Are Winds of
Ecumenicalism Blowing in the Church of God?
The church of God is under attack as never before. Satan has masterfully not
only divided God's people into hundreds of groups, he is sowing seeds of veiled
heresies, lies and distortions in the church which is blowing many people off
course and out of God's truth.
Ecumenicalism is one of these winds, and is defined as...
- "1. (Ecclesiastical Terms) of or relating to the Christian Church throughout the world, esp with regard to its unity
- 2. (Ecclesiastical Terms)
a. tending to promote unity among Churches
b. of or relating to the international movement initiated among non-Catholic Churches in 1910 aimed at Christian unity: embodied, since 1937, in the World Council of Churches
- 3. rare universal; general; worldwide." (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/ecumenical)
We see this trend in the world striving to "unite" religions regardless of
beliefs or practices. This may sound "good," but the intent is to ignore the
differences and to focus on basic similarities such as "God," and "good people"
and doing "good works." They see no reason to let doctrinal belief and practice
differences separate various religions or denominations. They aren't
discriminating between right and wrong, truth and error. What does God think
about this trend?
I attended an independent Church of God (COG) Feast site this year, (2010). It was a
very good experience with great people and fellowship, good seminars and bible
studies. However, here, like in other groups, there were occasional discussion
and statements made by some that showed that the lines between that which is
Holy and that which is profane are being blurred in people's minds and being
expressed in an ecumenical mindset toward traditional Christianity.
For example, a statement was made at one of the seminars by another group
leader to the affect that "the Sabbath and Holy days are an easy thing for God
to open to people's understanding in the kingdom" He seemed to say that what was
important was the common ground traditional Christians have with us and that the
other things aren't really important. There were some vigorous nods of agreement
by a few in the room. This is a grave error and is dangerous drifting from our
calling and what God expects of us.
The best place to start to shine a light on what is happening and why, is
back at the beginning with the two trees... the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil, and the tree of life. There seems to be considerable confusion
regarding these two trees and what they symbolize, and many are being deceived
by the ecumenical siren song being promoted.
It seems that some have a distorted image of what God is doing. They see the
two trees in a different light... that is, the tree of the knowledge of evil
being the one tree which Adam and Eve shouldn't have eaten of, and then the tree
of good and life. To better clarify, many people are being confused by human,
carnal good vs. God's good.
Anyone can look within traditional Christianity, and even in other religions,
and see many "good" people doing many "good" things. Every religion can show
examples of people doing "good" things for others and generally living a "good"
life, and this is causing confusion with some in the COG. They seemingly can't
believe that such people could possibly be profane to God or that God does NOT
approve of their worship practices.
They look around and see traditional Christian people not in the COG, and who
have little or no understanding of most of God's truth, but are decent people,
fun to be with and seemingly showing "more "love" than those in the COG," as
some have stated it. Many of these people have a zeal for God, yes, and are
doing their best. This isn't to castigate any of the "good" they are doing, but
it IS to point out that this "good" and "their best" is NOT God's "good."
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is just that... the knowledge of
GOOD and evil, not just evil. That means that the carnal mind is capable of
doing GOOD along with evil. Free will and choice allows for good to be chosen as
well as evil. There are many people in the world who have no belief in God at
all, but do "good" works such as helping the poor, serving in various
capacities, helping their fellow man. This is good... but as was stated, this is
NOT the level of good that God is looking for or building within His church.
Yes, Christ showed us some examples in MT 25, but if we used this criteria
alone as the judge of who will be in God's kingdom, then we would have to add
people from every religion on earth today, and even atheists. Is it "good works"
that create Christ's nature in people? An atheist can do all that which is
mentioned by Christ, but does this save him, or form Godly character in him?
What is God's overall plan? It is to create a family in His own image... in
the very image and stature of the fullness of Christ. (Rom. 8:29, Eph. 4:13, Gal 4:19.). God set down
standards as to what is "good" and what is not. The "good" that God IS,
is NOT the "good" of this world or carnal humanity. For example, God created the
Sabbath day and made it Holy. He commands His children to KEEP this day Holy and
to not profane it. Some have forgotten what is Holy and what is not...
Ezek 22:26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My Holy things; they
have not distinguished between the Holy and unholy, nor have they made known the
difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes
from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. NKJV
Ezek 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the Holy and
profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. NKJV
Mal 3:18 Then shall you return, and discern between the righteous and the
wicked, between him that serves God and him that serves him not. KJV
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who
by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The word translated "profane" comes from several Hebrew words: 1. chalal
(khaw-lal') OT:2490, and means "to bore, i.e. (by implication) to wound, to
dissolve; figuratively, to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one's
2. OT:2610 chaneph (khaw-nafe'); a primitive root; to soil, especially in a
KJV - corrupt, defile, greatly, pollute, profane.
3. OT:2491 chalal (khaw-lawl'); from OT:2490; pierced (especially to death);
figuratively, polluted: KJV - kill, profane, slain (man), slew, (deadly)
4. OT:2455 chol (khole); from OT:2490; properly, exposed; hence, profane:
KJV - common, profane (place), unHoly.
Is working on the Sabbath profaning the Sabbath? How about the Holy Days? Is
ignoring these days profaning His Holy time? Is not keeping the Passover
profaning God's name? How is the covenant being renewed in those who have no
idea about the Passover or the command to observe it? Does it matter? Is
traditional Christianity serving God? Is that the kind of "unity" God wants...
combining profane with Holy?
1 Tim 1:8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 9 knowing
this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and
insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for
murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for
fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if
there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according
to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.
God's calling is to a completely different level of "good." It is "God's
good" that we are to emulate and seek, not human "good" that some are seemingly
equating to the tree of life. The "good" of the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil is NOT equal to the tree of life "good," but some are making that
comparison by minimizing God's good and elevating man's good to that of God's
good. This is not discerning between what is Holy and what is profane.
People in the world, and primarily traditional Christianity, are being
elevated by some in the COG by the "good works" they do to be equal with the
work God is doing within His people and expects of His people.
Many immediately argue... "who are you to judge these people? Only God knows
people's hearts." Because someone says that it is profaning the Sabbath to not
observe the Sabbath day, and instead keeping Sunday as the Sabbath, is this
We are to use God's word to direct our lives, as well as to be able to
discern between Holy and profane. We ALL will be judged by what is in God's
word. To minimize the Sabbath and Holy days, is to minimize Holy, and elevate
profane. It seems to me that some are embarrassed by their calling to be
different... to be Holy and set apart by God.
God originally chose Israel to be His Holy people, not because they were
great or mighty...
Deut 7:6 "For you are a Holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God
has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the
peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The LORD did not set His love on you nor
choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were
the least of all peoples; 8 but because the LORD loves you, and because He would
keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with
a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of
Pharaoh king of Egypt." NKJV
1 Cor 1:27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame
the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the
things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things
which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to
nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
That scripture is more true today than it was for them. God has chosen some
people out of this world to be His own spiritual creation. Do we value this? Do
we really understand what this means? Is this something we should be embarrassed
by and try to minimize so that other's won't be offended by the obvious
implications of this calling? Are we embarrassed that we keep the Sabbath and
Holy days, and by this, suggest that the other are wrong about "their" religious
practices? Are we trying to blur the lines... muddy the waters between Holy and
profane to be politically correct?
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a Holy
nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of
Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once
were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but
now have obtained mercy. NKJV
How do we "proclaim the praise of Him" by calling the Sabbath or Holy days,
"small and insignificant things which God can easily tweak in traditional
Christian's minds in the resurrection?"
God's calling is SO big, SO Holy, that any attempts to degrade this to human
good is not only foolish, but borders on blasphemy. Have we forgotten what false
religion is? No, not the religions that worship cows or other pagan religions,
but the false "Christian" religion...
Mark 13:5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: "Take heed that no one
deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am [He] (he not in
original),' and will deceive many." NKJV
Matt 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one
deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, (comma not correct here)
'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many." NKJV
What is Christ telling us here? Christ states clearly that many would come
and be saying that Jesus is the Christ, that He exists and is real... and
would be deceiving many with their message. How can this be? How can
those who speak of Christ, believe in Him, read the bible and do good works NOT
be Holy and called by God?
Matt 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me,'Lord, Lord ,' shall enter the kingdom
of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will
say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord , have we not prophesied (preached) in Your
name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? 23 And
then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who
practice lawlessness!" NKJV
Luke 6:46 "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I
say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you
whom he is like: NKJV
Christ, of course, goes on explaining building on a rock vs building on sand.
Satan is deceiving some into accepting this false Christianity built on sand as
the work of God. Is NOT keeping the Sabbath, keeping Christ's or the
Father's will? Is profaning the Holy days, Passover, etc., keeping Christ's or
the Father's will? Is observing pagan practices of Christmas and Easter, or
Halloween, Holy to God? Does He bless this activity, no matter how sincere these
people may be? Is God's nature and will being taught through these activities?
Are they Holy at all?
