LandMarks Magazine  
   

February 1998 Table of Contents

 
 

Thanks to Ecumenism
By Terry Ross

Thanks to Ecumenism

For the past several months, we have looked at the long history of the apostasy, which has been with us since the earliest times. The majority, who were in apostasy in each generation, never wanted to face their own stubbornness and rebellion. Those who revealed their apostasy have always been mocked, insulted and rejected, because they wished to remain faithful to God’s plan and not man’s. As we continue to bring this history forward, we think it wise, along the way, not to let all the evidence of the present slip away as we look at the past. With this in mind we break from our progressive path and stand on present-day soil as we take a look at the lay of the land around us.

Thanks to Ecumenism we have a frightening drop in conversions. Thanks to Ecumenism the entire concept of the "Church Militant" has been practically obliterated. Thanks to Ecumenism we are one giant step closer to a One World Church. Thanks to Ecumenism we are one giant step closer to a One World Government. Thanks to Ecumenism we have the demonic New Age Movement making inroads into the Church, manifesting itself primarily in the absurd teaching: "Jesus did not know that He was God until He was baptized by John the Baptist and received the Christ consciousness." Thanks to Ecumenism we have prayer gatherings with Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and Moslems, all who deny the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thanks to Ecumenism we have downplayed the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ which acknowledges that all governments and all authorities ultimately receive their power of government and jurisdiction from Christ, and are therefore answerable to Him and His Divine Law. Thanks to Ecumenism we have practically every heresy that ever existed within the very bosom of the Church. Thanks to Ecumenism we may ask ourselves, how will our Church ever be in a position to condemn new errors when it has become so buddy-buddy with the old ones? Thanks to Ecumenism we have an "emperor’s new clothes" situation where fraudulent tailors have adorned the Church in the apparel of ecumenism, and there are no dignitaries to be found who will admit "the Church has been stripped naked."

Before we move on I want you to know that the long paragraph above is not of my own creation. Certainly the words above are true and whoever wrote them is very concerned about what is going on within their church. Cathy and I have been making the claim for a long time that what is

happening within the structure of the Adventist movement and its devastating effects are felt now by all mainline churches around the world. We will continue with "Thanks to Ecumenism" for a further demonstration of this point. Hang on to your hat though, because the words will shortly give the secret of the source away, and you will be surprised!

Thanks to Ecumenism we have a Protestantized liturgy. Thanks to Ecumenism we have Protestantized sacraments. Thanks to Ecumenism we have more and more Catholics leaving the Faith to embrace Protestantism. Thanks to Ecumenism we have Communion-in-the-hand and lay-ministers of the Eucharist, both considered sacrilegious and totally unthinkable only twenty-five years ago. Thanks to Ecumenism we have our Church leaders holding "prayer-services" with non-Catholic religions of all sorts . . . baptizing and canonizing the predominant heresy that "one religion is as good as another," and causing great scandal and bewilderment among the faithful. Thanks to Ecumenism we have the dilution of essential Catholic dogmas necessary for salvation. Thanks to Ecumenism we have the Charismatic Movement within the Church, having its roots in Protestantism and Spiritualism, and always considered antithetical to Catholics.

Thanks to Ecumenism we have Protestant ministers and Jewish rabbis lecturing from our once Catholic pulpits and universities. Thanks to Ecumenism by the devotion to our Blessed Mother has been discouraged. Thanks to Ecumenism devotion to the Saints has been down-played. Thanks to Ecumenism the Rosary and many other traditional Catholic practices of piety have been falsely labeled "outmoded," clearly a trick of Satan to keep us from receiving the great graces these devotions acquired. Thanks to Ecumenism our Holy Church has become more Protestantized and secularized, along with the fact that the Protestants are as Protestant as always, and the secular are more secular than ever!

Thanks to Ecumenism we have a great crisis of Faith among our priests and laity. Thanks to Ecumenism we have the "Spirit of Vatican II," an evil and deceptive spirit employed to turn the Catholic Church upside down. [I hope you are paying attention!] Thanks to Ecumenism we have the 1962 Vatican-Moscow Agreement, whereas in order to be assured that observers of the Russian Orthodox Church would attend the Second Vatican Council, an agreement was made between Rome and Moscow that the Council would contain "no explicit condemnation of Communism." This policy of "no direct condemnation of Communism" is still in force to this day.

Thanks to Ecumenism we no longer have offertory prayers which stress the sacrificial nature of the Mass, but new ecumenical offertory prayers offensive to no non-Catholic, and bearing a closer resemblance to a Jewish table blessing. Thanks to Ecumenism we have removed the altar rails. Thanks to Ecumenism we now stand for Holy Communion. Thanks to Ecumenism there has been a change as to what is the Mystery of Faith, whereas in the Old Liturgy, the "Mystery of Faith" clearly referred to the Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord. In the New Liturgy, however, the "Mystery of Faith" is proclaimed as "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again". . . a doctrine, unlike Transubstantiation, which is acceptable to Protestants. In the new liturgy, there is actually a choice of five mysteries of Faith, all of which are a little different . . . is there any wonder there is now so much doctrinal confusion?

Thanks to Ecumenism the tabernacles in many of our Churches have been taken off the main altar and placed on the side. Is the Holy Eucharist only a sideline of our Faith? Thanks to Ecumenism we have voided the interiors of our Catholic Churches with the sense of reverence and awe, strikingly present in all Catholic Churches before Vatican II. Thanks to Ecumenism "the Church is in a state of auto-demolition." Thanks to Ecumenism the Catholic church has been placed on the same footing with every false religion on the face of the earth.

Thanks to Ecumenism the dogma that Outside the Church there is no salvation has not only been ignored, but sometimes vehemently fought against by "Catholic" priests and theologians. Thanks to Ecumenism we have Diocesan bishops "lending out their cathedrals" for the installation of Protestant bishops. Thanks to Ecumenism we have the humanistic "religion of reason" infiltrating our Faith, manifesting itself in sad sermons and insipid catechisms. Thanks to Ecumenism we have widespread rejection of many Catholic teachings of Faith and Morals. If pluralism is condoned outside the Church, what then is wrong with it within the household of Faith? Thanks to Ecumenism faithful Catholics who rightly criticize the catastrophic effects of modern ecumenism are labeled "disrespectful," "dissident," "rebellious" and "disobedient." Finally, Thanks to Ecumenism we have indeed very little to be thankful for in the devastated vineyard of the Post Vatican II Church.

Yes, friends, some of us have been bringing forth mounds of evidence that the face of organized churches are changing around the globe. The above article is quite surprising as you consider it comes from a fully Catholic source! This paper was written and distributed by the Benedictine Monks of Most Holy Family Monastery. I was totally unaware, and perhaps you are too, that there is a "Remnant" within the Roman Catholic community who are screaming their heads off about how ecumenism is nothing more than a deception to gut historical Catholicism! Did you catch that? Now take just a moment and think about what is going on here. The Historic Catholic Remnant is calling this new movement of "Christian unity" and contemporary church phenomena exactly what it is—a sham! They are making the claim that all of this pluralism and lowering of the standards and buddying up with the different religions is eroding "true" Catholicism!

I did not even know that there was this kind of split in the Catholic Church. However, in the last few months we have learned that there are Catholic Churches that are now independent and who have priests that are openly preaching that the Pope is the man of sin and the anti-Christ! I know, because one of these little churches is located just three miles from our ministry. I also know that the priest preaches to his congregation that Pope John Paul II is the anti-Christ and he tells them that it is the apostasy plan of Vatican II that brought in the apostasy and caused this whole mess. He openly says that Vatican II is the selling out of the true Catholic Church to the Protestant world.

Brothers and sisters, this is quite amazing! Although we as Adventists have more specific details through inspiration than this priest does, he has recognized many truths about what the Ecumenical Movement is designed to do. It is high time we understand that if Roman Catholics can see these deceptions for what they are, then maybe we had better start taking life very seriously and get fully into the business of salvation—not only for ourselves but for others as well. I praise God that He is trying to show His people through many different avenues of evidence that the agenda of apostasy is just what a few of the historic Adventist ministries have been claiming it is.

I must point out something here that is very important for your consideration. I will do it in the form of a question. If the agenda of apostasy is what we and others have claimed it is, then what will happen to those who are running back to the churches that have an unsanctified unity? We must realize that nothing lies at the end of that road, but a dead end, and I don’t mean the end of the pavement, I mean an end of life! God is trying to make it easy for us through the gift of the eye-salve and the multitude of evidences which have been and will continue to be brought forth. We must be willing to use that which God has given us and take Him at His Word. Nothing else can or will save us. All the knowledge in the world and in God’s Word will not save a single soul who is merely trying to escape the fires at the end of the millennium. It just will not happen. As in baptism, we must allow the Lord to fully immerse us in the life of His heavenly family. True Christianity, and true Adventism are not something we do, it is who we become.

