The Christian Evangelical vs. the Universal Ecumenical
Christian Evangelical characterized here 'by ardent or crusading enthusiasm; zealous public proclamation of the Christian
Gospel' while Ecumenical is used here to represent 'purposed religious concern with establishing and promoting unity among
churches and religions factions, and openly advancing the development of interfaith and Interreligious assimilations.' (also
known as Universal Ecumenism).   The present-day Universal Ecumenical Pluralism (all religious persuasions are to be
equally included into a federated religious whole) is observably encroaching on the Christian evangelical stalwart (religious
denominations and ministries) and creating a loose ecclesiastical federation, e.g., World Council of Churches, National Council
of Churches, Vatican Ecumenical Council, Universal Assemblies of Faith, various Interreligious Faith Ministries and unity-type
religious organizations, etc.
A seminal ecumenical statement was pronounced in November 2003, and was reiterated in October 2007 (7th White House
hosted Iftaar Dinner) by Pres. Geo. Bush and later echoed by Sec. of State, Condoleezza Rice.  The statement startled many in
the at-large evangelical community, yet the alarm never galvanized religious leaders in America to challenge Pres. Bush on his
theological basis for such an apostatize declaration.   The statement was/is "All religions pray to 'same God', 'That's what I
believe'.  I believe Islam is a great religion that preaches peace".  The second half of the statement is another discussion within
itself.   The first part of the declaration,  "All religions pray to the 'same' God'.  "That's what I believe'" is the focus for this
commentary.
If All religions pray to the same 'God' then, (a) there must be only one 'God' called by many different religious names or (b) there
must be many 'gods' operating under a composite generic name of  "god" or "God"(?), according to the assumptive statement.
Thus, such an assertion would make Jehovah Yahweh (Jewish), Yeshua Ha Mashia (Christian), Allah (Muslim), Braham
(Hindu), Buddha (Oriental) etc., all "equal" in sovereignty, power and personage (?), but just called by a 'different religious
nomenclature'.   The 1st Commandment in the Ten Commandments reads, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" [1]and
we read in the New Testament[2], "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus:."   
From a Judeo-Christian perspective, there is NO other God, save Jehovah Yahweh.   One then wonders what exact tenant in the
Methodist denomination, which Pres. Bush follows, allows him to arrive at such a differential belief that,  "All religions pray to the
same God" or is that Pres. Bush's personal interpretation?   Seemingly, from his concluding statement, "That's what I believe",
would suggest a personal hermeneutic.  Whichever, denominational or personal exegetical interpretation, it is Apostasy.  From
a position of inductive scriptural interpretation, there is NO acceptable nuance in Christianity to permit Pres. Bush's belief, as
stated, i.e., for a 'universal God'.
Some might say, why make a mountain out of a possible colloquial molehill-type expression?   The statement under
consideration was not made by a White House staffer, Cabinet member (save C. Rice's pun), but by the leader of the free-world
and the chief public spokesperson for America, as the international community views the President of the USA.   America is
seen by the 3rd World as a Christian Nation, even with the proliferation of diverse religious practices and sects operating across
this land.  Pres. Bush has touted himself to be a 'man-of-faith' and the Christian evangelical community has embraced him for
that allegiance, since his introduction onto the national political stage.   However, now with this second declaration of an
All
inclusive ecumenical-type "God", this theological position held by Pres. Bush must be characterized as being alien to the
Christian-Right.  It further raises serious question as to how God Almighty views such apostasy and what might (will) be His
response(s) to such an affront, to His sovereignty and providence.  There are those who have attempted to give Pres. Bush
cover for this egregious scriptural faux pas by saying, 'Oh he is just attempting to be politically correct (PC) in this day of radical
Islam', and they have knowingly or unknowingly joined into the apostasy, as well.
See Text Statement* below to examine if such an ecumenical proclamation is in the service of PC-ness or a statement for
embracing a "universal God"?  Please do not misinterpret the commentary above, and following, as a far-left-wing demagoguery
of the POTUS, the present Administration, and/or  recent diplomatic misadventures, but rather as a non-political commentary
regarding a  proclamation which has
eschatological implications for America, as the 'EndTimes' come into their fullness.  We
read in scripture that God places Kings on the throne and may remove them as well.  Most often, Old Testament examples of
removal (dethroning) were as a consequence for reprehensible behaviors and/or 'personal apostasy' by the King, during his
reign.  In other scriptural instances, not only did God remove the King per se, but allowed distress to come upon the King's
kingdom for the waywardness of the people for their wrongful beliefs, practices and blasphemy towards God Himself.  
