Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Matthew 7:17-19
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:29-30
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. II Corinthians 6:14-18
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ephesians 5:11
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. II John 9-11
It comes as no surprise to this blogger to find that, thanks to Brannon Howse's Worldview Weekend broadcast (with guest Mike Gendron) of March 3, 2014, Ambrose University College in Calgary, Alberta, the denominational school for both the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and Church of the Nazarene Canada, is using its Global Impact Week of March 4-8, 2014 to engage in ecumenical activities with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary. I've been warning about Ambrose for five years (see links at the bottom of this post), and predicted that the college would go in an increasingly Romeward direction when Jesuit-educated Gordon T. Smith was named President in 2012. From Ambrose's home page item on Global Impact Week (See also the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary item):
March 4 – 8, 2014The blog Muddy Streams has an informative post on the strange and definitely non-Christian resume of Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP. I'd like to know how Ambrose U.C. knew Fr. Ryan as someone to invite for this event. It reminds me of Rick Warren bringing New Agers to Saddleback Community Church to help in his "Daniel Plan" weight-loss program in 2011. How do they know these people? Such associations strike me as very suspicious.
“Catholics and Evangelicals in God’s Mission – Together”
Ambrose University College and the Calgary Catholic Diocese
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP is Director of the Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in Washington, DC. He did his graduate studies in theology at the Washington (D.C.) Theological Union and the University of Geneva. Ordained a Paulist in 1975, he served in campus ministry at the Ohio State University (Columbus) and at McGill University (Montreal, QC.), prior to directing the Montreal-based Canadian Centre for Ecumenism for 14 years and working in all ten provinces of Canada. He spearheaded the founding of Unitas in Montreal, an ecumenical center for spirituality and Christian meditation co-sponsored by eight different denominations.
Rev. Dr. Gordon T. Smith is President and Professor of Systematic and Spiritual Theology at Ambrose University College and Seminary, in Calgary, Alberta. Previously he served as Vice President and Dean of Regent College, Vancouver; more recently, he has been the President of reSource Leadership International. He is an ordained minister with The Christian and Missionary Alliance, and served with the Alliance as an international worker in the Philippines. He has been the senior pastor of two congregations and is the author of a number of publications, including Called to Be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity (IVP, 2013) and Courage and Calling: Maximizing your God-given Potential, rev. (IVP, 2011).
Why this topic?
“Catholics and Evangelicals in God’s Mission—Together” is an unprecedented opportunity to come together to talk about Christian unity and mission. Church unity is a global issue that matters: Jesus prayed in the closing hours of his life for the unity of his followers, and the church’s vocation is to be a sign in our world of God’s reconciling power. The truth is that Evangelicals and Catholics share much more in common than not. The events, talks, and opportunities of Global Impact Week 2014 invite us to rejoice in the gifts of God present in our Christian communities and affirm our shared mission.
Tuesday Chapel, March 4 – 11:15am
Dr. Gordon T. Smith: “ONE LORD, ONE FAITH—ONE MISSION, THE MISSION OF GOD”
With all the diversity between church traditions, it is vital that we affirm our common faith, in response to one Lord – Jesus, the Christ. From this affirmation two things follow: we resolve to learn from each other; we resolve to witness together, in word and deed, to the reign of Christ.
Chapel, March 6 – 11:15am
Fr. Tom Ryan: “THE SPIRITUAL GIFT EXCHANGE”
Some gifts from different traditions of Christian faith--Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Catholic –will be lifted up in the spirit of "receptive ecumenism" with an eye towards an exchange of Spirit-given gifts for the growth and development of disciples in each tradition.
Thursday Evening March 6, 7PM Public Lecture
Fr. Tom Ryan: “CATHOLICS AND EVANGELICALS: LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD, ASSESSING THE RELATIONSHIP”
An overview of each of our origins and theological tendencies: differences that can’t be ignored, commonalities we share, and creative challenges we offer one another for our mutual enrichment.
Friday Evening March 7, 7PM Public Lecture (Location: St. Anthony’s Church, 5340 4 St SW)
Dr. Gordon T. Smith: “VATICAN II – FIFTY YEARS LATER: AN EVANGELICAL RESPONSE”
Vatican II is one of the most significant church councils in the history of the church – significant for all Christians, not just Catholics; it opened up new learnings and an extraordinary opportunity for conversation between Christians of diverse traditions, including Evangelicals and Catholics. (Note: For students wishing to attend this lecture and “The 17th Avenue Post-Vatican II Friday Night Food-Fest,” bus leaves Ambrose at 6:15 pm. See “Student Events” section for more details.)
Saturday Morning, March 8, 10AM Public Forum at Ambrose
Dr. Gordon Smith & Fr. Tom Ryan: “ECUMENISM AND EVANGELIZATION: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES”
This session will be an informal discussion of obstacles, opportunities, and unique challenges for Catholics and Evangelicals where they are called into mission together. For example: What can we learn from each other about Christian mission? What mistakes have we made and what have we learned from them? Why do many evangelicals continue to proselytize Catholics, especially in developing countries? Is the reverse a problem too? Who has a vision for what practical expressions and initiative for shared mission looks like? What is the vision? (Coffee and refreshments will be served at 9:30 am.)
Tuesday, March 4 – 6:30 pm
The Serving Together Event
Ambrose and Catholic university students will be serving together at The Centre of Hope in Calgary’s East Village (420 9 Ave SE). The Centre of Hope provides life-changing social services and programmes every day, providing practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, and providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. Ambrose students: Please meet in the Sylvester Atrium at 6:30 pm. Contact: Tasha Klassen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, March 6 – 2:30 – 4pm
Open Class: “HEALING OURSELVES, HEALING OUR WORLD”
Open to all students regardless of program, Fr. Tom Ryan will reflect on his Reconciliation and Unity study tour to Northern Ireland; Coventry England; Geneva, Switzerland; and Taize, France—all areas of our world where people are working for healing and reconciliation. Come and get a big-picture view of inspirational things happening in our world today that could fuel your own energy and vision. Location: Classroom A2210
Friday, March 7 – 6:15 pm
The 17th Avenue Post-Vatican II Friday Night Food-Fest”
Board the bus to go hear Dr. Smith’s talk “An Evangelical Response to Vatican II” at St. Anthony’s Church, followed by a downtown food-stop at Clive Burger and The Big Cheese Poutinerie. No cost for the first 48 students who register for this event. Bus leaves in front of Sylvester Atrium at 6:15 pm. Book your free ticket by emailing: email@example.com
Presented by Ambrose University College and the Calgary Catholic Diocese
I have problems with some of the things mentioned above. When it comes to evangelicals and Catholics sharing "much more in common than not," the same was true of Christians and Judaizers in Galatia in the 1st century, but the apostle Paul, writing under divine inspiration, condemned the Judaizers for proclaiming a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). Christianity and Roman Catholicism don't share a "common faith."
The question is asked above, "Why do evangelicals continue to proselytize, especially in developing countries?". The perceptive reader will notice that this is presented as a "problem." I prefer the word "evangelize"--"proselytize" seems to carry a connotation of coercion. The reason that evangelism is still done among Roman Catholics in
Many people, including Christians, are under the erroneous impression that the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) resulted in the Roman Catholic Church becoming more liberal in its doctrine, but that just isn't so. From Lumen Gentium--Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, November 21, 1964:
THE ESCHATOLOGICAL NATURE OF THE PILGRIM CHURCH
AND ITS UNION WITH THE CHURCH IN HEAVEN
51. This Sacred Council accepts with great devotion this venerable faith of our ancestors regarding this vital fellowship with our brethren who are in heavenly glory or who having died are still being purified; and it proposes again the decrees of the Second Council of Nicea,...the Council of Florence...and the Council of Trent.
