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Posts Tagged ‘Ecumenicalism’

(revised 12/12/13)

When addressing evangelicals, Emergents like Brian McLaren and Leonard Sweet discuss topics like ecumenism, Catholicism, and “big tent Christianity.” Yet elsewhere they reveal their true goals, openly endorsing the Interfaith Movement/Interspirituality and the One World Religion (which will eventually become the one world religion of the Antichrist). Demonically deceptive.

The following seems to be the strategy most commonly used by Emergents in destroying evangelicals (particularly the youth):

Step 1) Introduce evangelicals to the devotional writings of heretical so-called Christians throughout the ages. Use the endorsements by numerous born again Christians to persuade evangelicals that these heretics are acceptable. One such born again Christian who nievely quoted nonchristian heretics in more innocent times (before the advent of Spiritual Formation) was A.W. Tozer. Another was the otherwise wonderful Nazarene theologian H. Orton Wiley, who wrote:

The literature of devotion which makes the greatest and most direct contribution to the spiritual life has been built up from the rich spiritual experiences of the saints in all ages… Among the devotional writers, whose works have been generally accepted [emphasis mine] throughout the church, may be mentioned the following: Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ; Theologica Germanica, first discovered and published by Martin Luther; Francis de Sales, Defence of the Standard of the Cross, and An Introduction to the Devout Life. Among the Quietists we may mention, Molinos, Spiritual Guide; Madame Guyon, Method of Prayer; and Fenelon, Maxims of the Saints… Among the Friends are the writings of George Fox, Robert Barclay, William Penn and John Woolman. (Christian Theology, Vol. 3, pp. 63,64)

Step 2) Introduce evangelicals  to Spiritual Formation. Specifically, the discipline of contemplative prayer – which technically is not prayer but occultish contemplative spirituality.  Richard Foster, influenced by “Catholic Buddhist” Thomas Merton and others, built upon the writings of the devotional heretics mentioned in Step 1 above, popularizing  his unique occult perversion of biblically sound prayer practices.

Step 3) Introduce evangelicals to the contemplative practices and sacraments of Roman Catholicism specifically. Persuade evangelicals to accept Catholics as being “born again Christians” (even though, in reality, Catholics hate the term “born again”).

In this 3-part series of articles, Richard Bennett discusses Emergent Brian McLaren’s emphasis on Catholicism: http://www.the-highway.com/emergentchurch1_Bennett.html (Click on “next” at the bottom to go to the second, then third article.)

In part 2 of the series Bennett says:

“McLaren is at no loss to demonstrate how his “emergent thinking” works. The object of his book [A Generous Orthodoxy] is to lump all Protestants and Catholics together, which would be the new ring around the Protestant Catholic split, and to move beyond that into Eastern mysticism, which would be the new ring around Catholicism.”

Bennett apparently is contending that McLaren’s goal in pushing Catholic contemplative practices and rituals on evangelicals is not Catholicism itself, but Eastern mysticism, aka occultish contemplative prayer/ contemplative spirituality).

Step 4) Introduce evangelicals to the contemplative practices of other religions as well as the New Age movement (labyrinth prayer, for example).

Step 5) Introduce evangelicals to the Interfaith Movement/ Interspirituality. Several examples: The Taize pilgrimage and the Wild Goose Festival. Note – the “theology” of the Interfaith Movement is very similar to the “theology” of Unitarian Universalism.

At first evangelicals were fellowshipping with Catholics. Then we made the interfaith jump to establish ties with Jewish groups as well. Now we are dialoguing  with Islam organizations. What’s next? Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. etc.? Unfortunately, according to End Times prophecy, this is coming.

Step 6 Introduce evangelicals to the teachings of Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, Phyllis Tickle and other Emergent/ Emergence leaders regarding the One World Religion (which will eventually become the one world religion of the Antichrist).

FOR FURTHER READING

The Emergent Church Teaches One World Religion!

The Goal of the Journey – to be one

New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet to Speak at Seventh Day Adventist Conference

One Lie to Rule Them All (includes links to many additional articles about the Interfaith Movement)

Shane Hipps,  Co-Pastor With Rob Bell, Says All Religions Valid

ADDENDUM – Involvement in the Interfaith Movement by Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, etc.

