Ecumenecism, what do you think about it?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Prince of Preachers, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. Prince of Preachers

    Prince of Preachers
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    i think this is the new wave of christanity, I believe it should not be going there at all. I believe that it is a group of people who decided they wanna make God more suitable for themselves, and to lower each standard and conviction that God would what them to have.
     
  2. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are correct. I do not believe that salvation is found outside the Church at all. It is therefore grievously wrong to encourage people in their choosen religion as if there manmade doctrines are somehow equal to the truth which is found in the Church.

    Only in the Church do we find the promise of Christ "....and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it..." Only in the Church do we find the Eucharist, of which our Lord Himself said:

    Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.


    Therefore, the converse is true....those who DO NOT eat of this bread shall NOT live forever!!

    I do not understand the reason why the Church has decided to take on such a low key denial of these truths as eccumenicism posits, but it is disturbing at the least. If the Early Fathers had possessed such and eccumenist attitude, Christianity would have remained nothing more than a localized Jewish phenomenon in Palestine and would have eventually died out completely, leaving the world without truth in pagan darkness.

    Thank God for men like the Early Fathers who would not compromise the truth, even to save their lives.

    Brother Ed
     
  3. Dualhunter

    Dualhunter
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    872
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eastern rite Catholics are so much more in touch with reality than their Latin counterparts. CC knows that the Church of Rome has made some statements that cannot simply be swept under the rug of ignorance if it wants to continue to claim to be infalliable and he's not afraid to admit it.
     
  4. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Messages:
    4,005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is it not interesting how papal authority has been given to decisions now known to be false, and in each case some ingenious attempt is made to show that the attribute of infallibility did not attach to the erroneous decision? Instead of a guide who leads them right, they have a guide who can always find some plausible excuse to make every time they turn out to be wrong.
     
  5. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/curtis.gif>

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    20,255
    Likes Received:
    4
    Actually, Brother Ed's post demonstrates why we need to stand against ecumenism with only the Bible as our shield. You should not ignore plain biblical teaching in order to fill your church up. We should preach the gospel only, and link with those who only will do likewise. Christ's prayer for unity is taken out of context by those wishing to intimidate others into accepting error.
     
  6. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/curtis.gif>

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    20,255
    Likes Received:
    4
    Yes, we know about a few of those martyrs. William Tyndale comes to mind.
     
  7. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/curtis.gif>

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    20,255
    Likes Received:
    4
    More intimidation. Those who reject the eucharist are still promised salvation. Paul's words contradict the real presense, he stated it was a symbolic rite.(1Corinthians 11:23-25)

    Jesus himself said it was symbolic, not a literal meaning.(John 6:63)

    Christ's sacrifice was a once-for-all event. To deny this is to deny the eternal propitiation of his sacrifice.(John 19:30) The just demands of a righteous God are met.

    A sacrifice without blood has no power to cleanse.(Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 9:22)

    The idea of a human intrusion between Christ and the believer is blasphemy.(1Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 7:24-27)

    I do not wish to hijack this thread, but your angry rants that those who reject the RCC mass are going to hell will get a rebuttal from me everytime.
     
  8. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ooooooohhhhh, Brother Curtis!!!

    Got up a tad feisty now there, did we?

    Hey, c'mon. I printed out the words of our Lord right from the Scriptures. It is not intimidation to tell people that He meant exactly what He said.

    Tyndale's version of the Scriptures was corrupted, just as the Scofield Reference Bible is corrupted by all those interlinear notes which teach the fantasy of the mythological "rapture of the saints". French frying him may not have been the proper way to handle his rebellion, but those were the times. For some reason, in that day and age, it was considered the proper thing to do to kill one's enemies. Thus we have Puritans persecuting Presbyterians, both groups persecuting the Catholics and Anabaptists, Anglicans killing Catholics, Catholics killing Anglicans. Yeeeeeeow!!! What a time to try to stay alive!

    What I am saying is that it was not only the Catholic Church which was doing this, so you can stop with the holier than thou attitude, okay? Perhaps you and I would not do such now, but then, there was this very strange and different way of looking at things. Feudal lords, knights, kings....all that stuff.

    As for the statements of our Lord....you still seem unwilling to admit that those who learned from the apostles themselves taught the Real Presence. WHY? If this is such a paganism, why would such men want anything to do with it? Such a statement hints at them being ignoble, deceitful and underhanded with the truth which the apostles entrusted to them.

