Agree to disagree
The first major step towards church unity on an international level started in the beginning of the 1900s, but Vatican II was the real drive of the ecumenical movement, with the pilgrim Pope Paul VI and his history-making trip to Turkey and the meeting with the Patriarch of Greek Orthodox Church, Athenagoras I, in July 1967.
One can affirm that religious unity has gained momentum over the last four decades, first with the globe-trotting Pope John Paul II who was instrumental in bringing together and meeting with catholic and non-catholic religious entities, then with the unrelenting drive of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and the present Pope Francis who have been the catalytic force in crowning their most priced objective by capitulating to their fold most of the Protestant denominations, primarily the Lutherans, which by a joint declaration called Conflict to Communion will be signed next year.
There has not been much give and take in this agreement. The Roman church has not given away one iota of her teaching while the Lutherans can retain much of their heritage and traditions as long as they recognise the absolute authority of the Roman Pontiff.
The summit of the World Alliance of Religions for Peace held In South Korea had the slogan We Are One.
Leaders of Catholic and nonCatholic religions such as Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists and others including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikh, Baha’i and Hindus signed a declaration for the unity of religious agreement. Their political counterparts also signed the declaration.
The theme being ‘all religions must unite under God as one’, can two walk together unless they agree?
“Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father” – 1 John 2:23.
The Buddhists deny the personal God, so it has nothing to with Jesus. So do other religions represented in that conference: Judaism, Islam and Hindu who deny the divinity of Jesus except those religions that give lip service such as the Catholics and the Protestants.
This conference is reminiscent of an ancient account of a gathering about 4,500 years ago that wanted to create an alliance of power and religion as one to spite and do away with the creature God. Genesis 11.
Satan is the author of confusion and deception and through human machinations is, and has always been, contriving a hostile plan to suppress the only truth, the inspired word of God – the Bible.
History teaches that when man by imposition and conquest tried to bring about one world religion and government, it resulted in violence, destruction and bloodbaths.
What is to be the outcome of those who do not want to form part of this conglomerate of confusion? Will the Inquisition be revived?
Francesco Mercieca Fgura