A Noteworthy Statement on Reformed Ecumenicity

John ArmstrongReformed Christianity

A document called "Presbyterians & Presbyterians Together: A Call to Charitable Theological Discourse” has just appeared online today. I have happily endorsed this statement which is now available online at http://presbyterianstogether.org

The drafters and sponsors of "Presbyterians & Presbyterians Together" constitute an inter-denominational grass-roots movement among Reformed pastors and leaders that desires to heal and move beyond the various rifts that seem to perennially surface in our tradition. While each of us acknowledges that important and substantive issues need to be considered and worked-through, we also want to do so in the bonds of peace, not in a context of mistrust, suspicion, and sectarianism (cited from the document).

This effort has been undertaken for the sake of Christ’s Gospel and our Triune God’s mission to a lost and broken world.  God calls us in Christ, empowered by his Spirit, and guided by his Word, to proclaim and be a sign of his reign before the eyes of a watching world.  Living as people shaped by that calling, the signers remain committed to truth and pursuing truth in love. 

Feel free to blog about or otherwise publicize this document.  You may also wish to sign it, if that is appropriate to your confessional identity and calling.  You may sign the document via the website.

The drafters of this document conclude:

We would only ask that, if you [sign this document], you continue to uphold the ideals that "Presbyterians and Presbyterians Together" expresses, which should characterize all who claim the name "Christian."

These ideals apply as much to our conduct on the Internet and in conversation online as they do in other spheres of our lives.  While some may, for whatever reasons, react negatively to the document, if you sign you are committing yourself live the Gospel and to respond to any criticism (if you respond at all) with patience, a desire to listen to and understand the concerns and perspectives of others, to empathize with their legitimate worries, and to speak truth in love.

I quit signing public documents some years ago but I felt the timeliness and spirit of this new statement was important enough to make an exception. I encourage you to read it and to follow the Christian spirit appropriately expressed in this fine document.