STATEMENT ON EVANGELISM
Executive Committee 1971
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
A STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT
The faith and trust given by Jesus Christ
Evangelism is the bearing of our witness,
in Jesus Christ for the world.
A witness in word and deed.
A movement from word to deed,
the oneness of Word and deed.
Not a privilege but a compelling and humbling task
Evangelism is communication with the world,
of the mighty acts of God in Christ
through the Holy Spirit.
Discovering, discerning, and celebrating
and sharing His reconciling acts of love in the midst of Humanity.
Evangelism is God’s work in us;
A concern for liberation,
liberating men from all sinful
Dehumanizing pressures and systems.
A concern for participation,
Participating in the task
Of love and justice for all.
Evangelism is not image building,
But genuine self-giving
springing from Jesus Christ along and
A commitment to Him rooted in the power and
Presence of the Holy Spirit.
To this task Jesus Christ was obedient,
To this task we commit ourselves,
To this task,
The United Church of Christ in the Philippines commits herself.
Ever conscious that men of courage,
dedication and steadfast purpose in love,
Obedient to His Spirit are channels of God’s power and grace.
BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR EVANGELISM
To witness is to Proclaim,
To Proclaim is to Preach,
To Preach is to Live
The Living Word, Jesus Christ,
His Good News of Life,|
And to Celebrate His Mighty Act of Redemption
In the Cross and His Resurrection.
The Local Congregation
The local congregation is the concrete reality of the Church Universal. It is the concrete reality of the gathered people of God. It is her liturgical life Litourgia(work of the people) offered in worship that witness is proclaimed in the Preaching and the Acting of the Holy Word of God, Jesus Christ our Lord.
We are to strengthen, enrich, and equip the saints in the worship life of the local congregation. For in the gathered community in worship, we are God’s people. It was there from the beginning; we have heard it; we have seen it with our own eyes; we looked upon it and felt with our own hands, and it is of this we tell. Our theme is the word of life. This life was made visible; we have seen it and bear our testimony; we have declared to you the eternal life which dwelt with the Father and was made visible to us. What have seen and beard we declare to you, so that you and we together may share in a common life, that life which we share with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:1-3)
A Style of Life
The Christian presence is a presence of LOVE. It is the Christian’s style of the life to be SALT, LEAVEN, A LIGHT, expressed in individual relationships with one another in the family, and in our daily life of responsibility.
I give you a new commandment: to love one another; as I have loved you, then all will know that you are my disciples. (John 13:34-35)
A Life of Citizen
To witness to the concerned love of Jesus Christ is to live a life in the given world of God. Participating in human development and nation-building is the Christian’s witnessing life. As Christians, our earthly citizenship should be a manifestation of our citizenship of the Kingdom of God. This is made clear and known in our being good citizens of our country. We are to be deeply involved in the ongoing social process of needed changes in our society and nation, that man may become fully human and that our nation shares in the humanization of all mankind.
Stand firm against the device of the devil. For our fight is not against human foes, but against cosmic powers, against the authorities and potentates of this dark world, against the super forces of evil in the heavens. Therefore, take up God’s armour; then you will be able to stand your ground when things are at their worst, to complete every task and still to stand. (Ephesians 6:12-13 NEB)
The whole body of Christ, local, national and universal is the witness, the Mission of God’s loving concern here on earth. To live in Division is Sin. Where there is no unity, the vision is blurred, and the evangelistic task of liberating men from sin is dimmed.
In the pursuance of our evangelistic task, we affirm the Unity without Uniformity, and Unity in the midst of Diversity. We shall join to witness an ecumenical life together, any local congregation, denomination, religious or non-religious bodies where God is active in love, hope, and faith for the glory of God and the salvation of Mankind.
Ref. Executive Committee, Action #71-171, 1971.