By Pastor Mark King
It would be good in my opinion for many who call themselves Baptists in our day to give up the name and claim another. The name "Baptist" is more than just a catchy banner, but one whose bearers have carried through the centuries because of their uncompromising stand on the Bible teaching of "Separation."
I recently saw an advertisement of services in our newspaper for special services at the Central Baptist Church here in Minneapolis, listing the participating churches. Listed were "Bethel Temple, Central Baptist, Elim Covenant, Warrendale Presb., S.E. Asian, Rose Hill Alliance, Simpson Memorial, Summit Ave. Assembly of God, Calvary Evangelical, Taiwan Christian." And just what do you suppose was the special occasion? It read, "Maundy Thursday 7:30 P.M., Supper with Our Lord, Midway Good Friday, Services At Central. 12 Noon –1:30 P.M."
Baptists uniting with such a smorgasbord of Protestants for Roman Catholic observances? This is not true Baptist practice, because this is not true Bible practice. This is what is often favorably referred to as "Ecumenism." Satan's plea to the religions today is "Lay down your differences and unite under the banner of 'love'." Leading people to the truth is not at all the order of the day; rather, compromising with error.
What does God's Word have to say about all this?
First let's consider the direction Ecumenism leads. The Bible prophesies that there will be a universal religious "Babylon" in the last days. Having deceived the world, she will be destroyed and burned by the ten nations who will give themselves unto the Antichrist. In Revelation 17:5, "Mystery, Babylon The Great" is the name given to the false universal religious system of the last days. Read what Rev. 17 prophesies about her. Many today have been lead into this ecumenical movement and are unknowingly being used of Satan to set things up for the Antichrist. True Baptists have not, but many are Baptist in name only!
Then secondly, does the Bible give us any clear instruction as to our responsibilities concerning Ecumenism? The answer is an emphatic "Yes!" True Baptists have nothing to do with the Ecumenical movement, because true Baptists follow the teachings of God's Word on Separation.
Colossians 2:8 says, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." False teachings are dangerous, and we need to be warned against such.
God's Word asks in Amos 3:3, "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" The Bible says to us in Eph. 5:11, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." The Word of God says in Rom. 16:17, "...Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
We are never given freedom to compromise the truth of God's Word! Stand for the truth. It may cost you friends, but there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Thirdly let's look at the attention getter of such Ecumenism. A flawed concept of Biblical love is always the central motivation factor behind such unscriptural unity. People are being duped by seminary professors and "ear scratching" preachers to lay down disagreements over fundamental teachings because of a "love" for God's people. They are told that "God is love" by men who haven't begun to understand the Bible principle of Divine love. I would in no wise claim that I have grasped the understanding of the love of Christ to its fullest, but I can say without fear of ever having to back down that those who boast of laying aside their differences for the cause of unity have not come close!
So many misled Christians charge full speed ahead into compromise because of a frail definition of the deep principle of Divine love.
You may be asked, "Do you love the Lord enough, the family of God enough, the cause of Christ enough, or have compassion on the souls of the unsaved of this world enough to fellowship with us though we may not agree on everything?" (Compromise) But my question to Baptists or prospective Baptists is, "Do you love the Lord enough, the family of God enough, the cause of Christ enough, or have enough compassion on the unsaved souls of this world to obey God, stand up against error, and be separate?"
Just as we show our love for the Lord by keeping all His commandments which include separation from false doctrine (which is sin), even so, we can only show true Biblical love for the brethren when we love God and keep His commandments. I John 5:2,3 says, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:"
Dear saint of God, you will never help the brethren or anyone else by falling into the ditch of doctrinal compromise. You can truly help only when your feet are moving faithfully upon the path of God's commandments which are found in the Holy Scriptures.
If your church is involved in the Ecumenical Movement, by God's grace, take a stand for the truth and separate! Find yourself an independent Baptist church that is bearing the reproach of Christ for the sake of the Truth. Jesus had to walk 30 miles to find the Baptist, and your move will be well worth the cost to walk with the people of God!
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