Personally, I do not believe postmoderns (Emerging/Emergent/Emergence leaders) are pulling us back to a pre-modern form of Roman Catholicism. That being said, it’s actually a win-win situation for postmoderns to push Catholic contemplative practices and sacraments on evangelical denominations. Why? Because Roman Catholicism itself “ain’t what it used to be.” As you probably are aware, there is a huge emphasis at the highest level of Roman Catholicism on the Interfaith Movement.

In light of End Times prophecy, the Interfaith movement in my mind is where the real danger lies. And yes, I would say Roman Catholicism is the most power proponent of the Interfaith Movement. Here’s an interesting article about the jump from Ecumenical to Interfaitlh. And guess who is a major playor?  Catholicism: http://www.letusreason.org/Emerge10.htm

There are also other major players:

Interfaith ventures by the National Association of Evangelicals:
http://www.cephasministry.com/world_church_evangelical_manifesto.html

Interfaith ventures endorsed by CotN professor Dean Blevins http://sadnazarene.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/dean-g-blevins-nazarene-theological-seminary-religious-education-association-north-american-interfaith-network-youthfront-nain-rea-john-1518-20-18-if-the-world-hates-you-you-know-that-it/

Interfaith venures endorsed by Nazarene Theological Seminary: http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/does-nazarene-theological-seminary-support-the-interfaith-movement/

Another link – the United Religions Initiative: http://www.cuttingedge.org/News/n1094.cfm

And a good Christian response to the Interfaith movement: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/christian_worldview/why_is_a_christian_worldview_important/when_no_one_is_wrong.aspx

And yet another discernment article that mentions Catholicism and other interfaith ventures: http://www.wordconnect.org/page_article14.php

The history of the Interfaith Movement: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/forcing-change/11/interfaith.htm

An expose of Interfaith “rules of conduct” for promoting conversions: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/forcing-change/11/10-commission-pluralism.htm

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(revised 10/22/11)[blog under construction]

I stumbled across this fascinating article by Quaker universalist Chuck Fager. In spite of his heretical views, Fager has been very helpful in confirming what I have said all along: various Gurneyite Quakers (aka Evangelical Friends) were on opposite sides of Quaker ecumenism.

Specifically, Edward Mott (along with J. Walter Malone) strongly opposed Quaker ecumenism. Dr. Everett L. Cattell (as well as Walter R. Williams and Byron L. Osborne) favored Quaker ecumenism. I knew Dr. Cattell and his two cohorts personally; I deeply respected and admired all three men in the past. But upon learning of their ecumenical stance, I feel deeply betrayed. I stand squarely in Edward Mott’s corner, opposing Quaker ecumenism.

Chuck Fager’s article shows remarkable insight by a man who strongly rejects the born again message of salvation (“Christ as Lord and Saviour”, not just “Christ as Teacher and Lord”). I find it equally remarkable today that many Evangelical Friends cannot discern the dangers of ecumenism in general, and Quaker ecumenism specifically.

Click here for the original text of Fager’s article. I am emphasizing certain points by bolding, and inserting comments in [brackets].

QUAKERS OF THE YEAR: EVERETT CATTELL AND EDWARD MOTT
(Chuck Fager, A Friendly Letter, January 1985)

Forty months ago, in Issue #6 of this letter, I wrote optimistically that the spirit of divisiveness [this shows Fager’s bias – it is not “divisive” to stand up for the biblically sound doctrines of separatist, fundamentalist, born again Gurneyite Quakerism; also, Fager knows full well that where Quaker ecumenism has crept in, doctrinal compromise has always followed] seemed definitely on the wane among Friends, substantially replaced by that of ecumenical dialogue [“dialogue” always means compromise, as David Cloud points out here] and cooperation. Yet in the past year, it has become clear that a struggle between these conflicting attitudes is continuing and may well be intensifying, and that its outcome is by no means clear.

Two men in particular, Edward Mott and Everett Cattell, seem to me to epitomize these contrasting attitudes. While both are deceased, their statements and attitudes still sum up best the forces at work among us. Indeed, repeatedly in 1984 it almost seemed as if I were witnessing a clash between these two eminences, which has led me to nominate them as Quakers of the Year. Both were evangelicals, Mott from Oregon(now Northwest) YM [actually Mott served in New York Yearly Meeting (Gurneyite), then in Ohio YM (Gurneyite), then in Oregon YM (Gurneyite)], Cattell from Ohio YM, now the Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region. Mott was prominent in  the 1920s through the 1940s, as clerk of Oregon YM and a well-known preacher; Cattell spent most of these years as a missionary in India, returning as president of Malone College in Ohio. Both were active in Quaker ecumenical relations, but from almost exactly opposite directions, and to opposite effect. [Interestingly, Mott and Cattell both were connected with Cleveland Bible College, which later became Malone College- now Malone University. Yet Mott and Cattell held opposite views regarding Quaker ecumenism.]

Does Continuing the Conversation spell Death?

Everett Cattell, while a lifelong, committed evangelical, was also a pioneer of
recent Quaker ecumenical contacts. Two of his most memorable statements in this regard came out of the 1970 St. Louis Conference of Friends leaders, the first when he admitted candidly, “I struggle in my heart to define what a Quaker is today. I do not know the answer.” The second remark came later, when as conference chair he gravely recommended, “Let the conversation continue.” [I would not say Cattell “gravely” recommended this; on the contrary he seemed thrilled to recommend this over the protests from some other Evangelical Friends at the Conference.]

Cattell’s remarks and attitudes contrast starkly with those of Edward Mott. As he [Mott] stated plainly in his memoirs,

“Orthodoxy and heterodoxy cannot coalesce… The attempt to fellowship and work with unbelievers (which is what he considered other varieties of Friends –Ed. [Fager]) spells death. Any conclusion to the contrary is ruinous to all concerned.” [Mott was right – events since 1970 have shown that, as stated above, ecumenical ventures with non-evangelical Quakers has always been followed by doctrinal compromise.]

At an All-Friends Conference in 1928, he [Mott] delivered a speech intended, he said, “To thwart the very purpose for which the conference was held, the promotion of fellowship among the groups.” (It [Mott’s intent] largely succeeded, too.) As Clerk of Oregon YM he led it out of the Five Years Meeting (later renamed Friends United Meeting), and pushed successfully to cut its ties with the AFSC [American Friends Service Committee]. He railed repeatedly against the moves toward yearly meeting reunification then underway in Philadelphia, New England and elsewhere. Mott’s sentiments were sincere and consistent, and not unusual among fundamentalists of his generation, Quaker and otherwise.

Dealing With a Born-Again Separatist Movement

For his part, Everett Cattell did not minimize his differences with liberal Friends. Yet his was an evangelicalism which, contrary to Mott, was able to conclude at St. Louis that “There are good reasons for continuing dialogue with such folk… ” Again, like Mott, Cattell practiced what he preached, both among Friends and other denominations. [What Fager failed to mention here, is that Dr. Cattell was a New Evangelical. New Evangelicals have no problem “dialoguing” with non-evangelical denominations and establishing ecumenical ties.]

If Cattell’s attitude was in the ascendant only three years ago, what has happened to put these sentiments in eclipse? Much of the answer, I believe, can be found in a recently-published, widely-read book by a very influential non-Quaker fundamentalist: The Great Evangelical Disaster, by the late Francis Schaeffer. It is a clarion call to action by conservative Christians in denominations which are, in Schaeffer’s view, fatally infected with notions of “the pluralistic church.” Such a body is one in which there is room for more than his brand of theology, based on his view of the Bible as “objective, absolute truth in all the areas it touches upon,” and the interpretations he draws from it. Most Friends groups would fall in to this category [of pluralistic churches], even many of the evangelical ones [I’m assuming Fager was referring to “progressive evangelical” churches here, such as those in NWYM. Remember, Fager wrote this in 1985 – and Evangelical Friends heretic Richard Foster, for example, had been active in NWYM since before 1978]. Schaeffer’s manifesto is not only widely-read; the outlook it expresses is also being heeded by many, , as a platform for action. [“Some” is the key word here. By 1985, many Evangelical Friends had become “brainwashed” as New Evangelicals, increasingly accepting the concept of pluralism to one degree or another. Many of these “New Evangelical” Friends did not take Schaeffer’s manifesto to heart. Granted, they may have stayed away from denominations belonging to the ecumenical National Council of Churches. Yet they saw little danger in ecumenical ties with heretical non-evangelical Quaker denominations.]

Schaeffer calls on his adherents to “stand clearly for the principle of the purity of the visible church… ” To do this will require “discipline of those who do not take a proper position in regard to the teaching of Scripture.” This discipline is to be imposed at all levels and in all settings of church activity, because “the church belongs to those who by the grace of God are faithful to the Scriptures.” However, if “a denomination comes to a place where such discipline cannot operate,” then the orthodox members must prepare “to step out.” (Quotes from Schaeffer, pp. 55, 74, 82, 85, 87.)

In the light of these passages, both the rationale of many recent events and the
echoes of Edward Mott’s broadsides against association with “Hicksite modernistic Friends” of half a century ago are unmistakable. For that matter, Schaeffer also hears echoes of the 1920s and 1930s here. He insists that “we must recognize that there is a direct parallel between what happened in the early decades of this century and what we are facing today…” (p. 88)

Have we really been treated to such rhetoric as this among Friends in 1984? My answer is yes, repeatedly: in the pages of Quaker Life; at the FUM Triennial; in the flap over Elizabeth Watson and the Friends Ministers Conference (see Issues #35 and #44)[of Chuck Fager’s A Friendly Newsletter]; and in other incidents. [Unlike Fager, to all these protests against Quaker ecumenism I give a hearty “Amen!”] As these have accumulated, I have attempted to maintain the earlier optimistic attitude about the overall trend of events: I still thought I heard more of Everett Cattell in the air than of Edward Mott and Francis Schaeffer.

Riding the Wave of History Onto the Rocks of Division

But no more. In the political arena, supporters of the Schaeffer-Mott perspective [technically, Schaeffer became a New Evangelical in the 1940s or 1950s, while Mott remained a separatist fundamentalist his entire life – click here for an article providing hints of Schaeffer’s drift away from J. Gresham Machen and separatist fundamentalism] won a smashing victory in the 1984 presidential election; they feel confident they are riding the wave of history. And events show that they are determined to press ahead with their vision of a purified Christianity, in Quaker circles as elsewhere. Indeed, they can hardly do otherwise: as Schaeffer and Mott repeatedly pointed out, their basic principles are at stake; this is a matter of conscience for them.

What will be the outcome of such efforts? If the parallels with 50 years ago hold true, they will likely yield a melancholy harvest of separations, bitterness and recriminations, even among the orthodox. That is due not least to the fact that their Number One targets for “discipline” are not liberals–who are considered already lost–as much as other evangelicals, particularly those who are prepared to tolerate liberals in an “unpurified,” pluralistic Quakerism. Schaeffer admits and laments this unhappy record, and urges the church’s “true owners” to exercise their discipline over heretics in a loving spirit, rare as such a process may have been in church history, Quaker and other.

Everett Cattell On Coping With Such Campaigns

The arena in which this struggle among Friends should become most intense is
likely to be, as it long has been, Friends United Meeting. Yet it is clearly not limited to FUM. There are also several yearly meetings, spanning the continent, whose unity seems to me to be at risk from such drives to establish the “purity of the visible church” against the infiltration of pluralism. Everett Cattell understood the divisive potential of these trends, even in 1970. He called for Friends to consider some form of organizational “realignment” which would “set each other free to be himself,” and make dialogue and cooperation possible within a symbiotic relationship qf mutual respect without compromise. He argued this might be the only real alternative to eventual acrimonious ruptures.

Here as elsewhere, Everett Cattell now seems to have spoken wisely to our condition. And the question can fairly be asked: Is it now time for some Quaker bodies, faced with the likelihood of a rerun of the upheavals of the 1920s and 1930s, to explore the idea of Cattell’s realignment? And is it time for those Christian Friends who are comfortable with the diversity among Friends today to consider how best to preserve and defend their conviction in the face of this intensifying challenge?

A year ago I would have considered this whole topic a minor matter, and the names of Cattell and Mott would not have occurred to me as possible Quakers of the Year. It does not seem minor anymore; and these two, while not perhaps the happiest nominations, now seem  unquestionably the appropriate ones.

