In 1989 the second Lausanne congress took place in Manila. Out of the congress came the document termed, the Manila Manifesto. Although there is much to be commended in the document yet it does raise questions also.

On page 14 we read, “Our reference to “the whole church” is not a presumptuous claim that the universal church and the evangelical community are synonymous. For we recognize that there are many churches which are not part of the evangelical movement. Evangelical attitudes to the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches differ widely. Some evangelicals are praying, talking, studying Scripture and working with these churches. Others are strongly opposed to any form of dialogue or cooperation with them. All are aware that serious theological differences between us remain. Where appropriate, and so long as biblical truth is not compromised, cooperation may be possible in such areas as Bible translation, the study of contemporary theological and ethical issues, social work and political action. We wish to make it clear, however, that common evangelism demands a common commitment to the biblical gospel. Some of us are members of churches which belong to the World Council of Churches and believe that a positive but critical participation in its work is our Christian duty. Others among us have no link with the World Council. All of us urge the World Council of Churches to adopt a consistent biblical understanding of evangelism.”

What is apparent is that in 1989 the Lausanne movement was divided over the issue of ecumenism. Some wanted to stay well clear of it and others believed it was a Christian’s duty to be involved in order to maintain the unity within the “whole body of Christ”. What is clear is that at this stage the Lausanne Movement regarded the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches as part of the body of Christ, albeit recognising that theological differences with evangelicalism would prohibit in participation with those churches in any official evangelism. However when one accepts Roman Catholism or the Orthodox churches as legitimate expressions of Christianity it will just be a matter of time till ecumenical compromise sets in.

Though Lausanne Consultation for Jewish Evangelism may repudiate any allegation that they are in partnership with the Vatican, as we saw with the open letter to David Sedaca, the idea of ecumenical unity has been praised and promoted. David Sedaca literally stated that an ecumenical meeting between evangelicals and Catholics demonstrates the unity that only Christ can bring! This is highly dangerous for it only serves to encourage ecumenism while most of orthodox evangelicalism sits by quietly without calling him to account. In the petition I have drawn up I have gratefully received 82 signatures but 82 people is a very small number. In the Lausanne Bulletin 103, February 2011, the same David Sedaca that spoke of ecumenism with Roman Catholics and evangelicals demonstrating Christ’s unity, stated the following, “We may receive opposition from the church. Some churches may have a distorted view of what we are doing, but let’s build bridges, not walls. We are all part of the Body of Messiah. We are all part of the church. Our role is not isolation, but integration that respects our uniqueness and calling. There may be problems within Jewish evangelism…. Today we are confronted by strange theologies (Ephraimites, Talmudists, strong charismatics, personality cults), so we must take a stand for what we believe- otherwise we have believed in vain.”

When Mr Sedaca was challenged to make a stand against the Roman Catholic Church and put right his recommendation of the ecumenical meeting he promoted with praiseworthy language he refused to make a stand against the false gospel of Rome. Brethren, does this not concern you or shake your confidence in this man and the organisation he is representing? As Mr Sedaca wrote this report after his recommendation of ecumenism one can only assume that when he states that we are all part of the Body of Messiah he is including Roman Catholic Churches also. So do we need to build bridges?

Since the second Lausanne Congress in Manila 1989 the third Lausanne Congress took place in Cape Town in 2010. The document that came out of this was called the Cape Town Commitment. On page 3 of the Cape Town commitment it states, “While we speak and write from the evangelical tradition in The Lausanne Movement, we affirm the oneness of the Body of Christ, and gladly recognize that there are many followers of the Lord Jesus Christ within other traditions. We welcomed several senior representatives from several historic churches of other traditions as observers in Cape Town, and we trust The Cape Town Commitment may be helpful to churches of all traditions.”

It seems the gap is lessening. Where as the Manila Manifesto claimed that cooperation in evangelism would not be possible with non evangelical forms of Christianity though Lausanne assert that the Body of Christ is wider than the evangelical tradition and clearly intimated that it accepted that the wider body of Christ included the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions. But in The Cape Town Commitment we read on page 19, “We urgently seek a new global partnership within the body of Christ across all continents, rooted in profound mutual love, mutual submission, and dramatic economic sharing without paternalism or unhealthy dependency.”

On page 44, though there is a repudiation of the prosperity gospel as unbiblical, nothing is stated about the false gospel of Rome which is extremely dangerous when one looks at what they say under the section entitled, “IIF – Partnering in the Body of Christ for unity in mission.”

“1. Unity in the Church.

A divided Church has no message for a divided world. Our failure to live in reconciled unity is a major obstacle to authenticity and effectiveness in mission.

a) We lament the dividedness and divisiveness of our churches and organizations. We deeply and urgently long for Christians to cultivate a spirit of grace and to be obedient to Paul’s command to ‘make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’

b) While we recognize that our deepest unity is spiritual, we long for greater recognition of the missional power of visible, practical, earthly unity. So we urge Christian brothers and sisters worldwide, for the sake of our common witness and mission, to resist the temptation to split the body of Christ, and to seek the paths of reconciliation and restored unity wherever possible.

