Idolatry, Demons, and Ecumenism

Once again Mike Riccardi of The Cripplegate tackles the ecumenical movement. In an earlier piece, he revealed what happens when Bible believing Christians and theological liberals unite to show strength in numbers. Berean Research has done its part in “outing” Christian Right pro-family groups for joining forces with Progressive Christians, Mormons, Catholics, Word of Faith prosperity preachers and NAR “apostles” and “prophets” in their effort to “Take back America.” a phrase that has now morphed into “Make America great again.” Why would any Christian unite with cultists when Paul makes it abundantly clear in 2 Corinthians 6:17 that we are to separate from people such as these? The thing that Bible believing Christians should find concerning is that so-called Christian leadership doesn’t seem to care that theological liberalism has fundamentally redefined what it means to be a Christian, as long as the money keeps pouring in to fund their organizations. “Every false religion in the world is not just wrong,” says Mike. “It is demonic. It is energized and powered by the kingdom of darkness that is ruled by Satan himself.” Let that sink in.

We urge you to read Mike Riccardi’s excellent essays on the dangers of the ecumenical movement. Here’s the second in his series:

Whom can the faithful church of God legitimately partner with in ministry? That question has been a point of contention among professing Christians for the past 100 years. And that’s been illustrated by what is known as the ecumenical movement, the history of which we surveyed last week.

And the principal dogma of the ecumenical movement of the 20th century was that anyone who called themselves a Christian was to be regarded as a Christian. It didn’t matter if they were a theological liberal who denied the bodily resurrection of Christ or penal substitutionary atonement, or if they were a Roman Catholic who denied the Gospel of justification by faith alone. The important thing was that those who called themselves Christians, and held somewhat to a “Christian” view of morality, were able to unite together in order to show strength in numbers, and therefore to compete in the culture wars for larger societal influence. Whether it was religious liberty, the unborn child’s right to life, race relations, a free-market economy, or improving education—all good things!—winning the battle over these social issues became more important to these people than the doctrine that divided them. So they downplayed the importance of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith in order to partner together on these issues.

Again, this is always done in the name of seizing influence, which, it is always assumed, is absolutely necessary for successful evangelism and for revival. It’s a fundamentally man-centered concept of salvation, because it supposes that unbelievers will be more likely to convert to Christianity if they see how popular, influential, and culturally relevant it is. The fruitlessness of this kind of thinking was illustrated in a classic interaction between a pro-ecumenical minister and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The man believed the ecumenical movement to be a sign of hope for the future. He said, “But surely, when so many churches are coming together in a World Council of Churches, revival must be on the way.” Do you recognize the unspoken assumption? “If we can have worldwide movements and such large gatherings in the name of Christ, surely unbelievers will want to join us!” And Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ reply was just brilliant.  He said, “You seem to be arguing that if you succeed in bringing together a sufficient number of dead bodies they will come alive!” (G. N. M. Collins, “The Friend,” Chosen by God, 262–63).

Lloyd-Jones’ response reveals a different fundamental conviction about human nature and about what it means to be a Christian. Becoming a Christian isn’t joining a cultural movement. It’s not deciding to join a social club or some sort of fraternity. Becoming a Christian happens when a sinner who is spiritually dead is miraculously raised to spiritual life by God’s sovereign work of regeneration. A Christian is one whom God has made alive from the dead through the preaching of the one true Gospel of Christ. And those who are possessed of different fundamental convictions concerning the Gospel are not just “separated brethren;” they are the one spiritually alive and the other spiritually dead. And as Lloyd-Jones said, it doesn’t make a difference how many dead bodies you could gather into one place. What matters is whether God, by the Holy Spirit, breathes spiritual life into men and women by the preaching of the Gospel.

That is the test of whether Christianity is advancing in the world. Not how big our churches can get, but whether sinners were united to Christ by faith in the Gospel, and thus had found forgiveness of sins in Him. And if that’s what mattered, then it is the height of folly to downplay the importance of the doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only way of salvation, in service of a substance-less “unity.” There can be no genuine unity between those who have been saved from their sins through the Gospel, and those who yet remain enemies of that Gospel—no matter what people are willing to call themselves. And so there can be no partnership in ministry between believers and unbelievers, because there is such a radical difference between them. And history has shown us that when we water down fundamental doctrinal distinctives for the sake of a bigger “tent,” we lose the Gospel—the Evangel itself. And if you lose the Gospel, there is no ground for genuine unity.

And it’s precisely this issue that Paul takes up in 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1:

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’ 17Therefore, ‘Come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. 18And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ Says the Lord Almighty. 7:1Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

The apostolic instruction could not be clearer: because there is this radical, objective difference between believers and unbelievers at the most fundamental level, there can be no partnership between them in ministry.  Continue reading

, , , , , , , , , ,

8 Responses to Idolatry, Demons, and Ecumenism

  1. Manny1962 July 6, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

    This in a nutshell is called “politicized christianity.” Many, many misguided folks have this idea we must “take America back.” As if there’s a biblical mandate to save the culture, well there isn’t and unfortunately many well meaning people mix with Churchianity thinking they’re doing some good. That’s not how the gospels are preached to the lost, in fact many weak believers will think it’s ok to mix with false religion in order to proclaim the kingdom. Today the biggest proponent of this ecumenical movement is the NAR along with Romanism and every other stripe of Churchianity and “religious” politicians that latch on to these groups as a visible and credible sign of their “conservative” credentials, politics and Churchianity on the same road to Rome and the antichrist.

