The bridge building ecumenical movement promoted today by Rick Warren, Pope Francis, heretical teachers and even some that may mean well are more akin to the salt losing its savor rather than the biblical examples set forth by Jesus, the disciples and prophets.
Jonah’s more direct message of what God told him to say to the Ninevites or Peter’s heart cutting message on the day of Pentecost or John the Baptist message to the Pharisees would not have qualified for the ecumenical bridge building approach that is being touted as biblical.
According to the scriptures the way we can tell if an evangelistic message is from the Holy Spirit is that the message always points to Jesus Christ and will reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. While there are biblical examples of what could be considered bridge building such as Jesus with the woman at the well or the apostle Paul at Mars hill, the primary focus was repentance and a restored relationship to God. The purpose was never to simply befriend someone and continue to work with them as long as you could maintain peace as Rick Warren says God showed him in the purpose driven life.
RW: “Then I said, ‘How did You do it? You wouldn’t have left us without a strategy.’ And I found the answer in a passage in Matthew 10 and Luke 10 where Jesus sends His first followers out…He says, ‘When you go into a village, you find the man of peace in every village, in every government, in every business, in every church.* The man of peace does not have to be a Christian believer. Could be Muslim. Could be Jewish. Because when Jesus said, ‘Find the man of peace, there were no Christians yet. Jesus hadn’t died on the cross. There was no resurrection. He’s just saying, go out and find somebody to work with.” (pp. 149-150)
This is what Rick Warren says Jesus is saying but Jesus said, “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.”
The bible never teaches us to just go out and find somebody to work with but rather to shake the dust off our feet and move on if that person refuses to be reconciled to God after presenting the gospel message. Our focus is not to build bridges of friendships with the world but to plead with everyone to be reconciled with God. There can only be peace with God and our fellow man when there is first…. repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Building friendship bridges and just finding someone to work with only results in the salt losing it savour and friendship with the world which is enmity against God.
[Jas 4:4 KJV] 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
The biblical example of the apostle Paul’s approach to shake the dust off of his feet with the Jews who refused to listen to him after he had reasoned with them from the Scriptures or his rebuke of the woman with the spirit of divination would never qualify under the bridge building concepts promoted by Rick Warren, the Pope, Roma Downey and a plethora of heretical teachers connected with the ecumenical movement. Did any of the biblical examples mentioned above ever build bridges, share platforms with, legitimize, or fellowship with false teachers?
We see this happening with many well know bible teachers including more recently Brian Broderson of Calvary Chapel Global Network. Brian has continued with the ecumenical connections in spite of the warnings of rightly divided scripture that they he has received. The scriptures warn us that just before Christ return these kinds of things would take place. [2Th 2:2 KJV] 2-3 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first….
It’s a good lesson for us all to never look to or follow a man, celebrities or even well meaning friends but to look to Jesus and his Word alone.
[Gal 1:6-10 KJV] I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
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