THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
Updated April 10, 2008 (first published via the FBIS December 29, 2003) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
Photograph: The founding of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam - 1948
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is an international ecumenical union of roughly 340 denominations in 120 countries representing more than 500 million professing Christians (including the millions whose only Christian testimony is that they were baptized as infants). It was officially formed in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1948 with 147 denominations.
The goal of the World Council was plainly stated at its convening Assembly in August 1948. Former General Secretary of the WCC, W.A. Visser ‘t Hooft, verbalized the sentiments of the ecumenists gathered for that historic occasion:
“Our name indicates our weakness and our shame before God, for there can be and there is finally only one Church of Christ on earth. Our plurality is a deep anomaly. But our name indicates also that we are aware of that situation, that we do not accept it passively, THAT WE WOULD MOVE FORWARD TOWARDS THE MANIFESTATION OF THE ONE HOLY CHURCH” (The Genesis and Formation of the World Council of Churches, p. 66).
This supposed “one holy church,” this longed for world church, is a figment of a heretical imagination. The Bible does not tell us that there should be a world church. Quite the opposite. The Bible repeatedly warns that “Christendom” will become increasingly apostate as the time of Christ’s return draws near, and true Bible churches are commanded to remain separate from this wickedness. God is not fulfilling the Great Commission through a church, singular, but through churchES, plural.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Tim. 3:5).
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:14-17).
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17).
The World Council of Churches uses John 17:21 to justify its mission of pursuing “the visible unity of Christ’s church in one faith and in one eucharistic fellowship.”
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
The modern ecumenical movement claims that the unity for which Christ prayed is an ecumenical unity of professing Christians that disregards biblical doctrine, but the context of John 17 destroys this myth. In John 17 the Lord plainly emphasizes that the unity He desires and the unity for which He is praying is one based on salvation and Truth and separation from the world.
“I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD. ... For I HAVE GIVEN UNTO THEM THE WORDS WHICH THOU GAVEST ME; AND THEY HAVE RECEIVED THEM, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. ... I HAVE GIVEN THEM THY WORD; AND THE WORLD HATH HATED THEM, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. ... Sanctify them through THY TRUTH: thy word is TRUTH. ... And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified THROUGH THE TRUTH” (Jn. 17:6, 8, 14, 17, 19)
This is not a unity of true Christians with the false. It is not a unity that ignores doctrinal differences for the sake of an enlarged fellowship.
In fact, there is nothing in Christ’s prayer to indicate that man is to do anything whatsoever in an attempt to create the unity described herein. John 17 is not a commandment addressed to men; it is a prayer addressed to God the Father, and the prayer was answered. It describes a spiritual reality that was created by God among genuine believers who are committed to the Scriptures, not a possibility that must be organized by man.
Though the Roman Catholic Church is not officially a member of the World Council, it has worked closely with the WCC since the 1960s. Many Catholics serve in leadership positions within the WCC. Edward Panosian notes, “Rome’s conception of the ecumenical movement is the joining of all churches--eventually all religions--to Rome. Rome does not join the WCC; she invites the WCC to join her. The whole ecumenical program has been called ‘the reversal of the Reformation’” (The World Council of Churches, p. 40).
For a Bible believer, the World Council is a strange Alice in Wonderland, filled with weird nonsensical things, a place where biblical words are given different meanings. When the World Council speaks of “mission,” it does not mean the mission of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the unsaved; it means, rather, striving for world peace, economic justice, and such. Further, the World Council can present different faces, depending on the situation. In some places it tries to appear more “evangelical” in theological outlook when the majority of local pastors are of that persuasion, but in other instances its true liberal face is unveiled. There is probably no heresy that has not been broached within the context of the WCC.
We could describe the error of the WCC under a wide number of categories. We could speak of its theological Modernism, its Marxism, its secular Humanism, its Feminism, its Sacramentalism, its Syncretism, and its Universalism. The simple fact is that the WCC fails every biblical test that could be applied. It is patently and grossly unscriptural.
The following examination of events sponsored by the World Council and of some of its published material gives irrefutable evidence that the WCC is a major part of the apostasy prophesied in New Testament Scripture.
WCC CONFERENCE HONORS SOPHIA GODDESS, GIVES OVATION TO LESBIANS
In November 1993, the World Council of Churches sponsored a Re-imaging conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Some 2,000 women “seeking to change Christianity” attended, and the most radical women in apostate Christianity pontificated on every sort of weird and unscriptural subject imaginable.
Speakers included Chung Hyun Kyung, Korean “theologian” who equates the Holy Spirit with ancient Asian deities; Virginia Mollenkott, an avowed pro-abortion lesbian; Elizabeth Bettenhausen, professor at Harvard Divinity School; Lois Wilson, a United Church of Canada “minister”; Jose Hobday, a Roman Catholic nun.
Sponsoring and participating denominations included the United Methodist Church, United Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, United Church of Canada, Church of the Brethren, American Baptist Convention, Episcopalian, and Mennonite. There were also 234 Roman Catholic participants.
When challenged by certain members who were protesting their denomination’s involvement in this meeting, the Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly Council issued a “fact sheet” which claimed, “Participants were challenged to expand their horizons, to be enriched and nurtured spiritually, and to engage in dialogue with women and men from around the world.” Apostates always have clever explanations of their rebellion.
Don’t need atonement. During a panel on Jesus, Delores Williams of Union Theological Seminary, said: “I don’t think we need a theory of atonement at all. I think Jesus came for life and to show us something about life. I don’t think we need folks hanging on crosses and blood dripping and weird stuff ... we just need to listen to the God within.”
God is an “abusive parent.” Virginia Mollenkott, who participated in the translation of the New International Version, said, “[Jesus] is our elder brother, the trailblazer and constant companion for us--ultimately is among many brothers and sisters in an eternal, equally worthy sibling-hood. First born only in the sense that he was the first to show us that it is possible to live in oneness with the divine source while we are here on this planet. ... As an incest survivor, I CAN NO LONGER WORSHIP IN A THEOLOGICAL CONTEXT THAT DEPICTS GOD AS AN ABUSIVE PARENT [REFERRING TO CHRIST’S DEATH ON THE CROSS] AND JESUS AS THE OBEDIENT, TRUSTING CHILD.”
