Hosted by China Soul Association and Spring Camp, ''A Generation of Testimonies'' mission conference concluded successfully in San Francisco on December 8. To express their voices and hopes for their motherland China, ministers throughout North America drafted the “San Francisco Consensus” with thanksgiving and prayers.
The translation of the full script is provided below:
San Francisco Consensus
December 8, 2008
We are a group of Chinese Christians who has come from China and gathered in San Francisco, United States, to participate in a generation of testimonies conference. For this moment, we offer our gratitude to God. We were the undeserved ones who received God’s grace, so we can together testify of God’s miraculous work in our lives and together bear the gospel missions that God has entrusted to us.
We believe in the one God existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who created the universe and mankind and with his glorious sovereignty controls the human race including China’s history, present and the future.
We believe that we are the same as everyone for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and cannot save ourselves from fall and destruction through self-righteousness, wisdom, abilities, and wealth.
We believe that Jesus Christ sacrificed his life on the cross for the redemption of man and he resurrected on the third day so that all who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
We believe that if there isn’t the light and guidance of the Holy Spirit no one can receive salvation, come to repentance, and become a new creation.
We believe that the Bible is the inerrant special revelation from God and is the highest authority of a Christian’s faith.
We believe that all the Christians in the world are God’s sons and daughters, the church is our spiritual home on this earth, Jesus Christ is the only head of the world’s churches, including the Chinese churches.
We see that China is going through an unprecedented change; economy, society, politics, and culture are going through a complete transformation.
We see that while this transformation has achieved significant results there are also enormous challenges. With the lack of holy resources of faith to give to the Chinese citizens, the results are ethical degradation, lacking in sincerity and good faith, and social disorder.
We see that man tries to search for the answer to their spirit through various cultures, philosophies, and religions in the secular world, but still cannot find the way.
We see that this round of change in China is different from the changes that took place in the last 3,000 years, for it is a change with the cross. God’s power to save has dawn upon the Chinese, where the gospel is being spread out rapidly and the churches are being established. In the process of China becoming a more free and civilized society, Christian groups are displaying greater constructive effects. In the aspects of compassion, faith, justice, peace, forgiveness and the like that the Chinese people needs the most, the large number of Christians who has received a new life in God’s grace are living out an obvious living testimonies.
We pray that God can grant love and forgiveness, so that China can transform in harmony, peace, rebuild its credibility, enjoy peace, allowing justice and fairness to rule like the raging river.
We pray that God can be more graceful to the Chinese, so that more of our kinsmen can hear the gospel, come to repentance, receive the abundant and everlasting life of Jesus Christ.
We pray that God can grant a revival in the churches in China, where the Holy Spirit can do great works, raising more Christians to carry the cross and follow the Lord, so that the multitude of churches can be build up together on the path of God, proclaiming the gospel until the ends of the earth.
We pray that God can lead the church to bear their own cultural mandate and social responsibilities in becoming the light and salt of this world.
We pray that God can bless the governing authorities in China, giving them more wisdom and ability to govern the nation, so that they can see the gospel as beneficial to the country and its people and protect its people’s religious freedom according to the law of the land.
We pray that the almighty God can bless their sons and daughters to obey the God-given authority of those ensuring justice and social order with endless endurance, meekness, and humility. We hope that the almighty God can remember the glorious churches that suffer together with the Lord.
We pray that the almighty God can show his compassion by giving grace to the Chinese, win over the Chinese, use the Chinese to become the blessings to mankind.
May all glory be given to God and peace to those he finds favor.
Appendix: The process of formulating the “San Francisco Consensus”
Because of the new situation that the China’s churches are facing, some of the initiators of the conference believe the conference should use words to express their faith, what we see and our prayers. As a result, several ministers came up with the first draft before the conference and sent it to part of the participants, requesting for their opinions. In the afternoon of the arrival day, Yuan Zhiming, Liu Tongsu, Hong Yujian, Zhang Boli, Luke Zhang, Zhang Zhigang, Zhu Jian, Zhou Xiao-an, Fan Xuede, Li Yating, Zhao Li, and various other ministers from North America, and special guests from mainland China such as Zhao Xiao, Wang Yi, Yu Jie, Jin Ming-ri, Cui Quan, Huang Lei, Yang Wanli discussed deeply on the form, content, and structure of the document. According to this discussion, several coworkers finished checking and polishing the document’s wordings that night. On the following day, they received the opinions of Dr. Bing-Cheng Feng and others. In the afternoon, this document was handed out to around 300 participating ministers and coworkers, and they separated into seven small discussion groups and received the approval of the majority. On the afternoon of the conference’s third day, Hong Yujian read the finalized document on the conference, which won a long-lasting applause of the participants.
[Source: A Generation of Testimonies Conference]