The problem with Ecumenicalism
Ecumenicalism is basically just a big word used by a lot of religious people, but to know exactly what it means, we'll look up the word. We see that ecumenicalism means -"the doctrine of the ecumenical movement that promotes cooperation and better understanding among different religious denominations: aimed at universal Christian unity." In other words, ecumenicalism basically means that there is within Christianity "the urge to merge" with others that profess to be Christians, primarily by tolerance of those that are different in their beliefs while looking at what we have in common. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? But it is even more convincing when the leader of a certain denomination adds that Bible verse found in John 17:22, "...that they may be one, even as we are one," as if Jesus was all for unity. However, Jesus wasn't preaching unity for the sake of unity. He was asking for unity amongst His disciples, those like-minded followers, the believers of His one true way of His one true Gospel. Elsewhere His word tells us this fact, the fact that He is against ecumenicalism, as in Luke 12:51+52, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three." And Matthew 7:13 +14 tells us, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." The Bible clearly tells us to separate believers from non-believers, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" And "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." (John 6:14+17)
Why do I choose to question ecumenicalism? Am I against peace? No, but there is a danger that
goes with ecumenicalism. And I see it when the persons that try to get me to look the other way by telling me to "Let's forget our differences, after all, there are no two people alike. Let's just try to
get along!" This is compromise! The Bible is clear about there being only one God, one Jesus, and one Gospel. And John 3:16 tells us, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:36 adds our two choices, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Jesus tells us that differences do matter in His Word, the Bible, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) Therefore, it seems to be clear that the Bible tells us two reasons to oppose ecumenicalism. The first is that there is only a minority of those that claim to be Christians are actually true believers, the others are Christian in name only. The second is that God doesn’t want believers to compromise His gospel with nonbelievers and knows that His Word divides people, not unite them. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." God knows and warns us about the dangers of compromising throughout the Bible.
We now live in a period of which all the parts of the puzzle now are falling into place for the return of Jesus. The Bible tells us that we are living at the time in which we can expect Jesus to come for His followers and for the rest of the world of unbelievers to suffer through the seven year tribulation. I won't get into that part now except to say that the Scriptures talk about a one world religion forming at that time and we can see it already when everyone starts compromising. Then we have what we saw happened in 1986 with a World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Italy. That unprecedented gathering at the pope's invitation drew leaders of Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Unitarians, traditional African and Native American religions and many others. Together, under the roof of the Basilica of St. Francis, they all prayed, side by side, with Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant leaders for world peace, often times saying "we believe in the same God, the one God, the living God." All these religions having the same God? Not hardly!
Sounds much like those that Jesus warned about in the Books of Jeremiah 6:14 and 9:11, where it says, "Peace, peace; when there is no peace." Finally, in Matthew 24:24+25 we see a warning from Jesus. It says, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before." Are you sure that Ecumenicalism is what you want? I don't and I'd rather stick with Joshua's thinking, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)