Solomon and the Ecumenical Movement
Solomon – The Ecumenical Movement
In the Creation of mankind Jesus knew the value of the intimate relationship between husband and wife. In fact Jesus Himself uses this intimacy to describe the relationship between Himself and His church. Ephesians 5:23-32. Jesus also uses the type of how He made Adam’s wife (Genesis 2:20-22) to illustrate how He would have His side opened up in His “sleep” and use that material to make a “help meet” for Him. John 19:32-33.
Jesus also used the wife of Adam as an example of how He would fight the war on earth between Himself and Satan. In Genesis 3:15 Jesus predicts that He would put enmity between the woman and the serpent, that there would be war between her seed and the seed of the serpent, that her seed would bruise the head of the serpent. This is our first type of using the literal woman to typify the church as a body.
We have other examples of God using the type of a woman to describe His church. God uses Sarah and Hagar as examples of the covenant churches in Galatians 4:21-31 Paul claims that all of God’s children are children of the free woman in Galatians 4:31
God also uses the example of a woman to symbolize the new testament church in II Corinthians 11:2 and He uses a woman to describe his old testament church in Jeremiah 6:2 where He describes Zion as a comely and delicate woman. He further describes Zion as His people in Isaiah 51:16. Jesus uses woman to describe a pure church in Revelation 12:1,2,5 and to describe a harlot church in Revelation 17:1-5. He uses similar typology to describe Jerusalem and Samaria in Ezekiel 16:1-3, 44-59. In Jeremiah 3 God describes His relationship with Judah and Israel as relationships with harlot women with whom He had been married to and divorced. Thus God is deeply aware of human relationships, and all the joy, and the suffering and pain that goes with them. God has chosen to use these relationship patterns to discuss the things of God and to inform His people of how events would unfold. We must always remember that God wrote these Bible stories not only for the people who initially experienced them but were for the people upon whom the ends of the world are come. I Corinthians 10:11; I Peter 1:10-12.
With these principles in mind I would like to return briefly to the experience of Solomon. Solomon, as described in our last chapter, had rejected the counsel of God and had chosen to ally himself with many heathen nations and seal these alliances with marriages to heather princesses. We know that these marriages ended in turning the heart of Solomon away from Jesus and while in this state Solomon entered into heathen worship ceremonies with his wives. All of this pagan worship created a counter religion in the heart of the nation of Israel and ended up with Solomon building temples to pagan gods: “On the summit of the Mount of Olives, confronting the temple of Jehovah, were erected gigantic images and altars for the service of heathen deities.” Education 49 It is this writers belief that this series of acts by Solomon was a type of the ecumenical movement of these last days.
To give us an example of the ecumenical process I am addressing I would like to share with you a random sampling of thinking from off the internet about the Catholic and Evangelicals uniting:
“On March 29, 1994, leading evangelicals and Catholics signed a joint declaration, "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the 3rd. Millennium." Contained within the document, which attempts to bring ecumenical unity, are some seriously compromising agreements regarding proselytizing and doctrinal distinctions.
The 25-page document, originated by Chuck Colson and Catholic social critic Richard John Neuhaus, was signed by 40 noted evangelical and Catholic leaders including Pat Robertson, heads of the Home Mission Board and Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bill Bright - founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, Mark Noll of Wheaton University, Os Guinness, Jesse Miranda (Assemblies of God), Richard Mauw (President, Fuller Seminary), J.I. Packer and Herbert Schlossberg.
It called for Catholic and evangelical cooperation on social and cultural issues where both traditions share common goals, one example being the fight against abortion. The accord also stressed mutual allegiance to the Apostles' Creed, world evangelism, justification "by grace through faith because of Christ," and encouraged "civil" discourse over doctrinal differences.
Chuck Colson has been fervently criticized for his part in this accord and in his defense I can only say he has a desire to see Christ's high priestly prayer (John 17) maintained. He said in his publication, Jubilee, "All true Christians are one in Christ. That has to be. That isn't just a theological proposition. That is a statment of ultimate reality, because God has created us all, and those He has regenerated and called to Himself all belong to the same, one God. Disunity is a condition that God does not want; it defies what God has done. Therefore it is an affirmative duty on the part of every Christian to work for unity among true believers, never compromising truth, of course, but always to work for unity.
The challenge, as I see it, for Mr. Colson and others working toward true Biblical unity of the church is the dillution of their own faith. While I believe there are most likely "born-again" saved people in the Catholic Church whose faith in Christ transcends the teachings and doctrines of the Church, there is a danger of losing sight of the fact that the Catholic Church promises salvation apart from the finished work of Christ on the cross.