….We stand together as church and mission leaders in all parts of the world, called to recognize and accept one another, with equality of opportunities to contribute together to world mission. Let us, in submission to Christ, lay aside suspicion, competition and pride, and be willing to learn from those whom God is using, even when they are not from our continent, nor of our particular theology, nor of our organization, nor of our circle of friends.”

It should be clear that Lausanne is wanting to network outside of the evangelical tradition of Christianity, albeit with possible caution. They are confessedly open to ecumenism. It is no surprise that David Sedaca sat on the fence when asked concerning his praise of ecumenism saying that he neither condones it or condemns it. This is not to say that all members of Lausanne feel this way but the movement itself definitely does. Read this following excerpt from a Roman Catholic forum concerning a letter written to them from a representative from LCJE member “Jews for Jesus”.

“The documentary Survivor Stories features a concentration camp survivor who converted to Christianity. On further inquiry, I learned why the conversions have not been to Catholicism. Read on and weep with me for our ‘politically correct’ Church, more interested in the Jewish mainstream than in befriending Christ.

– Shalom Mr. xxxxxx,

The first thing I want to say is that we praise God for putting you in a church where you find the finest and fullest proclamation of His truth. No one in Jews for Jesus will ever criticize you for being a devoted Catholic. We are pleased to work jointly with many Catholics, as we do with any who love the Lord Jesus and have put their trust in Him for their salvation. We have been to numerous fellowships, community groups and home Bible studies comprised of Catholics who have a personal relationship with Jesus. —————->We often present “Christ in the Passover,” a sermonic demonstration that illustrates how the Jewish feast foreshadows the coming of Christ and fits beautifully with the Eucharist.<———-

We have not found, however, the same spirit of acceptance within the Roman Catholic Church proper. Part of the problem has to do with the doctrines of the Catholic Church, and part of it has to do with Jews for Jesus. While Jews for Jesus stresses unity always above differences within the Body of Christ, we generally do not feel welcome in the regular Mass of the Catholic Church.”

What will Jews for Jesus publically state concerning such claims. Will they let this be publicized by Roman Catholics? Are they really in agreement with such a statement? Silence will only condemn someone as an accomplice.

In the Jews for Jesus magazine “Issues. Volume 17:4” Several Jews who converted to Roman Catholicism are lauded. The main article concerns Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger who maintained his Jewish identity while a Roman Catholic. On page 5 the author of the article, Josh Turnil, sadly equates Lustiger’s conversion to Catholicism as conversion to Christianity. No qualification is made to say that it was an unbiblical form of “Christianity”. How can sound evangelical Christians make such a blunder so as to equate the Roman Catholic Church as a legitimate expression of Christianity. Rome holds to a different gospel! Ecumenism is even more serious an error than replacement theology and just as important an issue as accepting the need of Jews to hear the gospel. To glory in causing an organization to recognize the need for Jewish missions while promoting unity with non evangelical forms of “Christianity” is a major defeat! Not a victory! Replacement theologians will automatically agree with such a position believing that Jews are no different to any other people as they do not retain a special place in God’s eyes.

Is it any wonder that Lausanne are taking this path when their founder was ecumenist Billy Graham and the honorary chairman of the Lausanne movement used to be the late John Stott?

The question that each of us must ask ourselves concerning this issue is what our reaction should be. We must seek the Lord for His direction concerning how we are to stand against this tide of ecumenism that is rising rapidly in the conservative evangelical camp. To shut our eyes and hope it to go away is naive. It must be spoken against and refuted in the strongest possible terms as Paul strongly and aggressively contested the false gospel of the Galatians Judaisers. Though I believe that we should be patient and soft with those doubting, there can be little soft patience with the people promoting this deception. We must call them to account and to reject both ecumenism and the promotion of ecumenism. If you would like to add your name to the petition calling David Sedaca and LCJE to renounce ecumenism please visit the following link . Our hope is in the next few months to get this petition printed out and as the Lord allows to have it put in the hands of David Sedaca and Kai Kjaer-Hanson.

Some of our signatories to date are,

Ruth Nessim – CJF missionary in Israel.

3/9/2013 Name removed as person sees this petition as inconsistent.

James Jacob Prasch – Director of Moriel Ministries international.

Keith Parker – Prayer for Israel

Geoffrey Toole – Moriel Missions Japan.

Alan Mackenzie – Road to Recovery Christian Fellowship.

Mark Van Niekerk – Hazorim.

Roger Winter-Smith – Stroud Green Christian Assembly

Chris De Wet – Moriel Ministries Bloemfontein

Jackie Alnor – Rapture Ready Radio presenter of Apostasy Alert programme.

Pastor Marco Quintana – Community Church of Devore

Scott Brisk – Moriel Be Alert

Cecil Andrews – Take Heed Ministries

Felipe Diez – Reforma Ministries

Pastor David Royle – Moriel Missions Southern Africa

Martin Emerson – Light in the Darkness