A Position Paper

It has come to the attention of this Episcopal See that the heresy of Interfaith Christianity is once again rising. Interfaith Christianity is a ministry that includes paths outside of Christian tradition and is a heresy whereas Intra-faith (also known ecumenical relations) is not generally considered a heresy except by certain denominations.

Those that have known me for many years, also know that I was once also a part of a large “Interfaith” ministry until 2008 when I repented and left that ministry. Now some eight years later—each and everyday—I pray asking God to forgive me for being a part of what I now know to be an abomination.

In Matthew 28, verses 18-20 we find words of Christ that have come to be known as “The Great Commission”

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We should take note that at no time did Jesus ever say that all other religious paths were acceptable in his eyes and that we should not make disciples of these people; but rather he said; “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Jesus also makes one statement that many of us fail to consider the ramifications thereof;

21″Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22″ Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. ‘”…Matthew 7:21 – 23

Two Thousand years of Christian doctrine, understanding, interpretation and precedence has established that, among other things, the “…will of My Father who is in heaven…” is to preach, teach, to make disciples of all nations (all peoples) to share the good news of John 3:16; For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him (Jesus) should not perish, but have eternal life. These verses and many more imply that those that do not do the will of God, do not believe in Jesus Christ, will—upon death—perish and not enter into heaven.

Simply put Interfaith ministries—those ministries that teach Universalism and/or all religious paths are compatible with Christianity and which can result in eternal salvation—are misleading their followers and in effect putting otherwise innocent but well meaning people in the condition Jesus was referring to in the twenty second verse of Matthew 7.

I was lured into this heresy by a well meaning minister who told me our mission was to welcome with brotherly love all Pagans, Wiccas, Satanists and all others of all religious paths outside of Judeo-Christianity and through precept and example lead these people to Christ. This sounds like a reasonable precept, however it has become apparent to me that while he was telling me one thing, my “Mentor” was preaching the heresy of universal atonement to everyone else. This particular heresy holds that all will be reconciled to Christ—after death—and receive salvation. If this heresy was true we have to ask why do we have Christianity, the Bible, the Ten Commandments, all the teachings of the bible, and if universal reconciliation is true, why did Jesus tell the disciples to; “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” If everyone is going to be reconciled to Christ after death or in the end of time why have any Christian tradition at all?

Once again Christian doctrine has always been to receive non-believers with brotherly love and teach them the Word of God; as Christ instructed his followers to do so. However this does not mean to embrace or empower the competing theologies outside of Judeo-Christian tradition; in effect telling the practitioners of those false religions that their paths are equal to Christianity and lead to the same ultimate destination as Christianity does. We are to give witness, to care for, heal, have compassion, for those of other paths but not embrace their sin. We can be tolerant, recognize the diversity of Western Culture and religious freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, but we—as Christians—are not to embrace false religions or have other Gods before the God and Father of Christ as commanded in the First of the Ten Commandments. We can have friends or family who follow these paths and even be tolerant and respectful of them and their beliefs; but we are never to equate these false religions with the Church of Christ, or enable or empower these false teachings.

Therefore this Episcopal See, the Archdiocese of Saint Michael, has moved to distance itself from all Interfaith Ministries, cutting ties with those ministries that empower false religions or teach what has been deemed heresy by the Christian Church for thousands of years.

May the Peace of the Lord be with you always

Bishop Benedict-Johns

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