Praying to the trees. Korea’s Chung Hyung Kyung told the crowd, “My bowel is Buddhist bowel, my heart is Buddhist heart, my right brain is Confucian brain, and my left brain is Christian brain.” This is ecumenical schizophrenia of the most radical sort! Chung is a professor at Korea’s Ewha Women’s University, the world’s largest university for women, with 20,000 students.
Chung instructed the crowd of women to seek help from the trees if they are in need of energy: “When we do pranic healing, we believe that this life-giving energy came from god and it is everywhere, it is in the sun, in the ocean, from the ground and it is from the trees. We ask god’s permission to use this life-giving energy for our sisters and brothers in need. If you feel very tired and you don’t have any energy to give, what you do is ... go to a big tree and ask it to ‘give me some of your life energy’” (AFA Journal, Feb. 1994).
Chung has published a rewrite of the Gospel narratives from an Asian feminist perspective. She told the Minneapolis conference, “The Bible is basically an open book, and I want to add the next chapter.”
Standing ovation for lesbians. During the conference, a group of roughly 100 “lesbian, bi-sexual, and transsexual women” gathered on the platform and were given a standing ovation by many in the crowd. They were “celebrating the miracle of being lesbian, out, and Christian.”
“The lesbian theme was heard repeatedly from major speakers. In a workshop called ‘Prophetic Voices of Lesbians in the Church,’ Nadean Bishop, the first ‘out’ lesbian minister called to an American Baptist church, claimed that Mary and Martha in the Bible were lesbian ‘fore-sisters.’ She said they were not sisters, but lesbian lovers. Janie Spahr, a self-avowed lesbian clergywoman in the Presbyterian Church USA ... claimed that her theology is first of all informed by ‘making love with Coni,’ her lesbian partner. Judy Westerdorf, a United Methodist clergywoman from Minnesota, told the workshop that the church ‘has always been blessed by gays and lesbians ... witches ... shamans.’ In a seminar on ‘Re-Imagining Sexuality-Family,’ lesbian theologian Mary Hunt said, ‘Imagine sex among friends as the norm. ... Imagine valuing sexual interaction in terms of whether and how it fosters friendship and pleasure. ... Pleasure is our birthright of which we have been robbed in religious patriarchy” (AFA Journal, Feb. 1994).
Worshiping Sophia. The Nov. 3, 1993, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that “throughout the conference worship experiences will celebrate Sophia, the biblical goddess of creation.” Sue Seid-Martin of the University of St. Thomas School of Divinity in St. Paul, Minn., claimed that this Sophia is “the suppressed part of the biblical tradition, and clearly the female face of the human psyche.” Seid-Martin believes Sophia is found in Proverbs 1-9, Matt. 11; Lk. 3:35; 11:49; and 1 Cor. 1-2, and she identifies Jesus Christ with this Sophia.
These feminists are not reading the same Bible I have read for over 30 years. I have never found a Sophia goddess in my Bible! The Greek word “Sophia” is translated “wisdom” in the KJV and “denotes mental excellence in the highest and fullest sense ... comprehends knowledge and implies goodness” (George Berry, A Greek-English Lexicon and New Testament Synonyms). This word is often applied to Jesus Christ but never in any sense whatsoever having to do with “the female face of the human psyche.” The word “sophia” is not found in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word most commonly translated wisdom is “chokmah.” This is the word translated wisdom in Proverbs 8 and 9. It refers to understanding, skill, revelation, godly reason, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with a supposed feminine side of God.
Naked Sophia goddess. A painting displayed at the Re-imagining conference supposedly depicted this Sophia. The painting contained the picture of a bald, frowning woman with large naked breasts. The middle of her forehead is adorned with a mark that appears to be a Hindu “tika” or tilaka, the same mark women in Nepal and India receive from their priests when they do “puja” (worship) at pagan shrines. (It is interesting that one of the speakers at this conference encouraged the wearing of the tika. Aruna Gnanadason, South Asian feminist, “lashed out against alleged oppression by Christian missionary teachings in India,” and she invited participants to put red dots on their foreheads to “represent the divine” in them.) The cover of The Presbyterian Layman for January-February 1994 featured this painting. In a frame surrounding the painting were some of the words from the prayer to Sophia.
On Sunday morning the conferees joined together in repeating a prayer to Sophia, including these words:
“Our maker Sophia, we are women in your image. ... Sophia, creator God ... shower us with your love … we invite a lover, we birth a child; with our warm body fluids we remind the world of its pleasures and sensations. ... Our guide, Sophia, we are women in your image. ... With the honey of wisdom in our mouths, we prophesy a full humanity to all the peoples.”
Honey of wisdom, my foot! This is the sour mash of new age feminism, a movement foreseen almost 2,000 years ago by the prophet Jude: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion...” (Jude 7-8).
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES BAPTIZES HEATHENISM
The Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), held February 7-20, 1991, in Canberra, Australia, gave plain evidence of the Council’s hideous apostasy.
We do not feel it is necessary to report on all that went on the WCC Seventh Assembly. We believe it is enough to report on the abominable ideas of syncretism and universalism which were supported there--the heresy that there is some light and salvation in heathen religions. This has been a trademark of the World Council for decades, but its syncretistic emphasis grows bolder with time.
The Canberra meeting was opened by Australian aboriginals who worship nature. Consider the following Religious News Service report:
“Aboriginal men girded in loincloths and feathers, their bodies painted in tribal decoration, danced around an altar and beat drums in a traditional purification ceremony that opened the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches here February 7. Standing near them at the altar were aboriginal women clothed in traditional black and red dresses and colorful aboriginal clergymen garbed in western vestments.”(Christian News, Feb. 18, 1991, p. 1).
An Ecumenical Press Service report gives more details of the heathen purification ceremony which opened the WCC Assembly. “The congregation entered the tent by passing through smoke made by burning leaves--a traditional cleansing process for Aborigines in Australia. ... Before worship began, a traditional Aboriginal ‘message stick’ was carried to the worship tent by an Aboriginal runner. In that action, WCC General Secretary Emilio Castro asked permission for the council to enter the land. Gathered in the tent were Aboriginal elders, who ritually granted permission, whereupon the WCC worship leaders walked in procession into the tent.”
The Aborigines involved in this rite were almost naked, and the entire thing was an abomination to God. The supposed spirituality of the Aboriginals was applauded by the WCC Assembly, but the Bible condemns it as heathen idolatry. The WCC leadership has no understanding of Bible salvation and spirituality. Therefore they find “spirituality” in this fallen, wicked world even among the unsaved.
Prayer to a female god. Further evidence of the World Council’s syncretistic spirit occurred the second day of the Assembly, when South Korean Presbyterian feminist, Chung Hyun-Kyung, (left) evoked a female pagan god.
“Combining verbal fireworks with a performance by Korean and aboriginal dancers, Chung rendered a dramatic evocation of a female Holy Spirit. She linked that spirit to that of Hagar, the Egyptian slave woman in Genesis who Chung said was ‘exploited and abandoned’ by Abraham and Sarah. Chung then burned bits of paper bearing the names of other exploited spirits--which she said were full of ‘han,’ the Korean word for ‘anger’--and identified them as Holocaust victims, freedom fighters, murdered advocates of non-violence, struggling Korean women, the poor, and women in Japan’s ‘prostitution army’ during World War II” (Religious News Service, March 5, 1991).
Eighteen times Chung summoned the spirits of the dead and claimed that “without hearing the cries of these spirits, we cannot hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.” Chung said, “I hope the presence of all our ancestors’ spirits here with us shall not make you uncomfortable.” She also summoned “the spirit of Earth, Air, and Water.” Chung said, “I also know that I no longer believe in an omnipotent, Macho, warrior God who rescues all good guys and punishes all bad guys.” Chung concluded her message by likening the “spirit” to the idolatrous image of Kwan, “a goddess of compassion and wisdom [worshipped in] East Asian women’s popular religiosity.” Chung went even further in her blasphemy when she said, “Perhaps this might also be a feminine image of the Christ who is the first born among us, one who goes before and brings others with her.”
The RNS report stated that though some WCC delegates were offended by this blasphemy, most warmly received it. In fact, the audience gave Chung’s blasphemous presentation a standing ovation!
All Scripture not life-giving. In a follow-up report by the Religious News Service in February of 1992, further evidence of Chung’s apostasy was given. In an interview with Carl McIntire, Chung said she was not certain that Jesus spoke the words of John 14:6—“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Chung also said that many women do not find all of Scripture “life-giving” and pointed especially to Paul’s admonition that women be quiet in the church and be subject to their husbands at home.
She said she agreed with a Catholic priest who recently told her the greatest harm to the promotion of unity is claiming the truth. The struggle between who’s right and who’s wrong divides people, she said.
All faiths are one with God. The Director of the WCC’s Inter-Faith dialogue is a Sri Lankan, Wesley Ariarajah. His apostate ideas about salvation were voiced at the Canberra meeting and were reported in local newspapers. Consider this report from the The Australian:
“The World Council of Churches took ecumenism to its farthest limits at the weekend, suggesting Muslims, Hindus and others achieve salvation in the same way as Christians and warning the latter against ‘narrow thinking.’
“The council’s Director of Inter-Faith dialogue, Dr. Wesley Ariarajah, said it was inconceivable to him that God listened to Christian prayers but ignored those praying to their particular versions of God.
“‘As a Sri Lankan Christian who has read the Hindu writings and the scriptures of the Hindu saints I simply cannot believe that there have not been other people [than Christians] who are familiar with God,’ he said. ‘It is beyond belief that other people have no access to God or that God has no access to other people. Who are listening to the prayers of the Hindu? Are there many Gods? If we are thinking about a God who is the creator and sustainer of the whole universe, as in Psalm 24, then there are not two Gods. Therefore it is inconceivable to me that a Hindu or a Buddhist, or anybody, is outside God. My understanding of God’s love is too broad for me to believe that only this narrow segment called the Christian church will be saved. If you are a Christian you must be open and broad, not narrow and exclusive.’
“Dr. Ariarajah said being a good Christian did not include going around telling people of other faiths they had got it all wrong” (The Australian, Feb. 11, 1991).
Ariarajah is dead wrong about the condition of those outside of Christ. Consider the following truths from the Word of God, truths which are utterly ignored by Ariarajah and his WCC friends:
THE CONDITION OF THE HEATHEN. The following verses from Ephesians show us plainly the condition of the unsaved heathen.
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. ... That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:1-3,12-13).
Before the Ephesians came to Christ, they were religious idolaters. What was their spiritual condition at that time? The Bible says they were dead in trespasses and sins. They were under the power of the devil. They were by nature the children of wrath. They had no hope and were without God in the world. That is the “spirituality” of every person outside of Jesus Christ. The Bible says it was the blood of Christ that changed the spiritual condition of the Christians at Ephesus.
SALVATION ONLY THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. The following plain Bible statements make it clear that there is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ. All men are sinners and are condemned under the righteous judgment of God. The only way of escape from sin’s condemnation is through personal faith in Jesus Christ and in His blood which was shed at Calvary. The Bible says salvation comes through one name only: Jesus Christ. Any other name--whether it be Buddha, Mohammed, Sophia, the Great Thumb, or Krishna--is unable to bring eternal salvation.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6).
“And [the jailer] brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:30-31).
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
The Bible says God loves all men and is no respecter of persons. But He offers only one way of salvation, and men must repent and come on God’s terms through the Lord Jesus Christ. The problem with the World Council of Churches is simple: They have rejected the Word of God.
The rainbow serpent that created the world. WCC blasphemy reached equally perverse heights in an advance publication which called for “a rediscovery of Aborigine spirituality and for a new creation spirituality.” Consider a quotation from this amazing ecumenical document. In this quote, the WCC is giving an example of the supposed “spirituality” of Aboriginal thought:
“The creation of the world began in Dreaming. Before the Dreaming, there was a pre-existent formless substance, in which spirit beings lived. In some of the stories of the creation event, the Rainbow Serpent emerged from her long sleep underground when she realized her time to give birth had come. She set free in the spirit beings to create hills and valleys, light and shade, water and trees, and flowers, and all living things. ... The serpent also set free the spirit beings to create the animals and the human beings in a particular relationship with each other, forever related through story, song, and ceremony” (Wanderer, March 14, 1991).
The World Council publication in question called “for recasting the theological understanding of creation. Much of Christianity, especially the major strains of Western theology, has given support to human dominance over creation. The Assembly discussions want to challenge theology and Christian thinking that have seen humanity’s task as subduing the earth.”
