The Declaration of Debrecen
WE BELONG – BODY AND SOUL, IN LIFE AND IN DEATH- NOT TO OURSELVES BUT
TO OUR FAITHFUL SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST 1 . We confess our theological and moral failures, our complicity in adding to the world’s burdens, our inadequate witness to God’s purposes. We ask forgiveness from God and from each other for these transgressions, and also for the injuries we have done to one another. Claiming the new life which forgiveness makes possible, and relying on God’s promises that the chains of injustice can be broken 2 , we declare:
WE ARE NOT OUR OWN. We belong to the living God who made all things and declared them to be very good. We will not exploit and destroy that creation. We will be stewards of creation for God.
WE ARE NOT OUR OWN. We believe in Jesus Christ, who died for us and was raised for our salvation. We confess that no human ideology or agenda holds the secret to the ultimate direction of history. We are in all things dependent on our Redeemer.
WE ARE NOT OUR OWN. We know that in Jesus Christ we were bought with a price. We will not patronize, exclude, or ignore the gifts of any person, male or female, young or old. We declare our solidarity with the poor, and with all who are suffering, oppressed, or excluded.
WE ARE NOT OUR OWN. We believe in the Holy Spirit who will guide us into all truth. We refuse the false assumption that everything, including human beings and their labour, is a commodity and has a price.
WE ARE NOT OUR OWN. We are called to be built into a new community in the Spirit of God. We pledge ourselves to a simple lifestyle which bears witness to God’s ordering of the household of life.
WE ARE NOT OUR OWN. We do not despair, for God reigns. We will continue to struggle against injustice in this world. We look forward to the Holy City in which God will dwell with human beings and be their God.
WE ARE NOT OUR OWN. With Christians of the Reformed faith through the centuries, and with the whole people of God, we join our voices to proclaim –
SOLI DEO GLORIA!3
23 rd General Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches
Debrecen, Hungary 8-20 August 1997
1 These words are adapted from the answer to question 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism.
2 Isaiah 58;6
3 Only to God be the glory.