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:
- 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.
- Acknowledge the indispensible role that faith in Christ plays in the motivation and effectiveness of welfare programs developed by churches and Christian charities.
- 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!