Around the world evangelicals have “never agreed” on politics and the term that denotes this group of followers of Jesus describes the enthusiasm for the DNA of Christianity, the new leader of the World Evangelical Alliance says.
“And you can see this around the globe. We have countries, in which we have evangelical members in Parliament, on the government side and in the opposition,” said Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher in his inaugural speech as WEA secretary general and CEO in Bonn, Germany.
“We did not agree on politics yesterday and we did not agree on politics in 1846,” he said on Feb. 27.
“This is not the secret of the evangelical movement,” said the new WEA CEO in a speech in which he spelled out the role of evangelical movement in the fight against religious persecution and for religious freedom.
The WEA head said that in 1846, the World Evangelical Alliance was the first large religious body speaking up for religious freedom.
“And that meant speaking up against State churches and against Christian nationalism – we know that this is even within our own ranks still a very ‘hot potato’ today” and “against the state pressing its religion and its thoughts on the Church.”
BELIEF IN PENTECOST
“We believe in the resurrection of Jesus and we believe in Pentecost where the Holy Spirit filled the believers, the members of the church.
Some may question the historical actuality say “it did not happen” or “does not need to have happened in real history.
Schirrmacher said, “We [as evangelicals] stand for the historicity of our faith.
“Jesus did receive new life from His Father, the Holy Spirit did fall on the believers. And then some will say: ‘that is evangelical.’ But we do not believe in this because we think of it as something confessional, something specific [only] we believe in.
“Rather, we think it’s the DNA of Christianity that we owe everything to what Jesus did and what the Holy Spirit does.”
When it comes to the Bible, evangelicals are deeply convinced that the Bible is the confession of the Church.
“The idea of a paper document that would rule the people comes from the Old Testament. The Torah in the Old Testament was above David, was above the king, was above everybody.
“Some people mock us and say we have a ‘Paper Pope.’ We are proud to have a Paper Pope, because the Paper Pope assures that none of us, including me, are above the Word of God.
“We all submit to the Word of God, no one is above it. No, there is [in fact] someone above him, it is Jesus himself, who is the center of Holy Scripture, and the Holy Spirit, who is the author of Holy Scripture – at least according to our belief.”
“And this is where we think that a movement like ours can bring together the huge emphasis of the Reformation 500 years ago on Holy Scripture with a lot of revival movements including our Pentecostal friends and our charismatic friends and their emphasis on the Holy Spirit as the only
“One who can transform us and can transform the world.”
Among those who read greetings at the hybrid ceremony that was both live and virtual were Casely Essamuah secretary of the Global Christian Forum and Billy Wilson chairman of the Pentecostal World Fellowship and president of Oral Robert University in Oklahoma in the US.
“Jesus, it is now the gospel of salvation, the gospel of healing, the gospel that brings meaning to our lives, his passion, and purpose to our daily lives is needed now more than ever, as we are all behind closed doors and needing the presence of the one who comes to us and says, peace, my peace I give unto you,” said Essamuah in his message.
Wilson said, “We believe that God is calling us in the 21st century, to unite with our brothers and sisters across the body of Christ, for the greater good, and most importantly, so the witness of Jesus can be known by every person on this planet over the next several years.”