The Phoenix Affirmations below are a succinct articulation. While not everyone who comes to, or appears on, Darkwood Brew necessarily agrees with each of the twelve Affirmations – or is even expected to agree – they provide guidance for our programming. The Phoenix Affirmations were created in 2005 by clergy, laity, biblical scholars, and theologians from around the United States and many denominations. They do NOT define of who is and isn’t a Christian. They are simply twelve affirmations that many Christians find helpful in their path. A version number was attached to the Phoenix Affirmations by their creators to make it clear that they are not meant to stand for all time, and may morph and change in light of an ever-growing faith. Phyllis Tickle (author of The Great Emergence) has called the Phoenix Affirmations “the most clearly articulated and accessible statement of the creedal and public ground which the emerging new body of Christianity is coming to occupy in North America.”
The Phoenix Affirmations (Version 3.8)
As people who are joyfully and unapologetically Christian, we pledge ourselves completely to the way of Love. We work to express our love, as Jesus teaches us, in three ways: by loving God, neighbor, and self. (Matt 22:34-40 // Mk 12:28-31 // Lk 10:25-28; Cf. Deut 6:5; Lev. 19:18)
Christian love of God includes:
1. Walking fully in the path of Jesus, without denying the legitimacy of other paths that God may provide for humanity; 2. Listening for God’s Word which comes through daily prayer and meditation, studying the ancient testimonies which we call Scripture, and attending to God’s present activity in the world; 3. Celebrating the God whose Spirit pervades and whose glory is reflected in all of God’s Creation, including the earth and its ecosystems, the sacred and secular, the Christian and non-Christian, the human and non-human; 4. Expressing our love in worship that is as sincere, vibrant, and artful as it is scriptural.
Christian love of neighbor includes:
5. Engaging people authentically, as Jesus did, treating all as creations made in God’s very image, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, nationality, or economic class; 6. Standing, as Jesus does, with the outcast and oppressed, the denigrated and afflicted, seeking peace and justice with or without the support of others; 7. Preserving religious freedom and the church’s ability to speak prophetically to government by resisting the commingling of church and state; 8. Walking humbly with God, acknowledging our own shortcomings while honestly seeking to understand and call forth the best in others, including those who consider us their enemies;
Christian love of self includes:
9. Basing our lives on the faith that in Christ all things are made new and that we, and all people, are loved beyond our wildest imagination – for eternity; 10. Claiming the sacredness of both our minds and our hearts, and recognizing that faith and science, doubt and belief serve the pursuit of truth; 11. Caring for our bodies and insisting on taking time to enjoy the benefits of prayer, reflection, worship, and recreation in addition to work; 12. Acting on the faith that we are born with a meaning and purpose; a vocation and ministry that serve to strengthen and extend God’s realm of love. For a commentary on the Phoenix Affirmations, click here.