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ECUMENICAL RELATIVISM (Part 1)

Tolu Idowu April 23, 2020


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Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. None can come to the Father except through Jesus. These words spoken by Jesus have caused a lot of division in the Christian world. Explicitly,  Jesus Himself did not mean it to cause confusion, but our understanding has brought us to where we are. You can find it in the Gospel of St. John chapter 16 verse 6. In the 5th verse of the same chapter, it was Thomas, the twin that asked Jesus “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way”? Jesus is clear and plain here. He is the way, the truth and the life, NOONE can reach the father except through him. So we can restate as this, nobody outside Jesus can reach the father. Is that not so?

This is the position of so many Pentecostals and some other denominations of Christianity. Therefore, they accuse the Catholic Church, or rather, Pope Francis of ecumenical relativism.  The Pope deserved this accusation when he openly accepted other religions as a way to God. The Pope, according to these set of Christians, believe that all religion calls on just the same God and all religion lead to God in the end. They have argued that the Pope is not correct and that only the belief in Jesus Christ as the Lord and savior of humanity leads to God. Muslims do not believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for one, even though they hold him in high regard. I read some arguments online and they are right in some ways. Read an argument put forward by a Pentecostal here:

“The Pharisees knew Scripture and they still nailed their Messiah to a Roman cross. We can know a lot about Jesus without actually knowing Him personally. Jesus said it’s the truth that sets us free, so I believe accuracy in spiritual truth is vital, ESPECIALLY now in this “crucial point in time.” A person who says, “Your belief in gravity may be true for you but it’s not true for me,” will still plummet to destruction when they walk off a cliff, so maybe we can agree that truth matters. The examples you gave–Islam, paganism, and Hinduism–all believe vastly different things. Islam says Jesus never died, which completely disagrees with the entire Bible and one of Jesus’ primary missions on the earth; the perfect atonement for sin. (He is the spotless Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, per 1 Peter 1.) And paganism? How did God judge pagan nations in the Old Testament? How did Israel’s syncretism work out for them? Finally, Hinduism is pantheism; creator and creation are one and the same. Idol-worship is rampant here. This isn’t what Jesus taught at all.

Fortunately, the pope is not our example to follow; Jesus is. Therefore, I would petition anyone within earshot of my voice to abandon ecumenical relativism and step into a living, vital relationship with Jesus Christ.

‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:12)” Culled from https://www.levaire.com/ecumenical-relavitisism”

 

 

Going through the Door (Jesus) does not mean you have to raise your hands in the church and say a prayer of acceptance alone, it goes deeper than that. It goes as far as you becoming the Jesus for others. It involves you turning the other cheek, giving to anyone who asks, opening your door to the homeless, feeding the hungry, and more importantly, praying for your enemies and wishing them well. I believe whether or not you are a Christian because you do all these faithfully and truthfully (without an ulterior motive or agenda), you are walking through the Way.

 

Believe? What is your belief? What is trust? What is discipleship if you cannot re-echo the actions of your Lord and Master? Jesus himself gave us a serious parable about a father with two sons. He told both sons to get something done for him and the first son answered instantly “I will do it now father” but ended up not doing a thing.  The second son however did not even mind the father and probably is a rascal (and maybe the father didn’t even expect him to do a thing) but he ended up doing the will of the father. Who has done the father’s will? The one that PERFORMED THE ACTION or the one that CONFESSED THE ACTION?

 

 

It still baffles me how Christians can open their mouth to condemn others (if they don’t believe in Jesus and find a church, they will not see God nor enter heaven). How is that different from what the Pharisees did during the time of Jesus and even prior to Jesus’ arrival? I believe that what Jesus is teaching us is to LOVE without BOUNDARIES.  Even if the case were true that those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ will be thrown into hell (which is obviously not true), Christians ought to be at the forefront of begging God on behalf of other humans that are not Christians (and the act would have melted the merciful heart of Jesus) but no, the reverse is the case. Christians will prefer God heat up hell 10 times more before these men are thrown therein.

 

Kindly click here to read the final part of this article. Thank you


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