Switzerland: Evangelical Alliance Responds to Papal Declaration

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Swiss Evangelical Alliance (SEA) Evangelische Allianz (SEA)

Media Director, Fritz Herrli, Josefstr. 32, 8005 Zürich

Tel. 043 344 72 00 Fax. 043 344 72 09

E-Mail: [email protected] Home Page: www.each.ch

Press Release

The Church can be found everyone people confess Jesus Christ (as Lord).

According the constitution of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance, the Church is not bound to any institution. The worldwide Church is made up of all people who have made a free decision to live for Jesus Christ and follow Him. This statement contradicts a recent statement released by the Vatican.

Zurich, June 11, 2007 (fh). The statement released yesterday by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the doctrine of the Church cements the erring view that the Church founded by Jesus Christ is realized in the (Roman) Catholic Church. The Swiss Evangelical Alliance resolutely opposes this teaching on the basis of the statements of the New Testament that serve as the basis for the understanding of the Church.

“Where two or three are gathered together . . . ”

The Church of Jesus is not an institution, but, rather, is made up of “those who are called out” (ecclesia). When people accept personally that Jesus died for their sins on the cross, when they turn from their sinful ways, allow themeselves to be renewed by the Holy Spirit, confess Jesus as Lord and follow Him – this is the Church. “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them”, Jesus says in Mt. 18:20. The SEA adheres to the belief of the “priesthood of all believers”, which makes up the worldwide Church (in whatever churches, denominations, or structures they may be). They are the Body, who Head is Christ (I Cor. 12).

Christ alone is the truth

Churches, whether they are local congregations or denominations or fellowships, are fellowships of believers that understand their dependence on one another, both in their understanding as well as in their gifts and abilities, as individual members of the worldwide body of Christ, the worldwide Church. Churches themselves can neither be the truth nor dispensers of salvation, but, instead, they preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ who alone is salvation and the truth.

The Swiss Evangelical Alliance (SEA) is a movement of Christians from the Reformed mainline churches, Protestant Free churches, and various Christian organizations. It is made up of 80 local sections including approximately 550 congregations and 90 Christian organizations, representing an estimated 250,000 people. The SEA is one of 127 national alliances worldwide with approximately 420 million likeminded individuals.

President SEA: Thomas Bucher (Tel. 079 252 79 21, E-Mail: [email protected])

Sekretary: Hansjörg Leutwyler, SEA, Josefstr. 32, 8005 Zürich (Tel. 043 344 72 00, Fax. 043 344 72 09)

Media Director: Fritz Herrli, SEA, Josefstr. 32, 8005 Zürich (Tel. 043 344 72 00, Fax. 043 344 72 09)