By RANDY WHITE, D.Min.
Founder and CEO
In my opinion, the sermon I preached this past Sunday morning is one of the most important I have ever given. The reason for this is because it was on a topic that is very much neglected today.
We have forgotten the doctrine of separation—to the point that most professing Christians do not even know what that term means, even though it is fundamentally important.
A generation ago, separation was often taught and preached, but it has been almost altogether neglected in the church today. It has been nearly omitted completely in the Southern Baptist vein of Baptist life. In fact, many who read this article may not even be familiar with the subject of separation.
By contrast, the ecumenical movement (which attempts to unite all professing Christians—regardless of doctrinal differences) is unbelievably strong.
As I have witnessed these trends and then searched the Scriptures for answers, questioning the assumptions regarding the ecumenical movement, I have come to a greater Biblical understanding of this topic. I believe that my findings will likewise help you to think with Biblical clarity regarding this issue of the ecumenical movement.
One reason that I delivered this sermon at this time is because this is a time of the year in which ecumenical activity comes to the surface through community Thanksgiving gatherings, with all of the various churches in a given community coming together for a worship experience.
As a pastor, I will not participate in these kinds of services—even though, on the surface, they seem like great events. After all, what could be better than people forgetting about what denominations they are part of and joining together as Christians to worship the Lord—especially at this time of the year?
However, upon further reflection, maybe a community worship gathering is not such a good idea after all. Such meetings may involve the promotion of false teachings and unbiblical practices, so that a Bible-believing pastor who leads his church to participate in such an event will end up having to undo so much of what the people see there that participation is not worth the effort. Thus, as I have continued in ministry, I have withdrawn from taking part in them.
I have come to understand that church-based activities, such as worship, are intended to be practiced by like-minded believers. Doctrine is extremely important, and the way that we live out our faith is also vital to our obedience as believers.
Today, people view this type of approach as being a mark of closed-mindedness. Ecumenical activity has become the norm.
I believe that community-wide—or nationwide—religious gatherings or ecumenical events are spiritually dangerous, and I explain why in this message.
You can watch the entire sermon below, and also return to the blog for more in this ongoing series.
(Read Part 2)
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