Monday, March 02, 2009

Evangelical statements of belief: The Amsterdam Affirmations

> We confess Jesus Christ as God, our Lord and Savior, who is revealed in the Bible, which is the infallible Word of God.
> We affirm our commitment to the Great Commission of our Lord, and we declare our willingness to go anywhere, do anything, and sacrifice anything God requires of us in the fulfilment of that Commission.
> We respond to God's call to the biblical ministry of the evangelist, and accept our solemn responsibility to preach the Word to all peoples as God gives opportunity.
> God loves every human being, who, apart from faith in Christ, is under God's judgment and destined for hell.
> The heart of the biblical message is the good news of God's salvation, which comes by grace alone through faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning death on the cross for our sins.
> In our proclamation of the Gospel we recognize the urgency of calling all to decision to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and to do so lovingly and without coercion or manipulation.
> We need and desire to be filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit as we bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because God alone can turn sinners from their sin and bring them to everlasting life.
> We acknowledge our obligation, as servants of God, to lead lives of holiness and moral purity, knowing that we exemplify Christ to the church and to the world.
> A life of regular and faithful prayer and Bible study is essential to our personal spiritual growth, and to our power for ministry.
> We will be faithful stewards of all that God gives us, and will be accountable to others in the finances of our ministry, and honest in reporting our statistics.
> Our families are a responsibility given to us by God, and are a sacred trust to be kept as faithfully as our call to minister to others.
We are responsible to the church, and will endeavor always to conduct our ministries so as to build up the local body of believers and serve the church at large.
> We are responsible to arrange for the spiritual care of those who come to faith under our ministry, to encourage them to identify with the local body of believers, and seek to provide for the instruction of believers in witnessing to the Gospel.
> We share Christ's deep concern for the personal and social sufferings of humanity, and we accept our responsibility as Christians and as evangelists to do our utmost to alleviate human need.
> We beseech the Body of Christ to join with us in prayer and work for peace in our world, for revival and a renewed dedication to the biblical priority of evangelism in the church, and for the oneness of believers in Christ for the fulfilment of the Great Commission, until Christ returns.

About the Amsterdam Affirmations (1983):

The Affirmations were composed by the attendees of the International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists which was held at the Rai Conference Center, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, during 1983-JUL. The conference was organized by members of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Campus Crusade for Christ. Attending "Amsterdam '83" were about 3,870 invited conservative Protestants from 133 nations. "These statements were individually and corporately affirmed by the assembled evangelists at the conclusion of the conference." 1 The text below was taken from Billy Graham's "A Biblical Standard for Evangelists." 2

"A second, larger conference, sponsored by the BGEA and on the same model as Amsterdam '83, was held in 1986 in Amsterdam. It was also called the International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists and is commonly called Amsterdam '86." 3

M. H. Reynolds, writing in the Fundamental Evangelistic Association's Foundation magazine severely criticized the conference, claiming that it allowed heretical teachings by Dr. Robert Schuller; it soften opposition to communism; it promoted wordliness, the charismatic movement, ecumenical movement, and female ordination, etc. Referring to the delegates, Reynolds wrote: "With their hearts and minds filled with so many conflicting ideas and principles about evangelism; with so much written material of various sorts to review; with such a vast difference between what they saw and heard in Amsterdam and the situations they actually face at home; confusion will be the inevitable result unless someone sounds a warning and urges them to stay by the Word of God and reject the unscriptural teachings they received at Amsterdam!" He concluded that the conference was "a confusing page in church history." 4

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