Read at the inauguration March 15, 2017 in Schwäbisch-Gmünd in the south of Germany
Manila and Bonn, March 15, 2017
The World Evangelical Alliance congratulates you on having been elected to your new position as chair of the Evangelical Alliance in Germany, and we ask God’s rich blessing and strength upon you while giving leadership to God’s people.
We already got to know each other personally, as the Evangelical Alliance in Germany graciously hosted our International Leadership Team for nearly a week in Bad Blankenburg, reminding us of the rich history of your alliance, and especially the base of all, the yearly “Allianzgebetswoche” in Germany and Europe since 1847.
The Evangelical Alliance in Germany has a remarkable recent history of healing and reconciling major splits, especially the one between Evangelicals from the Pietist tradition and Evangelicals from the Pentecostal tradition. You, so far, have been the head of a small denomination that long incorporated both sides and that has been at the forefront of the efforts to heal the wounds, and so it is a happy symbol, that you now chair the whole national alliance.
A national alliance is not a theological paradise, but has to stick to the DNA of Biblical revelation in the midst of all major challenges of theology, nationally and worldwide. The heaviest and most dangerous questions, in the main, have shifted from the field of dogma to the field of ethics, and a national alliance is touched and targeted by any of those discussions. And, as it is part of our DNA that all Christians judge themselves with their Bible in hand and filled with the Holy Spirit, we cannot forbid questions or command an- swers, but have to go through those debates listening to each other, discussing and struggling for the truth. And yet, at the same time, we may not dissolve Biblical truth to the ever changing market of ideas. You already have been in the middle of such discussions and proven to be a strong, yet tender leader, and we pray, that God will empower you even more with the Holy Spirit to lead Germany’s Evangelicals into truth and love at the same time – the full range from the Lutheran and Reformed churches, the free churches to the charismatic and Pentecostal Christians.
Yours in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary General, World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), Manila
Bishop Thomas Schirrmacher, Associate Secretary General, WEA, Bonn