The WCC Sheds Its Skin
From the English Churchman Friday, October 13, 2000
It is the smaller items of news that often prove to be the most significant.
The difficulty lies in deciding which of the smaller items is the significant one. Looking back at history through the retrospectoscope, its seems so obvious which events portended great changes. Yet at the time they were often regarded as minor details, while the things they thought so important came to nothing. We are not really any better at this guessing game than were our fathers.
The World Council of Churches has fallen under the spell of ‘Protestant’ liberalism. The last world Assembly but one indulged in open, shameless, heathen worship and gross sexual vulgarity. The organisers of the meeting were said to have been taken aback by the huge adverse publicity that their antics received all over the world, and decided not to repeat the performance.
The next Assembly in Harare, in 1998, was dominated by other hobby horses of the liberal left, notably homosexuality and feminism. Indeed, its proceedings became so ludicrous in their single-minded pursuit of political correctness, as to resemble a caricature. Peter Simple writing in his Way of the World could not have done better. The World Council of Churches has reduced itself to an absurdity.
Rome has, of course, always stood aloof from the WCC but it was prepared to send certain representatives to Zimbabwe for a little publicised meeting with the organiser to discuss the way forward.
The Eastern Orthodox attended the same 1998 Assembly of the World Council of Churches as full members but sulked all the way through. They made no secret of their anger at the homosexual and feminist agenda and at having their countries evangelised by Evangelicals. They repeatedly threatened to leave the World Council of Churches altogether.
True Bible Christians will not join the World Council of Churches and they went to Harare only to make vigorous and not unsuccessful protests against the entire proceedings.
Last month saw an interesting new development. A meeting of 30 persons at Fuller Theological Seminary, USA, discussed the formation of a Forum of Christian churches and ecumenical organisations that goes ‘beyond the present ecumenical structures’. The occasion, though little publicised, is likely to be a historic landmark.
The World Council of Churches who convened this meeting at Fuller resigned its leadership to an ‘independent Continuation Committee’ who are entrusted with making arrangements for this new ‘Forum’. The continuation committee of eight persons consists of delegates of Roman Catholic, Russian and Syrian Orthodox, ECUSA, Anglicans and other ‘Protestant’ churches. This looks like being a much more business like group than anything the WCC can organise. It includes both the WCC and those who would not join the WCC. The missing piece of the puzzle will be the uncompromising Bible Christians.
Of one thing we can be certain, Rome would not have agreed to join unless she was sure she could manipulate the Forum and call the tune. That is why she would never join the WCC.
It is interesting to reflect that a recent survey showed how few churches world wide are involved in the ecumenical movement. The strength of the movement lies not in the number of denominations it can count upon but in its wealth and its ability to organise itself and to influence governments and ultimately to persecute those who will not worship with it. It will probably seek to network with other non-Christian religions.
This new forum will be the one to watch. It is more likely to scheme in secret than to risk unedifying public jamborees of the World Council of Churches type.
All that it lacks is the Gospel. It will therefore never be able to stamp out the flames of Scriptural truth that are springing up all over the world as the Spirit bloweth where it listeth.