Friday, May 12, 2006

WCC, NAE, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus

It isn't just the neo-evangelical leaders who are finding common ground with other world religions (see this week's Herescope posts). The 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, held February 14-23 in Porto Alegre, Brazil is leading the charge. And the NAE isn't far behind!

This event was reported on by the American Council of Christian Churches (Spring 2006 newsletter) by Dr. Ralph G. Colas, Executive Secretary. An address was given by Katsunori Yamamoi, "a member of the Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei-kai." According to the ACCC report:

"He asked the WCC to talk 'hand in hand with all of the Buddhists in this organization and to participate in the Buddhist Assembly scheduled for August 2006.' Immediately he was followed by a Hindu who shared a few lines from the Hindu's sacred text that included these words, 'God is the ocean; God's servants are the rain clouds; God is the sandal tree; God's servants are the winds.'"

Lest the reader mistakenly assume that surely evangelicals wouldn't be part of such a gathering, the ACCC report indicates:

". . . [T]he World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) International Director, Rev. Geoff Tunnicliffe, presented a statement to the accredited press that had been prepared with three other Pentecostal/Evangelicals praising the WCC. The WEA is made up of 127 Evangelical Alliances (including the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) led by Dr. Ted Haggard of Colorado Springs, CO). They expressed gratitude that the WCC invited them because after all they represented almost 400 million Evangelicals around the world."

Dr. Colas of the ACCC reported that Rev. Tunnicliffe indicated he "wanted the WCC to understand they desire to get more involved with social action by 'deepening Christian engagement with the poor and to cut world poverty in half by the year 2015.'"

Of course, this global poverty program would be consistent with the goals of Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. This indicates how far evangelical leaders are willing to go in order to find common ground to achieve their plan for global "transformation."

The ACCC report continued:

"One major speaker who was welcomed by the entire Assembly was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, who declared, 'The exclusive claims of Christianity are not claims to absolute knowledge. I reject aggressive efforts to convert those of other faiths.' At the press conference when questioned about his address, he said that two approaches were very unhelpful -- 'One was to claim an exclusive possession of the truth, while the other was to lose confidence in one's faith.'

"Following Williams remarks, a Karen Baptist from Myanmar spoke to the delegates and told her family's experiences with Buddhist and Muslim neighbors. She concluded by saying, 'My Muslim and Buddhist neighbors may not know the name of Jesus, but I believe God has found a path for himself to them.'"

In his conclusion, Dr. Colas of ACCC astutely noted:

"5. While there was much talk about "a transformed world," at no time was the answer given from the Bible that 'If any man be in Christ he is a new creation' (II Cor. 5:17). The change comes not from without but from within, but that answer was never given. Rather the WCC teaches that all religions are equal. According to Aram I, the Holy Spirit dwells in other religions than Christianity. Nothing could be further from the truth of God's Word.

"6. It is important to understand that even the very words these liberal clergy use have a different meaning. We must do what the apostle John tells us to do and 'Try the spirits whether they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.' (I John 4:1)."

The Truth:

"Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with another." (Mark 9:50)