In my early church-going life, ecumenism was a big topic. The noble goal was respecting other branches of the Christian faith and trying to take on projects together.
Today we see a lot of splintering. Why aren’t there some core agreements that are stronger than differences?
The link, written by a Lutheran who is active in ecumensim, says there is a core belief shared by all Christianity of man being born a sinner and saved from sin by the death of the figure, Jesus. It may well be this is a belief held by the majority of branches of the faith, but it seems obvious it’s not a very important bit of doctrine to many in the pews.
More important to many in the pews is identifying who are the biggest sinners and calling them out. Thus, we see homosexualtiy splitting up denominations.
There always has been some merging of denominations and well as splitting. Currently, the economics hard times for churches is generating some more conversation about mergers. But, this seems a little different than the idealistic overview that all Christian denominations join hands in common efforts.
There are three other things complicating Protestant ecumenism. One is the proliferation of denominations. The second is the growth of multiple campus’ of individual mega churches with crowd-pleasing preachers.
A third trend working against ecumenism is the declining number of young people staying with any denomination. The older the average age, I would guess the less interest in over arching perspectives.