The term ecumene comes from the Greek oikumene. Initially this meant the inhabited world. Later it got the meaning of striving for (religious) unity, initiated and directed by Rome’s headquarters.
The idea of global unity has tremendous appeal. Over the centuries, numerous denominations have arisen on the church yard, each with its own accents, idiosyncrasies, and character traits. The mutual relations have not always run smoothly. Splits and rifts regularly arose, not only because of personal issues, but also on substantive grounds. That's not good for the church. Wouldn’t it be much better if we put all differences and disagreements behind us for once, and move forward together towards the future? Let's love each other, hold to the "core" of the faith, and respect all differences. That would be a powerful witness to the world community, and an answer to Jesus' prayer for visible unity (John 17).
For many, this does not go far enough. Is it possible to not only build bridges across church walls, but also to other religions? We live with an enormous number of different traditions and customs on the same earth, 'our common home'. It would be great if we could stop pointing out differences and instead embrace and respect them. Isn't this what Christ asks of us, to love and respect everyone, especially those who are 'different'? Religion would no longer be a source of conflict, but rather a means of interconnectedness. Just imagine.
This strong appeal surrounding the idea of global unity is understandable. Humanity does not have a good track record of dealing with differences. In a way it also touches upon the essence of what God is doing. He is gathering a worldwide community of people who will live together for eternity according to the great commandment of love. It is Gods intention that we live together in peace. But especially when there is so much at stake, it is important to stay sharp. Unity is not necessarily a good thing. There could be fake on the market. We have already seen fake unity before in the history of Babel. Quite often something looks very nice, but upon closer inspections it turns out not to be the case.
The question must therefore be asked: what is the real character of the ecumenical movement? For this review, we take to heart some advice from Jesus:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits (…); Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:15-21).
Jesus, God Himself in human form, contrasts words with deeds. Not by what someone says, but by what someone actually does do you recognize what the true character of a person, organization or development is. Jesus' advice is absolutely vital here. The ecumenical movement is overflowing with beautiful words, Biblical concepts, vision documents and edifying texts. But what is really interesting to see are the actual results, the actions and the consequences associated with them. Let’s investigate.
It seems like a mammoth task to unite all the religions of the world, both within the church and outside the church. To a certain extent it is. What do Islam, Judaism, Bahai, Buddhism and indigenous religions have in common? Will something like this ever work? Still, it will eventually turn out to be less complex than you might think at first glance. Why? Because all the world religions have a common origin.
Since the start in ancient Babylon (about 4200 years ago), our ancestors, together with their religious ideas and practices, have spread across the earth. Go to [ancient Babylon mingles among the nations] for extra information. The spiritual heritage of those ancient kingdoms has been built up and passed down through all generations. It can be found all over the world in various forms. Under the tiles of [Babylon] , [Persia], [Greeks] and [Rome] you will find a substantiation for each superpower. Here an executive summary is presented, categorized by kingdom. It contains the important basic religious ideas to be found in world history. In real religious practice, the ingredients are often mixed together, but they still remain recognizable. The bottom-line of each single one of them is the primordial lie, that deep inside we are actually like a god ourselves [a spiritual battle behind the scenes].
Maybe you think that the secular western world is far removed from this legacy. But appearance can be deceiving. The (post)modern way of life is full of religious ideas and the world is changing quickly into state which reflects those old religions. The contemporary ideas and plans to create humanity 2.0 and to initiate a new world order have very deep religious roots.
The differences between the religious east and south and the so-called secular world is bridged above all by the deification of man, an evolutionary philosophy and the solar (climate) cult.
World Goodwill, a prominent advisory body of the UN, lists the two core values necessary for the envisaged new world order:
“The churches and the world religions should indicate the unity within all facets of truth which will provide a universal platform, one to which all men everywhere could give allegiance. Such a platform should include:
- The truth that all men are divine
- The truth that evolution governs the growth of the human being.”
