Position Paper Seoul Council 2009
- How to work with Roman Catholics and Orthodox people -
Members of AMCF are predominantly evangelical. We are an association with
the motto ¡°All One in Christ Jesus¡±. This motto is the distinctive defining factor
of AMCF and allows all who are Christians to be invited to be ¡°associated¡±
within AMCF, but for some there remains the questions of who is a Christian ?,
or what is a Christian church ?
We must realise today that AMCF does already encompass more than one
Christian confession and several predominantly Orthodox and at least one
Roman Catholic MCF are with us in AMCF as well as protestant denominations.
Church is the body of Christ. Each church or denomination is part of this
universal Church. No single church or denomination is the whole body.
In Jesus Christ we are brothers and sisters, not mere friends but relatives.
Brothers and sisters will stay being related, even if they denounce it or
hurt and harm or even persecute each other.
2. Who is part of this body ?
The Bible explains:
• ¡°Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved¡± (Acts
2:21; Joel 2:32 [3:5]; Ro 10:13).
We tend to add further conditions to distinguish somebody as a Christian or
to agree a denomination is following the Lord properly.
This started with the disciples while following Jesus. John said:
• ¡°We saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to
stop, because he was not one of us¡± (Mk 9:38) and the disciples were
reproved by Jesus.
But scripture does give us some marks for discernment :
• ¡°No one can say ¡®Jesus is Lord¡¯ except by the Holy Spirit¡± 1 Cor 13:3
• ¡°By their fruit you will recognise them¡± (Mt 7:16)
Every church or denomination in which people worship Jesus Christ is
3. What interferes with unity of the body?
• When one church claims to be the only true one.
• When one church has overwhelming predominance and tends to misuse
• When a church allies with worldly power.
On a more personal level:
• Selfish ambition and vain conceit (Compare Phil 2:2-5)
Our Lord is too great to be worshipped sufficiently only in one, two or
4. What to do concerning RC, Orthodox and others
• ¡°Have sincere love for your brother, love another deeply from the
heart¡± (1 Peter 1:22) and when they behave like adversaries, then love
at least in them your enemies (Mt 5:44-45).
• If we love only those by whom we are loved: ¡°If you love those who
love you, what reward will you get?¡± Mt 5:46
• ¡°Do not think yourself more highly than you ought, but rather
think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure
of faith God has given you.¡± (Ro 12:3).
• ¡°In humility consider others better than yourselves¡± (Phil 2:3)
That is, we shall find out what we can learn from the other denomination.
• ¡°Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the
discerning get guidance¡± (Prov 1:5). Encourage a positive creative approach
by valuing and learning from different traditions their concepts of being a
Christian, along with their approach to worship and being church.
• If we follow a credal formula at the expense of a relationship with
the personal Lord.