OUR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Our theology of mission places a very heavy emphasis on social responsibility. It brings together the necessity of evangelism, which is the verbal proclamation of the good news and the necessity of Christian action in the world, demonstrating the good news through love, care, compassion, and social justice. It remains our conviction that this idea is firmly rooted in Scripture, strikingly brought out in both Old and New Testament Scripture.
The Scriptures persistently advocate that good news should be evidenced by good works (James 2:14-26). The Lausanne Covenant (written at the First International Congress on World Evangelization in Switzerland) unequivocally affirms “that evangelism and social concern are not mutually exclusive” (paragraph 5). The more the church of the twenty-first century adjusts her theological lens, it’s the more she comprehends that the Biblical gospel has social implications. We are poignantly reminded that true mission should always be incarnational. It calls for sitting where others sit. It demands sharing and caring on a deeper, more intense level.
Further reflection into the life of Christ reveals that he was a crusader for social justice and meeting physical needs (Luke 4:18). The good news of the kingdom that He so relentlessly shared was certainly more than just the good news of the personal forgiveness of sins. It transcended the spiritual, encompassing the social and the physical. All of the gospels powerfully attest to this fact. By His word and actions He stridently denounces the evil of racism, sexism, classism, bigotry, ethnocentrism and sin and corruption in every form and manifestation, personal, social, cultural or systemic.
As a New Testament, Bible church, the Church of God of Prophecy here in the Northeast Region and Bermuda, must seek to establish real presence in our communities – learning their ways, lifeways, values, beliefs, language and communication patterns. It is important to know their history and most of all its people in relationship, in order to bear effective witness to the gospel. There is a real need for us to become inculturated and to form real relationships with the people we were sent to reach and evangelize.
We cannot remain aloof and alienated from the very ones we were mandated by the Divine One to reach and win. Let it never elude us, that we must stand in solidarity with the people, with regard to their hopes and pain. We are called to suffer, rejoice and fall in love with the culture we are seeking to transform. We are commissioned to meet them at the point of need and as our Master we are divinely compelled to communicate the precious gospel of Jesus to them. May we always speak relevantly to issues that are important to the culture and may we as a church participate with humility, respect and love with an effort to redeem and restore. This we are committed to do in Jesus’ Name.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Bishop – Northeast Region
October 3, 2020
In collaboration with our District Overseers, the Church of God of Prophecy submits to the wisdom of continuing to ‘Shelter in Place’ for the safety and protection of the flock. This is to be observed until further notice and the present virus is better contained. Should the need arise to meet, we are advised to meet in groups of no more than 10, while we strictly observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks and aggressive sanitizing of our hands and surfaces frequently touched.
Please let us patiently observe these practices to keep each other safe and alive. We are reminded that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Stay home! Stay Healthy! Stay Hopeful! We shall soon get through this! Premature re-openings of our churches seem not to be the wisest way to go at this point. Let us continue to pray, caring for each other and staying connected.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Presiding Bishop — Northeast Region