Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Obsessed with conversion?

Lest anyone get the idea that this blog is "obsessed" with pointing out the problems with narrowing parameters of cooperation and over-zealous Bible-bashers, I have decided to post a copy of the following article I just received from AC Press, of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, commenting on a problem on the other side of the theological spectrum that, in my opinion, makes anything we are dealing with in the SBC pale in comparison.

NEWS from SPAIN

(0) Obsessed with conversion? Is that such a bad thing?

Madrid, June 26th, 2006 (ALC, ENI/ACPress.net).

Can we finally come clean and recognise that the Vatican and the World Council of Churches represent a different religion from that of biblical Christianity? At a recent meeting between delegates from various religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Yoruba (an African religion) and ‘Christianity’ (as represented by the aforementioned groups), the 27 participants stated that religious freedom implied the duty to respect other beliefs, never denigrate or insult them, and never distort their beliefs to try and make your religion look superior.

The Vatican and the World Council of Churches agreed that religious liberty is a non-negotiable human right, but warned of the ‘need to overcome the obsession with converting others.’ The report recommends working to overcome this ‘obsession’, as in the area of seeking conversions, all religions have made mistakes, according to the report. It goes on to suggest that all religions study their history, and their doctrinal beliefs.

A code of ‘anti-conversion’ conduct is being considered. As a result of such soul-searching, one proposal was to reject “unethical means”, and avoid targeting “vulnerable people” such as children or handicapped people. The participants got the idea of a code of conduct to do with conversion attempts, and the Vatican Committee for Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches (WCC) suggested that inter-religious dialogue on this issue should continue at various levels.

The Catholic Church claims nearly 1,200 million adherents in the world, whilst the WCC represents 347 Protestant and Orthodox Churches in more than 120 countries, with a total membership of over 450 million people.

Have the Vatican and the Geneva-based organisation completely forgotten the words of Jesus: ‘Go into all the world and make disciples’? As the Editorial in ‘Protestante Digital’ (our sister digital magazine in Spanish) points out, such an obsession among evangelicals would be extremely welcome! The Bible teaches us that we need to convert from the system of the world to that of the Lordship of Jesus Christ in order to be saved.

Rome and Geneva are heading down the dreaded path of political correctness, along which all religious belief will become ever more private, never shared with anybody, and therefore never causing anyone any offence. Nor presenting them with the truth of the Gospel nor showing them the way into the kingdom of God either, of course.

Source: ALC/ENI Editing: ACPress.net

7 comments:

art rogers said...

So, the fallout of this is that the Vatican has just placed itself in a "universalist" group, assenting that Christianity is no more "right" than the other world religions mentioned?

Or have they become hyper-calvinists, relegating the lost who are following false faiths to be lost for eternity because we should not be involved in their salvation?

This is mortifying.

blampp@juno.com said...

David,
Though I agree with Art Rogers; "This is mortifying." And it really is descriptive of "religious" trends toward being non-offensive as in the process of "dying" rather than becoming "alive" through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and it isn't surprising!
Where you find a predominance of Hindi, Islamic, Animistic of other cultural influence that isn't willing to consider "What if what I believe is wrong?" the obvious efforts to oppress are evident. A good example would be the religious restrictions placed on inhabitants of Saudi Arabia, regions of Western India, and areas of Indonesia and, called for lack of a better definition; "Laws against Proselytizing". Even when not established as legal precedent, most religious groups have tried to impose restrictions against free-thought or freedom of choice when the majority can use intimidation and coercion to restrict true spiritual "evangelism" which to really be "Good News", would have to be a presentation of the unsearchable riches found in Jesus Christ!
Incidently, I've been impressed by the diversity of topics you've considered!

mixilmash said...

Shades of a new "tolerance"! It appears that everything is tolerable EXCEPT trying to convert people.

On the other hand, is there really any difference between religions? Please note that the article refers to RELIGIONS, NOT A RELATIONSHIP with the LIVING LORD JESUS!!

And that's all the difference in the world...or should I have said "in eternity"?

Anonymous said...

TO blampp@juno.com ,

A good example would be the religious restrictions placed ...., regions of Western India, ....

Can you point out where in regions of Western India do you find religious restrictions?

India is a secular democratic country with due religious freedom .Please provide proof and dont just shoot statements according to your whims.

mr. t said...

Anonymous,

Officially there is religious freedom in India. However, there are reoccurring instances of local authorities caving into pressure from religous activists/radicals who persecute local churches and believers. Christians are jailed indefinitely with fabricated charges. Several local governments have anti-conversion laws. Only a few of these stories are picked up by the press.

blampp@juno.com said...

Thanks Mr. T, and I would agree that it's "official" for the News and apparently folks like "Anonymous".... but I have several pastor friends who are converts from Islamic and Hindi Families that not only have dealt with mob action in rural areas but also in some of the metro areas..... I would be happy to reveal names and even evidence of the beatings, attempts at murder (One Pastor is recovering after a third attempt on his life, and is still unable to walk by himself!), murder, rape physical abuse, destruction of property, child abuse, ad. nauseum., and I will reveal the names of the area's..... If "Anonymous" is willing to become vulnerable enough to identify himself to me, so that his identity can be verified! You will note that I I.D. myself with an e-mail address and don't mind listing my web address;
www.thomasvilleroad.org
I would also be happy to pass on to "anonymous" web sites that have regularly provided the information he requests and they are located in the regions mentioned! Incidently, some of the threats made to residents of these areas have been sent to me as well, though no one up to the present has actually followed through on their threats! So, I don't mean to sound abrupt.... but "Anonymous", based on your last sentence......you need to put your "Money" where your "Mouth is.......

James Hunt said...

Mmm...

To hell with the RCC and the WCC.

To heaven with those who are converted from those illegitimate organizations to Jesus worship.

Wow, I surely sound like a Fundamentalist...except for the "to hell with" part.