A close protestant friend of mine sent me this: johnharmstrong.typepad.com/john_h_armstrong_/2010/01/how-meeting-real-christians-from-different-traditions-makes-a-real-difference.html
We have often gotten into big arguments about ecumenism. It seems many protestant constantly stress the whole, “We have a mutual faith in Jesus and that is all that matters. Therefore, all the things that divide us are not really important (including belief in the Eucharist)”
It figures that the order mentioned in the article was an order of Jesuits… they have become super liberal.
“What? You dont believe that the Eucharist is the real body of Christ? That’s ok. You can still have communion thinking in your heart that it is a symbol. What matters is our mutual faith in Jesus.”
This stuff makes me really mad. YES, what matters is our faith in Jesus. But that does NOT mean that these other things dont matter. People throw out the baby with the bath water. It is a loaded statement. If you agree that what matters is our faith in Jesus, it limits a person’s response to the possibility that other things matter also hence, they shouldnt be withheld. . If a muslim said, come worship with us, what matters if that we believe in the God of Abraham. That is totally true… but that does not mean that we should put Jesus divinity aside for the sake of ecumenism.
To say, “we have many things in common so lets not fight or demonize one another” is an accurate and trustworthy statement. To say, “let us worship together knowing that we both believe that it is only by Jesus blood that we are saved” is an accurate statement. To say, “we as conservative Christians have many more things in common than do liberal Christians of different denominations” is also an accurate statement. But to say… “our commonalities are so similar, that the differences are not really meaningful differences that should divide” is taking it WAYYY too far. The Eucharist isnt a preference for a particular way of worship that can be put aside for the sake of ecumenism. It is the real presence of Christ. It cannot be put aside. If some Jesuit orders dont agree, that is fine. But that is the Catholic church position on the matter. Didnt Saint Paul say that we should respect the customs of other cultures if our own offends them? In essence when in Rome, respect the Romans? Well if these people are in Rome (Catholic Mass) they should respect the Church above the Jesuit order.
These are just my thoughts. What do you all think of the article? Have you ever had to deal with the, “our diff dont matter because we have a mutual faith in Jesus” argument? How do you deal with that in a respectful way?