Christian Action Network Conference
Adopted this 3rd day of July in the Year of Our Lord 2007 at the Christian Action Network Conference in Franschhoek as part of the Reclaiming Africa for Christ Biblical Worldview Summit.
“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” Psalm 85:6
As individuals and as a conference of Christian leaders we reaffirm our faith in, and our loyalty and commitment to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE
The authority of Scripture is a key issue for the Christian Church in this and every age. Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour are called to show the reality of their discipleship by humbly and faithfully obeying God's written Word. To stray from Scripture in faith or conduct is disloyalty to our Master. Recognition of the total truth and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture is essential to a full grasp and adequate confession of its authority.
We are persuaded that to deny the inerrancy of Scripture is to set aside the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit and to refuse submission to the claims of God's own Word which marks true Christian faith.
The Inerrancy of Scripture
1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God's witness to Himself.
2. Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God's pledge, in all that it promises.
3. The Holy Spirit, the divine Author of Scripture, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.
4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.
5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.
Accordingly, the delegates to the Christian Action Network Conference at Franschhoek adopted the substance of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978).
ARTICLES OF AFFIRMATION AND DENIAL
We affirm that the Holy Scriptures are to be received as the authoritative Word of God.
We deny that the Scriptures receive their authority from the Church, tradition, or any other human source.
We affirm that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the Church is subordinate to that of Scripture.
We deny that Church creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.
We affirm that the written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God.
We deny that the Bible is merely a witness to revelation, or only becomes revelation in encounter, or depends on the responses of men for its validity.
We affirm that God who made mankind in His image has used language as a means of revelation.
We deny that human language is so limited by our creatureliness that it is rendered inadequate as a vehicle for divine revelation. We further deny that the corruption of human culture and language through sin has thwarted God's work of inspiration.
We affirm that God's revelation in the Holy Scriptures was progressive.
We deny that later revelation, which may fulfill earlier revelation, ever corrects or contradicts it. We further deny that any normative revelation has been given since the completion of the New Testament writings.
We affirm that the whole of Scripture and all its parts, down to the very words of the original, were given by divine inspiration.
We deny that the inspiration of Scripture can rightly be affirmed of the whole without the parts, or of some parts but not the whole.
We affirm that inspiration was the work in which God by His Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word. The origin of Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us.
We deny that inspiration can be reduced to human insight, or to heightened states of consciousness of any kind.
We affirm that God in His Work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.
We deny that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.
We affirm that inspiration, though not conferring omniscience, guaranteed true and trustworthy utterance on all matters of which the Biblical authors were moved to speak and write.
We deny that the finitude or fallenness of these writers, by necessity or otherwise, introduced distortion or falsehood into God's Word.
We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.
We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.
We affirm that Scripture, having been given by divine inspiration, is infallible, so that, far from misleading us, it is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses.
We deny that it is possible for the Bible to be at the same time infallible and errant in its assertions. Infallibility and inerrancy may be distinguished, but not separated.
We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from falsehood, fraud, or deceit.
We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.
We affirm the propriety of using inerrancy as a theological term with reference to the complete truthfulness of Scripture.
We deny that it is proper to evaluate Scripture according to standards of truth and error that are alien to its usage or purpose. We further deny that inerrancy is negated by Biblical phenomena such as a lack of modern technical precision, irregularities of grammar or spelling, observational descriptions of nature, the reporting of falsehoods, the use of hyperbole and round numbers, the topical arrangement of material, variant selections of material in parallel accounts, or the use of free citations.
We affirm the unity and internal consistency of Scripture.
We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved vitiate the truth claims of the Bible.
We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy is grounded in the teaching of the Bible about inspiration.
We deny that Jesus' teaching about Scripture may be dismissed by appeals to accommodation or to any natural limitation of His humanity.
We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy has been integral to the Church's faith throughout its history.
We deny that inerrancy is a doctrine invented by Scholastic Protestantism, or is a reactionary position postulated in response to negative higher criticism.
We affirm that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the Scriptures, assuring believers of the truthfulness of God’s written Word.
We deny that this witness of the Holy Spirit operates in isolation from or against Scripture.
We affirm that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatico-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture.
We deny the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims to authorship.
We affirm that a confession of the full authority, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith. We further affirm that such confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ.
We deny that such confession is necessary for salvation. However, we further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without grave consequences, both to the individual and to the Church.
THE SANCTITY OF LIFE
A. FOUNDATIONAL BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES
1. The Bible is truth
We affirm that the Bible—being God’s inspired, inerrant, written Word—is truth in its entirety, and as such, is the ultimate standard by which all other truth-claims are to be judged, and thus offers mankind the clearest, most complete picture of all reality and the only logically coherent worldview.
We deny that there is any source of truth higher than, or equal to, the Bible or that the Bible’s truth may be judged by any other standard.
Jn 17:17; Ps 1:1; 111:7; 119:89, 128, 151, 160; Mt 24:35; Nu 23:19; 2 Tim 3:16–17; 2 Pt 1:3; 1 Cor 3:19
2. Science, medicine, and law are part of a worldview
We affirm that no one is religiously, metaphysically, epistemologically, or ethically neutral—having no presuppositions, no view of truth, no view of right and wrong, and no worldview by which to see reality and filter all data. All humans live and work on the basis of either the Christian worldview or some non-Christian, anti-biblical worldview.
We further affirm that modern history declares that scientists, medical researchers, and medical practitioners (including psychiatrists and psychologists) who are not submitted to the absolutes of the Biblical worldview have often become very dangerous weapons in the hands of a totalitarian state.
We deny that non-biblical worldviews can provide an adequate basis for the sanctity of human life.
3. God created people in His own image
We affirm that the infinite, personal, Triune God of the Bible created man in His image; thus human beings reflect and represent God to some degree and are qualitatively distinct from and superior to all the rest of creation. Since man is the image of God, each human life is of inestimable value from conception to death. 1
We deny all views that would undermine the absolute and eternal Creator-creature distinction or that claim man is divine or can ever become divine.
We further deny the rationality and morality of any attempt to distinguish persons from nonpersons within the human race.
Gn 1:26f; 5:1, 3; 9:6; 1 Cor 11:7; Ja 3:9; cf. Ps 8:5
Gn 1:27–30; 2:19f; 9:1–3; Job 35:10; Ps 8:6–8; Ec 7:29; Mt 12:11
4. The fall of man disrupted, but did not destroy, the image of God
We affirm that, after the fall of man, sin disrupted and marred God’s image, but fallen man still bears the image of God, however distorted it may become.
We deny that, after the fall, man no longer retains any aspects of the image of God, including his original, God-ordained value that makes him superior to all animals, vegetables, minerals or galaxies.
Gn 5:1ff; 9:6; 1 Cor 11:7; Ja 3:9
5. People were created for God’s glory, pleasure and purposes
We affirm that the triune God, Who reveals Himself in the Bible, created mankind for Himself, and thus all people, Christian and non-Christian alike, are obligated to exist primarily for God’s own glory, pleasure, and purposes.
We deny that people have a right to exist for the purpose of serving their own pleasures, security or prestige, or that any human may rightly deny God's existence and not live in grateful obedience to God’s Biblical commands.
Col 1:16; Ro 11:36; Rv 4:11; 1 Cor 10:31
6. God’s plan and providential control of life
We affirm that: God is the ultimate giver and owner of human life, and therefore He alone can determine and delegate the lawful means for bringing new human life into existence.
We further affirm that as the Creator, God has the right to take human life and determine and delegate what is the lawful means for ending a human life.
