Christian organizations, including churches, have long worked with doctrinal statements clarifying their theological positions. Some also developed lifestyle statements or covenants for employees.
More recently, Christian organizations, especially churches or denominations, have felt the need to develop position papers or policy statements about specific issues, both to make public how they believe their biblical understanding applies to the issue and also, depending upon the concern, to put their perspectives in print regarding controversial issues to try to protect the Christian organization legally.
Examples of the former might be topics like use of alcoholic beverages during Christian organization activities or policies regarding green environmental stewardship.
Examples of the latter include child protection policies or whether a church will conduct marriages for same-sex couples.
Issues like abortion, LGBTQ, “woke” ideas about race, for example, existed in the past but not many people engaged in these behaviors or not many in the general public advanced them. Consequently, in a sense, these issues did not rise to a level requiring a Christian organization to address them in some formal statement.
This is what has changed. Now it seems a host of controversial “new” issues—several of them involving sexuality or the politics of race—are being embraced not simply by the public but by Christian organization personnel or church or denomination members. The more these issues are promoted, the more the Christian organization feels pressure to speak, to put some kind of position paper or policy statement in print.
A Christian organization’s doctrinal statement is still its most important expression of belief, and a Christian organization need not necessarily publish a statement or assume some “side” on every issue. But the politicization trend in American culture is increasing pressure upon Christian organizations to speak up in order to delineate their beliefs and to attempt to protect themselves.
In "Christian Organization Statements--Doctrinal, Lifestyle, Position--Then and Now," I address two of the most significant new concerns: SOGI, sexual orientation and gender identity, and CRT, critical race theory.
These issues divide--families and friends, churches, Christian organizations, country and culture. It behooves anyone who cares about living out a Christian worldview to become informed and to help the Christian organizations in which they are involved to prepare to speak the truth in love into contemporary culture.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021
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