William Andrew Dillard
ECUMENISM: TWO VIEWPOINTS AND A REJECT
“Ecumenism,” what is it, anyway? The word is basically Latin, and means “The whole world” according to several dictionaries. Within the Christian context, it means the idea and/or the movement to bring all of the “Christian churches” in the world together as one. Protestants see this as invisible, universal, and Catholics largely see this as persuading all churches to return to the Catholic fold from which they supposedly went astray. Baptists know that Catholics originated by departing from them. They see it as rank heresy; religious baloney, to be avoided at all cost.
The history of ecumenism is interesting, but it is bad. The first ecumenical movement succeeded in society at large in the days of Noah. God destroyed the entire world as a result (except for those on the Ark, of course). But men are sinful, fleshly, and do not learn spiritual truth as those things can only be understood by spiritual people. So, time found the whole populated world in another ecumenical movement at the Tower of Babel. To break it up, God created languages, and the population was segregated to the language they could understand. The language and scattering of the people accordingly created an effective separation which has served well until recent times.
Today, modern technology has all but eliminated the barrier of language. Modern transportation allows men to be global in bodily presence in only a few hours. Communications are global and instant, and for many years world leaders have been working consistently on a “New World (ecumenical) Order.” It is intended to be ecumenical politically, economically, and religiously. As nations march steadily onward toward that goal purported to be the apex of man’s existence, but apart from his Creator, the very idea of individualism and exceptionalism is abandoned.
All of this does not bode well for the nations, but it is their determined goal. Still the Creator’s clarion call to all who will hear Him is to “come out from among them and be ye separate saith the Lord.” 2 Cor. 6:17. Baptist churches stand or fall on their understanding and treatment of the Word. For them ecumenism offers nothing to gain, and everything to lose. They have stood on God’s truth while Catholic, Protestant, and Neo-protestants left them to go their own way. Doubtless, it will be increasingly harder to stand alone, but by the grace of God some will.