We noted in the last newsletter that since the Antichrist is a counterfeit "Christ" there must be a large "Christian" church on earth to recognize, support and worship him. Of course, this is where the apostasy which is now gathering momentum leads: to the formation of just such a church, which will be the apostate bride of the Antichrist, as the true church is the Bride of Christ. The religion of ancient Catholic Rome—paganism under a thin veneer of "Christianity"—must become the world religion in partnership with Antichrist's world government through the prophesied political revival of the Roman Empire. The partnership between emperor (Antichrist) and the pope must be revived as well.
The Antichrist will be worshiped by the entire world. To make this possible, apostate "Christianity" must enter into union with all of the world's religions—while at the same time there must be a recognition of the importance of "spirituality" by the secularists. As one syndicated columnist put it in an article titled, "What Part Will Religion Play in Emerging Global Struggles?":
In Chicago, which was once considered the heart of Midwestern America, there are now more Muslims than Methodists, more Buddhists than Presbyterians, more Hindus than Congregationalists....In the future, the majority of Christians will be living in the Third World....It's not particularly chic to mix talk about religion and politics, but there is a connection.
An ecumenical union of all religions is seen to be essential, for there can be no political peace without religious peace as well.
The ecumenical movement that will unite the entire world under the Antichrist has now gathered irresistible momentum. Following up the mention of some of the leading ecumenical groups in the May newsletter, the magnitude and prestige of this movement can be seen in one dominant organization: The Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival. Its stated purpose is to "combine legislative common sense with eternal spiritual values."
The Global Forum began in October 1985. While the United Nations was celebrating its 40th anniversary, ten "spiritual leaders," two each from the world's five major religions, and eight elected officials from parliaments on five continents, met together at psychology's New Age center in Tarrytown, New York to explore ideas for ecological salvation and world peace. Out of this meeting grew a working partnership between the world's religious and political leaders—something which had been unthinkable since ancient Rome.
The politicians belonged to the Global Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development. The religious leaders had been invited by the Temple of Understanding, long headquartered at the "Very Reverend" James Parks Morton's infamous Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. As early as 1975 the Temple (Morton is president), known as "the spiritual UN," had sponsored a week-long "Spiritual Summit Conference" which culminated in "addresses at the United Nations by representatives of five major faiths," with Mother Teresa as the keynote speaker (May 1990 TBC).
The interrelationship of vast networks of ecumenical groups may be seen in the fact that Temple of Understanding director Daniel L. Anderson also heads the North American Interfaith Network, while Morton is a co-chairman of Global Forum. NAIN sponsors, among other things, the annual North American Assisi, one of many similar conferences now held around the world as follow-ups to Pope John Paul II's October 1986 gathering of representatives of 12 world religions in Assisi, Italy for a day of world prayer for peace. Assisi was a deliberately ecumenical and New Age addition to Catholicism's day of prayer for world peace traditionally called by the popes on the "Feast of the Holy Mother of God."
That first exploratory meeting in Tarrytown in 1985 was followed by the April 1988 Global Survival Conference in Oxford, England, which brought together about 200 spiritual and legislative leaders from 52 countries. "For five days parliamentarians and cabinet members met with cardinals, swamis, bishops, rabbis, imams, monks....Among them: the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, the Archbishop of Canterbury...Cardinal Koenig of Vienna...Carl Sagan, Vice-Chairman of the Soviet Academy of Sciences Evguenij Velikhov, Gaia scientist James Lovelock ...Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova." The conference was covered by media teams from 35 countries.
Conferees issued a joint "Final Statement of the Conference," which declared: "We have met at Oxford bringing together our individual experience from the parliaments and religious traditions of the world ...brought together by a common concern for global survival, and have entered into a new dialogue on our common future....We have derived from our meeting a vivid awareness of the essential oneness of humanity...the realization that each human person has both a spiritual and a political dimension. We acknowledge the inadequacy of attitudes and institutions within all our traditions [including Christianity] to deal with our present global crisis....We have explored the nature of the relationship between political and religious life, and...have agreed that we [political and religious leaders] both need and desire to work together...and shall promote at regional, national and local levels all possible collaboration between spiritual leaders and parliamentarians....Each one of us has been changed by our Oxford experience...and [we] have undertaken commitments that are irrevocable."
Global Forum next sponsored a four-day symposium at the Aspen Institute in June 1989. It brought together 21 of the world's leading journalists to dialogue with experts, political and religious leaders on global survival issues. Harvard University and Global Forum are hosting a further ongoing series of seminars. As a recent history of this remarkable movement declared, "The momentum is growing: The Global Forum dialogue of spiritual and parliamentary leaders now is being replicated worldwide at local, national and regional levels."
The latest major gathering was the January 15-19, 1990 Moscow Forum co-hosted by what the program called a "unique alliance": "the Supreme Soviet, the country's first freely elected parliament; all faith communities of the USSR, coordinated by the Russian Orthodox Church; the USSR Academy of Sciences; and the International Foundation for the Survival and Development of Humanity." Moscow saw more than 1,000 participants from 83 countries call for a "new planetary perspective" involving a "new spiritual and ethical basis for human activities on earth." In his address to the Forum, Mikhail Gorbachev called it "a major step in the ecological consciousness of humanity." He drew cheers from delegates when he pledged "to ban nuclear tests completely, for all times, and at any moment, if the U.S. does the same...[and] to open our territory for inspection...."
