Christians lets Get Ecumenical:Ecumenical!

How do we Christian Churches try to be more ecumenical? How can we be? Whether your a Catholic or Lutheran or some other Church, the one great thing I can say for every single Cchurch is that we are trying find the Truth about Jesus. We all want Jesus, and if we all want Jesus why don’t try to work together against a Culture of Death? I feel we owe it to the world and most importantly Jesus! We want Jesus, and the people need Jesus do together let us try to be more ecumenical in leading others to him.
God Bless. My fellow Christians.

I would suggest we be honest with ourselves and acknowledge our radical disagreements on the sacraments, ecclesiology, theology and method for arriving at those different view points. We can stress all we like our similarities which we all admit, we have however not had the rigorous debates theologically that attempt to convince the other on a mass scale.

I’m not suggesting there hasn’t been these debates, but on general we don’t want conflict. I don’t want to argue with Roman Catholics myself on the Papacy or what have you, but I really should be doing exactly that if I truly believe the roman catholics have gotten things wrong and as they should be doing to the Orthodox.

That’s how we can start being truly ecumenical, not having the Pope and his Holiness together in Jerusalem, praying together and pretending there is solidarity between us. There isn’t solidarity. Will his Holiness and Pope Francis bring up the disagreements? I doubt it and the masses will swoon and there will be talks of re communion but nothing will come of it. True re-communion I feel will only happen when one side has so thoroughly destroyed the other’s credibility and has attracted so many to it because of its boldness and clarity that the other side will be forced to accept them.

But I want to also say we should not reduce ourselves to the levels of some debaters or some popular theologians for certain groups who refuse to acknowledge the Christianity of their opponents (I am in particular thinking about certain Protestant groups and even certain Orthodox and Catholics which thankfully are in the minority). They don’t further anything except a feeling of extreme animosity between them and their opponents which prohibits genuine talk.

WOW Two awesome posts. Ecumenism will only occur when we put aside our theological differences and join together to serve this world.

Too often we focus on “Im right, you’re wrong…” “My church is the True church and yours is nothing more than an ecclesial community”. “Only we the " real Jesus! You might have a spiritual presence…MIGHT HAVE that is.”

We share a Common Lord, we share a Living Christ.

In the story of the last judgement, no where were they asked what church they belonged to nor were they asked if the correct words were spoken at their water baptism…no much more pressing concerns did the Judge have…“I was hungry. I was thirsty, I was alone in prison and you did not visit me.”

God works thru those who are open to His leadings…he works they willing hearts.

Until we recognize we do not “own” Truth, we will not “hear” one another or learn from each other.

:thumbsup:

This may be simplistic but I am a simple person.

I have always thought of the Body of Christ as a nation.

In a nation we have people of all backgrounds, races, religions, languages, sizes, ethnicities etc. but they all have one common feature. They identify themselves as American or British or Australian or Canadian.

For us, we are all Christians. Sure we have theological differences but that doesn’t mean we can’t be civil or be seen with each other or discuss and debate respectfully. I don’t have a problem with the Pope meeting with Billy Graham or the Patriarchs, they are not saying ‘we are all playing at happy loving families with no differences’.

The message I get from these church leaders meeting is that we are all parts of the one Body of Christ and our common feature is ‘christianity and the person of Jesus’. We all identify as ‘christians’ even if other ‘christians’ do not view us as such.

I was not a fan of ecumenicism but over the past year I have found through more interaction with other christians, that it has educated me and vice versa. I have grown spiritually as a result.

We don’t need to ignore or gloss over our institutional or theological differences, we should be able to openly engage about these issues.

I like this! :thumbsup:

So do I! It’s absolutely fantastic! I don’t think anyone currently has the… stuff… To do it though.

Richard Feynman

I would suggest we be honest with ourselves and acknowledge our radical disagreements on the sacraments, ecclesiology, theology and method for arriving at those different view points.

Since you keep asking the question IgnatianPhilo, this is of course why God has to come again and again periodically, why “one and done” cannot work.

Because human beings invariably pollute the pure stream and create man-made divisions and barriers.

From our human perspective we think arguing with one another about our differences will lead to the truth - when the real truth is that we are to love one another, and not make differences of doctrine a cause of violence and even a justification for killing!

Like IgnatianPhilo has pointed out, we cannot compromise on what we know is true, and also should not fall into the trap of thinking everyone outside of us to be lacking in faith at all, just because their faith is not our faith. Our main priest here at St. Bishoy COC has made a concentrated effort on several past occasions to point out that, yes, other Christians are Christian and deserving of our respect and love same as anyone, although they are not Orthodox. Ecumenism must not blur the distinctions which we have upheld for the sake of preserving the faith of our fathers who likewise would not join the Chalcedonians, or Rome in particular, or whatever the other group is, but that does not mean that these other people are bad or should not be considered as Christians. It must be, and is, possible to be uncompromising and still show love toward everyone. It can seem like a tough balance sometimes, but it doesn’t need to be. The truth is, the less you uphold your own distinctive theology, Christology, ecclesiology, etc., the less attractive your church or communion becomes, and of course you do not want to give the false impression that any one church is as good as any other (or else why would you bother being Orthodox, Catholic, etc.?). But you must still recognize what is good in those with whom you disagree. For instance, I like the Roman Catholic Church’s willingness to take a stand against so-called ‘Catholic’ politicians who openly advocate for things they (should) know their church is against (e.g., things like this). Lex orandi, lex credendi and all that. :slight_smile: It might not stand in for the lack of Orthodoxy, but it is a good sign that at least some in the Roman communion do take their faith seriously, and really taking your faith seriously is the first step toward substantial dialogue (as opposed to base-level agreed upon statements full of bland platitudes and niceties that bring us no closer to open/unrestricted communion than if they’d never existed, and hence cheapen and sell the faith for nothing).

You really have no say in this thread as a bahai considering the bahai religion has created just more division in the world by its mere existence as all the religions your God has created has done.

If you are going to suggest Christianity was corrupted from its most pure form, open a thread about it and challenge us on our doctrines we actually agree with, Trinity, the sacraments, the authority of councils, the authority of Bishops, priests and deacons and etc.

I will open that thread myself if you want, but bahais do not want to have this discussion because they cannot prove the assertion Christianity has lost focus and become corrupted.

We as Christians stopped killing each other in the enlightenment over our different ideas, it is only the Islamic world which has retained that practice. We as Christians unlike the bahai can admit we actually dissagree with each other, the bahai can’t even accept the reality and call us wrong even though you all but said it when you say “The pure stream was ended” or something like that.

Do you want to have this discussion? Open another thread, don’t divert this one. This is about addressing how Christians become truly ecumenical and I really don’t like the way alot of Christians go about it. They either go the soft route and refuse to dialogue critically with the other faiths or they go the Matt Slick route and say Catholics are not Christian unless they disagree with the church in which case they really aren’t catholic. I can even point out certain orthodox whom I feel radically divide Christendom and don’t allow any non Orthodox to be called Christian, which I disagree with very much so. I however cannot then from that disagreement say the Catholic is fully Christian or the protestant is fully Christian and they should in their convictions say the same of me.

The answer is not to be found in bahai who would force to abandon what we hold in common, it is to be found in the person of Christ Jesus and the holy spirit guiding us to all truth. Your prophet is not needed and he is only but a distraction.

Thanks “IP” for saying what you just said so much better than I can.

If you are going to suggest Christianity was corrupted from its most pure form, open a thread about it and challenge us on our doctrines we actually agree with, Trinity, the sacraments, the authority of councils, the authority of Bishops, priests and deacons and etc.

The division and hatred between Christians is itself the corruption. Not whether Rome is the head of the Church, or Filoque or such.

Doctrines and dogmas are one thing. Hatred is something else entirely.

And sadly some who call themselves Christians are still fighting and killing other Christians.

Hatred in the fringe elements of any sort of group or people is only but to be expected. When you become as numerous as you are and people only nominally are called Christian you will get that and you will also receive fanatics whom think everyone else is Satan. The same would happen if bahais were as numerous as Christians, you are not immune to human impulses and the arrogance of some bahai is merely expressed differently.

