Say no to liberal ecumenism

Posted at Daniel's Place - (Reformata et semper reformanda):

"In recent years, we have discovered that the activities of some churches and organisations are harmful to us because these groups violate the laws and regulations of the Chinese government which is neither beneficial to themselves nor to churches in China. These activities range from sending missionaries, conducting training programs in clandestine fashion, setting up denominational churches and tempting Chinese Christians financially to join these churches. These practices destroy the unity of churches in China and generate misunderstandings, as their reports on churches in China can be misleading." [Gao Feng, "Co-operation and Partnership in the Mission of the Church in China," in Michael Nai-Chiu Poon, Church Partnerships in Asia: A Singapore Conversation (CSCA Christianity in Southeast Series; Singapore, Trinity Theological College, 2011), 63] 
"The emergence of many new denominations, parachurch organizations and Christian sects is challenging because it has created confusion and misunderstanding among churches about a common witness. It wii be imperative for MCC [Myanmar Council of Churches -DHC] to co-operate with Evangelicals, Pentecostals and other small mission bodies to find ways and means to resolve the situation." [Stephen Than Myint Oo, "The Life and Witness of the Church in Myanmar: Past, Present and Future," in Poon, 89]

If there is one thing that irks liberal ecumenists, it is when missionaries that are not approved by them enter into their country and their territory to do church planting. In China, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) churches, the "official" Protestant church, claims to speak for all Protestants in China. That there are millions of Chinese Christians in underground churches who refuse to submit to the TSPM undercuts their claim to ecumeneity of course, but liberal ecumenists, like liberals everywhere, are unconcerned about that inconvenient truth. In their minds, they are the only acceptable church and they represent ALL Christians in their region and/or country, consent of those they "represent" is not important at all!

In the case of Myanmar, evidently such a centralization of sorts (given the huge diversity in Myanmar) had occurred with the formation of the MCC. Just like the TSPM, they claim to speak for all Christians in their country regardless of what the normal people think.

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