Christian Life 

Launch of Declaration of Christian Conscience

On Easter Sunday 2010 thirty senior national Christian Leaders including the former Archbishop of Canterbury launched a ‘Conscience Manifesto’ ahead of General Election. Westminster 2010 has been issued as a 'call to arms for the Country’s Christians'.
 

Westminster Declaration1Westminster 2010 is a rallying call to UK Christian voters and urges Christians of all denominations to vote with their conscience, guided by their faith.

With four million regular church attenders in Britain, on average 6,000 per parliamentary constituency, the move has real potential to have a significant impact on who is elected, especially in marginal seats.

The document sets out a broad range of policies that unite churches in the UK, including support for marriage, freedom for those of faith to live their lives according to their beliefs and opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia.

It also calls for Christians to support, protect, and be advocates for children born and unborn, and all those who are sick, disabled, addicted, elderly, poor, exploited, trafficked or exploited by unjust trade, aid or debt policies.

The timing of the launch of Westminster 2010 ahead of the call of the General election is designed to send a clear message to all parliamentary candidates that Christians will be supporting those who will both promote policies that protect vulnerable people and also respect the right of Christians to hold, express and live according to Christian beliefs.

The call comes in the wake of an increase in reports of Christians facing discrimination in all walks of life, including the widely reported cases of discrimination against Christian workers, Shirley Chaplin, Lillian Ladele and Caroline Petrie.

Earlier this year Christian leaders united to challenge the Equalities Bill, which would have made it illegal to insist that their employees including the clergy believed in God and the teachings of the Bible.

Westminster 2010 marks a significant escalation in the battle by church leaders to protect Britain’s Christian heritage, which they feel is under threat.

The Christian leaders plan to target Members of Parliament and candidates who are seeking election to pledge that they will ‘respect, uphold and protect the right of Christians to hold and express Christian beliefs and act according to Christian conscience’.

The signatories of Westminster 2010 include the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, former Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali and Cardinal O’Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

They are joined by other leaders of major Christian denominations and church networks, Christian charities and principals of three leading UK Bible Colleges.
Dr. Peter Saunders: Christian Medical Fellowship
 
The signatories invite all Christians holding historic Christian beliefs to join them in signing the declaration.

The signatories affirm their adherence to historic Christian beliefs celebrated at Easter such as the divinity of Christ and his death and resurrection and then their commitment to protecting life, marriage and conscience.

The declaration begins, ‘Protecting human life, protecting marriage, and protecting freedom of conscience are foundational for creating and maintaining strong families, caring communities and a just society. Our Christian faith compels us to speak and act in defence of all these.’

The leaders then affirm their commitment as UK citizens ‘both to exercise social responsibility in working for the common good and also to be subject to all governing authorities and obey them except when they require us to act unjustly’.

They affirm their belief that ‘all human life has intrinsic and equal dignity and worth and that it is the duty of the state to protect the vulnerable’ and make a commitment to ‘support, protect, and be advocates for… children born and unborn, and all those who are sick, disabled, addicted, elderly, in single parent families, poor, exploited, trafficked, appropriately seeking asylum, threatened by environmental change, or exploited by unjust trade, aid or debt policies’.

The leaders specifically pledge ‘to work to protect the life of every human being from conception to its natural end’ and signal their intention to ‘refuse to comply with any directive that compels us to participate in abortion, destructive embryo research, assisted suicide and euthanasia’.

They pledge to support marriage – ‘the lifelong covenantal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife’ - as ‘the only context for sexual intercourse’ and ‘the most important unit for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all’. Edicts forcing Christians ‘to equate any other form of sexual partnership with marriage’ are rejected.

Whilst the leaders ‘count it a special privilege to live in a country where all citizens have the right to participate in the political process’ and ‘pledge to do what (they) can to ensure our laws are just and fair, particularly in protecting vulnerable people’ they also commit themselves to ‘seek to ensure that religious liberty and freedom of conscience are unequivocally protected against interference by the state and other threats, not only to individuals but also to institutions including families, charities, schools and religious communities’

Westminster 2010 was launched on Sunday, 4 April, 2010. The initiative has a website which carries a searchable database of parliamentary candidates.

Opportunity to sign


There is an online opportunity to add to the list of signatories
and also a copy of the paper edition of the petition can be downloaded from the site.

