ECUMENISM: Interdenominational and Missionary Unity
[DCM 112]
by Venerable Dr Ifechukwu. U. Ibeme ; ;
Comment on The Chapel of Grace Blog:

Key Ecumenical Movements and Events of the 19th and 20th Centuries
Problem of Church Denominations
Practice of Mission
Process of Missionary Contextualisation and Inculturation of the Gospel
Precepts and Purpose of Mission
Hierarchy of Four Varieties of Blessedness (Fig 1)
Missionary Dialogue with Other Faiths and Religions
Ecumenism and Apostolic Tradition

ECUMENISM is worldwide unity of the Church for the purpose of cooperating to carry
on the saving missionary purpose of God’s Kingdom through Christ, the Incarnate Word,
and worldwide unity of the Church in upholding the authority and verity of God’s Word
inspired and written in the Holy Scriptures. Ecumenism is not worldwide uniformity of
church administration and uniformity of church traditions but for unity in diversity in a
pluralistic world. According to Encylopaedia Britannica, the word ecumenism comes
from a family of classical Greek words: oikos, meaning a "house," "family," "people," or
"nation"; oikoumene, "the whole inhabited world"; and oikoumenikos, "open to or
participating in the whole world." and can be traced from the commands, promises, and
prayers of Jesus. The Greek word “oikoumene” describes the place of God's
reconciling mission (Matthew 24:14); the unity of the Roman Empire (Luke 2:1) and of
the kingdoms of the earth (Luke 4:5); and the world destined to be redeemed by Christ
(Hebrews 2:5). In the biblical community the vision of one Church serving the purposes
of God in the world came to reflect a central teaching of the early Christian faith on the
essence of the Church. Today, it is impossible to avoid belonging to a denomination
without creating a new one. The proper response to DENOMINATIONALISM is
ECUMENISM. But what form of Ecumenism?
After the Pentecost spontaneous ecumenical revival camp meeting (Act 2), that
dragged on till dispersed after Stephen’s death (Acts 7), Ecumenical Councils began to
hold in Acts 15 for consensus on missiological matters, resumed at Nicea in 325 AD for
consensus on Christological matters. In the 11 th century, the Church split into Greek
(Orthodox) and Latin (Catholic) along the lines of the Eastern and Western parts of the
Roman Empire. During the 16 th century the Reformers agreed to cooperate and form
national reformation Churches, though there were other smaller separatist groups. In
modern times ecumenism for harmonious cooperation and consensus was rekindled in
the universities through the World Student Christian Federation in 1895. Ecumenism for
worldwide missionary cooperation amongst missionary societies began at the
International Missionary Conference held at Edinburgh in 1910.
In the 19th and 20th centuries ecumenism denoted the movement of the renewal, unity,
and mission of Christians and churches of different traditions "so that the world may
believe" (John 17:21). Ecumenism is a vision, a movement, a theology, and a mode of
action. It represents the universality of the people of God, which affects the way
Christians think about their faith, the church, and the world. Ecumenism, which is a
long process, includes Bible study, dialogue (for peaceful coexistence), common prayer,
Eucharistic worship, common witness, diaconal service, and ecclesial unity that draws
Christians together, uniting their life and mission and bringing the Body of Christ and

the human community closer to the fulfilment of God's purposes. To be involved in
ecumenism means to participate in those ideas, activities, and institutions that express
a spiritual reality of shared love, consensus and cooperation in the church and the
human community. It involves the work of officially organized ecumenical bodies, the
confessing and witnessing of Christians in local places, and the spirituality and actions
of those who live together in love and prophetic proclamation.

World Student Christian Federation 1895 established by John R Mott a
Methodist layperson and a Student Volunteer Movement leader, "to lead
students to accept the Christian faith" and to pioneer in “Christian unity”.
International Missionary Conference 1910 chaired by John R Mott was held
at Edinburgh and led to the formation of the International Missionary Council
1921, bringing together missionary agencies of the West and of the new
Christian councils in Asia, Africa, and Latin America for joint consultation,
planning, and theological reflection.
Life and Work Movement 1925 (on social and practical problems) was
pledged to practical Christianity and common action by focusing the Christian
conscience on international relations and social, industrial, and economic
Faith and Order Movement 1927 (on church doctrine and polity) confronted
the doctrinal divisions and sought to overcome them through process of
theological consensus-building between Protestants, Pentecostals, Orthodox and
Roman Catholics which later led to approval of the historic convergence text on
Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry in 1982.
World Council of Churches (WCC) was constituted at Amsterdam in 1948,
as a conciliar body of more than 300 churches – Protestant, Anglican, and
Orthodox – which "confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour
according to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfill together their
common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit". The WCC works for the unity and renewal of the Christian denominations
and offers them a forum in which they may work together in the spirit of
tolerance and mutual understanding. In 1925, after World War I, two specialised
ecumenical movements began to hold conferences.
 The Life and Work movement concentrated on finding common
understanding about the practical activities of the churches, and the Faith
and Order movement focused on the beliefs and organization of the
churches and the problems involved in their possible reunion. Before long,
the two movements began to work toward establishing a single
 In 1937 the Faith and Order conference at Edinburgh and the Life and
Work conference at Oxford accepted the plan to create one council. A
conference of church leaders met in 1938 in Utrecht, Netherlands, to
prepare a constitution; but World War II intervened, and the first assembly
of the WCC could not be held until 1948.
 In 1961 the International Missionary Council united with the WCC.
The witness and programs of the WCC include:

