ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, May 25   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Freedoms
Should all religious groups in your country be legal?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Marc Jost
 

‘A Lobbyist for God’

Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger published a portrait of Christian politician Marc Jost. 

CHRISTIANS IN THE MEDIA SOURCES Tagesanzeiger TRANSLATOR Nicky Seadon BERN 29 JULY 2015 10:41 h GMT+1
marc jost, tagesanzeiger Excerpt of the print edition of Tagesanzeiger's article about evangelical politician Marc Jost.

This article appeared on Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger1 on 11 July 2015.



 



“If we simply push religion into the private sphere and don’t allow it to be a matter for discussion, it’s dangerous.” This is why Marc Jost (41) makes no secret of his faith: on the contrary, the former pastor is active in politics as a lobbyist for God, since 1 June as President of the Grand Council of Bern, with its 160 representatives. He already stood twice as candidate for a seat in the government of Bern, in 2011 for the Council of States. In the autumn he aims to enter the National Council, as the top candidate of the EVP2. Jost is something like the foster-son of the former parliamentarian Heiner Studer; for four years he was the latter’s assistant, researched and worked on policy briefs for him. “That was a decisive factor for me in entering politics.”



Though, in Jost’s case, the E stands more for ‘evangelical’ than for ‘Evangelical’ meaning ‘Protestant’3. Although he also belongs to the Landeskirche4, his biography has a strong free church bias. Having grown up in Spiez, from an early age he was involved in the Evangelische Gemeinschaftswerk5, which he later served as a pastor in Thun. The ex-primary school teacher did not study theology in a state university faculty but at the theological seminary of the free church Chrischona. “I looked for a place where, alongside my studies, I could combine living out my faith within the community of students.”



Together with his wife and four children, Jost now belongs to “BewegungPlus”6 in Thun, a classic free church with a wide range of activities on offer, including for young people. Here he finds what he feels is sometimes lacking in the Landeskirche: lively worship services, a strong commitment and ‘a clear profession of Jesus Christ as Lord and friend.’ Unlike the average evangelical, however, Jost does not claim a conversion experience. In his life, without interruption, his personal relationship with Jesus has always been on his CV and motivated him to do his work. His main job now is Co-General Secretary of the Schweizerische Evangelische Allianz SEA7, in charge of social issues.



With the umbrella alliance of free churches and regional churches as well as Christian organisations, he shares positions on moral and political issues. Recently, in the ‘Arena’, on the topic of ‘Marriage for all’ he defended the privileging of traditional marriage, saying that, arguing from the child, you have to be against the right to adopt. According to Jost, as a man, you cannot replace the mummy. “Why move away from the ideal of children experiencing parents in sexual complementarity?” That is why, he added, we have to treat homosexual partnerships differently. Jost would like to broaden the current solution of a registered partnership to include those who live in communities.



Jost said that he has contact as a friend and pastor with many homosexuals . According to Jost, some are content with their lives; those who are suffering because of their sexual orientation – they have to be helped. He said that this was common amongst evangelicals. “I know men who used to have homosexual feelings, who today say that they are happy in a heterosexual relationship”, says Jost and adds, “I know that this is not politically correct.”



Jost also advocates a ban on assisted suicide, with the usual arguments: “To legalise this would mean stepping on to the slippery slope and slipping into the rôle of God, making our own decisions on life and death.” Because he sees life as a gift of God, he rejects the laws permitting abortion and campaigns for the protection of life. On 19 September he is giving a sermon at the “March for Life”8.  He said that the initiator, Daniel Regli, had responded to the concern of the Alliance to behave in a less provocative manner.



Nonetheless, Jost does not see himself in the category of marginalised fundamentalist; those who know him do not do this either, he says – on the contrary, many are curious to find out more about his work. With his Council colleagues, there is often a good exchange of views, going as far as conversations involving spiritual counselling. “Conservative in values, but open-minded towards others” is how Jost describes himself, as a politician of the centre: “The EDU9 would never have been my party.” The theologian does not belong to those contemporaries who practise their religion but for whom only the inner experience of faith counts. Since his fourth year of university studies, which he spent in civil war-torn Colombia, he has devoted himself to issues related to global justice. “Church is only church if it is there for others” - this maxim of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is also his.



