The denomination announced on Monday that a two-thirds majority of the 46 classes, or regional groups of churches, voted to approve the adoption of the Belhar Confession.
The confession would be added as a fourth standard of unity to the Book of Church Order. The last time the church adopted a new standard was more than two centuries ago.
It’s been over 10 years since RCA members and congregations began studying and reflecting on the Belhar Confession, which is rooted in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
Drafted in 1982, the confession partly declares that unity must become visible “so that the world may believe that separation, enmity and hatred between people and groups is sin” and it rejects any doctrine maintaining that “descent or any other human or social factor should be a consideration in determining membership of the church.”
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