 faith and order,
 mission and evangelism,
 refugee and relief work,
 interfaith dialogue (for peaceful coexistence),
 justice and peace,
 theological education, and
 solidarity with women and the poor.
What distinguishes the WCC constituency is the enthusiastic involvement of
Orthodox churches and churches from the Third World. Through their active
presence the WCC, and the wider ecumenical movement, has become a
genuinely international community. Though the Papacy seeks to enter dialogue
with WCC denominations with posturing as if the hegemony of primacy in the
Church belongs to Rome.
18th-25th January Universal Week of Prayer for Christian Unity when
Christians from many traditions engage in prayer, Bible study, worship, and
fellowship in anticipation of the unity that Christ wills (John 17:21-23).
National and Regional Church Councils, for consultation on common national
and regional concerns e.g. National Council of Churches in the United States,
Christian Council of Nigeria and even the recent Christian Association of Nigeria.
Church Reunions, Unions and Full Communions Critical to 20th-century
ecumenism is the birth of united churches, which have reconciled formerly
divided churches in a given place. In Asia and Africa the first united churches
were organized in China (1927), Thailand (1934), Japan (1941), and the
Philippines (1944). The most heralded examples of this ecumenism are the
United Church of Canada (1925), the Church of South India (1947), and the
Church of North India (1970). Statistics of other united churches are revealing.
Between 1948 and 1965, 23 churches were formed. In the period from 1965 to
1970 unions involving two or more churches occurred in the West Indies in
Jamaica and Grand Cayman, Ecuador, Zambia, Congo (Kinshasa), Pakistan,
Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Belgium. Strategic
union conversations were undertaken in the United States by the nine-church
Consultation on Church Union (1960) and by such uniting churches as the United
Church of Christ (1957), the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. (1983), and the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1988).
Dialogue consultations with the Papacy especially after the Second Vatican
Council (1962-65) amongst many Protestant denominations of the West and the
Orthodox Churches of the East. These include WCC Joint Working Group with
Roman Catholic Church (1965). The Roman Catholic Church has also initiated
dialogue bilaterals with Lutherans (1965), with Eastern Orthodox Churches
(1967), with Anglicans (1967), with Methodists (1967), with Reformed Churches
(1970), and with the Disciples of Christ (1977). Topics identified for reconciling
discussions include baptism, the Eucharist, episcopacy and papacy, authority
and ordination in the Church, and mixed marriage.
By the way, it is important to know that the heathen “secular” world of our time
understands the value and power of worldwide unity and is working hard towards
their own heathen ecumenism through the New World Order movement, New
Age Movement, Economic Globalisation, United Nations organisation and
International Community movement. Just as the Church was once united in
Christian fellowship and worship during apostolic times, the world was also once
united to “make a name for themselves” (Gen 11:4) during postdiluvian Shinar

civilisation. God will always help His Church to unite with Tongues of
understanding as at the Pentecost revival (Acts 2) and will always hinder the
heathen world from unity with Tongues of confusion as at Babel (Gen 11).

Denominations are broken communions of the Church resulting from disagreement,
disunity and division. Church Denominations are selectively distinct forms (or specially
and preferentially organised expressions) of the Gospel of Christ’s Kingdom. They are
groups of Churches united by same tradition and administration. In fact, Church
denominations arose from agreements and disagreements about preferred differences
in forms of Church government and traditional basis for doctrine and practice as well as
organisational allegiance. Three main forms of Church governments or administrations
adopted by Church denominations and somewhat or partially derivable from the Bible
1. Monarchical Episcopacy.
2. Circuitry Presbyterianism.
3. Congregational Independency.
There are four main traditions on which teachings and practices in Churches and
Denominations are based and by which teachings and practices are authenticated.
These include:
1 Evangelical Tradition ruled by comprehensive Scriptural Truth. (Seen in
Reformed, Presbyterian, Low-Anglican, Puritan, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist,
Pentecostal and Charismatic churches).
2 Catholic Tradition ruled by historical heritage and antecedent dogmas. (Seen in
Orthodox, Roman and High-Anglican churches).
3 Rational Liberal Tradition ruled by reason, science, philosophy and common
trends. (Seen in liberal Reformed, Presbyterian, Broad-Anglican, Lutheran and
Methodist churches).
4 Mystical Liberal Tradition ruled by personal revelations, experiences and
scruples. (Seen in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches and in Renewal
movements within Roman, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist
Apart from administrative and traditional differences, many factors have divided
Christians not only due to doctrinal and historical standards, but also due to cultural,
political or even financial and personality concerns. Divisive or schismatic
denominationalism and doctrinal eccentricity are unnecessary and unbiblical evils that
have plagued and marred the witness of the One Universal Apostolic Church of Jesus
Christ over the centuries. Christians have so much got used to denominationalism that
today they feel normal to even claim that the “Holy Spirit” now “leads” them to break
away and start another denomination or “ministry” as if they are starting up a new
trade, new business, new cause or club or new NGO.
denominational or ministry Church is a partial and preferential pattern of Christianity
propagated as it suits or as is understood by the founders, leaders and members. The
biblical Scriptures constitute a comprehensive revelation of God’s redemption for
humanity and whatever is harmoniously revealed therein is the most authentic truth
about the Living God. Many denominational and ministry Churches would still maintain
their professed teachings, past traditions, present trends, personal tendencies even
when they see that these do not fully match the pure and perfect truth
comprehensively revealed in the Scriptures. Hardly do you find a denominational or
ministry Church that accepts to change their preferred patterns because they have
seen that any particular teaching, tradition, trend and tendency of theirs is lopsided or

contrary to the balance and comprehensiveness of the truth in the Scriptures. Though it
may be imperative in some special situations to make a choice out all the valid options
found in the Scriptures but such choices must not overrule other valid options but
admit itself to be only an option and not the rule of the comprehensive Scriptural truth.
Denominational Christianity is always partial Christianity and denominational theology
is always lopsided theology and if not balanced with each other and ultimately with the
Scriptures these are always certainly fraught with dangers. Denominations are partial
witnesses sometimes not without ulterior motives, presenting themselves as full true
witnesses for Christ. Denominations are half-truths presuming to be the whole truth;
they are often strange magnification of preferred or modified truth (or even outright
falsehood) used to oppose and override another biblical truth. Christ and His Apostles
prayed (John 17:10, 11, 20-24) and warned (Acts 20:26-34; 1John 2:19; Jude 1:19)
against the Church splitting into denominations. The solution for the problem of
denomination is not breaking out again from our denominations to start new
denominations that would claim to be interdenominational or hibernate to become
Churchless Christian recluses, but to seek for the ecumenical toleration cooperation
and reunion as well as balancing up of one another on the basis comprehensive
teaching and harmonious meaning of the Scriptures. This has been done before by the
Church in the Apostolic Church (Acts 15) and during the fourth century at Nicaea.
Unlike today’s separatist Churches where “Apostles”, “Prophets”, “President-Founders”
and “General-Oversees” who possessively administer their Churches after a business
proprietorship model, all the ancient Apostles and Church Fathers founded Churches
geographically united by cities and regions of their location and ecumenically united in
communion and concord with other metropolitan and regional Churches under Christ
and the Apostles. The ancient Churches were united under the Apostles despite the fact
that their evolving Church governments and liturgies were not uniform. Even
differences and disagreements between Jews and Gentiles did not lead to
denominations; they gave up surmising and preferences to willingly accept truth that
agreed with the harmonious teaching of the whole counsel of God in all the
Scriptures. The Apostle predicted denominations as inevitable evil and warned that
denominations are savage disruptions of Christ’s blood-bought flock and selfish drawing
of disciples after divisive and private interests as though believers are business
clienteles and edible flocks.
Acts 20:26-34
(26) I therefore declare to you today that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
(27) for I never shrank from telling you the whole plan of God.
(28) Pay attention to yourselves and to the entire flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you
overseers to be shepherds of GOD'S CHURCH, WHICH HE ACQUIRED WITH HIS OWN BLOOD.
(31) So be alert! Remember that for three years, night and day, I NEVER STOPPED WARNING EACH
(32) "I am now entrusting you to God and to the message of his grace, which is able to build you
up and give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.
(33) I never desired anyone's silver, gold, or clothes.
(34) You yourselves know that I worked with my own hands to support myself and those who were
with me.

