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Christian leaders reach agreement on guidelines for evangelizing
cna ^ | July 1, 2011

Posted on 07/01/2011 1:37:54 PM PDT by NYer

CNA STAFF, Jul 1, 2011 / 05:35 am (CNA).- Leaders representing 90 percent of all Christians worldwide issued guidelines on acceptable missionary conduct based on the witness of Christ and the early Church.

“The example and teaching of Jesus Christ and of the early church must be the guides for Christian mission,” church leaders wrote.

“Christian witness is always a sharing in his witness, which takes the form of proclamation of the kingdom, service to neighbor and the total gift of self even if that act of giving leads to the cross.”

The document “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World” was issued jointly on June 28 by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance.

The three bodies include Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal and independent churches. Their combined membership accounts for around two billion people or nearly 90 percent of the world’s Christians.

Organizers said the guidelines are the result of a five year process involving the consultation of over 40 experts and are intended to “serve as a set of recommendations for conduct on Christian witness” around the world.

The list includes suggestions on how to best evangelize in multifaith societies, defends the right to share the Gospel and the rights of others to change faiths, and urges missionaries to reject aggressive or coercive methods.

Leaders clarified up front that the document does “not intend to be a theological statement on mission” but rather aims to address practical issues associated with Christian witness in a multi-religious world.

They added that the guidelines came about due to their awareness “of the tensions between people and communities of different religious convictions and the varied interpretations of Christian witness.”

The document calls on Christian missionaries to share the Gospel by giving “an accounting for the hope that is within them” and to do so “with gentleness and respect.”

Christians should “reject all forms of violence ... including the violation or destruction of places of worship, sacred symbols or texts,” the document states.

Instead, they should “acknowledge and appreciate what is true and good” in other religions, and make any criticisms “in a spirit of mutual respect.”

The guidelines also encourage respect for the “full personal freedom” of individuals being ministered to by allowing them “sufficient time for adequate reflection and preparation” before converting.

“If Christians engage in inappropriate methods of exercising mission by resorting to deception and coercive means, they betray the gospel and may cause suffering to others,” the leaders wrote.

“Such departures call for repentance and remind us of our need for God’s continuing grace.”

The document also acknowledges the dangers of proselytizing in modern society and touched on “increasing interreligious tensions in the world today, including violence and the loss of human life.”

“In some contexts, living and proclaiming the gospel is difficult, hindered or even prohibited.”

However, “Christians are commissioned by Christ to continue faithfully in solidarity with one another in their witness to him,” they said.

The guidelines noted that often politics, economics and other factors play a role in these tensions and that  “Christians too are sometimes involved in these conflicts, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, either as those who are persecuted or as those participating in violence.”

They said that the issue of growing hostility will be addressed separately by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance through what they called a “joint process towards producing shared recommendations for conduct on Christian witness.”

TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: anglican; evangelical; orthodox; protestant

1 posted on 07/01/2011 1:38:00 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...


2 posted on 07/01/2011 1:38:32 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
This should be called “squishy Christian witness program”. I would rather see witlessness like Paul. When he witnessed people rioted, and had major hissy fits. We need BOLD witness not timid witness. Jesus was not timid, we should not be timid.
3 posted on 07/01/2011 1:43:42 PM PDT by svcw (Non forgiveness is like holding a hot coal thinking the other person will be blistered)
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To: NYer
World Council of Churches is a communist front.........


4 posted on 07/01/2011 1:47:18 PM PDT by AwesomePossum (I have never looked this forward to a Novembr II........)
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To: svcw

I just hope that it doesn’t hold back a return to conservative politics in America, especially with Hispanics.

5 posted on 07/01/2011 1:48:12 PM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
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To: AwesomePossum

Repeat after me: “Denouncing fellow Christians, good. Denouncing Islam, bad.”

6 posted on 07/01/2011 2:03:44 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Jemian
Whoa. I scanned the article, not closely read it. I'm asking the mods to delete my first post. Instead, they should “acknowledge and appreciate what is true and good” in other religions, and make any criticisms “in a spirit of mutual respect.” Nothing about false religions is at all good. Everything but a relationship with Jesus results in spending eternity away from the presence of God and results in eternal damnation.
8 posted on 07/01/2011 2:13:59 PM PDT by Jemian
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To: Vigilanteman
Repeat after me: “Denouncing fellow Christians communists, good. Denouncing Islam Jihad, bad good.”There, fixed!


9 posted on 07/01/2011 2:24:20 PM PDT by AwesomePossum (I have never looked this forward to a November II........)
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To: Vigilanteman

10 posted on 07/01/2011 2:25:48 PM PDT by 353FMG
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To: Jemian
Nothing about false religions is at all good.

So. St Paul got it wrong at Mars Hill? Acts Chapter 17. Wasn't it good that the Greeks had an altar to the "Umknown God"?

11 posted on 07/01/2011 2:28:39 PM PDT by don-o (Please say a prayer for FReeper Just Lori. RIP)
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To: NYer
So charming when a group of arrogant blowhards presume to speak for God.

The new testament is pretty clear on how to evangelize. The input of a bunch of compromised religious leaders is not helpful.

12 posted on 07/01/2011 2:28:46 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: don-o

Paul directed the worship of the Unknown God to the person and work of Jesus Christ. So, as long as the worship leads the worshipper to a relationship with our Risen Lord, it isn’t a false religion at all.

However, the worship of Athena and Zeus and Hera and Aphrodite all are as false as Shiva and Vishnu and islam and will lead the worshipper away from Jesus Christ and into hell.

Paul had it right. The unknown God, in this instance, was Jesus.

13 posted on 07/01/2011 2:49:03 PM PDT by Jemian
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To: NYer

Anyone who claims to speak for Evangelicals is a charlatan.

The Evangelical World doesn’t work that way.

14 posted on 07/01/2011 3:22:06 PM PDT by texmexis best
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To: hopespringseternal

Exactly right! Christians don’t need a pamphlet drawn up by a committee of “religious experts”.

A Christian can figure out how to evangelize by reading the New Testament and following through.

15 posted on 07/01/2011 3:40:34 PM PDT by ScubieNuc
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To: NYer
As an evangelist HERE IS THE CORRECT WAY TO present the good news of Christ Jesus; a true evangelist NEVER COMPRISES the gospel preaching to some SCHOLAR and their world system guidelines, of whom many either deny Christ regarding His deity or His Words in the Bible. And NEVER will I be under a World Council scholarship driven guideline: God and His WORD is my only guideline. Period. Isaiah 55:8-11; God's ways and words are HIGHER than man's traditions or some World Council words. No Christian should ever be under a world wide council guideline. The World Council is not governed by God, nor Christ, not the Holy Spirit.

Evangelism By The Bible:

First off we let GOD the Holy Spirit convict people who are lost or have been deceived by false doctrines: John 16:8-12 And when he is cone, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

John 16:12 I have many things to say unto you, but you [ World Council ] cannot bear them now.

Then the GOSPEL: I Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all all that which I received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures ; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures

And as instructed by the glorified Christ to the Apostle Paul for today, we are to preach the reconciliation of God to men: II Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us ministry of reconciliation

And Christ instructs us through the Apostle Paul in Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ ACCORDING TO MY Gospel.

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stabish you ACCORDING TO MY Gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.

16 posted on 07/01/2011 4:19:55 PM PDT by bibletruth
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So I’m guessing Good Old St Patrick and his sharp axe wouldn’t be welcome anymore?

17 posted on 07/01/2011 4:24:46 PM PDT by Quis Custodiet (.)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

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