Saturday, January 23, 2016


The cry for understanding and compatibility between and within different religions is not an innovation of the 21st century. The modern effort is reminiscent of other ecumenical surges. The following is a reconstruction of such an attempt which may have developed.

The need for a united movement to insure a harmonious religious climate was evident in the 1st century. The proposed choice to administer the new unity push was the pre-established Mediterranean Ministerial Association. The logical choice for such a movement . The primary problem was selecting a leader to unite the various religious entities. A special meeting was called for that selection.

The first man recommended was a Christian apostle named Paul. The objections commenced immediately! The Reverend from the United Epicurean and Stoic Philosopher Church, charged that Paul was a babbler, and setter forth of strange gods, because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

Then the Right Reverend Elymas, representing the First Occult Church of Paphos, added that this same Paul had publicly slandered him. He quoted Paul: "O full of all subtlety and mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou cease to pervert the right way of the Lord?

The Jewish Rabbis followed with complaints of Paul's reasoning in their synagogues, teaching that Jesus was the Christ and persuading men to worship God contrary to their law.

Next, the Pastor and founder of Jerusalem Judaizers for Christ stated that Paul was divisive. It seems Paul caused dissension and disputation with him and his brethren, even charging them with perverting the gospel, and condemning them to eternal punishment in hell.

An elder, representing an Ephesians church of Christ, pointed out how narrow-minded Paul was, citing his previous comment, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all."

The only positive statement came from the elders of the Berean church of Christ. They commented that after having searched the Scriptures daily, they found Paul's actions, preaching, and teaching to be in accordance with God's word, and therefore their choice to lead a genuine Unity Movement.

Sadly, after no small deliberation, the general consensus of the Mediterranean Ministerial Association was the Paul was not the type of leader they were seeking. After all, was he not judgmental, divisive, rude, argumentative, a slanderer, and narrow-minded?  And had he not proselytized members from virtually every Association church?

The Question: Could Paul be accepted as a leader for the ecumenical and unity movements we are experiencing today?

Jesus prayed for unity in truth; not a union of compromise, which retains the religious errors and traditions of men.

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