Climaxing ten days of spiritual renewal, the delegates to the World Congress on Evangelism (News, page 34) accepted, by acclamation, the following statement. They acted voluntarily, personally, and in wholesome unity, without committing their churches.

As participants in the World Congress on Evangelism, drawn from 100 nations and gathered in Berlin in the Name of Jesus Christ, we proclaim this day our unswerving determination to carry out the supreme mission of the Church.

On behalf of our fellow men everywhere, whom we love and for whom our Saviour died, we promise with renewed zeal and faithfulness to bear to them the Good News of God’s saving grace to a sinful and lost humanity; and to that end we now rededicate ourselves before the Sovereign King of the universe and the Risen Lord of the Church.

We enter the closing third of the twentieth century with greater confidence than ever in the God of our fathers who reveals himself in creation, in judgment, and in redemption. In his Holy Name we call upon men and nations everywhere to repent and turn to works of righteousness.

As an evangelical ecumenical gathering of Christian disciples and workers, we cordially invite all believers in Christ to unite in the common task of bringing the Word of Salvation to mankind in spiritual revolt and moral chaos. Our goal is nothing short of the evangelization of the human race in this generation, by every means God has given to the mind and will of men.

One Race

We recognize the failure of many of us in the recent past to speak with sufficient clarity and force upon the biblical unity of the human race.

All men are one in the humanity created by God himself. All men are one in their common need of divine redemption, and all are offered salvation in Jesus Christ. All men stand under the same divine condemnation, and all must find justification before God in the same way: by faith in Christ, Lord of all and Saviour of all who put their trust in him. All who are “in Christ” henceforth can recognize no distinctions based on race or color and no limitations arising out of human pride or prejudice, whether in the fellowship of those who have come to faith in Christ or in the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ to men everywhere.

We reject the notion that men are unequal because of distinction of race or color. In the name of Scripture and of Jesus Christ we condemn racialism wherever it appears. We ask forgiveness for our past sins in refusing to recognize the clear command of God to love our fellow men with a love that transcends every human barrier and prejudice. We seek by God’s grace to eradicate from our lives and from our witness whatever is displeasing to him in our relations one with another. We extend our hands to each other in love, and those same hands reach out to men everywhere with the prayer that the Prince of Peace may soon unite our sorely divided world.

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One Gospel

We affirm that God first communicated the Gospel of redemption, and not man; we declare the saving will of God and the saving work of God only because we proclaim the saving Word of God. We are persuaded that today, as in the Reformation, God’s people are again being called upon to set God’s Word above man’s word. We rejoice that the truth of the Bible stands unshaken by human speculation, and that it remains the eternal revelation of God’s nature and will for mankind. We reject all theology and criticism that refuses to bring itself under the divine authority of Holy Scripture, and all traditionalism which weakens that authority by adding to the Word of God.

The Bible declares that the Gospel which we have received and wherein we stand, and whereby we are saved, is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3, 4). Evangelism is the proclamation of the Gospel of the crucified and risen Christ, the only Redeemer of men, according to the Scriptures, with the purpose of persuading condemned and lost sinners to put their trust in God by receiving and accepting Christ as Saviour through the power of the Holy Spirit, and to serve Christ as Lord in every calling of life and in the fellowship of his Church, looking toward the day of his coming in glory.

One Task

Our Lord Jesus Christ, possessor of all authority in heaven and on earth, has not only called us to himself; he has sent us out into the world to be his witnesses. In the power of his Spirit he commands us to proclaim to all people the good news of salvation through his atoning death and resurrection; to invite them to discipleship through repentance and faith; to baptize them into the fellowship of his Church; and to teach them all his words.

We confess our weakness and inadequacy as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission; nevertheless we give ourselves afresh to our Lord and his cause. Recognizing that the ministry of reconciliation is given to us all, we seek to enlist every believer and to close the ranks of all Christians for an effective witness to our world. We long to share that which we have heard, have seen with the eyes of faith, and have experienced in our personal lives. We implore the world church to obey the divine commission to permeate, challenge, and confront the world with the claims of Jesus Christ.

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While not all who hear the Gospel will respond to it, our responsibility is to see that every one is given the opportunity to decide for Christ in our time. Trusting our Lord for strength and guidance, we shoulder this responsibility.

Finally, we express to Evangelist Billy Graham our gratitude for his vision of a World Congress on Evangelism. To the magazine CHRISTIANITY TODAY goes our debt of thanks for bringing it into reality. As we return to our many fields of labor for Christ we promise to pray for each other; and we extend our love and affection to the whole wide world of men in the matchless Name of our Saviour.

Issued by the Executive and Sponsoring Committees

World Congress on Evangelism

Congress Hall

Berlin, Germany

4 November 1966

Pike Puts His Church On Trial

On the many occasions when we have challenged and chided Bishop James A. Pike for unbiblical and superficial theological pronouncements, we have secretly harbored a certain amount of admiration for this fascinating prelate. He has boosted the cause of ecclesiastical candor by stating his theological views forthrightly while less courageous ministers disguise theirs for the sake of expediency. The bishop-lawyer now is precipitating an unusual crisis in the Episcopal Church. By requesting a full-scale investigation of his foes’ charges of heresy against him, Pike is, in effect, putting the Episcopal House of Bishops on trial.

