Thursday, May 26, 2005

Comments, Links

The church of the Bible study I'm going to right now has put forward a final draft of its charter.

Since I was born the son of an ordained reverend, I'm inclined to be interested in this stuff. And since I've been hanging out with John long enough, I tend to look up things that are new to me in the Wikipedia.

So when I read that the charter's Statement of Faith started off with:

Section 1. Shanghai Community Church accepts the Bible as the revealed Word of God, and the Apostles Creed and the Lausanne Covenant as its statements of faith.

...my first reaction was to Google up a copy of both the Apostle's Creed and the Lausanne Covenant, and then turn to Wikipedia for a little background and analysis.

Then I wandered off into Wikipedia's Christian Confessions, Creeds and Statements category, which lead to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and the general article on Biblical inerrancy (I find myself agreeing with the Methodists, "[believeing] strongly in the authority of scripture while rejecting the necessity of inerrancy").

All this to say that I think there should be a clash between the text of the introduction:

Believing it to be the will of God that the followers of Jesus Christ associate themselves in fellowship for mutual encouragement, for public worship, for active service, and for effective outreach, Shanghai Community Church provides an English-speaking church and ministries for adherents of various denominations from all parts of the world. We are committed to respect the laws of the People's Republic of China, to work cooperatively with the Three Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches of China, and to relate with other international churches in China and the region as we are able.

...(emphasis mine) and certain sections of the Lausanne Covenant, specifically Section 5 (Christian Social Responsibility, socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty) and Section 13 (Freedom and Persecution, wherein governments are called to allow [preaching of] the gospel without interference). If this doesn't come up, or gets glossed over, I'll be disappointed.

Also, that last phrase as we are able; what does that mean? Was that written in respect to respecting the Chinese law, or to cooperating with other international churches?

Sometimes, I even come across to myself as way more hard-core than I should be, given my current level of tepidness.

Other interesting link that came out of this research: Wikipedia on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and copies of the document in English and in Chinese.

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