07 Sep GS 2007 art 110
GS 2007 Article 110 – SCBP – Apostles’ Creed in the Baptismal Form
The advisory committee presented its proposal:
- 1.1 SCBP Report 7
- 1.2-4 Letters from the following three churches: Guelph, Carman West, Smithville
- 2.1 Synod Chatham mandated the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise to present a proposal with the inclusion of the Apostles’ Creed in the baptismal forms on the basis of the following grounds:
- 2.1.1 A renewal of the catholic connection of baptism and the Apostles’ Creed.
- 2.1.2 A return to the original Form of Baptism as found in the Church Order of Heidelberg 1563.
- 2.1.3 A restoration of parallelism with the Form for the Lord’s Supper.
- 2.1.4 The use of the Apostles’ Creed at baptism in the early Christian Church and in the Middle Ages is well known and generally documented.
- 2.2 The churches have given reasons questioning Synod Chatham’s decision to include the Apostles’ Creed in the baptismal forms.
- 2.2.1 Guelph states the following:
- 220.127.116.11 The Orders of Worship used in the churches have the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed included in the liturgy for the afternoon service.
- 18.104.22.168 Should we have the Apostles’ Creed included in the baptismal forms the Nicene Creed would probably be read under “Profession of Faith” during a service when there is a baptism. It is not desirable to have the profession of faith twice in one service.
- 22.214.171.124 Since the Profession of Faith takes place every Sunday it does not need to be emphasized more. There is adequate “connection of baptism and Apostles’ Creed” now.
- 126.96.36.199 In order to maintain the principle that the preaching of the Word shall be central to the worship service, we should endeavour to shorten the forms rather than lengthen them.
- 188.8.131.52 It has not been proven that the 1563 form is more scriptural than our present form. Neither did we hear arguments for removing the Apostles’ Creed from the form of 1563. Perhaps those arguments should be known before we reinstate the old form.
- 184.108.40.206 The fact that the Apostles’ Creed is part of the Form for the Lord’s Supper does not make it necessarily advisable to include it in the baptismal forms.
- 2.2.2 Carman West states the following: “We question the recommendation of the committee to insert the Apostles’ Creed in the Baptism Forms. The rationale underlying this is not very extensive…. Some explanation would also be warranted in regard to how the committee envisions working within the framework of our suggested orders of worship, especially if baptism is administered in the afternoon service.”
- 2.2.3 Smithville states the following:
- 220.127.116.11 In volume 2 of Reports to General Synod Smithers 2007, page 5, section 7.0, “the Committee recommends that Synod adopt the insertion of the Apostles’ Creed in the Baptismal forms as outlined in Par. 7.1 and 7.2.
- 18.104.22.168 The Consistory of the church at Smithville would like to point out that this recommendation has the potential of creating a redundancy, especially as it pertains to the afternoon service during which baptisms are often conducted.
- 22.214.171.124 The standard afternoon liturgy already calls for the inclusion of the Profession of Faith in both orders of worship A and B. Moreover, the Form for Baptism itself is a teaching of what we believe regarding this sacrament, including what it says about the work of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with respect to the one to be baptized, which reminds us of the promise given to us all at our baptism. The congregation affirms that conviction in the song that is sung immediately following the baptism.
- 2.2.1 Guelph states the following:
- 3.1 The letters from the churches were all submitted as interaction with the report of the Standing Committee of the Book of Praise. However, the letter from Guelph interacts with a decision of Synod Chatham, Art. 115. The church at Carman West incorrectly assumes that the SCBP itself proposes to insert the Apostles’ Creed into the baptismal forms. Its objections, however, are in line with those of Guelph and ought to be considered with it. The church at Smithville objects to the proposal of the committee about where to insert the Apostles’ Creed in the baptismal forms. After giving its grounds it contends that the proposed addition does nothing to enhance the form. Hence its objections are also in line with those of the church at Guelph and ought to be considered with it.
- 3.2 The concerns raised by Guelph in Observations 2.2.1 and by Smithville in 126.96.36.199 merit consideration, particularly the following:
- 3.2.1 The orders of worship are not mandatory but suggested: therefore it should be left in the discretion of the churches where to place the profession of faith.
- 3.2.2 The profession of faith is already part of our liturgy, and as such there already is adequate “connection” between baptism and the congregational profession of faith in the Triune God.
- 3.2.3 Synod Chatham did not prove that the 1563 form is more scriptural than our present form. Therefore to depart from our current forms would be unwise.
- 3.2.4 The fact that the Apostles’ Creed is part of the Form for the Lord’s Supper does not necessarily mean that it should be included in the baptismal forms.
- 3.2.5 To incorporate the Apostles’ Creed in the baptismal forms would lead to undue repetition.
- 3.3 The Apostles’ Creed is not found in the baptismal forms of our sister churches. This element of catholicity should be kept in mind.
- 4.1 To instruct the Standing Committee for the Publication of the Book of Praise not to include the Apostles’ Creed in the baptismal forms.