But granting those elements which we all condemn, that hating the other person is not Christ like, the doctrines and the dogmas and the teachings are at the heart of the division which set these different groups within Christendom apart from one another. A good example of this would be a book called Ausberg and Constantinople, translated by George Mastrantonis. You can see a different outlook on things, a different way of understanding the gospel and history from the perspective of the reformers who rejected much of everything medievil roman Catholicism had to offer and from the perspective of the Orthodox Patriarch at Constantinople who trusts in the teachings of the church, that they have been handed down faithfully to us by the fathers.

You cannot accuse the early centuries of Christendom of espousing hatred when they lived in harmony for the most part and believed in doctrines you find abominable. When Christianity became a religion of empire, I can grant that things changed but there has always been those voices of reason that have spoken against the excesses and have challenged the powers at be when necessarily, I think of Saint John Chrysostom or saint Maximos the confessor in particular.

So we do disagree on deep theological issues, not merely social parts of religious teaching as you might call it. This is at the heart of what divides us. Bahai cannot solve that division, only Christ Jesus and the Holy spirit can.

How’s that working out so far? It seems to me that the chief beneficiary of such an approach is Satan, who loves to see Christians trying to destroy each other’s churches. And the more the unchurched see the various Christian churches feuding, the less likely they are to join any Christian church.

So we do disagree on deep theological issues, not merely social parts of religious teaching as you might call it. This is at the heart of what divides us. Bahai cannot solve that division, only Christ Jesus and the Holy spirit can.

The Holy Spirit is at work in all communities. All people open to God in their heart are inspired by the Holy Spirit.

What divides Christians from Christians, Christians from Jews, Muslims from Christians, Hindus from Buddhists, etc. is mostly our collective belief that dogma is more important than love and service. It is not. I work with people of all faiths and no faiths to serve God as He inspires me to do in my life. I don’t care if they are Catholic, Baha’i, atheist or anything else.

"IF I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.

And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.

Love is patient, is kind: love envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up;

Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." - 1 Cor 13:1-6

This is the perfect truth.

And while people of every religion and denomination are busy trying to prove that their particular dogmas are right and others are wrong, our next generation is falling into despair and hopelessness.

reddit.com/r/SuicideWatch/

Somehow I don’t think Jesus cares which religion or denomination we claim to serve.

He calls us: “Feed my lambs”. “Feed my sheep”. “Feed my sheep”.

Time for us to listen to Our Lord, and stop fighting with one another!

That’s the trope, but where is it borne out in reality? I dunno about your church, but the non-Orthodox who come St. Bishoy COC definitely come away with very definite ideas of what we believe, whether they ultimately agree with them or not. It is silly to assume that someone coming in from the outside, who is curious about a particular tradition (that’s why they’re there in the first place), is going to be so dense as to say to themselves “wow…these groups all disagree! That must mean nobody can actually be right!” or whatever, instead of saying “Ahhh…so that’s why these people are Orthodox and not something else!” The danger in ecumenism is that it dulls that realization by making everything a sort of ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of affirming what actually makes a person a faithful member of a given church and not another (by instead emphasizing basic commonalities that we don’t even actually need to meet with one another to discuss, since we already agree on these matters). So in that sense, IgnatianPhilo’s comment makes perfect sense: We will be reunited only if/when Catholics become Orthodox and the Catholic Church as an entity separate from Orthodoxy ceases to exist. That’s literally the only way that this will happen. And if that’s to the benefit of the devil, then why does any Catholic church ever attempt to convert or receive converts from any other tradition? Why is that then not the work of Satan, as it also destroys other churches? (And at least in Roman Catholic eccelsiology concerning Orthodoxy, true and real churches with valid sacraments and apostolic succession…)

That’s my thought…to the several Catholics who liked IP’s post, how’s that going to work out for you if it’s an Orthodox or Protestant church which ends up succeeding in “destroying the credibility” of your church?

Protestant churches would have to have credibility in the first place for that to happen, so that’s out of the question, and I’m already an Orthodox Christian, so…fine, I suppose? :shrug:

We must not fall into the ad hominem fallacy…

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