The Ecumenical Puzzle
by Roger Oakland
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Everyone who has worked on a jigsaw puzzle knows it takes time, skill, and patience to put the pieces together to make the final completed picture. One piece on its own, or even several pieces that make up a small area can only give a partial glimpse of the whole picture.
Many things in life and in our own spiritual journey are similar to the puzzle analogy. As one goes through life, we are often confronted with situations that can be compared to putting the pieces of a puzzle together. In the beginning, there are pieces that may be scattered that seem somewhat disjointed. All the pieces appear to have come out of the same box but each piece is meaningless until all the pieces are put together. When you look at one or two pieces out of context nothing seems to make sense.
This definitely is the case when we examine our own personal spiritual walk, particularly in these Last Days when there seems to be so much confusion. Some of us have been on a spiritual journey for three or more decades. Maybe even up until a few years ago it seemed as if our own spiritual puzzle was all in place. Then something happened. It was as if someone picked up the pieces off the table, mixed these pieces all together again, and threw them back into the box. The puzzle was destroyed, and it was necessary to start all over again.
Over the past few months, I have talked to many believers who have had this experience in their own churches they had often attended for years. Their walks with the Lord were going on as usual. Suddenly their churches turned upside down, spiritually speaking. Their pastors started down path that were questionable at best or just outright apostate. When they approached their pastors or church elders about the problems they were seeing as part of the postmodern compromise they were experiencing, they were told to either shut up or leave. They had given their time and resources to their churches for years to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now they were treated as trash and swept out the door.
The Puzzle Becomes Clearer
The puzzle analogy can also be used to help us understand why churches that were once truly “evangelical” and “protestant” have become neo-evangelical and ecumenical. If there is any question what I mean about the words neo-evangelical or ecumenical, then let me help you out. There is one word that describes ecumenism and the neo or the new evangelical movement: apostasy.
If we truly are in the Last Days, then apostasy is what we should expect according to the Bible. Christians should know that the Word of God is like a light unto our path and a lamp unto our feet (Psalms 119:105). We should be able to understand what is happening to the church because the Bible tells us what will happen. Those who once stood for the truth will fall into the “lie” because apostasy is the rule, not the exception. While this statement may sound harsh to some, based upon what God has revealed in his Word, there is no way around it (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
According to the Bible, we will have apostasy. We will have ecumenism. We will have a One World Religion that will set up one man to be king of the world, because this is what the Bible predicts (2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4).
You don’t have to be a spiritual giant to figure this out. When we speak of ecumenism, we mean two things: All groups that were once considered to be the “separated brethren” will head towards Rome. Second, all religions who follow any god will join with Rome in order to establish a global religion established for peace in the name of the Savior (1 Thessalonians 5:1-5). The fact that this is happening should be a wake up call to get ready for the return of Jesus Christ.
Is your church on the road to Rome? If your church is compromising and no longer true to the Word and supporting others who are on the slippery path to Rome, there is only one thing to do. Get out!
Recognizing the Apostates
Some of these new–evangelical-ecumenical organizations are easy to spot. For example, the Emerging Church–Purpose- Driven crowd are obvious to those with even just a little discernment. Such churches openly state their willingness to join hands with Rome. For example, leaders like Doug Pagitt, Leonard Sweet, Eugene Peterson, Brian Mclaren, and Rick Warren openly support Roman Catholicism with their books, messages, and actions. For documentation, read “Faith Undone and A Time of Departing.”
It is easy for discerning Christians to see the pieces of the puzzle coming together in most cases. However, the problem is that the number of discerning Christians seems to be on the decline. The reason for this is because of what was mentioned earlier. We are in the Last Days, and this is going to be the way it is. Check out what Jesus said (Luke 18:8).
Now, the statement I am going to make next is meant for a specific target. There are well known Christian leaders who people follow without thinking for themselves because they think it is safe. Remember what the Bible teaches about the blind leading the blind or the fact that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
What shocks me the most is what has happened to fellowships that had leaders who once stood up and told the truth but now have suddenly become silent. What is going on, and why is this happening? When someone points out to the leaders in the fellowship that they are going south, they react by pointing fingers back or spreading lies about the person as a means of discrediting those who are actually trying to help them.
The Calvary Connection
In my Christian life, I have been part of two large fellowships of pastors – one in Canada and one in the USA. In the past, both were known for their stands against apostasy and their promotion of the gospel. Both fellowships have hyper-Charismatic roots that I realize now are based on questionable doctrines that can be proven to be questionable and even unbiblical. Neither has made an effort to correct past mistakes.
In the past few years, the direction both of these fellowships of pastors have gone has been astounding. The word discernment has been removed from the vocabulary of many pastors within the fellowships. For the sake of compromise and the idea that they can and must reach the postmodern generation, they have become postmodern themselves. In other words, they have become apostate. This is tragic!
More specifically the fellowships have turned to ecumenism. They have chosen to head down the Road to Rome and become part of the One World Religion for peace the Bible states will happen in the last days. All this can be understood because of the issue of rejecting the inerrant Word of God.
Jesus said: “He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). When we deny or reject Christ, we reject His word. Ecumenism, by its very nature, rejects and denies the Word of God, the name of Jesus.
The sword is the word of God, all or nothing. Either be slain for the word of God, or follow ecumenism with all its fables and become part of the One World Religion for peace. Either love the Word of God all the way to death, or love the flesh and become part of Satan’s army. It is one or the other. You cannot fall for “the lie” of ecumenism.
Jesus also said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34). Ecumenism seeks peace on earth, man’s way. Jesus sent a sword, the Word of God. There will never be peace on earth until He is King.
Attacking the Watchman
What is equally disturbing to me is that leaders in both of these fellowships have “marked” Bible-believing Christians for causing division among the brethren (Romans 16:7) when they warn about this apostasy. However, in contrast, it is the one who is teaching false doctrine that is causing the division that should be “marked.” Someone who is bold enough to tell the truth and confront deception is just being a watchman because the pastors are not doing their jobs.
Some have the idea that no one should ever rock the boat or challenge pastors and their false teachings. They look to men as gods. This is not what the Bible teaches. We are to be watchmen and watchwomen and not put men on pedestals, worshiping everything they say or do. This is cultic.
If I were running for the most popular man of the year contest, obviously I would not have a chance. The point is this: I do not expect to be popular by going upstream, but if I am biblical I do expect to be right. This is what counts.
Since my accident in July of 2009, I have been accused and slandered in an attempt to shut me up because I have been outspoken against the ecumenical movement. One of my former friends and board members has spread the rumor that I am “radioactive” and to stay away from me. Since my recovery from an accident when I was a “breath away from death,” I have promised God I will tell the truth and expose the ecumenical movement as long as I live.
So, the pieces of the puzzle are coming together once again. Believers from all over the world are getting the bigger picture. Some of them are humble lowly brothers and sisters as far away as Africa. Some of them are located in Australia, New Zealand, South America, Mexico, England, Scotland, Ukraine, and Russia.
Each day, I receive letters and e-mails from friends of the ministry of Understand The Times around the world thanking me for taking a stand. While many of my former friends no longer want anything to do with me, I will continue to do God’s will as long as He gives me strength.
Now, one more word to those who would like to silence Understand The Times and render the ministry void. The Bible teaches there is a judgment seat. Everyone will face the Judge, Jesus Christ, in the future. You may have power, possession, and be loved by many people now because the sheep only see one side of you, but your tactics are pathetic and not ethical.
Threats against believers by using the Scriptures to say that “God hates those who sow discord among the brethren” just because they are exposing “the lie” in public will not work. God’s Word states that He places His Word above His name. This tells me that the truth will win out in the end.
Then and only then will the puzzle be complete. There will be no opportunity to manipulate people. Why not repent now, and get things right?
Understand The Times is an independent non-profit organization in
Canada and the United States.