Monday, August 12, 2002

A wee comment on Ecumenism

Chris Burgwald has an interesting post on ecumenism (he supports it). Mark Byron has a follow-up over at U. of Blogistan.

I agree with Chris and Mark, in principle. Christ's high priestly prayer of John 17 is a prayer for unity of all believers. However I must once again play the role of the shrew of blogdom. For the quest for ecumenism must always be regulated in light of (frightful) passages such as:

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (Gal. 1:8)

So the question, and it is a difficult one, is whether a different church or denomination is preaching a different gospel. If so, then there can be no basis whatsoever for unity.

Historically, the Roman Catholic Church accused the Reformers of preaching a different gospel, and vice versa. Were they incorrect in perceiving their differences as irreconcilable? Were they simply irrational-- overcome by the gut-wrenching emotionality of the schism? Do we know better in this reflective, enlightened age?

These are unpleasant questions that must be asked. It is not popular to take a stand against ecumenism. But passages such as Gal. 1:8 cannot be ignored.

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