Wednesday, May 10, 2006

PC(USA) - News Service - Vatican and WCC to pursue common code of conduct on religious conversion

PC(USA) - News Service - Vatican and WCC to pursue common code of conduct on religious conversion:
by Juan Michel
WCC News and Information

"GENEVA — The Vatican and the World Council of Churches (WCC) are launching a three-year joint study project aimed at developing a shared code of conduct on the controversial issue of religious conversion.
The code will distinguish between witness and proselytism, making respect for freedom of thought, conscience and the religion of others a primary concern in any encounter between people of different faiths...."
This is a thorny set of issues, and one that needs to be treated with sensitivity. I am glad that a distinction is being drawn beteen witnessing and proselytism. I reserve judgement on the overall effect until I see where the line for proselytism is drawn. I have seen it drawn in such a way as to include witnessing, by many within the Church who feel that evangelism is an outmoded way of engaging the world.

The first of the Great Ends is "The Proclamation of the Gospel for the Salvation of Humankind", and that pretty much sums up where the PC(USA) stands on the topic. The 2007-2008 Mission Work Plan recently announced by GAC leads off with local and global evangelism as the first of eight objectives for the PC(USA).

How do we carry out the Great Commission and our Great Ends in a world where conversion is often a fast track to persecution or martyrdom? How do we engage people of other faiths in a way that shows love and respect?

These are good questions, and I am glad to see them asked, and look forward to some constructive answers.

Technorati tags: ,

No comments: