Ecumenical Churches

Many churches join together today. Even some signing churches join with other churches. Some Christian groups who help the deaf also join with other churches. When churches join together, it is usually called 'ecumenism'*. If your church joins with other churches, then your church is called 'ecumenical'. You will also be called 'ecumenical', because you agree with what is going on. Is ecumenism right or wrong? Sometimes it is and sometimes it is not. To find the answer we must first see what a Christian is and what a local church is...

A Christian is someone who has been saved. Only God saves a person. He chose everybody who will be saved, before He made the world. The Holy Spirit comes to the person, maybe through someone preaching the Gospel. Or, maybe by the person reading the Bible, or perhaps a Christian article. Then, the person will feel very guilty because he knows he is a sinner and he is bad. He knows that he will never be good enough to go to heaven, unless God accepts him. He will repent to God. That means he will admit that he is a sinner and that he needs God to save him. Also, it means that he turns away from doing evil and turns toward doing what God says.

God then forgives him and the man is saved. The man does nothing to be saved. All he does is accept the free gift of salvation that God has given him. When he becomes a Christian, the man will want to join with other Christians, so that he can be taught what the Bible says and so he can worship God with others. So, God leads him to a church. If everybody in that church is a Christian, then it is a Christian church. But if it has members who are not Christians, then it is not really a Christian is just a place where Christians and unbelievers meet. To be a Christian church, all its members must be saved. If, however, the unsaved people are only visitors, and all the members are saved, then the local church is a Christian church!

What has all this got to do with ecumenism? Well, the Bible tells us that all Christians should love each other and join together. But it tells us that Christians must not meet together with unbelievers, because to God, they are evil.

If a local church only has Christian members, then it can meet or join with another local church, so long as all its members are Christians, too. That is the ONLY time churches may join together. All the members must be Christians. That is when it is true ecumenism.

God cannot accept unbelievers and He does not listen to their prayers. And if Christians join with them, God does not like it. We must not do things which God hates. So, if Christians ask you to meet with other churches, which have got unsaved members, do not join with them. If you do, you are sinning.

What is bad ecumenism? How do we know if it is false?

Bad ecumenism is when a true Christian church joins with a church which has got unsaved members. It is also bad if a true church meets with another true church, but one of the pastors is not saved.

Another type of bad ecumenism is when unbelieving churches join together. In that case, it is not so bad, because if they are not Christians, they are all the same anyway. God rejects them all, in that case! It is also bad when Christian churches join with cults. That is, places which call themselves Christian, but which teach things that are not Biblical. A good example of this is the Roman Catholic church. The Roman Catholic church is not Christian, so Believers must never join with it. They cannot have meetings with Roman Catholics, either.

There is another type of bad ecumenism, which is now starting to happen. This is when churches join with false religions, like Islam*. Christians cannot join with Muslims, because Muslims are not Believers and they are not saved. But, Christians can allow Muslims to come to hear the Gospel. Christians must not go to a Muslim place of worship (called a 'mosque'*), because it is not allowed by God. Although we must not join with other religions, or with cults, or with unsaved people, Christians must always witness and preach to them.

Ecumenical churches try to make other Christians feel ashamed, if they do not join with them. Do not be bullied! Do not listen! God tells us that we must never join with unbelievers, so if you are asked to do so, just say no. God is with you...but He is not with the ecumenical churches, because they join with unbelievers.

When denominations join together, it is even worse. This is because lots of local churches join denominations. That means there must be many unsaved people in the denominations. So, when they join together, there are even more unsaved people in them!

  • Ecumenism is said EK-EW-MEN-IZM.
  • Islam is the religion of the Muslims.
  • Mosque is said MOSK.

© November 1993

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