ADVERTISING
 
Friday, November 17   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
'... Christian'
I would define myself as...





SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Reformation anniversary
1
 

German Protestants and Roman Catholics turn 2017 into celebration of ecumenical unity

Several events to share “common faith” and “heal wounds” of the past are organised in Germany. Most evangelical Christians dissociate themselves from this ecumenical approach.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus, Joel Forster BERLIN 26 SEPTEMBER 2016 18:09 h GMT+1
beford, marx, unity, ecumenism Protestant Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm and Roman Catholic Cardinal Reinhard Marx believe 2017 is a year for unity and ecumenism. / Archive

In 2017, millions of Protestants and evangelical Christians around the world will celebrate the start of the Protestant Reformation and the return to the centrality of the Bible.



It was in 1517 when Martin Luther started his public fight against the minimisation of God’s Word, the commercialisation of salvation and the belief in purgatory, among several other issues of his time.



500 years later, the Protestant state church in Germany (EKD) will commemorate Luther while seeking unity with the Roman Catholic Church.



On September 16, the highest authorities of both churches in Germany, Protestant Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm and Roman Catholic Cardinal Reinhard Marx, signed a 92-page document in which they agreed to turn the 500th anniversary of the Reformation into an ecumenical year in which “we confess Jesus Christ together”.



 



CATHOLIC CARDINAL: “UNITED IN THE FAITH”



Cardinal Marx said he believed 2017 will show “how deeply both churches are united in the faith”.



The German Roman Catholic authorities are saddened by the “broken unity of the Church”, but “a joint Christ Fest” could help to take a new direction, Marx believes.



 



The joint Protestant Roman Catholic document for 2017.

“We as Catholics can now clearly say that Luther never wanted to create a new Church”, he added. The division between Protestants and Roman Catholics has caused many “wounds” and conflicts in the past, as both parties argued they had the truth on their side.



According to Marx, stereotypes are “an obstacle in the way to a visible unity among our Churches”. Therefore, the celebration of ecumenical events in 2017 will be “an almost revolutionary highlight”.



 



PROTESTANT LEADER: WE HAD “KNOW-IT-ALL ATTITUDES”



Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, on the Protestant side, also spoke about the divisions and fights of the past. Both churches have sinned by having “narrow know-it-all attitudes”, he believes.



The Protestant leader said doctrinal differences should not be hidden but brought on the table. In this sense, the Protestant Bishop celebrated the role the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (1999) has played in the ecumenical history of the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches.



 



JOINT ACTIVITIES IN 2017



In 2017, the two Churches will hold joint events. From October 16-22, representatives of the Protestant EKD and the Roman Catholic Church will travel together to Israel. In February, a united Bible Day will be celebrated in Stuttgart.



In March, a reconciliation service will be held, in which both Churches will ask each other for forgiveness. Several other reconciliation services will be celebrated around Germany throughout the year.



In Lund (Sweden), Pope Francis has accepted the invitation of the Lutheran World Federation to commemorate the 31st October together.



 



EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS: “UNITY CAN BECOME AN IDOL”



The majority of evangelical Christians do not agree with this approach to the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation.



“In today’s ecumenical world, when unity is in danger of being idolized, it takes courage to affirm that the Bible stands over tradition and the church, that Christ is the only mediator, that grace is all you need for your salvation, and that God is a jealous God”, Vatican expert and Italian Evangelical Alliance board member Leonardo de Chirico says in an article.



“It takes courage to make unity dependent on these Biblical truths and not elevating unity to the place of ‘first imperative’. Where these courageous Christians are, there the Reformation will be adequately celebrated. Otherwise, it will only be commemorated”.



The President of the Commission of Theology of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, José Hutter, has also expressed the need to represent Martin Luther in a faithful way: “The cult of the saints and the commerce of indulgences were some of the main reasons that caused the explosion of the Protestant Reformation. The Roman Catholic Church continues to promote the same errors.”



Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) expressed his desire to dialogue with Roman Catholics and work together in certain issues, but excluded ecumenism. Read his interview with Evangelical Focus.


 


POLL
Reformation 2017
Pope Francis will attend joint celebration of Reformation in Lund (Sweden) organised by the Lutheran World Federation. Is commemorating Luther’s 95 theses with the Roman Catholic Church a good idea?
No, Catholicism still teaches doctrines that Luther denounced.
64%
I don't know what to think, it’s a complex issue.
10%
Yes, we should walk towards the unity of all Christians and promote ecumenism.
26%
This Poll is closed.
Number of votes: 393
SEE MORE POLLS
 
 


1
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 

Pr Chris
27/09/2016
06:54 h
1
 
I am not surprised, but I am disappointed by the evangelical response to the efforts of Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches to seek the unity we share in Christ. The attitude being reflected in this article is one of pious superiority of the isolationist position. As a Lutheran Pastor, I'm thrilled that 60 years of honest discussion has led to this. The ELCA in the US is a bridge denomination. We truly believe that Jesus' last prayer for his disciples for unity is fundamental to faith.
 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - German Protestants and Roman Catholics turn 2017 into celebration of ecumenical unity
 
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.

 
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.

 
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. 

 
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
 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
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. 

 
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.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
“It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation” “It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation”

In creation care, “we need more people who lead by example”, says well-known Brazilian politician and activist Marina Silva. 

 
Human traffickers recruit girls and boys online Human traffickers recruit girls and boys online

The new video of the European Freedom Network addresses the dangers of social media. 

 
“Remember you are dust” “Remember you are dust”

Vaughan Roberts speaks from 25 years of ministry experience to share four lessons on staying the course as a Christian, despite ongoing battles with the world, the flesh, and the devil.

 
Walk Walk

A two-minute video on the meaning of Jude 24.

 
Playmobil animation on Luther’s life Playmobil animation on Luther’s life

British video platform GoChatter uses 4,000 individual photos to create stop motion video on Martin Luther's life.

 
Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi on how the Protestant Reformation underlined individualism as a means to please God, and how secular Europe corrupted it.

 
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.

 
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.