Unity not uniformity, diversity not division
by Jonathan Bird
Christians around the world observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity each January. This year the Week fell on the 18th to the 25th, and I joined more than 100 other people, representing about a dozen congregations, at the Unity not Uniformity, Diversity not Division conference held on the 16th and 17th, organized by three Protestant congregations in Richmond.
Jonathan Coutts of Richmond Alliance Church (Christian & Missionary Alliance), Micah Smith of Emmanuel Christian Community (independent, with Brethren and charismatic renewal roots) and Albert Chu of The Tapestry (Christian Reformed) co-sponsored the conference.
The keynote speaker was Gordon Smith, President of Ambrose University (Alliance and Nazarene) in Calgary.
The conference centred on three presentations by Smith who outlined an Evangelical Protestant case for an ecumenism that includes Catholics and other mainline traditions. He began with an appeal to Scripture, explaining that the New Testament everywhere teaches there is only one Church and that this truth is foregrounded the most in Ephesians. . .
Keynote speaker Gordon T. Smith (previously Vice President and Dean of Regent College), is the new president of Ambrose University College Seminary. The college is a merger of the Christian & Missionary Alliance (Canada) with The Church of the Nazarene (Canada). Smith has written several books. The Voice of Jesus, is built on Roman Catholic spiritual traditions of John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Ignatius of Loyola. Alone With The Lord is a self guided prayer plan adapted from The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.
Read more about the link between Smith and the Jesuits, here: Ambrose University College hires Jesuit-educated contemplative spirituality proponent as its new president.
It appears that more than one evangelical denomination is being slowly persuaded by the Jesuit agenda to come together in an ecumenical plan and cross the bridge to Rome.
The Jesuit Agenda and the Evangelical/Protestant Church
C&MA and Ambrose: Welcoming Spiritually Muddy Theology
Catholics and Evangelicals together at Ambrose
Are Ambrose Lecturers Leading Students into Muddy Waters?
Christian & Missionary Alliance Students Taught to Listen to God – Contemplative Style