The Global Church: 7 Issues Christians Should Work Together On

Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director of the World Evangelical Alliance, prays at the opening ceremony of Lausanne III: Congress on World Evangelization on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, in Cape Town, South Africa.
Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director of the World Evangelical Alliance, prays at the opening ceremony of Lausanne III: Congress on World Evangelization on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, in Cape Town, South Africa. | (Photo: The Christian Post/Hudson Tsuei)

In a few short weeks I will conclude my service as Chief Executive Officer/Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance. For the past 10 years I have had the immense privilege of leading this global community. One of my observations is that there is a growing passion amongst Christians of all traditions to cooperate together for the greater good of society. Considering the state of current reality in the world, this surely is good news. While there may be differences in our theological understandings, there are many opportunities to work collaboratively on the challenges we face in the global church. The following are 7 major issues that can and should rally all Christians.

1. Promoting Religious Freedom 

As we are keenly aware, Christians from all denominations in many contexts are being discriminated against, persecuted and in some cases killed. Bringing awareness, prayer and help for our suffering brothers and sisters is a potential area of significant collaborative action. The World Evangelical Alliance has developed many academic, media and local church resources we are more than happy to share. Is it time for us as Christian leaders to hold a high profile public gathering to bring attention to the persecuted church? This could significantly change the gravity of this situation for many brothers and sisters.

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2. Biblical Engagement

The inspired scriptures provide the foundation of the lives for all followers of Jesus. However, there seems to be a growing biblical illiteracy and a disconnect between our Christian beliefs and practices. Today we have the possibility of making the scriptures more culturally accessible through film, TV and online resources. Together we can get more Christians of all ages reading and living out the Bible in their day to day lives.

3. Promotion of Peace

We know as the followers of the Prince of Peace we need to be promoters and facilitators of peace-building and reconciliation. As Christians model reconciled relationships, we can discover new ways of bringing hope and peace to highly conflicted situations in many parts of the world. Our hearts break for what is happening in the Middle East, the Holy Land, Central African Republic, South Sudan, DRC and so many other places. We are currently working closely with The Cradle of Christianity Fund that will assist in the rescue, restoration and return of displaced and endangered Christian communities in the Middle East while also providing support for others members of the affected communities, both now and in the future.

4. Extreme Poverty and Exploited People

Our vision: A world free from extreme poverty and exploited people. Together we can find ways to be a more effective global Christian voice. Together we can educate, inspire and mobilize Christians to bring impact on issues of poverty and injustice.

 5. Nuclear Weapons

Driven by a commitment to serve our Lord Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace, for the past several years the World Evangelical Alliance has laid the groundwork for remedying its past inattention to the question of nuclear weapons, principally through the formation of a task force dedicated to the issue. The WEA was very pleased for our task force Chair to join other religious leaders at a recent event at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee on "nuclear weapons and the moral compass," sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the Philippines. The WEA is anxious to add the voice of Evangelicals worldwide to the call for nuclear disarmament championed by the Roman Catholic Church, as well as global bodies like the World Council of Churches.

6. Global Corruption

Tax evasion, lack of transparency, and bribery are all forms of corruption, a massive barricade against the wellbeing of the poorest people in the world. Corruption accounts for over US$1 trillion of missing funds. In the year 2000, All 189 UN member state governments committed to the eight promises of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in order to "free our fellow men women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty." Much progress has been made but we are still a long way from carrying out our commitment to the world's poor. We have listened to colleagues from around the world and it has become evident that we cannot deliver on our promises unless we address the issue of corruption head on. Christians working together can make a powerful difference in responding to this global epidemic.

7. The encouragement of healthy marriages and families

All Christians have a desire to see marriages and families flourish. We know that healthy families provide the solid foundation for every society. Great pressure is on families around the world. Growing divorce rates, redefinition of marriage, and absentee fathers are just a few of the complex issues impacting families. Given our mutual concern we can work together to strengthen marriages and families around the world.

If we as the global Christian family can come together around these immense issues this might be a direct answer the Lord who taught us to pray. … "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,your kingdom come your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven."  May it be so.

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