August 21, 2016

Why I am Not an Ecumenist

Passage: various

Unity within Christianity is a commendable goal with a biblical basis. Christianity is fractured into thousands of separate organizations, each attempting to fulfill its own goals, often in competition among themselves. One must admit that if all true Christians were part of the same united organization, the ministry of the church would be greatly enhanced and strengthened. It would be a wonderful thing if all genuine believers were unified in faith and in practice.

The concern which Jesus felt over unity within his church is noted in his prayer just before entering the Garden of Gethsemane on the last day of his life: “that they all may be one, … that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21). Paul frequently states his desire for unity within the church (Rom 12:16; 1 Cor 1:10; Eph 4:3-6; Phil 2:1-4, 4:2). Unfortunately, disunity and division have been common within churches and among believers since the beginning of the church.

A movement exists within Christianity to unite all professing Christians, no matter what their theological differences. This movement is often called “the ecumenical movement” or “ecumenism.” Ecumenists seek to bring all Christians around the world into unity.

Ecumenism is the organized attempt to bring about cooperation and visible unity among all believers in Christ. Ecumenism seeks to break down barriers between professing Christians and promote unity among them.

While Christian unity is a commendable goal, we must reject the ecumenical movement for a number of reasons. We don’t reject the idea of Christian unity, but we do reject the ecumenical movement as a whole. Unity is a great idea; the ecumenical movement is not such a great idea.

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