The full text of the old 1996 FIEC Statement on Ecumenism is reproduced here.
Some extracts and
questions arising are given below:
of the churches and leaders with whom we are urged to unite neither
believe nor preach those essential gospel truths which are embodied in
our FIEC Doctrinal Basis or a similar Statement of Faith.
Some do not accept the inerrancy of Scripture, the eternal punishment
of the unsaved, or that Christ died bearing the punishment due to
sinners. Some deny the deity of Christ, his virgin
birth, miracles and literal resurrection. Others teach that
religious ceremonies such as baptism, the mass and the adoration of
Mary have some saving efficacy.
The FIEC has always felt it to be confusing and unbiblical to unite in public acts of worship and outreach with those who question and deny the faith. Our Doctrinal Basis, What We Believe, clearly states, "True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the gospel."
If an evangelical church or leader unites with those of a liberal persuasion who deny essential gospel truths, or with those of a Roman Catholic persuasion who add to the gospel, then great confusion is created. The impression is given either that the evangelical, liberal and Roman Catholic are all agreed when in fact they are worlds apart doctrinally, or that their different messages are equally valid when in fact there is only one gospel. Not only is this confusing but it is also a contradiction of the gospel on which our FIEC churches unite.
The gospel of salvation by grace is so precious to us that we desire to stand together with all who believe and preach it. For the same reason, we are compelled to remain separate from those who deny it. By taking this position we are seeking to follow the commands of Scripture. (Galatians 1:8, Romans 16:17).
Last retrieved May 18, 2010 from URL http://www.fiec.org.uk/Default.aspx?tabid=640 now withdrawn.
questions faithful FIEC churches should be asking.
are there constituent churches still publicly affirming affiliation to
both FIEC and Churches Together or other ecumenical activities?
Roman Catholic or liberal churches now officially regarded as heretical
or not? (I am confidently informed by a friend, that they
are, but the explicit written assurance has been removed.)
Why has explicit reference to them and 8 specific damnable heresies, including Chalke's, been removed, and what motivates this extraordinary removal?
For what kind of false teaching does the FIEC now require separation
- that of the Jehovah's Witnesses or Muslims perhaps?
Why is the
reference to participation in compassionate works, ethical restraint,
and legal canvassing with unbelievers of other traditions (old
fashioned co-belligerency) not framed more insightfully, given the
context of deceptive attempts to camouflage full ministerial
recognition and ecumenism under this guise, in the Manhattan
Declaration for example?
The new statement is lengthy 1,329 words as opposed to 399, but despite nearly 1,000 extra words does anyone contest that it is a blunter and vaguer instrument than the old?
If there has been a significant downgrade in the standards set before the churches, given current pressures and the present displays of weakness, how can there fail to be a consequent downgrade in conduct also?
We appeal to the
brethren of the FIEC both to maintain and reinstate their 1996
statement alongside the new, and to press both
more firmly upon the congregations that adhere to the fellowship, for
that alone would correct many of these problems. I am informed this is
unlikely to happen, but even publication of the old statement as the
authoritative, old statement would be a welcome gesture. The complete
disappearance of a faithful watchman is disconcerting.
More background to downgrade in FIEC, Affinity and WEST here.
An archive of documents delineating WEST's collapse
BLQ article in 2001
on the issue of grassroots ecumenism
An article describing just how deep and compromised the links between the FIEC and Polish ecumenism have become, by courtesy of BLQ.
Poole Connor, 'That the ebb-tide now runs like a mill-race is
due, more than aught else, to this damaging quiescence.'
Owen, 'Let no man deceive you with vain pretences; hold fast the truth
as it is in Jesus, part not with one iota, and contend for it when
the Fellowship then, as now, "Unity is precious but truth is
essential." ' FIEC website
What then of the churches who have sacrificed Truth for grassroots unity with Roman and liberal churches? A little leaven leavens the whole lump.