The event in question is being called the 2016 Mekudeshet Festival. There is no concrete Hebrew to English translation for the word Mekudeshet. Internet searches have brought up more than one possible meaning, but the consensus is that it means holiness. The Mekudeshet Festival is said to be a gathering of art and artists to unite people through the creative process. So far so good, right? However, this year there is an additional element in what is being called a “House of Prayer” which also seems benevolent until you realize that the House of Prayer at Mekudeshet proposes to bring the religions of the holy land (Jews, Christians and Muslims) together to worship the God of all. Is there really ONE God over all religions? There would be a long list of the world’s religions, from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Folk Religions (including New Age religions that worship Mother Earth), to name a few. To be bold, Buddha, Vishnu, Allah, the many Taoist deities, or Mother Earth are NOT the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! YAHWEH, Elohim, Jehovah, the Lord of Hosts is His name.
Zechariah 8:3 (NKJV)
“Thus says the Lord:
‘I will return to Zion,
And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth,
The Mountain of the Lord of hosts,
The Holy Mountain.’
When Sarah was a member of the American United Methodist Church, she was well aware of the favorable positioning the church had towards Ecumenicalism. According to the Oxford dictionary, the word ecumenical means: “promoting or relating to unity among the world's Christian churches.” Notice that it says unity among Christian churches. Since the time of the Roman Empire, Christians have been driven into different sects which have resulted in our multi-denominational existence today. There has been an attempt in recent years to re-unite the Christian churches of the world into harmonious existence. This truly isn’t a bad thing. However, since many denominations no longer recognize God’s holy word to be absolute (sola scriptura) it is an attempt that cannot be met on human terms. Only the Holy Spirit can bring unity among people, by and through the truth of God’s inspired Word through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
1 Timothy 2:4 (KJV) (God our Savior,) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
This Truth is: there is only ONE God, the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3) This ONE God, is the same Father God over Christianity and Judaism. (As you know, there are many Messianic believers today who recognize Jesus Christ as their Savior.)
Unfortunately, many mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic churches no longer make clear distinctions about religious unity based on the Word of God. This brings us back to the Mekudeshet Festival in Jerusalem. It has been reported that the Pope will be speaking at this event on the 23rd. We have no definitive way to confirm those reports, but we will be watching………. And here is the key to this post! What will we (and hopefully, you) be watching for? Well, if the representative of the world’s largest Christian denomination is speaking at an event (or in the House of Prayer) touted as being about religious unity, then what will he say? Will he say, “Let’s all get along and live in peace?” That would be acceptable. However, any declarations that we all worship the same God would not be the truth.
1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV) For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
Coexisting means living within proximity of people of other faiths without attempting to cause any harm. From a scriptural standpoint living in peace is admirable (love one another) BUT, the great commission urges us to help non-believers come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said this to his disciples in Matthew 28:19-20 (AMP) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”
As we said earlier we are not given to speculation. However, the Mekudeshet Festival raises a red flag in our minds and spirits. When our Almighty God is represented (especially by a church leader) it must always be with the declaration that HE is the triune Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that NO person can come to the Father unless it is through His Son, Jesus.
John 14:6 (NKJV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Jesus said He will be with us, even to the end of the age. (end = close, completion; age = eternity, time period) This is good news! Our hope is in Christ, alone, Who is our anchor in this world of drastic changes, stormy seas, and the howling winds of change (culturally, economically, politically, and spiritually).
Romans 15:13 (NASB)
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sarah and Joanne