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Ayiti


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Ayiti



History

Haiti (Haitian Creole: Ayiti), officially the Republic of Haiti, is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. In addition, Haiti also occupies small satellite islands known for tourists, including; Île-à-Vache (Cow Island), which includes Port Morgan and Abaka Bay resorts. In French, the country's nickname is La Perle des Antilles (The Pearl of the Antilles), because of its natural beauty. It is the most mountainous nation in the Caribbean and the country's highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2,680 meters (8,793 ft). By area, Haiti is the third largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba and the Dominican Republic), with 27,750 square kilometers (10,714 sq. mi) (roughly the size of the U.S. state of Hawaii or the country of Belgium). By population, Haiti is the second largest Caribbean nation, with an estimated 10.7 million people, just under a million of whom live in the capital city, Port-au-Prince.

Haiti's regional, historical, and ethno-linguistic position is unique for several reasons. Originally inhabited by the indigenous Taíno people, the island was first discovered by Christopher Columbus during his first voyage across the Atlantic in 1492. When Columbus first landed in Haiti (western Hispaniola), he had thought he had found India. His flagship, the Santa Maria, sank after running aground on 25 December in the north coast of what is now present day Haiti. Deciding to establish a settlement in the area, a contingent of men were left at an outpost christened La Navidad, because the wreck occurred on Christmas day, north from the modern town of Limonade

Gaining its independence in 1804, Haiti was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the second republic successful in a war of independence against a European colonial power in the Americas, the only nation in the western hemisphere to have defeated three European superpowers (Britain, France, and Spain), and the only nation in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt. The rebellion, begun in 1791, was led by a former slave and the first black general of the French Army, Toussaint Louverture, whose military genius and political acumen transformed an entire society of slaves into the independent country. Upon his death in a prison in France, he was succeeded by his lieutenant, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who declared Haiti's sovereignty and later became the first emperor of Haiti, Jacques I.Its successful revolution by slaves and free people of color lasted nearly a decade; and apart from Alexandre Pétion, the first President of the Republic, all the first leaders of government were former slaves.


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CALLING


CALLING



Since we believe that every person is called by God to participate in his mission. We help people figure out what their unique calling is and then find a community of people who share that calling. We believe that people have a destiny together, in community, to change the world as they know it.

You may not know exactly what your unique calling is but we want to help you find a place to pursue God, find his blueprint for your life, and take a glimpse at your destiny in him.


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Vision


Vision



Ayiti Underground exists to empower, mobilize and resource the Haitian community to discover their passion, confront injustice and to attack it at its roots through Jesus Christ for the sake of His Kingdom in Haiti and beyond.

We are called and invite others into the journey of uprooting evil, building character, and continuing to plant hope in Jesus in the Haitian community. 

Our approach is through community, education, empowerment, and church planting.


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Mission


Mission



Our passion is our mission. Our heart beats especially for the poor and the lost. We empower the Haitian community to reach and serve the people who exist at the margins of the church as we know it. We believe that intimacy with God and commitment to his mission will mean prioritizing the poor and the lost. We also believe that the discipleship of believers happens best and most significantly while obeying Jesus and following him into his mission. 

We are convinced that every believer is called uniquely by God into community and mission. Therefore, we empower believers to seek the heart of God in prayer to know their unique calling and to find a community where they can live it out. We then work to mobilize communities to meet the needs of the world around them and to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom wherever God has planted them.


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Manifesto


Manifesto



Jesus: The way of Jesus is our way. Before and in all things we value Jesus as the image of the invisible God. We long to worship Jesus by imitating his life and ministry. Both our theology and praxis is relentlessly Christological. He is our model, mentor, hero, mediator, savior, judge, king and ruler of all. All of our values flow from what we understand about his character, concerns, and the practices of his ministry. (Matt 28:19, John 1:3, John 13:15, John 14:6, John 17:18, Rom 5:10, Eph 1:22-23, Phil 2:5, Col 1:15-20, Col 2:9, Col 3:17, Heb 1:3, Heb 12:2, model [Eph 5:1-2], mentor [John 13:14-15, Acts 26:16], hero [Rom 1:4], mediator [1Tim 2:5, Heb 7:25], savior [Acts 4:12, Titus 3:6], judge (Rom 2:16, John 9:39, 2 Tim 4:1), king (Rev 1:5, Rev 19:16) and ruler of all (Col 1:18, Rev 17:14).