This is foolishness. The Bible plainly states that man was made in the image of God and was given the commandment: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Man is not an animal. Man is not a product of evolution. It is not wrong for man to subjugate the forests and rivers of this world. It is not wrong for man to subjugate animals.
The fact is that the World Council is the home of every sort of radical philosophy: universalists, environmentalists, communists, New Agers, One Worlders, feminists, syncretists.
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES DANCING WITH IDOLATRY: 6TH ASSEMBLY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, JULY 1983
The Sixth Assembly of the World Council was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, in July 1983, attended by more than 4,000 people.
In the opening ceremony, North American pagan Indians were invited to build an altar and a “sacred flame.” They tossed offerings of fish and tobacco into a fire for their nature gods and danced around the altar. Candles that were used in the worship services of this conference were lit from that pagan fire which was kept burning throughout the Assembly.
A Native Indian Sweat Lodge, used in their heathen ‘purification’ rites, was also featured; and one of the evening worship services consisted of Native Indian dancing, chanting, singing and drum beating. (Foundation, Vol. IV, Issue III, 1983).
Three Hindus, four Buddhists, two Jews, four Muslims, and a Sikh were official guests of the Assembly. There were readings from Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim scriptures.
In the General Secretary’s report to the Assembly, Philip Potter said that it is God’s will “to unite all nations in their diversity into one house.”
Pauline Webb, who serves on the WCC executive committee, welcomed the visitors from “other faiths” and said, “Let us meet as those who have nothing to defend and everything to share.” The World Council has nothing to defend because it has no truth.
Dirk Mulder, moderator of the WCC interfaith dialogue program, said that he “does not believe people are lost forever if they are not evangelized.” Dr. M.H. Reynolds, editor of Foundation magazine, attended the Assembly with press credentials. In an interview with Mulder, he asked, “Would you feel that a Buddhist or Hindu could be saved without believing in Christ?” His answer was, “Sure, sure!” (Foundation, Vol. IV, Issue III, 1983).
The 1983 WCC Assembly also featured a pagan dance by a Hindu woman from South India. It was a “classical Bharathanatyam dance” that is performed the Hindu “earth mother goddess.”
CHILDREN ARE THEIR OPPRESSORS, AND WOMEN RULE OVER THEM
The prophet Isaiah, in describing the apostate condition of Israel, said, “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Is. 3:12).
The apostate ecumenical movement is enjoying the fulfillment of this prophecy today. At the World Council of Churches Seventh General Assembly in Canberra, Australia, many who stood to preach and to lead the business meetings were women. Angry women! One of the two keynote addresses was delivered by radical Korean feminist Chung Hyun-Kyung. “Reverend” Violet Sampa-Bredt of Zambia told the ecumenical gang that Junia in Romans 16 was an apostle and that anyone who is involved in the work of the church is an apostle. She spoke of “the lie that only men can be ministers.” Aruna Gnanadasan of India, director of the WCC’s Sub-unit on Women, spoke disparagingly of the “male-dominated structures of the churches” and said, “It is urgent for the whole church to be in solidarity with women.” Andrea Carmen spoke on “that most important women,” Mother Earth, and longed for the return to the days of the strong “matriarchy which saw clans being passed on through women.” After describing the supposed exalted status of women in ancient North American Indian culture, she complained that “Western education and Christianity placed women on the bottom and not as a source of leadership.”
Margot Kaessman came up with a unique interpretation of Genesis 3, asking, “Is it really sin to long for knowledge?” She claimed that Eve “was filled with the spirit of freedom,” and said, “Eve’s sin had nothing to do with sexuality, and yet the common interpretation is filled with hints at sexuality.” She was denying the traditional apostolic interpretation which says that Eve was deceived because she was the weaker vessel and that she was not supposed to make such decisions on her own. Or course “Ms.” Kaessman is from Germany, which has been on the cutting edge of theological weirdness for almost two centuries.
“Reverend” Constance Parvey of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America claimed that the issue of the ordination of women was a unity issue. Men and women are one in the “body of Christ” and therefore should be allowed the same functions. “In the early life of the Church women were at the center but a patriarchal reading of the scriptures had marginalized them. Now a separate ecclesiology for women and men existed in the church.” Of course, this “patriarchal reading” could not possibly have anything to do with the fact that the Apostles plainly limited the women’s role in the church in regard to leadership, could it? She urged women to enter the theological arena and equip themselves as theologians.
The children have their say at the WCC as well. Roughly 200 youth delegates and stewards “expressed concern at the failure of member churches to send the recommended proportion of youth delegates” (CCA News, Jan-Mar. 1991, Christian Conference of Asia, pp. 12,13). The Assembly repented and agreed to appoint a youth as one of the seven WCC presidents. Priyanka Mendis, 25, executive secretary of the Committee for Justice and Peace of the NCC in Sri Lanka, was later elected. (A youth is defined by the WCC as someone under 27 years old.) This didn’t satisfy the clamoring youth, though. They held up a banner warning the Assembly that it was committing “ecumenical suicide” by ignoring the youth. They were angry because only eight percent of those elected to the WCC Central Committee were youth.
WORLD COUNCIL FINDS SPIRITUALITY IN PAGAN PRACTICES
The following are some quotes from a World Council of Churches dialogue held Dec. 1-5, 1987, in Kyoto, Japan. The theme was “Spirituality in Interfaith Dialogue,” and the amazing testimonies by those involved show a gross ignorance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and true Bible Christianity. The following quotes are from the WCC publication Spirituality in Interfaith Dialogue edited by Tosh Ari and Wesley Ariarajah:
“Listening to the Silence: Through Zen and Taize” - by Michael Como--I realized that just as the monks at Hosshinji [a monastery of Zen Buddhism where Como was staying] insisted that EACH OF US WAS SHAKYAMUNI BUDDHA IN OUR OWN BODIES, SO TOO COULD I FIND MARY IN THE WOMAN BESIDE ME... (p. 6).
Upon arriving here [Hiraizumi] I first stayed with the family of a Buddhist priest for six months. EVERY MORNING WE CHANTED SUTRAS BEFORE THE BUDDHA Dainichi, every evening I prayed before my Franciscan cross and an icon of Mary (p. 6).
