Back to results
The Reconciling of Conflicts Between and Within Nations - The Church's Work of Reconciliation
The Conference is convinced that the Church's work of reconciliation must be powerfully expressed within the parish or local congregation. Consequently here it would lay emphasis upon the following points:
- There is a need for Christians to understand more deeply the meaning of God's providence in history and the ground of Christian hope, as distinct from a belief in automatic social progress. This needs to be emphasised in preaching and teaching.
- There is need for persistent intercessory prayer, not only in general terms but specifically and by name for those in positions of great responsibility. Such prayers should be offered for those in nations which oppose us as well as those friendly to us.
- There is need to emphasise the disasterous effect on the common life of those who come to the Lord's Table unreconciled to their neighbours and with bitterness towards them in their hearts. We would recall that the Invitation to the Holy Communion is addressed to those who are "in love and charity with their neighbours."
- Where there are divisions in the local community, the Christian congregation in that place should face them fearlessly and, by the action of its members, should serve as an agent of reconciliation.
- While there are many elements in the reconciling of conflicts, none are more important than the character and conduct of individual people. Success or failure in any particular instance may in the end depend on the individual: not only on his knowledge, his judgement, and his zeal, but also on the spirit of Christ mirrored in a life which bears the marks of the cross and the fruits of the Spirit.