    Anyhow, have you ever thought about WHY it is that only in the Church there is salvation? It is because the Church is the Body of Christ. Outside of Christ our God, there simply is no life. Our salvation is more than just a mere declaration of some assent to an idea (Jesus is God, Jesus died for me, etc.). It is UNION WITH HIM. (Romans 6:3). WE are united to Him and thus, in that union, share in His life, which is real life and, if we do not decide to leave Him, eternal life. Thus, there can be no salvation outside His Body.

    In like manner, the Blessed Sacrament is again a very real and grace filled union which we experience in order that we may constantly be filled with the grace of union with Him. You see, everything is about being united with God. You look at things as "superstituous mumbo jumbo" (c'mon, I KNOW you do -- that's what I used to call it!!). You do not see what the purpose of these things is.

    As I have said before, it is a MARRIAGE. God uses that analogy to describe our union in the Body of Christ. We are the Bride of Christ. But WHEN is the covenant of marriage REALLY AND TRULY legal from a Biblical (which would be a JEWISH CULTURAL) standpoint? It was when the marriage was consummated physically. The covenant of marriage is finalized by the shedding of blood (do I have to get graphic here?) and the uniting in a true "one flesh" relationship between the husband and the bride. Look at Jacob and Leah. The whole celebration he went through with Laban was supposed to be (at least in his mind and desire) for Rebekah, but when he awoke the next morning -- guess what pallie boy !!!! YOU are married to Leah!!

    WHY??

    Because through the intimacy of the "one flesh" act, he made the marital covenant with Leah.

    This understanding of union is far, far different than Luther and Calvin's legal contract. There is no idea of the Bride of Christ and the marital covenant in their soteriology. It is not union, it is basically paperwork. It really is the same relationship Muslims have to their demon god -- that of slavery and fear rather than that of becoming "one flesh" in union with Him. There is simply no idea in Protestantism of one flesh intimacy in any of the rites you go through, whereas in the Catholic and Orthodox faiths, all the Sacraments are Christ operating through the priest or bishop to be with His people and intimately relate to them, the Eucharist being the MOST intimate of them all.

    Bro. Curtis, I know you know the Bible, but what you know is along the lines of the barest possible legal understanding of forgiveness, NOT of the idea of our UNION IN LOVE with the One Who loved us and died for our sins. THAT, my brother, is the difference between the barrenness of Baptist thought and the rich fullness of Catholic/Orthodox thought on this subject.

    Finally, as for the Church...as Orthodox writer/convert Bishop Kalistos Ware has written:

    "We know that there is salvation only in the Church. What we do not know is where exactly the walls of the Church are."

    And as for this statement:

    Eastern rite Catholics are so much more in touch with reality than their Latin counterparts. CC knows that the Church of Rome has made some statements that cannot simply be swept under the rug of ignorance if it wants to continue to claim to be infalliable and he's not afraid to admit it.

    Again, you misunderstand infallibility. The statements I object to have nothing to do with the infallible nature of the Roman Church's teachings. They do, however, have serious questions regarding the ADMINISTRATION of this truth in the world.

    Example: The Roman rite does not commune their children. They wait until they can make a "decision for Jesus" and then confirm and commune them. We do not do this. From the moment that our children can swallow as babies they are given a tiny bit of the precious Blood of our Lord. The Roman Church is in error in this in my opinion. Historically, the Eucharist was given to all up until a couple of hundred years ago. Then, for some reason, they changed the administration.

    So our doctrines are the same (Real Presence), but our administration of the Sacrament is different.

    In the encyclical "DOMINUS IESUS", our Holy Father made the statement that salvation comes through the Church alone. This made the liberals in Christendom, along with the Hindus, Muslims, and other pagan religions hoppin' mad!! :mad:

    Well, tough!! Without Christ as their sin bearer, they are going to be much more than mad on the Judgement Day. It is no mercy to such people to entertain to them the idea that their demon inspired religions are of the same salvational nature as Christianity. It is a shame to me that the Holy Father didn't go on to urge those in those religions to repent and come to Christ.

    Likewise, STUPID papers like the recent one on the Jews in which the bishops made statements which are both theologically unsound as well as salvationally confusing, do not help the issue any.

    But hey, that's Rome. There is a long and rich history of shooting themselves in the foot verbally. Apparently the 21st century has not brought a stop to this lamentable habit.

    So....in doctrine - infallible. In practice.....ahhhhhh,well, methinks (and this is only MY opinion, which is near worthless in the big scheme of things) that they need to tighten up the ship a bit.

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed
     
  9. Chemnitz

    Chemnitz
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Of course I am still trying to find the word symbolic in the text of 1 Cor 11.
     
  10. MEE

    MEE
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/me3.jpg>

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, we know about a few of those martyrs. William Tyndale comes to mind.</font>[/QUOTE]Bro. Curtis, since you mentioned William Tyndale, here is a little information on what happens to people who *supposedly* go against......well you know what I mean! [​IMG] Try as they may...they can't destroy God's Word or hide it from His people.

    William Tyndale

    Towards the end of the 15th century there was a resurgence of the study of Greek. By 1500, Greek was being taught at Oxford. When Tyndale graduated from Oxford in 1515, he had studied the Scriptures in both Greek and Hebrew. He developed a strong desire to translate the Bible into English, from the original languages.

    Due to Church opposition he was forced to relocate to Hamburg in Germany, where he completed his translation of the New Testament in 1525. Bibles arrived in England in 1526, where they were gladly received by the common people, and burned by the Church!

    After finishing the New Testament, Tyndale began work on the Old Testament, but was martyred before he could complete it. Tyndale continued to work abroad, revising and reissuing his translation until his arrest and imprisonment in 1535. After over a year in prison, he was first strangled, and then burned at the stake, in 1536. At the time of his death, he had completed the Pentateuch, Jonah, and some of the historical books.

    Miles Coverdale was an assistant to Tyndale. He had worked with Tyndale, on the translation of the Pentateuch. During Tyndale's imprisonment, he continued the work of translating the entire Old Testament. This was completed in 1537.

    By the time this translation was issued, Henry VIII had broken all ties with the Roman Church. He was ready to tolerate an English translation. He endorsed Coverdale's Bible without knowing that it was essentially the work of Tyndale, which he had previously condemned!

    There are more, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    MEE

    [ November 05, 2002, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: MEE ]
     
  11. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    When modernism hit the church in Canada, Dr. TT Shields, of Jarvis Street Baptist Church, held up the new United Church of Canada doctrinal statement. He said: "I have an old Ford car out back. It takes me somewhere and brings me back. This document takes you nowhere and it leaves you there."

    If he were alive to-day, I believe he would say much the same about ecumenism..it takes you nowhere and leave you there.......and it comes from hell......

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. Dan Stiles

    Dan Stiles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you'd care to start over and set out a true definition of "ecumenism" and "ecumenical" rather than shooting from the hip with a scattergun, you'd be doing yourselves a favor. As it is, you sound like tumbleweeds hitting the shed - makes you go "huh?" the first time or two you hear it, then you ignore the noise.

    Just like it would be inaccurate for one to define Christianity by pointing to the Unitarian Universalists and the Mormons, it is completely inaccurate to defame ecumenism by connecting it with such unChristian heresies as you have.

    Ecumenism, by it very definition, is Christian groups working together. Now if you allow non-Christian groups to co-opt a perfectly good word and Biblical concept - and even back them up by misusing the term, then you are just as bad as the politically correct crowd who have made a shambles of the English language.

    Ecumenism is the Baptist missionary group working to share scarce resources with the Methodist, Anglican, and CC folks who are working to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Ecumenical activities in your local community are the churches in an area who agree to preach the Gospel and only the Gospel having a pulpit exchange, or sharing choirs, or joining together to read the entire Bible from the courthouse steps. It is the churches who follow ONE Lord and Savior sharing to provide a food and clothing bank where all dispersments are accompianied by prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. And more. My definition is by no means complete, but notice the insistance on CHRISTIANITY.

    Ecumenism is a specifically Christian word; stop letting the PC crowd co-opt it, and stop letting the groups who only use the name "Christian" take it for their own without solid rebuttal. Complain if you want to about what you have allowed "ecumemism" to become, but what you've described is not what ecumenenism truly is.