Oh so sadly, America is seemingly not identified as a 'dominate political power' or a clear national identity in Biblical text
referencing the 'EndTimes'.  Some scholars of eschatology (endtime events), in their efforts to identify America, refer to the  
'young lions of Tarshish' [3] as being England's offspring and thus including  America in  this heritage.  This appears to be a
stretch in wishful interpretation, for all of the major players, involved in the Middle East set of endtime scenarios, are clearly
identified by name, surrogate name (e.g., GOG. Put), and/or geographical location.   A 'Universal Ecumenical God' is antithetical
to the Evangelical Christian "One Sovereign God" and thus they represent two ends of a theological continuum, which has no
discernible point of reconciliation.  The religious elixir to manifest during Tribulation Period, i.e., False Prophet[4], will
consummate the global ecumenical worship of the anti-Christ.  The rapid growth of Interreligious 'faith ministries', supposed
'Communities of Faith', progressive deterioration of various mainline Christian denominations, and newly forming churches
advancing a psycho-social-works type-gospel have already laid the groundwork for America's entrance into religious
assimilation ("let us celebrate our similarities in belief and not major on, but paper-over, our differences").  Christ's
admonishment, "O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?' [5] may be
most relevant today, and especially for tomorrow.
In biblical terms, when the King of a nation openly obfuscates the sovereignty of the One True God, then it is not a question of if,
but when will His wrath come upon them?  The divided political governing powers of this Nation, its present conflicted and
polarized political leadership, and the disengaging Church in America are "signs of the times" few seem to
openly recognize,
much less fervently intercede and intervene for through kneeling prayer and supplication.  America appears to be standing on
many a sheer precipice, internationally and domestically, and what we certainly do not need is to be teetering on a spiritual one,
as well.   Mercifully, God gives His prophets a 'word' for wayward nations, so they might repent, before He looses His wrath ...
and He is giving prophetic voices in America the divine prompt to send forth a clarion-call to this Nation, Come Ye and
REPENT.[6]   The land of America is becoming broken (fig.) in so many ways, yet it is not beyond restoration and revitalization.  
We live in the
Times of the Suddenlies, e.g., 9-11-2001, and once catastrophic events occur, it is too late to avoid their
consequences, for they are irreversible.  We live in the "best and worst of times"(C. Dickens) and it behooves us to cast off the
Laodicean[7]
spirit which besets and afflicts so much of The Church in America today and steel ourselves against the
troubling-times lurking just over the near horizon.  The contemporary Ecumenical-
spirit is a stepsister to universal religious
assimilation, without regard for the One True God and His utter sovereignty, as "He that sitteth enthroned above the circle of the
earth".[8]
The enlarging shadow of religious ecumenism, hovering over America, is spawned by an 'endtime' religious spirit-of-deception.  
The deception is the call "to unity" in the supposed "all inclusive community of faith" which, in essence, separates the Christian
Evangelical from the Sovereign God, Jehovah Yahweh, and replaces Him with a "universal god" of nondescript origin, form,
name and feigned divinity.   If we have any question as to whether
the day of the great "falling away"[9] has begun, the emergent
ecumenism and universal 'god' portrayed in this commentary, should give us cause to think again, and reconsider the glaring
"signs of the times". [5]   Many in the Christian Fundamentalist camp consider Universal Ecumenism, in this time and season,
as a
fifth column**.   This condition is truly a situation in need of intercessory and intervening prayer from the body-of-Christ.
* Text Statement: From an interview Pres. Bush held with Al Arabiya television.  In an official transcript released by the White
House, the president said,  "I believe in an almighty God, and I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or
any other religion, prays to the same God".  Later in the interview, the president repeated his statement: "I believe there is a
universal God. I believe the God that the Muslim prays to is the same God that I pray to.  After all, we all came from Abraham. I
believe in that universality".
**A Fifth Column is a group, by definition (in this context), which dilutes and/or compromises a larger group to which it professes
to share comparable loyalties, if not similar values/beliefs/purposes.
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
Scriptures: [KJV]
[1] Exo. 20:3
[2] 1Tim. 2:5
[3] Ezek. 38:13
[4] Rev. 14: 11-18
[5] Matt. 16:3
[6] 2Chr. 7:14
[7[ Rev. 3:14 -
[8] Isa.40:22
[9] 2 Thes. 2:3
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Ref. Link:htttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecumenism