The “Social Creed” of the Methodist Episcopal Church, adopted in 1908

Here’s an interesting historical tidbit for you that I came across recently. It is a “creed” adopted by Methodists in 1908 that addresses socio-economic conditions. As such it is part of the Social Gospel movement, which was recently the subject of a series from contributor Scott Jackson entitled “Rauschenbusch and the "Kingdom of Evil”.

When reading this I noticed with gratitude that a number of points in this creed have been achieved, with chagrin that a number of the points are clearly relics of their own historical context, and with shame that so many of these points remain even today the stuff of dreams for social progressives.

As quoted in Rosemary Radford Ruether, The Radical Kingdom (Harper & Row, 1970), 90.

The Methodist Episcopal Church stands:
  • For equal rights and complete justice for all men in all stations of life.
  • For the principle of conciliation and arbitration in industrial dissensions.
  • For the protection of the worker from dangerous machinery, occupational diseases, injuries and mortality.
  • For the abolition of child labor.
  • For such regulation of the conditions of labor for women as shall safeguard the physical and moral health of the community.
  • For the suppression of the “sweating system.”
  • For the gradual and reasonable reduction of the hours of labor to the lowest practical point, with work for all, and for that degree of leisure for all which is the condition of the highest human life.
  • For a release from employment one week in seven.
  • For a living wage in every industry.
  • For the highest wage that each industry can afford, and for the most equitable division of the products of industry that can ultimately be devised.
  • For the recognition of the Golden Rule and the mind of Christ as the supreme law of society and the sure remedy for all social ills.

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Comments

Were you aware of this contemporary document? It also may be of interest to some readers. ohttp://nationalcouncilofchurches.us/common-witness/2007/social-creed.php
Thanks for that link, Scott!

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