    [ November 05, 2002, 07:32 PM: Message edited by: Dan Stiles ]
     
  13. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    Ecumenism is not Christian. It is global and reaches out to all religions whether they be Christian or not. It is all religions working together, something that the Bible forbids (2Cor.6:14-17).
    Note carefully the following article:

    Over 7,000 individuals from a wide variety of religious traditions met in Cape Town, South Africa, December 1-8, 1999, in order to dialogue, worship and listen to world religious leaders discuss a platform for world peace in the new millennium. Robert Henderson, spokesman for the Parliament of World Religions (PVM), referred to the gathering as "the birth of a new system of the organization of the world's religions. " He added, "We have thousands of people representing all the religious traditions in one place. For the first time, they are giving birth to a common vision of their spiritual and redeeming purpose" (Ecumenical News International, 12-10-99). The parliament met for the first time in Chicago, Illinois, in 1893 and convened once again in Chicago in 1993. Organizers of the gathering said the purpose of this third meeting was twofold: "To facilitate understanding and [inter-religious] dialogue and to call on government institutions to move towards a global ethic" (Reuters, 11-30-99). Much of the meeting centered around debate and discussion of a 48-page document titled "Call to Our Guiding Institutions" which calls for the cooperation of secular and religious institutions in order to establish a "just, peaceful and sustainable world." The document says the world now finds itself open to "the possibility of a new level of creative engagement between the institutions of religion and spirituality and the other powerful institutions that influence the character and course of human society." While the parliament does not possess any binding authority on matters of religion, it seeks to lay a foundation for the acceptance of a worldwide "global ethic" which, according to Roman Catholic theologian Hans Kung, consists of "a minimum of common values and attitudes which could be affirmed by all religions and be supported by non-believers" (ENI, 12-8-99). Kung, a lecturer at the parliament gathering, is president of the Global Ethic Foundation in Tubingen, Germany. Much of the discussion at the parliament will continue in August 2000 when 1,000 of the world's religious leaders will gather at the United Nations for a "Millennium World Peace Summit." The gathering will be the first such gathering in the 54-year history of the United Nations. Bawa Jain, executive coordinator of the world peace summit said, "Our dream is to get the preeminent religious leaders to the UN so they can support the peace process in concert with the political bodies there" (ENI, 12-3-99). Besides Kung, other notable religious leaders participating in the parliament included South African Muslim activist Fatima Meer, United States Sikh leader Balwant Singh Hansra, chief rabbi of South Africa Cyril Harris, Chinese Buddhist leader Hsin Tao, Muslim scholar Iqbal Ansari, Anglican interfaith pioneer Marcus CR Braybrooke and DePaul University professor Elizabeth Stewart who led a program entitled "Holy Foolishness-A Christological Paradigm for the New Millennium." Those in attendance also heard speeches by former South African president Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. The danger with such an unholy mixture of paganism and professed Christianity lies within the new tactics of the ecumenists and the new strategy for religious unity. No longer do ecumenists strive for one unified religion, but for unity through diversity and agreement on the need for a "global ethic." For example, South African Rabbi Cyril Harris said, "By joining this parliament we do not have to give up the beliefs and practices of our faiths, but we do have to give to the human family of which we are all a part" (Reuters, 12-1-99). Likewise, Dirk Ficca of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, which organized the gathering, added, "We are not out to create one religion. We want convergence of purpose, not consensus" (Los Angeles Times, 12-4-99). Such an excuse for religious unity is completely contrary to the Word of God which commands all true believers to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph. 5:11).
    http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/parliamentof.htm
    DHK
     
  14. Dan Stiles

    Dan Stiles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    0
    Seems to me you are clearly focused on some recent developments. Try studying the origins of ecumenism and you'll understand it's Christian focus. What is going on now - what you keep referring to - is no more ecumenism than homosexuality is "gay." Just because these folks are using the word doesn't make it so. They also claim to be Christian.

    You seem to be equating ecumenism with the WCC in the last 50 years or so (since WWII). One reference I do have handy defines ecumenism as:
    "Movement toward unity or cooperation among the Christian churches." It goes on to remark about the beginning of the modern ecumenical movement, "The first major step in the direction of ecumenism was the International Missionary Conference of 1910, a gathering of Protestants." This was a group of missionaries figuring out how to share resources. Is that bad? Be sure now, because it was solidly supported by prominent Baptist missionaries. (BTW, this 1910 meeting was by no means the 'first major step').

    Tommorrow when I go over to my study, I look up some older references. You still won't accept them, but I'll post them anyway.

    [ November 06, 2002, 01:28 AM: Message edited by: Dan Stiles ]
     
  15. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/curtis.gif>

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    20,255
    Likes Received:
    4
    Ed, your words tell me that those who reject the eucharist are going to hell. Why wouldn't you get an angry respone ? I don't need you to tell me where I'm going, my Bible does that.

