A DECLARATION OF FAITH (1977)
CHAPTER TWO -- THE MAKER AND RULER OF ALL
1 (1) God created and rules in love.
2 God created all the worlds that are
3 and upholds and rules everything.
4 We affirm that the universe exists
5 by the power of God's Word and Spirit.
6 God has chosen to give it reality
7 out of the love we have come to know in Christ.
8 God still works
9 through the processes that shape and change the earth
10 and the living things upon it.
11 We acknowledge God's care and control
12 in the regularity of the universe
13 as well as in apparently random happenings.
14 There is no event from which God is absent
15 and his ultimate purpose in all events is just and loving.
16 That purpose embraces our choices
17 and will surely be accomplished.
18 The Creator works in all things
19 toward the new creation that is promised in Christ.
20 (2) God sustains the goodness of creation.
21 God called all he had made good.
22 We declare that the universe of matter, energy, and life
23 is God's good creation in all its parts.
24 Even though evil has emerged within God's creation,
25 we may work and play in it
26 and explore it with wonder and joy.
27 Evil is whatever works against
the loving purpose of God
28 for human beings and all creation.
29 Natural forces may have evil effects.
30 Sinful human choices produce evil results.
31 Evil may become institutionalized in our social structures.
32 The power of evil to hurt and destroy,
33 to cut off the possibilities of full human life,
34 calls into question the power and goodness of God.
35 Whether we understand evil personally or impersonally,
36 we cannot explain how it originated in a world made good.
37 But we can affirm that evil is God's enemy as well as ours.
38 In Christ, God shared our agony
39 and broke the back of its power
40 by bearing the worst it could do.
41 God works continually to overcome evil.
42 In the end it will be utterly defeated.
43 Therefore we have courage to endure evil,
44 to learn from it, and combat it.
45 (3) God made us to care for other created things.
46 God made human beings along with all the other creatures
47 and charged them to care for the earth
48 and all that lives on it.
49 We acknowledge we share in the
50 that binds together all God's creation.
51 Yet God gives us power to rule and tame,
52 to order and reshape the world.
53 We hold the earth in trust
54 for future generations of living things.
55 The Lord forbids us to plunder, foul, and destroy the earth.
56 The Lord expects us to produce, to consume, to reproduce
57 in ways that make earth's goodness available to all people
58 and reflect God's love for all creatures.
59 The Lord bids us use our technical skills
60 for beauty, order, health, and peace.
61 (4) God made us for life in community.
62 God created human beings with a need for community
63 and with freedom to enter into it
64 by responding to their Maker with grateful obedience
65 and to one another with love and helpfulness.
66 We believe that we have been
67 to relate to God and each other
68 in freedom and responsibility.
69 We may misuse our freedom and deny our responsibility
70 by trying to live without God and other people
71 or against God and other people.
72 Yet we are still bound to them for our life and well-being,
73 and intended for free and responsible fellowship with them.
74 Since every human being is made
75 for communion with God and others,
76 we must treat no one with contempt.
77 We are to respect and love all other people
78 and ourselves as well.
79 (5) God made us male and female.
80 God made human beings male and female
81 for their mutual help and comfort and joy.
82 We recognize that our creation as sexual beings
83 is part of God's loving purpose for us.
84 God intends all people--
85 whether children, youth or adults,
86 single, divorced, married, or widowed--
87 to affirm each other as males and females
88 with joy, freedom, and responsibility.
89 We confess the value of love and faithfulness
90 and the disaster of lust and faithlessness
91 in all our associations as women and men.
92 Our creation as males and females must not serve as a pretext
93 for dominating, hurting, betraying, or using each other,
94 for denying anyone's rights or rewards
95 or opportunities to develop potential to the full.
96 We believe that marriage
is a good gift of God.
97 The covenant of wife and husband
98 to love and serve one another faithfully
99 is intended to reflect the faithfulness of God.
100 God gives us the gift of sexual union
101 to be the sign of that mutual and lasting covenant
102 and a means whereby we may share in creating new life.
103 If married partners become parents,
104 their care for their children
105 is intended to reflect God's love and discipline.
106 When we fail each other as parents or partners,
107 we are called to forgive each other as God forgives us
108 and to accept the possibilities for renewal
109 that God offers us in his grace.
110 (6) The human race has rejected its Maker.
111 Though they were made to be like God,
112 man and woman broke community with God,
113 refusing to trust and obey him.
114 Their community with each other was broken
115 by shame and murder, lust and pride.
116 We confess that in all
117 men and women have rejected God again and again.
118 At times we seek in pride to become gods,
119 denying the good limits that define us as creatures.
120 At other times we draw back in apathy,
121 refusing to fulfill our human responsibilities.
122 The antagonisms between races, nations, and neighbors,
123 between men and women, children and parents,
124 between human beings and the natural order,
125 are manifestations of our sin against God.