The ecumenical movement towards a one–world religion seems to gaining traction fast, with the meeting of mainstream protestant church leaders warming up to the Vatican in an effort that purports to work toward tearing down the ‘walls of division’ between Catholics and Protestants.
In a recent report, ChristianNews.net reported that two controversial TV preachers, Kenneth Copeland and James Robison recently met Pope Francis with the aim of working together towards this goal. Copeland and Robison are two religious leaders in northeast Texas known for drawing huge crowds to their services and events, and who were a part of leading the group identifying as a “delegation of Evangelical Christian leaders” in its meeting with the Roman Catholic pontiff late last month. Copeland heads Kenneth Copeland Ministries and Eagle Mountain International Church, while Robison is said to be an “apostolic elder” at Gateway Church and co-hosts the Life Today TV program.
Copeland and Robison are both reported to have visited Pope Francis at the Vatican in late June for nearly 3 hours of “prayerful discussion” as described in Robison’s blog post. “We continued in such glorious fellowship that words could never begin to describe it,” he wrote. “I am fighting back tears even as I write, so glorious was the manifest presence of Jesus.”
Robison was afterward quoted as describing the meeting as “an answered prayer”, a “supernatural gathering” and “an unprecedented moment between evangelicals and the Catholic Pope.” Said Robison: “This meeting was a miracle…this is something God has done. God wants his arms around the world. And he wants Christians to put his arms around the world by working together…The world is suffering…We as Christians have too much love to share without fighting one another.”
Copeland reportedly also shared similarly positive sentiments about the visit. According to Robison’s blog post, Copeland “lovingly” spoke “a few words of encouragement” to Pope Francis, afterward praying for him.
These leaders are not the first mainstream protestant leaders to have warmed up to the Roman Catholic church and the papacy. As previously reported, megachurch speaker Joel Osteen similarly met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in early June. After the meeting, Osteen praised the Pope’s attempts to make the church “more inclusive.”
It is noteworthy that certain other Christian leaders have also been making similar moves towards inclusivity of Islam, in what is now being commonly described as the creation of “Chrislam”, a merger of Christianity and Islam. This movement has been initiated or embraced by other leaders representing Christendom as well. Examples were provided in an earlier edition of Prophecy News Watch in March and April.
What should be made of these efforts to unite Christians with non-Christians and Protestants with Catholics? Unity of mind and purpose is so powerful that even God had to intervene to scuttle an attempt to build a tower from earth to heaven (Genesis 11:1-9). However, is unity to be had at all costs, or it to be based on truth? Clearly , in what is considered to be Jesus longest prayer on earth, he yearns for unity in the body of Christ, as recorded in John 17: 11,21-23:
•”that they may be one, as we are” (11)
•”that they all may be one” (21)
•”that they also may be one in us” (21)
•”that they may be one, even as we are one” (22)
•”I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one” (23)
In view of Jesus passionate prayer for unity, should we not all be eager to hop onto the unity bandwagon? Only in very qualified circumstances. Jesus was clearly referring to unity in the faith, not outside of it. Evangelical outreach.org expounds on this:
“…In contrast to all of this, there is also a false unity offered and promoted by the devil! The counterfeit would like to combine all who merely profess a belief in Jesus Christ under one religious banner of tolerance. They seem to think we should unite on things like the Lord’s Prayer. They also believe doctrine is not important… truth regarding the plan of salvation is pre-eminent over unity with other religious people! Therefore, to unify at the expense of truth is NOT from God. That is not Christian unity, but the devil’s false unity. Furthermore, Paul risked Christian unity with Peter to maintain truth, when Peter was in error! See Gal. 2:11-21.”
So where exactly have Protestants found common purpose with the Roman Catholic system, given the glaring foundational differences in doctrine, approach and perspective? It is instructive that to begin with, as was recently reported by nowtheendbegins.com, that the Pope recognizes no salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church. In which case, the protestant leaders seeking unity are not aware of this, or are prepared to sacrifice key doctrinal beliefs at the altar of religious inclusivity for all.
The Bible says, in Ephesians 2:8, 9 that “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”Does the Catholic church believe this? Nowtheendbegins.com goes on to quote a sermon delivered by the pope on June 25th, in which he emphasizes a gospel of salvation by works: “…The Christian belongs to a people called the Church and this Church is what makes him or her Christian, on the day of Baptism, and then in the course of catechesis, and so on… We have received the faith from our fathers, from our ancestors, and they instructed us in it.” In other words, you cannot come to God directly through prayer and faith in God through Jesus Christ, but only through following the rites and traditions of the Catholic Church as handed down by the ancestors.
In another statement, the pope declares: “Dear friends, let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, for the grace to never fall into the temptation of thinking we can make it without others, that we can get along without the (Catholic) Church…you cannot love God outside of the Church; you cannot be in communion with God without being so in the Church.”
Is this what the Bible says? Who intercedes for Christians before God, is it Jesus or Mary? 1 Timothy 2:5-6 states categorically: For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time..
Acts 4:12 states: Nor is there salvation in any other (Jesus), for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
ChristianNews.net reported that when news of the ecumenical get-together at the Vatican was publicized, many Christians expressed disappointment, saying it was unwise for the evangelical leaders to meet with Pope Francis.
As the Apostle Paul said: Follow me as I follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Anyone who does enough research will have to conclude that the differences between protestant and catholic doctrine are not subtle or trivial, but instead profound and irreconcilable.
The ongoing global ecumenical movement that seeks to unite all religions under the ruse that “all religions lead to God”, or that there are many paths that lead to heaven and salvation cannot be reconciled with Jesus’ own very categorical statement: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). This brings us to the pertinent rhetoric question asked in the Bible: Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3).