Sunday, June 29, 2008

Heidelberg Catechism: A Few Words Makes a Difference

I walked into the Fellowship Hall/Basketball arena of my home church in Portland, OR, and I noticed all the banners with the various confessions and catechisms from the PCUSA's Book of Confessions, and right in front of me was the historic Heidelberg Catechism, part of the history of the Church in announcing and teaching us of our reformed/Reformed roots. What was moving was thinking of what the Church had done at the General Assembly: moved to strike out the words that homosexuality is a perversion. I asked the pastor of the Church if he knew what we had done in re: to the Catechism. He hadn't heard. Nor did he know of the language in the Catechism. This is not unexpected though: I don't know if anyone really knows the language in most of our creeds and confessions. And we, as a denomination, are about to add another confession or two (e.g., Social Creed, and Belhar from South Africa).

As a gay man, it was wonderful to look at the banner and know that, in the process of things, it is going to change, and soon. There is more language there that hurts people, and we have more to learn about in the coming months and years as society and culture's change. The creeds and confessions reflect or are-but-a-snapshot of a day and age in which we come from. God is always doing a new thing as well as preserving that which God has begun and made foundational to our existence.

Thanks be to God.

Pace, B

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