The Council of Trent was the Counter-Reformation council that took place between 1545-1564. For a sample of the doctrines that the council promulgated, go to The Council of Trent: The canons and decrees of the sacred and oecumenical Council of Trent, Ed. and trans. J. Waterworth (London: Dolman, 1848): SESSION THE SEVENTH, Celebrated on the third day of the month of March, MDXLVII: DECREE ON THE SACRAMENTS, pp.54-58. These pages contain canons on sacraments in general, and canons on baptism and confirmation. In these few pages you will see several dozen anathemas--ecclesiastical curses accompanied by excommunication--against the Biblical gospel. The passage from Vatican II cited above says that the decrees of the Council of Trent are still official Roman Catholic teachings today.
Global Impact Week is just the latest example of Ambrose's ecumenism. Go to Ambrose's Chapel Schedule Winter 2014, look at the entry for January 23, 2014, and you'll see that Ambrose's chapel speaker that day was Adrian Martens, Coordinator of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary. Mr. Martens is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary's contact person for Ambrose's Global Impact Week; he was speaking during Ambrose's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
And what is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity? It's an ecumenical event with Roman Catholic roots. Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute, A Ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, has this to say about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
The Week of Prayer for Christian UnityOn the theme for 2014, GEII says:
(January 18–25, 2014)
Has Christ Been Divided?
(cf. 1 Corinthians 1:13)
The Church Unity Octave, a forerunner of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, was developed by Father Paul Wattson, SA, at Graymoor in Garrison, New York, and was first observed at Graymoor from January 18-25, 1908. Today, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity invites the whole Christian community throughout the world to pray in communion with the prayer of Jesus “that they all may be one” (John 17:21).
In 1966, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Vatican Secretariat (now Council) for Promoting Christian Unity began collaborating as a common international text for worldwide usage. Since 1968 these international texts, which are based on themes proposed by ecumenical groups around the world, have been developed, adapted and published for use in the United States by the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute. The theme of the 2014 Week of Prayer, ‘Has Christ been divided?’ was chosen and worked upon by the Christian Churches in Canada.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2014The statements and information packages regarding the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity are identical for the World Council of Churches and the Vatican. For the statement from the WCC, go here; for the statement from the Vatican, go here. For the information package from the WCC, go here; for the information package from the Vatican, go here.
Chosen Theme: Has Christ Been Divided?
(cf. 1 Corinthians 1:13)
The 2014 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity finds its origins in 1 Corinthians 1:1-17. The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25 January. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Paul Wattson to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25) , and therefore have a symbolic significance. The initial work on the theme for this year’s week of prayer material was prepared by a group of representatives from different parts of Canada, brought together at the invitation of the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism and the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism. The texts were approved at a meeting of the International Committee composed of members of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting of Christian Unity. Being faithful to Christ’s desire for the unity of his disciples, has led to this year’s theme which focuses on Saint Paul’s provocative question in 1 Corinthians: “Has Christ Been Divided?” We continue to be divided by doctrine, polity, and practice, and to maintain our own religious identity, yet our pilgrimage towards unity continues under God’s guidance.
Here's what the Canadian Council of Churches said about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
Launch of Human Trafficking Resource & Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Celebrated in Calgary
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an internationally celebrated time of prayer, reflection, and study bringing together Christians from across denominations and around the world. This year’s materials were prepared by a Canadian writing team and focus on a theme from Corinthians, “Has Christ Been Divided?” Major Canadian celebrations include a series of Calgary. The Rev. Victor Kim of local host Grace Presbyterian Church notes, “It’s a chance for us to discuss and celebrate what we all have in common, identify what role our beliefs have in today’s ever-changing society, and how it can apply to everyday teachings and situations.” A number of officiants from across Alberta will lead prayer and discussions.
This week will also see The Canadian Council of Churches present its leadership and learning kit for churches on human trafficking in Canada. This resource facilitates adult learning, theological reflection, and common action on human trafficking through a series of reflections, awareness raising exercises, bible studies, and background materials. “With rising incidences across the globe, and within our own borders, we need to understand that human trafficking is human rights abuse, economic injustice, violence; and organized crime,” says The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, General Secretary of The Canadian Council of Churches. She continues, “As a national council, we have heard from all churches of Christian faith across the country in their desire to become educated in the signs and solutions for human trafficking in our country.” Rev. Hamilton will be in Calgary to preach at an ecumenical gathering on Sunday, January 19th.
