The Faithworks Declaration

Last week I wrote about the Westminster 2010 Declaration of Christian Conscience, and expressed mixed feelings about it. This week I can commend a different Christian declaration relating to the General Election: The Faithworks 2010 Declaration. Thanks to The Simple Pastor for the link – the first I had seen highlighting the declaration, although others including David Keen had linked to other election-related material from Faithworks.

Faithworks is the Christian campaigning group founded by Steve Chalke, who intends to present the Declaration in person to the incoming Prime Minister. Steve has already interviewed the three main contenders, and David Keen has embedded the video, which deserves a lot more than the 1081 views it has received so far.

Here is the text of the Declaration:

This is why we are calling on the incoming Prime Minister to:

  1. Recognise the important contribution that local churches and Christian charities have made historically, and can make in the coming years in providing services within local communities across the UK.
  2. Acknowledge the indispensible role that faith in Christ plays in the motivation and effectiveness of welfare programs developed by churches and Christian charities.
  3. Encourage and promote further initiatives and deeper partnership underpinned by legislation, which assess services based on best value and contribution to the whole community, without discriminating against the faith that is vital to the success of the work of churches and faith-based organisations.

Now some might consider me hypocritical for rejecting the Westminster 2010 Declaration as not comprehensive enough but accepting this Faithworks Declaration which is much less comprehensive. The difference is that the Westminster Declaration seems to claim to be comprehensive, whereas the Faithworks one is explicitly about one particular area of concern to Christians – one which has been ignored by the Westminster group.

Incidentally the Westminster Declaration has attracted so far only 22,403 signatures – not very impressive beside the 71,127 currently signed up for the Facebook campaign to get Christian music topping the UK Charts!

Somehow I can’t see the Westminster Declaration, however well supported, having much effect on British political life. But, if it gets good support, the Faithworks Declaration, presented by a man who clearly already has the respect of our political leaders (although sadly not of some Christian leaders), has a real chance of affecting how our next government, of whatever colour, relates to Christian and other faith-based groups working for the good of this country’s community. Go ahead and sign up!

0 thoughts on “The Faithworks Declaration

  1. I previously left a comment on your post regarding the Westminster 2010 Declaration which I signed.

    I am disappointed that the Faithworks Declaration was not conceived and advertised in time to coincide with the W2010D when I, and potentially others, would have been able to have chosen which to support.
    I have benefited personally from individuals connected with Faithworks so feel a loyalty towards them and their endeavour, but I am also conscious that I have a loyalty towards the organisations represented by two of the initial signatories to the W2010D.

    I agree that Faithworks (and its CEOs) are held in high esteem by New Labour – but it worries me that “faith works” might be being supported as a way of ensuring that the church becomes the unpaid welfare sector of the government while, at the same time, rubbing Christians’ noses in it as far as our values and principles are concerned. We are not the voluntary arm of a politically correct Social Services, taught to keep schtum about what we believe while, having had one cheek slapped by the ignorant and those who want (not need) to get something for nothing, we proffer the other to be slapped by those who loathe what Christians stand for – and would like to eliminate Christianity as a worldview.

    While a Christian should “walk the talk”, we are human, not divine, so we do not want our “walk” to become a “doormat” to be “walked on”.

  2. Beryl, I agree that it would have been good if these groups had got together, and in some ways a single Declaration would have been better. But I don’t think you should see the two as in competition. I would see no reason not to sign up to both of them, if you accept them both.

    I think if you know the history of Steve Chalke you would be aware that there is no danger of his group keeping quiet about their Christian faith, or becoming a doormat in any way.

  3. I’ve read today about Faithworks decision not to support the Westminster Declaration and must say how very disappointed I am about the decision. The Faithworks declaration does nothing to protect the rights of Christians in matters of Christian Conscience, I find it very weak and PC. We need to know that Christians will not continue to be marginalized and discriminated against for acting according to biblical teaching. I feel that Faithworks decision has weakened and potentially damaged what otherwise could have been a very influential campaign.

  4. Dave, thanks for alerting me to the fact that Faithworks responded to the Westminster Declaration. Their response is excellent and encapsulates well my own issues with the Westminster Declaration.

    However, I also note this reply from the Westminster Declaration team which suggests that Faithworks has misunderstood the Westminster Declaration. To that all I can say is that if Faithworks and I independently misunderstood the Westminster Declaration in much the same way, that suggests that that Declaration was not clear in explaining itself.

  5. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom» Blog Archive » Evangelical Alliance leader says “remember the poor”, but too late

  6. Pingback: Could a Facebook campaign swing the election? - Gentle Wisdom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image