    You say the Christians who aren't catholic are not part of the Body of Christ. How should I respond to that ? It's intimidation. Your church has been doing that for centuries.

    Back to ecumenism. It's a bad thing.
     
  16. Prince of Preachers

    Prince of Preachers
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    So if eucumenicism is so vile and corrupt why do so many baptist churches change their name. From first baptist church, to "the vine" WHAT IS THAT.
    My God did not establish the "vine" or the "door" he established a church. How do we as the Brotherhood of preachers and sanits of God stop this one world religon?
     
  17. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    0
    My God did not establish the "vine" or the "door" he established a church.

    Yupper, Christ indeed established a Church. And He gave the keys to that kingdom, the Church, to St. Peter, NOT to C. H. Spurgeon or any other Baptist preacher!

    How do we as the Brotherhood of preachers and sanits of God stop this one world religon?

    Uhhhh, you better go back and read yer Bible a bit more carefully. Jesus prayer SPECIFICALLY for a single Church in John 17. His prayer was "...that they may be ONE..."

    NOT "...that they may be many, disorganized, confused, and constantly fighting among themselves"

    Since there is only ONE Church, then there can only be ONE religion of truth...that religion which is called Christian. And ultimately, in eternity, there will be but one family of God, one Head of the family, one truth, one God. The name of "allah" the false demon god will not appear. The name of Buddah, the philosopher, will not appear. The millions of names of the Hindu "gods" will not appear.

    That name which will be glorified forever and held in the highest esteem will be that of JESUS OUR LORD!!!

    HALLLLELUJAH!!!!!!

    Amen.

    Brother Ed
     
  18. Dualhunter

    Dualhunter
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    872
    Likes Received:
    0
    You don't seem to understand what the keys are.
     
  19. MEE

    MEE
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/me3.jpg>

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    0
    This may be off the topic, but I've always wanted to ask a "non-believer" this question, if I may?

    It's evident that you do not believe in the rapture or translation, of the Church. So, let's pretend that the "rapture" just happened and there are millions of Christians left that believe, as you do.

    Ed, what would your explanation be for what had happened?

    Anyone can add their two cents worth. It's just an opinion.

    Come on, play along with me...OK? ;)

    MEE
     
  20. Dan Stiles

    Dan Stiles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    0
    Getting back to ecumenism , and my promise to give some details of early efforts under that name, let me start with a plain statement that William Carey, prominent Baptist missionary and evangelist was a supporter of ecumenism - not neccessarily as it has been co-opted by the WCC, but as the word itself intends. For those not familiar with Carey, see: http://www.williamcarey.org/ which includes a list of churches in the Carey Baptist Association of Churches (I think I got the title right).

    The following, though long, is a bit of history about ecumenical efforts from 1910 through 1947. This is prior to the WCC, the policies of which is what most who oppose "ecumenism" truly oppose. I apologize in advance for the length.

    Councils of Unity and for Mission, 1910-1947

    The Edinburgh meeting of 1910 was described as an “outgrowth and climax of” earlier gathering including meetings in New York and London in 1854, London in 1888, and the Ecumenical Missionary Conference of 1900 in New York. It is clearly at least a follow-on to those meetings. William Carey had even suggested such a meeting as early as 1810 in Capetown, although there is no direct evidence that Edinburgh was a result of that call.

    John R. Mott, a Methodist layman, headed the first of the preparatory commissions and presided at most of the sessions at Edinburgh. He was, in his lifetime, well known as a plain-spoken leader in ecumenism. He was active in the student movement, recruiting students not only into the Christian faith, but also for the work of spreading the Gospel of Christ, moreover for active service in the interdenominational Christian movements.

    Joseph H. Oldham was the Executive Secretary of Edinburgh and shared with Mott the major creative thinking of the conference. He later became the Secretary of the Continuation Committee and the first Secretary of the IMC. He had been involved in the Student Christian Movement of Great Britain and Ireland, and the YMCA in India, as a secretary. His commitment to ecumenical Christian missionary movements, especially with students, is well established.

    The leadership of Edinburgh 1910 was hence built on a foundation of (multi-denominational - including lots of Baptists - ed. 11/5/02) student volunteer missionary movement and the ecumenism inherent in that task. The two primary figures were strong in their missionary movement activity both before and after the Edinburgh Conference. In fact, the conference itself was composed of delegates from missionary societies, but not all missionary societies - only those which were operating among non-Christians. Those which were actively recruiting converts from other Christian denominations or forms of the Faith were not included. Thus there was not only an air of missionary zeal in the leadership, but also a marked absence of denominational ‘competition’ for existing parishioners.

    Three of the eight commissions of this missionary conference were decidedly ecumenical in function. They were: Carrying the Gospel to all the Non-Christian World, the Church in the Mission Field, and Co-operation and the Promotion of Unity. These emphasized the growth of ecumenism in practice in successful missionary fields.

    Edinburgh 1910 made a special effort to include younger Churches such as Indian and Chinese Churches. Although still primarily an overwhelmingly Anglo-American conference, others were consciously included as full participants. Perhaps the greatest claim against this being a truly ecumenical conference was the exclusion of Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches.

    ...Based on Edinburgh alone, we find ecumenism recognized as a fact of successful mission work and emphasized, or rather publicly recognized as such. Further, by intentionally not inviting those groups which hinder and even fight against ecumenism, one may easily infer from the negative that ecumenism was stressed not only as a positive, but also as an imperative for evangelism of the non-Christian world.

    After the Edinburgh Conference, ecumenical developments occurred more quickly in younger Churches and institutions. This is a natural result of their having less traditional resistance to overcome than established institutions.
    But co-operation was indeed growing on a global scale, beginning with a series of eighteen regional conferences held in Asia in 1912-13.

    Although interrupted by the Great War (the First World War) and the restrictions on German missions placed by the Treaty of Versailles, ecumenism continued to grow especially through the mission fields of India, China, and Korea. John R. Stott, however, makes a statement, without presenting facts to back up what he apparently considers obvious, that World War One “and all its bitter results in wasted lives, lost opportunities, strained relationships and tragic misunderstandings...” rendered a tremendous blow to missions, claiming the “setback to the fulfillment of Edinburgh’s vision was incalculable.

    A meeting of the International Missionary Council (IMC) took place in October 1921 at Lake Mohonk, NY, with Mott and Oldham presiding. The key result of this meeting was to formally constitute an international body with a purpose of emphasizing co-operation in missions. It was to meet every two years, or as needed, to promote ecumenical fellowship in missions. This body met in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives in 1928, and at Tambaram, on the outskirts of Madras, in 1938.

    The Jerusalem meeting included the presentation of studies including such topics as: religious education, missions and race conflict, missions and industrialism, and missions and rural problems. From this came the coordinated efforts of Kenyon Butterfield, who gave counsel to missions and churches in many countries. Further emphasis was placed on providing help all these areas as well as economics. Another result of the Jerusalem Conference was the creation of the International Committee on the Christian Approach to the Jews. Finally, Jerusalem was well represented by increased numbers from younger, non-western churches. This, and the Christian message, gave rise to increased evangelism especially in the Far-East, with the Kingdom of God Movement in Japan and the Five Year Forward Movement in China.

    The meeting at Tambaram in December of 1938 was indeed larger than the Jerusalem meeting Younger churches represented slightly more than half of the delegates and the emphasis was on the Church and the increased role of these younger churches in evangelism. The title of the meeting was: The Authority of the Faith, and an emphasis was on the achievement of unity. Indeed, a sense of Christian unity that held hard against the strain of the Second World War was a major product of Tambaram.

    A major concern in Tambaram was the “rise of so-called ‘new paganism’ like the atheistic communism of Russia and the narrow aggressive nationalism of Germany, Italy, and Japan, not to mention the resurgence of eastern religions....”

    It is clear that these conferences arose from the missionary movement and built upon the missionary successes found in ecumenism. They each continue(d) to have at (their) heart world-wide evangelism, especially in their focus on the practicable aspects on ecumenism. So, “does the evidence from the missionary conferences (from) Edinburgh to Tambaram support the conclusion that the ecumenical movement arose from the missionary movement and continues to have at its heart world-wide evangelism?’ The answer to both parts of this question is clearly and unequivocally yes, at least through the conference at Tambaram; beyond that conference, I am not prepared to take such a firm stand. The next landmark year, it seems, is 1948, and several changes had taken place by then which had shaken the foundations of ecumenism in mission.
     

Share This Page

Loading...