A New Global Church Council
The Need for Holding a Series of Church Council Meetings
Since early Church History, the global Body of Christ has convened Church Councils with representatives from many nations to determine by the consensus wisdom of Church's leaders (all were Bishops in the first 1000 plus years), which side of the controversial doctrinal positions was Biblical and true, and which side was false and worthy of condemnation by the Church's leadership. The first Church Council was the Council of Nicea in 325AD where the full Deity of Christ was upheld. The Church has had to go through this process throughout her history of official Church Councils periodically clarifying what it considered to be true, Biblical doctrine, or heresy.
Controversies Which Confront Us
In this 21st century, 24 issues have risen to the surface as controversial issues, all of which arose from within Evangelical and Bible-believing sections of the greater Body of Christ worldwide. Over the past four decades, Dr. Jay Grimstead has gathered together various groups of Theologians from a wide range of denominations to discuss each of these 24 issues as they emerged into church life. Those Theological teams have boiled down each issue into its salient points, then have expressed the Biblical position on each key point in clear, concise creedal statements of "Affirmations and Denials" as theological documents to be presented to the Global Body of Christ for consideration.
Global Church Council Events
The three Global Church Council meetings are set to be in Europe in 2017, 2019 and 2021 to occur just prior to the 500 Anniversary of three major Church Historic events:
- 1517: Dr. Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany;
- 1519: Ulrich Zwingli launched the Swiss Reformation with expository preaching in Zurich, Switzerland;
- 1521: Dr. Martin Luther presented his "Here I stand" speech before the emperor at the Diet of Worms in Germany.
By God's grace and leading, we are expecting many nations to participate and send delegates to these events after having discussed all 24 of these Theological Documents in their own National Council on Theology. Each National Council on Theology is to be composed of multi-denominational Christian leaders, pastors, bishops and professors who each officially represent a church, denomination, college, organization or mission agency.
Bible Inerrancy is the Watershed of the Evangelical World
Dr. Francis Schaeffer, in chapter two of his book, The Great Evangelical Disaster, calls the historic doctrine of the inerrancy of the Bible, "the WATERSHED of the Evangelical world". He meant that what any pastor, teacher or church member believes about the inerrancy of the Bible radically determines whether that person continues to take the Words of the Bible as his absolute, God-inspired guide about all doctrine, all morals, and all areas of life, OR, considers the Bible to be part true and part false and thus uses his own (or his teacher's) wisdom to determine which parts are which.
If a person chooses the latter course, he or she has moved from believing in the absoluteness of God's written Word, to a position of "Biblical relativism" and it is usually inevitable that such a person will drift increasingly toward a more liberal, Neo-Orthodox, anti-Biblical view of many historic doctrines and many moral issues. Once a person starts on that slippery, down-hill road, there is no logical, objective stopping point for how far they drift.
This statement about the Bible's inerrancy being the "Watershed of the Evangelical world" has been proven over and over in the Church's history of the past 100 years. Most of the false, anti-Biblical points believed about the other 23 Theological Documents would not even have arisen as theological issues in the first place if all Evangelicals still believed in the inerrancy of the Bible! As
Dr. Schaeffer said in The Great Evangelical Disaster, "Unless the Bible is without error, not only when it speaks of salvation matters, but also when it speaks of history and the cosmos ... the next generation of Christians will have nothing on which to stand." We are thus claiming that, of all the 24 issues being dealt with by this Church Council Project, the Bible's Inerrancy is the most foundational, critical and urgent, because it is the Theological foundation of all the other documents and of all doctrines, morals and ministry.
Why We Believe a Global Church Council Can Succeed at Present
Even though the 21st Century Church is extremely fragmented and is not the united Church it was in 325AD during the Council of Nicea, we are convinced that those Christians in every nation of the world and in every denomination who firmly believe the Bible is inerrant and who have a heart to conform their Theology and their lives to the written Word of God, when such Christians the world over, discuss such major doctrinal and moral issues, we believe that they will find an amazing unity of doctrine among themselves.