Until he took on the presidency of the Grand Council, Jost was director of the association of Christian aid agencies ‘Interaction’ and today heads it up as President of the Board. Through the aid projects of the 26 alliance agencies, Jost has gained an insight into the world of asylum. In December he visited Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. “When you see that appalling misery, you simply cannot comprehend the placard-like asylum policy of the national SVP10,” he declares indignantly. And he is all the more delighted that within the alliance there are already 450 individuals who are prepared to support and accommodate asylum seekers. Currently he is involved in a project in the Canton of Bern which operates a home for immigrants from the Arab world.



After all, as Jost says, the Christian God promises to help all people, including Muslims. Unlike the EDU and SVP, he voted against the Minaret Initiative (an initiative against the construction of mosque minarets) out of respect for religious freedom. For him, this is consistent with the SEA’s promotion each year during Ramadan of the initiative ‘30 days of prayer for the Islamic world’ and with praying for the conversion of Muslims to Christ. “If I take to heart the commission of Jesus to the church, I have to appeal to the whole of God’s creation and all people. Our wish for all people is for them to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.”



At the same time, Jost tries to avoid using the word associated with manipulation and coercion – ‘mission’. He prefers to speak of a loving exchange of ideas, within which transformation can happen. “What I believe and live out is not unimportant,” he says. Unfortunately, however, he adds, political correctness nowadays prohibits assessing and evaluating differences in the concept of God.  



 



Translator’s notes :     



Name of a Swiss daily newspaper



2 EVP – Evangelische Volkspartei der Schweiz (Evangelical People’s Party of Switzerland)



3 ‘Evangelisch’ has both meanings in German



4 Regional state Protestant Church



5 Evangelical Fellowship Organisation - an independent renewal movement within the Evangelisch-reformierte Landeskirche (Evangelical Reformed Church)



6 ‘Movement Plus’ – an evangelical free church denomination



7 Schweizerische Evangelische Allianz, SEA



8 Marsch fürs Läbe



9 Eidgenössisch-Demokratische Union – Federal Democratic Union, a Swiss political party of the Christian right



10 Schweizerische Volkspartei – Swiss People’s Party – right-wing political party



 


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - ‘A Lobbyist for God’
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict

Shira Sorko-Ram, pastor and journalist in Israel, shares her views and a historical and biblical context on the latest events.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ” Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ”

Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA

Influence in society, evangelical identity and projects in Europe. An interview with Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance.

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
The Bible in Spain’s history The Bible in Spain’s history

An exhibition in the region of Galicia shows the impact of the Bible despite many obstacles. Photos: Marina Acuña.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues

A selection of pictures of World Press Photo 2017.

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
“Spain, we pray for you” “Spain, we pray for you”

Hundreds of evangelical Christians from many denominations marched in Madrid (Spain) to pray for their city, the authorities and asking God to bring hope to its society. Many gathered in other cities on June, 11.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Mangalwadi: Education and the Reformation Mangalwadi: Education and the Reformation

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi talks about how a renwed view of the Bible changed education systems in Europe.

 
What role does the Church have in Europe? What role does the Church have in Europe?

Evi Rodemann (Germany) talks about the unique contributions to society that only the Church can make. 

 
Students in Europe: “We are present” Students in Europe: “We are present”

A summary video of the IFES Europe conference which brought together 1,700 students from many countries in Aschaffenburg (Germany) to reflect on God's mission in society.

 
What does the story of Job teach us about suffering? What does the story of Job teach us about suffering?

By Jelena Sivulka, psychologist and Director of Hana's Hope.

 
Proverbs 31 Proverbs 31

A powerful video recites Proverbs 31:10-31, from the Bible. Produced by World Relief. 

 
You-To live-How? You-To live-How?

The Roldan Camacho are a Spanish couple with deafness. They tell us how the whole family experiences everyday life through sign language. A video report by Gabriela Pérez.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.