Moral Wholeness for a Whole World
Integrity is moral wholeness—living consistently in moral wholeness. Its opposite is corruption, the distortion, perversion, and deterioration of moral goodness, resulting in the exploitation of people. Global integrity is moral wholeness at all levels in our world—from the individual to the institutional to the international. Global integrity is requisite for “building the future we want—being the people we need.” It is not easy, it is not always black and white, and it can be risky. These entries explore the many facets of integrity with a view towards the global efforts to promote sustainable development and wellbeing.
Perspectives from the Lausanne Movement
Cape Town Commitment 2010
Let us strive for a culture of full integrity and transparency.
We will choose to walk in the light and truth of God,
We will choose to walk in the light and truth of God,
for the Lord tests the heart and is pleased with integrity.
Part 2, IIE. 4
The Lausanne Movement is a major umbrella organization-network of Christians and Christian organizations that was formed over 40 years ago. It is evangelical in its orientation and “connects influencers and ideas for global mission, with a vision of the gospel for every person, an evangelical church for every people, Christ-like leaders for every church, and kingdom impact in every sphere of society.” More on its history here:https://www.lausanne.org/about-lausanne
This entry features excerpts from the Lausanne Movement’s Cape Town Commitment (2010). These excerpts call Christians to live with the highest levels of integrity and to resolutely prevent and confront corruption. They also emphasize the dire consequences to the credibility and witness of the church when Christians do not do so. The Movement has about 35 different “networks," with one of them being an “Integrity and Anti-Corruption Network.” This Network has convened meetings over the past few years with a major meeting planned in early 2017.
7. We Love God’s World
“C. Such love for the poor demands that we not only love mercy and deeds of compassion, but also that we do justice through exposing and opposing all that oppresses and exploits the poor. ‘We must not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist.’ We confess with shame that on this matter we fail to share God’s passion, fail to embody God’s love, fail to reflect God’s character and fail to do God’s will. We give ourselves afresh to the promotion of justice, including solidarity and advocacy on behalf of the marginalized and oppressed...”
9. We Love the People of God
“B) Love calls for honesty. Love speaks truth with grace. No one loved God’s people more than the prophets of Israel and Jesus himself. Yet no one confronted them more honestly with the truth of their failure, idolatry and rebellion against their covenant Lord. And in doing so, they called God’s people to repent, so that they could be forgiven and restored to the service of God’s mission. The same voice of prophetic love must be heard today, for the same reason. Our love for the Church of God aches with grief over the ugliness among us that so disfigures the face of our dear Lord Jesus Christ and hides his beauty from the world – the world that so desperately needs to be drawn to him.”
7. Truth and the Public Arenas
“B) Corruption is condemned in the Bible. It undermines economic development, distorts fair decision-making and destroys social cohesion. No nation is free of corruption. We invite Christians in the workplace, especially young entrepreneurs, to think creatively about how they can best stand against this scourge.”
IID. Discerning the will of Christ...
3. Christ-Centered Leaders
“The rapid growth of the Church in so many places remains shallow and vulnerable, partly because of the lack of discipled leaders, and partly because so many use their positions for worldly power, arrogant status or personal enrichment. As a result, God’s people suffer, Christ is dishonoured, and gospel mission is undermined…”
“B) We renew our commitment to pray for our leaders. We long that God would multiply, protect and encourage leaders who are biblically faithful and obedient. We pray that God would rebuke, remove, or bring to repentance leaders who dishonour his name and discredit the gospel. And we pray that God would raise up a new generation of discipled servant-leaders whose passion is above all else to know Christ and be like him.”
“C) Those of us who are in Christian leadership need to recognize our vulnerability and accept the gift of accountability within the body of Christ. We commend the practice of submitting to an accountability group.”
IIE. Calling the Church of Christ Back to Humility, Integrity and Simplicity
“B) Since there is no biblical mission without biblical living, we urgently re-commit ourselves, and challenge all those who profess the name of Christ, to live in radical distinctiveness from the ways of the world, to ‘put on the new humanity, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.’ “
1. Walk in Distinctiveness, as God’s New Humanity
“…The Bible shows that God’s greatest problem is not just with the nations of the world, but with the people he has created and called to be the means of blessing the nations….When there is no distinction in conduct between Christians and non-Christians – for example in the practice of corruption and greed, or sexual promiscuity, or rate of divorce, or relapse to pre-Christian religious practice, or attitudes towards people of other races, or consumerist lifestyles, or social prejudice – then the world is right to wonder if our Christianity makes any difference at all. Our message carries no authenticity to a watching world.”
4. Walk in Integrity, Rejecting the Idolatry of Success
"We cannot build the kingdom of the God of truth on foundations of dishonesty. Yet in our craving for ‘success’ and ‘results’ we are tempted to sacrifice our integrity...Let us strive for a culture of full integrity and transparency. We will choose to walk in the light and truth of God, for the Lord tests the heart and is pleased with integrity."
Applications--The Cape Town Commitment points out in many places the failure of the church, Christians, and Christian leaders to act with integrity. Give a specific, recent example of how this has happened and the consequences.
--How would you desicribe the components of "a full culture of integrity" as emphasized in the final excerpt above? List a few practical ways to help foster this culture.