We further affirm that God opens and closes the womb and thus is active in the conception process, and that children are a gift from God.
We deny that the forming of new life, or that the control over human beings, belongs to man to do as he wishes, independent from God’s written Law-Word.
We further deny that the formation of a new human life should introduce seed or eggs beyond that of the husband or wife.
We further deny that any person or state has the right to take human life in violation of God’s written Law-Word.
Gn 2:7; 4:1; Dt 32:39; Job 33:4; 32:8; Ec 12:7; Is 42:5; 57:16; Zc 12:1; Heb 12:9
Ezk 18:4; Ps 24:1; Nu 16:22; Heb 12:9; Dn 5:23
Dt 32:39; 1 Sm 2:6; 2 Ki 5:7; Job 1:21; 14:5; Ps 68:20; Rv 1:18
2 Ki 14:6; Ac 25:11
Gn 16:2; 20:18; 30:2, 17–24; Ex 23:25f; 29:31f; 30:22f; Ru 4:13; 1 Sm 1:5f, 10, 19f)
Gn 17:16; Ps 127:3–5; 128:3f
Mal 2:14f; 1 Tim 5:14
7. God’s absolute sovereignty over the time-space universe and over all history
We affirm that God works all things according to His sovereign, all-wise, and all-comprehensive plan.
We further affirm that (though we may not understand why) God’s plan includes physical and mental defects, debilitating diseases, calamities, the extent of each person’s financial resources, and God’s plan exercises control over the sinful acts of every person.
We further affirm that God has His own good purposes for human suffering, and gives people grace to endure it, and that suffering is never meaningless.
We deny that anything or anyone is outside the scope of God’s sovereign plan and providential control.
We further deny : that there are any “accidents” from God’s perspective; that God has no future knowledge of all things; and that there is any real thing called “chance” in this universe.
Ex 4:11; Is 45:9–11; Jn 9:1–3
Jn 11:4; Ex 15:26
Am 3:6; Job 1:21
Job 34:19; 1 Sm 2:7; Dt 8:18
Gn 50:20; 2 Sm 16:10; 24:1; Ps 76:10; Ac 3:13; 4:27f; Ro 11:32
Job; Ro 5:3f; 2 Cor 1:3–6; 12:7–10; Ja 1:2–4; Ro 8:28; 1 Cor 10:13
8. God is in control of all death
We affirm that God has ordained human mortality and that—though death is an enemy - dying is not always to be resisted.
We further affirm that—though life is a gift from God—life is not to be worshipped and that God’s will includes some self-sacrifice—sometimes even to death.
We deny that anyone has the right to sacrifice the life of another person.
We further affirm that the Biblical definition of death is God’s separation of the human body from its spirit, and that the physical criterion for death is the coagulation of the blood so it can no longer circulate the “breath of life.”
We deny the errors that: death is the end of human existence; death is an illusion; and death, in itself, is a good thing.
We further deny that the continuation of an individual human life is always the highest good or that it is always God’s will.
We further deny that the recent technological definitions of death (other than that stated above) are either adequate or ethical.
Gn 2:16f; 3:19; Job 14:5; Ps 90:10; Ec 3:2; Ro 5:12; Heb 9:27
1 Cor 15:26
Gn 49:33; Mt 27:50; Ac 21:13; 25:11; Ro 14:7f; Ph 1:21
Jn 10:11; 15:13; Ro 5:7f; 1 Cor 13:3; 2 Cor 4:7–18; chapters 11–12; Ph 1:20–26; Heb 11; 1 Jn 3:16; cf. Est 4:16; Dn 3:17f
9. Stewardship: A person’s body and soul belong to God, not to the person
We affirm that people are God’s creation and they belong to Him in their entirety—bodies and souls.
We further affirm that, since we are the Lord’s, no one has a right to live or die to himself.
We deny that a person’s body belongs to oneself, and that one has a right to do with it whatever one wishes.
1 Cor 6:15–20; 7:4
10. Human knowledge is finite
We affirm that, because man’s knowledge is finite, apart from the Bible, there is no logically coherent standard for ethics and no adequate standard for determining: human value; the purpose of human life; or the usefulness or the quality of someone’s life.
We further affirm that finite human knowledge, coupled with the depravity of the human mind and will, is incompetent to control life and to develop a superior form of humanity.
We further affirm that—though the Bible speaks truth—the truth we humans know is finite and will always be so—even in heaven.
We deny that man, starting from himself, has the right, or the mental or moral competence, to develop his own ethical standards, to control life or to determine whether someone’s life has no purpose.
We further deny that people can know with absolute certainty who is incurable, or that they can know all of God’s purposes in allowing suffering.
Dt 29:29; 1 Cor 13:9, 12; Ro 11:33f; Ps 139:6; Is 55:8f
Ja 4:12; Ex 20
Jn 9:1–4; Job 38–41
Job 1–2; Ps 44
B. GOD SAFEGUARDS HUMAN LIFE WITH BIBLICAL LAWS
11. Normative ethics for all humans
We affirm that God reveals His absolute ethics to man through the Bible and that the Bible’s ethics and principles are binding upon everyone, everywhere, for all time. We further affirm that normative ethics, the “ought”, cannot be derived from what “is”.
We deny that ethics is relative and that ethics may be personally, culturally, pragmatically or statistically determined.
We further deny that, because man is scientifically and technologically able to do something, it is necessarily morally right for him to do so.
We affirm that murder is the intentional killing of a human being in violation of God’s Law.
We deny that murder includes: accidental manslaughter; killing in self-defense; Biblically authorized capital punishment; or killing combatants in a just war.
Ex 21:13f; Nu 35:11–15, 22–25; Dt 19:4–6, 10; Jos 20:1–9; with the exception of Ex 21:22f Ex 22:1 1 Ki 2:5f
13. God decrees that all convicted murderers must be executed
We affirm that, because all humans bear the image of God, God forbids murder and commands and exemplifies in the Bible that all murderers must be executed by legitimate civil governments as swiftly as reasonably possible.
We deny that the New Testament overturns capital punishment and that any state, legislature, or court may rightfully dispense with capital punishment for murder.
We further deny that the Church has ever been given authority by God to execute capital punishment.
Gn 9:5f; Ex 21:12–14; Nu 35:16–21, 30–33; Lv 24:17; Dt 19:11–13; 21:1–9
Mt 15:3 (citing Ex 21:17; Lv 20:9); Ro 1:32; 13:4; Ac 25:11, 25; 26:31; Rv 13:10; cf. 1Ti 1:8–10; Mt 5:17–19
14. Failure to execute murderers brings God’s judgment on such societies
We affirm that when a murder occurs the land is polluted, and the murderer’s family, his city and his nation share the guilt of the murderer until the murderer is justly executed.
We further affirm that God will judge nations that fail to execute murderers, but He will bless cities and nations that obey Him in this matter.
We deny that God holds guiltless cities and nations that fail to execute murderers.
We further deny the erroneous belief that God brings no judgments within history.
Nu 35:33f; Gn 4:10f
2 Sm 21:4–6; 2 Ki 9:26
Dt 21:1–9; Jer 26:15
Dt 19:10, 13
Jer 2:34–37; Ho 1:4; 4:1–5
Am 1:11–15;Na 3:1
Gn 6:13; 19:24; 1 Ch 16:14; Ps 105:7; Jer 18:7; Dn 2:21
15. Various forms of murder
We affirm that abortion (i.e., the intentional killing of an unborn human baby)—at any stage of his or her development, regardless of motive—is murder.
