The International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC), meeting in its 20th World Congress, January 22-29, 2020, in Puerto Montt, Chile, declares it continued allegiance and fidelity to the inspired, infallible and inerrant Scriptures, which are the very Word of God. It is the sole focus and purpose of the ICCC and its churches, in all that they do, to stand firmly “for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9). This has been the Council’s theme since its inception in 1948, and it appears on our logo.
The True Gospel
We declare also that the true Gospel of Jesus Christ must be guarded against all corruption, dilution or change. The Bible teaches that God so loved guilty sinners — who were unable to save themselves — and that He sent His only begotten Son into the world to die on the cross, rise victorious from the grave, save men from their sin, and to give them the free gift of eternal life. This salvation is only by the righteousness of Christ. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
There are many attempts today to include social justice, climate change, renewable energy development, universal health care, a new world economic order, and so forth, as part of the Gospel. The World Council of Churches (WCC), in all of its apostasy, is a prime promoter of such teaching. We reject this as a continuing attempt by Satan to dilute and pervert the true message of the Good News of Jesus Christ which is clearly presented to us in the Scriptures. Even such earthly matters as are Scriptural can only come by the sovereign hand of God, and as a result of the work of the Gospel in the hearts of those who have been saved by His grace.
When men are born again by the power of God’s Spirit, and only then, can true social justice be seen. The Gospel changes men’s hearts from selfishness to compassion, stealing to giving, murder to protecting life, and loving others more than themselves. This is the only way a strong, free, safe and just society can be built.
We urge believers everywhere to actively witness for Christ, presenting only the true Biblical Gospel, in obedience to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
The Exclusivity of the True Gospel
Isaiah 8:20 tells us: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Therefore, we reject the syncretism and universalism increasingly displayed by the WCC, and even some evangelical churches. The continual attempts to break down and dismiss the crucial doctrinal errors of the Roman Catholic Church, which led to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, and even praising and working with other religions, cannot be countenanced in any way.
The Scriptures teach us: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).
These commands to be separate are likewise clearly violated by many in modern evangelicalism, including the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). The WEA has in recent years produced joint statements with the World Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church,1 and has sent its leaders to participate in meetings with the Pope in Rome.2
The WCC and the Roman Catholic Church frequently send letters of encouragement to leaders of other religions, commending their false beliefs as somehow being the same as what Christians believe.3 This is a dangerous disregard for the souls of the lost. While God commands “all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30), the WCC and others praise men in their sin.
True believers, despite strenuous criticism, do not hold the view that there is good in all religions, or that each religion is just a different path to God. God Himself declares decisively: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22). Christ tells us in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” And, the Apostle Peter proclaimed: “Neither is there salvation in any other [than Christ]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
The True Gospel in the Face of Increasing Evil in Society
In our present day, there is much opposition to the teachings of the Word of God, and much pressure is placed upon Bible-believing Christians and churches to compromise their beliefs and practices, in order to conform to the so-called norms of our godless society.
A case in point is the LGBTQ agenda being promoted vigorously all over the world. We declare our love for the souls of all sinners, but refuse to call good that which God declares to be evil (Romans 1:24-27). This applies as well to fornication, adultery, easy divorce, the promotion of gender confusion, and so forth. That God created all men “male and female” (Genesis 1:27), and ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6) can never be compromised by the true child of God. What God declares to be sin, we must also declare to be sin — in conformance with God’s Holy Word. To conform our view of sin to the whims of a wicked society is a direct threat to the true Gospel of Christ.
The ICCC declares that all true children of God everywhere must humbly, but firmly, join Peter and the other apostles in declaring: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Proverbs 14:12 tells us: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Thus, we must steadfastly remain on the “narrow way,” which leads to life eternal.
“Be Thou Faithful Unto Death”
The ICCC calls on Bible-believing Christians and churches everywhere to be faithful to the Lord, not allowing the vain philosophies and evil devices of our world to distract from doing that which is right. Philippians 3:14 tells us: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Our eyes must forever be focused on what the Word of God commands us to do as we journey as “strangers and pilgrims” on our path to eternal glory.
We cannot just be doctrinally correct. The work of God’s Spirit must be ever present and evident in our lives. The ICCC calls on Bible-believing Christians and churches everywhere to:
1. Strive, with God’s help, to be holy. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
2. Give your life in service to Christ: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
3. Study the Word of God: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
4. Meditate on the Word of God: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success”
5. Spread the Gospel of Christ: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). (Joshua 1:8).
6. Be unswerving in your stand for the Lord: “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:14-17).
7. Be prepared to face persecution: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).
8. Expose evil: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
9. Practice a true Biblical ecumenism, such as is found in the ICCC: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12). The Apostle John should be our example, when he said: “whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever” (2 John 1-2).
Our Lord promises all those who follow Him: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried.… be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
1e.g.: In May 2016, the WEA and WCC met to discuss ways they could have closer cooperation. Bishop Efraim Tendero, then CEO/General Secretary of the WEA, stated that this was a “thought-through move towards more cooperation of Christians on a global scale. We owe it to our constituency that we talk with the leadership of global Christian bodies and seek better understanding and closer cooperation wherever possible.”
At a speech at World Council of Churches headquarters, June 28, 2011, attended by WCC, Roman Catholic and WEA leaders, then WEA CEO/General Secretary Geoff Tunnicliffe stated from the lectern: “It has been an honour and a privilege to work with our colleagues in the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches … and we hope that this is just the beginning of many other such collabora- tive efforts. We know that our witness is made stronger and more truthful to the extent that we work together for the glory of God’s reign.” The WEA has only worked more closely with these apostate groups since that time.
2e.g.: Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, then Chairman of the WEA Theological Commission, attended the Vatican Synod of Bishops in October 2012, and was pictured with Pope Benedict XVI. He also participated in the inauguration of Pope Francis in March 2013, and was pictured with him. The WEA has only worked more closely with the apostate Roman Catholic Church since that time.
3e.g.: On October 28, 2019, WCC General Secretary Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit wrote a letter to Hindu leaders, stating in part: “The World Council of Churches values the longstanding relationship that we enjoy with our Hindu partners. We look forward to translating this relation- ship into interreligious solidarity in service of a wounded humanity and a broken earth. I am confident that together we can make a difference and look forward to continued and closer collaboration between the WCC and our Hindu partners. During this festive season as you light Diwali lamps both in your homes as well as your hearts, may light and love flow into your lives and the lives of your loved ones, may grace and generosity abound in your communities and may you all be blessed. Happy Diwali.
Tveit also wrote to Muslim leaders on June 12, 2018: “It gives me great joy in sending you, the worldwide Muslim community, my greet- ings of peace and good will as you celebrate the Feast of Eid Al Fitr. Even as you end the holy month of Ramadan I very much hope that the past month has been both meaningful and blessed. Festivals with their dimension of gratitude to God have the potential to draw us closer to God and to those around us with a fresh and firmer awareness of God’s grace and generosity.”