I now live in my own house, I CONTINUE TO PRAY DAILY BEFORE MY JAPANESE-STYLE ALTAR. UPON IT, ALONG WITH THE IMAGES OF JESUS AND MARY, IS AN ICON OF SHAKYAMUNI BUDDHA... (p. 7).
“Discovering the Incarnation” - by Diana Eck--My own capacity to “see” the incarnation has been extended greatly by the faith of Hindus (p. 10).
In Shiva’s city I began to see that it is precisely in this place, in the full presence of suffering and death, that HINDUS AFFIRM THE FULL AND ETERNAL PRESENCE OF SHIVA and the faith of safe-crossing to the far shore (p. 11).
“Enlightenment through Zen” by Thomas G. Hand, SJ--For almost twenty years now I have been engaged in interfaith dialogue, especially in the field of practical spirituality. I am an American Jesuit priest, and I have lived in Japan for 29 years. FOR SIX YEARS I FORMALLY PRACTICED ZEN under Yasutani Hakuum Roshi and Yamada Koun Roshi, Kamakura. I am still doing Zazen. For the past three-and-a-half years I have been on the staff of Mercy Center, Burlingame, Calif., USA, especially engaged in the programme of our Institute of Contemporary Spirituality (pp. 49-50).
Beginning with the external and bodily, the main place of most of our meditations here at Mercy Center is the Rose Room (so called because the unfolding rose is the symbol of enlightenment in the West just as the lotus is in the East). On the walls are Japanese shikishi (fine paper squares) with Zen sayings in Sino-Japanese ideographs, two Taoist paintings and a picture of the Miroku Bosatsu (Maitreya Bodhisattva) from Koryuji, Kyoto. These are well received by people and set a good tone to the room. However, the main shrine or centerpiece has, of course, the cross as central. IT IS HOPED THAT BEFORE TOO LONG THIS CROSS WILL GIVE WAY TO A STATUE OF CHRIST SEATED IN MEDITATION, a statue which will include clear influence from Buddhist statuary in its simplicity and feeling...
Another area in which other faith influence is apparent is in our chanting. We chant briefly at the beginning of meditation periods, in order to bring our energies together and to create that special silence that arises after chanting. WE USE THE SACRED SYLLABLE OM IN ITSELF AND ALSO JOIN IT TO THE HEBREW NAMES OF MARY AND JESUS (Om Miriam, Om Jeshua). At first glance this may seem like a hybrid, but actually it turns out to be an excellent chant (pp. 50, 51).
To find supposed spirituality in heathen religions is folly. There is no spiritual life whatsoever in paganism.
Consider the testimony of Isaiah 8:20—“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
Consider the testimony of John 14:6—“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Consider the testimony of Acts 4:12—“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
We see, then, the utter folly of these statements by so-called Christian leaders who attended the WCC “Spirituality in Interfaith Dialogue.” They are the blind leading the blind.
WORLD COUNCIL-ASSOCIATED PROFESSOR DISLIKES NEW TESTAMENT MISSIONS
In the weekly news publication of the World Council of Churches, the Ecumenical Press Service, for Nov. 11- 20, 1985, some quotes are given from a presentation made to a Church of South India consultation held in Bangalore, India, October 1985. The speaker was S.J. Samartha, a presbyter of the Church of South India, a consultant to the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, and a visiting professor at United Theological College, Bangalore. The title of his speech was “Dialogue and Mission in India.” Consider what this ecumenist thinks about missions and the Christian’s relationship with false religions:
“The question before the church in India is not whether it should be in mission, but what kind of mission. In recent years the words from Matthew 28:18-20: ‘Go, baptise, make disciples, teach,’ have been interpreted and practiced in such a militant and aggressive fashion that mission has come to mean ‘conquest for Christ.’ It has become ‘Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war.’ Mission is understood as an activity against other religions. MOST CHRISTIANS UNDERSTAND MISSION AS WORKING FOR THE EXTENSION OF CHRISTIANITY AND THE EXTINCTION OF OTHER RELIGIONS. [THIS] IS A TRAGIC DENIAL OF GOD’S LOVE FOR ALL HUMANITY. This makes dialogue impossible. Those who hold this view should not use the word ‘dialogue’ at all. To do so would be a breach of trust with our neighbors. ... we need to recover the original sense of mission in a post-independent era, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT … THE THEOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF OTHER RELIGIONS.”
This professor rejects the Bible and the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says Jesus Christ ALONE is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The Bible says no man can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ, that none other name given under heaven is given whereby men must be saved (Jn. 14:6; Ac. 4:12). The goal of the Great Commission is indeed the extension of true Christianity to the exclusion of false religions. We do not seek to destroy false religions through political or social efforts, but we do proclaim to them that salvation is only through Jesus Christ. The professor says this is a denial of the love of God for all humanity. Just the opposite is true. The love of God is witnessed through the offer of Jesus Christ. To replace the proclamation of the Gospel with dialogue is to rob men of the love of God.
WCC PRESS SERVICE REPORTS NON-CHRISTIANS ARE “BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN GOD”
The WCC Ecumenical Press Service for March 1-9, 1985, contained a “vision of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YWCA) in contemporary Asia.” The YWCA is a member of the World Council of Churches. Christopher Duraisingh, professor of theology at United Theological College in Bangalore, India, is the author of the article:
“Forms of distorted and exclusive emphasis on redemption that lead to a spirit of separation of Christians from all else must be questioned. ... Any emphasis upon the doctrine of redemption to the exclusion of the doctrine of creation must be questioned. When we understand the doctrine of creation RIGHTLY, WE KNOW THAT WE BELONG TOGETHER ALONG WITH OUR NON-CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO GOD. WE CANNOT ARTIFICIALLY SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM THE REST OF THE HUMAN COMMUNITY IN THE NAME OF EXPERIENCE OF REDEMPTION. ... As we seek co-operation with persons of other faiths in Asia, we will be led to understand the nature of the church anew as well. WE SHALL REFUSE TO UNDERSTAND THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD IN ANTITHETICAL TERMS.”
The Bible very plainly DOES understand the church and the world in antithetical terms. The Apostle John wrote “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 Jn. 5:19). James said, the “friendship of the world is enmity with God” (Jam. 4:4). The Lord Jesus Christ said, “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine” (Jn. 17:9). The Bible does not say that non-Christians are brothers and sisters in God. On the contrary, the Bible says of those who are outside of Christ that they are “of your father the devil” (Jn. 8:44), “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1), “children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2), “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3), “having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12), “far off” (Eph. 2:13).
WORLD COUNCIL PUBLICATION SAYS CHANTING BETTER THAN PRAYER
An article appearing in the March 1988 issue of the World Council’s monthly publication One World, encouraged readers to adopt heathen practices from Buddhism and Taoism. Someone might argue that the WCC is not promoting heathen practices through publishing such an article but are only reporting what the author of the article believed personally. We would reply that no one publishes an article in a magazine without comment if they do not want their readers to give serious consideration to it. Don’t be confused by the double-speak of apostate groups. On the one hand they publish all sorts of heresies, and on the other hand they often try to escape the consequences of what they have printed. The record stands. These are the kind of things they consider important enough to take up space in their publications. Consider this strange report from the WCC publication:
“Coming from an ordinary Chinese humanistic milieu, where the air is a mixture of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, I EXPERIENCED A SENSE OF UNSETTLEDNESS IN MY EARLY YEARS OF CHRISTIAN LIFE, A FEELING OF SOMETHING MISSING.
“Finally in the late 1960s, I WAS ABLE TO SEE THE INADEQUACY FOR ME OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY. ... I turned to my own Chinese religious-spiritual traditions to search for a more wholistic and integrated philosophy of life. Since I found it difficult to make sense out of theology, I decided not to be troubled by my inability, but to follow the direction of Ch’an (Zen) Buddhist path to enlightenment: A SPECIAL TRANSMISSION OUTSIDE THE SCRIPTURES; NO DEPENDENCE ON WORDS AND LETTERS; DIRECT POINTING THE HUMAN HEART (SOUL); SEEING ONE’S NATURE AND ATTAINING BUDDHAHOOD. ...
“I was no longer able to do this type of practice [normal Christian prayer]. With some necessary adaptation, I have taken up the practice of Mahayana Ch’an (Zen) meditation and Thervada vipassana (i.e., insight awareness) meditation....
“CHRISTIAN PRAYER for the most part remains in the dualistic realm where the experience of the ultimate One IS RATHER SHALLOW, that is, it remains still on the level of relationships. THIS IS PRECISELY THE PROBLEM OF WORDS, SYMBOLS AND LOGIC.
“In order to go beyond this stage, in addition to silent meditation, I have also taken up the practice of mantra chanting. Mantra chanting, a short, simple repetitive form of vocal prayer, has the power to silence the mind and emotions and eventually to enable the chanter to sink into the abyss of utter silence, where the internal dialogue ceases and a true prayer happens” (Chwen Jiuan A. Lee, “The Search for an inclusive spirituality: A Chinese experience,” One World, March 1988, p. 22).
The Bible, of course, condemns heathen practices such as these. Buddhist and Taoist meditation is not Christian prayer; it is communication with demons. Prayer is not seeking enlightenment in oneself; it is talking with the Living God through Jesus Christ. The Bible warns against losing control of one’s conscious mental activities as those who meditate seek to do. Christians are warned to be sober and vigilant (1 Pet. 5:8; Tit. 2:2,4,6), which means to be in control of one’s mind and to be on guard continually against spiritual error and deception. Those who practice heathen meditation are disregarding these warnings. Note also that the writer makes light of the role of the Holy Scriptures in prayer. This is demonic. Psalm 119 illustrates how important the Scriptures are in every aspect of the Christian life. Apart from the Scriptures, we do not know how to pray.
The WCC article claims that words are a hindrance to prayer. Quite the opposite. God communicates in words! The very words of the Bible are an important part of the prayers of those who know God in truth and who know how to pray properly. The Lord Jesus also warned against repetitive “prayers” such as the mantra chanting mentioned in the WCC article. He said, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do... Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Mt. 6:7-8). Christ then taught us how to pray.
WORLD COUNCIL PROMOTES “BAKERWOMAN GOD”
To illustrate the radical heresy of the WCC, we offer some poems from a book published by them in recent years. The book No Longer Strangers was a joint project of the Lutheran World Federation, World Council of Churches, World Student Christian Federation, and the World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). It was first published in June 1984 and reprinted three times in the first year.
This WCC publication is supposed to be a guideline for worship. Consider some names we are supposed to call God during worship times--The Source, Lady of peace, Lady of wisdom, Lady of love, Lady of birth, Lord of stars, Lord of planets, Mother, Home, Bakerwoman, Presence, Power, Essence, Simplicity.
Nothing could be more blasphemous than these names by which the WCC says we can address God. My friends, God is not a “lady,” nor is He a “bakerwoman” nor a “presence” nor the “Lord of planets”!
Throughout this publication God is spoken of in female terms. Consider a few more examples:
O God of a thousand names and faces Mother and father of all life on earth, Lady of peace, of love, of wisdom, Lord of all the stars and planets, Teach us to know and love you.
BLESSING THE BREAD
In the beginning was God ... And God loved what SHE had made And God said, “It is good.” Then God, knowing that all that is good is shared held the earth tenderly in HER arms God yearned for relationship God longed to share the good earth And humanity was born in the yearning of God We were born to share the earth... God said, You are my people, My friends, My lovers, My sisters, And brothers Then God, gathering up HER courage in love, said, Let there be bread! And God’s sisters, HER friends and lovers, knelt on the earth planted the seeds ...
I believe in God, MOTHER-FATHER SPIRIT who called the world into being, I believe in God, who because of love for HER creation, entered the world to share our humanity, to be rejected, to die, but finally to conquer death and to bind the world to HERSELF.
PRAYER OF ST. ANSELM
And Thou, Jesus, sweet Lord, Art Thou not also a mother? Truly, THOU ART A MOTHER, And Thou, Jesus, sweet Lord, Art Thou not also a MOTHER? THE MOTHER OF ALL MOTHERS ...
Bakerwoman God, I am your living bread. Strong, brown, Bakerwoman God ... Put me in your fire, Bakerwoman God ... Break me, Bakerwoman God. ... Bakerwoman God, remake me.
These quotations leave no doubt about the apostasy of the World Council of Churches. It would be difficult to conceive of things more blasphemous, more foolish, more unscriptural than the things we have quoted from this strange WCC book.
