Unified Committee on Theology and Social Concerns
Adopted by the 157th
General Assembly of the
(Note: The 166th General Assembly of the CPC, meeting in 1996, changed the name of the former Commission on Theology and Social Concerns to "Permanent Committee . . ." The 169th GA, meeting in 1999, and the 1999 GA of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America, approved the concept of a joint committee, creating the “Unified Committee on Theology and Social Concerns.” The following purpose statement has therefore been amended to reflect the current name of the Committee.)
The Unified Committee on Theology and Social Concerns is a duly authorized agency of the General Assemblies of the Cumberland Presbyterian Churches.
It is the responsibility of the Committee to
stimulate theological thinking and discussion within our own denominations, to
serve as a liaison between the Cumberland Presbyterian Churches and the
Theological Committee of the Caribbean and North American Area Council of the
It is the responsibility of the Committee to reflect theologically upon areas of social life which, in the mind of the Committee, should be of special concern to Christians at a particular point in time.
It is the responsibility of the Committee to call to the attention of the church and the world those areas of social responsibility which need addressing from a distinctly Christian viewpoint and to provide the theological rationale for that viewpoint.
The responsibility of the Committee is in the area of moral concerns and, therefore, always should be sensitive to the creative tension which exists with the church whenever genuine and honest differences about doctrine and moral application of doctrine occur.
It is the responsibility of the Committee to provide both theological and factual background to the churches so that their members can both study pertinent moral issues and act upon them out of a Christian perspective.
While church judicatories usually enact laws, they may also adopt resolutions which are, in effect, efforts at moral persuasion. The Committee should recommend to the General Assemblies such resolutions as it deems appropriate. Those resolutions not intended to be enacted as the law of the church should be clearly identified as resolutions or proclamations which are recommended for study and consideration.
The responsibility of the Committee is in the area of moral concerns, or what the Confession of Faith embraces in its creedal statement under the title, "Christians Live and Witness in the World." It is the responsibility of the Committee (a) to formulate such moral perspectives based on the revealed will of God in the Scriptures as are relevant to contemporary issues, and (b) to explore and grapple with the possible application of these perspectives to concrete situations as an incentive to all church members to do the same. Care should be taken not to attempt to make rules for every specific situation, but to formulate a moral framework for discussion which provides the basis for responsible decision-making on the part of members of the churches.