The Poor: We will remember the poor because we believe that God does. We believe that they are central to his mission in the world. It is our conviction that God is always on the side of those who have no one on their side. For that reason we believe the church should also stand on the side of the poor, and in so doing stand in solidarity with the heart and work of God. Jesus’ own ministry is our model. We welcome all people but prioritize the poor in our ministry concern, allocation of resources and advocacy. We do this, not because the rich and middle class are less important to God, but because they already have access to resources and are able to advocate their own cause. It is our belief that the church should therefore prioritize and remember those who have less, and access to less, so that in all things there might be equality. (Deut 15:7, Deut 15:11, Psalm 82:3, Psalm 140:12, Prov 14:31, Isa 61:1, Jer 8:21, Jer 22:16, Matt 11:5, Matt 25:40, Mark 2:17, Luke 4:18, Luke 6:20, Luke 7:22, Luke 14:23, Luke 18:22, 2 Cor 8:9, 13, Gal 2:10).

The Lost: We value lost people because they are spiritually poor. We believe the good news of the kingdom is the most important commodity with which the church and the people of God have been entrusted. For this reason we will engage the lost. We believe that the church should not expect lost people to come and find them, but that we are called and sent to “seek and save that which was lost”. Again, we will emphasize the life and ministry of Jesus by prioritizing those who have not yet heard and believed the good news. This is our first and most important task, even in our ministry to the poor and the lost (who could be considered the spiritually poor). They are our first concern. (Gen 22:17-18, Matt 4:23, Matt 10:7, Matt 18:14, Matt 28:19, Mark 13:10, Luke 15:4, 6, Luke 19:10, Luke 24:46-47, Acts 1:8, Acts 10:42, Rom 10:14-15 and 15:20, Gal 2:10).

The Whole World: While we understand that our most transforming ministry will take place where we are planted and in our own city, we commit ourselves to the mission of God to reach the whole world. We believe that Jesus came as the savior, not of one people, but of the whole world. We value the world because we believe that God is a global God. We assume responsibility for the world, not because we believe we can reach it alone, but because we accept the mandate of the great commission and the heart of God to love and sacrifice for the discipleship of the whole world. We accept this apostolic mandate to send and be sent into every part of the world and our place in partnership with the global church. (Psalm 22:7, Psalm 24:1, Isaiah 41:9, Matt 24:14, Mark 16:15, John 1:29, John 3:16-17, John 4:42, John 6:33, John 6:51 John 8:12, John 12:46-47, John 17:21, Romans 5:18, 2 Cor 5:19, 1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:14, Revelation 14:6).

Culture and Ethnicity: Similarly, we affirm that every culture and ethnicity, while imperfect, reflects the mosaic of God’s own image and together we better glorify and serve the God of creation. We value every people, language and culture in our city and in the world. We believe that the church of Jesus Christ was meant to demonstrate the power of the gospel through reconciliation, unity, and the beauty of a multi-ethnic community. For that reason we do not just admire multi-ethnic communities, but purpose to become one. We do not believe in being color blind. Rather, we hope to accept and include the beauty and wisdom of every culture in our city and in our communities.(Genesis 1:27, Psalm 67:2-3, Isaiah 56:7, Daniel 7:13-14, Joel 2:28, Hag 2:7, Malachi 1:11, John 17:20-22, Acts 10:34-35, Acts 17:26-27, Romans 14:11, Romans 15:5,6, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, Ephesians 2:14-22, Philippians 2:10-11, Revelation 5:9-10, Revelation 7:9, Revelation 14:6).