Westminster Declaration

The signatories include:

Lord Carey - Former Archbishop of Canterbury
Cardinal O'Brien - Catholic Church in Scotland
Michael Nazlir-Ali - Former Bishop of Rochester
Steve Clifford - General Director, Evangelical Alliance
Lyndon Bowring - Executive Director, CARE
Paul Ashton - CEO, Prospects for People with Learning Disabilities
Steve Brady - Principal, Moorlands College
Julie Anderson - Founder, Prayer for the Nation
Anita Cleverly - UK/European Director of ASK Prayer Network
Gerald Coates - Founder of Pioneer, Speaker, Author, Broadcaster
Chris Cole - Founder of Cross Rhythms
Baroness Cox - House of Lords
Philip Giddings - Chairman, Mission and Public Affairs Council, Church of England
John Glass - General Superintendent, Elim Churches
Martin Goldsmith - Associate Lecturer, All Nations Christian College, Author
Lynn Green - International Chairman, Youth With A Mission
Archbishop Hackman - Transatlantic and Pacific Association of Churches (TAPAC)
Clifford and Monica Hill - Projects Director and Executive Director, Contemporary Christianity
Tony Horswood - Director, Connections
Kate and Paul Jinadu - Overseers, New Covenant Church Network
Matilda McAtthram - Black Mental Health UK
Peter Maiden - International Director, Operation Mobilisation
Judy Littler Manners - Fountain House Ministries
Yaqub Masih - Chairman, Pakistan Christian Concern
David Montgomery - District Superintendent of England and Wales, Church of the Nazarene
Jonathan Oloyede - Convener, Global Day of Prayer London
Hugh Palmer - Rector, All Souls Church
Peter Saunders - CEO, Christian Medical Fellowship
David Shosanya - London Baptist Association
Olave Snelling - CEO, Christian Broadcasting Council
Simon Steer - Principal, London School of Theology
Chris Sugden - Executive Secretary, Anglican Mainstream
Mike Wall - Executive Director, All Nations Christian College
Andrea Williams - Director, CCFON
Dennis Wrigley - Leader, Maranatha Community


Christians Together, 07/04/2010

Feedback:
Editor 16/04/2010 17:00
Dr. Peter Saunders speaks about the Westminster Declaration. See main article.
David Skinner (Guest) 18/04/2010 22:48
Below are the three strands to the Westminster Declaration. Contrasted with these, I have taken the liberty of spelling out what I believe to be the alternative proposals of a secular, government, informed by Marxist, Darwinian principles - such as our own. Clearly war has been declared on the Church and yet it remains either asleep or paralysed. Awake O sleeper.

1 WESTMINSTER DECLARATION : HUMAN LIFE
"We believe that being made in the image of God, all human life has intrinsic and equal dignity and worth and that it is the duty of the state to protect the vulnerable. We will support, protect, and be advocates for such people – including children born and unborn, and all those who are sick, disabled, addicted, elderly, in single parent families, poor, exploited, trafficked, appropriately seeking asylum, threatened by environmental change, or exploited by unjust trade, aid or debt policies. We pledge to work to protect the life of every human being from conception to its natural end and we refuse to comply with any directive that compels us to participate in or facilitate abortion, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide, euthanasia, or any other act that involves intentionally taking innocent human life. We will support those who take the same stand."

ALTERNATIVE PROPOSALS OF GOVERNMENT

Do you want your child to be taught that there is no difference between being human and non human, that babies are merely “products of conception” and aborted babies are unwanted tissue?

Do you want your child to be forced to identify itself from a menu of genders and sexualities, where being male, female and heterosexual are just one of many sexualities and where the words mother, father, brother, sister, uncles, aunts and grandparent are eradicated since these are deemed to be medieval, stereotypes, no longer serving any purpose?

Do you want your grand child to have on its birth certificate the possibility of many people, being named as parents, e.g. half a dozen mothers and no father, or half a dozen fathers and no mother?

Do you want your child to be taught that men can give birth to babies and that one can change one’s gender ? Do you want your son or daughter to be forced to shower with transsexuals, transgender and out and proud gays? Do you want the government to lower the age of sexual consent to thirteen and possibly scrap it altogether, since the government now recognises that five year olds are also sexual beings?

