Much of the decline of the Christian Church has come through the ecumenical movement. Initially this movement sought to bring together the different Christian Churches, but over the years it has shifted its goal beyond the unity of Christians to the unity of mankind. The best known ecumenical body is the World Council of Churches (WCC) which was established in 1948 at a conference of 147 Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox representatives. Since then, the WCC has grown to "348 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other Churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries." 1)
The WCC was modelled on the National Council of Churches of the USA (NCC), which had been established with large donations of the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations and was, as early as 1936, suspected of having marxist leanings. Norbert Homuth, in his book 'Vorsicht Ökumene!' says:"The freemason Rockefeller did not only donate the UN property in New York, he also financed the establishment of the World Council of Churches in Geneva." One of the key positions in the latter was given to John Foster Dulles, legal advisor to the Rockefeller family and later US Secretary of State. He was appointed head of the WCC's "Commission for International Relations," and his particular brief was to link up the work of the WCC with that of the United Nations Organisation. 2)
The Bible tells us that the Church is the "Body of Christ", and "Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, of which He is the Saviour." (Ephesians 4:15-16; 5:23) "He has the supremacy" in everything (Col 1:18), and His followers are obliged to "do what He commands". (John 15) They are to bring all things under the authority of the triune God and therefore engage in missions and the teaching of Christian ethics.
Though the WCC says that it is promoting "Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world," ecumenism has long taken on a secular meaning. The original Greek word 'oikoumene'means 'all the inhabitants of the earth', and the word 'ecumenical' now refers not merely to Christians, but to men of all faiths and none at all. One WCC document declares: "We recognise the importance of co-operating at every level with the Roman Catholic Church, with other non-member churches, with non-church organisations, adherents of other religions, men of no religion, indeed with men of goodwill everywhere." 3)
Thus the World Council of Churches has long freed itself from its Christian identity and moved into a realm of relativity in which all faiths, ideologies and cultures are equal. Today Jesus Christ is no longer perceived as being unique. In ecumenical terms, His Words: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through Me," (John 14:6) have become almost irrelevant. The Biblical claim that "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) has virtually lost its meaning. The aim of the WCC has shifted from seeking the Kingdom of God to promoting the World Community. It has moved from uniting Christians to uniting Mankind.
In this endeavour the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ is seen as a hindrance rather than a help. Therefore, in 1972, the WCC's Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) held a conference in Bangkok, under the theme 'Salvation Today', and called for a 'Moratorium on Missions'. Its Secretary, Dr Philip Potter, said: "The whole missionary movement now has a controversial character and the CWME is in the middle of it... Religious liberty now demands not confrontation but dialogue between men of different faiths... Mission and evangelism cannot be carried out by purveying some ready-made confessional or theological corpus of Christian truth..." 4)
From Christianity to Socialism
How could the missionary movement have become controversial? It had not changed. It was the WCC which had shifted its declared aims. Having committed itself to "secular ecumenism," Dr Philip Potter said: "That is why the WCC... has become increasingly and concretely involved in the issues which most burningly concern human beings today, like the development of all peoples and of the whole man and woman, the combat against racism, human rights, violence and non-violence in the struggle for justice, to name only a few." 5)
In today's world, however, struggles for human development and human rights are socialist struggles. They leave no room for the sovereignty of God or the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. At best they aim for the establishment of a world religion in which all faiths are equal. The WCC says: "We cannot allow our faith, the gift of our sense of community in Jesus Christ, to add to the tensions and suspicions and hatreds that threaten to tear apart the one family of humanity." 6) The WCC's involvement in the issues of racism, human rights, and justice, have become ever more humanistic. Its political activities have often destabilised target nations and made religion into a means of warfare.
This can be illustrated by what happened in South Africa, a country which, ever since the coming of the Dutch in 1652, was strongly moulded by Reformed Christianity. This religion gave its inhabitants peace and plenty. Tribal wars ceased and the population grew a hundredfold. South Africa became the leading nation in sub-Saharan Africa because committed Christians of all races applied the faith and ethics of Jesus Christ to every area of life. The native populations enjoyed advancements which were unknown in other parts of Africa. But when, in the 20th century, international capitalists coveted its mineral treasures and when marxist-revolutionary forces became active in the land, its Reformed Christianity also came under pressure.
In 1972 the World Council of Churches called for a 'Moratorium on Missions'. Black Churches, they said, must become "truly African" and be "liberated from theological conservatism." As a result, WCC-linked missionary societies withdrew their missionaries from Africa and elsewhere. This left many young churches without oversight, so that they came under the influence of marxist "liberation theologians"and "liberation movements." They learned to focus on grievances and to move away from evangelism to political activism. The Reformed religion, they were taught, had led to oppression and injustice. They were shown a new Jesus - Jesus the militant revolutionary. Rev Desmond Tutu, the then General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC), a branch of the WCC, said: "Jesus was a revolutionary. I am a revolutionary. Every Christian must be a revolutionary." 7) - "One young man with a stone in his hand can achieve far more than I can with a dozen sermons." 8)
South Africa - Ecumenism as a Strategy of Conquest
South Africa is the home of peoples of widely divergent languages, cultures and development. In order to civilise and advance them, the "white" governments developed a policy of separate development (later called Apartheid), which, as time passed and progress took place, was relaxed to a point where, in the 1980s, it was well-nigh abolished. All races enjoyed "political power" in one way or another. At this time of real transformation the ecumenical movement entered into an actively militant phase. It supported, financed, and promoted marxist "liberation movements" and sanctioned violence to overthrow the South African government.
In 1985, ecumenicals published the Kairos Document, which condemned Reformed Christianity as a source of oppression and injustice. They claimed that the South African Constitution, which acknowledged "humble submission to Almighty God" and called its citizens to "responsibility before God and man", was blasphemous. The God here mentioned, they claimed, was the Antichrist, Satan himself who must be fought. "The most loving thing we can do for both the oppressed and for our enemies who are oppressors," they said, "is to eliminate the oppression, remove the tyrants from power and establish a just government for the common good of all the people." The Kairos Document was translated into many languages, and the World Council of Churches approved it in full. At its Conference in Lusaka in 1987, the WCC sanctioned the use of violence by "liberation movements", even though these were supplied by the then Soviet Union with ideological (i.e. anti-God) and military weapons.
In 1989, in Europe, the Berlin Wall fell. From the South African perspective the Communist threat diminished, and the fear that the "liberation movements" would establish communist governments waned. The then South African State President, Mr. F.W. de Klerk, tired of the revolutionary struggle, wanted to call one-man-one-vote elections, but not without the approval of the Churches. By his bidding, a National Conference of Churches was called in Rustenburg, South Africa, in 1990, organised by the World Council of Churches and attended by a large WCC delegation. 10) Again, Reformed Christianity was the chief target. The event was cleverly manipulated and no vote was taken.
A declaration was issued, the "Rustenburg Declaration," which proclaimed to all the world that the South African Churches had repented of and confessed to "heresy", "disobedience to God", "denial of the Gospel of Jesus Christ", "misuse of the Bible", "slowness to denounce apartheid" and "spiritualising the Gospel." Professor Willie Jonker of Stellenbosch, though not entitled, confessed the guilt of the whole Dutch Reformed Church. These extraordinary acts of contrition were to show the world that South Africa's Christians had rejected the Reformed faith with all the injustice to which it had purportedly given rise. Instead, said the "Rustenburg Declaration", the Churches were now demanding a "more equitable wealth distribution", "removal of discriminatory laws", "affirmative acts of restitution", "restoring land to dispossessed people", "a just, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa", a "Bill of Rights", "Separation of State and Church" etc. In short, the South African Churches were represented as having committed themselves to the WCC's vision of bringing about a socialist World Order. President FW de Klerk could go ahead and prepare for one-man-one-vote elections.
The next step against South Africa's Christian heritage was the staging of the National Inter-Faith Conference in December 1990. This was organised by the ecumenical and inter-faith clerics of theWorld Conference on Religion and Peace. Its purpose was to advise the upcoming ANC Government. Dr. Frank Chikane, then General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC), now adviser to State President Thabo Mbeki, pleaded for the abolition of Christianity as the official religion of South Africa. In his speech he said: "The only viable option is a constitutionally secular state." 11) - And indeed, when the ANC came to power, they drafted a Constitution (of 1996) which was entirely secular. In those days 70% of the SA population claimed to be Christians. They were unhappy with the new Constitution. 30,000 Christians marched on Parliament and many thousands more pleaded that the words "In humble submission to Almighty God..." be included in the preamble, but to no avail. Christianity was banished from the public arena, and the Reformed religion was replaced with a multi-faith secular ecumenism. Humanism is the only "religion" now taught in public schools, and is atheism in disguise.
