By Mark Michie
The Ecumenical Movement is accelerating like a snowball rolling down a mountainside. Many Evangelical churches and denominations are becoming part of that snowball, but it hasn't happened overnight.
One current example is what is happening in the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada (C&MA) and Ambrose University College and Seminary, operated jointly with the Church of the Nazarene, Canada. The college educates the next generation of pastors, church workers and missionaries in several Evangelical denominations.
Twenty-five years ago I attended C&MA churches. They preached the gospel and emphasized missions. They practiced the Great Commission and believed that the lost were destined for eternal damnation.
March 4-8, 2014 was Global Impact Week at Ambrose, a week typically designated to emphasize missions, but this year, dedicated to the ecumenical "mission." The title of the conference was "Catholics and Evangelicals in God's Mission —Together."
The speakers were Gordon Smith and Tom Ryan. Smith, President of Ambrose, grew up as a missionary kid and was himself a missionary in the Philippines. Ryan, a Roman Catholic priest, is Director of the Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in Washington, DC and former Director for the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism.
The conference included five presentations by Smith and Ryan. Some differences between Roman Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity were noted —mostly by Catholic Tom Ryan, but the importance of these differences was strongly downplayed by "Evangelical" representative Gordon Smith. Smith's opening presentation promoted the unity of what he sees as "the Church" bound together by a "common faith" in a trinitarian God.
Tom Ryan gave a description of the gospel in one of his presentations, and contrasted it with the Catholic view of salvation. In the end, the differences noted were seen as "insignificant" in comparison to the commonalities and the "gifts" that each "Christian Tradition" offers the others. Smith was critical of Evangelicals who evangelize Catholics. He clearly believes Catholicism is true Christianity.
During the days surrounding the conference I contacted some people within the C&MA denomination —friends, acquaintances, and the head office in Toronto. I wanted to know how big this ecumenical snowball had gotten within the C&MA. In these conversations I expressed my deep concern for the students at Ambrose who would be deceived into believing that Romanism is true Christianity and that differences between Catholic and Christian gospels were of no consequence. I also expressed my dismay that Gordon Smith, President of Ambrose, got his PhD from a Jesuit seminary in Manila.
My first call was to the Canadian C&MA head office where David Freeman, VP of Canadian Ministries made it clear that he supported both the theme of the conference and Gordon Smith. He was convinced that Catholics are Christians and suggested I attend a Mass sometime.
My second call was to a local C&MA pastor, non-committal and indifferent. A friendly conversation turned cold when the subject of the conference was raised.
A third call was made to another C&MA pastor, unhappy with the conference at Ambrose. One of his church members had alerted him. Numerous other members were also ready to take a stand. Praise the Lord that some Evangelical churches still oppose ecumenism.
The Canadian C&MA and Ambrose University College illustrate how this ecumenism is infecting formerly bible-believing churches. Retiring pastors are replaced by graduates from ecumenical colleges, and the snowball from hell gains more churches. The ecumenical unity snowball can only lead to one result —a fatal meltdown in the pit of hell.
Submitted by a reader of BC illustrating the Evangelicals' march to join the coming one-world religion. It graphically illustrates the blatant disregard for biblical truth in the plunge toward "unity."