Temporal and Spiritual

Two worlds are ours, the temporal and the spiritual (Rom. 12:1–2), with a common foundation in the moral obligation of the pursuit of love of God and of neighbor. Temporal authority vested in government is entitled to our support and prayers as believers. While on our earthly pilgrimage to the City of God in the life beyond this one (Heb. 13:14), our obedience to God requires us in service to others to promote works of civic righteousness. Perfection in the heavenly realm requires apprenticeship in the earthly realm for formation, mutual forbearance, and mutual cherishing (2 Tim. 2:22; Eph. 4:3). Believers are required to be productive and loyal citizens as a matter of principle, not just for personal political gain, and that example of moral citizenship constitutes an asset for good governance (Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13–14).

Yet we must not forget that the limitations of our finite nature, as well as of natural endowment, offer instructive lessons for the perils of limitless power and of the sin of self-worship (Isa. 13:11; Matt. 20:25–28; Col. 3:12; 1 Pet. 5:5–6; James 4:6). Nations serve God’s purpose in advancing the welfare of the human family, but they can also hinder that purpose when they trample on religious freedom.

To recapitulate:

  • We acknowledge the means God provides for our flourishing, including our parents who brought us to life and nurtured and protected us.
  • We affirm our brothers and sisters with whom we learned the art of sharing in community, and the love of family that gives solidity to our personality.
  • We affirm the idioms of home, school, and neighborhood that fill our minds with all that belongs early with our knowing and our cherishing.
  • We acknowledge the role of the social events of birth, rites of passage and incorporation, marriage, and end of life rituals and anniversaries, as well as the relationships and friendships that sustain us as individuals and as communities.
  • We embrace the liberty inscribed in our social and moral nature as constituting the basis of civic righteousness and responsible government.
  • We acknowledge the common foundation of freedom in our roles as believers and citizens.
  • We affirm our place in the purpose of God for all creation, and our solidarity with our fellow human beings.
  • We uphold government under law for the purposes of our common security and protection.
  • We embrace the family and the civic virtues of home and society as a foundation of enterprise, community, and the common good.
  • We affirm our dual citizenship under God, and the temporal and spiritual privileges and duties that belong with our roots in time and eternity.

We declare and proclaim religious freedom as the charter of citizenship and solidarity in a rapidly changing world of overlapping rights and responsibilities.

Most Rev. Dr. Robert Aboagye-Mensah, Immediate Past Presiding Bishop, Methodist Church Ghana; Vice-President of All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) for West Africa Accra, Ghana

Rev. Dr. J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu Dean of Graduate Studies Trinity Theological Seminary Legon, Ghana

Rev. Dr. John Azumah Director, Centre for Islamic Studies London School of Theology London, UK

Dr. Jonathan J. Bonk Executive Director, Overseas Ministries Study Center New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Rev. Dr. M. Douglas Carew, Vice Chancellor, Africa International University (Formerly Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology) Nairobi, Kenya

Professor Joel A. Carpenter Director, Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, Calvin College Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Dr. Kouassi K. Célestin Academic Director, FATEAC Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Rev. Dr. Isaiah Majok Dau Principal, Nairobi Pentecostal Bible College Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Michael Glerup Executive Director, Center for Early African Christianity, Eastern University St. Davids, Pennsylvania, USA

Dr. Desta Helisio Director, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Rev. Dr. David Nii Anum Kpobi Senior Lecturer, Trinity Theological Seminary Legon, Ghana Rev.

Dr. Matthew Kukah, Vicar General, Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna Kaduna, Nigeria

Rev. Dr. Willy Michel Libambu Catholic Faculties of Kinshasa Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Mr. Philip L. Lundman President, Lundman Family Foundation, Inc. Fredonia, Wisconsin, USA

Dr. Mercy Amba Oduyoye Director, Institute of Women in Religion and Culture Trinity Theological Seminary Legon, Ghana

Most Rev. Dr. John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan Roman Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Abuja, Nigeria

Rev. Dr. Benhardt Yemo Quarshie Rector, Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission, and Culture Akropong, Ghana

Professor Lamin Sanneh D. Willis James Professor of Mission and World Christianity, Yale Divinity School Professor of History, Yale College New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Dr. Tite Tiénou, Dean and Senior V.P. of Education Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Deerfield, Illinois, USA

Professor Andrew F. Walls Professor Emeritus of the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World University of Aberdeen and University of Edinburgh, Scotland