Another attack against Reformed Biblical Christianity was led by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a kind of Nuremberg Trial, which was to allow South Africans to 'come to terms with the past'. Its Chairman was the Anglo-Catholic Rev. Desmond Tutu, a former official of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Archbishop of Cape Town and General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC). The Commission, which included other prominent ecumenical clerics, selectively exposed and manipulated guilt and pronounced a final condemnation of Reformed Christianity. "The Commission finds that Christianity as the dominant religion in South Africa, promoted the ideology of apartheid... and churches must therefore accept accountability for....” It advised the Churches to devise theologies, which in future would promote multi-culturalism and multi-religion and "articulate a global ethical foundation which is in keeping with the major beliefs of the various religions." 12)
From all this we see that in the name of a struggle against racism and separate development was in fact a long and bitter struggle against the Reformed Biblical religion. Klaus Vaqué, in his book "Verrat an Südafrika", page 222, wrote: "The onslaught against South Africa is not limited to its strategic minerals and the control of the Cape route. It is at the same time a satanic, end-time attack on one of the last strong bastions of Christianity which are standing in the way of a marxist 'new world order' and its pseudo-church."
In 1994 the African National Congress (ANC) came to power and established a human rights culture. It has been busy replacing laws founded on Christian principles with humanistic laws. What was once illegal is now allowed and even promoted: abortion, pornography, homosexuality, gambling etc. The social decay is such, that, according to the police, 2,5 million crimes are committed in South Africa every year, an average of 7000 a day. About 70 people are murdered daily, and the prisons are full to overflowing. Since 1994 over 1,700 farmers have been killed. Public responsibility is waning. Whole sections of society pay neither rates nor services. Town and city councils have debts amounting to billions. AIDS is a pandemic. More than 100,000 government officials, tens of thousands of teachers, 60,000 soldiers, and 35% of all students are infected or sick, and serious social consequences are expected. 13) If only the old commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery," was heeded, the spread of AIDS could be stopped. But the Commandments are part of the Reformed heritage, which is officially abolished. Even the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Reverend Njongonkulu Ndungane, says: "Christianity has too often espoused a destructive theology that links sex and sin and guilt and punishment." 14)
In the war against God the ecumenical movement clearly plays a part. Where plain marxist propaganda could not succeed, 'liberation theology" proved to be very effective, especially in the younger churches which had been left leaderless through the withdrawal of missionaries. Large sections of the Church were neutralised and its energies directed away from spiritual towards social issues and humanist concerns.
At the recent General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Porto Allegre, Brazil, under the theme "God, in your Grace, Transform the World," its main concerns were "economic justice, overcoming violence, Christian identity, interreligious dialogue, Latin America, nuclear disarmament, United Nations reform, terrorism and counter-terrorism, water... poverty and debt, HIV and AIDS, instability in Africa, and climate change." 15) It looks as if the work begun in the 1940s by John Foster Dulles, the legal advisor of the Rockefellers, has been crowned with success. The concerns of the World Council of Churches (WCC) now seem very close to those of the United Nations Organisation (UN).
In this "War Against God" the true Church needs to pray for discernment. It needs to resist the vision of false unity. It needs to reject the idea of a world church, a world religion, a world community. It needs to understand that ecumenism is of a false spirit and is widely used as a strategy of conquest.
The Church needs to reaffirm our Lord Jesus Christ and His ethics. The Evangelical Faith is the noblest expression of Christianity. It has brought light and life to the world. It has wrought more charity, freedom, and progress than any other religion. May men all over the world wholeheartedly return to the Lord and "seek first the Kingdom of God," for then "all these things shall be added" unto them (Luke 12:31). With the help of the Triune God a new hope will shine and a better way be found.
1. WCC e-news, 23.2.2006
2. N. Homuth, Vorsicht Ökumene, quoted by Klaus D. Vaqué in Verrat an Südafrika, Varama Publishers, 1988, pp 202-203.
3. Bernard Smith, The Fraudulent Gospel, Covenant Books London, 1991, p. 128.
4. Ibid., page 122
5. Ibid, page 130-131
6. A document issued at the WCC's Nairobi Assembly entitled "Seeking Community - the common search of people of various faiths, cultures and ideologies", 1975
7. Rapport, 20.4.86.
8. Daily Telegraph, London, November 1984
9. Rev Barney Pityana, head of the WCC's Programme to Combat Racism, which had made large grants to marxist "liberation movements", was one of two co-ordinators of the Rustenburg Conference.
10. "Believers in the Future, Proceedings of the National Inter-Faith Conference on Religion-State Relations",1990
11. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Extract 4: The Perpetrators, Causes and Motives, Perspectives... Independent Newspapers, 1998, Supplement, pp 10-12
12. Ibid., Extract 5: Recommendations...
13. Intersearch Management Briefing, April 2004
14. "The Challenge of HIV/AIDS to Christian Theology, speech made at the University of the Western Cape, 30.7.04
15. WCC e-news, 14.2. and 16.2.2006