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CF Trip to Grenada 2024

16 May 2024

CF Trip to Grenada 2024

At the Assembly on Saturday, our beloved President collared me and asked why I hadn’t contributed anything to the recent ASecludedPlace series of reflections so I thought I would share an experience from the recent Grenada trip.

Vince CarringtonAs we reported, while we were there, it was the 50th Anniversary of Independence and on the Sunday afternoon, we attended a commemoration service along with members of different church denominations, Muslims and Rastafarians.

At this point, I need to make a confession, I hate ecumenical services and the inclusion of other religions in an act of worship really messed with my theology.

Now the reason I hate ecumenical services, isn’t because I don’t like people from other denominations or people whose interpretation of Scripture is different to mine, what I don’t like is that they always look for the lowest common denominator.

I was once in a service where the leader announced, “We are now going to have a Methodist hymn!" The hymns had nothing to do with the theme for the service, they were chosen because of their association with different denominations!

I know there must be some really good ecumenical services, but sadly the ones I have attended have frankly been bland and uninspiring.

However, this was not the case for the service in Grenada. It seemed like everyone was invited to contribute in the manner they would do so in their own setting.

We had a full-on call to worship by the Imam, a lengthy prayer by the Rastafarian guy, aimed to Haile Selassie I think - none of us could understand a word he said!

There were prayers from various church representatives including the Salvation Army man who turned out to be extremely charismatic and incredibly passionate about the youth of his nation. The worship was led by two different Gospel choirs who joined together and were led by a different leader in two sessions of worship.

The preacher, from the Presbyterian Church, gave an amazing word encouraging the two political parties to work together for the good of the nation and his words were echoed by the Prime Minister at the Independence Day Celebration speech a few days later. I came away really encouraged that no one held back, and no one chose to be offended by what anyone else had said or done.

So, what can we learn from this?

I believe we need to stop compromising on what we believe for fear of upsetting or offending someone. Paul writes in Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."

Too many Christians and Churches water down their belief to try and make it acceptable to society, why is that? Jesus never did that, His disciples never did that and nowhere does the Bible tell us to water down the Word, quite the opposite.

So if you are involved in organising an ecumenical service, please don’t look for the lowest common denominator that says nothing, seek the highest way to glorify God and make a real stand for the gospel.

You never know, there might even be a Prime Minister present who needs to hear the gospel!

Vince Carrington