InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF)

A Fellowship of Neo-Evangelicals

-  InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of the U.S.A. (IVCF) is best know for its mission conferences held tri-annually at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. (See reports detailing the goings-on at Urbana '90 and Urbana '96.) IVCF is a neo-evangelical, ecumenical organization that focuses its efforts on college campuses nationwide; it was established in 1941 and now has a presence on approximately 725 secular and Christian college campuses, involving over 28,000 students (11/18/96, Christian News).

-  Recent college graduates placed in the former Soviet Union by InterVarsity's mission board, Inter-Varsity-LINK, have played key roles in building student movements throughout the region. About 70 recent graduates are serving with InterVarsity-LINK around the world. Many LINK staff are following up on the ministry of the nearly 300 InterVarsity staff members and students who spent part of their summer on mission trips (11/18/96, Christian News).

-  IVCF is dedicated to ecumenical relationships with the Roman Catholic Church. In the early 1970s, IVCF was already working with Catholic coordinators in their Bible studies at Catholic universities (11/71, Eternity). IVCF will now no longer tell Catholics that the idolatry their church teaches will take them to hell (10/92, Battle Cry). Campus Ministry Priest Thomas Welbers (in an official L.A. Diocese paper) said a four-year dialogue has resulted in a "working agreement" between IVCF and Catholic Campus ministry to seek "mutual understanding" and to "refrain from competition in seeking members." Amazing! (Reported in the 12/1/92, Calvary Contender.)

InterVarsity's publishing subsidiary, InterVarsity Press, has also published books by Roman Catholics; e.g., the 1994 book Handbook of Christian Apologetics, by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, both professors at the Catholic Boston College. The book redefines creation, redefines Bible history, redefines hell, and redefines grace, yet its authors and IVCF would have us believe that Catholics and Protestants merely misunderstand one another. (Reported in the 1/96, O Timothy.)

-  IVCF has participated in each of the last three North American (charismatic) Congresses on the Holy Spirit and World Evangelization, and was right at home in that radically ecumenical environment. IVCF's first participation was in New Orleans in July of 1987, the second in Indianapolis in August of 1990, and the latest in Orlando in July of 1995. (Orlando '95 was the fourth such charismatic gathering in the last 18 years.) Forty denominations and more than 200 "Christian" organizations were represented at each of these ecumenical, hyper-charismatic renewal conferences. Of the roughly 75,000 in attendance at these conferences, more than 50% were Roman Catholic. It is important to keep in mind that every participating organization, as well as every individual speaker at the conference was required to subscribe to the North American Renewal Service Committee's "Statement of Policy" (i.e., the "unity statement"). This ecumenical unity statement was written by a Roman Catholic, Kevin Ranaghan (who was chairman of the 1977 Congress in Kansas City), which closes with the sentences: "In view of the call we all have from the Lord to enter into this relationship for common work, we want to express our mutual personal respect and our respect for one another's ministries. We will speak well of one another whenever possible." Yet, it is utterly impossible to obey God's clear commands to identify, expose, rebuke, and separate from error, and at the same time obey this Statement of Policy. (David Cloud, Flirting With Rome; Vol. 2).

Almost all of the major apostate religious organizations (including a large Roman Catholic contingent) had representatives/participants at Orlando '95. A Catholic bishop led one session. There was also conga-style dancing. The 10/95 Charisma said, "Charismatics abandoned their theological differences ... at least for four days. ... Today millions of Catholics, including Pope John Paul II's personal preacher ... have joined ranks with charismatics." A Catholic priest added, "This is the greatest ecumenical movement in the Christian church." (Some of the hyper-charismatic teachers at Orlando '95 were Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, Jack Hayford, Marilyn Hickey, and Paul Crouch.)

The same types of things occurred at Indianapolis '90 -- Charisma & Christian Life magazine wrote in its pre-congress issue that, "One common bond that unites the groups ... is baptism in the Spirit, accompanied by the charismatic gifts. Although there will be a multitude of differing theologies represented among participants, everyone will be open to the work of the Holy Spirit ... The gifts of the Spirit will be welcome in all the sessions of the congress ... The Holy Spirit will be invited to magnify Jesus Christ." (Emphasis added.) Some of the hyper-charismatic teachers at the Indianapolis conference were Larry Lea, John Wimber, C. Peter Wagner, Bob Weiner, Charles Green, Mike Bickel, and Paul Cain. Also speaking was Tom Forrest, Catholic "evangelist" in charge of "Evangelization 2000," an ecumenical world evangelization project administered directly out of the Vatican. Forrest reports directly to Cardinal Suenens, who reports to the pope. Forrest was very clear in the "Catholic only" sessions that outside the church of Rome, there is no salvation. Therefore, the goal of Evangelization 2000 is to bring home the "separated brethren" [that's us]. (David Cloud, Flirting With Rome; Vol. 1).

-  In a book published by InterVarsity Press in 1994, Holy Scripture: Revelation, Inspiration & Interpretation, Donald Bloesch denies the perfect inspiration of the Bible. Here are excerpts: "Not everything reported in the Bible may be in exact correspondence with historic and scientific fact as we know it today. ... We must avoid the hermeneutics of biblical literalism, which leads us into both scientific creationism with its young earth theory and dispensationalism. ... The true humanity of Scripture involves a vulnerability to error and a limited cultural horizon because the authors lived in a particular time and place in history." Bloesch, professor of theology emeritus at Dubuque Theological Seminary, is a resource scholar of the Christianity Today Institute (O Timothy, Vol. 12, #2).

-  In 5/92, so-called leading evangelicals joined a coalition of science and religion sponsored by the Joint Appeal by Religion and Science for the Environment. Joint Appeal is based at New York's godless Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a bastion of New Age/ecumenical/Antichrist deception. Its blasphemous dean, James Parks Morton, declares that "the body of Christ is the earth ..." Out of the 5/92, meeting came an environmental consortium of the U.S. Catholic Conference, the National Council of Churches, the Evangelical Environmental Network, and the Consultation of Jewish Life and the Environment.

Founded in 1993 by Vice-President Gore, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, also based at St. John the Divine, has distributed tens of thousands of packets containing ecologically oriented prayers, sermon ideas and Sunday-school lessons to Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and evangelical congregations across the country. Its director is convinced that the eco-crisis will transform "what it will mean to be religious in the 21st century." Besides World Vision, other evangelical organizations involved include InterVarsity and the National Association of Evangelicals.

Such pagan folly is gaining an increasing following among evangelicals, who now claim that Christ's command to preach the gospel includes rescuing the environment. Such is the message of a course titled "Environmental Stewardship: A Biblical Perspective" taught at Youth With a Mission's University of the Nations at their headquarters in Hawaii. Thus Christians enter compromising partnerships with the ungodly and expend their time and efforts on caring for a temporal earth instead of preparing souls for eternity (11/94, The Berean Call).

-  More than 100 evangelical leaders and academics, declaring Biblical faith is essential to solving environmental problems, are calling on Christians to make their lives and churches "centers of creation's care and renewal." Nearly 150 so-called evangelical leaders have signed the 1,600-word "An Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation," which was prepared under the auspices of the Evangelical Environment Network (EEN). "As followers of Jesus Christ, committed to the full authority of the Scriptures, and aware of the ways we have degraded creation, we believe that biblical faith is essential to the solution of our ecological problems," the statement declares. Signers include at least seventeen seminary and college presidents, World Relief, World Vision, Youth for Christ, Young Life, Zondervan, Tyndale House, Christianity Today, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, SIM International, and Latin America Mission (Christian News, 4/4/94). [The Evangelical Environmental Network is part of the National Religious Partnership, which also includes the National Council of Churches, the U.S. Catholic Conference, and the Consultation on Jewish Life and the Environment.]

Biblical Discernment Ministries - 4/97