One reason we have this optimism for a new level of unity in the Church is that the generic Statement of Faith created in 1984 (Document #3) called "The 42 Articles on the Christian Worldview'' has been enthusiastically accepted and used by leaders for the past 30 years from many different denominations, associations, organizations, schools and mission agencies. It does not contradict any of the major Statements of Faith created by the Church over the past 2000 years. The 42 Articles will be used as our "first draft" for creating a new "Global Generic Statement of Faith" which Theologians from around the world will edit over the next 6 years. Thus, we are entering into this Global Church Council Project with great optimism that not only will most "Bible-inerrancy" Christian delegates from many nations be able to AFFIRM most of these 24 documents, but also that together, they will be able to come to AGREEMENT on creating a new "Global Generic Statement of Faith" which focuses on the basic, cardinal doctrines of Christianity.
That Statement of Faith will purposefully leave unstated those secondary matters which divide denominations where "allowable differences of interpretation" should be encouraged by all denominations for doctrines like: Eschatology, Ecclesiology, the Sacraments, Calvinism-Arminianism, and the Charismatic Gifts.
Plans and Procedures for the Global Church Council Meetings
The Preliminary Theological Consultation in mid-October of 2017 is scheduled just prior to the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the Castle Church Door in Wittenberg, Germany. That Consultation may add other issues besides the 24 Documents to the agenda.
The first official Global Church Council meeting in 2019 will be in Zurich, Switzerland just prior to the 500th Anniversary Celebration of the Swiss Reformation under Zwingli. The second Global Church Council meeting in 2021 will be held in Worms, Germany just prior to the 500th Anniversary Celebration of Martin Luther standing before the emperor and the pope's delegates making his famous, "Here I Stand" speech.
These Global Church Council meetings will discuss all 24 Theological documents, and any other issues which may be added, and hopefully a majority, by consensus wisdom, will be able to affirm all or most of those 24 Theological Documents based upon their interaction at the Global Church Councils, and upon discussions they already held within the National Councils on Theology from their various participating nations from the 5 continents.
Those National Councils on Theology and the Global Church Councils will also be discussing the proposed new "Global Generic Statement of Faith" we will hope to have finished by the end of 2021. We believe all Christians worldwide who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and who wish to live in obedience to Christ and the Bible will be able to enthusiastically sign that new Statement. If that can happen, it will be a major advance in helping the Body of Christ worldwide move towards much greater local unity. We believe that creating a basic "Theological Unity" needs to precede any serious "Relational Unity" and any effective "Working Together Unity" at the local level in any nation.
In the years following 2021, we are urging National Councils on Theology in every nation to help their people APPLY these 24 Documents to their churches and society, and to be a moving force for Reformation and Revival within their own nations.
All members of any newly forming ''National Council on Theology" in any of the many targeted nations who will be participating nationally in this Global Church Council Project, must sign an Application Form found at our website at www.ChurchCouncil.org. That Application Form requires that all members whole-heartedly sign off on the ICBI Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and the 42 Articles" of Historic Christianity and be eager to live in obedience to the Bible in all areas of life. They must also be willing to be held accountable for obedience to the Bible by any other member of their National Council on Theology or other delegates to the Global Church Council meetings if they are delegates.
We are asking that each National Council on Theology from any nation attempt to recruit members from a broad range of denominations. Also, every member of a National Council on Theology must be able to officially represent either a denomination, association, mission agency, Christian organization, College or seminary so such Christian entities are represented. Membership is not open to individuals who just enjoy discussing Theology but represent no church or organization. We suggest that the membership of a National Council on Theology be generally in the range of 12 to 24 but it may vary.
All 24 of the Church Council Documents to be discussed are also downloadable from that same website www.ChurchCouncil.org. For a more thorough overview of this entire Church Council Project, and to view all the 24 Theological Documents together with introductions explaining each document, one may purchase the new Coalition on Revival (COR) book with the title Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible.
That book may be ordered from www.NordskogPublishing.com or from www.Amazon.com. In Southern Africa, it is available from www.Christianlibertybooks.co.za. Also, the 17 "Worldview Documents" are available and printable from our other website at www.Reformation.net and www.Reform500.org. Those documents offer "blueprints" for how the Bible can be applied to every area of life to rebuild civilization upon the principles of the Bible in the fields of: Law, Government, Economics and Business, Education, Science, Media and The Arts, Family, Church etc.
A Closing Word to our Readers
We heartily invite all serious Christians worldwide to help us locate the Bible-inerrancy Christian leaders in any nation whom you believe should be asked to participate in this Global Church Council Project, from any denomination, church, parachurch organization, college, seminary or mission agency so we may extend to them a personal invitation.