We further affirm that:
infanticide (i.e., the intentional killing, by act or omission, of a human infant); euthanasia/“mercy-killing”/assisted suicide (i.e., the intentional killing, by act or omission, of a human being, whose life is deemed not worth living or too painful);
suicide (i.e., the voluntary and intentional killing, by act or omission, of oneself; selfmurder);
hastening death to obtain fresh organs ;
birth control involving the destruction of fertilized human embryos (e.g., IUD, progestin “minipill,” progestin injections, high estrogen “morning after pill,” etc.);
destruction of fertilized human embryos when using reproductive technologies (including freezing human embryos, much in vitro fertilization,
human embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, etc.);
human embryonic and fetal experimentation resulting in death ;
reckless actions causing physical injury to a pregnant mother that directly results in the death of her baby are all forms of murder by God’s standards.
We further affirm that mercifully allowing natural death may be right in cases of imminent and irreversible death from incurable disease, fatal injury or old age—without unnatural, life sustaining equipment, unless the person desires such heroic measures and has financial means to pay for them.
We deny that patients and their families have a moral obligation to receive medical treatments for which they have no righteous means of paying.
We further deny: that it is the state’s God-given responsibility to provide for, or to fund, medical care; that civil magistrates may enact legal definitions of death that are unbiblical, for the purpose of furthering organ harvesting, without becoming an accessory to murder; and that the end justifies the means.
We further deny that birth control methods that do not prevent conception, but prevent implantation of a fertilized human egg in the uterus are not murderous.
We further deny that it is ever proper to withhold basic care and love for those who are dying or that laying down one’s life to save the lives of others is murder or unlawful suicide.
2 Sm 1:6–16
(Every instance of suicide and assisted suicide in the Bible is directly associated by the Biblical authors with the person’s spiritual collapse and disobedience against God) (Jdg 9:52–57; 1 Sm 31:3–6 // 1 Ch 10:3–6; 2 Sm 1:6–16; 17:23; 1 Ki 16:15–20; Mt 27:5; Ac 1:18).
Pr 13:6; Job 29:13 with 31:19; Mt 25: 35–45
Jn 15:13;1 Jn 3:16
16. The fetus is a human person, distinct from its mother
We affirm that the Bible is unambiguous in teaching that a fetus is a human person, a living child, distinct from its mother.
We further affirm that the fetus has its own unique set of genes and chromosomes, brain waves and fingerprints.
We deny that it is either biblical or scientific to claim that the fetus is merely a part of the mother’s body or that it is simply “tissue”.
See Appendix to Sanctity of Human Life Document (on International Church Council website) “Evidence that a fetus is a person: Biblical evidence,” which discusses the following verses: Gn 16:11; Ex 21:22; 2 Sa 11:5 NKJ ; Is 7:14; Ex 21:22; Lk 1:41, 44; Gn 25:22; Job 3:3; Lk 1:36; Lk 1:15; Lk 1:41, 44; Lk 2:12, 16; Ac 7:19; 1 Pt 2:2; Lk 18:15; 2 Tim 3:15; Job 3:13; 31:15; Ps 22:9f; 139:13–16; 51:5; Is 49:1, 5; Jer 1:4f; 20:17f; Ho 12:3; Job 10:8–12; 31:15; Ps 119:73; 139:13–16; Jer 1:5; Ps 78:5f; Ex 21:22f; cf. Gn 9:5f; Gn 25:23; Ex 21:22f; Lk 1:15, 36, 41–44; Gal 1:15; Ps 51:5; Ro 5:12ff; Job 3:13–15; Lk 1:15; Lk 1:41, 44; Ps 51:5; Lk 1:41, 44; Gal 1:15f; Jdg 13:3, 5, 7; Is 49:1, 5; Jer 1:5; Ro 9:11f; Heb 10:5; Mt 1:20; Lk 1:35; Lk 1:31; Mt 1:20; Lk 1:31; Heb 2:17, 14; cf. Ps 22:9f; Is 49:1, 5; Lk 3:23–38; Ho 9:14; Job 3:10–16; 10:18f; Ec 6:3; Ex 23:26
17. Birth defects, rape and incest
We affirm that the Bible teaches that children must not be punished for the sinful lifestyle or crimes of their parents.
We deny that it is not murder to abort a baby for reasons of birth defects, rape, incest, lifestyle choice, overpopulation or financial or personal stress.
Dt 24:16; Ezk 18
Ex 4:11; Is 45:9–11; Jn 9:1–3; 11:4
18. The life of the mother
We affirm that, in very rare cases in which pregnancy directly threatens the physical life of the mother, the doctor has two patients, the mother and the baby, and his efforts should be to save both.
We further affirm that, in the process of seeking to save the lives of both mother and child, it is not murder if medical science is unsuccessful in saving the life of one or both.
We deny that it is morally right for a doctor to care for a pregnant mother and neglect attempting to save the life of her unborn baby.
19. Non-lethal violations of the sanctity of human life
We affirm that eugenics (now expanded through the technologies and use of sperm banks, artificial insemination by donor, surrogate mothers, in vitro fertilization, genetic engineering, cybernetics, nanotechnology, etc.) is a violation of the sanctity of human life.
We further affirm that: Forced sterilization;
Torturing prisoners of war, or torturing for any reason;
Dangerous medical experiments with humans;
Unbiblical buying and selling human beings, including:
Kidnapping people to sell them and buying kidnapped people;
Buying or selling human sperm or human eggs for the purpose of producing human embryos;
A woman renting her womb as a surrogate mother;
Buying and selling one’s sexuality (e.g., prostitution, pornography);
Racial prejudice; and
Imprisonment (instead of restitution) as punishment for (property) crime are all non-lethal violations of the sanctity of human life.
We deny that any of the above acts can be justified by the Bible.
Rv 18:11, 13; Ex 21:16; Dt 24:7
Ex 22:19; Lv 20:15f
Contrast the common solidarity of all mankind in:
Creation (Gn 1:26–28 God created all mankind in His image; Ac 17:26);
Fall (Gn 3:15–19; Ro 5:12; 1–3); and
Redemption—including: the atonement (Jn 3:16; 1 Tim 2:4; 1 Jn 2:2); the preaching of the Gospel (Mt 28:18f; Ac 1:8; 2:8–11; 10:15, 34f); and union with Christ and unity in Christ’s church (Mk 11:17; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 3:8, 28f; Eph 2:13–19; Col 3:11; Rv 5:9f; cf. Lk 10:33).
20. Citizen’s obligations to obey God where man’s laws contradict God’s Laws in the Bible
We affirm that individual citizens and civil magistrates are not Biblically-bound to obey human laws or court rulings that violate the laws or commands of God’s written Word.
We further affirm that people must disobey any unjust law (as Biblically defined) whenever obedience to that law would cause them to disobey God’s written Word.
Acts 4:19; Acts 5:29; Ex 1:15-21; 2 Chron 19:2; Daniel 3:12-18; Daniel 6:6-13; Mark 12:17.
Response to the African Union’s Maputo Protocol (also called Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa)
In the light of our Affirmation of the Sanctity of Life, we:
Pledge to resist by prayer and action attempts to pressurize African countries to legalise abortion. We will resist attempts by any pro-abortion bodies to make aid money contingent on the legalisation of abortion.
We pledge ourselves to disciple our families, congregations and communities to uphold the Sanctity of Life.
