Monday, December 3, 2007

Ecumenism versus Modern Day Ecumenism

Ecumenism did not begin today for even in church history the church of the East used to come together to fellowship with the church of the West though they had different beliefs on what was Christmas, baptism and the position of the government in church. That means, ecumenism did not start today. However, the ecumenism in those days did not contradict the Bible as compared to modern day ecumenism.
Let me quickly define modern Ecumenism in a practical and lay man’s definition as when different religions come together to worship God (god). It was greatly accentuated by the pope when he gathered Muslims, Hindus, Christians (like himself), Amorc Society, Free Mansons and witch doctors, traditional healers in a common worship service as was the case in 1995. Yet the Catholic Church defines ecumenism as “ecumenism is the spiritual dialogue and activity in which the Church engages with other Christians. “Other Christians” in this context is understood to mean validly baptized non-Catholics”. When Pope John Paul II visited Cameroon in 1995, he held an ecumenical mass and even in his speech said this “am also pleased to address a cordial greeting to the representatives of the other Christian communities, of Islam and of the African Traditional Religion. I am grateful to them for having wished to take part in this welcoming ceremony, a prelude to an important event for their Catholic compatriots” (2 http://www.afrikaworld.net/synod/cameroon.htm). That is why he held a mass with Muslims, Catholics, Traditional African Religion priests and priestesses, AMORC Society and Free Masons.
Therefore, the true definition of ecumenism is when different religions come together to worship God but maintaining their tenets and beliefs as distinct from the others. In this case, Ecumenism will have many weakness and contradicts the doctrines of the Bible for fellowship.
The Bible first lays an admonition about fellowshipping with people who do not believe like you on the doctrines of Christ (2 Cor 6:14). To the best of my knowledge Muslims, Hindus and others do not regard Christ the way Christians do. For example; we should avoid fellowship with anyone who breaks and does not practice the commandment of God (II John 9-10) If we fellowship with them we are partaking in their evil ways (II John 11).
The second thing is that when Christians partake in ecumenical movements they place Christianity at the same level with other religions. In other words like people generally say that “we are one”. How can a Christian be one with the Muslim when the Muslims say God has no child and the Christians say God has a child. How would a woman who did not conceive and the one who gave birth be the same woman? Meanwhile Islam encourages its worshippers to honor the Bible for it is the Book of God (Suras Al Ma’ida The Table Spread 48, 68, 47; an Nisa’, Women 136) and a lot more. How can the Master be the same with the disciple or the fallible with the infallible?
Modern day ecumenism paves the way for Anti-Christ or the son or perdition (2 Thes 2:3-4).
The idea of the body is for people who are washed by the blood of Christ to come together. They are saved by the sacrificial death of Christ which a good number of religions do not believe in anyway. When we accept modern ecumenism we are saying Christ has saved them like he did with us.
Yesterday, I told you guys that the union in Christ is not an artificial and physical one. It is spiritual one. That is why going to church is not synonymous to salvation or being saved by Christ. If a church has many squabbles, it neutralizes the concept of the body which itself is to be the mirror that reflects unity.
However, if the Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Catholics decide to have a joined meeting that is ecumenism and is not bad. They all believe Jesus is their Lord and savior, the Bible is infallible, God has a son in Jesus, the Holy Spirit Jesus and God form the Godhead. That is the type of ecumenism that was propagated before that of the 21st century. We should encourage Christians coming together for join worship but discourage Christian meeting non-Christians for a joint worship. That does not nullify inviting non-Christians to our meetings peradventure they meet salvation. Nevertheless, we should not attend those meetings where each religion’s tenets are extolled. That is an unholy or ungodly ecumenism.

Until then, tolerance does not mean adoption of other religions.

Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk

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