WORLD COUNCIL LEADER SAYS WE MUST GIVE UP THE IDEA THAT ALL OTHER RELIGIONS LIVING IN DARKNESS
The director of the World Council of Churches dialogue program, Wesley Ariarajah, a Methodist preacher from Sri Lanka, was in Norway in 1987 and said, “It is necessary to leave the idea that all other religions are living in darkness without any experience of God.”
In an article entitled “Is Jesus the Only Way?” in the May 1987 issue of International Christian Digest, Ariarajah said, “I know many Buddhists for whom the conviction about the divinity of the Lord Buddha is so central that they will give their lives to defend it. CAN A CHRISTIAN TURN AROUND AND SAY TO THE BUDDHIST THAT HE OR SHE IS MISGUIDED TO THINK THIS ABOUT THE LORD BUDDHA? WE HAVE NO GROUNDS TO DO SO. ... Exclusive claims, presents as absolute truths, only result in alienation.”
At the WCC General Assembly in Australia in 1992, Ariarajah said, “As a Sri Lankan Christian who has read the Hindu writings and the scriptures of the Hindu saints I simply cannot believe that there have not been other people [than Christians] who are familiar with God. It is beyond belief that other people have no access to god or that God has no access to other people. Who is listening to the prayers of the Hindu? ... MY UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S LOVE IS TOO BROAD FOR ME TO BELIEVE THAT ONLY THIS NARROW SEGMENT CALLED THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH WILL BE SAVED” (The Australian, Feb. 11, 1991, cited in the Reformation Banner, Apr.-Jun. 1991).
Ariarajah is absolutely wrong. We have every reason to tell the Buddhist that his lord is false and that his religion will lead him to Hell. Why? Because the Bible says so! Who is hearing the Hindu’s prayer? Nobody! God says of the idolater, “He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside...” (Isa. 44:20). Of the idolater’s prayers, God says, “...one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble” (Is. 46:7). Paul said, “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God...” (1 Cor. 10:20). Will only a narrow segment be saved? Yes, and it is a much more narrow segment than Mr. Ariarajah might think, because even most professing Christians will not be saved in that they have rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the traditions of men. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
WCC PRESIDENT SAYS MARY NOT VIRGIN
In a 1986 report in the Ecumenical News Service of the World Council of Churches, Lois Wilson, then one of the seven presidents of the World Council of Churches, made this statement: “And then there is the ‘Virgin Mary.’ IN MY VIEW, THE FACT OF HER VIRGINITY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HER SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR” (EPS, Dec. 21-31, 1986).
Wilson is an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada and was also its former moderator. She is director of the Ecumenical Forum of Canada. She also has an unregenerate mind! If Mary was not a virgin when Jesus Christ was born, He could not have been sinless, as the sin nature is inherited from the father, through Adam (Ro. 5:12). Maybe Ms. Wilson doesn’t understand the facts of life, but virginity DOES have something to do with sexual behavior! The modernist and neo-orthodox delights in double-speak, in redefining Bible terms, but Bible words mean exactly what they appear to mean. Virgin means virgin. Our blessed Lord Jesus Christ was born of a woman who had never known a man sexually. His Father was Almighty God and He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. For this we can rejoice, because He was sinless and could therefore pay the sacrificial penalty the law demanded for our sin.
Statements such as the one made by Lois Wilson reveal just how terribly apostate the World Council and its more than 300 member bodies have become. If the biblical command of separation does not apply to coming apart from this apostasy, it has no application whatsoever! God commands that His people come out from among this awful apostasy. Are you obeying?
WORLD COUNCIL “EVANGELISM” MEANS EVERYONE ALREADY SAVED
We warn our readers not to be deceived by the use of terms such as “evangelism” and “spirituality” by liberal ecumenists. They use these familiar terms, but they do not mean what Bible-believing Christians mean. A case in point is seen in a speech by Raymond Fung, who is evangelism secretary of the World Council of Churches. Evangelism secretary! One would think that this man is deeply concerned to see the lost men and women of the nations saved through personal faith in Jesus Christ. Not so. He believes all men are already Christians even if they do not know Jesus Christ, and even if they do not go to church, even if they claim to be atheists, even if they worship idols!
His speech was delivered to a meeting sponsored by the Ecumenical Council of Denmark, the Danish Missionary Council, and Council on Inter-Church Relations of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark. The subject was “Church Without Limits.” Consider a quote from this World Council “evangelist”:
BUT, HOW DO WE SEE THE 90 PERCENT [THE PERCENTAGE OF DENMARK’S CITIZENS THAT DO ARE NOT PRACTICING CHRISTIANS] THEOLOGICALLY? ... who are they in the eyes of God? ... Are they pagans? heathens?... I would suggest that it is proper and useful to relate to the inactive and indifferent as if they are indeed Christian ... HOWEVER SECULAR AND NON-RELIGIOUS THEIR OUTLOOK IS, I WOULD SUGGEST THAT WE SPEAK TO THEM AS IF THEY ARE INDEED CHRISTIANS” (Ecumenical Press Service, Dec. 1-5, 1986).
The message of the Lord Jesus Christ to lost men was a different matter altogether than of Mr. Fung. “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3).
UPDATE FROM THE WCC CENTRAL COMMITTEE ANNUAL MEETING, SEPTEMBER 2003
The following information is from a firsthand report by Dr. Ralph Colas, Executive Secretary, American Council of Christian Churches:
1. The Moderator of the WCC, His Holiness Aram I, stated, “Christ belongs to all humanity for He goes beyond Christianity. Let’s not ‘own Christ’ but rather engage in interreligious dialogue with all world religions.” When asked at a press conference about this declaration, he explained that Christ “goes beyond Christianity. We must understand other religions are part of God's plan for salvation and are not a mission field.”
2. He also stated, “Religious fundamentalism is the greatest enemy of religion and the most dangerous force of our times. Overcoming fundamentalism is an urgent and top priority for all religions.” He made no distinction between violent Islamic fundamentalism and biblical fundamentalism.
3. Aram I urged increased dialogue with other world religions to break down the walls of separation.
4. Habitat for Humanity was welcomed as a partnering organization with the World Council of Churches. Habitat’s WCC application expressed its desire to receive recognition as “an ecumenical organization in a working relationship with the WCC.”
