to write text messages to all my friends commending them to the study of a creedal statement, I thought I'd take up the challenge and blog about it.
The Social Creed for the Twenty-First Century ( http://www.pc-biz.org/Explorer.aspx?id=1629&promoID=27 ) is a strong statement of what the church needs to be in this century. The PC(USA) adopted it today by a 5-to-1 majority. Several of the items simply listed here were also resolved in more detailed overtures, against immigration injustices, against torture, for simpler lifestyles, pursuing carbon-neutrality, and committing ourselves to peace. What does it do? "Is there a way to measure its effectiveness?" is a common question, and Rahhel counter-questioned "is there a way to measure the effectiveness of FOLLOWING JESUS?" thus effectively mooting the point. The creed is a declaration of our interpretation of what God calls us to do as Christians. I am proud to say that my church (in majority) agrees that these are not just lofty ideals but are theological imperatives, and necessary interpretations of the signs of the times in light of the Biblical imperative to "do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God."
I BELIEVE that "love your neighbor" means "pay them well!"
that "Christ has set us free" means "abolish modern slavery!"
that "there is no longer jew or greek" means "fight racism!"
that "all may have life, and have it abundantly" means that we might have an abundant, organically overflowing earth full of biodiversity and beauty, love, harmony, health!
And I believe that "sell all you have and give it to the poor" means just what it says (gulp...)