Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Fallout From Ecumenical Compromise

If there are any questions about the Roman Catholic Church’s intentions in regard to their ecumenical efforts, it would be profitable to examine the “Decree on Ecumenism” from the Vatican II council. Here is an excerpt from that decree illustrating Rome’s intentions to pull all churches back under her authority.

“The term "ecumenical movement" indicates the initiatives and activities planned and undertaken, according to the various needs of the Church and as opportunities offer, to promote Christian unity.”

“When such actions are undertaken prudently and patiently by the Catholic faithful, with the attentive guidance of their bishops, they promote justice and truth, concord and collaboration, as well as the spirit of brotherly love and unity. This is the way that, when the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion have been gradually overcome, all Christians will at last, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, be gathered into the one and only Church in that unity which Christ bestowed on His Church from the beginning. We believe that this unity subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.”(Emphasis Added)

Decree on Ecumenism
Second Vatican Council

It is the Catholic Church’s intention to court evangelicals in an effort to win them back to Catholicism.

The effects of ecumenism on the evangelical community are causing wide scale compromise concerning the essentials of Biblical faith, especially concerning salvation by grace alone (sola fide). There are numerous examples of the effects of this compromise on the evangelical community. There have been some who have been won over to the Catholic Church through this ecumenism. I realize that it is likely that those who convert to Catholicism never were really a follower of Christ to begin with. Those that are Christ’s are those that continue following the teaching of Scripture and conduct their life in a manner that honors God.(1 John 2:19) However, this does not exonerate us of our responsibility to warn others. Paul could say with confidence that he was free from responsibility for the indiscretion of people who failed to heed his warning(Acts 20:26-31). There are those whom God appoints to act as watchmen to warn people of impending danger. God commanded prophets in the Old Testament to act as watchmen to faithfully warn the people and deliver the message commanded by God. Ezekiel was commanded to warn the people regardless of whether or not they listened.(Ezekiel 3:17; 33:2-7) God requires that leadership is to fulfill that same function of watchman today.

The president of the Christian Coalition in Alabama, John Giles, is now a convert to Roman Catholicism. An article in the May 25,2004 edition of the “The Decatur Daily News” describes his journey to the Roman Catholic Church. He described his experience attending Mass in a Catholic Church.

"I have to admit to you that the whole time that I was in that church service, I was reduced to tears, and I couldn't explain it," Giles said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press.
"In fact," he jokes, "you would have thought I had been spending the whole weekend down at the House of the Rising Sun down in New Orleans, that I had all this sin in my life that I had to get out."

The Decatur Daily News
Online Edition, May 25, 2004
“Christian Coalition chief is now Catholic”By Kyle Wingfield Associated Press Writer

There are well-known Evangelical leaders who have been downplaying the significance of the differences between Catholicism and Biblical Christianity. Billy Graham, for example, has made some outlandish statements concerning the RCC over the years, implying that the differences are minor and that the Catholic Church is really not much different from evangelical churches. I am not trying to discredit everything Dr. Graham does. Many people have been brought to Christ over the years through the effort of his ministry. His ministry also played a part in my own conversion. No, I did not get saved at a Billy Graham Crusade, but prior to my conversion I had watched Billy Graham on television on a couple of occasions and what I heard began planting seeds in my heart. But I can’t help but wonder how many other people have gotten a distorted message through some of the things that he has stated concerning Catholicism over the years.

Upon receiving his honorary degree at the Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey College, North Carolina, Graham stated:

"The Gospel that built this School and the Gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation."
'The Gastonia Gazette' Nov. 22nd 1967

In a January 1978 interview with McCall’s magazine, Graham had this to say:

“I am far more tolerant of other kinds of Christians than I once was. My contact with Catholic, Lutheran and other leaders - people far removed from my own Southern Baptist tradition - has helped me, hopefully, to move in the right direction. I've found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics, for instance. They believe in the Virgin Birth, and so do I. They believe in the Resurrection of Jesus and the coming judgment of God, and so do I. We only differ on some matters of later church tradition.”

It is commonplace for those who attend and come forward at Billy Graham Crusades, if they were affiliated with a Catholic church, to be referred to a Catholic Church for follow up.

The compromise does not end with co belligerence with Catholics either. It also includes a nod of approval for other world religions as well. In an appalling interview with Robert Schuller on May 31, 1997, Graham made the following statement:

SCHULLER: Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity?

GRAHAM: Well, Christianity and being a true believer you know, I think there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem when he said that God's purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name. And that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven.

SCHULLER: What, what I hear you saying is that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they've been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you're saying!

GRAHAM: Yes, it is, because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they've tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.

SCHULLER: (his face beaming) I'm so thrilled to hear you say this! There's a wideness in God's mercy.

GRAHAM: There is. There definitely is.

In the 1978 interview with McCall’s magazine, Graham stated:

"I used to believe that pagans in far off countries were lost going to hell if they did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I NO LONGER BELIEVE THAT. I believe that there are other ways of recognizing God through nature for instance and plenty of other ways of saying 'yes' to God."

The Roman Catholic Church also finds merit in the other world faiths as well. I find it interesting that some evangelicals are basically agreeing with the Catholic Church. I believe that we are heading into the final days of apostasy very rapidly, and we are going to see more efforts to unite with various false religions of the world as well as so-called Christian groups that deviate from biblical truth.

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