We recognize that Article 14.2 (c) of the Maputo Protocol, which states that “State parties shall…” “author(ise) access to medical abortion” is an undemocratic, manipulative interference in the sovereignty of African nations.
We recognise that the figures and statistics used by the World Health Organisation on maternal deaths from illegal abortions are often based on false extrapolations and are therefore misleading. We pledge to expose and publicise the misleading figures on maternal deaths used by the World Health Organisation.
MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, AND REMARRIAGE
We affirm that sexual distinction is a part of the essence of humanity and marriage. (1)
We deny that members of the same sex can be married, in God's eyes. (2)
1. Gen. 1:27-28; 2:20-25; Mat. 19:4-5
2. Gen. 2:20-25; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Mat. 19:4-5; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:8-11
We affirm that marriage is designed to be a life-long union. (1)
We deny that marriage is less than a life-long union or that it is simply a temporary state based upon faithfulness to a mutual contract between partners.
1. Ex. 20:14,17; Mal. 2:14-16; Mat. 19:4-6
We affirm that companionship is integral to the marriage relationship. (1)
We deny that companionship is the only purpose of marriage.
1. Gen. 2:18; Mal. 2:14
We affirm that sexual intercourse is an integral part of marriage. Indeed, according to Scripture, it is an obligation of marriage, a debt which must be paid to one's spouse, because it is the seal of marriage's essential quality, the "one-flesh" union of a man and a woman. (1)
We deny that marital partners should remain sexually abstinent, except by reason of physical handicap or mutual, voluntary consent for temporary spiritual devotion or service.
1. Gen. 2:24 with 1 Cor. 6:16; 1 Cor. 7:3-5
We affirm that procreation of children is normally an integral part of marriage, and that children are to be received as desired issue of a marriage and welcomed as blessings of the Lord. (1)
We deny that marital partners should remain permanently childless by choice or that marital partners should attempt, by unscriptural means, to limit the hand of God in granting children to them. (2)
1. Gen. 1:28; 4:1; 28:3; 30:1; Psa. 113:9; 127:3-5; Prov. 17:6
2. Same as 1.
We affirm that the covenantal marital relationship is symbolic of and of the same essence as Christ's relationship with His Bride, the Church ("True Israel") of all ages. (1)
We deny that the marital relationship has no transcendent model or symbol.
1. Eph. 5:25-32; Rev. 21:2, 9
We affirm that commitment to God has priority over all other familial commitments. (1)
We deny that the marital relationship takes precedence over the partners' relationship to God.
1. Deu. 33:8-9; Mat. 10:37; Luke 14:26; Col. 3:18
We affirm that the marriage bond is broken at the death of either partner. (1)
We deny that the marital relationship continues beyond death. (2)
1. Rom 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:39
2. Mat. 22:25-30
We affirm that the call to celibacy may be a gift of God for the purpose of increased devotion to God's service. (1)
We deny that celibacy makes one holy or, in itself, elevates the celibate's holiness above that of other saints (2) or that a married person may practice celibacy.(3)
1. 1 Cor. 7:7, 32-35
2. 1 Cor. 7:7; 1 Tim. 4:1-3
3. 1 Cor 7:3-5
We affirm that the Bible condemns adultery, fornication, (1) incest, (2) homosexual behavior, (3) rape, (4) bestiality, (5) and physical and emotional abuse. (6)
We deny that the Bible accepts or is indifferent concerning these and all other sexual sins.
1. Ex. 22:16; Psa. 50:16-18; Mal. 3:5; 1 Cor. 6:9; Heb. 13:4
2. Leviticus 18:6-18; 20:11-12, 17, 19-21; Deut. 22:30; 27:20, 22-23; Ezekiel 22:11; 1 Cor. 5:1
3. Leviticus 18:22-24; 20:13-16; Romans 1:24-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:8-11
4. Deut. 22:25-27
5. Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:23; 20:15-16; Deut. 27:21
6. Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 19:18; 24:20; Deut. 19:21; Micah 2:9; Matthew 5:21, 27, 43; 22:39
We affirm that God prohibits believers from entering into marriage with unbelievers. (1)
We deny that Scripture requires that believing spouses who come to the faith subsequent to marriage must leave or divorce unbelieving spouses who desire to remain in the marriage. (2)
1. 1 Cor. 7:39; 2 Cor. 6:14
2. 1 Cor. 7:12-14
We affirm that, as Christ is the Head of man, the husband is the head of the wife; as the Church is subject to Christ, the wife is to be subject to her own husband. (1)
We deny that a husband may exercise tyranny over his wife or subject her to any role that diminishes her Divinely ordained position as a complementary partner for her husband in The Cultural Mandate. (2)
1. 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-24
2. Gen. 1:27-28; Eph. 5:25-33; 1 Pet. 3:7-8
We affirm that the effects of the Fall of mankind into sin include: impure and guilty sexuality, unjust domination in the marital relationship, and increased pain in childbirth. (1) We affirm, nevertheless, that the essential authority of the husband as federal head of the wife existed in the marital relationship prior to the Fall. (2)
We deny that the results of the Fall include God placing the wife under the headship of her husband.
1. Gen. 3:16; Micah 2:9; Rom. 1:22-32; 1 Pet. 3:7-8
2. 1 Tim. 2:11-13; 1 Cor. 11:3, 7-9
We affirm that God hates divorce. (1)
We deny that man may lawfully "put asunder" what God has "joined together" or that divorce is part of God's perfect plan for humankind. (2)
1. Mal. 2:16; Luke 16:18
2. Mat. 19:6-9; Rom. 7:2-3
We affirm that there are no more than two Biblical grounds for divorce: (1) fornication, narrowly defined as to include nothing more than sexual sin outside of marriage(1), and (2) the desertion of a believing spouse by an unbelieving partner or desertion by a partner living in such a state of unrepentant sin as qualify him or her to be viewed as an unbeliever in the eyes of the Lord and the Church. (2)
We deny that spouses may Scripturally divorce for any reason other than those stated by Christ in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 and by St. Paul in I Corinthians 7:15.
1. Mat. 5:31-32; 19:9; Mark 10:1-12; Luke 16:18
2. 1 Cor. 7:10-15
We affirm that men and women are commanded by God to repent of marital sins and to forgive and reconcile with their marital partners upon Scriptural grounds (1).
We deny that God ever commands divorce.
1. 1 Cor. 7:10-15; Mat. 6:12; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13
We affirm that new male Christians in polygamous societies should not divorce their wives (1).
We deny that believers are permitted to newly enter into polygamous relationships (2).
1. Exo. 21:10; Micah 2:9
2. Mat. 19:5; Mark 10:8; Eph. 5:31; 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6
We affirm that remarriage is permitted by God for persons divorced under Biblical grounds (1) and for surviving partners of spouses who die. (2)
We deny that divorce should be recognised on any other than Biblical grounds (3).
1. Mat. 5:31-32; 19:9
2. Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:39
3. Deu. 24:1-4; Jer. 3:1; 1 Cor 7:10-11.
We affirm that Scripture describes homosexuality, in thought (1) or behavior, (2) as sin.