All are welcome at the Week of Prayer events listed below, including the public launch of Human Trafficking in Canada: A Leadership and Learning Kit for Churches.
For more information, please contact the Rev. Victor Kim at 403.244.5861.
Sunday, January 19 7:00 PM
Grace Presbyterian Church. 1009 – 15 Ave. S.W.
Evening Grace Worship
Officiant: The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, General Secretary, The Canadian Council of Churches
Monday, January 20 Noon
Press Conference with Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton
Public Launch of “Human Trafficking in Canada: A Leadership and Learning Kit for Churches”
A resource from the Canadian Council of Churches
Grace Presbyterian Church
Tuesday, January 21 7:00 PM
Prince of Faith Lutheran Church. 2523 – 56 St. N.E.
Officiant: Pastor Scott Peterson
Wednesday, January 22 12:00 PM
University of Calgary
The Loft – 4th Floor McEwan Center, University of Calgary
Officiants: The University of Calgary Chaplains
Wednesday, January 22 7:00 PM
“Conversations of unCommon Grace”
Screening of human trafficking documentary “Not My Life”
And conversation with representatives from Action Coalition on Human Trafficking, ACT Alberta
Grace Presbyterian Church
Information and tickets: www.uncommongrace.ca
Thursday, January 23 11:15 AM
Ambrose University College Chapel Service. 150 Ambrose Circle S.W.
Officiant: Adrian Martens
Thursday, January 23 7:00 PM
St. Mary’s Cathedral. 219 – 18 Ave. S.W.
Officiant: Bishop Fred Henry
Sunday, January 26 7:00 PM (preceded by international/intercultural dinner at 6:00 PM)
St. Matthew’s United Church. 2035 – 26A St. S.W.
Officiant: Pastor Vincent Yellow Old Woman, Siksika Nation
On January 15, 2014
While the abolition of human trafficking is a worthy cause, it's not a cause that's distinctively Christian. However worthy the cause may be, the World Council of Churches and Canadian Council of Churches (which is part of the WCC) are notoriously liberal and apostate, and real Christians should have nothing to do with these bodies or any of their initiatives.
It hardly needs mentioning that the Roman Catholic Church's idea of "Christian unity" is to bring "separated brethren" back into the fold of the Roman Catholic Church. When the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church invoke I Corinthians 1:17 to ask, "Has Christ Been Divided?," my answer is that Christ hasn't been divided, but the Roman Catholic Church and the liberal churches in the WCC and CCC aren't part of the body of Christ. While Christ hasn't been divided, Christ Himself does divide: He divides families (Matthew 10:34-36); true from false (John 8:12-55); the church from the world (John 17:9); and sheep from goats (Matthew 25:31-46). Any real Christians who are still in the Roman Catholic Church or churches in the WCC or CCC should "come out and be separate."
HT: Worldview Weekend
See my previous posts on Ambrose:
Why is an Alliance-Nazarene college named after a Roman Catholic saint? (March 2, 2009)
The Ambrose-contemplative connection (March 4, 2009)
Ambrose University College trains Nazarene pastors using materials from a company with ties to Mormonism (March 6, 2009)
Ambrose University College and "Transformation" (March 6, 2009)
The Outhouse (aka The Shack) in God's house (May 5, 2009)
Ambrose Seminary teaches contemplative spirituality in 2009-2010 (February 24, 2010)
Ambrose University College hires Jesuit-educated contemplative spirituality proponent as its new president (May 30, 2012)
Ambrose University College's "Jazz Day" provides evidence of increasing worldliness in evangelical schools (March 5, 2014)
February 15, 2015 update: They're at it again. Ambrose's Chapel message for January 15, 2015 was Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The speaker was Don Bolen, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.