Ecumenicalism on the downlow?

cctThe ecumenical Christian group, Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT-USA)  says what you believe about homosexuality isnt important to join them as long as you believe in the trinity.  According to CCT leader, homosexuality is too divisive to determine whether or not a church is a legitimate Christian organization. In fact, a  homosexual denomination like the Metropolitan Community Church,  could join CCT and it wouldn’t be a problem.

According to the CCT’s Executive Administrator, Dr. Richard Hamm, conflicting beliefs about homosexuality among Christian churches is their basis for rejecting  such criteria for admission as divisive. Hamm believes that unity can be achieved without adhering to the Bible’s standards of sexual conduct. In an email response to a GCM Watch inquiry Hamm stated:

Participation in CCT does not require a particular position on the issues around sexuality. Our participant denominations are “all over the map” in regard to the matter, including a few that have taken no position. I think it is fair to say that the various perspectives/opinions are each understood to be based on the Bible among those who hold them. CCT is seeking to bring Christians together on the basis of what unites us (our common utter dependence upon the grace of God made known in Christ), rather than that which divides us (various opinions in regard to various doctrine and interpretations of scripture). Beyond affirming the Triune God and the authority of scripture, there is no other doctrinal standards for admission.”

Is he serious? CCT’s mission statement says it wants to “enable churches and national Christian organizations to grow closer together in Christ in order to strengthen our Christian witness in the world.”

But this philosophy flies in the face of Amos 3:3.  How can two walk together, except they be in agreement? Apparently, agreement has a new meaning in the contemporary church. And isn’t the prohibition against sexual immorality of all kinds a substantial tenet of scriptural authority? In Acts 15, after a major conflict arose concerning new Gentile converts, the Jerusalem Council commanded two things. If the gentiles wanted to be accepted into the new fellowship of believers they were instructed to abstain from (1) idolatry and (2) sexual immorality. Thus, how can true Christian unity be achieved by intentionally excluding an apostolic decree given by direction of the Holy Spirit?

Ecumenicalism on the downlow

The two obligatory beliefs CCT requires of its members, are important but do not raise the standard high enough to ensure that true biblical unity cannot be impeached by false brethren. The gay christian church also believes in the Trinity and the authority of scripture (here’s an example), except when it condemns their sexual conduct.

If an organization is adamant about its rejection of homosexuality, homosexual marriage and all of its attendant malfunctions, why would they even consider being part of a junket like CCT? Particulary when CCT allows as equals churches which accept homosexuality, ordain homosexual clergy and support gay marriage? Why would any biblical church overlook such spiritual dereliction for cheap, contrived “unity”? Why?

That’s a good question to ask COGIC’s CH Mason Seminary dean,  Dr. Harold Bennett. Bennett was a participant in the 2006 meeting and  COGIC is listed as an “observer”. I guess all of this yoking together also intersects the “peace movement”, a subset of antiwar/conscientious objector groups. A representative from the Mennonite Church USA describes his meeting with Bennett.

I also had a fascinating conversation with Harold Bennet[sic], dean of the COGIC seminary. Through the Pentecostal Peace Fellowship I had heard about the head of the COGIC publishing house who has begun advocating conscientious objection. (I have been trying to get his contact information for some months.) When I asked about this, Bennet[sic], pulled out his cell-phone, dialed the number in Memphis, and introduced me to Elder [David] Hall, with whom I had a ten-minute phone conversation!”

I can understand the apostate denominations being drawn into this, but I thought the Church of God of Prophecy, International Pentecostal Holiness Church and The Vineyard USA would know better than to yoke up with mess like this?  Or perhaps CCT has never told them that acceptance of homosexuality is a noncriteria for admission. Or maybe they never asked.

The CCT categorizes organizations into two groups. A “participant” is an organization which has already joined while an “observer” is one who participates but with no voting power. A participant has not officially joined the oganization.

More and more, churches we thought were upholding righteous beliefs on homosexuality are being drawn into false partnerships with those who despise God’s Word.  Compromising through false unity will only weaken the church’s inner defense and provide enemies of Christ an open door to spread their poisonous teachings to the flock.

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