Author Topic: TED President Presents to EU Parliment on the Reformation  (Read 109 times)

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Richard Myers

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TED President Presents to EU Parliment on the Reformation
« on: October 22, 2017, 07:08:03 AM »
The EU and Church dialogue – presented by Pastor Raafat Kamal, President of the Trans-European Division, at a Reformation 500
celebration at the European Parliament, 17 October 2017

I wish to thank Dr Hannu Takkula and team for organising this important conference to
Celebrate the 500 Years of Reformation.

I hope that we all agree with the irrefutable notion that the centre of the Reformation is
Jesus Christ – His life, His teachings, His death, His resurrection, and His promised return.
Jesus is our Creator, our Redeemer and our ONLY Hope.

The term 'Post-truth' was declared last year as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. In
21st century Europe, TRUTH has become a matter of opinion, a matter of feeling and
sometimes irrelevant. In this current era of post-truth, it is easy to cherry-pick information
to polish one’s personal position and come to whatever conclusion one desires. No wonder
we live in a world of confusion wrapped by a “crisis of meaning”.

And for the last 40 years, this crisis of meaning has become viral. Our European societies
are producing very many unhappy and unhealthy directionless people. We just need to
review the growing statistics on mental health, suicide, anxiety, depression, sleep
deprivation – just to list a few.

Jesus is the only answer for our Post-Truth time (John 14:6), he said “… I am the way and the
truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

These rediscovered truths are salvific, yet other vital dimensions of the Reformation
message should not be neglected. If our intention is to move our broken communities to a
better and just place … human dignity, individual freedom of conscience, religious freedom,
tolerance, generosity towards the other and duty of care for the poor and needy need to
continue to be foundational blocks of our attitudes, laws, and partnerships between the EU,
national governments and civil societies.

These essential values are captured well in the book of Micah 6:8 – “He has shown you oh
man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”

The words ascribed to Martin Luther as he held fast to the dictates of his transformed
conscience to act justly and love mercy have inspired generations of believers and nonreligious
people alike: “Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason . . . my
conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go
against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help
me.”

Here is a quick application for us today - a person’s conscience based on the Word of God
should dictate his or her choice to worship and believe—or not.

To embrace religious freedom is to champion and integrate the dignity of human beings in
our laws, culture and way of life. It is to adopt a personal attitude of tolerance, whereby
tolerance is an expression of solidarity with every member of the human family. It
translates into respect for every human being, after all, we are created in God’s image. And
this can only be genuine when other peoples’ rights are respected.
Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

Most people know that Jesus came to bring forgiveness and grace – these are hallmarks of
the Reformation. Less well known is the Biblical teaching that a true experience of the grace
of Jesus Christ inevitably motivates persons, communities and nations to see and apply
biblical justice and mercy in this world.

Some argue that the job of the church or civil societies is not to do justice at all, but to
preach the Word and nurture believers. But if it is true that justice and mercy are the
inevitable signs of justifying faith in Jesus Christ, it is hard to believe that the church is not to
live Jesus Christ and reflect His values corporately to the wider community.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s portfolio of services in 202 countries confirm
remarkable intersections with many of the goals and values of the European Union and the
United Nation. I walked these corridors many times and visited offices to dialogue and
partner about issues of advocacy, religious freedom, human rights, social justice and
support to the poor and needy. I have first hand experience as a war child of suffering,
homelessness and intolerance.

I am happy to be part of my church’s global network of schools and educational institutions,
its hospitals and medical centres, and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
that alleviate suffering in the world with projects in 141 countries confirms our commitment
towards biblical justice and mercy.

