Title: Taiwan Presbyterians Propose Gender Partnership Declaration
Taiwan Church News 2860 18-24 December 2006
Reported by Chen Huei-su Written by David Alexander
The Committee on the Gender Equality Decade of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan met on 15th December in Tainan to discuss, among other matters, a Gender Equality Declaration. Wording was agreed and the proposed declaration sent to the General Assembly for placement on the agenda of the April, 2007 meeting. As passed by the committee, the declaration reads:
A Declaration of Faith Concerning Partnership Between Men and Women
We believe that God is the creator of all living things,having made men and women according to the divine image, granting human beings dignity, power and the duty of stewards. Through the application of justice, peace and creativity, men and women are to exercise mutual care and stewardship over this beautiful and fragile world.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord of life who has overcome sin, death and injustice. Following his resurrection he first appeared to women and told them to share the good news of his rising with the apostles and others. We believe that the risen Christ has authority, that he has thrown down the barriers and of class, race, gender, and culture imposed by human ignorance and bias. In Jesus Christ, we find both salvation and unity.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is like a womb in which all things have grown. The Spirit moves in the world through history to create life, renew all things, promote truth and encourage freedom and unity, giving spiritual gifts to all, actualizing the ideals of life, of community, of church and of service to the world.
We believe that the Bible is the word of God, the record of the Lord’s love for humanity and the world, the testimony of God’s will. The Bible clearly indicates human evil and divine salvation, as well as the power of grace to heal, accept, transform, and lead human beings in the ways of God. But the writers of the scriptures were steeped in patriarchal cultural forms, and the translators and commentators who followed them have been likewise handicapped. We must learn to discern within the Bible the word and will of God which has been bound by cultural shackles, and we must use unshackled interpretative principles ourselves.
We believe that the church is the fellowship of the people of God, here in this world as testimony to the grace and love of God. The church must be a fellowship of gender equality and mutual faith, where men and women join hands as apostles of reconciliation, striking down barriers and biases, routing oppressions to the end that the love, justice and peace of God is made manifest. After settling on this wording, the committee renamed the document "A Declaration of Partnership between Men and Women".
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