Some try to call keeping God's Sabbath, Holy days and commandments as
"legalistic." They are moving away from law and towards lawlessness...
minimizing God's commands and laws.
Salvation consists of more than just being saved from the death penalty by
Christ's sacrifice. Forgiveness and cleansing from sin is a free gift. No amount
of commandment keeping or Sabbath keeping can remove the penalty of sin.
However, does forgiveness change our carnal nature to the very stature and
fullness of Christ? Does forgiveness immediately give us the character of
Christ? How does change come? WHAT is this change that must take place?
The change is that of being "sanctified." Salvation AND
sanctification. The salvation equation is not complete without sanctification...
being made Holy... formed into the very image of Christ, which cannot occur
through lawlessness. That is what Christ was telling us above. Paul stated
people in his time had a "zeal for God, but NOT according to knowledge." (Rom.
10:2). Another word for knowledge could just as well be Law. Did the zeal they
had for God make them God's called and chosen? Did this zeal equal God's good?
Did it comply with God's will and law? Did Paul say, "They believe in God and do
good works... that is good enough, so we don't have to bother them with the
Sabbath and Holy Days or other of God's truths that separate His people from
that which is profane."
Sanctification is a process. It takes molding and shaping... refining... by
Christ, till we are in His image. The Sabbath, Holy days, commandments... every
word of God... along with His Spirit, are the TOOLS for
sanctification. God's Sabbaths and commandments are not just a bunch of
hoops created for humanity to jump through for no purpose. They reflect elements
of God's own mind and character through physical means. God is Holy, and God
makes certain things Holy, and through these Holy tools, we learn more about
Him, His plan, His nature and His will, and grow into that spiritual image. It
cannot happen through profaning His laws and His word, or practicing pagan
rituals no matter how "good" those who do so may seem to us.
Can salvation take place... being born into the very family of God, without
sanctification? Can we remain as we are when called and first forgiven, and
expect to be in God's kingdom? Are we made perfect through forgiveness without
anything else? God's word says NO!
God is the ONLY one who can tell us what is "good" and what is evil, and He
has done this throughout the bible. Do we believe that? Do we believe God's
words on what is Holy... what is lawful, and what is profane and lawless? Do we
see the profaning of God's word and Sabbaths as evil and rejected by God?
Are we moving toward the "just believing is enough" mentality? We are to let
our light shine so that others will see God's work in our lives, and the fact
that His Sabbaths and His commandments are a sign that sets us apart from the
world. We are to show forth God's praises by our following His word and NOT
degrading His good to be equal with the world's good.
What does God tell us of those who do not have God's truth or teachings or
2 John :9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of
Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has
both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this
teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. 11 Anyone who
welcomes him shares in his wicked work. NIV
This is a very clear and sobering statement. Where we condone any other
doctrine or teaching than what Christ has given us, or we do not distinguish
between what is truth and what is error, what is Holy and what is profane, and
simply accept such teachings and those who practice it, this means we share in
supporting that doctrine and teaching. This may sound harsh and cruel and
"unloving," but there it is. This doesn't mean we condemn them, but isn't this
telling us NOT to fellowship with them and NOT equate their actions with God's
will, and acceptable to Him?
Some will immediately jump up and down about how we can't let our light shine
if we don't fellowship with those who practice biblical lawlessness, or profane
the Sabbaths. Some will misconstrue what I?m pointing out and think this means I
think we should shun everyone who doesn't have God's truth.
We are to love and serve all people, yes, and we should not be angry or cold
toward any, but if we simply play the ecumenical game, we are NOT representing
God's Kingdom or word. If God is calling someone, they will begin to respond to
His word and our example because His spirit is working with them and they will
come OUT of those profane practices as we did. We ALL came out of false
Christianity because God led us out. We moved from doing what was profane to
doing what is Holy and learning to BE Holy.
Guilt seems to be a problem for some in the COG... guilt that we are called
and set apart. Yes, in the past, there was self-righteousness and vanity
involved with some because of this calling... looking down their noses at
others. Most of us are probably guilty of this to some extent. Hopefully most
who held that attitude who are still in God's Church have grown past all that
foolishness, but some seem to be carrying around embarrassment so that they are
letting go of the Holy... and are embracing the profane more and more, thinking
it is self-righteousness and vanity to accept God's calling and setting apart
with revealed knowledge that others do NOT possess or understand... almost
mocking this truth and belittling it so it isn't so "true" and doesn't "judge"
others. Does God want us to avoid the honor and glory, and Holiness, of our
calling by Him and His work in us?
