The Franschhoek Declaration - 30 October 2013




30 October 2013

Reformation FIRE confThe participants and representatives gathered at the Reformation FIRE Conference held in the historic Dutch Reformed Church in Franschhoek, on this 30th day of October in the year of our Lord, 2013, reaffirm our Faith, trust, loyalty and commitment to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Standing Firm in the Faith

Almighty God, our Creator and Eternal Judge, is the Truth. The Holy Scripture which He inspired is infallible and inerrant. Scripture alone is our ultimate authority. Salvation is by the grace of God alone, received by Faith alone, on the basis of the Atonement of Christ alone. Our Lord Jesus Christ alone is the Head of the Church.

Facing the Threats

As a conference we have discussed the serious threats to religious freedom, the attacks on the family, the basic building block of society, the undermining of traditional, Biblical marriage, and undermining of freedom of conscience. There is no doubt that we are involved in a world war of worldviews, a cultural war, a clash of civilisations. In this battle for the mind, battle for the heart and battle for the family, it is vital that Christians stand firm on the rock of God's Word and turn the tide against immorality, injustice, corruption, pornography, perversion, idolatry and abortion. Much of Christian civilisation has been hijacked and many millions of Christians are suffering oppression and violent persecution, especially in Muslim and communist states in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

True Freedom

Freedom must include the liberty to obey God, the freedom to know God's Will and to do it. Freedom is much more than a right, it is a duty and responsibility. We are warned in Scripture to be aware of those who promise freedom, but are themselves slaves of corruption (2 Peter 2:19). We recognise that The Ten Commandments are God's perfect Law of Liberty. Adherence to God's Law protects freedom of worship, freedom of speech, the sanctity of life, the sanctity of the family, private ownership of property, truth, reputation and freedom of conscience.

"The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple." Psalm 19:7

Educational Freedom

book table Reformation FIRE conferenceReligious freedom must include freedom for parents to educate and discipline their children according to the Bible, whether in public schools, independent or church schools, or home schooling (Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:1-7; Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 2:8). Nor may any state lawfully interfere with how parents raise their children, or how churches and independent schools educate their children. Children are not made in the image of the state, but in the image of God and are entrusted to parents to bring up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Religious Freedom

Religious liberty must include the freedom to proclaim the God of the Bible to be the only true and living God and to objectively point out errors in other religions. "Jesus answered: 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" John 14:6

Freedom of Conscience

No state has the right to interfere with freedom of conscience, or religious liberty. No one has the right to re-define an ordinance of the Church and to require churches to accept the re-defining of marriage to include what the Bible condemns as perversion and an abomination.

Protecting Life and Liberty

Those who condemn human trafficking should also condemn pornography which is propaganda for a rape culture. Indeed pornography markets and creates the demand for prostitution and human trafficking. Pornography is the theory, rape is the practise. No civilised country can tolerate the exploitation of women's bodies for profit through pornography and prostitution, nor the taking of an innocent life in the womb through abortion. Life begins at conception. Abortion and euthanasia are murder.

"For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'"Galatians 5:13-14

Rejecting Evil

It is not acceptable to justify evil in the name of freedom. There should be no freedom for blasphemy, perversion, sodomy, cruelty to animals, rape, child abuse, human trafficking, pornography, prostitution, euthanasia, or abortion. We affirm the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1

Foundational Truths

As a conference, we recommend for further study, the Coalition on Revival Reformation FIRE documents, including, The 42 Essential Articles of a Christian Worldview; A Manifesto for the Christian Church; 25 Articles on the Kingdom of God and 95 Theses for Reformation Today.

For Reformation and Revival

We must give our highest priority to loving, worshiping, serving, obeying and honouring God. We must seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and His righteousness, fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Cultural Mandate (Genesis 1:20-31). We call on all who love the Lord Jesus Christ to, by God's grace, resolutely work for Biblical Reformation and to earnestly pray for a Holy Spirit-empowered Revival.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, for all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

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