Toward a New Social Awakening: The Role for a 21st Century “Social Creed of the Churches”

Background to Social Creed received for study by NCCC, Nov 9, 2006

The Social Creed of the Churches, endorsed in 1908 by the Federal Council of Churches, was their pledge to work together for a better, fairer and more faithful United States. One hundred years ago, the explosion of industry and its impact on US society called for a new focus of the churches’ ministry. Those in the churches sensitive to the human costs of industrialization saw in those costs a challenge to the fullness of the Gospel, which is both personal and communal in dimension. The Social Gospel movement, evangelical at its heart, inspired by Jesus’ preaching of “the kingdom of God,” was acutely aware of the brutalities of new working conditions, the social tensions of assimilating millions of immigrants and the loss of communal values in fast-growing cities.

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