They say hindsight is 20/20. Since Fager wrote this article in 1985, the pendulum has swung away from the “Schaeffer-Mott” scenario. Richard Foster’s Spiritual Formation teachings have continued to spread like wildfire in both evangelical and non-evangelical Quaker denominations. And the Emerging/Emergent/Emergence teachings have also taken deep root in all Quaker denominations, having become popularized around 1990-1995. The EFCI is in a sad state of affairs as far as separatist fundamentalism is concerned. In fact, today EFCI leadership fully supports Dr. Cattell’s ecumenical steps at the 1970 St. Louis Conference. It appears that, if anything, Quaker denominations – evangelical and non-evangelical – are headed not for a “realignment” (aka an agreed-to split) but for an Emergent “Convergent Friends” movement. God help the Evangelical Friends, if they continue to head down this road of ecumenical Quaker apostasy.

Addendum: It would be interesting to see Chuck Fager’s analysis currently regarding the state of Quaker ecumenism – particularly involvement today by Evangelical Friends.

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(revised 03/02/12)

Update: I have made an attempt to “tone down” most of my blogs about Evangelical Friends/Quakers, to not be so hurtful to my many friends in the EFCI (and EFC-ER). Yet when I see what is going on, I still feel compelled to speak out. Read on.
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Recently I came across some intriquing info about Edward Mott, an Evangelical Friends minister and teacher. To me he seems very biblically sound. And, he was a staunch opponent of  Quakerism ecumenism.

In 1981, Convergent/Emergent Quaker Chuck Fager wrote an interesting article discussing Quaker ecumenism. I am providing an excerpt below.

Fager started off by speaking favorably of Jack Willcuts and Dr. Everett Cattell – two Evangelical Friends leaders who endorsed Quakerism ecumenism. Fager then turned around and described Edward Mott in rather derogatory terms as follows:

“Edward Mott, who was a leading minister and teacher in [Northwest Yearly Meeting] for many years earlier in [the twentieth century], strongly and bitterly opposed any moves toward ecumenical contacts or fellowship among what were then much more fragmented groups of Friends. In his memoir, Sixty Years of Gospel Ministry, published in the late 1940s, he insisted, as he had for decades, that such efforts “cannot have the blessing of the Lord upon them.” In fact, he insisted that “The attempt to fellowship and work with unbelievers [non-evangelical Quaker denominations] spells death. Any conclusion to the contrary is ruinous to all concerned.” He vehemently denounced the efforts to reunite Orthodox and Hicksite Yearly Meetings, which were then nearing success in New England and Philadelphia. He described with considerable relish his address to an “All-Friends Conference” in Oskaloosa, Iowa in 1929, the intention of which he had earlier said was “to thwart the very purpose for which the conference was held, the promotion of fellowship among the groups.” He was also a fervent and relentless opponent of the American Friends Service Committee, for having undertaken work for peace and justice on other than an exclusively evangelistic basis, and particularly for its role in setting up the Oskaloosa meeting.” (Source: http://afriendlyletter.com/AFL-archives/AFL-archives/006-AFL-%209-1981.pdf)

Mott warned of the apostasy Evangelical Friends would be swallowed up in, should they become a part of Quaker ecumenism. Evangelical Friends leaders failed to heed his warning. In 1970, at the St. Louis Conference on the Future of Friends, Evangelical Friends leader Dr. Cattell and others went ahead with plans for Quaker ecumenism. This, in spite of the fact that many Evangelical Friends in 1970 opposed this move.

I hope to locate additional resources by and about Edward Mott. He was an excellent role model for the rest of us concerned Evangelical Friends. Truly he was a man of vision and a man of God.

FURTHER INFO

…  in 1927 …  a group of 11 Quaker Evangelicals met in a YMCA in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to discuss ways to counter theological liberalism within the Society of Friends. The convener of the group was Edward Mott of Oregon, a leading Quaker fundamentalist voice. These Quaker leaders targeted organizations supported by mainline Quakers, such as the American Friends Service Committee, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and the National Council of Churches, as symbols of liberalizing trends within Quakerism. (Source: William Kostlevy, Historical Dictionary of the Holiness Movement, p. 109)

FURTHER RESOURCES by and about Edward Mott:

The Friends Church in the Light of Its Recent History, by Edward Mott (Portland, OR, self published, 1935, ASIN: B004D67XUM)

The Inner Light versus Christ, The Light, by Edward Mott [a booklet]

Sixty Years of Gospel Ministry, by Edward Mott

Through Flaming Sword, by Arthur O. Roberts (can preview many pages online)

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