We live in the age of “ecumenical” movements. This is true. What many people think ecumenism is, is not often actually what it is. Ecumenism is about unity. That is, true ecumenism.
What is unity? Unity is based on love. Love is patient, love is kind, love is gentle, is not boastful, is not puffed up, keeps no record of wrongs, etc. How are we working on ecumenism? Well, some Evangelicals like to keep a track record of all the wrongs the Catholic Church has committed and some Catholics like to keep a track record of wrongs Protestants have committed. Both will lead to false ecumenism and possibly, even more dangerous, pseudo-conversions.
True ecumenism does not involve the diminishment of doctrine. True ecumenism is not about “creating the largest church possible and sacrificing doctrine in the process”. It is true, there have been no schisms in the Church of England over the issue of homosexuality but neither has there been schisms over birth control, IVF, and other issues of the sort. True ecumenism does not require one accept a moral position nor does it require we set moral issues related to our life in Christ aside. It is false ecumenism that thinks this way. True ecumenism defends the doctrines and lays down the law on issues concerning our moral life in Christ.
True ecumenism is not about agreeing over issues deemed minor. True ecumenism is not about kicking out those who are more obsessed over these minor issues though either. This is because those who obsess over these minor issues see them as part of the major issues and sometimes need to be listened to.
True ecumenism is centered in grace and love. True ecumenism though is not void of law either lest we think that the Sermon on the Mount is not a law either.
The problem with many people today is that ecumenism is seen more as an adaption of “what I like of this tradition, what I like of that tradition, etc.” but true ecumenism is about becoming one in Christ. In one mind. It is false ecumenism that seeks to keep the members of the body of Christ in different minds while trying to declare them one as well. This is like having one’s cake and eating it too. True ecumenism is centered firmly in the doctrines of the Church that are handed down throughout the ages and unite us all into one mind. True ecumenism is not when we agree to disagree but rather when we agree not to disagree because we realize Christ has called us to be one mind as the Trinity is one mind. The Trinity is not a division of wills and we are to be one as the Trinity as one. This idea that ecumenism is about agreeing to disagree on major issues such as morality, sacramental theology, apostolic succession, etc., is based entirely on a Trinitarian heresy which seeks to divide the members of the Trinity. True ecumenism is about truly becoming one as the Father and Son (and Holy Spirit) are one. It is about becoming one in will, one in mind, one in spirit with ALL the parts of the body of Christ. One body. One body does not persist of many beliefs but of one belief and one doctrine only.