  2. Darrel July 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    It’s easy for anyone who loves Christ to point out the fallacies of the ecumenical movement, but it’s quite another thing to bring the fight down to a more personal level. Don’t most just accept what is given to them Sunday after Sunday because of who gave it to them? There may be nagging questions, even doubts, but we have been told not to make waves, or raise a question so as not to cause any problems in our church. Meanwhile, the stealthy sneakiness of wicked men go unchallenged to our own detriment and that of our friends, brothers, and sisters. Truth that was presented as pure truth has slowly become tainted, mixed with innuendo that causes one to doubt other things. But it’s not nice to ‘stir the pot’ so we just put up with it. At first it may be seemingly innocuous tweaks that sound reasonable, especially to the Sunday only Christian, but underneath it’s the birth place of heresy that will come your way sooner rather than later and sadly you have become a ripe and easy target for their evil deeds.

    Should you dare to question your teacher, deacons, elders, pastors or whomever you will quickly find out whether they walk with God or not—nearly all do not. Their weapons to silence the questions and descent are many and varied from intimidation to flattery, from promises for the future to threats, from being ‘exposed’ as a trouble maker to attempting to use family members to sway you to their beliefs. [Yes, they are indeed that evil!]

    The ecumenical movement landed a long time ago in every denomination on this planet, it is in every church to one degree or another. It has permeated the popular and elite “Christian” leadership in America and elsewhere beyond the point of saturation. [I do not know of one prominent “Christian” leader who has not been compromised, willingly.] The problem is that so few are willing or able (has enough biblical knowledge) to put their necks on the line to stand against the wickedness that they look at every Sunday. The anonymity of the internet makes it easy for some, but is that all we should do? There is a group called “Perspectives” that is known worldwide, highly popular, and attended by thousands. Has it come to your church? Do you know what they teach? Do you know anyone who has gone to their meetings and has but nothing good to say about them? I can’t scream “beware” loud enough.

    It seems the real problem is that most people would rather put up with false doctrine and stand by their favorite guy/gal who teaches them than to expose them for the frauds that they are. It’s more important to the weak-kneed to continue to financially support and morally uplift their teachers in their errors rather than deal with fact that they have been deceived. How egotistical! You will never find any modern day preacher calling out one of his peers for error; it may cost him his paycheck, speaking engagements and no telling what else. Many are caught up in this cycle and don’t even know it.

    Some have opted to be a “church drop-out” and for good reason—they cannot find one faithful to the Lord Jesus and His Word. Maybe it’s time to start asking questions, for your own spiritual wellbeing. Eph. 5:11

  3. Manny1962 July 6, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    “It seems the real problem is that most people would rather put up with false doctrine and stand by their favorite guy/gal who teaches them than to expose them for the frauds that they are.”

    And that my friend is where the problem lies! I’ve seen it here! “Touch not God’s anointed!” They would rather put up with obvious false teaching instead of calling out the wolf behind the pulpit! Between the “judge not” crowd, the “Social Justice Warriors” and their incessant diatribe about Christ and social justice, I see ecumenism running at warp speed straight to Rome.

  4. G J July 6, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

    Ecumenism… the doctrines of demons… in action…

    Do you want to be a part of it?

  5. Sheryl July 6, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

    One of the first signs of a church that doesn’t preach the offensive gospel of the cross of Christ is the large size of their “audience.” Dividing lines between true believers and pretenders continue to be formed. People love being part of the popular crowd. Remember that the crowds left Jesus because of His hard teachings. And His doctrines have never changed. Today’s celebrity pastors morph and twist them into a “progressive” loving social gospel so they may continue to thrive and pay the enormous expenses of their “organization.” The only thing that’s progressive are evil deeds of Satan. It seems celebrity pastors compete to outdo one another with secular means. They think that crowds of people indicate God’s blessing, being right and revival. They couldn’t be more wrong. Jesus differentiated between the few that would walk on the narrow road and the many that would travel the broad road leading to destruction. His few sheep are being separated from the masses even now. True Christians cannot be “drop-outs,” for we ARE the church; some have just chosen to leave the organization of pretenders where they are no longer welcome.

  6. lyn July 7, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

    There are many excellent comments on this thread. Discernment is a gift, not all have it. Praise God if He has given it to you.

    The fight will intensify as we move towards the end of all things. We must be much in prayer and in His word, I admit I fall short in this matter. May God be gracious, may He lead His elect, strengthen, and empower us to stand firm.

    • Manny1962 July 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

      Lyn, we all fall short! As a group we all can see what is happening, but sometimes we should be praying or even privately fasting. I fall short too many times. If a person sees what is occurring in Churchianity today, the political realm, and in economics there will no doubt left as to where we are in God’s time table. Sometimes I just get tired, mentally exhausted, everyday it’s a battle, warning, admonishing, research after reasearch hour, my job, my family, coming here and dealing with some very hard headed folks at times, it’s not easy. But Jesus said to persevere and never deny His name! By His Grace and mercy and strength I push on, knowing that harsh times are coming for the bride. We must support the brethren and never give up, remember the biggest persecution will come from those that call themselves Christians!!!! Sister, we are here already! It’s just the beginning!!!!

  7. Friend July 10, 2017 at 10:25 am #

    I am thankful for this website and for the article written by Mike Riccardi. I am also,thankful for the commentators here. Stay strong in the Lord everyone, and put on your full armor of God. Our Mighty God and Savior is watching over all things. 🙂

Leave a Reply