(The Problems of Humanity: The Building of Right Human Relations , Study six – The Problems of the Churches, issued by World Goodwill, pp 10-11)
This summarizes two core elements from the spiritual heritage of the ancient kingdoms. The idea that humans have divine insights and powers within themselves goes hand in hand with the idea that we are inextricably linked to 'life' through evolutionary development. The key point is that there is no longer a separate Creator to whom we are accountable. In the ancient world, these kinds of pantheistic ideas emerged in nature worship. The modern version of evolution also states that no God is needed for the development of life. We ourselves are the highest center of development and can take our destiny into our own hands. In fact, we ourselves are just like a god with god-like opportunities.
In our days the return to pantheism is taking shape in a new technical sense. We are redefining what life is and where it should be going, based on our technical capabilities and ‘insights’. The religious dimension is clearly present beneath the surface. A good example of this can be found during the Rio Earth summit (1992). UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali concluded this international meeting. He pointed to the deeper religious significance of what was being done:
“To the ancients, the Nile was a god to be venerated, as was the Rhine, an infinite source of European myths, or the Amazonian Forest, the mother of forests. Throughout the world, nature was the abode of the divinities that gave the forest, the desert, or the mountains a personality which commanded worship and respect. The Earth had a soul. To find that soul again, to give it new life, that is the essence of Rio” (p. 147 World religion, Kah, G.).
The same pantheistic vibe is propagated by the World Council of Churches, as we'll see shortly.
Self-deification and evolutionary development intermingle in New Age thought. The influential thinker Teilhard de Chardin refers to this idea when he says:
“…when we have reached a higher level of spiritual evolution” (Gary Kah, The New World religion, Hope International Publishing, 5 th edition, 2003, pg 69).
He is talking about spiritual evolutionary development. The idea here is that there will be a kind of global awakening, an awareness that we all share in the same fate and our bound together. This development of unity will be given substance by technical means, which connects all of humanity intrinsically together in a global digital system. God is not a separate person, but He is in everything and through everything and lives in ourselves. That pantheistic realization will transcend any substantive teaching of one religion or another. If that idea becomes popular, religious intermingling becomes possible.
In addition to self-deification and an evolutionary mindset, the ancient solar cult constitutes a perfect bridge between the religious and secular world. In [ancient Babylon mingles among the nations] you’ll see that with the dispersion from Babel similar architecture, symbolism and religion was taken and spread all over the world. The symbolism of the sun wheel is a prominent example of this. Around the world, the sun plays a central role in many religious ideas and practices. Contemporary concerns about the climate are completely in line with this. After all, the sun is the source of life and when nature falters, the basis of our existence disappears. We must therefore control climate developments at all costs, based on the realization that everything is connected to everything, and we are the only ones who can do something about it, as there is no God who we can rely on. Climate talk thus forms a great starting point for the unification of all humanity.
It is noteworthy that solar symbolism plays a central role within the Vatican religious system. Did you ever notice that this extremely influential organization owns the largest sun wheel in the world, in the plaza of its headquarters?
Also observe the obelisk right in the centre of the wheel. This obelisk was a symbol of the sun god Ra in ancient Egypt. Its top was originally gilded to reflect the sun's rays.
Solar symbolism is also widely used in roman religious art. The well-known nimbus, the circle around the heads of saints, is a reference to the sun. It was previously in use for the sun gods Mithras, Apollo, and Helios.
All religions that arose from the ancient cradle of Babel will come together one more time at the consummation of history. Once more, the serpent will try to gather humanity around his oldest lie: that man himself is a god in the making, that man has power over life and death and can determine his own fate, apart from the Creator.
The first thing you must give up in order to bring about global ecumenism is truth. Whoever wants to unite the world would rather get rid of the truth than reflect on it. The Pope, as the spokesman for worldwide fraternization, takes this position. He argues that people who value truth more than the gospel pose a threat to humanity. That’s kind of weird. Since when are truth and gospel at odds? Isn't it precisely the oldest lie that gives rise to problems again and again, pulls us away from God and makes us unhuman? Jesus, on the contrary, said that the truth will set people free:
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
The idea of brotherhood across all religions is aided by the zeitgeist. Postmodern culture preaches that truth does not exist. No one can therefore claim to speak the truth. If you do, you're suspicious. According to postmodern philosopher Michel Foucault, communication is essentially a social power struggle. If there is no way to determine if a certain idea is more reliable than the other, then communicating ideas becomes a pure matter of influence, and therefore of one's own interest and power. In postmodern thought therefore love means the same thing as refraining from influencing other people. Loving somebody is identical to respecting his opinions and lifestyle. It is obvious that in such a culture there is no room for people who hold on to their convictions, especially when it contradicts popular ideas and practices.
