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Saturday
Apr262008

NIRSA final declaration.

The NIRSA (National Initiative for the Reformation of South Africa) met in Boksburg last week (22-23 April 2008). It was quite a remarkable gathering. There were participants from many spheres of South African life (politicians, business people, educators, and clergy from a wide range of denominations and independent ministries).

The purpose of the event was to pray together, to listen for God's guidance, and to seek workable strategies to address the most pressing issues that we are facing as a nation.

Here is the Final Draft (NIRSA.doc) of the declaration (in MS Word format). I would be interested to hear your comments and thoughts. I doubt that we will all agree on all of the points, but I am pleased that Christians are working together to hold our government accountable.

While I was there Bp Brian Jennings and I also put together a statement on Zimbabwe on behalf of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (Bishop Jennings is currently the Presiding Bishop while Bishop Abrahams is on long leave). I would be interested to see if the statement makes it into the press - it has to go through a bureaucratic process before it can be released....

Well, here's the introduction from the NIRSA statement, there are a number of resolutions that follow the preamble.


We, the 450 participants in the National Initiative for the Reformation of South Africa, meeting on April 22-23, 2008 at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, representing different areas of leadership in all domains of South African national life, hereby declare afresh our commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord, Saviour and Coming King. We reaffirm our confidence in the Bible as the inspired Word of God and as our supreme authority in all matters of life and faith. (cf. 2 Timothy 3: 16 -17).

We have come together with great urgency at a mere few weeks' notice, and sometimes a few days, out of deep concern for the grave state of South African society to seek God’s way forward for us as both church and nation. We acknowledged and felt constrained as we met in the spirit of Jehoshaphat to pray: "We are powerless…we don’t know what to do…but our eyes are upon Thee." (2 Chronicles 20:12). We sought to submit ourselves to Almighty God and to the rule of God’s ways and Kingdom.

We have celebrated the power and sovereignty of our God in both creation and history. We have sought to see His face afresh and to turn our eyes upon Jesus. We have come afresh to the foot of the Cross and this has humbled us and brought us to a new place of repentance for our sins, whether personal, church or national. It has also led us to see in new ways that our sins, failures and disunities as Christians have diminished our authority to speak prophetically with one voice to either the nation or the government. We have sought to repent of this. We seek in the light of God’s mercy and forgiveness to move forward positively both as a NIRSA fellowship, a network of committed believers, and as an informal Christian coalition committed to reformation of South Africa. We thank God for a rebirth of hope, faith and confidence and renewed vision of what our nation can be under God.

Acknowledging the foundations laid by past and present Christian initiatives, building on those foundations and committed to strengthening existing initiatives without compromise for God’s standards and Word, we issue a prophetic and urgent call to Church, Government and society at large,
• to apply themselves with all diligence to the reformation and renewal of South African society
• to commit themselves to finding effective solutions to community and national problems
• to apply themselves with intentionality to more effective nation building.

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