I’m ok, you are ok… The ecumenical movement is, without a doubt, appealing to most of us. We know and love God fearing people, “good people”, all around us that practice false and destructive doctrines. It is hard to accept that unless we are able to help them find the truth they will go to Hell. This has been harder for me in times past than it is now, but it still saddens me. This world view that, “I’m ok and you are ok” is a nice story, but it does not have anything to do with the truth. Like nearly all sin, this philosophy has everything to do with short term gratification, and nothing to do with the truth. Throughout all time God has accepted nothing less than his way. One need look no further than the sacrifices of Cain and Able to realize that good intentions are not enough, and God only accepts worship that is performed according to his will.
A look a Jehoshaphat
The account of King Jehoshaphat can be found in II Chronicles 17 – 20. Jehoshaphat was, by and large, a good king that reigned twenty five years in Jerusalem. Compared with many of the other kings Jehoshaphat was an exemplary servant of God. He protected the people, and he followed God. In fact II Chronicles 17:4 says he, “sought the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments.” He not only followed God but he sent out spiritual leaders to teach the people about God and his commandments. As a result of his faith God blessed the people and the kingdom prospered. But Jehoshaphat had a problem, he wanted unity with the northern ten tribes. Jehoshaphat allied himself with two wicked kings of Israel, Ahab and Ahaziah.
Participation and Association
The first alliance Jehoshaphat made was with his neighbor Ahab. Ahab was by no means a Godly man. He took the idol worship that was begun by Jeroboam to a new level. This is the man who allowed Naboth to be murdered for his vineyard. But Jehoshaphat sealed an alliance with Ahab through marriage. This alliance does not work out very well for Jehoshaphat. Ahab persuades Jehoshaphat to go to battle with him. The Lord tells Ahab that he will die in this battle and to evade death he persuades Jehoshaphat to wear his armor. Seeing the armor of Ahab in battle the king of Syria commands his men to fight no one else. The Lord does help Jehoshaphat escape the trap with his life. But II Chronicles 19:2 God tells Jehoshaphat: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the LORD. Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Asherahs out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.” Jehoshaphat does not learn from his mistake. He again allies himself with an evil king of Israel. The Lord causes this alliance to end in disaster. Even though we have no record of Jehoshaphat participating in the sins of Ahab and Ahaziah, was God pleased by the alliance?
If God was not pleased by the alliances of Jehoshaphat, is he pleased by congregational association with groups that practice false teaching, and lead people astray?
If you consider the example of Jehoshaphat I think the answer should be clear. To put it bluntly, would God be happy with a bride that desired an “open” marriage? Would God be happy with any union of His church to a secular or denominational organization? The concept of unity from an ecumenical perspective really is a misnomer. If we strive to follow God’s will anyone else who is doing the same will, by default, be in union with us.