Italian Evangelical churches sign common statement

  • In NEWS
  • July 25, 2014
Defining it “historical” may be an overstatement. However, what happened on 19th July is a landmark in the 150 years of Italian Evangelicalism. For the first time ever, nearly 100% of Italian Evangelical churches and bodies (85% of Italian Protestants) signed a common statement reinforcing the Evangelical commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ also by providing biblical standards to assess the mounting ecumenical pressure coming from the Roman Catholic Church to expand its catholicity at the expense of biblical truth. It never happened before that such a large consensus was achieved and that Italian Evangelicals spoke with a single voice on such a crucial topic. The Italian Evangelical Alliance is glad to have facilitated the process that led to this historic event and looks forward to seeing this renewed sense of Evangelical unity being further nurtured. The churches and bodies that endorsed this statement represent the near totality of Evangelicals  who have a conservative Protestant theology and a strong evangelistic commitment. ITALIAN EVANGELICALS ON CONTEMPORARY CATHOLICISM Following a round table promoted by the Italian Evangelical Alliance, the Federation of Pentecostal Churches, the Assemblies of God in Italy, the Apostolic Church and the Pentecostal Congregations held in Aversa on 19th July 2014 at the Pentecostal College of Religious Sciences on the topic of “Roman Catholicism in Evangelical perspective”, the above mentioned churches and bodies, being alerted by the recent ecumenical openings by national and international Evangelical and Pentecostal circles with regards to the Roman Catholic Church and its present-day Pontiff, without passing judgment on the faith of individual people, believe nonetheless that it is incompatible with the teaching of Scripture to have a church that operates as mediator of salvation and that presents other figures as mediators of grace since God’s grace comes to us by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8) and without the agency of other mediators (1 Timothy 2:5). They also believe that it is incompatible with Biblical teaching to have a church that took the liberty to add dogmas (such as the Marian dogmas) to the faith once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3; Revelation 22:18). They also believe that it is incompatible with the teaching of Scripture to have a church whose heart is a political state that is a legacy of an “imperial” church from which it has inherited titles and prerogatives. Christian churches must refrain from imitating “the princes of this world” and follow the example of Jesus who came to serve and not to be served (Mark 10:42-45). Furthermore they also believe that what appear to be similarities with the Evangelical faith and spirituality of sectors of Roman Catholicism are not in themselves reasons for hope in a true change. All the standing theological and ethical differences considered, they cannot initiate nor advocate for ecumenical initiatives with regards to the Roman Catholic Church. They invite all Evangelicals at the national and international levels to exercise a healthy biblical discernment (1 John 4:1) without falling into unionist initiatives that are contrary to Scripture and instead renew their commitment to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20). Aversa (CE), 19th July 2014 Stefano Bogliolo Head of the Press Office of the Italian Evangelical Alliance.

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