WEA Theological Commission: Social Action and Evangelism Must Not Be Separated

The World Evangelical Alliance Theological Commission (WEA-TC), which met in Bangkok, Thailand, 23-25 October 2008, has reaffirmed the importance of holistic mission, despite the tragic murder of Christian worker Gayle Williams.

In particular, the commission renewed its commitment to both evangelism and social transformation across the globe. A communiqué issued at the close of the meeting acknowledged the importance of the calling to both “love their neighbour and witness to Jesus Christ.”

In light of the murder of Williams in Afghanistan recently, the commission acknowledged that some parts of the British media have been calling for the disconnection of evangelism from social action. However, they believe as strongly as ever that if evangelical Christians are to be true to their identity as evangelicals—and true to the good news of Jesus Christ as they understand it—then these two aspects of their ministry and service cannot and must not be separated.

Justin Thacker, chair of the WEA-TC, said, “Many young Christians feel motivated by their Christian faith to serve overseas. While it is important that they express their faith in culturally appropriate ways, it would simply be wrong if they felt they couldn’t express it at all.”

David Roldan, dean of FIET Theological Institute and a member of the WEA-TC, said, “Speaking as an Argentinean, I understand the importance of standing up for the right to speak freely about what one believes. Therefore, I think it is important that evangelical Christians continue to proclaim what they believe whatever country they find themselves in while treating people with respect.”