In the book Dat had je niet gedacht (part III § 5.2) the author works out an evaluation of postmodern relativism. Relativism is a denial of the way God intended us to use our minds. It doesn’t reflect the character of love, namely the willingness to invest, reserve time to think about a subject and in this way do justice to a person or topic.
But in the end, there will have to be someone on the scene who sets the tone and determines what is true and good. It even requires regulating so called ‘misinformation’. But who’s setting the standard? In [a global pact] you read about the mixing of morality, politics and religion in the ultimate battle. Who claims to have the final say about our mind and lives?
In the Bible, truth is inherent to our existence. Truth is something you can build upon, which you may rely on, which gives firm ground under your feet. Truth is therefore not opposed to love but inextricably linked with it. It helps to guard what really matters and to find healthy direction in your life. The church, therefore, does grow by pushing truth to the sidelines, but rather by “...holding to the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
It is completely impossible to live without truth. Whoever says, 'there is no truth', or 'you cannot know the truth' or 'the truth does not matter', is making a truth claim himself. Anyone who denies the importance of truth immediately undermines his very own starting position. Postmodernism recognizes this inconsistency to a certain extent but avoids the dilemma by making truth a personal matter: that's your truth and I have my own truth. But even if you say something like this, you are of course imposing your postmodern view of truth toothers.
So, the real question is not whether there is truth, but how you deal with it. Therefore, the apostle Paul combined love and truth. It is always a good idea to talk about truth if you do so out of love.
To make it a bit more concrete, look for interaction with your fellow men, without forcing anything. Love always gives room to respond. A tough conversation is very valuable, but imposing ideas and morality does not fit with God's dealings with people. Hold to the truth in love.
If you want to achieve something like ecumenism, in which every religion and philosophy is mixed, substantive differences stand in the way. Anything that distracts from such substantive differences, anything that discourages people from thinking more deeply, helps.
For this reason, the charismatic movement receives full support from Rome. The charismatic movement promotes the spiritual experience. In its pure form, it contains some valuable elements for the worldwide church to learn. However, that is not the reason behind the Roman enthusiasm. If we find each other in shared moments of religious experience, differences are no longer noticeable. Listening to an enchanting worship band unconsciously shuts off your critical thinking skills. When special healings take place, then doubts can have no place anymore. Anyone who dares to discuss substantive differences in such a pleasant atmosphere, even if it is with good intentions and reasons, is quickly viewed as an inflexible fundamentalist who causes division. More emphasize on feeling and experience helps ecumenism a great step forward.
In the world of ecumenism, having a clear conviction is considered a mortal sin. One can only speak negatively about it. A 1998 World Council of Churches policy therefore urges the Christian community to say "no" to anything that could potentially cause a divide and "yes" to anything that creates a sense of unity:
Report of the General Secretary to the WCC’s eighth assembly, Harare, 3-14 December 1998, Konrad Raiser (pg. 94).
Unity is considered by far the highest good, whatever the substantive consequence may be. Such a unification of the church sounds beautiful on the surface, but is it really so?
With his stern complaint about people who try to cling to the truth, pope Francis refered to a historical development:
“(…) they strongly affirm that the true Christianity is the one they adhere to, often identified with certain forms of the past …Today too, as then, there is temptation to close oneself up in some of the certainties acquired in past traditions.”
What does he really mean to say? With these ‘certain forms of the past' he refers to the Reformation and the denominations that arose from it. These have caused divisions because they stubbornly clung to their beliefs (which were not in line with the teachings of Rome). Francis refers to the time when millions of Christians said no to his institution. That was not a pleasant experience from the perspective of Rome’s interest. In the globalecumenical movement, that old conflict must be resolved. All reformed Christians must give up those 'old forms' and open up to the new age of light and peace, under the inspiring leadership of Rome, of course.