We deny that Scripture's discussion of homosexuality is culture-specific, (3) or relevant only to non-committed or "unnatural" homosexual relationships.*
1. Matthew 5:27-28
2. Genesis 18:20-21; 19:5-7, 13, 24-28; Leviticus 18:22-24; 20:13-16; Judges 19:22; 1 Kings 14:24; Romans 1:24-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:8-11; Jude 1:7
3. Psalm 119:89; Matthew 5:18-19; Isaiah 8:20
We affirm that the Holy Spirit empowers homosexuals to change, (1) meaning that, by the grace of Christ, those who were homosexual can learn holy love (2) for both men and women. We further affirm that sanctification in Christlikeness is progressive (3) and all Christians struggle against their inherent sinful nature until they reach heaven. (4)
We deny that a person is truly converted to Christ if he or she continues on in any homosexual practice.(5)
1. 1 Cor. 6:9-11
2. Romans 13:8-10
3. Hebrews 12:14; 2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 5:12-6:1; 1 Thes. 4:2-8
4. Galatians 5:5; 5:16-6:9; Romans 6:12-23; Psalm 17:15; Psalm 51:1-19
5. 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Matthew 16:24-27; Leviticus 20:13-16; Romans 6:23
We affirm that spiritual change affects the whole person: (1) behavior, imagination, motives, beliefs, and affections. (2)
We deny that spiritual change targets behavior alone. (3)
1. John 3:3
2. Ephes. 4:17-5:12; Col. 3:5-14
3. Hebrews 10:16; Jeremiah 32:38-40; 31:33-34; Titus 1:15-16
We affirm that, like any sin, homosexuality can be influenced by innumerable factors, such as biology, (1) early homosexual molestation, (2) cultural values, (3) opportunities for homosexual experimentation. (4) However, those who are homosexual are so because they have made decisions to be homosexual(5).
We deny that homosexuality is ultimately caused by biology or life circumstances. We also deny that homosexuality is something other than a moral choice.(6)
1. Leviticus 21:18-21
2. Ezekiel 20:18-19; Exodus 20:5-6; Numbers 14:18; Deut. 5:9-10
3. 1 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 16:3; 21:2
4. Galatians 5:13; 1 Cor. 15:33; Proverbs 13:20
5. Romans 1:24-32; Leviticus 20:13
6. Leviticus 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-11
We affirm that we should devote as much attention to how we speak with love and grace to homosexuals as to what we speak. (1)
We deny that the clear teachings of Scripture on homosexuality must be muted in order to reach homosexuals in a compassionate manner. (2)
1. Proverbs 22:11; Proverbs 19:22; Col. 4:5-6
2. Zech. 8:16; John 8:45; Ephes. 4:15
We affirm that the preaching of the doctrines of grace and the fervent worship of the Triune God should attract homosexuals to the Church, 1 that they might learn to trust, worship and obey Jesus Christ, (2)
We deny that homosexuals who claim to be believers in Jesus Christ, and who are committed to practice their homosexual behavior, should be allowed to continue as communicant members of the Church of Christ, (3)
1. 2 Cor. 2:14-17; Acts 2:46-47; Psalm 22:27
2. 1 Peter 1:2; Romans 1:5; Ephesians 4:20-24
3. 1 Cor. 5:9-13; 2 Cor. 6:14; Ephes. 5:11; 2 Thes. 3:6
We affirm that the Bible teaches that practicing homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (1)
We deny that the Bible offers any hope of salvation to an unrepentant, practicing homosexual. (2) We further deny that one who is a practicing homosexual is following Jesus Christ, or that such a one may properly be called Christian. (3)
1. 1 Cor. 6:9
2. 1 Cor. 6:9
3. Matthew 16:24-27; Acts 11:26; Lev. 20:13 with Matthew 5:17-19
We affirm that repentant homosexuals who, recognizing the reality of their sin, call upon Jesus Christ for his salvation, leaving off homosexual practices, and become born again, are saved from eternal judgment, including judgment for homosexual sin, and may confidently expect to spend eternity with God and His saints in Heaven. (1)
We deny that practicing homosexuals have any Biblical reason to suppose they are born again, or that they will not be condemned for their sins, or that they have any reason to expect to spend eternity with God, but may only reasonably expect to spend eternity in hell, separated from God and His saints who are in Heaven. (2)
1. 1 Cor. 6:9-11
2. Rev. 22:14-15; 1 Cor. 6:9-11
We affirm that the Gospel of Jesus Christ holds promise of eternal life for all repentant homosexuals. (1)
We deny that there is no hope for homosexuals, or that homosexuals cannot be forgiven if they are repentant and forsake homosexual practices. (2)
1. 1 Tim. 1:15-16; Mark 2:17; Luke 15:2; 19:10; Acts 2:40-41
2. Romans 10:13; 1 Tim. 1:15-16
We affirm that God has called heterosexual men and women into leadership in Christ's Church. (1)
We deny that a practicing homosexual may be a pastor, a teacher, or hold any other office of service in Christ's Church, (2) or be a communicate member. (3)
1. 1 Tim. 3:2-10; Titus 1:5-9; Genesis 1:27
2. 1 Tim. 3:2-10; Titus 1:5-9; Deut. 17:14-15
3. 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Cor. 6:14; Ephes. 5:3-12; 2 Thes. 3:6; Rev. 22:15
We affirm that Christians and Christian churches ought to eagerly share Christ's love for the homosexual, urging them to repent and be washed from their sins by the blood of Jesus Christ. (1)
We deny that Christians ought to hate or reject homosexuals, (2) or that Christians ought to ignore homosexual sin as if it were a sin not needing repentance. (3)
1. Mark 16:15-16; 2 Cor. 5:19-6:2; Ephes. 1:7-8; 1 Peter 1:2
2. Luke 6:36; 1 Cor. 6:11; Ephes. 5:1-2
3. 1 Cor. 5:1-7; Romans 13:12; 2 Cor. 6:16-7:1
*It is our general understanding from Scripture that all of Scripture’s condemnation of fornication would apply directly to homosexual sex as well. And it is apparent that Scripture looks at homosexual sex not only as sin deserving judgment, but also sees it as particularly perverted, unnatural, detestable, and “an abomination” (Lev. 18:22).
BIBLICAL ECONOMIC SYSTEMS
For the glory of the One who is light, truth, and love, and in a spirit of humility, and a concern for doctrinal purity, and unity, we adopt this statement on Biblical principles for economic justice.
Definition: Economics is the study and the implementation of principles for the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
We affirm that God created man and the earth in which man lives, and that man is given stewardship responsibility over the earth by the Creator.
We deny that man is no longer responsible to God as steward of earth’s resources.
Gen. 1:28; 2:15; 3:23; Psa. 8:4-8; 24:1-2; 104:14; Heb. 2:8; Rev. 11:18
The Bible speaks often about the things of value in this world and of our stewardship for them under God’s mandate. The Biblical references included here are representative of principles that are pervasive through the text of Holy Writ; these given are listed in the sequence of the books of the Bible and not in any priority order.
We affirm that man’s creativity and resourcefulness are a reflection of God’s own image, in which man was created, and that a key area in which these traits are evidenced is in economic activities.
We deny that economic activities and efforts are in opposition to either man’s or God’s nature, or to the moral laws of the universe.
Gen. 1:26-31; Psa. 8:4-8; 104:14-15; Prov. 16:11; 31:22; Ecc. 2:24; 3:13; 4:9; 5:18-19
We affirm that the Bible teaches that individuals have the right to hold private property.
We deny that the Bible teaches an economic system in which all property belongs to the community or the state.
Exo. 20:9, 15; Lev. 19:13; Pro. 13:22; Jam. 5:4
We affirm that the opportunity for the individual to profit from his labors, and to produce wealth through his just and lawful endeavors, is a primary motivator in the production of wealth, and a key ingredient to a society’s economic health and stability.