Contextualization: We will not trust in franchising or empire building through paradigm propagation. Rather we will value the empowerment of every micro church community to contextualize the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel to the people they hope to reach. Our paradigm is that there is no one paradigm. We believe in contextualized structures with revolutionary content. Learning from the ministry of Jesus we will not try to bring surface transformation (to culture or structures) but rather contextualize our structures to what people can and will understand, so that the revolutionary message of the kingdom and the liberating work of the Holy Spirit will be received. (John 1:14, Acts 16:3, Acts 17:22-23, Rom 12:2, 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, 1 Cor 9:19-23, 1 Corinthians 10:32-33, Philippians 2: 5-8, {the passages of the ministry of Jesus and his parables are all examples of contextualization}.

Zeal and Contemplation: We will value the paradox of exuberance and zeal in worship, community life, and evangelism while at the same time whole heartedly pursuing the rhythm and profound importance of silence and solitude for personal contemplation and rest. We affirm seasons of zeal and charismatic expression of the greatness and majesty of God along with seasons of silence and stillness before God. We value each and both together. We hope for a fusion of the two in a life of zeal, lived ablaze and unashamed for God, and contemplation, lived in deep awareness and quiet appreciation for God. (Zeal: Psalm 47:5, Psalm 98:4, Isaiah 42:13, Matthew 11:28-28, Matthew 17:5, Mark 6:31, John 10:27, Rom 12:11, Titus 2:14, Contemplation: Psalm 46:10, Psalm 48:9, Psalm 95:6, 2Cor 3:18, Col 3:2, 1 Peter 1:13,).

Simplicity: We commit to live a life free from clutter and the allure of materialism. We affirm that every believer and every community of believers has a responsibility to renounce the sins of its own people. As North Americans we renounce the slavery and idolatry of materialism by embracing a simple lifestyle. We do not believe that money or things are in themselves evil or to be avoided, but that the love of money and things is one of the greatest perils facing western Christianity in our time. We willingly use material things and wealth for the service of the kingdom, but not for personal fulfillment or inappropriate luxury. In so doing we again value the poor who have less, justice in living for equality and personal holiness in pursuing a whole hearted devotion to God. (Ecc 5:10, Matt hew 6:19, 24, 26, Matt 10:10, Mark 4:19, Mark 12:43, Luke 9:3, Luke 12:15, 33, 1 Tim 6:7, Hebrews 13:5).

Sharing and Giving: Because we value community and simplicity, we commit ourselves to both sharing and giving. We will share because it promotes relationship and breaks the bondage of possessiveness. We believe the western doctrine of personal property is imperfect and needs to be tempered with the more biblical value of generosity and sacrifice. In sharing what we have with others we confess that God is the true owner and that we are only stewards in his vineyard. We will also give, because in giving we destroy the grip of materialism over our hearts because we release the resource, wealth, or possession completely into the control of another. For that reason we will pursue relentless generosity and the holding of all things in common. For this reason we encourage our people to give as often and as generously as they can, and to consider themselves stewards of the rest. Likewise, the collective finances of the church and ministries should set an example in this regard. (Mal 3:10, Matt 25:40, Luke 3:11, Acts 2:43, Acts 4:32, Acts 20:35, 2 Cor 8:7, 2 Cor 9:10-13, 2 Cor 8:13, Eph 4:28, 1 Thess 2:8, 1 Tim 6:18, 1 John 3:17).

Each Other: We commit ourselves to each other. We believe that God calls us into his mission together, never alone. We value mission and ministry done in community. We believe that God did not intend for us to be alone, and that isolation, fear of each other, and spiritual competition are cancers in the church. We believe that moral and theological failures, controlling leadership, and many of our emotional struggles stem from a lack of community. We value free, committed and loving friendship. Whenever possible we will lead through teams and the sharing of life at every level with trusted friends who are an extension of the grace and presence of God in our lives. (Ecc 4:9-10, Matt 18:20, John 15:13, Acts 2:44, Romans 12:4-8 and10, Romans 13:8, Romans 15:7, 1Corn 10:24, Gal 6:2, Eph 4:11-13, Eph 5:21, Phil 2:3-4, Heb 3:15 and10:24-25, Hebrews 6:10-11, 1 Peter 3:8, 1 John 3:16, 7-12, Rev 4:4,10).

