Full Title:The international agenda of Church and State in America: an historical and religious analysis
Speaker: Dr. Martin Erdmann
Format: The seminar can consist of one to four different sessions of an hour each.
Target audience: Any believer in Christ, especially pastors and Christian leaders, will benefit from attending the seminar. Although the informational content of the seminar is kept at a level of general comprehension, it deals with a topic which will affect the audience emotionally. Attendees will come to a heightened awareness of the reality that most evangelical churches around the world, including those in the USA, have deliberately abandoned a biblical view of the nature of the church and its mission in pursuit of political and social goals which are in direct opposition to Christ’s mandate to proclaim the Gospel in all nations. Questions of what can be done by Christians to expose and counteract the influence of ecumenism in their churches and elsewhere will arise in the minds of most. However, there are no easy answers. Whatever will be done, will have to be based on a scriptural understanding of the Gospel of God’s grace, as exemplified supremely in Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection and the church’s true mission of proclaiming this Gospel locally and in the world. It will demand an active rejection of anything which will impede or even prevent this mission from being accomplished.
Ecumenical Quest for a World Federation is an excellent work which informs us of the past and gives us much to consider for the future. Erdmann writes of the era when World War I was approaching and a number of influential people gave thought to what could possibly abolish war and solve most of the world’s social ills. Following the Great War it was determined by many that only a “new world order” could accomplish such a feat. With the signing of the Treaty of Versailles many felt the seeds for the next world war were planted and, as the next twenty years demonstrated, they were correct.
Something had to be done about war and its lasting devastation. A new world order was urgently needed but standing in its way was the issue of nationalism. John Foster Dulles, the principle mover behind the new world order, believed the “solution [lay] in the abolition of the entire concept of national sovereignty and the unification of the world into a single nation. All boundary barriers are thus automatically leveled” (p. 115). Leading the charge in establishing such a world order would have to be Great Britain. The British Empire had the most “excellent and refined qualities of humankind” (p. 53), and “British imperialism and the spread of social welfare were fundamental to the continuous existence of the British way of life” (p. 53).
Pastor of Garden City Grace Brethren Church in Roanoke, VA
Within Evangelical Christianity there has been a resurging interest in the writings of the mystics and their intuitive approach to God. This has been noticeable with the growing interest in authors such as Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton, as well as the leadership of such scholars such as Bruce Demarest. While many evangelicals may not be familiar with each of these names, many books being written today cite these authors as influential, often because these authors purport a form of deeper spirituality. Sometimes this spirituality is seated in the emotions and is predominantly experiential; however for some it is far more intricate and complex.