Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fundamental Principles

It's time we Christians come up with a statement on Fundamental Principles of Behavior and Service. This thought is prompted by reading and contemplating the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. There are seven principles. They are Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity, and Universality. You can read them in their entirety at the Red Cross website.

The Christian churches that I've been a part of (Baptist, Evangelical, and Bible) have doctrinal statements, which explain what we think, but they don't explain how we should behave. It's time we changed that. Churches need doctrinal statements. They are the anchors that keep us from drifting. We also need statements on how to act and how we go about our service, so that our behavior matches up with our doctrine. How about these for a start? Remember, it's just a start and it is highly plagiarized from the Red Cross statement.

Fundamental Principle of Behavior and Service

Humanity: Christians, born of the desire to emulate Jesus endeavour "to preach good news to the poor", "proclaim freedom for the prisoners", "recovery of sight for the blind", "release the oppressed", and "proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" without discrimination to all peoples wherever they may be found. Our service is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. We promote mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace among all peoples.

Impartiality: In service to our fellow man, we make no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. We endeavour to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.

Neutrality: In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, we may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

Independence: We are independent. While subject to the laws of our respective countries, we must always maintain our autonomy so that we may be able, at all times, to act in accordance with the principles of the Jesus Christ.

Voluntary: Christianity is a voluntary movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.

Unity: There is only one Church. It must be open to all. It must carry on its Christian service throughout its territory.

Universality: Christianity, in which all Christians have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.

1 comment:

  1. wow. you have been a busy writer! you should e-mail me everytime the blog is updated - that's what I used to do! I like your thoughts. so easy to get caught up in what I believe and ignore how I communicate it to those around me. we talked about this at small group last night. I think it is hard for christians to serve everyone - no matter what race, religion, sexualty, etc - because we get caught up in the sin they are exhibiting instead of focusing on exhibiting the life of Christ towards them. How selfish of us! -Anisha