Kingdom Mission: We will do mission because we are sent people. We believe that the church is not the church until it is engaged in the mission for which God has called it into His marvelous light. We crave healing, discipleship and intimacy with God. But we believe that all of these things come in large part through obedience to the mission. We believe that healing comes through offering healing to others, that discipleship does not primarily take place in a lecture but through doing. We believe that intimacy with God comes from being in his presence and through submission to His will, by doing what He is doing. Since we believe that the life of Jesus and the early church demonstrate that God himself is with the lost and the poor of the earth, proclaiming the good news of His kingdom, we also believe that when we co-labor with Him as workers in that harvest field, we not only bring the kingdom into that place, but that we also experience the deepest and truest intimacy with God. (Psalm 51:10-13, Isaiah 58:6-8, Matt 9:35-38, Matt 25:40, Matt 28:18-20, Mark 1:14-15, 38, Luke 4:18-21, John 4:34,35, John 6:27, John 9:4, John 12:26, John 15:9-10, John 17:18, Acts 1:8, Romans 15:20, 1 Cor 15:58, 2 Cor 5:18-19, Eph 2:10, Philippians 2:3, Col 3:17, 23, 1 John 3:18, 1 Peter 2:9).

Humility: We commit to pursue humility as one of the chief virtues. We expect it in leadership, in community and relationships, in our theology, in the contextualization of our mission, in our prayer, and even in our appraisal of ourselves and others. We are convinced that humility is necessary for following Jesus as an individual and as an organization. In individuals we hope for humility in all our relationships and leadership roles. As an organization we hope to be a flexible learning organization, looking always to refine our commitments and expand our understanding and revelation of God and His call upon us. We believe in the living prophetic word of God, that it can be heard and obeyed, yet we also believe that we are flawed listeners and should always listen and follow with humility. (Psalm 25:9, Psalm 51:17, Psalm 147:6, Psalm 149:4, Prov 11:2, 18:12, 22:4, Ecc 5:2, ISA 29:19, 57:15, 66:2, Mic 6:8, Matt 5:3, 11:29, 18:3-4, 20:26, 23:12, Luke 1:52, 6:20, 10:21, 14:10, 17:10, 18:13-14, 22:26-27, John 13:14, Rom 11:20, 12:3, 10, 16, 1 Cor 1:28, 3:18, 10:12, 13:4, 2 Cor 11:30, 12:6, 10, Gal 5:26, 6:14, Eph 4:2, Phil 2:3-11, Col 3:12, James 1:9, 3:1, 4:6, 1 Peter 3:8, 1 Pet 5:5-6).

Biblical Justice: We will live for the biblical concept of justice. We have to take a prophetic stand against all kinds of evil, not only spiritual, but also societal. All sin and injustice is the enemy of the church and the kingdom of God. The search for the kingdom of God is also a search for justice. They are the same longing. In the kingdom we find ultimate justice, and biblical justice is more than just punishment for wrongdoing and oppression, it is also the restoration of wholeness, equality, and peace between people and with God. Our value of justice is a call to seek the welfare of every person in our city and in the world that we can influence. It is to hope and work for the kingdom of God to come to bare on the place where we are. For that reason, our value of justice will mean action in the places where we have power, as well as the pursuit of justice in the proclamation of the kingdom wherever we have voice. (Psalm 9:8, Psalm 96:10, Prov 31:9, Isaiah 1:15-17, Isaiah 56:1, Jer 29:7, Ez 34:16, Hosea 12:6, Amos 5:15 and 24, Micah 6:8, Matt 5:6, 6:10, Matt 6:33, Matt 12:18, Matt 18:5, Matt 25:40, Luke 11:42, Luke 18:7-8, Luke 19:8-10, John 2:14-17, Acts 6:1-6, Eph 6:12, James 1:27, 1 John 3:17,18).