5. A new General Secretary was elected. He is Sam Kobia from the Methodist Church of Kenya. Former General Secretary Konrad Raiser retired at the end of 2003.
6. Kobia said, “The WCC is first and foremost a fellowship of churches whose primary purpose is to call one another to visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, and to advance that unity so ‘that the world may believe.’”
7. Konrad Raiser stated that while the Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC, it participates in 65 Regional Councils of the WCC.
8. The WCC continues its radical anti-American stance. Dr. Colas observed, “Some years ago the WCC attempted to bring the USA before the United Nations on charges that our country was one of the worst in the world to promote violence within our borders. The UN refused to do what the WCC demanded. At this meeting the WCC leaders said that the USA ‘created a culture of fear, threat and insecurity. The war is over but it has not solved any of the problems cited as objectives of the war.’ This liberal diatribe fails to recognize that previous leaders in Iraq murdered untold thousands of their own citizens as well as their enemies. This fact is conveniently overlooked. The newly elected General Secretary, Dr. Kobia, said, ‘The USA's call for a war against terrorism is in reality a pretext to USA military presence and intervention in favor of USA interests everywhere in the world. It is the beginnings of reordering the world and empire building.’”
9. Dr. Colas concluded his report with these words: “The change of leadership in the WCC only furthers the continuation of fulfilling their goal of building a visible one-world church. The WCC seeks to weld together apostate Catholics and Protestants with compromising Evangelicals and Pentecostals.”
SOME FACTS FROM THE WORLD COUNCIL’S 9TH ASSEMBLY, PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL, FEBRUARY 14-23, 2006
At its 9th Assembly in Brazil the World Council of Churches demonstrated that it remains committed to the grossest of heresies. While there was much talk of a broader table that would include “evangelicals” and “charismatics,” it was only talk. No one with an ounce of biblical conviction would join the WCC.
The WCC has lost about 30% of its funding since 1999 because the liberal Protestant denominations in America and Europe that provide the bulk of the money are dying.
At the recent Assembly in Brazil, central committee moderator Aram I said, “The church is called to discern the signs of the ‘hidden’ Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit in other religions” (Alan Wisdom, “WCC Moderator Calls for ‘A Church beyond Its Walls’: Recognize ‘Holy Spirit in Other Religions,’” Institute on Religion and Democracy, Feb. 21, 2006). It is obvious that this man’s doctrine does not come from Scripture, which teaches us that the only “spirit” that is in pagan religions is the spirit of “the god of this world” who “hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:4).
Methodist Bishop Adriel de Souza Maia, President of the Brazilian National Council of Churches, said he wanted the WCC to be “a voice of tolerance,” countering the forces of “religious fundamentalism.” The last time I looked, that is exactly what it has been for half a century.
One workshop at the 9th WCC Assembly was dedicated to the Umbanda spiritist religion, which features the channeling of messages from spirits. An Umbanda priestess who called herself Mother Aguida Guiomar Pires led the workshop. Though the mutirão workshops were “unofficial,” all of them were endorsed by some church body related to the WCC, according to mutirão coordinator Faautu Talapusi (Alan Wisdom, “WCC-Related Workshop Features Brazilian Spiritists,” Institute on Religion and Democracy, Feb. 17, 2006).
At a workshop on human sexuality, Erlinda Senturias, a Filipino member of the WCC’s “international reference group” to guide the council’s conversations regarding human sexuality, said any sexual act that is done with an attitude of love and respect is morally legitimate, regardless of whether it occurs in marriage. When a young Irish man in the audience asked whether it was acceptable for him to engage in sexual relations with his girlfriend, Senturias replied: “A sexual experience is a spiritual experience; if it is done in a spirit of mutual respect and love, it is a very beautiful experience--whether you are married or not” (Alan Wisdom, “WCC Sexuality Dialogue: Moving Slowly, But Toward Revisionism,” Institute on Religion and Democracy, Feb. 21, 2006).
At the same workshop George Mathews Nalunakkal, a Syrian Orthodox priest from India, warned against appealing to the Bible and objected to statements that “reflect a rather negative anthropology, where man is seen as a ‘fallen’ creature and sin is sexual.”
When a reporter asked Desmond Tutu of South Africa if there are any limits to plurality and diversity when seeking unity, he replied: “God is the God of all. We are too prone to excommunicate. God welcomes all of us. Today we Christians have moved a long way toward understanding that we don’t have a corner on the God market. Once we said that all who are not Christians are pagans” (“Report from WCC Tutu: ‘God is not a Christian,’” The Presbyterian Layman, Feb. 22, 2006).
A special session dedicated to Latin America glorified the failed Marxist liberation theology dogma. Argentine leader Adolfo Perez Esquivel defined the Gospel as finding answers ‘in order to live in human dignity.” He never mentioned Jesus Christ, but he did exclaim, “When Bush prays, God covers his ears!” (Alan Wisdom, “Time Warp: WCC Session on Latin America Has the Sound of the '70s,” Institute on Religion and Democracy, Feb. 22, 2006). There is nothing judgmental about these folk!
An evening interfaith peace rally featured generic prayers to “the spirit of the universe” (“Peace rally prays to no one in particular,” The Presbyterian Layman, Feb. 22, 2006). Appearing on stage to lead the ceremony were a Buddhist monk, a Muslim Imam and an Anglican bishop. Representatives of each “religious tradition” played a role in offering audible prayers to “the spirit of the universe.”
MEMBERS OF THE WORLD COUNCIL
The 340 member bodies of the World Council of Churches include the American Baptist Convention; Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches; Anglican Church of Canada; Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland; Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker); Christian Church in Canada; Church of the Brethren; Church of England; Episcopal Church in America; Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada; Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches; International Council of Community Churches; Methodist Church of the United Kingdom; Methodist Church in Singapore; Church of South India; Church of North India; United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India; Uniting Church in Australia; China Christian Council; Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches; Presbyterian Church of Korea; Korea Methodist Church; Moravian Church in Great Britain and Ireland; National Baptist Convention of America, National Baptist Convention, USA; Presbyterian Church in Canada, USA, and Wales; Progressive National Baptist Convention USA; Reformed Church in America; Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of the former USSR; Union of Welsh Independents; United Church of Canada; United Church of Christ USA; United Methodist Church USA. (For a complete list see the World Council of Churches web site.)