12th Assembly 2009

Church honours Jewish origins

On the final day of the 12th Assembly meeting in Sydney members of the Assembly agreed to adopt the statement “Jews and Judaism: A Statement by the Uniting Church in Australia” as the Uniting Church’s official position on Christian Jewish relations.

After much discussion and debate, members of the Assembly could not reach consensus on the decision and it was passed after moving to formal procedures.

Much of the discussion focused on two clauses of the statement.

Clause 7 acknowledges that many of the early Christian writings in the New Testament were written in a context of controversy.

Clause 19 states that the Uniting Church does not accept forms of relationships with Jews that “require them to become Christian, including coercion and manipulation, that violated their humanity, dignity and freedom”.
There was some discussion on whether evangelism was inadvertently included in that statement.

The presenters of the statement were adamant that evangelism was in no way included in that clause and that the very nature of evangelism would be corrupted if it did include methods of coercion and manipulation.

The statement “Jews and Judaism: A Statement by the Uniting Church in Australia” is a ground-breaking commitment to acknowledge Christianity’s beginnings in Judaism and give respect and honour those traditions.

To read the full statement, visit the Assembly website.