I would be more ecumenical if other churches weren’t all filled with heretic scum.
If every person in every church were led by the Spirit then yeah, I’d be all for ecumenical fellowship. But that’s not who goes to church. Lots of people go to church and lots of them don’t have the Spirit, even fewer are led by Him.
Thus we need to test the spirits. We need to watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing. We need to exercise church discipline. There are all sorts of ramifications for being in a fallen world with fallen people in it.
Happy thoughts about unity and fellowship do not override the reality of jerks and heretics in the church. Letting happy thoughts smooth over the differences in faith-practice and doctrinal substance doesn’t cut it for me.
I know, I’m the jerk and it’s guys like me that keep the church divided. Could be, then again, maybe your heresy has something to do with that division too. Hard to say, aint it?
I’ve been asked multiple times by other churches and “Christian organizations” if our church would get together for some ecumenical event. In all honesty, at the bottom of these requests there are two things these people want:
1) They want my church to hand out free advertising for them, and
2) They want our money.
Yup, I’m a tad cynical, but only a tad. The rest is just observations of reality.
I mean seriously, if any of these people ever set foot in my church and heard the stuff I preached, I guarantee they would not be asking me to be ecumenical. Which raises another point: how come none of these ecumenical people are beating down the doors of my church to join us? Why are we the ones who are supposed to leave our church to join them?
Ecumenical, to most, means “stop doing your stuff and submit yourselves to our every whim.”
Ecumenical people find being ecumenical to be quite simple. “You guys just shut up and listen to us.”
Non-ecumenical people struggle a bit more with ecumenicalism. Shutting up and throwing out all our faith distinctives seems like it would be easy, apparently it was for ecumenical types, but it’s actually quite hard if you’ve invested actual time, energy, and life into your faith.
Sorry, not gonna chuck the basics of biblical understanding so we can do a Bingo Night at the Senior Center for Jesus. Nope, not going to advertise your Christian themed haunted house scaring small children with eternal flames for the cost of my tried and trusted doctrines.
I’m going to stay in my church and you can stay in your church. I’ll continue to do this until other churches close their doors to join mine.
Yup, I said it. I’m a jerk pastor who thinks his church is righter than yours. If I thought your church was doing it right, I wouldn’t be a pastor in a different church.
I’m willing to guess it’s the same reason you are at your church and not mine.
Ecumenicalism is overrated. If unity results in what we’re doing, fine, I’ll take it. But unity for the sake of unity merely lowers the bar of truth and raises the level of heresy. Don’t worry, I’ll stand before God with this opinion and be judged by Him. As will you.
Judgment Day is the most ecumenical day of all. We’ll let the Head of the Body sort it out and rejoice in the eternal unity that follows.
Until then, no you cannot have our money and no, I will not advertise your citywide all-churches bake sale for Jesus. Put it on Facebook and leave me alone.
“For there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.”
–1 Corinthians 11:19