So, what am I committed to?

I was reading the core convictions and commitments of the Anabaptist Association of Australia and NewZealand, which were themselves pinched from the Anabaptist Network UK, and thinking, well, I couldn’t go to wrong with leveraging off these to explain my own convictions to newcomers to Glocal Christianity. So here they are:

1. Jesus is our example, teacher, friend, redeemer and Lord. He is the source of  our life, the central reference point for our faith and lifestyle, for our understanding of church and our engagement with society. We are committed to following Jesus as well as worshipping him.

2. Jesus is the focal point of God’s revelation. We are committed to a Jesus-centred approach to the Bible, and to the community of faith as the primary context in which we read the Bible and discern and apply its implications for discipleship.

3. Western culture is slowly emerging from the Christendom era when church and state jointly presided over a society in which all were assumed to be Christian. Whatever its positive contributions, Christendom seriously distorted the gospel, marginalised Jesus and has left the churches ill-equipped for mission in a post-Christendom culture. As we reflect on this, we are committed to learning from the experience and perspectives of movements such as Anabaptism that rejected standard Christendom assumptions and pursued alternative ways of thinking and behaving.

4. The frequent association of the church with status, wealth and force has been inappropriate for followers of Jesus and has damaged our witness. We are committed to exploring ways of being good news to the poor, powerless and persecuted.

5. Churches are called to be resource centres for discipleship and mission, multi-voiced worshipping communities that sustain hope as we wait for God’s kingdom, and places of friendship and mutual accountability. We are committed to nurturing and developing such churches, in which young and old are valued, consultative leadership is exercised, and roles are related to gifts rather than gender.

6. Spirituality and economics are inter-connected. In an individualist and consumerist culture and in a world where economic injustice is rife, we are committed to finding ways of living simply, sharing generously and working for justice.

7. Peace is at the heart of the gospel. As followers of Jesus in a divided and violent world we are committed to non-violence and to learning how to make peace between individuals, within and among churches, in society and between nations, and with the natural world.

The only thing I would add is an expansion to point 7: a commitment to making peace between cultures, recognizing Christianity as a multicultural movement, and making peace between religions, recognizing that disagreement does not warrant disrespect.

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