According to Christ, denominational divisions would hinder the Church from that
divinely desired unity that leads to divine glory, from that divinely apportioned
perfection or completeness and from that extraordinary divine love, all of which (unity,
glory, perfection, and love) behove a Church belonging to a Trinitarian Divinity.
Denominational divisions and separatist tendencies constitute a refusal to say AMEN to
Christ valedictory prayer for His Church.

John 17:10-11
(10) All that is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them.
(11) I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father,
protect them by your name, the name that you gave me, so THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, as we are
John 17:20-24
(20) "I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through
their message,
(21) THAT THEY MAY ALL BE ONE. Just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, MAY THEY ALSO
BE ONE in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.
(22) I have given them the glory that you gave me, so THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, just as we are one.
(23) I am in them, and you are in me. MAY THEY BE COMPLETELY ONE, so that the world may know
that you sent me and that you have loved them as you loved me.
(24) Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory, which
you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world.


We may not have a clear cut example or prescription of how to unite a split Church in
the Bible because the Bible was written against Church splitting and was meant for a
universally united and nondenominational Church. But there are biblical principles and
pursuits that could lead to ecumenical unity of the Church; such as essentials on Life
and Work of the Church, or on Faith and Order of the Church which has led to the
document on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry of Lima, Peru in 1982. Another
consensus and collaboration principle is that of unity of all Christians in being sent on
one divine mission to the one world. Irrespective of divinely determined language
differences, national and regional boundaries with the cultural and other differences
arising from these, the Christian and the Church are CALLED OUT of the world, CHOSEN
AND SENT by Christ on mission to the world the same way God sent the Son on mission
to the world. The mission of the whole Church is the ONE MISSION OF THE ONE GOD TO
The Church’s Mission to the world derives from God’s loving and saving Mission to the
world in Christ Jesus, in pursuant of which Jesus:
called/chose the first Disciples to accept God’s saving grace in Christ through
preaching and
catechised them as His disciples and
congregated them as His gathered and ordered Church and
commissioned them as His witnesses and missionaries to reproduce disciples
evangelising all nations with the Gospel,
baptizing converts into the Name of the Trinity,
catechising the baptised disciples to live as Christ commanded and
commissioning those disciples for further witness and mission.
The Church of God is therefore both the PRODUCT and PROPAGATOR of God’s Mission;
and so should every Christian and congregation be. As Rev Dr Josh Rowley rightly put it
“the church is part of God’s mission to the world; but part of the church’s mission is to
be the church”
Whereas the Church has over the years, evolved METHODS and MEANS to accomplish a
great deal in reaching out to the world practically (mission), she is still struggling to
increasingly understand or fully explain the MEANING of what she has been sent to do
in the world theologically (missiology). The Christian Mission is all about that
worldwide and Spirit-powered WITNESSING FOR (making known the report
about) CHRIST (Act 1:8), for which Christians are SENT by Christ to BRING the
Gospel (Good News of accessibility) of GOD’S KINGDOM which is also the
Gospel (Good News of availability) of ETERNAL SALVATION to this perishing

world. This Gospel is that in or through Christ, God has freely offered to the
world the divinely mediated grace for their redemption, regeneration,
reconciliation and restoration, if they believe.
Titus 2:11-15
(11) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
(12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live sensibly, righteously,
and godly, in this present world;
(13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior
Jesus Christ;
(14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a
people for his own, zealous of good works.
(15) These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise you.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
(18) And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to
us the ministry of reconciliation;
(19) That is, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their
trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
(20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you
on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.
(21) For he has made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him.

This eternally-saving, Spirit-powered and God-sent mission of the Church which is
meant to win souls to Christ and save them from perishing involves:
PROCLAMATION (Evangelisation) of the Gospel that Christ is God’s unique
Saviour from human depravity and damnation for all who believe, and
DISCIPLESHIP (Edification) of believers for maturity in the likeness of Christ, as
well as
INTERVENTION (Liberation) for relief of all peoples against the evils of wicked
bondage and blind falsehood,
PRESENCE (Relationship and Dialogue) with all peoples of all tongues and
religions of the world.
To be sure, dialogue that bases the Gospel on human religions or ideologies devoid of
authoritative and prophetic proclamation of God’s unique salvation offered freely to all
in the risen Christ (1Cor 1:18-24) is mere philosophical rapprochement which is neither
evangelistic nor missionary, though such may serve some pre-evangelistic purpose.



The Church is called and commissioned by Christ and empowered with the Holy Spirit to
bear WITNESS for Christ and His saving Gospel to all the nations of the world (Matt
28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:46-49; Act 1:8). This is a delicate and complex task.
This WITNESS for Christ involves evangelistic PROCLAMATION, missionary
CONTEXTUALISATION/inculturation, coexistence DIALOGUE, APOLOGETIC presence,
compassionate SERVICE and reformative ACTION that all may believe that Christ has
come as the Divine Son, to save this sinfully lost and perishing world so they would
have eternal life and experience the refreshing of the Holy Spirit and liberation of the
sons of God. The situation when CONTEXTUALISATION or INCULTURATION confronts the
Church most is at the point of translating the Bible into a new language or preaching
the Gospel in a new culture. What words should be used as equivalents of the Hebrew
and Greek originals for God, for grace, for sin, for Christ, for Holy Spirit, for revelation,
for repentance, for faith, for resurrection, for glorification, for atonement, for
propitiation, for regeneration, for heaven, for hell, for Satan, for Angels, e.t.c. Are there
any appropriate old cultural words and concepts? Should old cultural words be used
with their old meanings or with new meanings, or should entirely new words be coined?
Or does becoming a Christian mean I become a Jew or a Greek?

Christ, the eternally Divine Word took up flesh and was born human (Incarnation) to
dwell amongst humanity and reveal the mysteries of heavenly truth and grace and the
saving Gospel initially to the Jewry of His day. Christ trained and commissioned the
Apostles as witnesses to contextualise the Hebrew and Aramaic Gospel into the
Hellenist culture of the Greco-Roman empire. The Apostles did their contextualisation
by REVEALING Christ’s REDEMPTION to the world while rejecting any syncretistic
COPYING from the IDOLATROUS bondage, from the LASCIVIOUS passions, from the
RITUALISTIC Judizers and from the SPECULATIVE Gnostics. The Apostolic Fathers and
Church Doctors further contextualised the Gospel from Greek to Latin. The Scholastics
believing that faith could be fathomed or that revelation could be reasoned, tried to
acculturate the Gospel to suit the evolving philosophies and cultures of Europe of the
Middle Ages by copying philosophical ideas from the heathen world rather than
revealing God’s Word for the redemption of the world. But the Reformers later tried to
reform the Scholastic error by contextualising the Gospel albeit polemically as a
heavenly counterculture into the subcultures and languages of Europe. Much of the
teachings and practices of the Church today derive from these contextualisations over
the years, such that the Christian Faith is taught in European conceptual categories.
The Western world has also seen heathenish ideological movements that have left
negative or corrupting influence on the Church: confusing and contaminating
wholesome Scriptural Christianity despite the attempt at evangelical reformation in the
16th century.
Missionaries and modern Bible translators have continued to proclaim and inculturate
the Gospel into other ethnic languages and cultures of the world. In today’s fast
evolving heathen cultures of the globalising world, the Church as a whole is again
pressured into unbiblical acculturation through commercial marketing and mass media
outreaches. Unfortunately, this so called “REPACKAGING” of the Gospel and the
Christian Faith for commerce, vogue and mass media is being done by COPYING
HEATHENISM FROM THE “SECULAR” WORLD rather than doing proper biblical
daunting challenge especially for the post-evangelical or postmodern Church that is
again derailing and dividing while facing anti-Christian and self-actualizing postmodern
world. There is no longer much biblical thought on the true offer of the Gospel to the
heathens nor is there proper understanding of the true demand of the Gospel on the
world – a case of Church PRACTICE without Biblical PRECEPTS or Church MISSION
without Biblical MISSIOLOGY. No wonder, present repackaging is often done with
innovative styles and expensive methods that copy the false “gospel” of glamour and
gratification from the heathen world rather than revealing the true redeeming Gospel to
the world.
The Church has become the soothsayer’s shrine; the “prophets”, “bishops” and
“apostles” practice magic or mimic mediums or sorcerers and enslave their clientele
with superstitions and avarice; the “preachers” propagate modern heathenism with its
humanism, modernism and materialism. The holy Gospel is no longer being revealed to
the world as HEAVENLY COUNTERCULTURE by missionary inculturation rather it is
prodigally revised, adulterated and relegated while the Church is sold out to the Beast
and hell all in the name of so called “repackaging”. Lord, revive and restore your
Jeremiah 5:29-31
(29) Shall I not punish for these things? says the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a
nation as this?
(30) An appalling and horrible thing is committed in the land;
(31) The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their own power; and my people
love to have it so: and what will you do in the end?


Carnal mirth has overtaken spiritual worship in “post-evangelical Christianity”. This
calls for another bible based Reformation for our “postmodern” heathen generation and
biblical Revival towards the recovery of wholesome Scriptural Christianity. For instance
much of our so called popular “gospel music” performances and videos today with their
rhythms, jigs, dark lightings, visuals, parlance, party fashion, orgiastic evocations and
lascivious revelry are outright postmodern hiphop heathenism and hippie culture of the
New Age, syncretised as entertainment “Christianity”. Christian gospel music is not
mirth-making for entertainment and revelry but for spiritual worship, so it should covey
sublime revelations, and be accompanied with devotional visuals, sanctified adorations
and spiritual evocations that hallmarked the Prophetic musicians of the Bible and
Apostolic Church. Church music videos and ministrations (called SKILLED
BASED MELODIOUS UTTERANCE in Eph 5:18-20 and Col 3:16) which ought to “SOW TO
THE SPIRIT” for WORSHIPING GOD in a manner spiritually acceptable to HEAVEN, has
become same with club music videos and mirth performances meant to “SOW TO THE
FLESH” for ENTERTAINING HUMANS in a manner extravagantly acceptable to
HEATHENS. When could we ever again hear and sing songs of true spiritual worship as
in the days of Charles Wesley and Ira Sankey? May God give His Church the word and
wisdom to reveal His heavenly commitment and spiritual Way to the world rather than
copy and mimic the heathenish covetousness and superstar ways of the world.
John 4:23-24
(23) But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit
and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.
(24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.
Galatians 6:7-8
(7) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
(8) For he that SOWS TO HIS FLESH shall of the flesh REAP CORRUPTION; but he that SOWS TO
Galatians 5:16-24
(16) This I say then, WALK IN THE SPIRIT, and you shall not fulfill the LUST OF THE FLESH.
(17) For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary
the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.
(18) But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.[See Rom 8:1-4]
(19) Now the WORKS OF THE FLESH are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, impurity,
(20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, jealousy, wrath, selfishness, divisions, heresies,
(21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of which I tell you beforehand, as I
have also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
(22) But the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(23) Meekness, self-control: against such there is no law.[See Rom 8:1-4]
(24) And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

MUSIC (melody and rhythm for lyrical communication and instrumental excitation) IS OF
1. CHURCH (GOSPEL) MUSIC (Traditional and Contemporary) Eph 5:19.
1Chron 15:16/25:1: For spiritual communication (prophesy/exhort/admonish/evangelise)
and spiritual adoration (praise/worship/thanksgiving).
2. ENTERTAINMENT MUSIC (Traditional and Contemporary) Gen 31:27.
Eccl 2:1/7:4/Isa 24:8: For social communication, mundane excitation and carnal


Since the 19th century, national, regional and ecumenical missionary conferences have
sought to understand the precepts and purpose of Christian mission. Varieties of
emphases and views have received attention at many of these meetings since 1900:
e.g. World Missionary Conference up to 1920s, International Missionary Conference
(IMC) 1920s-1960s, World conferences on Faith and Order since 1925 and on Life and

Work since 1925, World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly since 1948 and
Commission on World Mission and Evangelism of the WCC since 1968. Evangelicals
have also sought the meaning and function of mission in the Lausanne Conferences
since 1970s, etc. Putting it all together, so far these conferences have taught the
Church that for Mission to be biblically all encompassing and truly Christian, it should
bear witness for Christ through:
Mission for Ecumenical Conversion (Luke 24:45-49);
Mission by Church Planting (Matt 28:19-20);
Ecumenical Unity in Mission though not uniformity in Administration (John 17:2021);
Mission by Social Action and Service (Luke 4:17-21);
Mission by Sympathetic Presence or Incarnation (Phil 2:5-8);
Eschatological Expectation in Mission (Acts 3:17-21).
The purpose of Christ and His Gospel mission is to bring all humanity to know
(revelation) and do God’s will, to worship God in spirit and truth and to be saved into
His eternal Kingdom (redemption) from depravity, demonism and damnation.
Christian understanding of its relationship to science, other faiths, cultures,
philosophies and worldviews, the basic biblical precept of the Kingdom Gospel and
mission is that all humanity
 is lost, perishing and dead in their sin,
 is enslaved by the devil, is under divine wrath and condemnation (John 3:35-36;
Eph 2:1-3) and
 is in dire need of eternal salvation only possible by divine intervention; which
salvation has been powerfully accomplished and graciously offered by God
through Jesus Christ (John 3:13-19).
Christ was preordained in eternity before all time by God to judge the living and the
dead but was presented and proved in time to be the Christ and the eternally reigning
Son of God by His incarnation, resurrection and ascension (Acts 10:42; 17:31; Rom 1:26). The basic biblical purpose of Christian mission in the world is to share with all
humanity this Gospel of distinctly boundless blessing of eternal salvation freely offered,
revealed and brought to the world through Christ. This eternal salvation is far beyond
every other available levels and options of blessedness ever sought and imagined or
attainable by humanity (Eph 1:17-23; 3:16-21). This REVELATIONIST and
REDEMPTIONIST perspective of the Christian witness was testified to by Christ and
His Apostles.
John 4:19-26
(19) The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
(20) Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where
people ought to worship."
(21) Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor
in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.
(22) You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
(23) But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in
spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
(24) God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
(25) The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he
comes, he will tell us all things."
(26) Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."
Acts 17:24-31
(24) The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn't
live in shrines made by human hands,
(25) and he isn't served by hands as if he needed anything. He himself gives everyone life, breath,
and everything.
(26) From one man he made every nation of humanity to live all over the earth, fixing the seasons
of the year and the boundaries they live in,


(27) so that they might look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him. Of course, he is never
far from any one of us.
(28) For we live, move, and exist because of him, as some of your own poets have said: 'For we
are his children, too.'
(29) So if we are God's children, we shouldn't think that the divine being is like gold, silver, or
stone, or is an image carved by human imagination and skill.
(30) Though God has overlooked those times of ignorance, he now commands everyone
everywhere to repent,
(31) for he has set a day when he is going to judge the world with justice through a man he has
appointed, and he has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead."


present this in perspectives.

Christ came down to graciously grant us the priviledge of eternal salvation as free redemptive
blessing which by far outweighs and outlasts all levels of blessedness that humanity may think,
imagine, ask or ever know (Eph 1:3-4, 17-23; 3:16-21): whether by human actualisation and human
speculation or even by prophetic revelation. Every human is responsible for the level of
blessedness one chooses to seek because every level of blessedness has its eternal consequence
after death. The workings and worth, powers and purposes of the four levels of blessedness are
attested to all over the Scripture. Here are some examples:
4. SALVATION in Christ into the eternal heavenly heritage for all humanity whosoever
Luke 7:28


(28) For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater
prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
Hebrews 1:1-3
(1) God, having spoken in former times in fragmentary and varied fashion to our
forefathers by the prophets,
(2) has in these last days spoken to us by a Son whom he appointed to be the heir of
everything and through whom he also made the universe.
(3) He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact likeness of his being, and he holds
everything together by his powerful word. After he had provided a cleansing from sins, he
sat down at the right hand of the Highest Majesty.
Acts 4:12-13
(12) There is no salvation by anyone else, for there is no other name under heaven given
among people by which we must be saved.
(13) Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and found out that they were
uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and realized that they had been with

Eternal Salvation level is obtainable through faith in Christ and through living by
His Grace as witnessed to by Christ and His Apostles in the Scriptures of the New

3. REVELATION for walking with the Creator God as found in the experiences of Old
Testament Patriarchs and Prophets.
Hebrews 11:39-40
(39) And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the
(40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be
Matthew 11:9-11
(9) Really, what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and even more than a
(10) This is the man about whom it is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of
you, who will prepare your way before you.'
(11) Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has appeared who is greater than
John the Baptist. Yet even the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is greater
than he.
1 Corinthians 13:9-10
(9) For our knowledge is only in part, and the prophet's word gives only a part of what is
(10) But when that which is complete is come, then that which is in part will be no longer

Divine Revelation level is accessible through obedience to the Law of Moses and
faith in the Scriptures of the Old Testament Patriarchs and Prophets.

2. TRANSCENDATION through human wisdom and curiosity all through the ages for
transcending into the exotic.
1 Corinthians 1:21-25
(21) For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know God, God
decided through the nonsense of our preaching to save those who believe.
(22) Jews ask for signs, and Greeks look for wisdom,
(23) but we preach Christ crucified. He is a stumbling block to Jews and nonsense to
(24) but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God's power and God's
(25) For God's nonsense is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than
human strength.
Colossians 2:8-9
(8) Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of
men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
(9) For in him dwells all the fullness of the Deity bodily.

Human Transcendation level is attainable with transcendent instinct that senses
and searches for the unapparent, the invisible, the spiritual, the supernatural,
whether divine or demonic, whether inclined to primal or philosophic religion,
whether by scientific or mystical mind-set.

1. ACTUALISATION driven by the motivation to meet humanly felt-needs, satisfy selfish
and mundane passions, pride and pomp.


Luke 12:15
(15) And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life
consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.
Luke 12:20-23
(20) But God said unto him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then
whose shall those things be, which you have prepared?
(21) So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
1 Corinthians 15:19
(19) If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity
than anyone else in all the world.
1 John 2:15-17
(15) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of
the Father is not in him,
(16) because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and
the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the
(17) And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of
God remains forever.

Human Actualisation level is attainable even with or without any religion, with or
without transcendation, with or without revelation, with or without salvation,
whether atheistic or not, agnostic or not, idolatrous or not.

Missionary dialogue in its various ramifications and purposes, recognizes the power of
the Holy Spirit by which God “is constantly at work in ways that pass human
understanding and in places that to us are least expected”. Interfaith Dialogue is not
only of theological or doctrinal exchange (what is true versus what is false), for
there are also dialogue of tolerance for mutual coexistence (what you uphold
versus what I uphold), dialogue of common cause for social action (how we can
advance together), and even dialogue of shared pluralist religious experience
(pray to your God/gods” while I pray to my God/gods) for common good as on Jonah’s
tempest-tossed ship of Tarshish (Jonah 1:5-6).
How is the Christian Faith or the Gospel of Christ’s Kingdom related to other faiths,
religions and cultures? This is a fundamental question the Church must answer for
effective evangelism, dialogue (for peaceful coexistence and community
collaboration) and presence in a pluralistic heathen world. For instance in the dialogue
of the three monotheistic religions, it seems that:
 The Christian Gospel is a MESSIANIC OFFER of the Creator God’s eternal
SALVATION to sinful humanity from the bondage of sin and Satan through the
POWER of Christ’s GRACE as taught by Jesus Christ and His Apostles.
 The Jewish Old Testament is a PROPHETIC DEMAND for frail OBEDIENCE from
sinful humanity (e.g. Israel) to the law of the One Creator God (Yahweh) as
taught by Moses and the Prophets of Israel.
 The Islamic Qur’an is a PROPHETIC DEMAND for frail SUBMISSION from sinful
humanity to the will of Allah who they believe is the One Creator God as taught
by Muhammad ibn Abdallah.
On a general note the question of relationship of the Christian Gospel to other religions
calls for a broad grasp of not only the thrust of the various religions but also what
religion basically is and what types of religion (primal, philosophical and prophetic)
there are in the world.
The word RELIGION (which refers to human response in relation to any
superstition, supposition, speculation; or human reverence in relation to
redemptive revelation) is derived from Latin RELIGIO = supernaturally

constrained attitudes, beliefs, experiences, powers and practices or
RELIGARE = scrupulously restrained attitudes, beliefs, experiences, powers
and practices. Today’s liberalism with its antireligious, irreverent, rebellious,
and self-willed philosophies has given religion a bad name as faiths and
forms that are antisocial, intolerant and deceptive because of religious rules
and regulations – often designating RELIGION to mean religious organisations
or regulations. Consequently, SPIRITUALITY which is designated to mean
unregulated spontaneous spiritual worship and lifestyle or personal
“salvation” experience is preferred to RELIGION in today’s antireligious
parlance. Hence many in the Church and other religions are averse to the
word “religion” or “religious” and claim they are not religious: they would
prefer to describe themselves as spirituals, spiritualists, using spiritual
powers or living in spiritual relationship.
Religions and Spiritualities in the world today offer or seek different concepts
regeneration-restoration, Non-Christian self-realisation) from bondage (e.g.
Christian sinful nature, divine wrath, demonic deceit, damnable death, errorignorance, Non-Christian karma, reincarnation and matter) which may not satisfy
the salvation concepts of the others. RELIGION can be defined as the human
spiritual relationship or human ritual response or human rational response of
faith in, fear of, fervour for, experience of and reverence for God, gods and
numinous powers. Religions have belief systems about the divine, the
spiritual and the sacred, expressed in behaviour systems of ritual forms,
religious community, numinous experiences, ethical values and mystical
Note that both the religious and the irreligious have their kinds of “God” and “gods”
which regulate their worldviews and behaviours such as:
 the Monotheists’ ALMIGHTY CREATOR God, (Author of order)
 the Mystics’ UNIVERSAL MIND/FORCE god,
 the Evolutionists' RANDOM SELECTOR goddess, (author of confusion)
 the Scientists’ “NATURAL LAW” goddess,
 the Secularists’ “AS YOU LIKE IT” god,
 the Polytheists’ specialised or tension gods and goddesses, and guiding/guardian
spirits of beasts, masters, heroes, heroines and ancestors.
Common elements and concepts shared by most religions are repercussions of
morals and powers of rituals. Religions are of two main classes but three broad
1. Nature Religion: PRIMAL, polytheistic, pantheistic, idolatrous, deistic and
cyclical religions – e.g. animistic and monist religions, totemic and nature
worship religions, ancestral worship religions, and Hinduism.
2. Founder Religion:
(i) PHILOSOPHICAL: atheistic, agnostic, polytheistic, pantheistic,
idolatrous, deistic and cyclical religions – e.g. mystic religions, Buddhism,
Shinto, Tao, Bon, Confucianism, Gnosticism, Jainism and Sikhism (Sikhism
is Islamic Buddhism = monotheistic and cyclical)
(ii) PROPHETIC: monotheistic and eschatological religions – e.g. Godseeking
Zoroastrianism and Baha’ism.
In contradistinction to THEISM, the belief in an immanent God who actively intervenes in the affairs
of men, the word DEISM is used to represent the view of those who reduced the role of God to a
mere act of creation in accordance with rational laws discoverable by man and held that, after the


original act, God virtually withdrew and refrained from interfering in the processes of nature and
involvement in the ways of man. The Deist God has left nature to forces of natural properties and
left humanity to personal and popular preferences.
In the deistic treatises of Lord Herbert of Cherbury, five religious ideas were recognized as Godgiven and innate in the mind of man from the beginning of time: the belief in a supreme being, in
the need for his worship, in the pursuit of a pious and virtuous life as the most desirable form of
worship, in the need of repentance for sins, and in rewards and punishments in the next world.
Herbert held that these are fundamental religious beliefs that had been the possession of the first
man, and they were basic to all the worthy positive institutionalized religions of later times. Thus,
differences among sects and cults all over the world were usually benign, mere modifications of
universally accepted truths; they were corruptions only when they led to barbarous practices such
as the immolation of human victims and the slaughter of religious rivals.
Polytheism and idolatry turn every want and wonder into god or goddess based on one legend,
myth superstition or another. For instance, WANTS such as health and wealth are met with
GOD(DESSE)S of health and wealth, while WONDERS like thunder and sun are met with
GOD(DESSE)S of thunder and sun.

