Ecumenism is the effort to unify the thousands of brands of “Christianity” into one orderly body. It sounds noble, and while unity is a powerful biblical principle, somehow it’s failing in practice. Maybe the problem is the exclusivity of Jesus Christ and God’s unchangeable nature.
1 Corinthians chapter 1 offers a rich vein of gold on this topic.
The word “ecumenical” comes from the Greek word “oikoumene” which is more of a geographical term denoting an inhabited area than a reference to a specific body of people. Ecumenism may have entered Christian conversation in reference to Matthew 24:14 (And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world) and certainly as a goal of The First Council of Nicea in 325 AD.
The goal to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to every inhabited place still stands. But unity evaporates when the gospel is tweaked by denominational or personal preference. There is one Christ. He does not change, evolve, or bend to suit individuals or institutions. (Hebrews 13:8)
Christian Unity Stands On Common Doctrine
- Sin is sin no matter what you call it. (Without bad news, the Good News has no power.)
- Mothers who sacrifice the lives of their children for personal gain do evil.
- God created the world.
- The world will continue until God decides otherwise. (Genesis 8:22)
- God “created them male and female.”
- God doesn’t make mistakes.
- God never gives an “A” for effort. He gave His Son to redeem sinful mankind.
- Christ died for all, but the free gift of salvation can be refused.
- God doesn’t miss a thing. (Psalm 139:7-10)
- Eternity is a long time — choose today.
Christians Must Choose Which Jesus to Worship
The opinions of politicians, academics, scientists, philosophers, and theology buffs may be attractive or exciting, but only God sets the standard. The Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life is the one God’s word speaks of, not one imagined or approved by some popular Christian guru, sect, or denomination.
There is only one source of absolute truth and yes, there are absolutes. There is absolute right of which the opposite is absolute wrong. No common ground exists between light and dark or God and evil. “Gray” isn’t a concept of God’s truth.
Confess any gospel other than that clearly shared in God’s word and you’re in for an interesting eternity (Galatians 1:6-8) because there are two distinct eternal outcomes without intersection. Once you arrive at your eternal address, you’re stuck. God introduces this foundational principle in Genesis 3 and repeats it many times before a final confirmation in Revelation 22.
Jesus Isn’t Ecumenical, But A Stumbling Block of Offense
There’s only one Lord Jesus Christ and only one Name by which anyone may be saved. (Acts 4:12) It doesn’t matter what you believe about God, Jesus, and eternity unless what you believe is true.
In 1930-31, while attending the most elite seminary in New York, Dietrich Bonhoeffer discovered that apart from some “Black churches in the south”, fellowship had already replaced righteousness in the American church.
The world is quickly devolving into darkness. Make your call and election sure (2Peter 1:9-11) by strengthening the body of Christ that values truth over unity.
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15
Dig Deeper Into The Troubles Plaguing The Body of Christ
Fifteen Minutes Into Eternity — The War Between The Human Spirit and The Holy Spirit paints a clear picture of how you arrived in this day where evil is good and good evil, and how to stand against the deception and temptations coming at you from every side. Fair Warning: Not for itching ears!