Furthermore, my church’s International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) and Public
Affairs and Religious Liberty Department (PARL) have defended religious freedom for all
people regardless of their religious affiliation for more than 100 years. As one of our leaders
recently noted – “If we do not protect religious freedom, promote tolerance and champion
human dignity, we do not deserve it”. We take these fundamental principles seriously.
My appeal to you is not to shrink or box Jesus to the place where he only “saves our soul”. I
believe Jesus Christ has and can change the world to make it a better and fairer place.
Our laws and partnerships to respect human dignity need to be non-discriminatory and
inalienable; indivisible; interdependent and interrelated. They need to be nondiscriminatory
because everyone is created in God’s image and is born with and possesses
the same dignity, regardless of where they live, their gender or race, or their religious,
cultural or ethnic background. Inalienable because people’s rights can never be taken away.
Indivisible and interdependent because all rights – political, religious, civil, social, cultural
and economic – are equal in importance and none can be fully enjoyed without the others.
In conclusion, the Protestant Reformation is not a historical event frozen in the 16th Century.
On the contrary, the Reformation spirit and message must be rediscovered and relived
today if we are to make the most of its core principles.

You and I are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. These biblical convictions
threatened the power of the powerful and changed the destiny of Europe.
I hope and pray that we have the same boldness and courage to acknowledge that we are
our brother’s keeper – that we share common humanity and are responsible for one
another. I appeal to you to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God and may that
candle never be put out.




Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38823
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: TED President Presents to EU Parliment on the Reformation
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 07:24:25 AM »
Important Protestant principles were put forward. That is good. But, there there was some additional thoughts that do not appear to rightly represent our church or Bible truth.


“If we do not protect religious freedom, promote tolerance and champion
human dignity, we do not deserve it”. We take these fundamental principles seriously.
My appeal to you is not to shrink or box Jesus to the place where he only “saves our soul”. I
believe Jesus Christ has and can change the world to make it a better and fairer place.
Our laws and partnerships to respect human dignity need to be non-discriminatory and
inalienable; indivisible; interdependent and interrelated. They need to be nondiscriminatory
because everyone is created in God’s image and is born with and possesses
the same dignity, regardless of where they live, their gender or race, or their religious,
cultural or ethnic background. Inalienable because people’s rights can never be taken away.
Indivisible and interdependent because all rights – political, religious, civil, social, cultural
and economic – are equal in importance and none can be fully enjoyed without the others.
In conclusion, the Protestant Reformation is not a historical event frozen in the 16th Century.
On the contrary, the Reformation spirit and message must be rediscovered and relived
today if we are to make the most of its core principles.


This came out of the Protestant reformation?  "Inalienable because people’s rights can never be taken away. Indivisible and interdependent because all rights – political, religious, civil, social, cultural and economic – are equal in importance and none can be fully enjoyed without the others." Even in the United States where liberty was the founding principle, there has never been any mention of such a thing as we read here. The Protestant Reformation had nothing to do with political, civil, social, and cultural "rights".  The liberties involved were liberty of conscience, religious liberty, separation of church and state. That is no state ought to be telling people what they can and cannot do when it comes to who they worship. The Reformation extended to express clearly what the Christian religion is founded upon, the Bible and the Bible only. The idea that the pope is the highest authority in Christianity was put to an end. No man is God or can change God's times and laws as popes have attempted to do.

As for social justice, our TED leader appears to have stepped outside of Scripture in saying people have a right to economic freedom. People have a right to work, not to be fed when they won't work. Socialism does not work because people are by nature selfish and will gladly take from others who do work. To help those who are not able to provide for themselves is not the responsibility of government, but of the church. She has failed in her responsibilities, so the government has assumed her job of caring for the worthy and unworthy poor. Government has created a poor class which is now dependent upon the government. Maybe our brother does not see things this way, if not, then he needs to use different language. "I walked these corridors many times and visited offices to dialogue and partner about issues of advocacy, religious freedom, human rights, social justice and support to the poor and needy." Social justice as being touted today is not Biblical. And all cultures do not have a right to be respected. Some cultures are evil. We do not encourage people to follow culture, but God which has a better culture than those of the world.

Brother Kamal did not take advantage of his opportunity to express the reality that the world is now in the same condition as it was just before the flood, where evil is called good, and good is called evil. Nowhere is it more true than in decadent Europe.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.