On The Sinfulness of Ecumenicalism

Interfaith worship

In 1994, a mixed group of Catholic and liberal Evangelical religious people published the product of some two years of ecumenical consultation. This document was not well received by conservative, Bible-believing Evangelicals. It opened with these words:

We are Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics who have been led through prayer, study, and discussion to common convictions about Christian faith and mission. This statement cannot speak officially for our communities. It does intend to speak responsibly from our communities and to our communities…We do know that this is a time of opportunity-and, if of opportunity, then of responsibility-for Evangelicals and Catholics to be Christians together in a way that helps prepare the world for the coming of him to whom belongs the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.--Evangelicals & Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium (E.C.T.)

Rather than reproduce the entire manifesto here, I invite folks to read it for themselves..

A number of conservative Evangelicals have studied the E.C.T. and published the results of their efforts online. I find Robert M. Zins' analysis to be concise and dead-bang on the money. His analysis closes with these insightful words:

The point is that Romanism is not Christianity. It is not an alternative Christian worshiping community and cannot be construed as such by any stretch of the imagination. When Rome renounces Trent and Sacramental Salvation and embraces Sola Fide, justification through faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone, and Sola Scriptura, the Bible alone for salvation and sanctification, then the Religion of Rome can lay claim to the Christianity of Christ. Until then, we remain separate religions despite all of ECT's protestations to the contrary.—Robert M. Zins, Analysis of the E.C.T. STATEMENT

John W. Robbins, Editor of the Trinity Review, explored the sinfulness of religious collaboration in an essay he labeled: The Sin of Signing Ecumenical Declarations.

By making joint religious Declarations with unbelievers, Christians implicitly deny the uniqueness of Biblical, propositional revelation; they implicitly assert, contrary to Scripture, that men's foolishness is as good as divine wisdom; they unavoidably teach that Christianity shares important ideas and principles with unbelieving systems of thought. Christians who sign such statements fail to realize that Christianity does not have a single proposition in common with systems of unbelieving thought—John W. Robbins, Op. cit.

So. Can we know whether God is behind the Catholic Church's ecumenicalism; or whether its patron is another spirit: The Prince of This Age? It seems to me that His position is clearly stated in the words Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

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? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.-- 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

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