The ecumenical scenario has been worked on for centuries. Initially, the counterattack on the Reformation was launched with a heavy hand.
The Protestant movement in the 16th century felt compelled to abandon the Roman tradition (see [the great change of course] for their reasons). There had always been individuals and groups (such as the well-known Waldenses) who kept their distance from Rome, but this time was of a different order. The Reformation has caused a huge change of direction for the Christian community worldwide. Numerous denominations have sprung up from this movement (such as the Reformed churches, Methodists, Baptists, Evangelical Churches, and Adventists). Tens and even hundreds of millions of people went along with it. That was a problem for the Vatican, which saw its grip on humanity loosening.
In response a large assembly was held (the Council of Trent, 1545-1563) and a hard line of resistancestarted. Extremely hard. Inhumanly harsh. The Inquisition was fully deployed during the Counter-Reformation to exterminate the 'heretics' from the face of the earth. The newly established Jesuit order, led by Ignatius of Loyola, had a clear goal: to defuse the Reformation and restore central authority to Rome. The oath this order used gives you the chills. Author Gary Kah has requested access to an original copy of the oath in the library of the USA Congress for his investigation. That is not without reason, because otherwise it is hard to believe what you read. The Jesuit practice, however, was fully in line with the oath and confirms the intense, fierce, and dark spiritual struggle hidden behind it.
Here is an extract from the original Jesuit oath:
“I do further declare, that I will help, assist and advise all or any of his Holiness’s agents in any place wherever I shall be, in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, England, Ireland, or America, or in any other kingdom or territory I shall come to, and do my uttermost to extirpate the heretical Protestants or Liberal’s doctrines and to destroy all their pretended powers, regal or otherwise” (Kah, pg. 318).
“I furthermore promise and declare that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex, condition; and that I will hang, burn, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants’ heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race” (Kah, pg. 319)
Gary Kah, The New World Religion, the spiritual roots of global government, Hope international publishing, 5th printing, 2003.
But when the reformation became too big and extensive, the ‘problem’ no longer could be restrained. It became clear that the hard-line would no longer work. It was time for a different strategy. Different times call for a different approach. The same Jesuit order still flourishes today – Pope Francis himself is a member. The objective is stillunchanged: to restore the power system of Rome. At the helm of ecumenism, we again find the Jesuits, now under a new name: "Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity." If plan A doesn’t work out, switch to plan B.
Recently, the Vatican released a stamp of none other than Martin Luther, the man who was trampled under Loyola’s foot. It is a milestone in the ecumenical process, which started since Vatican II (in the 1960s) https://historiek.net/vaticaanstad-eert-ketter-maarten-luther-met-postzegel/72288/. At first sight, itseems to be a wonderful example of reconciliation. But to appreciate the true nature of this development, you must understand the dynamics of ecumenism. It is clearly not seen as a movement of mutual rapprochement, but instead as a return of the lost churches under the wings of Rome. The Ecumenical Directory, published by John Paul II on March 25, 1993, is crystal clear about this view. The following articles give a good impression. The italic texts are quotes from the document.
The soft line is much less noticeable, but just as powerful and purposeful. The ultimate goal is still that all churches will be under the authority of the Pope. In fact, Rome even dreams of holding sway over the entire human race ([a global pact]). Among other things, even infiltration techniques are used in this spiritual battle. Think of people who enter deeply into a particular religious world, get to know it, and influence it from within. The Jesuit Oath put it this way:
“My son, heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler: among Roman Catholics to be a Roman Catholic, and to be a spy even among your own brethren; to believe no man, to trust no man. Among the Reformers, to be a Reformer; among the Huguenots, to be a Huguenot; among the Calvinists, to be a Calvinist; among the Protestants, generally to be a Protestant; and obtaining their confidence to seek even to preach from their pulpits, and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope; (The New World Religion, quoting from the ceremony of induction and oath of the Jesuits, Hope International Publishing, 5 th edition 2003, pg. 316-317).
So, the Jesuits operate, where they see fit, incognito. To the outsider, they may even act as an outright enemy of the Vatican and champions of the Protestants. This can come in many forms, sometimes quite unexpected.
