RE: Barbara Walters’ recent television special on Heaven.
It is more and more apparent that the mainstream liberal media’s agenda is dedicated to the promotion of syncretism in Christianity and humanistic existentialist unionism in religion. They continue to present Christianity as the biggoted, intolerant, politically incorrect religious expression of a bunch of fanatical kooks. Why don’t any of these people seek to interview LCMS Pastors? Maybe it’s because our Pastors hold to the truths of the Bible without compromise. Maybe it’s because they have the courage to address, from the pulpit, issues that aren’t even spoken of in other denominations for fear of being called intolerant biggots. OR could it be because some of these other denominations embrace the lifestyles and behaviors that God condemns as sin (even ELCA). Where is OUR freedom to speak the truths of Scripture, on our own turf no less, without the threat of being arrested for “hate speech”. Not that fear of threat is a factor ~ it can’t be, else we have denied God’s Word, compromised Pastoral responsiblity, and endangered souls.
Syncretism attempts to unite all faiths claiming to be “Christian” into one “can’t-we-all-just-get-along” ecumenical lump. And so many of our congregations and lay leaders do not recognize or understand what this is and how dangerous an error it is. But when we agree to participate in and embrace ecumenical worship services, pulpit exchange, and participate together with them in the sacraments, we are denying Lutheran Theology and the confessions of the One True Faith as directed by Scripture and Scripture alone. That is not to say that there are not true believers in other Christian denominations ~ of course, there are. But we need to be aware of the theological differences between denominations and beware of being sucked into this mindset. The whole ecumenical movement is based on ignorance of one’s own beliefs and other denominational doctrines.
Unionism is the attempt to meld all religions into *one* by claiming that all gods are one in the same and that there are many different paths that all lead to the same god. This is nothing short of idolatry. But people are hungry to hear this because to the flesh, it is “affirming” and makes rebellious souls “feel” better about the way they live although it is contrary to what Scripture teaches and what God requires. It is humanist, existentialist, and doesn’t define or address sin. Forbid we say the “s” word. The rebellious soul does not want to take responsibility for admitting its inborn sin as defined by God himself, nor does it want to accept the consequences of sin: condemnation and eternal death and separation from God in Hell.
A good example of unionism, which still remains a great controversy within the LCMS because so many lay people don’t know what syncretism and unionism is, and how dangerous it is, is what happened at Yankee Stadium after Sept. 11 when Rev. David Benke prayed to Our Lord, The One True God, invoking (inviting or calling) His presence into a unionistic worship and prayer service with leaders and teachers of false relgions. The rebellious human nature has it’s own plan for salvation which is based on human rationale and feelings, but this is blatantly contrary to God’s plan. Fallen man’s plan is so much more complicated than God’s plan, and it doesn’t work salvation; it works damnation. Such people want to believe that all paths lead to the same place and the same god rather than to believe what God has laid out so simply for us already in the Bible. But believing the Bible means that you have to believe it is the inerrant inspired Word of God, unlike those intellectuals who like to call themselves “Biblical Scholars” but treat the Bible as if it were just another piece of literature. The first of the ten commandments is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3 ~ *Before ME* ~ that means *above me* and/or *in my presence*. Remember how the temple was desecrated with a statue of Zeus? An act of abomination and desolation declared by God himself. And that is exactly what Rev. Benke did at Yankee stadium. He invoked the presence of our God into the presence of false gods and religions in the guise of unity. An abominable damnable unity. And this act has been pooh-poohed by some of the finest lay people in our congregations as a wonderful act of tolerance, a way to “reach out” to unbelievers. I say no.
II Corinthians 6:14 – 16 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God…”
As Lutheran Christians, we are here to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people, not to befriend and embrace their false religions in the name of “outreach” or whatever else you might want to call it.