Do you want your child to be taught that it is their absolute right to decide what is right and wrong and that from the age of five, to be taught that the only moral prerequisites for sex are that it is enjoyable, consensual and safe? Do you want your child to experiment with a range of sexual relationships and behaviours which are too shocking and graphic to describe here - and to be encouraged to visit sex health and abortion clinics, without parental knowledge ?

Do you want it to be a criminal offence, under the anti- discrimination laws, to teach your child that certain sexual practices and life styles, such as homosexuality, lead to a disproportionately high rate of AIDs, HIV and blood contamination; a disproportionately high rate of mental and emotional illness; and a disproportionately high rate of violence and suicides?


2. WESTMINSTER DECLARATION : MARRIAGE
"We pledge to support marriage – the lifelong covenantal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife. We believe it is divinely ordained, the only context for sexual intercourse, and the most important unit for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all. We call on government to honour, promote and protect marriage and we refuse to submit to any edict forcing us to equate any other form of sexual partnership with marriage. We commit ourselves to continue affirming what we believe as Christians about sexual morality, marriage, and the family."


ALTERNATIVE PROPOSALS OF GOVERNMENT

Do you want your child to be taught that historical figures such as Jesus Christ, Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth 1st and Florence Nightingale were all practising gays? Do you want your child to be taught a politically correct and multi- cultural version of history that expunges the central role that Christianity took in bringing our nation out of barbarism.


Do you want
it be questioned whether marriage, as universally understood, continues to serve any useful purpose in a modern, progressive, complex, 21st century society? Do you want political pressure groups, already emerging throughout western countries, to be able to argue, using human rights legislation, to push for legal recognition of paedophilia, pederasty, zoophilia, bestiality, incest, polygamy and polyamory - even to being equivalent or even superior to marriage as universally understood to be between a man and woman?
Can this really happen in Britain? It already is

3. WESTMINSTER DECLARATION : CONSCIENCE
"We count it a special privilege to live in a democratic society where all citizens have the right to participate in the political process. We pledge to do what we can to ensure our laws are just and fair, particularly in protecting vulnerable people. We will seek to ensure that religious liberty and freedom of conscience are unequivocally protected against interference by the state and other threats, not only to individuals but also to institutions including families, charities, schools and religious communities. We will not be intimidated by any cultural or political power into silence or acquiescence and we will reject measures that seek to over-rule our Christian consciences or to restrict our freedoms to express Christian beliefs, or to worship and obey God."

ALTERNATIVE PROPOSALS OF GOVERNMENT

Do you want you and your children to be forced to attend Equality and Diversity training courses, where the state will dictate what we believe, think, feel and say; and that to dissent will be deemed as being guilty of a hate crime, punishable by public humiliation, loss of occupation, crippling fines and up to seven years in prison? [as would happen under a newly-elected Labour government which would remove Lord Waddington’s amendment.]

Do you want tens, hundreds and then thousands of caring organisations such as old people’s homes, homeless shelters, drug rehabilitation centres, adoption agencies, youth clubs and mums and toddlers groups- most of which rely on voluntary help - to be forced to shut down simply because they refuse to sign up to the rainbow, diversity regulations?

Do you want your children or grandchildren to be forcibly removed from the family home and placed into the care of others so that they will be brought up to conform to the diverse, progressive, and complex sexual life styles of 21st century Britian ?


Can this really happen in Britain? It already is
Christianity rests on the sanctity of human life, and its corollary, the worth of the individual human.
As such it has been the driving force behind Magna Carta, Parliament, freedom of conscience, the separation of Church and State as well as the Christian concept of family and marriage, habeus corpus, and the abolition of slavery.
Do we really want to abandon these achievements, by extinguishing Christianity, and replacing it with demagogic, totalitarian, Political Correctness, or militant Islam?
Remember those who died in the two World Wars. Did they die for nothing?






Penny Lee 30/04/2010 11:54
Interesting resource which may be a tool to help some decide who to vote for:

http://www.westminster2010.org.uk/candidates/
Peter Carr 30/04/2010 12:22
According to the Christian Institute it is ok for Christians to vote for non-Christian parties and candidates;

http://www.christian.org.uk/resources/video/voting-and-the-bible-in-210-seconds/?e290410

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