It has been said that the best way to reach potential converts to the Christian faith is to search out common ground with them. I think is true as far as it goes but I have a problem with it.

Let us say that one may define eccumnenicalism as the idea that all religions have some common ground and/or that they are equally true and valid. While it is certainly true that most religions do have some common ground I think that thing which makes religions important is thier differences. At its core, a religion and/or faith is a worldview based upon truth claims which are to be believed by the faithful. However, if for example Judaism declares Christ to have been nothing more than and itenerate preacher who was crucified for being a heretic and Islam declares Him to be a prophet but not God and Christianity declares Him to be nothing less than God Himself made flesh then we must come to one of two conclusions.

  1. One religion is true to the absolute exclusion of all the others.

  2. All these religions are false.

However, under no circumstances at all, can we assert that these religions are equally true and valid because the core truth claims are different. And that is only among the theistic faiths of the Middle East.

I think the biggest problem with this line of thought is that far from being a statment of faith cast in a kinder gentler light, these statments are actually statments of unbelief. Since the only way that all religions, which have divergent truth claims at thier cores, can be equally true and valid is if they are all utterly false. The well meaning evangelist who says, “Let us find the common ground and not offend each other,” is in fact saying, “the core fundamental truth claims of my faith are not important to me and there is no reason for anyone else to take them seriously because I don’t either.”

If it is true that religions can set aside truth for the sake of membership then one is not seeking converts to a faith but signatories to a social club. In the long history of the Church there has never been a tolerance for divergent teachings, that is why protestant faiths exist today, and I’m a protestant and I admit this. I find it terribly disturbing that post-modernism and its abandonning of meta-truth has caused churches to depart from core doctrines in the name of non-offense, and I wonder how much good is being done for the congregants who attend weekly to hear an I’m OK you’re OK gospel without ever hearing that they need to repent and change and seek the Lord while He may be found.

Just a though. What do you think?

Let’s not. Ecumenism usually refers to relationships among Christian churches, not to interfaith relationships. And the remark about all religions being equally true and valid has nothing to do with ecumenism or with any form of interfaith dialogue suggested by orthodox Christians. You’re setting up a straw man. The view you are describing is called “pluralism,” and it is indeed heresy.


Of course you are right. Sorry, brain cramp. However I think to the lay person in general the idea of eccumenicalism slips easily to pluralism (obviously) and I still think in general that it is a slope which may be slippery. Of course Christian churches should have open dialogue but to what extent. Should a Catholic decline to tell his Protestant friends about Mary or the need for the Eucharist for fear of putting them off? At the same time it is ignorance about Christian faiths in general which will lead say a Baptist youth to inform a Cathiloc that he’s going to hell because he prays to Mary. Of course Catholics don’t pray to Mary and neither is a faithful Christian of any ilk going to hell if he is in right standing before God. But that is another question entirely.

The point however was that many people when attempting to proselytize their friends will set aside important doctrines and such a thing is terrible. That there are churches that do it is blatant heresy.

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