Liberty, Root and Branch

As a matter of individual conscience and of the common good, we affirm the following:

  • We affirm that liberty is at the core of knowledge and worship of God, and at the root of what makes us moral persons fit for society.
  • We affirm the fundamental right to choose what religion to follow and to worship God freely and publicly.
  • We affirm liberty of person and of property as the foundation of our membership in Church, state, and society.
  • We reject the use of coercion and repression in matters of religion, political affiliation, and personal choice.
  • We affirm equality of citizens as men and women under the law.
  • We affirm the rights of parents in raising their children and guiding them.
  • We affirm love of God and of neighbor as the well-spring of civic virtue and the safety net alike of orphan, widow, outcast, and stranger, as well as being the basis of service in Church, state, and society.
  • Whether as minorities or as majorities, we abjure the use of the magistrate against one another in matters of conscience (1 Cor. 6:1–6). Rather, we are united in opposing such misuse of power for partisan gain.
  • As citizens and believers, we acknowledge that religion as the duty we owe to our Creator as well as the manner of discharging that duty demands the repudiation of force or violence, and the recognition that all citizens are entitled to the free exercise of religion guided by the dictates of conscience (John 4:24). Government may not impose or forbid, favor or impede, the establishment of religion.
  • We affirm that our oneness in God is blessed and enriched by our diversity; that we are fellow human beings, even if not of one tribe, ethnicity, race, nationality, creed, or fellowship; and that we are bound to one another in our joys and afflictions, even though our situations and circumstances may be vastly different (Acts 17:24–28).
  • We uphold freedom of religion not as an excuse to divide, split, and exploit, but as reason to summon the conscience in the name of the mutual duty of believer and citizen alike to exercise forbearance, charity, and regard for one another (1 Cor. 3:10; 7:21–24; 1 Pet. 3:8– 9). In that way the spirit of benevolence can be stirred to move and elevate society in the work of civic righteousness. We are accountable to our Creator and to our fellow human beings for nothing less than that (Phil. 1:9–11).