Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ecumenism: An Enticing Lie

In recent decades, efforts to unify Christians and believers of all religions throughout the world have been on the rise. Among Christians, this movement is referred to as "ecumenism," whereas the movement to unify people of all religions is known as "interfaith pluralism."

At first glance, these movements - especially the ecumenical movement - seem like long overdue answers to a growing problem of religious division and intolerance. Adherents of ecumenism aim to focus more on the common ground between people of different beliefs than on the differences that divide them. They promote their agenda by encouraging unity on the beliefs they label as "important," "significant," or "central to faith," and dismissiveness on the issues they label as "minor" or "insignificant." Their mantra is essentially "agree to disagree" in order to find common ground, arrive at a compromise and move forward together.

While this mentality seems logical and appealing, it is actually very dangerous and is yet another clever way the adversary has discovered to deceive believers. When we consider the "important" and "significant" doctrinal issues "central to faith" on which ecumenism claims all Christians should agree, we find that many of them are anything but easy to agree on. These are primarily the trinity, eternal damnation of unbelievers, water baptism (in some form), and the existence of one gospel, among others. The varying beliefs held on these topics are deemed "divisive" and not worth arguing over. One person believes in paedo (infant) baptism while another believes in credo (believer) baptism, and ecumenism says, "Rather than focus on when baptism should be done, find common ground in the fact that you both believe in water baptism and don't get caught up in the petty details."

Could this supposedly unifying method sound any more appealing? Putting aside our differences, we make friends and find peace... or so it seems.

In reality, neither side is challenged on what it believes which prohibits either from coming to true knowledge, understanding, or maturity. In Ephesians 1:17, Paul reminds us that our greatest need as believers is "the spirit of wisdom and understanding in the knowledge of [God]." Ecumenism exists as a giant roadblock that stands in the way of truth.

That isn't the only threat it poses, though. The drive to "unify" believers acts as a gateway drug of sorts which leads to worse problems. Its appeal is intoxicating for those who buy into its message of tolerance and oneness. This euphoric mindset ultimately causes many in the ecumenical movement to take their unification message beyond the scope of fellow Christians in an effort to unify people of other religions, citing their "spiritual unity" because of their belief in a higher power. Pope John Paul II famously invited Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, and other religious leaders to the Vatican for a major event promoting spiritual unity. He was praised by the world for this seemingly mature and wise gesture. 

The real question is: should believers be ecumenical or stand firm in truth? Clearly, the latter is the answer, although many find this hard to accept. Throughout all history, God has called out a small few to know and herald the truth. When we adopt an ecumenical attitude, the boundaries of truth disappear and we become increasingly lost. We begin labeling anyone who claims to believe in God a true believer, regardless of what they believe. We start viewing all our beliefs as petty and unimportant when the supposedly greater goal is unity.

Indeed, unity should be our goal, but only among true believers and not at the expense of truth. How, then, do we recognize true believers? The answer: by what they believe!

Put simply, a believer is defined by his or her belief. To say you believe in the God of the Bible but to believe nothing that's true about Him is like saying you believe in America while describing China. To claim you understand the evangel when you possess an understanding contrary to it is like claiming to understand calculus while describing algebra. If much of what you believe about something isn't true, then your belief is in a lie and is false. Period. This doesn't seem fair and is certainly not politically correct, but God has purposed it this way in accordance with His plan and has chosen to reveal His truths to few in this age. We should count ourselves fortunate to be part of that few and avoid the enticing urge to unify with false believers. This, of course, does not mean never associating with them, but it does mean not appeasing them.

The alternative to standing firm in our faith is a denial of our faith. When we blindly tolerate and accept the false beliefs of anyone who claims to be a believer, we discredit the truth and dishonor God. If someone claims to be a believer but believes in eternal torment, free will, the trinity, and that he has to attend an institutional church every Sunday to keep favor with God, then he is, by definition, not a true believer because he believes in a false God. This statement is not judgmental, unloving or prejudice - it is factual. In reality, the truly unloving thing would be to show approval of this man's beliefs so that he continues believing a lie.

The more you believe and share the truth, the lonelier you will be. For myself, this post may even serve as proof of that fact as it may anger many readers. Accept that truth requires division in order to be made apparent (1 Cor. 11:19) and resist any urge to dismiss the truth in the name of unity with those who profess faith but believe a lie. Promote unity, but only among like-minded, true believers, knowing that the ecumenical movement is yet another clever satanic ploy.

© 2012 by Stephen Hill

1 comment:

  1. If you are interested in some new ideas on the Trinity as a framework for looking at religions, please check out my website at It previews my book, which has not been published yet and is still a “work-in-progress.” Your constructive criticism would be very much appreciated.

    My thesis is that an abstract version of the Trinity could be Christianity’s answer to the world need for a framework of pluralistic theology.

    In a constructive worldview: east, west, and far-east religions present a threefold understanding of One God manifest primarily in Muslim and Hebrew intuition of the Deity Absolute, Christian and Krishnan Hindu conception of the Universe Absolute Supreme Being; and Shaivite Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist apprehension of the Destroyer (meaning also Consummator), Unconditioned Absolute, or Spirit of All That Is and is not. Together with their variations and combinations in other major religions, these religious ideas reflect and express our collective understanding of God, in an expanded concept of the Holy Trinity.

    The Trinity Absolute is portrayed in the logic of world religions, as follows:

    1. Muslims and Jews may be said to worship only the first person of the Trinity, i.e. the existential Deity Absolute Creator, known as Allah or Yhwh, Abba or Father (as Jesus called him), Brahma, and other names; represented by Gabriel (Executive Archangel), Muhammad and Moses (mighty messenger prophets), and others.

    2. Christians and Krishnan Hindus may be said to worship the first person through a second person, i.e. the experiential Universe or "Universal” Absolute Supreme Being (Allsoul or Supersoul), called Son/Christ or Vishnu/Krishna; represented by Michael (Supreme Archangel), Jesus (teacher and savior of souls), and others. The Allsoul is that gestalt of personal human consciousness, which we expect will be the "body of Christ" (Mahdi, Messiah, Kalki or Maitreya) in the second coming – personified in history by Muhammad, Jesus Christ, Buddha (9th incarnation of Vishnu), and others.

    3. Shaivite Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucian-Taoists seem to venerate the synthesis of the first and second persons in a third person or appearance, ie. the Destiny Consummator of ultimate reality – unqualified Nirvana consciousness – associative Tao of All That Is – the absonite* Unconditioned Absolute Spirit “Synthesis of Source and Synthesis,”** who/which is logically expected to be Allah/Abba/Brahma glorified in and by union with the Supreme Being – represented in religions by Gabriel, Michael, and other Archangels, Mahadevas, Spiritpersons, etc., who may be included within the mysterious Holy Ghost.

    Other strains of religion seem to be psychological variations on the third person, or possibly combinations and permutations of the members of the Trinity – all just different personality perspectives on the Same God. Taken together, the world’s major religions give us at least two insights into the first person of this thrice-personal One God, two perceptions of the second person, and at least three glimpses of the third.

    * The ever-mysterious Holy Ghost or Unconditioned Spirit is neither absolutely infinite, nor absolutely finite, but absonite; meaning neither existential nor experiential, but their ultimate consummation; neither fully ideal nor totally real, but a middle path and grand synthesis of the superconscious and the conscious, in consciousness of the unconscious.

    ** This conception is so strong because somewhat as the Absonite Spirit is a synthesis of the spirit of the Absolute and the spirit of the Supreme, so it would seem that the evolving Supreme Being may himself also be a synthesis or “gestalt” of humanity with itself, in an Almighty Universe Allperson or Supersoul. Thus ultimately, the Absonite is their Unconditioned Absolute Coordinate Identity – the Spirit Synthesis of Source and Synthesis – the metaphysical Destiny Consummator of All That Is.

    For more details, please see:

    Samuel Stuart Maynes