Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Faces Elusive Challenges
It would seem such a simple thing, to pray together ...
For eight days, participants are invited to consider chosen scriptures and a daily theme, which include:
Day One: Changed by the Servant Christ
Day Two: Changed through patient waiting for the Lord
Day Three: Changed by the Suffering Servant
Day Four: Changed by the Lord’s Victory over Evil
Day Five: Changed by the peace of the Risen Lord
Day Six: Changed by God’s Steadfast Love
Day Seven: Changed by the Good Shepherd
Day Eight: United in the Reign of Christ
Participants consider tenets of faith shared by all Christians, such as: “Christ’s victory enables us to look into the future with hope. This victory overcomes all that keeps us from sharing fullness of life with him and with each other. Christians know that unity among us is above all a gift of God. It is a share in Christ’s glorious victory over all that divides.”
So, there no little irony in that the World Council of Churches’ involvement seems to make the event of little interest to most of America’s largest churches.
WCC membership includes almost no conservative Evangelicals. The WCC’s U.S. organization, the National Council of Churches, is dominated byAmerica’s five top liberal and declining denominations: The Episcopal Church in the United States of America, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., the Disciples of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Church of Christ (Congregationalists) and the United Methodist Church. The Episcopalians alone have lost 1 million members since 1975. The Disciples had 2 million members in 1958 and now are less than half of that.
The Catholic Church declines to join the World Council of Churches. The Southern Baptists are particularly blunt in their assessment:
“The World Council of Churches has long been a boutique of paganism in Christian garb,” writes Russell D. Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville,Ky. “Believers across the world, whatever their denomination or communion, recognize the spirit of the World Council for what it is: the spirit of antichrist.”