We deny that wealth, economic prosperity, or technological advancement may be significantly achieved apart from the individual’s opportunity to personally gain from his lawful efforts.
Deut. 8:18; Pro. 13:22; 1 Tim. 5:8
We affirm that the Bible is the sufficient source for learning the fundamental economic principles which both please God, and lead to economic prosperity and stability.
We deny that the Bible is inadequate to teach fundamental economic principles which please God, and lead to prosperity and economic stability.
Psa. 111:10; Pro. 11:1; Isa. 8:20; 2 Tim. 3:16-17
We affirm that the Bible contains those economic principles which are moral and just, principles which ought to be followed by all people, all societies, and all states.
We deny that it is morally acceptable for any person, state, or institution to pursue economic gain in opposition to Biblical principles.
Lev. 18:2-5, 24-30; 19:35-37; 20:22-23; Deu. 4:
We affirm that, for the Christian, the primary incentive for the production of wealth, is to be his attitude of stewardship to God.
We deny that a mature Christian attitude is one that seeks economic gain for selfish reasons.
Deu. 8:11-20; Pro. 30:8-9; Hab. 2:13-14; Luke 12:16-21; 16:9-13; 1 Cor. 10:31; Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 3:23-24
We affirm an economy will prosper to the degree in which its entrepreneurs honor the stewardship-before-God principle.
We deny that a healthy economic or social environment may long be maintained without a practice of the stewardship-before-God principle.
Exo. 23:24-26; Deu. 28:1-68; 2 Chr. 24:20; Pro. 13:11; Isa. 65:11-16
We affirm that earning profits and gaining wealth in the process of serving the market with goods or services is a good and moral thing when pursued in accordance with Biblical principles.
We deny that profitability which results from serving a free market in accordance with Scriptural principles is inherently wrong or merely self-serving.
Deu. 8:18; Pro. 12:11; 13:11; Ecc. 2:24; 3:13; 4:9; 5:18-19
We affirm that one role of civil government is to create an infrastructure, and a climate of justice and order, in which individuals are encouraged to create, develop, and produce products and services helpful to mankind, and to the earth’s creatures and environment.
We deny that civil government’s function is to manipulate, manage, or control economics, or the productivity of its citizens.
Exo. 20:15; Deu. 1:16-17; 16:18-20; Psa. 125:3; Pro. 29:2; Rom. 13:3-4; Eph. 4:28
We affirm that economic prosperity grows out of the freedom of the individual to labor and to receive for himself the rewards of his labor, and that history demonstrates that this is true.
We deny that civil government has the ability to produce lasting wealth through the organized production, or by the implementation of Marxist, communistic, or socialistic principles. We further deny that there is any example in history where civil government organized production, or where Marxist, communistic, or socialistic principles have inured to the long term benefit of its people, or to the production of wealth.
We affirm that though all men are created equal in regard to their rights and liberties, yet they are not created equal in their intellectual, creative, or physical abilities, and that these inequities are a factor in an individual’s ability to produce wealth.
We deny that all people have the same intellectual or physical ability, or that all people should expect toenjoy the same level of productivity or wealth.
Lev. 19:15; Pro. 17:5; 22:2; Mark 14:7; Luke 19:12-27; Acts 10:34; Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:12ff;
We affirm that the Christian is called to the compassionate use of wealth which includes a call to sacrificial giving to assist the poor and needy.
We deny that a Christian worldview allows for the selfish use or hoarding of wealth.
Exo. 22:25; Deu. 15:7-8, 11; 24:14-15; Psa. 68:10; Pro. 14:21, 31; 19:17; 22:16; 28:8; Eph. 4:28; Col. 3:5; 1 Tim. 6:10,17-19
We affirm that God gives the individual the responsibility to make choices as to how he will use his wealth.
We deny that civil government has the duty or right to redistribute wealth, or to direct the individual in the use of his wealth, so long as the individual is not acting immorally.
Exo. 20:15; Pro. 10:15-16; 22:16; Ecc. 2:24-25; Mat. 25:14-30; 2 Thes. 3:10-15
We affirm that it is the responsibility of the Church to teach the fundamental principles of biblical economics, and to equip its people to discern between Biblical and unbiblical economic activities and systems.
We deny that the learning of, or practice of Biblical economics is optional to the Christian, or that the ministry of the Church may be deemed successful without diligent training of its people in Biblical economics.
Deu. 28:1-68; Psa. 119:142; Rom. 1:20; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12
We affirm that tithing (which is 10%) is a fundamental Biblical economic principle.
We deny that tithing does not apply to Christians today, or that a Christian’s economic duty is fulfilled when tithing is not practiced.
Gen. 14:18-19; Lev. 27:30-32; Mal. 3:8-12; Mat. 23:23; Heb. 7:9-10
We affirm that every man who practices Biblical economics may expect God’s blessing of provision and increase upon his labors, and that God is ultimately sovereign in economics, and may for his own purposes withhold economic blessing.
We deny that man should labor without hope, or that there is any formula that will automatically, and without fail, inure to economic prosperity, or that God’s sovereignty is excluded from the realm of economics.
Job 1:21; Pro. 22:29; Ecc. 9:11; Hag. 2:15-19; Mat. 5:45; 20:11-16; 21:33-43; 1 Cor. 9:9-10; Heb. 11:32-40
We affirm that there is only one legitimate economic theory for all people of all cultures, which is the biblical economic theory.
We deny that there are multiple valid economic theories.
Deu. 8:18-20; Pro. 14:34, 20:10; Eze. 5:5-8; John 16:13; 17:17; Rom. 1:18-22; 2:14-16; 1 Tim. 6:3-6; Jam. 4:1-10; Rev. 20:12-15
Response to Land Invasions or the Unlawful Seizure of Private Property by Governments, Criminals, or Terrorist Groups
We affirm the Biblical principle of the right and responsibility of individuals to own private property and to wisely steward that property under God, to Whom all the earth belongs.
We declare the seizure of farms or other private property by legislation or other means to be unlawful. We recognise, for example, that the seizure of farms in Zimbabwe has largely contributed to the economic collapse of that country and has destroyed the livelihood of thousands of farmers and millions of farm workers.
Exodus 20:15-17; Jer 12:4; Rom 3:15-17; 2 Peter 2:19
A. FOUNDATIONAL BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES AND THE MYTH OF NEUTRALITY
Article 1: The Bible is our absolute guide for all life and all education.
We affirm that the Bible-- being God’s own inerrant, written Word—is the ultimate standard by which all other truth-claims are to be judged, (1) and thus offers mankind the clearest, most complete picture of all reality and the only logically coherent worldview, (2) and is the only authoritative standard and guide for living and pleasing God. (3)
We further affirm that though knowledge sources other than the Christian Bible such as reason, research, tradition and experience are all valuable tools in gaining wisdom and knowledge of God, mankind and the universe, all such tools are always to be judged and informed by the Bible rather than them standing in judgment on the Bible’s truth. The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom but not the end of wisdom.
We further affirm that the Bible sufficiently sets forth God’s requirements for the education of Christian children. (4)
We deny that there is any source of truth higher than, or equal to, the Bible or that the Bible may be judged by any other standard.
We further deny that the Bible is either silent or neutral on the subject of the education of Christian children, or that it is insufficient in setting forth requirements for the training of Christian children.
