In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Waldensians joined forces with the German and French Reformed Protestants. By then most of them had adopted infant baptism. They have grown increasingly weaker in modern times, and today the Waldenses are on the cutting edge of ecumenical and theological apostasy.
In 1975, the Waldensian churches in Italy merged with the liberal Methodists. The Waldensians are members of the radically liberal World Council of Churches (WCC). (The Sixth WCC Assembly in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1987, began with pagan sacrifices offered by North American Indians who danced around a “sacred” fire.)
The book You Are My Witnesses: The Waldensians across 800 Years, which I purchased at the Waldensian Museum in Torre Pellice, leaves no doubt about the apostasy of the present-day Waldenses. In 1947, they formed the Agape ecumenical center, the building of which “ended definitely the church’s conservative tilt” and “created the critical mass which led the church into far more liberal, and even radical, years” (You Are My Witnesses, p. 277).
Since the early 1980s, Agape “has been hosting ecumenical conferences for homosexuals” (p. 303). In 1962, the Waldensian synod voted to ordain women as pastors, and today 14% of the pastors and roughly 50% of the theological students are females (p. 298).
In 1968, Waldensians helped establish the Lombardini center in Milan, Italy. It “was perhaps the most Marxist in all Italian Protestantism” and “in theology it was pronouncedly Barthian” (p. 282). Valdo Viney, former dean of the Waldensian Seminary, says that the time for traditional evangelism “is over and that it is now necessary that Waldensians be a critical leaven within Italian Christianity and culture” (p. 283). The advanced apostasy of the Waldensian churches is described in the following paragraph, which is near the end of the book You Are My Witnesses: “
Culturally, Italy is a pluralistic society, in which all confessions can live peaceably side by side, believers and non-believers, Christians and Muslims, Jews and Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Who better than the ancient Waldensian Church, now rooted across the peninsula and Sicily, can symbolize this opening to pluralism, to legitimize it and give it an historical perspective as old as the nation?” (p. 293). This sounds like the syncretistic, all-encompassing “one-world harlot church” that we read about in Revelation 17, and the Waldenses, having rejected their glorious heritage, are right in the middle of it.