The Christ came down to graciously grant us the blessed experience of ETERNAL
SALVATION as heavenly spiritual blessing that by far outweighs and outlasts all
blessedness humanity may think, imagine, ask or ever know (Eph 1:3-4, 17-23; 3:1621): whether by all HUMAN ACTUALISATION and all HUMAN SPECULATION or even by
PROPHETIC REVELATION. From Christ’s dialogue with the Samaritan woman in John
4:19-26 and St Paul’s introduction to his Epistle to the Romans 1:18-32 and his sermon
at the Athenian Areopagus in Acts 17:18-34, we learn that through Spirituality or
Religion, humans instinctively seek to RELATE WITH AND REVERENCE GOD but to
succeed, need HELP by the TRUTH of Divine Revelation and GRACE of Eternal Salvation
through Christ. Otherwise, humanity being HINDERED by the ERROR of human mystical
supposition and syncretism and being HOODWINKED by the FRAUD of demonic
manipulation, ends up seeking to RELATE WITH AND REVERENCE THE “GODS” (e.g.
mistaken “God”, demonic spirits, dead ancestors, natural object and forces). Without
God reaching us, humans cannot succeed to reach God (Mat 11:27; John 6:44; 14:6-7).
These other PRIMAL, PHILOSOPHICAL and PROPHETIC non-Christian Faiths/Religions and
cultures unaided by Divine Revelation and the Redeeming Grace of the Divine Christ
may have their few merits despite their gross demerits and limitations. However, ONLY
(repercussions of sin and manipulations of rituals) AGAINST US, whether of Jewish
Mosaic Law and regulations or of Gentile Philosophical Rudiments and
traditions (Gal 3:22-26; 4:1-10; Col 2:8-17). This apostolic teaching is often missed or
misunderstood by the Church. Only the Divine Christ has the ultimate POWER that
saves from every bondage to dark territorial PRINCIPALITIES of spiritual error and from
every bondage to wicked celestial POWERS of spiritual evil (Eph 6:10-12; 1John 4:1-6).
Only Christ has made or could ever have made the valid ATONEMENT/PROPITIATION
that saves from human DEPRAVITY, demonic DOMINATION and divine DAMNATION (Col
In summary, RELIGION and SPIRITUALITY involve the loving reverential submission
to either divinely revealed invitation or curious pursuit of mystical exploration for
Through Spirituality and Religion we seek to ENTER MYSTICAL RELATIONSHIP with the
ineffable and infinite (the Creator, spirit beings and numinous powers).
Spirituality deals with OUGHT and FACT but needs Faith in Christ Jesus for access to
TRUTH and Eternal Life.
Apart from the dimension of SPIRITUALITY or RELIGION as described above, two
other DIMENSIONS OF HUMAN EXPLORATION into known and unknown reality are
PHILOSOPHY and SCIENCE. Each human individual is fully responsible for how goodly
or badly one utilizes each dimension.

NOTE: Religion is the product of revelation, intuition, reason and historical experience
as well as the mother of Philosophy and Science. Science is the product of physical
experience (observable and measurable) subset of Philosophy. Science is a finite
empirical study whose scope ends at the limits of time and space and collapses at the
realms of moral values, cosmological metaphysics, intuitive insights, revelation and
divine intervention. Science cannot disprove nor antagonize infinity, morality,
metaphysics, revelation and divinity. Only those who lack the understanding of the
limitations of science clash science against infinity, morality, metaphysics, revelation
and divinity. Religion involves everything scientific (reasonable, measurable,
observable) as well as everything unscientific (insights and intuition into infinity,
morality, metaphysics, revelation and divinity).

PHILOSOPHY: search for rational principles for the EXPLANATION OF NATURE AND
Through Philosophy we seek to MAKE SENSE OF ISSUES finite and infinite.
Philosophy deals with OUGHT and SENSE but needs Faith in Christ Jesus for access to
TRUTH and Eternal Life.
SCIENCE: search for empirical and theoretical EXPLANATION AND USAGES OF NATURAL
Science deals with FACT and SENSE but needs Faith in Christ Jesus for access to TRUTH
and Eternal Life.
“Where art thou?” (Gen 3:9) was God’s gracious REDEMPTIVE initiative, to reach
perishing and REPROBATE Humanity that they may REPENT and RETURN to God for

of God’s Purpose and manifestation of God’s Power that best answer Humanity’s
Problem. Human innate RESPONSES to this divinely Revealed and gracious Redemptive
initiative have variously included:
 REBELLION due to HARDNESS OF HEART against God, Hiding from God, Denying
guilt, Shifting blame (Gen 3:9-13),
 IGNORANCE blindly GROPING after God (Act 17:24-28) with superstitious and
spurious speculation about God (Act 17:18-23),
 FUTILITY of IDOLATRY due to failure to perceive God’s attributes through His
visible creation (Rom 1:18-23),
 FOLLY of ATHEISM that thinks there is no God (Psa 14:1-3).
These human responses to God’s initiative and human efforts to find God are
inadequate to satisfy divine merits such as could save humanity from human
DEPRAVITY, demonic DOMINATION and divine DAMNATION in order to restore humanity
to divine glory. Therefore in Christ, God has offered divine grace to humanity adequate
enough for eternal salvation for whosoever believes (John 3:16).
The ultimate offer of the Gospel of Christ is that there is no other Name given UNDER
HEAVEN whereby humans (Jews and Gentiles) could obtain eternal salvation except by
the Name of Jesus Christ (Act 4:10-12). For all promises of God find their fulfilment in
Christ (2Cor 1:18-22) and God has given Him a Name above every other Name that at
the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord (Php 2:9-12). And all power in heaven and on earth has been given to Him (Matt
28:18; John 13:3; 1Cor 15:21-27; Eph 1:20-23). For, by raising Jesus from the dead and
taking Him to heaven, God has shown the world that He is the prophesied divine Christ
and divine Son (Incarnate-Creator-Logos John 1:1-5, 8-14) Who now redeems the world
through the blood of His death and shall finally judge the world (Act 13:33-39; 17:3031; Rom 1:2-5). Concerning our ultimate need of faith in Christ for gracious access to
the saving Truth and Eternal Life, Jesus Himself has these to say:
John 14:6
(6) Jesus said to him, "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father EXCEPT
John 10:7-10
(7) So again Jesus said, "TRULY, TRULY I TELL YOU, I AM THE GATE for the sheep.
(8) All who came before me are thieves and bandits, but the sheep did not listen to them.
(9) I am the gate. If anyone enters THROUGH ME, he will be SAVED. He will come in and go out
and find pasture.
(10) The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE
LIFE, and have it abundantly.
John 3:13-18
(13) "No one has gone up to heaven except THE ONE WHO CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, THE SON
OF MAN who is in heaven.
(14) Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
(16) "For this is how God loved the world: He gave his unique Son so that everyone who BELIEVES
in him might not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE.
(17) For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be
SAVED through him.
(18) Whoever BELIEVES in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been
condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God's unique Son.