Was Christ self-righteous or vain about who He was and His attitude and
actions toward what was Holy to the Father? How much less do we have grounds for
such carnal thinking about our calling? We didn't call ourselves. We weren't the
great and mighty of the world. Can anyone say, "Yes, I know why God called me...
He needed me and wanted my great mind and character." No, He called the losers
of the world. But He didn't call us to remain losers.
Matt 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments,
and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever
does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
WE are the very offspring of God, with the Father and Christ living IN us. We
are in direct communication with the Father. WE have a job we have been given BY
God. Are we doing that job? Do we rise to this occasion and honor it... respect
it and God's will for us or will we simply account it as no big deal and equate
it with profane things?
Many like to claim that all traditional Christians are simply "at different
levels of understanding," and that all of them are being worked with by God at
some level, and we shouldn't "judge" them and just allow them to go their way as
"God leads them" and accept their practices and beliefs as "OK" with God... "God
knows their hearts and intentions" and this is somehow deemed good enough for
them. This is not biblical.
When it comes to biblical issues, we shouldn't be wishy washy. Judging and
condemning are two different things. We are to "judge righteous judgement,"
(John 7:24), but not "condemn" (Lk. 6:37) others for where they are in
understanding. General relationships, general life issues with people in the
world, etc., we all deal with and we don't preach, correct or condemn them
because they don't know God's word.
However, where we are interfacing with others on biblical or kingdom
discussions or issues, we MUST stand firm, and patiently but powerfully make
God's will known to them... what is Holy and what is NOT. To do anything
otherwise is to fail in letting our light shine to point to our great God and
His son. If we do NOT show the difference between Holy and profane, they will
only continue to believe that what they are doing is "good enough" and
acceptable to God.
If we aren't comfortable with our profession and calling, and are embarrassed
to distinguish between what is Holy and what is not, how will we be kings and
priests in God's Kingdom?
Being called by the great God can be a "heady" thing... it is amazing,
awesome, dumbfounding and humbling, and if we truly understand our carnal nature
and sins, we will have no room for vanity and pride since it is God's power that
makes our calling and change possible. Do we think like REAL kings and
priests... honor the position and dignify the privilege, while having a
shepherd's heart toward others?
Do a study on words such as "profane," "partakers," "Holy," "calling." The
supreme authority in the universe has called many, but chooses a VERY few
people, in this age (Rev. 14:1-5) to be partakers of His holiness and to rule
with Christ. If we cannot discern between what is Holy and what is profane here,
now... then we won't be in that resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over
such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of
Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. NKJV
The bible teaches that God's people will be persecuted because of our true
Christian, "set apart" beliefs, and this persecution will likely come at the
hands of traditional (false) Christianity allied with a false and corrupted
political system. If we do not distinguish between what is Holy and what is not,
and we do not maintain in high esteem and value and importance, God's Sabbath,
Holy Days and commandments, and our holy calling, then we will certainly be of
those who will be deceived (for a time) by the "Christian..." "signs and lying
wonders" spoken of that CAN deceive some of the very elect (Mt. 24:24) because
they do NOT know the difference between what is Holy to God and what is not...
Laodicean regarding God's Holiness and laws and word... minimizing God's calling
to an "ecumenical one big happy Christian family."
We are involved with the most incredible event in the universe ever to take
place... that of being formed into God's nature and family. Do we embrace this
calling and strive for it with all our might, or will we water it down and be
ashamed of our being God's own children? We all must take heed of where our
hearts and minds are on this issue, and repent of any elements of disrespect for
this calling and dragging it down to a base, carnal, human "good" that is an
abomination when compared to God's Good.
Love the truth. Stand for the truth. Act like a king or queen, and priest. Be
the instrument in God's hands that He wants us to be. Don't be embarrassed or
ashamed of being set apart... being made Holy.
Eph 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk
as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness,
righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the
Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of
those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are
exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14
Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will
give you light." See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. NKJV.
Those things which counter God's words, His commands and will, are evil,
profane and unfruitful works of darkness. Do we see that as God does, or do we
see using carnal reasoning that renders God's word of no affect?
Our lives are bought for one purpose... that of being created in God's image
for an example here and now, and for eternity hereafter. We MUST reflect the
true light of God's word and holiness, and expose "profane and vain" practices
and beliefs which only harm people and shame God's name. Are we up to the task,
or are we slipping back into "profanity" and shame from which we were freed? Are
we yet acting like true children of the Holy, righteous and powerful God family
of the universe?
Godkind web pages created
and material written by Jeffrey T. Maehr. Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. Reproduction allowed if credit to thegodkind.org is listed with material. All other authors or copyrights listed accordingly.