The distinction is not in the common words they use, but in the definitions of those same words. While Catholics and non-Catholics may agree with the Apostles' Creed, they don't necessarily share the meaning. While Catholics may say they agree with justification "by grace through faith because of Christ," their actions sometimes show otherwise. While "civil" discourse over doctrinal differences may be good, if that civility reduces the impact of world evangelism and bringing the lost to Christ (including non-saved Catholics), it does nothing to advance Christ's prayer for unity and hinders the responsibility of believers to spread the gospel throughout the world.
Colson and other signers later agreed to a five-point statement clarifying Protestant distinctives that were not clear in ECT. Critics claimed that the statement blurs doctrinal lines on key issues, including salvation by faith alone. John MacArthur, pastor of the independent Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, told "Christianity Today" magazine his greatest concern was the apparent disregard for "evangelical doctrinal distinctives."
The new statement says cooperation between evangelicals and "evangelically committed Roman Catholics" on common concerns is no endorsement of the Roman Catholic "church system" or "doctrinal distinctives." It affirms the Protestant understanding of salvation and legitimate evangelism efforts.”
The above clip was taken from the following website:
Ellen White in the book Great Controversy has the following to say:
“The wide diversity of belief in the Protestant churches is regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity can ever be made. But there has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favor of a union based upon common points of doctrine. To secure such a union, the discussion of subjects upon which all were not agreed--however important they might be from a Bible standpoint--must necessarily be waived.
Charles Beecher, in a sermon in the year 1846, declared that the ministry of "the evangelical Protestant denominations" is "not only formed all the way up under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostasy. Was not this the way things went with Rome? Are we not living her life over again? And what do we see just ahead? Another general council! A world's convention! Evangelical alliance, and universal creed!"--Sermon on "The Bible a Sufficient Creed," delivered at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Feb. 22, 1846. When this shall be gained, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force.
When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” GC 445.1
Ellen White is writing this in explanation of Revelation 13:12-15 where there will be an effort to unite all of the world in a worship of the image to the beast. It is not the focus of this article to determine a definition of the beast but it is an attempt to focus on the worship issue of Revelation 13. Worship, as defined in the Bible, is something that should be given to God alone and given to Him in such a manner that is reveals a submission to God’s will and His wisdom. This worship process is to be taught and developed in the church of God and in accordance with His holy principles. Anything that attempts to deviate from this to secure allegiance to the principles of man is a violation of the worship of God and nullifies the worship that should go to God. Matthew 15:1-9; Ezekiel 36.
We have seen how Solomon, a man dedicated and anointed by God slowly turned away from his true worship of God and ended up worshipping Satan by uniting in fellowship with pagan “strange” women. I Kings 11:1-8. We find that Solomon ended up building pagan temples of worship on the Mount of Olives across from God’s true temple after uniting with his pagan wives. II Kings 23:13. We have also seen that in the Bible that women are a type of churches – pure church is of God, false church is of Satan. We have also read the Scriptures that say that all of the Bible stories were written for the end times. I Corinthians 10:11. I have incorporated a few quotations from three different sources indicating that the Protestant churches are attempting to unite together to fulfill a Bible concept of true unity without compromise of truth. Solomon had this same goal but in the end whenever one attempts to compromise on truth it turns into error. We have seen that these articles indicate that there will be an attempt by Protestants and Catholics to reach an accord where they can unite on the points of doctrine that they feel are essential to fulfill Christ’s desire to have a united church. When this attempt at unity reaches the point that it compromises truth then it is no longer of God.
Revelation 13:3 makes it’s prophetic statement that all the world will wonder after the beast. Revelation 13:12 says that there will be another government (kingdom equals a beast Daniel 7:15-17) who “causeth the earth and them which dwell there to worship the first beast...” In Revelation 13:15 it says the following regarding worship “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” It would seem that the worship issue is one of the strongest concepts in Revelation 13. It is paramount for us to know whom we worship and it is paramount that we worship in a manner that God approves of. We know that worship is important because Revelation 14:9-10 says the following: “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God…” So who we worship, and why we worship is important, very important.
It is the hope of this writer that as you ponder the things of this study, as you pray over the idea of whether or not a church is symbolized by a woman in Scripture, as you meditate on the fact that a man of God like Solomon could unite with pagan women in direct opposition to the revealed Word of God, that pagan worship could be introduced into Jerusalem, the heart of Israel, by this man dedicated to the service of God, that your hear will be open to the things that God would like to share with you. Allow these things to be weighed deeply and discuss them fervently with God. Learn from Solomon and worship God in accordance with His holy will.
For further studies on Solomon see: