Revival FIRE

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In almost all parts of the world, Christians now live in religiously plural societies. This presents challenges not only to individuals but also to State and Church. The Church, for instance, has been looking for new ways of understanding and interpreting 'community.' - Prof Hans Küng, a German Catholic liberation theologian, has described it as follows: “There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions.” 1)

This way of thinking has also been popular in the World Council of Churches. As early as 1971 the WCC established a programme of “Dialogue with People of Living Faiths and Ideologies.” This programme does not aim at promoting the Cultural Mandate (Genesis 1:28) or the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-19), but it encourages the Churches to accept other religions. While the Cultural Mandate and the Great Commission tell us to bring all things under the Lordship of Christ, the Dialogue with People of Living Faiths encourages religious compromise and integration. Hence, inter-faith prayer, inter-faith worship, and inter-faith action have become ever more commonplace. The New South Africa, for instance, was conceived in terms of a multi-cultural inter-faith orientation. The formerly Christian foundation was abolished and a secular dispensation was adopted. Though Christianity was predominant, all religions were put on an equal footing. Christian observance was removed from public life and Christian teaching from schools. This was to allegedly promote greater social harmony, but the hoped for peace did not come. South Africa was struck by a wave of immorality and crime.

The Betrayal of the Great Commission

The World Council of Churches' open approach to heathen religions began early in its existence. In 1961 the WCC united the world's major missionary societies under its wing. Ten years later it recommended a “Moratorium on Missions.” The Church, it said, should no longer send out missionaries to the Third World. It should rather use its money for “new ways of mission education” (in the First World) and for the support of militant “liberation movements” (in the Third World). This new orientation they called “World Mission.” But it betrayed the Great Commission of Christ and God's desire to show His greatness and holiness in the sight of many nations. (Ezekiel 38:23) 2)

Many of the WCC-affiliated Churches followed this new orientation. Instead of evangelising the heathens they engaged in dialogue with them. In 1990, in Baar near Zürich, after 4 years of consultation, the WCC published a study called “My Neighbour's Faith and Mine – Theological Discoveries through Interfaith Dialogue.” This declared that human beings of whatever religion or faith could be saved without knowing Christ.

“We cannot set limits to the saving power of God…” said the Baar Statement, “The God we know in Jesus Christ may encounter us also in the lives of our neighbours of other faiths… We need to move beyond a theology which confines salvation to the explicit personal commitment to Jesus Christ.” Hence they denied that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life, and that no-one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)

The Holy Spirit, they said, does not only dwell in Christians, but also in non-Christians. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a former co-worker of the World Council of Churches, quite agrees, saying: “The Holy Spirit is not limited to the Christian Church. For example, Mahatma Gandhi, who is a Hindu… the Holy Spirit shines through him.” 3) One of his best friends is the Dalai Lama who is regarded by many as a living god.

Filtering Into the Church

The WCC's “dialogue” ideology has filtered down into the various programmes of the Church. One example is the liturgy of the Women's World Day of Prayer for 2013. This international prayer event had begun as a day of prayer for Home and Foreign Missions. Because of this, the South African collections have always been donated mainly to the Bible Society. But this year's Prayer programme was called, “I was a Stranger and you welcomed me.” It featured religious pluralism and focussed on migration and migrants. One of its prayers read: “We pray for families where one or both parents are of foreign origin… We pray with them as they integrate their religious and cultural values.” - Did God tell us to integrate religious values - light and darkness, truth and falsehood, Christ and Belial? (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) Jesus wants us to teach our families, and indeed the whole world, “to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-19) “Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

10th General Assembly of the WCC 2013

Many Christians believe that the World Council of Churches has changed since its radical days. But reading its “New Ecumenical Mission Affirmation” one is disappointed. This Mission Affirmation was prepared for the WCC's 10th General Assembly at Busan (30.10.-8.11.2013) in Korea this year. It shows that the WCC's priorities are not a change of heart, but a change of society. “Churches are called to transform power structures,” it says in the Affirmation. “Mission should be from below.” “God's reign will be established through human rights, gender justice and climate justice…” but “not under capitalist terms.” Does not this remind us of the marxist South African Kairos Document (1986), which demanded the tearing down of (the Reformed) Church and State? The Great Commission, i.e. Christian “proselytism,” says the WCC, “is not a legitimate way of practising evangelism…” Rather “the proclamation of the Gospel must involve transformation of societies with a view to creating just and inclusive communities.”

“Transformation of society” is the great watchword of “World Mission.” It is not the renewal of the human heart as effected by the saving work of Christ. But Jesus did not come to restructure systems. He came to save sinners! The World Council of Churches then (with its sub-councils such as the SACC) has led the Church astray, for by claiming that Christ is inherent in unbelievers, that these are saved without knowing Him, and that His Spirit is guiding them, is blasphemy. It has weakened and disturbed both Church and society.

FIRE

A world war of worldviews has arisen. Biblical Christians are faced by powers which strive for a One World Government and a One World Religion. The Church needs to summon all its strength to regain Scriptural Truth. If we want God to bless our countries, a new Reformation is needed. In four years' time (2017) Christendom will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the 95 theses which Martin Luther nailed to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This courageous act set in motion a great desire for Truth, a great rediscovery of the Bible, and a great new love for our Lord Jesus Christ. In the hope that God will once again raise up His people, the Coalition on Revival (USA & RSA) has launched a 5-year plan to reform our congregations. Dr. Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship explains: “This will work parallel with a seven-year plan to reform our communities, culminating in the 500th anniversary of Ulrich Zwingli's launching the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland (1519). Alongside these two movements will be a nine-year plan to reform our nations, culminating in the 500th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther's bold stand against the Emperor in Worms, 18 April 1521, where he exclaimed: My conscience is captive to the Word of God. Here I stand, I can do no other!”

In preparation for this endeavour, Dr. Hammond has drafted a modern day version of the 95 Theses. They summarise the dangers and demands of our own age. Please study them critically and suggest improvements. Martin Luther was a great hero of the faith, a lover of Jesus Christ, and a champion of the truth, who blessed the world for centuries to come. Let us then devote ourselves to much prayer, cast off the false visions of our time, and reaffirm the Biblical principles, which Luther so aptly summarised as: Solus Christus (Christ alone), sola scriptura (the Scriptures alone), sola gratia (by grace alone), sola fide (by faith alone).

May God find us faithful in faith, hope and love, and in fulfilling Christ's Great Commission, as we strive for Biblical Reformation and pray for Spiritual Revival. 4)

D. Scarborough
Gospel Defence League
P. O. Box 587 Sea Point 8060
Cape Town South Africa
Tel/Fax: 021-510-6854 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web:www.christianaction.org.za/GDL

Footnotes
1. Interfaith Dialogue, Wikipedia.
2. Peter Beyerhaus, Krise und Neuaufbruch der Weltmission. 1987
3. St Alban's Cathedral, Pretoria, 23.11.75. The Archbishop and the Bible, Gospel Defence League 1989.
4. Valuable Work has been done by the US Coalition on Revival in drafting sound doctrinal statements on the Authority of Scripture, the 42 Essential Articles of a Christian Worldview, A Manifesto for the Christian Church, 25 Articles on the Kingdom of God, 7 Essential Actions Local Churches Must Take, and Biblical Statements on the Sanctity of Life, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, Homosexuality, Biblical Economic Systems, Education, Freedom of Expression, The Discipline of Children and the 95 Theses for Reformation Today. For a manual of all of these, please contact the Christian Action Network.

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa [email protected] - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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