“It was by associating with idolaters and joining in their festivities that the Hebrews were led to transgress God’s law and bring His judgments upon the nation. So now it is by leading the followers of Christ to associate with the ungodly and unite in their amusements that Satan is most successful in alluring them into sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 458.
“God requires of His people now as great a distinction from the world, in customs, habits, and principles, as He required of Israel anciently. If they faithfully follow the teachings of His word, this distinction will exist; it cannot be otherwise. The warnings given to the Hebrews against assimilating with the heathen were not more direct or explicit than are those forbidding Christians to conform to the spirit and customs of the ungodly.” Ibid., p. 458.
Many feel that our historic faith, with its special truths, has been lost or even stolen due to our participation in the ecumenical movement. The ecumenical movement, a forum in which participants seek to find vague agreements without really facing the realities of fact and fiction, has totally misrepresented Christ, His doctrine, and His mission by turning Him into a non-threatening, non-doctrinal, non-judgmental, spiritual guru who doesn’t proselytize but rather leaves people just as they are. This uniform, ecumenical portrayal of Christ has been embraced by the whole world. Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, pagans, the New Agers, and even atheists have embraced this non-Biblical view of Christ, all thanks to ecumenism.
The ecumenical gospel, which has gained acceptance by everyone, is a gospel which is completely devoid of all doctrinal issues that pertain to the present truth. In fact, many who participate in the ecumenical movement, such as Hinduism and Buddhists, view Jesus merely as one of the great teachers or prophets. They place him on the same equal footing as Krishna, Buddha, or Mohammed. And this universal ecumenical phenomena accepts and respects all people of all traditions from every culture and faith.
Since Adventists have been participants with ecumenical organizations as early as 1957, this has led to a downplaying or in some cases a denial of our distinctive messages. Have we come to a place where doctrinal accuracy has become unimportant to our mission? Can we honestly ignore our fundamental truths and only focus on the points of doctrine that everyone else agrees with, regardless if they are worshiping dumb idols or pagan superstitions? This action on the part of the church leadership has resulted in an enormous public distortion of the true mission and message of the Seventh-day Adventist movement. Of course we know that no one can steal or misrepresent your own personal faith; that’s between you and God.
The problem is in the public arena, where the loudest and most publicized voices claiming to represent our faith, clearly don’t speak for the historic Seventh-day Adventist message. These SDA ecumenical diplomats also misrepresent our heavenly Father and His holy character, thereby bringing into question any likelihood of speaking for God at all. To portray Jehovah as One who would advocate the ecumenical movement, as we know it today, would be to speak falsely about Him.
“The LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.” Job 42:7.
The ecumenical mind actually stands for the very opposite of the true Seventh-day Adventist faith. God’s loud cry message of Revelation 18:4 that summons everyone to “come out” of Babylon is completely contradictory to the ecumenical movement’s call to unite the Babylonian family. In the following statement you will see how the Spirit of Prophecy warns us against adopting an ecumenical attitude: “We are not to make less prominent the special truths that have separated us from the world, and made us what we are; for they are fraught with eternal interests.” Evangelism, p. 121.
“When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” Great Controversy, p. 445.
Sister White was clearly describing the ecumenical movement. She didn’t call it the “ecumenical movement” because that phrase wasn’t in use in her days; however, she accurately defines that ecumenism is the vehicle to influence a Sunday law and help form the image of the beast. This is how Satan is uniting all the churches . Why can’t Seventh-day Adventists see that today? If we did we would have nothing to do with ecumenism, but rather expose them for what they are.
It’s been Satan’s plan to destroy the faith of Jesus, the three angels’ messages, and our distinctive truths through the ecumenical movement. He has been successful in causing many to lose sight of God’s present truth. Nonetheless, the Lord is taking back the reins of the work into His own hands. He will empower His people to present His message boldly in the public square. His original, authentic, historical Seventh day Adventist witness will soon sweep across this world, and men will be powerless to hold it back.
“I saw that this message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry.” Early Writings, p. 278.
“The power which stirred the people so mightily in the 1844 movement will again be revealed. The third angel’s message will go forth, not in whispered tones, but with a loud voice.” Evangelism, p. 693.
“The world is against us as also the popular churches; and the laws of our country soon will also be against us… God has entrusted to us the special truths for this time, so that we may teach them to the world. El last message of mercy is now being proclaimed. We are dealing with men and women in route to the judgment.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, pag. 48).
Why were the popular churches against our pioneers? Simply because our pioneers were doing what God had ordered. They believed they were representing the three angels that fly in the midst of the heavens, and therefore preached those messages with power. In the following statements Ellen White counsels us to: 1) avoid the ecumenical attitude and 2) preach the message for this hour. It is important implement both suggestions simultaneously:
“The third angel’s message, embracing the messages of the first and second angels, is the message for this time. We are to raise aloft the banner on which is inscribed, “The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” The world is soon to meet the great Lawgiver over His broken law. This is not the time to put out of sight the great issues before us.” (Counsels on Health, p. 357).
“Opposition we shall have as we voice the message of the third angel. Satan will bring in every possible device to make of no effect the faith once delivered to the saints.” (Counsels on Health, p. 359).
“The third angel is represented as flying in the midst of heaven, symbolizing the work of those who proclaim the first, second, and third angels’ messages; all are linked together. The evidences of the abiding, everliving truth of these grand messages that mean so much to us, that have awakened such intense opposition from the religious world, are not extinct.” (Manuscript Release, Volume 2, p. 227).
“God’s servants are not to be easily discouraged by difficulties or opposition. Those who proclaim the third angel’s message must stand bravely at their post, in the face of detraction and falsehood, fighting the good fight of faith, and resisting the enemy with the weapon that Christ used, “It is written.” In the great crisis through which they are soon to pass, the servants of God will encounter the same hardness of heart, the same cruel determination, the same unyielding hatred, encountered by Christ and the apostles.” (Gospel Workers, p. 264).
“Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6-12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion. This message is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work. When those that “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” ( 2 Thessalonians 2:12), shall be left to receive strong delusion and to believe a lie, then the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord that remain in Babylon will heed the call: “Come out of her, my people” ( Revelation 18:4).” (Maranatha, p. 173).