Passion: With Jesus as our model, we want our lives to be characterized by passion. In the most surface sense it means that we should be moved by our relationship with God, and maintain a high level of dedication in all we do for Him. In a deeper sense it means that we value suffering and sacrifice. We see Jesus’ willingness to suffer for the lost and the hopeless as a model for all who would come after Him, and that we likewise are to take up our cross and to walk the way of suffering. Not seeking pain or persecution, but not shrinking back from it either. We are convinced that the clearest expression of the gospel is love, and that love is forever re-defined by Jesus in His death for us. We value the kind of radical faith that expects every believer to be ready and willing to suffer and sacrifice for Jesus, His name and His kingdom. We realize that this value is not mainstream, and that it contradicts the cultural current of prosperity and the idea that in all things God wants to give us personal success. We denounce this idea and affirm that the kingdom will not be built through selfish ambition, but through passionate, sacrificial love. (Psalms 63:1, Matt 10:22, Matt 16:24-25, Matt 26:38-39, Rom 5:3 and 8:18, Luke 9:61-62, Luke 14:27, Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 1:5, Ephesians 5:1-2, Philippians 2:3, Phil 3:10, Col 1:24, Col 3:17, 23, 2 Timothy 2:3, 2 Timothy 3:12-15, 1 Peter 3:17, 1 John 3:16).

Prayer and Dependence on God: We commit ourselves to live a life of prayer because we believe that only God can accomplish what He calls us to do and that God should receive the glory. For this reason, we believe the church should be committed to night and day pray for the world, the coming of the kingdom and a deeper revelation of God. Without prayer and dependence on God for all things we are destined to either fail or become conceited in our success. We value constant prayer because we desire to know God, to deepen our understanding and revelation of his love for us and the world. We value prayer because we believe we are all called to the ministry of intercession and we want to see his kingdom come. We believe that can only happen if we ask the Lord of the harvest to send us and other laborers in to the harvest field. (2 Chronicles 7:14, Ezra 8:23, Psalm 17:6, Psalms 91:1-2, Isaiah 26:9, Jeremiah 29:12, Matthew 6:9-13, Matthew 6:33, Matthew 9:38, Mark 1:35, Luke 11: 9-13, Luke 18:1,7, Acts 2:42, Acts 6:4, 2 Corinthians 3:5-6, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2, I Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Tim 2:1-2, Hebrews 5:7, James 5:13-16, 1 Peter 4:7, Jude 20).

Microchurches: We affirm micro church as the most basic expression of the church and therefore, our ecclesiology is simple. When believers work together in sincere worship, and genuine community to accomplish a part of the mission of God, they are the church. Worship, community and mission then are the ecclesial minimum. We encourage biblically appointed leadership, sacramental worship, the pursuit of the gifts of the Spirit and giving, but these are desired and not required to be considered a micro church. We believe that these churches also need the larger network, leadership and resources of a city wide church to strengthen, empower and help direct the micro church expression. We gather for worship, training, and as leadership primarily to strengthen and supply the micro churches in their labor to obey Jesus and proclaim the good news of the Kingdom to their mission field. We believe the larger church expression exists to serve the smaller and not the other way around. (Matthew 18:20, Luke 10:1 Acts 2:42-47, Acts 4:24, 31, Acts 6: 3-4, 6, Acts 14:23, Acts 16:4-5, 1 Corinthians 16:19, 1 Timothy 3: 2-7, 1 Peter 2:5,9, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, Acts 20:20, Romans 15: 5-6 Romans 16:3-5, Colossians 4:15, Matthew 28: 19-20, John 4:23, I Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 14:26, 2 Corinthians 3:5-6, Ephesians 2: 22, Ephesians 4:16, Colossians 3:16, , Hebrews 6:10-11, Hebrews 10:24-25, Revelation 1:6).

