Contemporary testimonies are dynamic statements of faith that serve the CRCNA—its congregations and members—and speak to essential matters in a given time period. A contemporary testimony is useful for study, faith formation, teaching, and worship. As such, it must periodically be reviewed in order to speak contemporaneously and perhaps be revised (if authorship belongs to the CRCNA) or be provided newly revised accompanying explanatory material (if authorship belongs elsewhere).
The Belhar Confession is a gift from the church to the church. By highlighting God’s call to unity, justice, and reconciliation, the Belhar reminds us that when we profess our faith in Christ, we do so as part of the global church. And belonging to the global church comes with responsibilities, each part being accountable to the others. Synod 2012 adopted the Belhar Confession and its accompanying documents, recommending it to the churches for study and for incorporation of its themes into their discipling and liturgical ministries, and Synod 2017 categorized the Belhar as a contemporary testimony.
In order to restate the church’s faith in today’s language and address contemporary issues, Synod 1986 approved Our World Belongs to God as a contemporary testimony, and Synod 2008 approved a second edition.