In the February 2011 MB Herald on page 24 is an article called Gospel’s common cause links Christians of all stripes. The article is about evangelicals engaging in broader dialogue with other Christian traditions in order to impact Canada with the gospel. A joint committee with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the Evangelical Fellowship Canada (EFC) recently explored the potential for ongoing conversation between Roman Catholics and evangelicals, leading to the establishment of the EFC/CCCB dialogue.
“We recognized that there is indeed more that we can do together to strengthen one another’s witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ,” says Van Ginkel [EFC rep].
David Freeman, co-chair of the EFC/CCCB dialogue and vice president of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, sees a “growing urgency” for greater dialogue between faith traditions. “On what basis do we allow differences in other, often secondary, doctrinal areas to separate us when we together are followers of the biblical Jesus?”
Cooperation “is a theological imperative, an act of obedience to Christ, an expression of humility, and a testimony to those who see division instead of unity.”
Van Ginkel adds, “It’s almost as if God reveals only a part of who God is to different traditions so that we will come together in the recognition that we need one another in order to experience a fuller understanding of who God is and what God is saying to the church in Canada.”
She also stresses the need for wisdom and discernment. Rather than talking institutional merger, “we’re focusing on how we can better present the gospel…no matter which church family we come out of.”
–Mags Storey, Gospel’s common cause links Christians of all stripes
The MB Herald notes that this article first appeared in Christianweek (however it is not the same).
Why is this ecumenical article in the MB Herald? Because the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches is an affiliate of the Evangelical Fellowship Canada.
Also in the same MB Herald, on page 12, is an article about parish nursing called Caring for Body and Soul. While it’s admirable that Christians would want to be trained for a nursing ministry, this article found it necessary to mention as one training option: St. Peter’s Institute for Catholic Formation, at St. Peter’s seminary, London, Ont. (http://www.stpetersseminary.ca/institute/). Is the MB Herald advocating that Mennonites be trained at a Catholic seminary?
And since the subject of Roman Catholicism in the MB Herald has come up once again, it’s time to make honorable mention of this excellent comment that made it into the letters to the editor section (page 17):
Immaculate Conception a false teaching
Re “A traditional calendar of Christmas” (Homepage, December). The Immaculate Conception is a false teaching and has no place inside the MB church. Jesus’ conception was most assuredly immaculate, but the Immaculate Conception does not refer to Jesus at all. The Immaculate Conception is the belief that Mary was protected from original sin, that Mary did not have a sin nature, and was, in fact, sinless.
The Bible does not even hint that there was anything significant about Mary’s conception. If we examine this concept logically, Mary’s mother would have to be immaculately conceived as well. How could Mary be conceived without sin if her mother was sinful? The same would have to be said of Mary’s grandmother, great-grandmother, and so on.
The Bible teaches the miraculous virgin conception of Jesus Christ, not the immaculate conception of Mary. So the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is neither biblical nor necessary.
This was pertaining to the so called traditional Christmas calendar in the December issue of the MB Herald, which you can read about here: A traditional Calendar of Christmas – for Mennonites or Catholics?
In light of this all too common cause for concern, the following videos may be enlightening for those Mennonites who are seeking common ground with the Roman Catholic church and her doctrines which their namesake, Menno Simons (remember him?) renounced so long ago.
Does the Bible teach unity or division in the name of ‘common cause’? Watch the videos:
Part 1 Catholicism VS Evangelical Christianity
Canada’s bishops enter formal dialogue with evangelicals
Western Catholic Reporter
Evangelicals and Catholics: The Next Generation?
T. A. McMahon
Catholic Evangelical Alliance?
MENNO SIMON’S RENUNCIATION OF THE CHURCH OF ROME