8th assembly/50th anniversary

Together on the Way
8.7b. An Evangelical Response to Harare

As evangelicals present at this assembly, we share the concern for a visible unity that witnesses to God's loving engagement with a suffering world.

We affirm our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the ecumenical movement in this time of struggle to stay together and develop a common vision that is committed to a holistic gospel that embraces all of life and has at its centre the call to turn to Jesus and the transforming power of his reign. We sense a new movement of the Spirit for the creation of new wineskins that will better reflect our common commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and his kingdom.

In particular, we support:

  1. the call for debt relief in poor countries, and we add the need to fight corruption, promote good governance and strengthen civil society and democratic institutions;
  2. the move for a decade against all forms of violence, particularly violence against women, children and indigenous communities; we stand on the side of any group of people who suffer injustice and all kinds of institutional violence;
  3. the critique of globalization as a process that tends to exclude and further marginalizes the poor, even as we recognize that it makes possible contact among diverse cultures and peoples and brings about richness and an increasing sense of plurality;
  4. the continuing fight against all forms of human rights abuses, including especially the plight of Christians who suffer religious persecution.
At the same time we wish to bring to WCC's attention and action:
  1. a renewed emphasis on mission and evangelism so that the churches are empowered to carry the whole gospel to the whole world; the transforming power of the gospel both affirms and critiques cultures and societies; for this reason this task requires humility, sensitivity and a prophetic engagement with the oppressive aspects of cultures;
  2. the strengthening of the family which is disintegrating under pressure of moral relativism, individualism, materialism and harsh economic need;
  3. the need to broaden and strengthen the participation of a large number of evangelicals and Pentecostals/charismatics and the potential for mutual enrichment and contribution that this relationship can bring.
Ecumenical cooperation is a growing reality among churches in the two-thirds world where the centre of Christianity has shifted. It is our prayer and our hope that the inclusive vision of the gospel will lead to an enduring relationship of trust and meaningful cooperation among evangelicals and the ecumenical movement.

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