Bleating Wolves & Ecumenicals: The Meaning of Evangelicals and Catholics Together

Part of the immediate problem [within the Church] is that many so-called evangelical churches and leaders spent much of the mid-twentieth century separating themselves from those who preached separation from unbelief. The neo-evangelicals had such a horror of separation that they had to separate from the separationists. Carl Henry was one of the leaders of the neo-evangelicals. He and others wanted to lead a movement that would distance itself from fundamentalism, and neo-evangelicalism was born. This in turn led quickly to Billy Graham’s acceptance of liberal churches as sponsors of his crusades in the 1950s, and in the 1960s, to acceptance of Romanist churches as sponsors of the crusades. What the Bible teaches on theological and ecclesiastical separation was ignored; and compromise, though under different labels, became the modus operandi of the neo-evangelicals. It was called cooperation – and who is anti-social enough to oppose cooperation? It was called engagement, and who is isolationist enough to reject engagement? It was called co-belligerence, a metaphor borrowed from war in which two parties fighting a third party do not fight each other. But the idea of co-belligerence – let alone the notions of cooperation and theological alliance – is itself a betrayal of Christ; it is abandoning theological warfare for cultural warfare. Co-belligerence involves deciding that Christians will neither criticize Romanism nor evangelize Roman Catholics (nor criticize Arminianism nor evangelize Arminians, nor criticize Judaism nor evangelize Jews), for example, because they are our allies in the Culture Wars against the secularists. But fighting Culture Wars is not the Great Commission; Scripture knows only Theology Wars, and in those Wars, all un-Biblical thoughts and institutions are the enemies of Christ. Making a separate peace with any one of them, as co-belligerency requires, is treason to Christ. – Dr. John W. Robbins

For more, please read this excellent essay by Dr. Robbins.