Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2013)|
The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, more commonly known as the Lausanne Movement, is a global Movement that mobilizes evangelical leaders to collaborate for world evangelization. The stated vision is "the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world".
The Lausanne Movement grew out of the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization (ICOWE) and promotes active worldwide evangelism. The Lausanne Covenant provides the theological basis for collaborative work in the area of mission and evangelism. The Cape Town Commitment defines the movement's goals.
The ICOWE met in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1974. It was organized in part by Billy Graham and was attended by some 2,700 participants and guests from over 150 nations who met here to discuss and promote evangelism. One result of this conference was the Lausanne Continuation Committee, which planned to sustain the movement started at Lausanne. This committee formed the backbone for the official inception of the LCWE in 1976. Another organizational backbone of the movement was the Mission Advanced Research and Communication Center (MARC), a division of World Vision International.
The Lausanne Board of Directors is chaired by Ram Gidoomal. The newly appointed Executive Director/CEO is Dr. Michael Oh, who succeeds Rev. S. Douglas Birdsall. Board members include leaders from around the world.
Lausanne has spawned significant involvement from agencies and individual Christians. The Movement surrounding it has led to hundreds of books on evangelism and theology being published. These include workbooks for choosing strategies with which to evangelize to "unreached peoples". The documents of greatest significance to date are The Lausanne Covenant, which is used by evangelical mission organisations worldwide as a basis for faith, action and partnership, and The Cape Town Commitment which is "in two parts. Part l sets out biblical convictions, passed down to us in the scriptures, and Part ll sounds the call to action."
Lausanne's most recent publications include, Christ Our Reconciler, from Cape Town 2010. Lausanne also publishes occasional papers on its website. The series of booklets, The Didasko Files, includes some Lausanne Movement documents such as a study guide to The Lausanne Covenant, written by the chief architect of the Covenant, John Stott.
Cape Town 2010
At the urging of evangelical leaders worldwide, The Lausanne Movement held The Third Congress on World Evangelisation in Cape Town, South Africa, October 16–25, 2010. The goal of Cape Town 2010 was to re-stimulate the spirit of Lausanne represented in the Lausanne Covenant: to promote unity, humbleness in service, and a call to action for global evangelization. It was attended by 4,000 participants and 1000 guests from 197 countries.
Criticism of Christian Zionism
Steve Haas, Vice President of Lausanne, gave a sermon on social justice, published in the movement's journal All of Me, linking problems with the way evangelicals approached the Rwanda crisis, the AIDS epidemic and the close support of Zionism. This was described as using "outrageously broad brushstrokes" and the comparison with the Spanish Inquisition and the crusades was called "clumsy". Christian Zionism or Restorationism has been a widely held Protestant conviction before and after the Declaration Independence by the State of Israel.
Robert Stearns, executive director of Eagles' Wings, described the article in Lausanne's journal as a "narrow and dangerously one-sided presentation", and described it as an "all-out assault on Christian Zionists". Among other arguments he cited the prominent role of Arabs in Israeli society to address Haas' support of the assertion that Israel is "apartheid on steroids". The Simon Wiesenthal Center described this last claim as "the big lie", and rebutted the "dismissal of the validity of Israel’s right to exist as the Jewish State".
World Vision described the comments in the article as "unhelpfully simplified and combative". Jan van 't Loo, the spokesman for World Vision Netherlands stated that this response does not reflect World Vision's position on for Israel and the Palestinian people and it appeared without the proper approval. Blogging for the Times of Israel, Sam Hailes commends part of Haas's article as important to study, but condemns the fact that the article "never even tries to use equal terms" for Israelis and Palestinians. Brian Schrauger, writing for Bridges for Peace states that the two opinions are "two seeds, two fruits" that represent an internal disagreement in the Lausanne Movement.
On Sunday October 17, 2010, Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches gave an address to the 3rd Lausanne Conference, at the invitation of Dr Doug Birdsall. In the address he said, "we are called to participate in the one mission of God". The World Evangelical Alliance, whose International Director, Geoff Tunnicliffe, and other WEA leaders were involved at each level in the development of the programme, and helped choose its participants.
- "About - Lausanne Movement". Lausanne.org. October 25, 2010. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "''The Cape Town Commitment''". Lausanne.org. October 25, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- "S.W. Haas: "MARC to Make Transition, Retain Its Mission" MARC Newsletter 03-4,, World Vision Publications, Nov. 2003" (PDF). Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- Lausanne Leadership, from Lausanne.org
- Edward R. Dayton, David Allen Fraser. Planning Strategies for World Evangelism Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1990
- "The Cape Town Commitment - Lausanne Movement". Lausanne.org. October 25, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- "All Documents - Lausanne Movement". Lausanne.org. June 21, 1997. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "Didasko Files". Didasko Files. October 20, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "Gatherings - Lausanne Movement". Lausanne.org. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- "''Cape Town 2010 FAQs - Basics''". Web.archive.org. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- "‘All of Me’ - Engaging a world of poverty and injustice". January 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "A Response to World Vision's attack on Christian Zionism - Sam Hailes - The Blogs - The Times of Israel". The Times of Israel.
- "Leading Evangelism Movement Slams Christian Zionism". January 26, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "Lausanne Movement attacks support for Jewish state; is silent on ISIS & warm towards Boko Haram". January 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "When it comes to Israel, World Vision needs an eye exam". February 4, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- "Christian Zionism used to justify 'apartheid on steroids', says World Vision vice-president". Christiantoday website. February 9, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "SWC Condemns World Vision Official for False and Damaging Remarks About Israel". Simon Wiesenthal Center. January 30, 2015. Archived from the original on February 20, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Response to recent criticism of World Vision’s position on and work in the Middle East". World Vision website. February 17, 2015. Archived from the original on February 18, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "Christelijknieuws.nl - Actuele ontwikkelingen in Israël en het Midden-Oosten". christelijknieuws.nl.
- "Bridges for Peace » News » Leading Evangelical Organization Indicts Christian Zionism". Bridges for Peace.
- "Greetings to the 3rd Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization". World Council of Churches website. October 17, 2010. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
- "Cape Town 2010 FAQS". Lausanne Cape Town Conference 2010. 2011. Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-23.