ADVERTISING
 
Monday, April 22   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

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

POLL
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Interview
 

‘Attestants’: reclaiming the authority of the Bible in French Protestantism

“The question of our reading of the Scriptures and the authority that we grant them is at stake”, says Pastor Caroline Bretones, one of the 250 members of the new movement. In May, the historic Protestant Church EPUdF voted to bless same-sex marriages.

AUTHOR Joel Forster , Evangelical Focus PARIS 28 JANUARY 2016 10:38 h GMT+1
attestants, attestes, jesus, epudf Members vote in favour of the Attestants declaration, on January 16. / Attestants

At least 15% of the pastors inside the historic United Protestant Church of France (EPUdF) resist the idea of blessing same-sex marriages.



A vote in the Church’s synod in May (Sète) changed the traditional view of the doctrine of marriage and “truly shocked” many believers, French Protestant Pastor Caroline Bretones told Evangelical Focus.



She has helped organising the “Attester pour le Christ” congress (January 16th), in which 250 members of the EPUdF signed a declaration expressing their trust in the “sovereign authority of the Biblical Word for the life of Christians, our prayer for the renewal of this faith inside the United Protestant Church of France, and our work for the growth of the Church.”



The “Attestants” are those who “testify to their faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.” The new movement is founded by “leaders and pastors inside the EPuDF”.



Leaving the historic Christian view of marriage signals a deeper problem in the parishes, the movement believes.



“The question of our reading of the Scriptures and the authority that we grant them is at stake”, Bretones says.



The EPUdF has 250.000 members, 480 parishes and 500 pastors.



The members of the movement will not leave the Church for now. “If we stay, it is to let a voice be heard within our Church. We will see in the years to come if this voice is effectively heard or not.”



Read the full interview with Caroline Bretones.



 



Question. What are the main ideas of your declaration?



 



Caroline Bretones, during the founding congress. / Attestants.

Answer. Our declaration is turned towards the future; it is not going back to the decision made last May during the Synod. We have already expressed our disagreement with the decision to bless same-sex couples.



The declaration of intent is now meant to give a strong and clear orientation to our movement: our aim is to reaffirm clearly our faith in God Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in the authority of Scriptures for our lives and for our Church life, as well as the importance of prayer and the necessity to reply to the missionary mandate Christ has entrusted us with.



We are willing to call forth a revival in the midst of a Church, indeed diverse, in its faith expressions, but called to meet up with the heart of its faith and of its calling.



 



Q. How many inside the EPUdF churches agree with your biblical position on marriage?



A. It is difficult to assess clearly. What we do know for sure, is that the synod’s vote (94 voices for and 3 against) does not reflect the Church reality.



Many were far from expecting this decision and have been truly shocked by it. Some have left the Church, other stayed because of the movement we have initiated.



As for the pastors, I would say that currently, 15% are openly against.



 



“THE TOKEN OF A DEEPER WOUND”



Q. Will some of these 250 “attestants” leave the EPUdF churches? And, do you think believers will start leaving these official Protestant churches and find other Protestant Evangelical churches that hold to the authority of Scripture?

A. Some have already left the Church to join some Evangelical Churches, considering that a red line had been crossed with this decision. But most of us have seen in this decision the token of a deeper wound, a deeper evil and a warning.



Beyond the homosexuality issue, it is both the conception of the couple and of marriage that are at stake, as well as the question of our reading of the Scriptures and the authority that we grant them. From now on these topics will really have to be discussed. If we stay, it is to let a voice be heard within our Church. We will see in the years to come if this voice is effectively heard or not.



 



Open discussions during the congress. / Attestants



Q. Some may say you are “homophobes”. How do you respond to this accusations in the media?



A. It is an accusation that seeks to stifle the real message we want to convey, by disqualifying from the very beginning our discourse. But it is an unfounded accusation.



The parish in which I am the current pastor and which actively supports the Attestants movement, is to be counted among the parishes welcoming the greater number of homosexuals in France, because of its geographical situation nearby the Paris Gay district.



It is quite possible to refuse to bless homosexual couples while welcoming with Christ’s love and kindness those who join the church to hear the Gospel.



 



ABOUT CAROLINE BRETONES



Caroline Bretones (45), is a pastor ordained in 1997 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of France. She has been General Secretary of the Mission Intérieure Luthérienne (Lutheran Interior Mission) from 2002 to 2013, in office at the Temple du Marais since 2013.



Along with two other colleagues (Gilles Boucomont, who is also pastor at l'Eglise du Marais in Paris, and Christophe Desplanque, pastor in Agen) they have played a unifying role with pastors and members of the Church after the EPUdF synod that took place in Sète. They also organised the Attestants Congress of January 16th.



 



The congress of the movement, in Paris. / Attestants



More about the “Attestants” movement in the website of the movement.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - ‘Attestants’: reclaiming the authority of the Bible in French Protestantism
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
AEA Plaza opens to serve African evangelicals AEA Plaza opens to serve African evangelicals

After many years of labour, the Association of Evangelicals in Africa officially opened its new centre in Nairobi, Kenya. “Africa, your time has come!”, said the World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General Efraim Tendero.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
VIDEO Video
 
What can we learn from copying errors about the transmission of the biblical text? What can we learn from copying errors about the transmission of the biblical text?

“There is no evidence whatsoever of any systematic revision from the text from the begining to the end”, says researcher Dirk Jongkind.

 
Romania: God’s Word among Roma people Romania: God’s Word among Roma people

Gypsies are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Romania. According to 2013 estimates, the Roma groups make up 10% of the country's population, accounting for about 1.5 million people.

 
Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology

Christian leaders from all over Latin America are concerned about the progress of gender ideology agendas in the region. Many are joining together in public demonstrations and training events.

 
How do fake news spread? How do fake news spread?

Tony Watkins, Coordinator of the Lausanne Media Engagement Network.

 
Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain

Church planting, the amount of books authored by Spanish evangelicals and the growth of the Christian student movement in the last decades, are some of the marks underlined by Lindsay Brown.

 
Church planting in Strasbourg Church planting in Strasbourg

A video on how evangelicals are planting churches in Strasbourg (France).

 
 
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.