1. Num. 23:19; Psalm 111:7; 119:89, 151, 160; Mat. 24:35; John17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17;
2 Pet. 1:20-21
2. Isaiah 8:20
3. Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:9; Eccles. 11:9-10
4. 2 Tim. 2:16-17
Article 2: All Education is Religious Education
We affirm that all education is foundationally religious – for the assumptions of every educator, educational system, and curriculum rests upon non-provable faith presuppositions (i.e. religious presuppositions) about reality, the nature of history, the being of man (metaphysics), the nature of knowledge (epistemology), and of morality (ethics).
We deny that educators, child development theorists, ethicists, curriculum writers etc. are religiously, metaphysically, epistemologically, or ethically neutral for they all live and work on the basis of either the Christian worldview, or some non-Christian worldview, and interpret all facts in light of their worldview and their presuppositions.
We deny that anyone is or can be religiously, metaphysically, epistemologically or ethically neutral—having no presuppositions, no view of truth, no view of right and wrong, or no worldview.
Article 3: Christians are required to live in obedience to their Lord Jesus and the Bible.
We affirm that Jesus is Lord of every area of life including education and that every human, (1) especially Christians, are required by God’s Word to submit themselves and all persons and things under their care to the Lordship of Christ and the teachings and requirements of the Bible. (2)
We deny that education is outside the jurisdiction of Christ’s Lordship or the Bible’s teaching.
We further deny that a person may reject either the Lordship of Jesus Christ or the Bible’s instruction for educating our children and be a mature and wise Christian.
1. Philip. 2:10-11; 2 Cor. 10:5; Col. 2:2-3
2. Deut. 6:25; Matthew 5:19;16:24-26; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 John 5:2-3
B. THE BIBLICALY MANDATED JURISDICTIONS OF FAMILY, CHURCH AND CIVIL GOVERNMENT
Article 4: The Bible clarifies three God-ordained jurisdictions; the Family, the Church, the Civil Government.
We affirm that, in the Bible, God clearly designates three major areas of jurisdiction for the healthy, productive and just operation of human society and gives each of these jurisdictions specific authority and well defined duties for society which jurisdictions are: the Family, the Church and the civil government(1).
We further affirm that tyranny occurs and society’s self-destruction begins whenever any of these three jurisdictions attempts to exercise authority or control within the boundaries of either of the other two jurisdictions. Both life and liberty may only be truly attained for individuals and society through the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and glad submission to the principles of the Bible.
We further affirm that the family is the basic, building block of strong, healthy societies and that undermining families or interfering with the family’s jurisdiction is a fast way to deteriorate and destroy any society.
We deny that the Family, the Church or the civil government in a society may take authority and control in either of the other two jurisdictions without that particular society moving in the direction of self-destruction and injustice. We deny that these three distinct jurisdictions are rightly or fully maintained if either the civil government or the church controls the education of children.
1. Gen. 18:19; Deut. 6:1–9, 20–25; 11:19–22; Psalm 78:3–6; Prov. 1:8; 2:1f; 3:1; 4:1–4, 7, 20; 6:20–22; 22:6; 31:1; Eph. 6:1–4
Article 5: Parental jurisdiction over their children and their children’s training and education.
We affirm that God has given parents custody, jurisdiction and authority over their children, as stewards to raise them as servants of Christ, to seek to discern their calling, and to train, discipline and educate them in the biblical worldview. Parents may not rightfully yield their jurisdiction or authority to the civil government. (1)
We deny that, biblically, the civil government has ownership, jurisdiction or authority over children, or that the civil government has authority to usurp the stewardship to raise or educate children given by God to the parents.
We further deny that the civil government or the church may interfere with a parent’s education of their children except in some matters of abandonment or criminal justice, or may impose requirements, standards or methods for training, educating or disciplining their children.
We further deny that the civil government has a right before God to impose compulsory attendance laws, licensure of teachers of private schools or curriculum requirements for home and private schools.
1. Psalm 127:3-5; Genesis 18:19; Ephes. 6:4; Deut. 12:28; 1 Samuel 3:13
C. CHRISTIAN EDUCATION OF CHRISTIAN’S CHILDREN IS BIBLICALLY MANDATED
Article 6: The obligation of Christian parents to give their children a biblically based education.
We affirm that the Bible provides the only adequate and coherent worldview and foundation for all philosophy, ethics, law, government, science, the arts and education (1) and that Christian parents are obligated by God to guide and educate their children to think, decide, feel and act in all areas of life according to the worldview presented in the Bible (2) and may not righteously allow their children to be educated in worldviews which oppose the biblical worldview. (3) “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. (4)
We further affirm that Christians are required by God to train their children for their greatest possible impact for Christ’s purposes on earth (5) and to find their special destiny in God, (6) to train further for that destiny if needed, (7) and to fulfill that special calling with all their heart and with a passionate love and obedience to their Lord Christ (8) and to extend God’s Kingdom here on earth. (9)
We deny that education can be evaluated as good or successful if it does not purposefully train the child into the Christian worldview and assist the child in bringing all thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, or is not cognizant of, and tailored to, the individual gifts and calling of each child.
1. Gen. 1:1
2. Romans 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 10:5; Isaiah 8:20
3. Prov. 13:20; 1 Cor. 15:33; Deut. 12:30; Psalm 106:34-36
4. Psalm 111:10
5. Genesis 1:28; 18:19; Deut. 10:12-13
6. 1 Peter 4:10
7. 2 Tim. 2:15
8. Deut. 6:5; Col. 3:23-24; Heb. 9:14
9. Mat. 28:18-20; Hab. 2:13-14
Article 7: Anti-biblical educators are incompetent to teach the children of Christians.
We affirm that educators who stand opposed to God and the principles of the Bible and who believe any of the unfounded, foolish, modern myths that: a) there is no personal, Creator God, b) all morals are relative, c) the universe came into being out of impersonal matter-energy by chance, d) man is just an animal, e) mankind is not corrupted by the Fall, f) there is no afterlife or final judgment by God, g) Christ is not the incarnate God who died as a sacrifice to redeem the elect, h) the civil government is our highest authority and owns the children, i) the Bible is not God’s inerrant, written Word to mankind…..do not have the philosophical, moral, or personal competence to properly educate Christian children. (1)
We deny that there is a Kantian type dichotomy and disconnect between the visible world and the invisible world and that: a) there is no logical or linguistic connection possible between the invisible “upper story” and the visible “lower story”, b) that human language is inadequate to bridge the gap between these two realms, c) that there are some areas of life that are outside of God’s control or plans or interest, d) this false, dichotomy thought-form may be pursued without tending toward government tyranny, the disintegration of society and attacks upon Christianity.
We further deny that there is any area of thought, life or culture outside the scope of the Bible’s Creation Mandate (Gen. 1:28; 9:7), the Lord’s Prayer (Mat. 6:10), or the Great Commission (Mat. 28:18-20).
We further deny that Christian parents may righteously choose educational options for their children that do not purposefully and faithfully affirm the Lord Jesus as present King of the universe and promote or encourage His righteous, biblical purposes for all mankind, or place their children under teachers and mentors, with peers, or under the influence of a curriculum that would tend to lead them into a secular, anti-Christian, unbiblical worldview or into moral compromise.
We further deny that teachers, mentors and other students have a neutral effect on a child’s educational, moral or spiritual development.
