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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Following Jesus - 2

Further to my previous post, Following Jesus, Miss Eagle has some more information in relation to the document. As well as being published in full in the previous post, it is available in *.pdf format on the Canberra Baptist Church site. Miss Eagle received her copy courtesy of Dale Hess. Miss Eagle has spoken to Jim Barr of Canberra Baptist Church, one of the contact people - along with Doug Hynd - regarding the document. Apparently, Following Jesus came out of concern by a number of people regarding ethics and morality in Australian public life. These people met to discuss their concerns at a coffee shop in Barton, the government precinct of Australia's national capital, Canberra. They refrained, Jim said with a dash of humour, from calling the document the Barton Declaration. He didn't know that Miss Eagle had already compared the document to the Barmen Declaration.

Steve Hayes, who many will know from the South African Missiological Society, can be found these days at Notes from Underground. Steve says that Following Jesus reminds him of the Message to the people of South Africa, published in 1968. This document was published by the South African Council of Churches. It was highly controversial at the time it was published but, over time, it had a significant impact on Christians in South Africa because of its declaration that apartheid was a false gospel.

Miss Eagle has not been able to locate the text of the 1968 Message to the people of South Africa on the 'net. She has, therefore, asked Steve if he can locate a link and, if not, could he locate a hard copy which could be worked up and placed on his site for people to access.

Then Miss Eagle had a think. Here were three prophetic documents in which Christians spoke out of the signs of their times in a way that was not in tune with majority opinion in their culture, in their communities; three documents which provided leadership; three documents which proclaimed that Jesus was Lord and that God was owed our allegiance and first obedience above all. Miss Eagle suggested to Steve, and he has passed on the suggestion to others already, that a collection be gathered of documents of recent memory which meet the three criteria of the other documents. How often are Christians apathetic, not zealous in matching the signs around them to the ethics and morality of the Kingdom of God? Such documents provide leadership. They are an example to us of how true Christian leadership can proclaim the active Word of God for living out in our daily lives. They make no apologies for where such Kingdom living leads. After all, where did it lead for Jesus?

Please email Miss Eagle off the sidebar if you want to submit documents.
Links if they are available, please.
For further comment on Following Jesus
please contact:
Rev James Barr, Senior Minister, Canberra Baptist Church Mobile: 0500-546-227
Doug Hynd