It is therefore necessary to pay attention to what is happening in the Protestant-Evangelical world. Sometimes the ecumenical movement pops up in ways you wouldn't expect. For example, one of the world's best-known evangelists – we will refer to him shortly – praised the then Pope John Paul II as “the greatest moral leader of the world and the world's greatest evangelist”. He was not alone.
Many popular Christian leaders in the church, theology, culture, philosophy, and entertainment industry seem to be following this trail. The deception on this point is many times greater than you probably think and has been going on for many decades. America, formerly a haven for Protestant Christians oppressed in Europe, has far more connections to Rome's agenda than meets the eye. In [the climax of an ancient conflict] and [a global pact] you read more about this immense topic. Many denominations, including the Lutheran World Fellowship, the Methodists, and the World Communion of Reformed Churches, already entered into agreements with the Pope and discarded the principles of the Reformation. Many other Protestant evangelical movements are about to follow.
In addition to infiltrating from within, Rome also applies a divide and conquer strategy. As is generally known, Freemasonry strives, just as the Vatican, for universal spirituality. An in-depth explanation on the tight connections between Rome and Freemasonry is given in [a global pact] . Keeping this in mind, it is remarkable that prominent Freemasons have pioneered new christian-like religions. Examples include the Mormons (founded by Joseph Smith, 1830) and the Jehovah's Witnesses (founded by Charles Russell, 1872). The latter requires additional explanation because for some this Mason connection is controversial.
Russell applied symbolism strongly associated with Freemasonry, such as the pyramid erected in honour of the Watchtower Bible and Tract society https://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/russell_c/pyramid_monument.html. Ifhe had wanted to avoid associations with Freemasonry, he would have been better off not to do so.
On his deathbed Russell did a remarkable request to his companion. He asked for a Roman toga. Whether this was indeed a Roman toga is disputed by some because it directly points to Freemason symbolism. However, there can be no question about it. Shortly after his death in October 1916, a publication of the Watchtower appears in December 1916, in which Russell’s associate describes his last hours. On his deathbed, Russell indeed asks his traveling companion, who does not understand the request, for the symbolic robe: “Please make me a Roman toga”. Below you will find a copy of the original, not very legible, but it suffices as a substantiation.
The famous Freemason Albert G. Mackey, in his work Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences, affirms that the Roman toga is used in mason ceremonies (pg. 145).
Why would both men want to start new religions, in which the Bible and the Christian tradition are adapted, while they are associated with a society that wants to realize a common world religion? It is obvious when you consider the motto of the highest order in Freemasonry: order out of chaos (Ordo ab Chao). The more religious chaos ensues on the world stage, especially within christian circles, the easier it becomes to chart one's own course. It also downgrades the credibility of the Christian legacy because it creates the impression that everyone can just make their own version of it. Setting up pseudo-churches cause confusion in the long run and makes the need for unity even greater. It’s a conquer and divide strategy. A great tool for ecumenical purposes.
Well-known TV ministers also contribute. Robert Schuller, known for the Chrystal Cathedral and the Hour of Power broadcasts, has put the gospel and the Protestant movement in a negative light. In his book Self Esteem – The New Reformation he wrote about a very different kind of reformation:
“One classical role of the pulpit in Protestantism has been to 'preach sermons' which imply indoctrination more than education” (pg. 153).
“Jesus never called a person a sinner. Rather he reserved his righteous rebuke for those who used their religious authority to generate guilt and caused people to lose their ability to taste and enjoy their right to dignity” (pg. 126).
“To be born again means that we must be changed from a negative to a positive self-image, from inferiority to self-esteem, from fear to love, from doubt to trust, and we can pray 'Our Father in heaven, honourable is our name'” (p. 68).
“What we need is a theology of salvation that begins and ends with a recognition of every person's hunger for glory” (pg. 26-27).
Who gets excited about this kind of religious twisting? Apparently, the preacher who warmly recommends Schuller's book and ideas (below). That makes one think. Later, in 1992, this evangelist was immortalized in a bronze statue as a thank you for his support of Schuller. He came to stand fraternally next to three other bronze men at the entrance of the Chrystal Cathedral. Next to Schuller himself stood the 33rd degree Freemason Norman Vincent Peale. A doubtful group to be part of.
