Brexit and Ecumenism

Brexit is a very big deal. As such, it has been on my mind all day*. The people of Britain have declared their independence from the EU, despite the problems they could gain from leaving: economic, political, etc. They could make enemies and weaken the strength of Europe against large maverick countries such as Russia. But…really, so what? Their independence as a people with their own laws is of tantamount importance. Protecting their borders against the flood of immigrants caused by being a member of the EU is of tantamount importance. I found the vote encouraging. In fact, I was disappointed in Britain when they chose to become a member of the EU — ultimately, because it was a choice for globalism, of casting their lot with countries on their way to bankruptcy — with an EU court that does not have their best interest as a unique nation at heart.

As I have a number of friends who believe the world would be a better place without nations and without borders, I just have to say that I’m not now and never will be an idealist, nor do I think a borderless world would be good for mankind because there are too many ways in which mankind will never come to a consensus — especially among people who have little to no core principles.

As I was thinking about Christian ecumenism yesterday, I was examining the various degrees to which it’s possible or even desirable to have unity among factions that disagree with each other on almost everything but the meaning of the gospel. I’ve seen denominations band together under pro-life banners and work together to offer charity services to pregnant women and women with young children. Their commonality lies in biblical commands and admonitions to help the poor and needy; pooling resources, especially in poor areas of the world where even the Christians offering charity are poor, makes this calling more possible. Most Christian churches also view their work as spreading the gospel, and because the gospel is shared among Christians, this is possible.

However, in this limited context, the ecumenical charity organizations have no power to effect changes on the church denominations that provide workers, nor do the church denominations have to accept charity workers from other denominations. Ecumenism works in this limited way. I believe the same is true of European countries who have shared borders and long histories together (though these shared histories are not always positive) to have some limited unity, in trade or in travel, perhaps. But the “ecumenism,” rather, of the European Union goes beyond that, threatening the basic structure of the individual nations due to unity in immigration, etc.

And then I was considering what ecumenism is not and can never be in the context of religion: a unity among religions in general that do not have a shared commonality of  the gospel of Jesus Christ. There can be no union with other religions because there is no common ground to stand on — different Scriptures, different sources, different motivations. The spread of the gospel is curbed for social and political goals that have little to do with the commands and admonitions of the Bible.

Cool selfie, for example.

                                            Cool selfie, for example.

Although my analogy is limited in the way it equates to nations, I think you catch my drift. European nations have shared histories and cultures; they at least have cultural ties to Christianity that have helped define their court systems and beliefs in the rights of man. If European nations have difficulty banding together under the EU, imagine how much more difficult it would be for nations to band together under a pan European-Asia union, for example? Actually, don’t imagine. That’s what idealists do. It’s much easier to imagine a unified world; it’s another matter entirely to force disunified people to conform to unity. And aside from that, it’s stupid and banal.

*I wrote this post yesterday, but was too exhausted to actually post it when the clock approached the gong of midnight.

 

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