When I was growing up in the 70’s, my siblings and I enjoyed singing together. One of our favorites was called the Ecumenical Movement Song performed by Robin and Crystal Bernard, children of well-known evangelist Jerry Wayne Bernard. Crystal became a popular actress in 90’s. We first heard it on my grandmother’s wooden stereo in Olney, Texas in 1974. We still quote sound bytes from this song and can sing it on-demand 50 years later! Here are the lyrics:

We hear a lot of talk about, the Ecumenical Movement.
They say we should all get together and be one big happy family.
Catholic, Protestant and Jew, Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu.
I guess they want the Devil, too, in the Ecumenical Movement.

They always talk about the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount
But whether you’ve ever been born again does not even seem to count.
I know my sins are all forgiven and I am on my way to heaven
My trust is in the Lord and not the Ecumenical Movement.

‘Tis modern now to talk about the Ecumenical Movement
The old ways are not good enough they all must now be forgotten.
Virgins birth, the Trinity the blood of Christ on Calvary
They’ve made a better way, you see, through the Ecumenical Movement.

These folks they always talk about the Ecumenical Movement
That we all travel different roads but they all lead to Heaven.
But God’s words plainly say that Jesus is the only way
So put your trust in him today, not the Ecumenical Movement.

Sentiment aside, it is imperative that we distinguish being “kingdom-centered” from the failed Ecumenical Movement as depicted in this endearing song.

1. The “one big happy family” includes all followers of Jesus, not eastern religions who do not recognize the divinity of Jesus.
2. Even among followers of Jesus, there is diversity of customs and vernacular. For example, just because some do not refer to salvation as being “born again” doesn’t keep them out of His Kingdom. In fact, this phrase is only used 3 times in scripture.
3. Operating with a Kingdom mindset is more important than focusing solely on yourself or your local congregation (John 3:16).
4. The salvation event (deciding to follow Jesus) marks the beginning of the process, not the conclusion. It’s good enough to get you into heaven but will not automatically make you the light of the world and the salt of the earth. This mindset should be forgotten.
5. It is imperative that we not live in isolation with nonbelievers. We are called to be the light of the world and salt of the earth. We can’t be effective if we sequester ourselves.
6. We should always focus on Jesus—He is the only way—but we should continue to renew our mind and transform ourselves per Romans 12:2. This implies that we should not cling to our traditions and excel at transformational change. A strategic movement such as a revival is simply a way to organize and mobilize; it does not replace our personal relationship with Christ.

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