Ecumenism is NOT unity. Ecumenism
refers to the movement many professing “Christian” churches and individuals
support. Being ecumenical means you accept members of other denominations as
“Christians” just like yourself. An
ecumenical person or church accepts as members any person regardless of what
specifics they believe about Jesus, as long as they believe He was God’s Son
and gave His life that we may have eternal life. Different doctrines concerning salvation are all generally
accepted, though they may be unbiblical.
Is ecumenism biblical, let
alone godly? Read Matthew 7:13-14. Does Jesus encourage us to be broad-minded
when it comes to truth or narrow-minded?
Does He seem to promote a “herd” mentality (crowd follower/pleaser) or a
“Jesus is Lord” mentality? Is Jesus’
way going to be found among the many
or among the few? Read Matthew 13:44.
This parable speaks of a man selling all
he had so that he could enjoy the treasure, which Jesus compares to God’s
Kingdom. Notice that in order to be
able to possess God’s Kingdom (Daniel 7:18) you must give up everything. You don’t add God’s truth to all the rest of
your “truths”. You get rid of anything
you thought was “truth” and you are molded in God’s sole truth. Read Luke 13:22-28.
Only those believe (John 3:16), repent (Luke 13:2-5), confess (Romans 10:9-10)
and are baptized (Acts 2:38; 22:16)—in other words, those who obey
the gospel (1
Thessalonians 1:8-9) will be saved and become part of Christ’s Body
12:12ff), the one true church (Ephesians 4:3-6), as sure as they walk in the
narrow way of Jesus. Only when you walk
in His light as obedient children (1 John 1:7) do you have forgiveness of sins and
His gift—the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 5:32). Read Matthew 7:21-23. Only those who obey His words will not be condemned (John 12:48).
Denominationalism is NOT
unity. De-nomin-ationalism means the naming of a division. To support a denomination is to actually
support divisions. Is this godly or
Christ-like? Read Romans 16:17-18. Is causing division contrary to the teaching
of Jesus? Are those who cause divisions
serving the Lord Jesus? Being
denominational doesn’t support Christ’s mission: John 17:17-21. What is the truth? How will the world know that God sent Jesus for us? How will the world know that God loves
us? Following Jesus’ words as opposed
to men’s words is what brings unity.
Corinthians 1:10-13. We are
to be perfectly united in _________ and _________. Are we to follow personalities other than Jesus’? What about those who follow “prophets” like
Charles Russell (Jehovah Witness), Mary Baker Eddie (Christian Science), Joseph
Smith (Mormon) or Ellen White (Seventh Day Adventist)? What about on things that don’t concern
doctrine, are we to even be united in that?
I will discuss that on Wednesdays’ Quiet Time. Read 1 Corinthians 11:19. What are differences for?
What if I receive a new revelation or inspiration from the Scriptures or
from a vision/angel? Read Galatians 1:6-9. If someone tells you something different
than what the Bible says, is it the Gospel?
Even if an angel tells you? What
happens to those who preach and teach a different Gospel? Read Colossians 2:16-23. What about those who try to live by their
dreams or interpretations of dreams and circumstances as opposed to the Gospel
and sober, godly advice? Are you to be
called a Christian because of what you eat, drink or celebrate? Are you to be
called a Christian because you look humble or holy and wear special clothes or
hats? Following people or worldly
religions and ideas rather than Christ promotes division. These include Catholicism, Protestantism
(Methodist, Episcopalian, Baptist), Cults (Jehovah Witness, Seventh Day Adventist,
Mormons), Pentecostalism and anything else that doesn’t comply with the Gospel
of Jesus Christ as found in His Word, the Bible. Following your own ideas (your heart) or any of these people’s
ideas rather than Jesus’ words will cause you to follow other gods: Jeremiah 13:1-10.
Agreeing to disagree is NOT
unity. It is pride-filled, selfish and
worldly. True unity is shown in how we
submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21) and honor one another’s requests
and desires above ourselves in the matters of opinion (Romans 12:9-21). Read Romans 14:1-13.
Are we to pass judgement or promote our agenda and ourselves when it
comes to disputable matters? Are we to
look for recognition, approval or merit in our own doings and ideas? Are you to think you are better because you
do certain things better or more often?
Don’t judge another unless you’ve already examined your loyalty to Jesus
first in your faith: Matthew 7:1-5.
Don’t be a hypocrite! Also
remember that only he who does the will of the father will enter the
Kingdom. Go back and quickly review
study #35, page 69 titled Thinking
Rightly—Obey God’s Will! for more insight.
Not being held accountable by
each other does NOT promote unity.
People who run away from accountability tend to be divisive because of
selfishness or pride. They are very
judgmental but refuse to be held accountable by others. Read Romans 2:1-6; 14:4, 10. Does this describe you?
Do you dislike being told what to do?
Do you dislike counsel because you think you are better? Do you trust yourself above God? Be careful (1 Corinthians 10:12)! Read 1 Corinthians 5:12-6:11.