Council for World Fission

I continue to receive emails from and about the Council for World Mission, which was originally a Presbyterian and Congregational organisation that commissioned missionaries. I invariably scratch my head when I attempt to read them. Here is its ‘mission statement’:

Our Mission

“Called in Christ to radical and prophetic discipleship, working in partnership with churches and the ecumenical community to resist life-denying systems, affirm peace, do justice and enable life-flourishing communities.”

In our theology statement we declare that “We seek, as an organisation and as a partnership of churches, a life rooted in obedience to God’s mission focused on:

Rising with the risen Jesus whose resurrection is insurrection and proclamation that Babylon is as fallen as the tomb is empty; and

Responding in radical discipleship where we live out the New Heaven and New Earth in the midst of a violent, abused and grieving world as signs of transforming love.”

In this mission statement, the emphasis is on naming this “violent, abused and grieving world” that ought to be replaced with life-flourishing communities, based on justice and peace. The means to that end is a clear sense of call to partnership with churches and the ecumenical community in which radical and prophetic discipleship is expressed in transformative and loving action to resist, affirm, support and enable life-flourishing alternatives.

Apart from a few token references to Jesus and God, this could come straight from a radical, left-leaning political group's manifesto. Indeed, that is what the Council has become. There is no reference to Christ’s atoning for sin. Perhaps the 'Vision' is more orthodox than the 'Mission':

Our Vision

“Life-flourishing Communities, living out God’s promise of a New Heaven and a New Earth.”

This vision articulates CWM’s conviction that the life-giving alternative that characterised the mission of Jesus is the basis of our hope.  In naming life-flourishing communities as our vision, CWM sees the unfolding of a restored and renewed creation, an experience of a different world in our lifetime, where human dignity is protected, poverty eradicated, climate catastrophe abated, ideologies of supremacy demolished and peace reigns. The vision statement captures the essence of subversive imagination of a different world, where the Earth and all that is in it serve and sustain all of God’s creation; and where the people of God envision this new life for now.

Assuming you can understand it, there is an absence here of personal salvation, the need to be born-again, the need for persons, not just nations and corporations, to repent. Would the old London Missionary Society, the Commonwealth Missionary Society and the Presbyterian Board of Missions recognise this twisted expression of their aims? I think not. Although this stuff sounds radical and daring, it’s really just a regurgitation of Marxism. Marx is fine if you’re a political group seeking power or just understanding capitalist oppression; he’s not so fine when proclaiming the everlasting gospel of sins’ remission through Christ’s shed blood.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay