Moore Errors

March 01, 2006

Here is an article from the Baptist Press attacking the World Council of Churches: WCC assembly demonstrates 'spirit of antichrist,' prof says. In the piece Russell Moore attacks the WCC quite harshly. He states:

"The World Council of Churches has long been a boutique of paganism in Christian garb. ... This year’s assembly happenings, including the recognition of ‘the Holy Spirit’ working in non-Christian world religions, only continues the downgrade. Regenerate believers across the world, whatever their denomination or communion, recognize the sprit of the World Council for what it is: the spirit of antichrist."

Besides his hateful tone Moore makes a couple of mistakes here. First, he makes the mistake of taking the words of one speaker and using them as the words of the entire WCC. Even if the statement about the Holy Spirit's work is inaccurate, only the speaker can be blamed for poor theology. In fact, as the BP article notes the WCC did not include this part of the speech in its report so how can they be attacked for promoting the idea?

Second, Moore says that the Holy Spirit cannot work in people of other religions. Who does Moore think he is to tell God where He can or cannot work? If Moore would take a look in the Bible he might just find some examples of this occurring. Think of Balaam. Additionally, the late Pope John Paul II made similar comments and explained that this could help advance the Gospel:

This Does Not Mean Forgetting That Jesus Christ Is The One Mediator And Saviour Of The Human Race. Nor Does It Mean Lessening Our Missionary Efforts, To Which We Are Bound In Obedience To The Risen Lord's Command: "Go Therefore And Make Disciples Of All Nations, Baptizing Them In The Name Of The Father AndnOf The Son And Of The Holy Spirit" (Mt 28: 19). The Attitude Of Respect And Dialogue Is Instead The Proper Recognition Of The "Seeds Of The Word" And The "Groanings Of The Spirit". In This Sense, Far From Opposing The Proclamation Of The Gospel, Our Attitude Prepares It, As We Await The Times Appointed By The Lord's Mercy.
Finally, Moore overstates his case by calling them "the spirit of the antichrist." In 1 John 4:3 we are told what "the spirit of the antichrist" is: "But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now."

The WCC did not say that Jesus was not from God. In fact, the BP article quotes the speaker talking about "God’s gift of salvation in Christ." Moore is apparently making up his own definition of what "the spirit of the antichrist" is—one that goes beyond what the Bible says. Maybe Moore should worry less about errors of the WCC and focus on avoiding some of his own.