Laying the foundation for the coming world religion, ecological concerns are being expressed increasingly in pantheistic/New Age terms as though the universe were a living and even conscious entity (the Gaia hypothesis) with whom we must make peace and live in harmony. Calling spirituality "common to all humanity," New Age physicist Fritjof Capra defined it at the Moscow Global Forum as "the experience of being connected to the cosmos as a whole...a sense of belonging that gives meaning to life." Capra recently founded The Elmwood Institute, dedicated to "the convergence of politics, ecology and spirituality."
In his keynote speech at Moscow, U.S. Senator Al Gore declared: "I do not see how the environmental problem can be solved without reference to spiritual values found in every faith." He is not referring to biblical Christianity, but to an ecumenical world "spirituality" based upon what he called a "new faith in the future of life on earth...[providing] higher values in the conduct of human affairs." The final "Moscow Declaration" called for "a global council of spiritual leaders" and the "creation of an inter-faith prayer...." It declared, "We must find a new spiritual and ethical basis for human activities on Earth: Humankind must enter into a new communion with nature...."
In his address to the Moscow Forum, Gorbachev had called for "a new contemporary attitude to Nature...returning to Man a sense of being a part of Nature." Global Forum's newsletter, Shared Vision, declared that "we need to remember our natural origins and re-learn how to love and respect nature. The love of our eternal parents, Earth Mother and Sky Father, is all embracing...."
Using similar pantheistic/New Age language, John Paul II has promoted a kindred concept in numerous speeches. In his 1990 World Peace Day message on the Feast of the Holy Mother of God, the Pope said, "A harmonious universe is a cosmos endowed with its own integrity, its own internal, dynamic balance." Addressing a prayer gathering of "Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and others, he told participants that their efforts were unleashing profound spiritual energies in the world and bringing about a "new climate" of peace. The Pope pledged that "the Catholic Church intends to 'share in and promote' such ecumenical and interreligious cooperation."
Testifying how far the Catholic Church has already gone in promoting "ecumenical and inter-religious cooperation," the entire May/June 1990 edition of The Catholic World is devoted to Buddhism. Articles include "The Buddha Revered as a Christian Saint" and a flattering biography of "His Holiness the Dalai Lama." The Tibetan Buddhist leader has frequent contact with Catholic leaders. He met twice with Pope Paul VI and five or more times with John Paul II, whom he calls "an old friend." "Both of us have the same aim," says the Dalai Lama, who was also, of course, present at Assisi.
The Pope's September 1989 speech to Catholic and Buddhist monks, who had been visiting one another's monasteries in order to further Catholic/Buddhist "dialogue," was revealing. He told the Buddhists: "You were welcomed by Benedictine monks whose motto is precisely PAX—peace. You have encouraged one another to promote this peace of which our world is in such dire need. All human persons...must commit themselves to the cause of peace....You, as monks, make use of...prayer and the search for interior peace....Your dialogue at the monastic level is truly a religious experience, a meeting in the depths of the heart...."
Writing in The Tibetan Review (and quoted in Catholic World), a Buddhist monk evaluated the goals of this "dialogue":
The unity of religion promoted by the Holy Father Pope John Paul II and approved by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not a goal to be achieved immediately, but a day may come when the love and compassion which both Buddha and Christ preached so eloquently will unite the world in a common effort to save humanity from senseless destruction, by leading it toward the light in which we all believe.
A month before his death, Catholic monk Thomas Merton had told an ecumenical conference in Calcutta, "My dear brothers, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to discover is our original unity." Merton had earlier written that "Buddhism and Christianity are alike in making use of ordinary everyday human existence as material for a radical transformation of consciousness." He was convinced that the transformation of consciousness which Zen Buddhism calls "the Great Death" was identical to what Christians call "dying and rising with Christ"that both led to the same "death of self" and to a "new life" not found in some future paradise, but in "living here and now."
Of course, the obvious difference is Christ himself and His historical death, burial and resurrection on this planet for our sins, to reconcile us to God. It is this essential uniqueness which ecumenism eventually denies. Paul didn't try to die to self through mystical techniques popular not only among Catholics/Buddhists/Hindus/New Agers but increasingly so among evangelical Christians. His death to self came about by faith in the finished work of Christ: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me...." (Gal:2:20).
In a Time interview (5/28/90) concerning his two audiences with the Pope, Billy Graham said, "I have spent considerable time with the people around [John Paul II]. I could sense they recognize that they have an affinity with Evangelicals. They have suddenly realized that these are the people who are closest to them theologically." In fact, the Pope, at the same time he tells Graham, "We are brothers," has been warning Catholics against nonecumenical evangelicals. Meanwhile, Pat Robertson is recruiting "conservative Catholics and evangelical Christians" as the "invisible army" of a new Christian Coalition that he hopes will turn America back to God and eventually land him in the White House.
Earlier this year at its annual convention the Michigan Episcopal Diocese refused to vote upon the resolution that "Jesus is the Christ, 'the only name given under heaven by which we may be saved.'" The resolution was called "flawed because it presumes to define the ways in which God is able to work," and "divisive and demeaning to people whose faith in God is as strong as ours though it is differently defined." A substitute resolution was voted upon and passed to the effect that Episcopalians would recommit themselves to proclaim a "Good News" that offended no one.
The apostate church is growing in all denominations. "Positive Christianity" is the enemy of souls. Do not seek to please anyone except our Lord himself. And do not be afraid of the cost, for "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe" (Pro:29:25). TBC