Schuller has given the starting signal for 'the mega-church movement' in America. Since the 1970s he directed his Institute for successful church leadership. This institute was a source of inspiration for, among others, the Willow Creek Community Church (Bill Hybels) and Saddleback Community Church (Rick Warren). These people, in turn, passed on the mindset:
“…all discovered at Institute sessions new ideas to begin life-changing mission churches of their own (all would eventually form institutes for successful church leaders on their own church property)” - A place of beauty, Dr. Robert H. Schuller, compiled by James Coleman, pg. 25).
Also noteworthy is that the Chrystal Cathedral was a first for the integration of Rome with the Protestant world. In 1972, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen gave a number of speeches here. Muller was proud: “It was the first time a notable Catholic clergyman had delivered a message to a national audience from a Protestant church” (idem. Pg. 28). That truly sounds like a milestone of the ecumenical program.
The emphasis on feeling and self-actualization, as promoted by Schuller, has another side. Within the evangelical movement the idea has arisen that conversion is mainly a matter of a one-time moment. Anyone who has ‘given his heart to the Lord’ on an atmospheric evangelization event has reached the destiny. It givesyou a ticket to heaven. What the rest of your life looks like has become a side issue.
Now, it is certainly true that there are special moments of choice in life. That should never be underestimated. But the full emphasis on a moment, often combined with a momentary feeling, can easily mislead people. Real choices are often not made at an organized moment, during an intense meeting, but amid real life.
How do you combine instant conversion with the need for perseverance and sanctification of life? Revelation encourages all churches to endure and overcome:
“To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).
Perseverance does not arise out of insecurity, after all, we live by grace, but it does show the genuineness of your faith. The introduction of instant-Christianity has lowered the resilience of Christians worldwide, pushing the value and necessity of spiritual growth, sanctification and perseverance to the sidelines. Could it be a soft-line ecumenical strategy?
Within the ecumenical movement, the World Council of Churches plays a prominent role. It is therefore worthwhile to zoom in on this organization, founded in 1948. With some 350 affiliated denominations, accounting for 500 million members in more than 100 countries, the WCC has a wide reach. The organization has no hierarchical control over the members but is a focal point for inspiration and direction.
At this point we recall the advice of Jesus. If you want to know what kind of tree you are dealing with, look at the fruits. Not the words, but the deeds show who someone is and what someone really thinks. The World Council certainly does not have a shortage of beautiful words. The Report of the General Secretary, prepared in 1998 during the 50th anniversary, looked ahead to the future:
To confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour, in line with the scriptures and being obedient to God's call, does sound wonderful, familiar, and faithful to the Bible. But if you want to know what this really means according to the WCC, it suddenly becomes a lot vaguer. Ecumenism and the resulting fellowship must be understood as an 'energy field':
What the WCC means by "understanding God's voice" becomes clear when you consider Ms. Chung Hyun Kyung’s public appearance. This Korean theologian was invited as the keynote speaker at the 1991 general assembly in Canberra, Australia. During her talk Chung invoked an array of spirits, all of whom she claimed tobe one with the Holy Spirit.
“Chung invoked the spirits of women and men oppressed through the ages. "Come," she began, "spirit of Hagar, Egyptian, black slave woman exploited and abandoned by Abraham and Sarah, the ancestors of our faith." "Come," she eventually concluded, "spirit of the Liberator, our brother Jesus." She also summoned "the spirit of the Amazon rain forest" and of "Earth, air and water, raped, tortured and exploited by human greed." Chung received a standing ovation. But as Jean Caffey Lyles reported in the weekly Christian Century, one Eastern Orthodox delegate noted, "There was passionate applause, but there was also passionate silence."
Apparently the WCC considered Chung's performance a success. In 1998 she was again invited to the Decade Festival. She showed no shame or regret about her previous performance. In fact, she continued along the same lines.
“Korean feminist theologian Chung Hyun Kyung, who created a stir at the last WCC assembly in Canberra in 1991, was back again, participating in the Decade Festival just before the Harare assembly. She said she had "no regrets" about her controversial address in Canberra -- evoking in traditional Korean style the spirits of people martyred and murdered, and linking them to the Holy Spirit -- which led some listeners to accuse her of paganism and syncretism." http://www.wcc-coe.org/wcc/assembly/pr-hih.html
If ecumenism is an energy field and God's voice is heard in all spirits and traditions, what vision does the WCC have about the future? According to the below passage, a "new language" is needed to explain what the new heaven and the new earth entail. When future generations understand how this should be interpreted, they will be motivated to join the global ecumenism. We are talking here about nothing less than the interpretation of world history.
So, what can we expect for the future? What will the new heaven and earth look like? According to the WCC, a critical process of transition is underway. We are entering a new era. That smells like new age.
With the prospect of this new era, the role of the ecumenical movement becomes clearer. Here we find 'the language' that is apparently necessary to understand the Biblical concepts of world history. The Church is on a pilgrimage toward the healing of humanity and all creation. The ecumenical movement is accelerating that process. Heal the world. There are no expectations of a literal return of the Messiah. This prospect has been replaced by a spiritual awakening, the coming of a new religious age. There will be no [great Day], when Jesus initiates the consummation of present history. The WCC instead sees a continuous line from the here and now to the new age, were the new heaven and the new earth will become a reality. Ecumenism contributes to this movement.
This interpretation of the WCC's view on history is confirmed by the pantheistic ideas they propagate.
“Experiencing transcendence in our world is experiencing that God is everywhere…. It is a fragrance of peace and reconciliation because we respect that divine fragrance in others.”
“The letter to the Ephesians suggests that the whole cosmos is God’s dwelling, a holy temple, like a well-constructed building with sound foundations. It calls it ‘Church’ but, because that word has nowadays taken on a narrow meaning, I would call it ‘the cosmic community’ in which there is room for a diversity of spiritualities. In this community, everyone and everything is alive ‘in Christ’, which is a deep recurring image in Ephesians.”
Just to be clear, these ideas and activities of the WCC are not isolated. They stem from the ecumenical initiatives of the Life and Work Movement and the Faith and Order Movement. It is directly linked to the teachings of the Catholic Church, especially concerning baptism and the Eucharist. As we will see in the next section, the contours of a worldwide spirituality, under the central authority of Rome, are becoming more and more visible.
Although ecumenism was originally designed to neutralize the effects of the Reformation, in reality it goes much further than that. Not only the unification of church denominations is on the agenda, but also the unification of every notable religion. A final quote from the World Council of Churches report illustrates this broad view:
In the encyclical Fratelli Tuti (2019, “all brothers”), Pope Francis considers the future plans for the coming world religion.
“The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which he created human beings.”
Well, it is true that pluralism is a given in our world. It is also true that people should have the freedom to make their own choices. But that God has willed this mishmash of religions, in which His character and ways are misrepresented, that is the world upside down. Wasn't the confusion of Babylon precisely a judgment of God on human pride? Was the introduction of different language families really a blessing, or rather a necessary intervention to slow down the plans of a degenerate community?
Ecumenism is not just about words and documents. In recent decades, various initiatives have been developed to bring the world's religions together. Since 1986, the Vatican has been organizing meetings in Assisi, bringing together many religious world leaders. Pope John Paul II opened in 1986 with the words:
“We hope that this pilgrimage to Assisi has taught us anew to be aware of the common origin and common destiny of humanity. Let us see in it an anticipation of what God would like the developing history of humanity to be: a fraternal journey in which we accompany one another toward the transcendental goal which He sets for us” (John Paul II, To the religious assembly (October 28, 1999).
The Pope is working with Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi on the construction of the Abrahamic House of Fraternity. The project consists of a Mosque, a Synagogue, and a Church, on joint land.
“Through its design it captures the values shared between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and serves as a powerful platform for inspiring and nurturing understanding and acceptance between people of goodwill.”
The ecumenical movement is developing rapidly, even though it is mostly managed behind the scenes. In September 2022 a 7th congress was held in Kazakhstan, including many religious top leaders from around the world. This resulted in a declaration of 35 articles which is distributed to all governments around the world and many national and international non-governmental organizations. Note the centrale role of the pope here and how he is situated in front of a massive Pyramid.
Declaration| N. Nazarbayev center for development of interfaith and inter-civilization dialogue
In addition to these initiatives, numerous international meetings have been organized bringing together hundreds or even thousands of religious leaders. This is not so much a question of mutual recognition, as of mutual mixing. Francis says:
“Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travellers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all” ( Fratelli Tuti ).
How do you get such a motley collection of religions and philosophies together? Surprisingly, it seems to work quite well in practice. This is due to several reason.
A new vision for the future is emerging. All human beings have to merge into a global system. That system has an economic, political, and religious side. It is presented as the only chance to survive. And even more than that. We can work our way up to the next life, experience a religious awakening, and re-invent what humanity 2.0 will look like.
For recent developments on religious merging, see:
The sense of spiritual unity across all borders has a powerful impulse. Old sentiments of self-deification, the connection with 'life', and the uniting of all people around a common tower, are coming back in full force. The unprecedented new technical possibilities find their willing breeding ground here. Only together can we guarantee our future and 'God' is no more than the sum of all those forces. In this religious climate, division becomes the new cardinal sin. Anyone who does not want to participate in this system will be considered an unacceptable threat to the survival of humanity. Who dares to withdraw from this religious climate?
Gary Kah quotes this sentiment in his book The New World Religion:
“We are looking for something that will draw us together, below or above the level of what which divides” (pg 68, quoting Chardin).
“At this moment, at least 10% of the earth's population will be asked to suspend, for one hour, all thoughts of separation…” (pg 102, quoting from the World Instant of Cooperation initiative).
“No worldly peace can prevail until the self-centered members of the planetary body either change or die” (pg 118, quoting Barbara Marx Hubbard).
That sounds like Revelation 13. Anyone who does not have the mark of the beast, the beast that the whole world is walking after in wonder, is no longer sure of his life. Who would want to escape this monster covenant of Babylon? And most importantly, why would you want to?
Maybe because it's unreal. Because it is way better not to put your trust in limited and sinful people, but in the CEO of heaven and earth, Jesus. Maybe, because the 4,500-year-old structure is approaching its expiration date and will soon collapse like a house of cards, to make way for the heavenly Jerusalem. In our time the call to get out of Babylon, the worldwide system government by the new Rome, will become an eternal matter of life and death.
“Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4-5).
A union of all religions cannot of course function by itself. It requires central religious authority, which can give direction and certainty in all matters. It likely will not surprise you that the cards are already shuffled, and it is clear who should take on the task. As Pope Francis closed the week before Christian unity, in the San Paolo fuori le mura Basilica in Rome (January 2014), he took a symbolic seat. Anyone who has a little knowledge of the Bible cannot miss its symbolic message.
“Lord of hosts, God of Israel, who sits among the cherubim, it is You, You alone are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth …” (Isaiah 37:16, note the two angels on the side, cherubim are angels).
“And I saw a great white throne, and Him who sat on it…” (Revelation 20:11).
Isn’t it striking as well, that we see four living beings around the throne?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OJ89KmJTko (Vatican TV)
If you think deeply about the topic of ecumenism, it is very remarkable that the Pope and his team never speak of the physical return of Christ. He has absolutely no interest in this whatsoever. On the contrary, it would be an undesirable infringement on the Vatican’s power. Like the World Council of Churches stated, world history should be considered an evolutionary development and the new heavens and earth will be established based on the power of ‘the church’.
But Jesus is not a mystical idea or a vague spiritual experience. He is a real Person, who will come back on the scene one day. Every eye will see Him, and everyone will recognize Him. Two thousand years ago He came almost unnoticed, born in a stable. But soon He will return in full glory to finalize world history and introduce the eternal future of God’s kingdom.
“See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:25-27).
No one will miss it. No one will have to ask if the time has come yet. Isn't it remarkable how under the cascade of fine ecumenical words and look-a-like Biblical concepts lies a philosophy that completely contradicts the whole testimony of the Bible? Don't get bogged down with things that sound nice but aren't. Better be ready for the coming of the King!