The Lausanne Covenant Was Born at the Battlefront

Bishop Jack Daine and Billy Graham signing the Lausanne Covenant in 1974, a document which was born during the war for our faith. The Christian Council of Norway (NKR) does not have this covenant as its basis.

Bishop Jack Daine and Billy Graham signing the Lausanne Covenant in 1974, a document which was born during the war for our faith. The Christian Council of Norway (NKR) does not have this covenant as its basis.

The Lausanne Covenant is the most unifying basis for evangelical cooperation in our time. It was written, led by John Stott, during the Lausanne Congress in Switzerland in 1974.

There were several objections to the text, but it catered to the many concerns in a satisfying way.

The most decisive points were the absolute authority of Scripture, Jesus as the only way to God, and that the evangelistic and missional tasks have absolute preeminence.

In our day there are no controversies around the Lausanne Covenant. All evangelicals will confidently support it. I am a member of the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA), and we adhere to the Lausanne Covenant. Our church also adheres to the Lausanne Covenant.

However, it may be important to remember that the Lausanne Covenant was conceived during warfare – at the battlefront.

All of the 1900´s had been one long downward spiral for the missions mandate and faith in the sovereignty of Jesus. The Bible was under attack from the Christians themselves, especially through the World Council of Churches (WCC). They would not accept that the Bible is authoritative, but they talked about the Bible as the Christians´ “source”, and they did not accept the sovereign position of Jesus and the absolute necessity of personal salvation.

But a group of God´s servants – I will call them apostles – understood the significance of fighting for the most precious that God has given us, and they entered a serious battle against the Bible negativism in WCC and the big theological faculties.

These men of God were Billy Graham, Jack Daine, John Stott, Francis Schaeffer, Peter Beyerhaus, Donald McGavran +++

The battles seemed bloody. The words were strong. The differences were almost insurmountable.

But they did not back off!

The Lausanne Covenant was conceived and born, and has lived on.

The apostle Paul admonished the young Timothy (1Timothy 6:12):

“Fight the good fight of faith!”

These were more than sentimental words, but realities for both Paul and Timothy, as they later were for Billy Graham & Co.

Today we are called again to fight the good fight of faith. If you adhere to the Lausanne Covenant, then you have actually said yes to wage this war!

About Jan-Aage Torp

Jan-Aage Torp - married to Aina; born in Japan; raised in Thailand; educated in USA; Director of European Apostolic Leaders (EAL); pastors Restoration Oslochurch with Aina.
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