Also, tax deductible donations to support this vision and plan may be made payable to COR and mailed to: P.O. Box 1139, Murphys, CA 95247, USA or paid electronically by going to www.Reformation.net and clicking on "Support this Ministry by Donation". Questions and comments may be sent to, Dr.Jay Grimstead, Coordinator of the Global Church Council Project at, P.O. Box 1139, Murphys, CA 95247, USA.
LIST OF ALL 24 THEOLOGICAL DOCUMENTS TO BE DISCUSSED
- Biblical Inerrancy
- Biblical Hermeneutics
- The 42 Articles on the Christian Worldview
- The 25 Articles on the Kingdom of God
- The Omniscience of God
- The Pelagian Controversy
- The Judicial & Substitutionary nature of Salvation
- The Trinity
- The Eternal Fate of Unbelievers
- The Lordship of Christ
- Unity of the Body of Christ
- Church Discipline
- Culture, Contextualization and Missions
- Christian's Civic Duties
- Biblical Economic Systems
- Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage
- Biblical Distinctions between Males and Females
- A Biblical Approach to Counselling
- Israel and the Church
- The Education of Christian Children
- The Sanctity of Life
- God's Law for All Societies
- The Biblical Perspective on Environmental Stewardship
Countries Invited to Form Their Own National Council on Theology to Send Delegates to the Global Church Council Meetings
NORTH AMERICA AND MEXICO
Canada, United States and Mexico
Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama
Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Greece
EASTERN EUROPE & RUSSIA
Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia
Turkey, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan
China, Taiwan, Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, India, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Nigeria, Algeria, Libya, Egypt
"I am happy to endorse the International Church Council under the leadership of Dr. Jay Grimstead, for the efforts that they have made for many years for the defense of the infallibility of the Scriptures and the returning of the Church to its historic orthodoxy. In the midst of the massive theological confusion and relativism of our time, I think the International Church Council is a much-needed organization for our day." - Dr. D. James Kennedy, Ph.D, President, Coral Ridge Ministries
"Conceived in ancient times of formative Church Councils, nurtured by the Protestant Reformation, challenged by theological drift in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the multifaceted vision of Dr. Jay Grimstead to return the modern church to its Biblical roots has been birthed in our time. For many of us who shared in his labour pangs, the vision at times seemed too grand to be realized and its vessels too weak to carry it forward. Yet in the late decades of the twentieth century and early years of the twenty-first, the vision took real shape as the Holy Spirit guided an impossibly diverse group of churchmen to network and cooperate in shaping movements and creedal statements declaring Biblical truth in the face of resurrected old and innovative new heresies." - Garry J. Moes, Development Director, Greenville Seminary
Help Needed in Finding Christian leaders to Represent Their Nation at Global Church Council
I NEED YOUR HELP finding Christian leaders in many nations. By now we hope you are aware of our plans to host three Global Church Council meetings in Europe where COR's 24 Theological Documents will be discussed and hopefully affirmed by multi-denominational delegates from 80 plus nations. We encourage you to see or print out our brochure at, www.brochure.churchcouncil.org which explains this Church Council plan. On the back of this newsletter is page 6 of that brochure listing over 80 nations we are expecting to send delegates.
Those Church Council meetings will coincide with the 500th anniversary, global celebrations of three major events of the Church's history:
- In October of 2017, 500 years after Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg castle church door;
- In January of2019, 500 years after Zwingli launched the Swiss reformation in Zurich, Switzerland;
- In April of 2021, 500 years after Luther's "Here I Stand" speech in Worms, Germany.
During those Global Church Council meetings, the delegates will also be editing and creating what we propose to be a new "Global Generic Statement of Faith". They will use as their first draft, COR's "42 Articles on the Christian Worldview'' which has been accepted by many denominations already. All 24 Theological Documents plus the 42 Articles are downloadable at our theological website at, www.ChurchCouncil.org. They are also all in our book, "Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible" which is available at www.nordskogpublishing.com and www.amazon.com.
We are now looking for godly, Christian businessmen, pastors or professors etc. from all the targeted, 80 plus nations who are to officially represent their churches, denominations, schools, mission agencies etc. We are asking them to form their own "National Council on Theology" to send delegates to these three Global Church Council meetings.
In prayer, please ask our Lord for all the godly men that He has appointed to join us in those many nations and for the needed funds to make these Global Church Council meetings possible.
Dr Jay Grimstead, September 2016
"Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?" Psalm 85:6
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