The Bible: We trust the authority, reliability and truth of all Scripture. In humility, we acknowledge we do not fully understand God and the world he made. For that reason we rely on the bible to be the rule of our faith, teaching us what we do not know, challenging and leading us away from our misconceptions, self deceptions, and convenient ideas about life and God. We don’t choose the parts of the bible we prefer or want to believe, obey or understand; instead we submit to all of Scripture believing it reveals the truth that is beyond us. We believe that Jesus is the word of God and for that reason we don’t just obey Scripture, we love it. Because, like a mirror it shows us who we really are, and like a window it opens our lives to the beauty, wonder, and love of the God we long to know. (Deut. 4:10, 2 Sam 7:28, 22:31, Neh. 8, Ps. 18:30, Prov. 30:5, Isa. 40:8, Jer. 15:16, Matt. 4:4, 2:29, Luke 8:21, 11:28, 24:32, John 1:1-17, 5:24, 5:39, 8:51, Acts 8:35, 18:11, Rom. 3:2, 1 Tim. 4:13, 2 Tim. 3:16, Col. 1:25, 3:16, 1 Thess. 2:13, Heb. 4:12-13, 1 Peter 4:11, 2 Peter 3:16, 1 John 2:5, Rev. 3:8, 19:9).

Empowerment: We affirm the priesthood of all believers. We affirm that each person who has given their life in surrender to Jesus and his cause has a unique calling from Jesus to fulfill in mission and in the church. We believe that this is only possible by the Spirit of God living in and working through each and every believer. It is the Spirit of God that empowers. Therefore we work towards empowering each and every believer to hear and fulfill the calling of Jesus on their life. This value of empowerment is expressed in all spiritual gifts and callings for all people regardless of race, gender or age for the sake of Jesus’ mission and for the equipping of all believers towards their maturity.(Matthew 4:18-20, Matthew 10:1-15, Mark 6:7-13, Luke 4:18-19, Luke 6:12-16, Luke 11:13, John 14:26-27, John 15:1-4, John 15:26-27, John 20:22, Acts 2:1-4, Acts 4:29-31, Acts 6:3, Romans 8:9-11, Romans 8:15-17, Romans 12:3-8, 1 Cor 2:4-5, 1 Cor 2:9-16, 1 Cor 12, 1 Cor 14:1, 1 Cor 16:19, Gal 5:22-26, Eph 4:11-13, Eph 4:10, 1 Tim 1:18-19, 2 Tim 1:7, 2 Tim 4:19, James 4:10, 1 Peter 2:9-10, Jude 20-21, Rev 1:5-6).


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Faith


Faith



Nicene Creed (c. AD 325) 

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. 

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. 


Apostles Creed (c. AD 215) 

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father. Amen.  


THE LAUSANNE COVENANT

INTRODUCTION

We, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, from more than 150 nations, participants in the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne, praise God for his great salvation and rejoice in the fellowship he has given us with himself and with each other. We are deeply stirred by what God is doing in our day, moved to penitence by our failures and challenged by the unfinished task of evangelization. We believe the Gospel is God's good news for the whole world, and we are determined by his grace to obey Christ's commission to proclaim it to all mankind and to make disciples of every nation. We desire, therefore, to affirm our faith and our resolve, and to make public our covenant.

1. THE PURPOSE OF GOD

We affirm our belief in the one-eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who govern all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ's body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that even when borne by earthen vessels the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew. (Isa. 40:28; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6, 18; Eph 4:12; 1 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 12:2; II Cor. 4:7)

2. THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF THE BIBLE

We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God's word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God's revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God's people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God. (II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11; 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16, Matt. 5:17,18; Jude 3; Eph. 1:17,18; 3:10,18)

3. THE UNIQUENESS AND UNIVERSALITY OF CHRIST

We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognise that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as "the Saviour of the world" is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather it is to proclaim God's love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Saviour and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord. (Gal. 1:6-9;Rom. 1:18-32; I Tim. 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; II Pet. 3:9; II Thess. 1:7-9;John 4:42; Matt. 11:28; Eph. 1:20,21; Phil. 2:9-11)

4. THE NATURE OF EVANGELISM

To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Saviour and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world. (I Cor. 15:3,4; Acts 2: 32-39; John 20:21; I Cor. 1:23; II Cor. 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)

5. CHRISTIAN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all men. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead. (Acts 17:26,31; Gen. 18:25; Isa. 1:17; Psa. 45:7; Gen. 1:26,27; Jas. 3:9; Lev. 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; Jas. 2:14-26; Joh. 3:3,5; Matt. 5:20; 6:33; II Cor. 3:18; Jas. 2:20)

6. THE CHURCH AND EVANGELISM

We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church's mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. The Church is at the very centre of God's cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God's people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology. (John 17:18; 20:21; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Eph. 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Gal. 6:14,17; II Cor. 6:3,4; II Tim. 2:19-21; Phil. 1:27)

7. COOPERATION IN EVANGELISM

We affirm that the Church's visible unity in truth is God's purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation. We recognize, however, that organizational unity may take many forms and does not necessarily forward evangelism. Yet we who share the same biblical faith should be closely united in fellowship, work and witness. We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by a sinful individualism and needless duplication. We pledge ourselves to seek a deeper unity in truth, worship, holiness and mission. We urge the development of regional and functional cooperation for the furtherance of the Church's mission, for strategic planning, for mutual encouragement, and for the sharing of resources and experience. (John 17:21,23; Eph. 4:3,4; John 13:35; Phil. 1:27; John 17:11-23)

8. CHURCHES IN EVANGELISTIC PARTNERSHIP

We rejoice that a new missionary era has dawned. The dominant role of western missions is fast disappearing. God is raising up from the younger churches a great new resource for world evangelization, and is thus demonstrating that the responsibility to evangelize belongs to the whole body of Christ. All churches should therefore be asking God and themselves what they should be doing both to reach their own area and to send missionaries to other parts of the world. A reevaluation of our missionary responsibility and role should be continuous. Thus a growing partnership of churches will develop and the universal character of Christ's Church will be more clearly exhibited. We also thank God for agencies which labor in Bible translation, theological education, the mass media, Christian literature, evangelism, missions, church renewal and other specialist fields. They too should engage in constant self-examination to evaluate their effectiveness as part of the Church's mission. (Rom. 1:8; Phil. 1:5; 4:15; Acts 13:1-3, I Thess. 1:6-8)

9. THE URGENCY OF THE EVANGELISTIC TASK

More than 2,700 million people, which is more than two-thirds of all humanity, have yet to be evangelized. We are ashamed that so many have been neglected; it is a standing rebuke to us and to the whole Church. There is now, however, in many parts of the world an unprecedented receptivity to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are convinced that this is the time for churches and para-church agencies to pray earnestly for the salvation of the unreached and to launch new efforts to achieve world evangelization. A reduction of foreign missionaries and money in an evangelized country may sometimes be necessary to facilitate the national church's growth in self-reliance and to release resources for unevangelized areas. Missionaries should flow ever more freely from and to all six continents in a spirit of humble service. The goal should be, by all available means and at the earliest possible time, that every person will have the opportunity to hear, understand, and to receive the good news. We cannot hope to attain this goal without sacrifice. All of us are shocked by the poverty of millions and disturbed by the injustices which cause it. Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style in order to contribute more generously to both relief and evangelism. (John 9:4; Matt. 9:35-38; Rom. 9:1-3; I Cor. 9:19-23; Mark 16:15; Isa. 58:6,7; Jas. 1:27; 2:1-9; Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 2:44,45; 4:34,35)

10. EVANGELISM AND CULTURE

The development of strategies for world evangelization calls for imaginative pioneering methods. Under God, the result will be the rise of churches deeply rooted in Christ and closely related to their culture. Culture must always be tested and judged by Scripture. Because men and women are God's creatures, some of their culture is rich in beauty and goodness. Because they are fallen, all of it is tainted with sin and some of it is demonic. The gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any culture to another, but evaluates all cultures according to its own criteria of truth and righteousness, and insists on moral absolutes in every culture. Missions have all too frequently exported with the gospel an alien culture and churches have sometimes been in bondage to culture rather than to Scripture. Christ's evangelists must humbly seek to empty themselves of all but their personal authenticity in order to become the servants of others, and churches must seek to transform and enrich culture, all for the glory of God. (Mark 7:8,9,13; Gen. 4:21,22; I Cor. 9:19-23; Phil. 2:5-7; II Cor. 4:5)

11. EDUCATION AND LEADERSHIP

We confess that we have sometimes pursued church growth at the expense of church depth, and divorced evangelism from Christian nurture. We also acknowledge that some of our missions have been too slow to equip and encourage national leaders to assume their rightful responsibilities. Yet we are committed to indigenous principles, and long that every church will have national leaders who manifest a Christian style of leadership in terms not of domination but of service. We recognize that there is a great need to improve theological education, especially for church leaders. In every nation and culture there should be an effective training program for pastors and laity in doctrine, discipleship, evangelism, nurture and service. Such training programs should not rely on any stereotyped methodology but should be developed by creative local initiatives according to biblical standards. (Col. I:27,28; Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5,9; Mark 10:42-45; Eph. 4:11,12)

12. SPIRITUAL CONFLICT

We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, who are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task of world evangelization. We know our need to equip ourselves with God's armor and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. For we detect the activity of our enemy, not only in false ideologies outside the Church, but also inside it in false gospels which twist Scripture and put people in the place of God. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. We acknowledge that we ourselves are not immune to worldliness of thoughts and action, that is, to a surrender to secularism. For example, although careful studies of church growth, both numerical and spiritual, are right and valuable, we have sometimes neglected them. At other times, desirous to ensure a response to the gospel, we have compromised our message, manipulated our hearers through pressure techniques, and become unduly preoccupied with statistics or even dishonest in our use of them. All this is worldly. The Church must be in the world; the world must not be in the Church. (Eph. 6:12; II Cor. 4:3,4; Eph. 6:11,13-18; II Cor. 10:3-5; I John 2:18-26; 4:1-3; Gal. 1:6-9; II Cor. 2:17; 4:2; John 17:15)

13. FREEDOM AND PERSECUTION

It is the God-appointed duty of every government to secure conditions of peace, justice and liberty in which the Church may obey God, serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and preach the gospel without interference. We therefore pray for the leaders of nations and call upon them to guarantee freedom of thought and conscience, and freedom to practice and propagate religion in accordance with the will of God and as set forth in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also express our deep concern for all who have been unjustly imprisoned, and especially for those who are suffering for their testimony to the Lord Jesus. We promise to pray and work for their freedom. At the same time we refuse to be intimidated by their fate. God helping us, we too will seek to stand against injustice and to remain faithful to the gospel, whatever the cost. We do not forget the warnings of Jesus that persecution is inevitable. (I Tim. 1:1-4, Acts 4:19; 5:29; Col. 3:24; Heb. 13:1-3; Luke 4:18; Gal. 5:11; 6:12; Matt. 5:10-12; John 15:18-21)

14. THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit filled church. A church that is not a missionary church is contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit. Worldwide evangelization will become a realistic possibility only when the Spirit renews the Church in truth and wisdom, faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God that all his fruit may appear in all his people and that all his gifts may enrich the body of Christ. Only then will the whole world become a fit instrument in his hands, that the whole earth may hear his voice. (I Cor. 2:4; John 15:26;27; 16:8-11; I Cor. 12:3; John 3:6-8; II Cor. 3:18; John 7:37-39; I Thess. 5:19; Acts 1:8; Psa. 85:4-7; 67:1-3; Gal. 5:22,23; I Cor. 12:4-31; Rom. 12:3-8)

15. THE RETURN OF CHRIST

We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ's ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the end. We also remember his warning that false Christs and false prophets will arise as precursors of the final Antichrist. We therefore reject as a proud, self-confident dream the notion that people can ever build a utopia on earth. Our Christian confidence is that God will perfect his kingdom, and we look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever. Meanwhile, we rededicate ourselves to the service of Christ and of people in joyful submission to his authority over the whole of our lives. (Mark 14:62; Heb. 9:28; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8-11; Matt. 28:20; Mark 13:21-23; John 2:18; 4:1-3; Luke 12:32; Rev. 21:1-5; II Pet. 3:13; Matt. 28:18)

CONCLUSION

Therefore, in the light of this our faith and our resolve, we enter into a solemn covenant with God and with each other, to pray, to plan and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world. We call upon others to join us. May God help us by his grace and for his glory to be faithful to this our covenant! Amen, Alleluia!