Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ecumenism as a gift of God

Ecumenism has been fought by many Christians, especially from the East, claiming it is a heresy that endeavours to alter the Churches (especially the Orthodox Church) in accepting all of the Wests ‘misconceptions’. Nevertheless, whoever is in the Ecumenical Movement understands that all of these beliefs are merely false. The WCC or even organisations such as the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius and the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association promote mutual understanding, not a birth of a new, pan-Christian religion. Below, we observe an interesting paragraph, written by the Student Christian Movement in 1937, stating:

“While we feel ourselves unable to give any definition of the oecumenical life of our time, because of the different angles from which we approach it, we acknowledge that oecumenism is a new and miraculous gift of God to our generation. We recognise that this can be given only through the Holy Spirit, yet we know that it involves great individual and corporate effort from our side, and must issue in practical collaboration in life and work in charity. In this work every oecumenical experience is an objective and an achievement in itself, and ought not to be regarded as a means to other ends. We believe that it can be spiritually successful only in so far as the participants in it are conscious of the dogmas and faithful to the traditions of their own Church and to its witness to the world. The necessary condition for oecumenical work is mutual respect and abstention from any attempt or desire to use this work to draw individual Christian from one Confession to another”[1].  

[1] Student Christian Movement, Fellowship Archives, 1937

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