Schirrmacher participates as a Speaker at the General Assembly
(Bonn, 05.07.2016) Thomas Schirrmacher, Rector of the Martin Bucer Seminary, in an address before the 200 delegates at the general assembly of the Swiss Pentecostal Mission (Schweizerische Pfingstmission, or SPM) at the Christian Center Buchegg, emphasized that in his view the time for missions has not ended but has really just begun. After all, Schirrmacher maintains, the majority of Christians around the world have agreed with the introductory phrase of the “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World” paper jointly adopted by the Vatican, the World Council of Churches, and the World Evangelical Alliance. It reads as follows:
“Mission belongs to the very essence of the church. Proclaiming the word of God and witnessing to the world is essential for every Christian. At the same time, it is necessary to do so according to gospel principles, with full respect and love for all human beings.”
Schirrmacher’s view is that unfortunately, however, churches and Christians in the Western Christian world are repeatedly surprised at how attractive Christianity continues to be. In the Protestant Church in the Rhineland, former Muslims from Iran have been baptized in the hundreds although Schirrmacher said that the church has just declared that Muslims are by no means to be proselytized.
In addition to his lecture on world missions, Schirrmacher also gave the synod’s opening sermon on Esther 6:1: “That night the king could not sleep …” Although Esther did everything in her power under the most adverse circumstances, was ready to sacrifice her life, and organized a time of great prayer and fasting, God alone did what was decisive in one night in order to then immediately resend Esther back into the race. God, according to Schirrmacher, could do everything without us, but we can do nothing without God. However, God wishes to not do anything without us, and for that reason we are completely called upon although the Holy Spirit is always the real driving force.
The SPM began in 1907 and was officially established in 1921. It held its first general assembly in 1935. The SPM comprises 70 congregations with about 10.000 baptized members. The SPM’s general assembly takes place once per year and includes additional elected delegates in addition to all pastors and church leaders.
The SPM has a cooperation agreement with Martin Bucer Seminary Switzerland in which one reads:
“MBS Switzerland works with the SPM in order to offer SPM interns and candidates the most optimal theological education and continuing education possible while tied to practical orientation.”
To this end, there are certain training services within the framework of SPM seminars which count towards the studies. Moreover, one advisor from MBS and one from SPM put together individual programs.