The purpose of the Christian Gospel missions and evangelism, apologetics and dialogue
is to help all humanity to accept the blessedness of divine revelation and Truth in the
Bible and receive the blessedness of eternal salvation and Grace in Christ. Christian
dialogue does not only look for agreeable grounds for tolerant coexistence, shared
concerns and common courses, it also looks for the best connection between Christ’s
incarnation and the awareness of the Almighty Creator God in every religion and
culture, so as to proclaim the offer of Christ’s eternal salvation in that context without
syncretism or acrimony but in respectful coexistence. Christ has satisfied divine atoning


requirements and therefore sufficiently liberates humanity from sevenfold formidable
bondages to:
 carnal passion of the sinful nature (Gal 5:15-24),
 worldly pride in mundane prominence and passion for pleasures and possessions
(1John 2:15-17),
 celestial evil powers of wickedness (Eph 1:20-21; 2:2), and
 terrestrial blindfolding principalities of darkness (Eph 6:10-13).
 Gentile rudimentary and idolatrous manipulations (Gal 4:1-10; Col 2:6-10, 20),
 Jewish legalistic and ritual regulations (Gal 3:22-26; Col 2:11-19),
 Divine wrath against our sinfulness (Eph 2:3-5),
Christian REVERENCE/RELIGION/SPIRITUALITY begins when Divine Grace of Redemptive
Revelation and Reconciliation in Christ (Rom 1:2-6) is RECEIVED through FAITH:
 in Repentant RETURN to God for OBEDIENCE and GRATITUDE in Christ,
 to RELATE in sanctity and charity with God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and
 to REVEAL God and His Grace to His world around us.

True Christian Ecumenism seeks Worldwide Unity on the basis of Love and
authentic Apostolic Truth. Contrary to searching out the harmonised sum of all
scriptural revelations when establishing the integrity of any Christian view or doctrine
as was done in the ancient Trinitarian and Christological creedal formulations and
Scriptural Canonisation, the Western Church theologians and Western heathenish
philosophers of modern and postmodern era have strangely sought for the essence of
the Christian Faith in dismembered strands of the Scripture and unscriptural
philosophies. It is unexplainable and unfortunate that – since the Renaissance and its
Humanism, through the Enlightenment, Existentialism, Deism, Scepticism, Spiritism to
Atheism – sceptical dismembering of the Scriptures has suddenly become acceptable
mark of scholarship in neo-pagan “modern” Europe and America. This modern halfsighted, self-contradictory “Paul versus Apollos” (1Cor 3:3-5) approach to so called
“scholarship” in establishing Christian truth is as ridiculous as it is absurd. How on earth
did people who claim to be intellectuals get enmeshed in such blind blunder? Even
amongst the faithful, it suddenly became the unfortunate standards that Scriptures are
now meant to be subjected to stranded, private and imaginary misinterpretations
rather than comprehensive and harmonious interpretation. How on earth did such
blindness and blunder come on the Church?
The result is that the Christian Faith is no longer the faith of the harmonic sum of
Scriptural Apostolic Tradition as the Nicene Fathers did in the ancient ecumenism and
as the Reformers sought to do but failed to unite together. Instead, Christianity has
either become scripturally lopsided and contradictory or outright anti-scriptural faith of
syncretising and balkanising ideologies. This has brought about today’s divisions
ranging from multiple Denominationalism through lopsided and tangential theological
approaches such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Radicalism, Rationalism, Liberalism,
“higher” bible
criticism, Deconstructionism, Dispensationalism,
Charismatic Mysticism and Commercialism to Postmodern Revisionism and Syncretistic
Christians, Denominations and Theologians today seem to disregard the importance of
the whole Apostolic Tradition in establishing orthodoxy and vetting innovations. The
WCC has tried to reach some interdenominational accommodation in some areas such
as missions, liturgy and the Sacraments as well as socio-political issues. However,

much of the WCC work is still plagued by prevalent confidence in modern but
heathenish philosophical exploration and selective “Paul versus Apollos” theological
differentiation (1Cor 3:3-5) rather than seeking consensus based on harmonious “Paul
plus Apollos” theologically comprehensive sum of the Apostolic teachings (1Cor 3:6-13)
followed by the Nicene Fathers to give us the Canonical Scriptures and the ancient
Ecumenical Creeds.
1 Corinthians 3:3-13
(3) For you are yet carnal: for while there is among you envying, and strife, and
divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men?
(4) For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not
(5) Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed,
even as the Lord gave to every man?
(6) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
(7) So then neither is he that plants anything, neither he that waters; but God
that gives the increase.
(8) Now he that plants and he that waters are one: and every man shall receive
his own reward according to his own labor.
(9) For we are laborers together with God: you are God's field, you are God's
(10) According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master
builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man
take heed how he builds thereupon.
(11) For no other foundation can a man lay than what is laid, which is Jesus
(12) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones,
wood, hay, stubble;
(13) Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall test every man's work of
what sort it is.
Today, in a perishing world reeling under the manifold and ever increasing burden of
Pluralism, Migration,
Postmodernism, Violent Conflicts, Terrorism, Pollution of Creation, Gender
and Sexuality Complications, every Christian and Church is faced with inescapably
urgent necessity to be Christ-centred and Bible-based in their Christianity – creed,
word and deed. Church Denominations (Roman, Greek, Reformed, Evangelical,
Pentecostal, mainline Churches, missionary Churches, ministry Churches, etc) should
find unity in Christ alone and focus on thoroughly biblical Christianity in their
persuasion and pursuit to bring God’s Kingdom and do God’s will in both Church and
Society by their:
 worship and prayer,
 word and proclamation,
 wisdom and presence,
 witness and peace,
 walk and purity,
 work and piety.
Updated March 15, 2015
by Ven. Dr. I. U. Ibeme
Copyright © PriscAquila Publishing, Maiduguri, Nigeria.
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