Last month the House of Bishops, long bothered by his “irresponsible” doctrinal aberrations heralded in the cathedrals and mass media, sought to quell the clamor for a heresy trial and yet spank its errant son by passing, 103–36, a strongly worded report decrying his “caricatures of treasured symbols” and “cheap vulgarization of great expressions of the faith.” The main thrust of the 1,200-word censure was clearly theological. Yet when Pike rightly asked the House, “What is the doctrine of the Church and how is it measured?” the presiding bishop, following a House agreement that sought to avoid prolonged debate over the central theological issues, ruled him out of order. When he was deprived of a full-fledged hearing before passage of the critical statement, Pike’s pique was aroused. The censured bishop demanded under canon law the appointment of a committee to determine whether the charges circulated by his opponents and his own conduct constituted grounds for a heresy trial. By forcing the issue, Pike now has placed the House of Bishops in the uncomfortable position of having to decide either to reaffirm its commitment to the church’s stated confession and take steps to depose a bishop whose views contradict it, or admit that its confession no longer defines the doctrines that its bishops and priests must believe and teach.

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Most of Pike’s fellow bishops are more concerned for the peace than for the purity of the church. They are reluctant to face a heresy trial lest it be viewed as “a throwback to centuries when the law, in church and state, sought to repress and penalize unacceptable opinions” and lest it “spread abroad a repressive image of the church.” If they were less preoccupied with the church’s image and more sensitive to the abundant biblical warnings against the corrupting influence of false teachings, they would realize that the current influx of heresy in the confessional church demands positive action by ecclesiastical courts to oust dispensers of heresy. A united and peaceful church is highly desirable, but not at the cost of allowing in the church teaching that mocks its confession and falsifies the biblical witness. In maintaining the health of the church, dedicated men must not sidestep the unpleasant task of ridding the church of clerics whose teachings distort or contradict the Gospel. By apathetically failing to safeguard purity of doctrine, Christian leaders not only contribute to the weakening of the church’s message but also allow the church to be seen as the lair of hypocrites who deny in their teaching what they affirm in their church’s confessional liturgy.

Although we believe that Pike violates both the teaching of the Bible and his own ordination vows on such crucial doctrines as the Trinity and Christ’s resurrection, we nonetheless agree that he is correct in insisting that an official judgment be made on the theological issues in his case. The House of Bishops must now face up to its responsibility and clarify the meaning of its confession in the light of contemporary theological formulations.

Bishop Pike’s demand will have served a noble purpose if the Episcopal House of Bishops reaffirms with resounding force to a doubting and confused world the abiding truth of the revealed doctrines that constitute its confession. Before the eyes of the world, the Episcopal House of Bishops is unofficially on trial fully as much as Bishop Pike may one day officially be. Whether men like it or not, the Pike controversy will continue to disturb the peace of the church. Let us hope that the House of Bishops’ pursuit of peace does not deter it from taking action that will result in the triumph of biblical truth over error and thereby advance the cause of Jesus Christ.

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By killing our wildlife and polluting our streams. By poisoning our air and burning our forests.

By littering our highways and disfiguring them with hideous signboards.

By contaminating our atmosphere with atomic waste materials and blanketing the earth with fallout.


By tolerating urban filth, disease, and crime.

By consigning people to ghettos from which there is no escape.

By failing to clean up the slums, lift the fallen, and minister to the disinherited.

By permitting cities to deteriorate into eyesores and smog belts.


By standing by silently as citizens are turned away from the polls because their skin is dark and wicked men beat school children with axe handles.

By remaining apathetic as vandals destroy property and scoff at law and order.

By failing to protect women from being robbed in our streets and raped in our parks.

By watching idly as printing presses disgorge books and magazines that cater to lust for profit.


By becoming victims of sloth and materialistic ease that soften our moral fiber.

By accepting relative ethical codes that negate the Ten Commandments.

By making peace with sexual license that smiles at fornication and makes light of adultery.

By making decisions on the basis of personal profit rather than the good of our fellow men.


By putting “In God We Trust” on our coins when we have no faith in God.

By buying more copies of the Bible than of any other book only to reject its teaching, deny its authority, and fail to read it.

By filling our churches at Christmas and Easter and leaving them half empty the rest of the year.

By merely giving thanks when we should also be confessing our sins, asking God for forgiveness, and serving mankind.

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Giving Away What You Don’T Own

Some theological liberals give away what does not belong to them. No person or organization has the right to water down or set aside the eternal verities revealed in Holy Scripture. Churchmen who attempt to do this place a stumbling block in the path of the unwary and add more confusion to a very confused world.

