Quantcast


Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Persons
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
 Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

Sponsored links

 

 

 

 

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

Christianity

Menu

Ecumenicalism: The 'Urge
 to Merge' within Christianity

Sponsored link.


Quotation:

bullet"Disunity distorts truth, wastes resources, hinders witness, impoverishes worship and discredits the gospel." Statement by an anonymous Irish Methodist; quoted by the Most Reverend George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury at ecumenical vespers, 2000-MAY-17.

Definition:

The term "ecumenical" comes from the Greek word "oikoumene" which refers to "the entire inhabited world." In English, it refers to cooperation among the various faith groups within a single religion -- typically Christianity.

Current trends:

The current status of Christianity is one of great disunity. There are on the order of 1,500 Christian organizations in North America alone. Each follows a unique blend of beliefs and practices. Many, perhaps most, believe that they and they alone represent the true church.  There are many processes at work here:
 
bulletWhen church schism occurs, or a sect breaks away from an established denomination, the two groups tend to evolve on different paths. The gap tends to grow with time. The chances of an eventual merger are steadily reduced. The schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches is one example of this; that between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion is another.
 
bullet However, when a split was caused by differences in belief on a moral topic -- rather than over internal theological conflicts -- then the chance of an eventual merger is good. The 19th century split of many U.S. national churches into pro-slavery and anti-slavery denominations before the civil war is an example of this process. With the exception of the Southern Baptist Convention, pro-slavery denominations eventually rejoined with their Northern counterparts. The possible future split within some mainline Christian denominations over equal rights for gays and lesbians may well be a cause of future church schism which will eventually be healed when an eventual consensus is reached on the nature of homosexuality.
 
bulletThere is evidence of increased integration of, and cooperation between, some Christian denominations. These include:
 
bulletAttempts to merge and/or improve communication and cooperation among various like-minded denominations. "Clergy and parishioners easily move across denominational lines." 1
 
bulletContinued engagement in ecumenical dialog to heal ancient divisions. 
 
bullet Some conservative Christian faith groups, which share very little theologically, are joining together to pursue joint programs of social action. e.g. reducing women's access to abortion, preventing access to euthanasia, limiting or reducing the rights of gays and lesbians, opposing same-sex marriage, limiting the rights of transgender persons and transsexuals, etc.
 
bullet Inter-faith marriages have become more numerous. This has placed increasing pressure on various denominations to cooperate. The couples themselves have demonstrated how persons of different faiths can find ways of working together, in love. They are an example to the larger communities.

This cooperation will probably increase over time, driven in part by a desire to oppose the growing secular influences on society. Even as the percentage of American adults who identify themselves as Christians is steadily dropping, the percentage who are not affiliated with a religion increases.

Sponsored link:

Topics covered in this section:

bulletOverview:
bulletPast history and current status of divisions within Christianity
 
bulletActivities by Protestant denominations:
bulletFull communion achieved among Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church in America and United Church of Christ
bulletFull communion achieved between Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church
 
bulletTalks between the Roman Catholic church and:
bulletAnglicans
bulletEastern Orthodoxy
bulletEvangelical Protestants
bullet"Evangelicals and Catholics Together" (ECT)
bulletLutherans
bulletMennonites
 
bulletNational and international "umbrella" associations:
bulletNational Christian associations in the U.S.
bullet International Christian associations Part 1   Part 2
bulletNational Council of Churches (NCC) ecumenical activities
bulletJoint membership permitted by NAE and NCC
bulletCanadian Christian military chaplains cooperate
 
bulletOther developments:
bulletNews of recent ecumenical developments

Related essay in this web site:

bullet

Schismatic movements within Christianity

References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Charles Austin, "Christian Church continues unity drumbeat," The Bergen Record, at: http://www.bergen.com

Site navigation:

Home page > Christianity > Christian beliefs...> here

 Home page > Religious tolerance > Cooperation > here

 Home page > Spirituality menu > Religious tolerance > Cooperation > here

Copyright © 1998 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest review and update: 2010-JUN-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or return to the Christian history, beliefs... menu, or to the "Religious Cooperation" menu, or choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

 

Sponsored links: