While sound scientific information plays a central role in CABSA programmes, it is specifically developed and presented within the context of faith communities. This is what sets it apart from many other programmes that are available on HIV and Aids: It is a programme for Christians who want to serve as Christians in the midst of HIV and Aids. The questions the organisation grapple with include: What does this mean for us as Christians? What will an appropriate and effective Christian response be in practical terms?
There are many ways that these questions can be answered. The developers of Churches, Channels of Hope chose to find practical pointers for a truthful Christian response that may help Christians in diverse circumstances and situations. Therefore a number of “guiding principles” have been selected. All guiding principles are developed from and based on Scripture. Although often only one Scripture text is referred to, the guiding principles are built and developed on many other references.
There are 10 guiding principles:
- Our motivation : Compelled by the love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14)
- Our service: Serving God in practical acts of love and compassion (James 1:27; Matthew 25:34-40)
- Our identity : We are the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12)
- Our attitude towards people : To accept as Christ accepted (Romans 15:7)
- Our relationships : To uphold the dignity and worth of every human being (Luke 8:43-48)
- Our hope : To believe is to have hope (1 Peter 1:3)
- Our search for answers and solutions : With wisdom of the Holy Spirit (James 3:17)
- Our responsibility : To break the silence by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)
- Our task : To be Christ's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20)
- Our calling: To stand up for justice as prophets and priests (psalm 42:12-14
The guiding principles play a role throughout Churches, Channels of Hope workshops and facilitator Trainings; devotions relate to these principles; discussions should be conducted in the spirit of these principles and they are also discussed separately during the facilitator Training course.
It is important to realise that these guiding principles are not meant to be an “HIV Theology” or an authoritative system. It is also not suggested as a last word on Christian response to the HIV pandemic. The guiding principles are practical pointers, “signposts”, direction indicators to assist us in an honest search for obedience to God’s calling in the context of HIV and Aids.
The guiding principles are inter-related and often it is best to refer to more than one when grappling with the issues the HIV and Aids pandemic confronts us with.
Although these principles were developed for Channels of Hope, they guide all the activities of CABSA.