World Day of Prayer
Definition: A gathering in 1986 (at the invitation of Pope John Paul II) of 160 leaders of world religions for a day of interfaith prayer for peace. Among those faiths represented were Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Animism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Native American spiritism, and Buddhism. In attendance were the Dalai Lama (the fourteenth incarnation of the original Dalai Lama), snake worshipers from Togo, and Zoroastrians. The Pope’s purpose for the gathering was to make the world aware of the power of prayer, “which in the diversity of religions, expresses a relationship with a supreme power that surpasses our human capacities alone.” It was also a day of fasting, because “by abstaining from food we shall become more conscious of the universal need for penance and inner transformation.” Catholicism states that there is no salvation apart from the Catholic Church. However, salvation is available to sincere adherents of all faiths who seek God apart from Christ. They are mystically joined to the Church.
Discussion: Catholic inclusivism opposes the Bible’s teaching that faith in Jesus is absolutely necessary for salvation (Jn. 14:6). These followers of the world’s religions are being led astray by the Pope into a false assurance of salvation. The “god” to whom these religious leaders pray is an idol of their own making, not the true and living God. For example, the Dalai Lama claims to be the son (fourteenth generation) of God (the original Dalai Lama). True peace only comes through Jesus (Rom. 5:1, Eph. 2:14), not through prayers to Mary, Buddha, et al.
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