The idea of ecumenicalism is associated with unity and
universality. The word, ecumenical, (Greek, OIKOUMENE) is used 15 times in
the New Testament as a reference to the "whole world," primarily in a
geographical sense, as in Matthew 24:14.
In the post-apostolic times, various branches of the
church associated with the term ecumenical in the corporate sense. The
Eastern church had its ecumenical synods and theologians. The Roman church
called its councils ecumenical. The creeds of the Apostles, Nicene,
Athanasian and others were called ecumenical.
Today, various churches are associated with the modern
ecumenical movement, primarily though affiliation with the World Council of
Churches. This is a theologically liberal, leftist organization devoted to
the world unification of churches and religious entities. Most theologically
conservative, evangelical churches reject any association with the
ecumenical movement or the World Council of Churches, as these groups are
identified with compromised, pseudo-Christian philosophy, and the goal of
forming a one world religion. Authorities on the subject of prophecy cite
that the Antichrist will arise amid a reprobate, one world religion.
A spirit of unity between all Christian churches, across denominational boundaries, is a noble ambition that should be pursued. The body of Christ needs to be united in their love, their prayers, and their evangelistic efforts to the world. But not at the compromise of basic Christian ideals, as is embraced by modern ecumenicalism.