Years have passed. If we look back in time then we will have better understanding about our movement in the early days. At that time, many people didn’t realize, both Christians and non-Christians, what the Charter 87 (Harta 87) document really was. This was clearly a political act of a spiritual content, or declaration, which at that time publicly attacked the political and spiritual structure. From the spiritual point of view, it was a sacrificial offering, initiated by a large-scale group (by more than four hundred people), an analogy would be the biblical story of Abraham, who went to sacrifice Isaac.
The sacrificial offering means that conditions will be given by God for obtaining results in the near future and also for distant future but the cost is very high to whom it is required. Abraham had to pay a high price – he had to sacrifice Isaac who was obtained by miracle. But God had a far-reaching plan, and by the obedience of Abraham was God able to give His only begotten Son for our sins. God always knows what He is doing and He has always a good plan, even if He asks us to give up something. Before something occurred, God asked us if we are willing to pay such a price, and at the same time He gave us concrete promises. We said yes to God and then followed the Charter 87 document. Signing such a document at that time meant if not his signing of the death penalty, then at least your good name and career would be seriously compromised.
Different people signed this document under the different reasons and with different motives. Quite a few did it for a reason to use this option for the west, although there was no guarantee that the authorities would give us this opportunity. The good side of it is that all of these people went to church and heard the Word of God on a regular basis, and the majority received Jesus as their Savior. I want to assure all of you who signed this document, regardless of your motives, that it was important and still is. Everyone has the right to do what he thinks is right. Who wanted to go west, went west. Who attended church only for the exit, stopped attending church after the departure. Who did all this in obedience to God, still serves the Lord. We all make choices every day – either with God or without Him. Everyone is responsible for their own decisions. We pray regularly for all those lovely people who were part of this job but now have gone far from God for various reasons. God loves us and we love them and we still believe that a large proportion of them will come back into fellowship with Him, and that they will also be re-established in the structure of the church. At this time there was a controversy in the question of whether to leave or stay in Estonia. For this there is only a single answer – each person had to do what he had in his heart. Thank God that despite disagreements, those who were supposed to be here to continue the work, stayed here, and those who were supposed to go out, went out. Each person is only responsible for what God told him to do. As I have seen, it is very risky to believe that only our own opinions and views are correct.
On this day, none of the signatories should feel embarrassed nor regret that they had signed such a document. It was the right thing at the right time, and only the foolhardy could handle it. It was very significant and it still is. One thing I can unequivocally claim today – all that God promised us at this time when He gave us this task has proven to be true, and has been fulfilled before our eyes. God has not deceived us. He did what promised. He is faithful. Such a firm knowledge is for a foundation for us for the future. God promised to make Estonia free country and so He did. This is the reality in the political and economic sphere. I believe that if God sees Estonia as a free country, then He sees this nation also spiritually free. This is the area in which He is working intensively. I believe that if God was able to give us the political and economic freedom, He is also able to give us spiritual freedom. Of course every person makes the personal decision. God is visiting this nation, because He loves Estonia. We have called Estonia a spiritual super state.
In the light of these historical tasks, we see the Tallinn Charter Christian church’s place and responsibility in the spiritual landscape of Estonia according to the vision that God gave to us many years ago – to develop, promote and build up the Body of Christ, both in and outside of Estonia, in cooperation with other congregations. The Charter 87 document content is still topical, because it is based on God’s Word. Just as the Estonian people were not allowed to go with the anti-Israeli propaganda in the Soviet time, they may not do so either now nor in the future.