"The Ecumenical Movement is basically the movement toward reunion of all Churches into a single Church, one in body, but not necessarily holding the same religious tenets . . . spotlighting things we have in common, hush-hushing those things which divide us. Should you ask, however, ten different theologians of ten denominations for a definition of ecumenism, chances are you would receive ten slightly different replies. This is the great weakness of ecumenism. It is a slippery, sloppy expression devoid of any solid orthodox definition. It thus avails itself of ambiguity and double talk—as do subversive movements in general. The Second Vatican Council had a great deal to say about ecumenism, without ever giving the definition of the word! "Prior to 1960, the Catholic Church had always kept the Ecumenical Movement at arms length from the mystical Body of Christ, now and then touching it with the proverbial ten-foot pole, but never taking an active part.

"Any student of ecclesiastical history will tell you that the Roman Catholic Church’s particular charisma was to clarify the truth in time of confusion and, to counter what was novel or erroneous by clinging to and defining what she has always believed since the time of the Apostles. Thus when Martin Luther denied so much of what the Roman Church held true, she took care of this problem at the Council of Trent . . . defining in detail each one of the Seven Sacraments, indulgences, justification, etc. The Church does not invent new doctrines at these councils, but defines and clarifies in a solemn and official manner what she has always believed. The Councils of the past took the Church and the world from a time of confusion, into a period of theological stability. Unfortunately, Vatican II is the first council in the history of the Church that did not help in this regard. As a matter of fact, we must regretfully admit that all evidence clearly shows she only made things far worse." —Excerpt from the Catholic periodical "Crying in the Wilderness Newsletter."

Brothers and sisters, do you realize what is being said in the few short words taken from this Catholic newsletter? It tells us plainly that Historical Catholics believe that the burning of heretics is part of the solution toward anyone who would cry against her dogma. This was in fact part of the solution at the council of Trent, but usurped by the hand of God to save Luther.

You can clearly see that true Roman Catholics believe that the Church is not to "invent" any new doctrine, but to continue to keep the sanctity of their established doctrines, which go back clear to the Apostles and "what she has always believed." This is exactly what The Great Controversy says about the Roman Catholics. Sister White describes the mess we are in and the mess these Historic Catholics say they are in. They do not know the details as we do, but they do know that deception of every kind is taking place.

"The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution . . .

"But Romanism as a system is no more in harmony with the gospel of Christ now than at any former period in her history. The Protestant churches are in great darkness, or they would discern the signs of the times. The Roman Church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to regain control of the world, to re-establish persecution, and to undo all that Protestantism has done. Catholicism is gaining ground upon every side. See the increasing number of her churches and chapels in Protestant countries. Look at the popularity of her colleges and seminaries in America, so widely patronized by Protestants. Look at the growth of ritualism in England and the frequent defections to the ranks of the Catholics. These things should awaken the anxiety of all who prize the pure principles of the gospel.

"The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High.

"The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent. ‘Faith ought not to be kept with heretics, nor persons suspected of heresy’ (Lenfant, vol. I, 516), she declares. Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?" The Great Controversy, 564, 565, 571.

My friends, there are some fantastic admissions in the articles above. If we observe what the Traditional Catholics are saying, then we can see that they are even (albeit from a different point of view then ours) giving testimony to both the deception of the great "revival" of the ecumenical movement and the validity of The Great Controversy in its claims that true Catholicism has never changed. It is obvious that Rome is even willing to give the appearance of selling out their own people, at least for a time, in order to regain the ecclesiastical power she has lost. This program of apostasy is so important to those in the Vatican that they have not even let some of their people know that it’s all a show in order to be of the utmost success in the end. But we, as true Adventists, have an advantage that none other has in the entire world! What precious and good news this is. Therefore, let us praise God, not only with our tongues, but with our whole beings through the acts of our lives. It is high time that we got on with the work that has been set before us. That work includes building the breach in the wall and tearing down the walls of hell that God’s arch-foe has erected. God has proven over and over that He can save by many or a few. Let us not search for the popular path which only leads to the DEAD END; let us no longer be willingly blinded by popular views and the dictates of men’s policies and creeds, but let us with the help of our mighty God, with the banner of His precious Son, Jesus Christ, take the battle on to victory!

February 1998 Table of Contents

 

       
 

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