The New Ecumenical Movement?
So, being a Word person, I get asked a lot of questions about the Bible and spirituality. Recently, someone asked me about Interfaith Unity Church. I said I wasn’t’ familiar with that group, but I’d do some research.
I had assumed that it was part of the Ecumenical Movement that was popular years ago. That was when churches of different denominations would get-together, fellowship and learn from one-another’s teachings, drawing from one-other’s strengths and broadening their horizons, so to speak. It also promoted understanding and acceptance among different churches; Christian churches.
Now, protestant denominations do differ in their interpretations of various parts of biblical truth. That’s the foundation of denominationalism. But at their core, their basic belief structure is the same. Christians believe in salvation by grace through faith apart from works. The work necessary for our salvation was accomplished by Jesus Christ, the Son of God and at the same time, God the Son. He was crucified, taking the judgement for our sins upon Himself and died, rose from the dead, ascended back to Heaven, and is coming again. We don’t disagree on that. I believe it’s safe to say that what we agree on carries more weight than what we disagree on.
But what I found about Interfaith Unity Church was different. They are a group of people from all religions. These are not listed on their website, but their symbols are: Judaism, Christianity, some form of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and and three I didn’t recognize. They are deep into meditation, spiritual experiences, teaching about how to be a good person, helping others, self awareness and the like. I did notice that they study the works of Dr. Wayne Dyer, who founded the Church of Scientology. Jesus was actually mentioned twice in the site.
The belief system they published leads people to live a healthy, prosperous and meaningful life by teaching the principles of Truth taught and exemplified by all the Master Teachers. They believe all people are created with sacred worth. As an open-minded community, they welcome all races, religions spiritual beliefs and lifestyles that embrace a peaceful co-existence in the world.
They had guest speakers with Indian names and they offered books for sale by Indian authors. There classes that the membership could attend for a “suggested love-offering.”
I’m somewhat familiar with Eastern religions and the New Age Movement. What I saw there led me to believe that the main thrust of the ministry were those teachings with a little bit of Jesus’ and maybe Mohammad’s thrown in. I didn’t see anything about repentance, redemption, baptism, The Holy Spirit, or being born again. I wondered if a Bible-believing Christian would be welcome there for all their emphasis on acceptance and if a Bible teacher would get equal time.
I wondered if anyone there knows anything about being born again?