VERY confused about ecumenical movement

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Emily, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Emily

    Emily
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    Hi..

    I am new to the baptist scene, and new to the anti-ecumenical scene as well.

    I was saved in a charismatic church, and this particular charismatic church believed in the universal church-All believers are a part of the church..

    Well, as much as my charismatic church exposed the wrong doctrines of the Catholic church, they wouldnt tolerate people saying that Catholics werent true Christians, because the basics were the same, that is.. Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we could get into heaven. They believe in the trinity.. so.. they have the major parts correct. We cant kick them out for the differences..

    well

    I always sort of had a problem with this, because I felt as though the differences were huge!..
    but now, that I have delved into finding out what Baptists are all about, I find a complete hatred of Catholics, to the point of calling them the great apostacy..

    I do see the scriptures that help this argument out, but, I still dont have the confidence to say that there are no true believers in the Catholic Church.. in fact, I know of a true believer who had a salvation experience, my father. In my opinion, it nothing but pure fear of leaving the Catholic church that keeps him in..

    As far as my study goes, the ecumenical movement is about uniting all Christians, and giving them a common language since their salvation is all through Jesus Christ.

    From my personal viewpoint, this sounds like a pretty good idea.. If we can get the Christians to stop hating eachother, despite the differences that really dont matter in matters of salvation, then it would be a good thing.. right?

    Well, last week at church, (at a baptist church that I visit quite often) a Pastor was talking about how the ecumenical movement was evil, and how it is what Jesus said to beware of and with all the talk about The Passion movie and The purpose driven life book.. what is happening is exactly what Jesus didnt want to happen..

    so, Im seriously confused..

    does anyone know of any scriptures that would confirm this?

    Honestly, all the different denomincations and sects and differences is enough to make one want to just throw their arms up.. I almost sympathize with the non-christian who is scared of us..

    As for me, I have been deceived for so long that I just want to know the truth.

    Im taking this year to read the bible for myself, with no commentary and nobody to tell me what everything means.. Its the only thing that I can do to find out what is true, or as close to true as possible.
     
  2. Gina B

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    I agree to a point. I would say some Catholics are saved, but at the same time I'll say the Catholic religion is worlds apart from Christianity and dangerous to truth.

    While yes, we should unite with all Christians, it doesn't mean an abandonment of true biblical doctrine in order to do so. I would say it's more dangerous than straight out Satanism, because in one you KNOW what you're getting, but the other is disguised as light and truth, when it's not.

    If you want the truth just stick with the good old bible. Don't let confusion take over. If it ain't biblical it ain't, that's it and that's that. The truth is not that complicated, and a good clue when trying to figure out if something is biblical or not is how many words and references the person trying to convince you of it has to use.

    One thing I do NOT agree with is complete separation from other humans we don't agree with. I have no problem working with Catholics against abortion or other such good causes. We're all still human and living in this world together. However, I would not go as far as to attend a Catholic church and try to say that it's ok, because that's something holy that shouldn't be corrupted by going into a place you know teaches and promotes false doctrine, and claiming that you can do it and still be worshipping God together and being one in worship just isn't gonna work. "what fellowship has light with darkness", when it comes to the spiritual!

    Gina
     
  3. Jim Ward

    Jim Ward
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    Do you really want to get me started on this?
     
  4. DHK

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    The ecumenical movement has been the design and purpose of the World Council of Churches, among many other organizations, for many years. It advocates the uniting of all religions together regardless of doctrine. The current mantra of the day is "unity, not doctrine." And indeed, doctrine is being sacrificed for the sake of unity. Eventually the anti-Christ will use the ecumenical movement to form the one world church of the end times, along with a one world governement. The fact that we can see these things happening before our very eyes gives us an indication that the coming of the Lord is soon.

    The Bible says:
    2 Corinthians 6:14-15 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

    2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

    2 John 1:9-11 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
    10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
    11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

    We are not to unite with unbelievers, nor with those who hold false doctrine. Paul repeatedly warned Timothy to "Take heed to the doctrine."
    Doctrine is more important than unity. It is very important. Without doctrine you may be worshiping the wrong Christ!
    The ecumenical movement is an ungodly movement that attempts to do away with doctrine at the expense of unity. Be aware of it.
    DHK
     
  5. BobRyan

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    In Acts 20 we are told that grevious wolves would come into the church to draw disciples unto themselves.

    Error is "always condemned" in the Bible.

    In Mark 7 Christ said of the church leaders of the "ONE TRUE church started by God at Sinai" -- "In VAIN do they Worship Me teaching for doctrine the commandments of men"...

    So in other words - error is never "approved" of in scripture.

    But does that mean all Catholics go to hell because they are Catholic? Does that mean all Jews go to hell at the time of Christ as soon as Jesus is raised from the dead? ...

    No.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. Emily

    Emily
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    Well, what I think the problem might be.. how do you know if it is incorrect doctrine?

    I mean, most common (not all) christians believe that Jesus died for their sins, and that its through faith that we are saved... not of works.

    Presbyterians and baptists alike both claim to be sola scriptura, but a lot of what they teach is different.. but if they are reading the same book, and getting different doctrine, how do we know who is right? It feels to me as if there is a smoke cloud surrounding it all.

    as far as the scriptures

    2 Corinthians 6:14-15 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

    Presbyterians, charismatics, lutherans, methodists, and many other christian denominations ARE believers.. I can only concur from scripture, that this is dealing with the world.. and Im fine with that.. I struggle with it, but its bible, so I believe it.

    2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,


    this is an extension of the former.. it is still talking about unbelievers.

    2 John 1:9-11 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
    10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
    11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.


    this to me sounds like he is talking about those that deny christs teachings.. I dont know any christians who do this.. I know of unitarians who do this.. I know of buddhists who do this.. but how is this talking about any branch of christians?

    I just dont understand where this doctrine is coming from.. I honestly dont..

    Im not trying to argue or seem mean.. I tell you that I am not..

    I have been duped before however in believing that certain scriptures didnt mean what they say, or that certain scriptures said what it did not in fact say..

    I am desperate for the truth, and for MONTHS, this is all I can think about.. So, all I do is read and pray and ponder some more.. I have been to many churches, and all I want with all my heart is to find a church home and know fully what I believe..

    I dont care what denomination you are, they ALL have scripture to back them up, and it seems as though they ALL have scripture that they need to explain away.. Does anyone follow the whole bible anymore without adding silly rules?
     
  7. Emily

    Emily
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    btw..

    I 100% agree, that we should not be yoking ourselves in any way, shape, or form with any religiong that isnt Christian..

    I admit, I know NOTHING about Mormons or JW's, but I understand there are things added and taken away in their religions that dont line up with scripture, so I would concede that we have nothing to do with them as well.. as far as Catholics? I dont know.. I sure dont like a lot of their stuff, but seems to me, most of them can back up their view with scripture.. even the mary stuff and the abstinence stuff.. I dont agree with it at all, but I do see where their argument comes from.
     
  8. BobRyan

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    Very true.

    But in John 16 we have the eternal - supernatural - external "force" to account for. It is the "Promise of God" -- that God the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth" would guide each one of us - "into ALL truth".

    So "For the sake of argument" lets say I am a Budhist - then I become a Jew, then a Mormon, then a Catholic - then a .... -- then a free-will Baptist.

    Arguably - one could say that I have gone from one stage of truth to the next - and that each step of the way - I am accepting more and more truth. God is the one that "owns" the task of leading me on "to the next truth".

    In Matt 16 Christ asks Peter "Who do men say that I am" and Peter gives the correct answer. Christ said that this showed that Peter was NOT being led by man - but that God Himself was leading Peter.

    However later in that same chapter Christ calls Peter "Satan" because when Christ went on to reveal "The next truth" to Peter - Peter said "NO Lord may it never be"!

    In other words - accepting one truth after another - is the "right path". But saying "No Lord May it never be" at any point along the way -- is the way of Satan.

    It is not how much you know - it is what you do with what you do know - and whether you choose to accept "the next truth".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Born Again Catholic

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    Being Ecumenical especially with non-christians can be extremely dangerous for protestants because Protestants tend to to change and contradict there doctrines form one generation to the next or sometimes even more often.

    With the best of intentions pastors of these churches study their Bible then teach truths which contradict what has been believed and taught by all christians who have ever come before them. Then if the parishioners don't like the truth that is taught by these pastors the parishioners look for another church or start their own church which teaches their personal, man-made understanding of God's truth. And of course the Pastors and their parishioners are effected by changes in social values and their contacts with other religions.

    In some ways the Pope has significantly less power than the average Protestant Pastor, he can help clarify the deposit of faith but he cannot contradict or take away matters of faith that already have been revealed by God and taught by the Church. Whereas a protestant pastor can go wherever he believes his "personally inspired" bible interpretation is leading him even if it disagrees with 2,000 years of christian teaching.

    Accordingly Ecumenism isn't as dangerous for the Catholic Church as the Church cannot compromise on the word of God or its teachings hence you see 2,000 years of consistent teaching. It can just find areas of common agreement and hope that leads to further dialogue and conversion to Christ.

    In that sense Paul was Ecumenical he could talk to people of other faiths about what truths they shared, see Acts 17 but he couldn't change the truth already revealed by God. You can't build your house upon shifting sand you need to build it on a rock that doesn't constantly shift.


    Acts 17

    17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks,.......22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:|sc TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

    God Bless
     
  10. Gina B

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    What Born Again Catholic says is false.
    The bible was and has been the basis for all doctrine. Some degree of room for interpretation is present, but true doctrine is the same as it has ALWAYS been in the baptist churches I seek out to attend. A seeking Christian is not to find a church with the proper name written on the door, but one that still holds to the fundamentals of the faith found in the bible and the bible alone, teaches them and helps each other live by them, without taking away or adding to the bible or calling something part of the bible that isn't.
    The Catholic church does not do this.
    While there certainly is something to say for picking something out and sticking with it, it doesn't make it the truth. The mormons decided that Joseph Smith was a prophet and have not deviated from that stance, nor have they deviated from baptising for the dead. It doesn't add a shred of credibility to the mormon church's beliefs, although they still use the bible and still claim belief in Jesus and His sacrifice. However, like the Catholics, they add other documents and writings to the bible and claim them as scripture and claim god like powers in men, such as infallibility and a higher priesthood than other believers hold. Instead of Jesus alone as the high priest and intercessor between man and God, they add...Mary, or the pope, or Joseph Smith, or the current president, giving authority to man that is claimed only by Jesus in the bible.

    That's scary stuff, and not to be taken lightly when considering who to welcome with open arms. What you let into your life, your mind, what you listen to, what you allow into your heart for consideration, all those things have profound effects upon people and are not easily dismissed. One of the things I've heard discussed by people who have viewed The Passion is the Veil of Veronica, an admittedly Catholic symbol. How many people will be able to read the bible, read the passages on the crucifixion, and not have this symbol of the Catholic church come to mind when they think about the crucifixion? I'm just using that as an example to describe what I mean when I say we have to be careful what we allow into our lives because once introduced it tends to stick, and will become part of our thoughts, which should be focused on truth as much as humanly possible.
    Gina
     
  11. DHK

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    It depends what you mean by "protestant." I am a Baptist, and don't consider myself protestant. The distinctives or beliefs that describe me as a Baptist have been held historically by groups of Christians in every era all throughout history right down to the time of the Apostles. The Bible doesn't change. My beliefs haven't changed. Our beliefs have not changed historically since the time of the Apostles. But the RCC is constantly changing and inventing new doctrines. I think one of the latest was the assumption of Mary to come along just in 1950. It took of 1900 years for the RCC church to dream up that doctrine. Their doctrines constantly change--the Bible never!

    If you don't understand the Baptist faith, or even evangelical faith, then you shouldn't misalign it like you just have. The Bible doesn't contradict itself. Most evangelicals agree more than they diagree. There are a good many Baptists on this board who can find more variant kinds of Catholics under the greater umbrella of Catholicism then you can find evangelical denominations. Don't stick your neck out too far. One of them (branch of Catholicism) claims that the current pope resides in America.

    And if a liberal Catholic doesn't like the conservative Catholic church he is attending he will go and find a liberal Catholic church to attend. There is freedom of religion in this country! Be thankful for it. Be thankful for the fact that America was founded on Christian principles, settled by Christians that came from Europe. In its formative years there were many Baptists, Quakers, Congregationalists, Methodists, etc. who settled this land. You are truly fortunate to have had such a blessed foundation in your nation. America has been blessed because of the Godly influence that has resulted because of it.
    In contrast, Canada was settled by the Catholics, and, well...I just don't want to go there right now.

    The deposit of faith (of the Catholic Church) is fraught with heresy, and needs not simple clarification, but a thorough purging. Much of it is just man-made doctrine that has nothing to do with the Bible, and nothing to do with inspiration from God.
    A pastor of a Baptist church takes his message straight from the Word of God. If it is God's Word (and it is), then he is teaching the same message that the Apostles taught 2,000 years ago. For, unlike Origen, Augustine, and the Catholic Church today, we do not allegorize our way out of the Bible, but take it literally. It means what it says.

    Perhaps it isn't dangerous to the Catholic Church at all. For the Catholic Church has slightly changed the meaning to suit its own purposes. The Catholic Church is ecumenical only in the sense that it wants to bring all religions under its own umbrella. It uses ecumenism as a means for its own ends. It does not use it for conversion to Christ, but rather conversion to Catholicism--two vastly different things.

    Paul was not ecumenical. He would not join hands with the Greeks to evangelize them. He would not pray with unsaved Gentiles. He said to come out from among them. He commanded to be separate from them.

    Perhaps you don't understand what it is to be ecumenical. I will give you some examples.
    1. Billy Graham crusades are ecumenical. They cooperate with all kinds of denominations when they come to a city--all kinds of protestants, Catholics, even some cults.
    When an invitation is given and great numbers come forward (many of them--Graham's staff), it is only natural that some from different denominational backgrounds will come. If a Catholic comes forward to get saved, he will be counselled briefly, be given some information, and then told to go back to his own (Catholic) church. That is ecumenism. In the eyes of God it is an abomination. A Catholic may just have been saved. Then you tell the sheep to go back into the pack of wolves to be devoured?? What kind of strategy is that? The person needs to get into a Bible-believing church where he can study the Bible and grow in grace and knowledge of the Word.

    Billy Graham puts his arm around the Catholic bishop and says "This man believes the same as I do." That's ecumenism at its height, and it is horrible compromise.

    David Mainse is the moderator of 100 Huntley Street, another ecumenical program that you can probably get on TBN. Mainse is a Charismatic to my knowledge. He regularly has a Catholic guest. Mainse once prayed: "Oh, God deliver us from doctrine!"

    More and more crusades, conventions, and such are inviting the cooperation of not only different evangelicals, but then the liberal protestants, and then Catholics, and then cults, and then the other world religious leaders.

    Go back to your Bible and study the Old Testament story of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat is forever remembered in history for one thing. He compromised. You might say he was ecumenical. He was the Godly King of Judah who joined hands with the wicked King of Israel (Ahab) in fighting against the Syrians. Yes they might have had a common enemy, a common purpose, an ultimate good. But God judged Jehoshaphat for going to war with Ahab; for joining hands with the wicked. He compromised; he was ecumenical; he didn't fully trust the Lord his God.
    DHK
     
  12. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    This is where the confusion comes. I do not know anyone who hates Catholics. I live in a strongly Catholic land. I love my Catholic friends and neighbours with all my heart.

    I do have a serious problem with an organisation which denies the grace of God by requiring works for salvation. I have a problem with an organisation which for centuries has kept millions trapped in a religious system which depends on faith plus works, the word of God plus tradition, etc.

    I have dealt with many Catholic apologists in my time here. They DO NOT accept sola scripturaor sola gracia . No matter what terms it comes down to there is a huge problem here. I love Catholic people, I do not love the system of error which holds them.
     
  13. FriendofSpurgeon

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    Wow - how soon the discussion deteriorates. Back on topic.... There are a lot differences between denominations and sub-denominations on the issue of working with others.

    At one extreme, you will find some who will work and/or worship with anyone - Mormons, JWs, etc., Christian or not.

    On the other extreme, you will find those who will not cooperate/work/worship/etc. with other Christians who do not share EXACTLY the same viewpoint/doctrine on every issue. To me, this is pretty scary and the basis for this cannot be found in the Scriptures.

    Again, we are not talking about non-believers, only those who may have different beliefs on certain issues. While a line always needs to be drawn somewhere, if someone/some group embraces the good news of the Gospel, we are called to minister in unity and love as the Church (big C) of Jesus Christ - regardless of our denomination.
     
  14. BobRyan

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    In Acts 13 and 17 we see the Apostles and Jewish Christians worshipping with non-Christian Jews and Gentiles in the Synagogues. Of course - they were all reading from "the same Bible" so maybe that is the common ground.

    But you have to admit there was a "difference" between the views of the first century non-Christian Jews and the first century Apostles.

    Also there was no opportunity for Christians to go into Synagogues and be recognized as "the Jewish authority". So it had to be "in fellowship" they could not be walking in saying "Hey we want to convert you to another religion, mind if we take the platform?".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. Melanie

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    Tip toeing through this pit of snakes, wrote a great big reply but deleted it, this is a topic way too difficult for this Christian and Roman Catholic..

    God Bless All who are on this Website
     
  16. Jude

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    Problem is, many 'denominations' start with the assumption that the Bible is 'inerrant', but come to different conclusions. Truly "every man (is doing) what is right in his own eyes." Hence the 100's of Protestant denominations throughout the world. In some matters the truth IS complicated. We need an infallible outside source to interpret certain passages and doctrines. Your Schofield Bible, your NIV Study Bible, your Spirit Filled Life Bible, your 'Reformation Study Bible' do not have infallible notes. The Orthodox, the Roman Catholics and many Anglicans reject 'sola Scriptura' and rightly so.
     
  17. Jude

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    Gina, as I mention above, WHO IS IT that decides what is TRUE Biblical doctrine? Calvinists? Arminians? Catholics? Orthodox? Baptists? WHO?
    While I don't agree with all Roman doctrine, I must say I find greater commonality with them than I do most Protestants. I, like them, reject sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. I think the doctrines of 'Saved by faith alone' and 'once saved always saved' are in error and extremely dangerous.

    As far as the 'Ecumenical Movement' there are two. One comes from liberal mainline Protestantism and will never work. These denominations are dying, and this 'movement' is an attempt to 'unite forces', (a subconcious attempt to deny the reality of their dying), an attempt to give 'good feelings' to the same, an attempt at 'doing SOMETHING' from the same, and comes from people whose world view is essentially the same.

    The second comes from God. The prayer of Jesus 'may they be one' is coming to reality. And I believe that in this century, true visible unity will be accomplished. "You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..." [​IMG]
     
  18. BobRyan

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    You are being too modest. Go for it.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  19. BobRyan

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    What "solution" do you recommend?

    Should each group "just listen to their own Magisterium instead of the Bible?"...

    Or do you propose that "each group listen to their own Magisterium PLUS the Bible?"

    Or do you propose that "each group pick another group's magisterium to listen to instead of their own and instead of the Bible"?

    Which is it?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. BobRyan

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    You are right about one thing - an external, objective infallible source is needed - and that is given in John 16 and in 1John 2 - it is God the Holy Spirit.

    If we can't "trust God" - then we certainly can't "trust man". I think all agree there.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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