The Ten Commandments still clearly affirm God’s holy laws. No man is saved by keeping them; only the One who kept them perfectly can save men. But the commandments are both a standard and a warning: the standard of a holy God and a warning of the consequences of willful disobedience.

We are now witnessing a treacherous and persistent assault on the Seventh Commandment—“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” This attack is made not only by persons outside the Church but also by some within it.

The recent report, “Sex and Morality,” written by a committee of the British Council of Churches and published by the Student Christian Movement Press, illustrates the widespread relaxed attitude toward adultery and fornication (see Nov. 11 issue, page 34, and this issue, page 46).

The “new morality” with its situational ethics is permeating our country, to the disgrace of the Church. Countless young people are enticed by its attempt to justify some sexual relations outside marriage as legitimate acts of true love.

The rise of homosexuality, the existence of it even in the Church, and the permissive attitude toward it in Church and society, are further cause for grave alarm.

On every hand God’s “You shall not” is being changed to “Perhaps you can.” How can anyone concerned with the unity of the Church be indifferent to matters having to do with the purity of the Church? How can God bless a corporate church so concerned for social justice but so permissive of moral deviations?

We hear much about how the Church will “stand under the judgment of God” if it does not engage in social action. But what about the sure condemnation of God that must fall on the Church if it tampers with his standards of moral purity?

Have we reached the depths of depravity described by Jeremiah: “Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush.” The passage continues with these ominous words: “Therefore they shall fall among the fallen; when I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says the Lord” (Jer. 8:12). Those who defy the commandments of God by “giving them away” and watering them down will not escape his judgment.

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Election Afterthoughts

People were turned on by this month’s “off” year elections. The American voter had a mind of his own. He refused to mimic either prophecies from computers or urgings from big-name politicians. Two years after the Goldwater defeat, the nation moved to a closer approximation of two-party balance.

On the partisan level, Republicans have much to crow about. We are pleased with some of the much publicized new GOP faces, but not for partisan reasons. Republican gubernatorial victories in Maryland and Arkansas proved that one party’s dominance can be shattered if it nominates reactionary candidates who harp on a single issue to foment racial animosity. Georgia’s muddled gubernatorial race and the election of a shadow governess in Alabama provide less cause for cheer.

In the Senate races, some prophets thought prejudice might doom Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, a Republican among Democrats, an Episcopalian among Roman Catholics, and a Negro among whites. But the state made its attorney general the first Negro elected to the United States Senate by popular vote. Brooke automatically assumes a position of national Negro leadership, for which he is well prepared. As attorney general he enforced the law impartially, against Negroes when necessary, without currying favor with whites.

Across the continent, Oregon elected another new Republican senator. Besides a record of honest, conscientious public service, Mark O. Hatfield will bring to Washington the refreshing influence of a forthright stand for evangelical Christianity. He has a sensitive understanding of the complex relationships between religion and politics (see interview, June 21, 1963, issue, page 8). Hatfield claimed his win showed that people lack confidence in the national administration and “want stronger efforts to conclude the war in Viet Nam, but not peace at any price.”

At times the rancor and sniping of some races seemed to capture a hint of the terrors of those Asian jungles. But when the returns were in, many losers responded with warmth and good wishes for the winners. So do we. And to these wishes we add prayers for the politicians, old and new, who are left to face the tough questions of national interest when campaign buttons go from lapels to attics and swept-up confetti lies in empty hotel ballrooms.

The Pope Who Fails To Speak

Roman Catholics eagerly waiting for Pope Paul VI to relax the church’s stand on birth control have been keenly disappointed by his decision to leave the issue dangling. Despite the recommendations of Vatican Council II, the opinions of leading churchmen, and the population explosion, Paul refused for the time being to alter the church’s teaching. In an address to three hundred Italian gynecologists and obstetricians he said that he is unready to make any definitive declaration now because of the “enormous complexities” of the subject and the “grave implications” involved in a decision.

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There is talk of forming a new papal commission to pursue the matter, since the Pope was evidently dissatisfied with the recommendations of his commission of experts that had just reported to him. Although their statement was not made public, we can only assume that they called for liberalization of birth-control practices. The Pope said that the report “raised as many new questions as [it] answered old ones.”

By his inaction the Pope has failed to meet the crisis directly and has chosen rather to perpetuate an antiquated and questionable teaching. His decision affects some six hundred million people whose relationships in every area of life are greatly influenced by the papal edicts. His teaching so binds their consciences that for them to prevent conception by any other means than abstinence or the rhythm method is sin. The marriage bed becomes a bed of sin when they come to it practicing contraception by artificial means.

The Pope’s failure to speak came at a time when the power of the church to control the faithful has been seriously diluted. Millions of Catholics practice forbidden forms of birth control and will continue to do so. It is seriously to be doubted whether the church has the right to ban the use of contraceptives irrespective of personal convictions and responsibility.

Anyway, the stance of the Pope right now is intolerable. He himself said: “We know that people are waiting for us to give a decisive pronouncement.…” Surely he owes it to his office and to his people to make such a statement soon.

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