1. Psalm 14:1; Prov. 13:20; 1 Cor. 6:1-6; 15:33; Isaiah 2:6; 8:20; Deut. 12:30; Psalm 106:34-36
D. WHAT CONSTITUTES TRUE EDUCATION IN THE BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW?
Article 8: The ingredients of a Christian education
We affirm that a biblical education in the Christian worldview will have these ingredients:
a) parental controlled teaching (1), b) a biblical curriculum(2), (c) biblical goals for the education (3) d) biblical standards (2&4) e) biblical methods (5) and f) biblical motivations for accomplishing the child’s education (6)
We deny that education is biblical or Christian if parental responsibility, parental presence, and parental participation are not involved and if the ultimate goal is not to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
We further deny that education is biblical or Christian if its ultimate standard in theory and practice is not the Bible itself, and if its priority is the impartation of facts to the neglect of the formation of Christ-like character and a Christian way of life or if the subservient motivations it uses are inconsistent with Scripture.
1. Gen. 18:19; Deut. 6:1–9, 20–25; 11:19–22; Psalm 78:3–6; Pro. 1:8; 2:1f; 3:1; 4:1–4, 7, 20; 6:20–22; 22:6; 31:1; Eph. 6:1–4
2. Deut. 6:1-9; 30:10, 17-20; Joshua 1:8; Isa. 2:6; 8:20; Eph. 6:1-4; Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 10:5
3. Gen. 1:28; 9:1; Hab. 2:13-14; Mat. 28:18-20; John 12:26; Rom. 12:1-2;
2 Cor.6:14-7:1; 10:5; Eph. 6:1-4; 1 John 2:15-17
4. Pro. 13:20; 1 Cor. 15:33; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1
5. Deut. 6:1-9; Luke 6:40
6. Deut. 28:1-68; Hab. 2:13-14; Mat. 22:37-40; Rev. 20:11-21:11
Article 9: Generational thinking and our Covenant with God
We affirm that Christians are required to think in terms of generational faithfulness regarding how their training of their children will be passed on to their children’s children and how families are to develop solidarity, mutual commitment to Christian family goals, interdependence and a model for a biblical family functioning in all phases of life(1).
We further affirm that giving a comprehensive, Christian education to their children is a vital aspect of Christian parents keeping covenant with God, operating generationally, soundly training, productive citizens for their society’s future and receiving the covenant blessings of God.
We deny that Christian parents or church staff and elders are properly fulfilling their leadership role if they fail to teach and model the biblical necessity of Christians to educate their children into the Christian worldview and the necessity of shielding their children from indoctrination by the civil government, or into any but the Christian worldview, or if they are not teaching and modeling generational thinking among those they influence.
1. Exo. 32:13; Deut. 6:1-9; Psalm 78:1-11; Eph. 5:22-6:9
Article 10: Only the Bible presents a true perspective of history and all reality.
We affirm that a correct view of history can be achieved only by accepting that there was a beginning when all things out of nothing were created by God (1), that man is fallen and in need of a redeemer (2), and that Redeemer has come—the Lord Jesus Christ (3), and that earth’s history will end with the final judgment of all who have ever lived in history (4). History is linear (5), heading in a definite direction that is sovereignly guided by God(6). History is not cyclical (7).
We deny that history can be understood apart from a firm knowledge of its basics which are: Creation, Fall, Redemption and Judgment, or that one can understand the context of reality for any subject apart from seeing Christ as the centerpiece of all reality, and the lens of perspective through which all people are to view all things in life.
We further deny that man is basically good, or that avoiding or obfuscating the fact of sin and the Fall or its effects on the human race can lead to true education, or that true education can take place when the reality of God Who created all things out of nothing is denied.
1. Gen. 1:1-31
2. Gen. 3:1-24
3. Mat. 1:20-23; 1 Tim. 1:15
4. 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:12-15
5. Gen. 1:1; 1 Cor. 15:24
6. Amos 3:6; Mat. 10:29-31; Acts 2:23
7. Gen. 1:1; Rev. 21:1; 22:3-4
Article 11: Imparting worldview is impossible for the teacher to avoid.
We affirm that every fact taught to a student is necessarily couched in the worldview of the school, its curriculum and methodology, and the teacher, and therefore both facts and worldview are passed from the teacher to the student in the teaching and learning process. (1)
We further affirm that the words of Jesus: “a disciple will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40), recognize that the process of education includes the passing of knowledge and character from the teacher to the student and that the usual outcome of education makes the student like the teacher in both knowledge and character to some degree.
We deny that facts may be taught to students from a neutral viewpoint or that the teacher’s worldview is ever removed from the teaching and learning process.
We further deny that education takes place without passing both knowledge and character from the teacher to the student.
1. Prov. 13:20; Luke 6:40; 1 Cor. 15:33; 2 Cor. 6:14-17
Article 12: How the Church can help parents educate their children
We affirm: that the Church may assist parents in the education of their children by establishing Christian schools, and that righteous options for educating Christian children include home schooling, and Church sponsored or privately run Christian schools.
We deny that by establishing Christian schools the Church is given jurisdiction over the education of children other than that which the parents delegate temporarily and partially to the school.
We further deny that any civil government schools (aka public schools) which are not thoroughly committed to God’s inspiration of the Bible, to teaching Biblical principles and to advancing the Kingdom of Christ on earth are a righteous choice for Christian parents to make for their children.
Article 13: The establishment of a final school-leaving exam for children educated in the Biblical Christian worldview.
We affirm that testing and examining are necessary ways for both teachers and pupils to establish what has been learned.
We further affirm that a final school-leaving exam is necessary for children educated in the Biblical Christian worldview, and that this school-leaving exam should be set and marked by a board of competent Biblical Christians who fully understand the application of the Biblical Christian worldview to all school subjects.
We deny that it is unnecessary to give children the opportunity to write an approved school-leaving exam for the purpose of entering the job market or a tertiary institution.
We further deny that a secular body such as the state has any right or jurisdiction to examine children educated in a worldview foreign to the state worldview of humanism, or to be the only recognized examining body in a country where Christian children are being educated.
Deut. 8:2; Ps. 139:23-24; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 3:13; Col 2:8; Jas. 1:3, 12, 25; 1 Pet. 1:7.
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
We affirm the right of individuals and religious organizations to express their political and religious views in the public domain.
Blasphemy and pornography are an abuse of the freedom of expression and a violation of God’s Law. Pornography exploits people made in the image of God, and degrades human dignity.
In accordance with God’s Law, all pornography should be illegal under civil law.
Acts 4:19; 2 Cor 3:17; 1 Peter 2:16; Gal 5:1;13.
THE DISCIPLINE OF CHILDREN
We affirm the right and responsibility of parents to lovingly discipline their children according to God’s Word.
We declare any attempts by the state to interfere with parental responsibility and ban corporal punishment of children by parents to be an over-stepping of their God-given jurisdiction and mandate.
Deut 11: 18-21; Prov 13:24, Prov 22:6; Prov 22:15, Prov 29:15; Eph 6:4; Rom 13:4.
The Christian Action Network includes 40 ministries, missions organisations and church denominations. Member organizations stretch as far afield as Nigeria and Malawi, Kenya and Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Burundi and South Africa and are all committed to working for Reformation and praying for Revival.
CAN is an umbrella body which represents its member organisations to government and to the media. CAN puts out press statements, makes submissions and representations to Parliament, and presents a co-ordinated voice on mutual concerns shared by the member organisations. CAN seeks to uphold the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all areas of life.
Christian Action Network,
PO Box 23632, Claremont, 7335,
South Africa, Tel:021-689 4481,
Fax: 021- 688554, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org,
* Documents adopted and adapted from The International Church Council Project document series. View the originals at: www.ChurchCouncil.org. The International Church Council is affiliated to the Coalition on Revival: www.reformation.net
“If My people, who are called according to My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, I will forgive their sin and I will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14