Ecumenical preaching is balanced preaching. It does not emphasize a particular church doctrine or theology. Jesus prayed for those who would come after His disciples, that they would be guided into unity with Him and the Father
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:20-23)
The Apostle Paul wrote:
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
The Church has been divided for far too long over insignificant doctrine and spiritual misunderstandings. There seem to be three streams in the Church: Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Liturgical. These streams were never meant to be separated. They should flow together in one unified river. Nevertheless, today’s preaching tends to emphasize one of them over the other two. God is not divided. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Neither should the Church be divided. The Protestant Reformation corrected certain heresies in the Church while, over time, introducing new ones. What is needed is a new reformation.
How does the preacher move away from denominational-ism? Not necessarily by becoming “non-denominational.” The so-called “non-denominational” church is often very doctrinal. It tends to define itself over against other denominations.
A broader view is needed, not a “lowest common denominator” view. God is truly ecumenical in the greatest sense of the word. Only He can lead us into all truth. Are we open to His truth? If so, we may have to discard some of our cherished doctrines and theologies.
When the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13-15)
What about the one true church? Which one is it? Let us recall the words of Jesus to the woman at the well:
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:21-24)
The one true church is the one where people are free to worship God in the Spirit. It is one in which the truth of God’s word is sought which is above any church doctrine. We must seek this church out because not any one denomination or organization can guarantee such a church. Let us pray for discernment.
Recently there has been a movement to include all religions under one banner. This is not Spirit led ecumenism. It is a deceptive heresy. We worship the one true God whose nature has been revealed fully through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus warned that this would occur in the last days:
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’—do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Take note, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:23-25)
See Church Doctrine.