What We Believe
Guidelines for New Members
The history of Aboriginal people means that Congress must address the issues
of injustice which hold our people at the bottom of Australian society -
landless and impoverished, ill housed and frequently sick. We are
therefore committed to the struggle for our people, not for gain, but
for obedience of God. We can do no less without being disobedient
to His call.
So that members of the Congress will not be at variance with one another,
any person who wishes to be a member of the Congress must be able to
commit themselves to the following statements of belief:
- The congress will consist of Aboriginal members of the Uniting Church
in Australia and Members in Fellowship who may belong to any other denomination.
- All members of the Congress should be Christians who accept Jesus Christ
as Lord, accept the authority of the scriptures and desire to follow and
serve Christ as His disciples.
- The Congress will be governed by its Aboriginal members who should
all accept the authority and discipline of its Conference, National Committees,
Presbyteries and Regional Committees.
- The Congress will be committed to holistic evangelism and expects
all its members to work towards salvation of the whole person. Congress
shall proclaim the Gospel as it relates to every part of peoples lives -
including the physical social, spiritual, political, economical, devotional
and emotional areas of human existence. No area escapes God's saving power,
or avoids God's judgement. The Congress shall challenge every aim by
drawing attention to the cross of Christ: like Christ, it also challenges
those who sin agains others in their lust and greed to wealth and power.
- The Congress shall build Christian communities from among those converted
by evangelical outreach. Congress has progressed beyond hit and run evangelism
because the latter has failed to help our people build their own church communities.
Such evangelic approaches have failed to be the rock which Jesus established
through Peter and His church. Congress shall be committed to a trained ministry
and require all ministers and pastors to participate fully in the training
programmes provided through the Congress at Nungalinya College, Wontulp-bi-Buya
College and the Institute for Mission.
- The Congress will seek to make sure that it is obedient to the complete
Gospel. It has discovered that many churches fail to prophesy or to respond
obediently to God's call for justice. Therefore, it actively seeks to
apply the Word of God to each issue affecting its people, regardless of
the popularity of the issue. Thus it will seek to make the gospel meaningful
to Aboriginal people and relevant to the life of Aboriginal communities.
The Congress should not exist to call people to itself, but to go to them
and share in their struggle wherever they are. It believes only by doing
so can we follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Congress will work under the guidance of God the Holy Spirit. It seeks
to be open to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in all it does - relying
on the Holy Spirit to complete God's work of salvation in our lives by
leading every onwards towards the building of the Kingdom of Heaven.
It believes the Holy Spirit has called us to give priority to the task
of reaching outwards to those who are lost from God and in need of
salvation, and to the poor, those who are hungry, sick oppressed,
imprisoned or hurt in anyway.