‘Kingdom Come’ – Should you go?

Following the costly ecumenical venture ‘Power to Change: Launched September 2002’ [Can anyone let me know if the Southern Irish PTC Committee ever announced publicly what happened to the approximately 750,000 Euros that had been earmarked for adverts on RTE Television but which was never spent on these as RTE decided at the last moment not to run the adverts? Also, if you wish to refresh your memory on ‘Power to Change’ you can do so by following these links – 

http://www.takeheed.info/power-to-change-ecumenical-or-not-ecumenical/

http://www.takeheed.info/the-spin-doctors-of-power-to-change/

http://www.takeheed.info/the-leaven-in-power-to-change/

and the emotionally charged ‘Passion Movie and Café’ launched in the early months of 2004 [That was the ‘evangelical’ café-outreach whose organisers sought clandestinely to have Roman Catholic involvement. Again you can refresh your memory by following this link

http://www.takeheed.info/the-hidden-agendas-of-care-and-evangelical-alliance-ni/

it was inevitable that, given time, yet another major ‘initiative’ purporting to be ‘evangelical’ would be ‘marketed’ by many of the leading figures involved in these previous and for many, mostly now forgotten items of history.

The September 2005 issue of the ‘Christian Irishman’ [An official publication of the Board of Mission of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland] included an article and an advert for the following planned event.

  • KINGDOM COME…more than words
  • 30th January – 2nd February 2006
  • Ulster Hall and Europa Hotel – Belfast

According to the KINGDOM COME website this event ‘is a joint initiative of Evangelical Alliance and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, steered by senior church officials from a range of denominations…seeking to bring leaders together to inspire and encourage in our mission task…The programme is geared to help us engage in mission…We think this is perhaps the first time an attempt has been made to bring together over 600 leaders, clergy and laity, from across Ireland, under a mission banner and steered by such a group’.

In the article in the ‘Christian Irishman’, the author, Stephen Cave [General Secretary of NI Evangelical Alliance] predicted that those who attend ‘will be experiencing a very concrete demonstration of evangelical unity’ and he asked for prayer ‘that through this effort God may start to do a new thing across Ireland, as his people acknowledge their unity in Christ and move from there to reach Ireland for Jesus’.

As always I would truly welcome every faithful endeavour to reach the lost [in Ireland or wherever] with the true ‘evangel’ of “Jesus Christ and him crucified”. However, as I looked at for example the list of ‘guest speakers’ and the make-up of the ‘steering group’ for this KINGDOM COME venture, it was clear to me that most of the names read like a ‘Who’s who’ of ecumenical compromisers, masquerading under the once-noble title of ‘evangelicals’. Yes, they may predict ‘a very concrete demonstration of evangelical unity’, but the problem is that over the recent decades these men and others have totally redefined and debased the term ‘evangelical’ by their public pronouncements and practices. By way of illustration the following pages list a number of those involved together with some details of their compromise of the historical understanding of the term ‘evangelical’. Some others are also listed along with ‘Details that don’t encourage evangelical confidence ’.

 

  • Ravi Zacharias: Speaker:
  • Details that demonstrate real ecumenical compromise

With Mormonism: The following is part of an article that was published in the Casper Star & Tribune [Wyoming] on Friday 19 November 2004 ‘An evangelical preacher, philosopher and author has graced the pulpit at the Tabernacle on Temple Square in what a fellow speaker called an “historic occasion.” When Ravi Zacharias took the stage last weekend it was the first time in 105 years a preacher of another faith appeared in the pulpit of the Tabernacle. Zacharias was invited by Standing Together, a network of 100 evangelical churches trying to improve relations with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The lecture, where nearly 5,000 evangelicals and Latter-day Saints sat together on Temple Square, was heralded as the beginning of a new era to replace one of mistrust’…Zacharias, a native of India raised in Canada, acknowledged there are doctrinal differences between traditional Christianity and the LDS faith. His hour-long sermon emphasized aspects of Christian doctrine for which Mormons have a different understanding, such as sin, salvation through the cross and the Trinity. But his overarching message — that Jesus Christ is the answer to the longing in all human hearts — was one that resonated with both evangelical Christians and Mormons. “When you get the Son, you get the way, the truth and the life,” Zacharias said. Sisters Sylvia and Liz Wilcox, who are members of the LDS Church, said they were impressed with Zacharias’ message.”It was beautiful,” said Liz Wilcox. “I loved the focus on the unity. They did a beautiful job of finding common ground.”

With Roman Catholicism: Just how ‘evangelical’ is Ravi Zacharias? After visiting his website I discovered the following – One of the ‘Ministry Team’ listed on the web site is Dale Fincher who is described as ‘a professional actor and apologist’ – that in itself seems rather ‘odd’. However he has performed in the ‘Muggeridge Centenary’ at Wheaton College and also performs ‘Malcolm Muggeridge: The Man Who didn’t belong’… Malcolm Muggeridge held views that were in opposition to God’s revealed truth. In his book ‘Jesus Rediscovered’ Mr Muggeridge wrote ‘I firmly believe there is a divine light in every human being ever born or to be born’ [p167]. Shortly after he wrote ‘On that same visit to the Holy Land I came to feel quite certain that not even Judas had irretrievably cut himself off from the love of God’ [p168]. When asked what he thought was going on at Calvary Mr Muggeridge stated [p170] ‘I think that men had to be shown that the way to revelation [not redemption?] was through suffering…that the image of a man dying because of the truth he embodied [not giving his life a ransom for many?] established for ever what truth is – something you die for’. When asked if that was how he understood the atonement Mr Muggeridge replied ‘Absolutely, absolutely’. Speaking of the devil Mr Muggeridge said ‘I am not particular about a personal devil. I shan’t be distressed if there isn’t one’ [p172]. On page 173 when asked ‘Do you think that Jesus was a product of evolution or do you think that this was a miraculous intervention?’ Mr Muggeridge replied ‘I’m always allergic to miraculous interventions because I don’t observe them in life [every spiritual ‘new birth’ is a miracle!] and I don’t think that it makes Jesus any more remarkable if he represents a miraculous intervention…how Christ came into the world doesn’t matter’. Having supposedly ‘Rediscovered Jesus’ which church did Mr Muggeridge proceed to join? – The Roman Catholic Church’.

The ‘Billy Graham’ factor: In Ravi Zacharias’s details on the web site mention is made that he spoke 3 times in Amsterdam [1983, 1986 & 2000] at the International Conference for Itinerant Evangelists – and who asked him to speak there – BILLY GRAHAM! I think that we can see from this that Ravi Zacharias is an ‘evangelical’ in the Billy Graham mould and that should immediately ring alarm bells for all true and faithful evangelicals. Just as Billy Graham, over many years was used to prepare the ‘evangelical’ ground for the notion of ECT [Evangelicals & Catholics Together] it could be that Ravi Zacharias is being used to prepare the way for a similar unholy alliance with Mormonism. Of great concern to true evangelicals was the fact that on the evening he spoke at the Mormon Tabernacle [and subsequently since that event] Ravi Zacharias neither challenged nor distanced himself from the disgraceful opening remarks made by Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary who said ‘I am now convinced that we evangelicals have often seriously misrepresented the beliefs and practices of the Mormon community. Indeed, let me state it bluntly to the LDS folks here this evening: we have sinned against you. The God of the Scriptures makes it clear that it is a terrible thing to bear false witness against our neighbours, and we have been guilty of that sort of transgression in things we have said about you… Indeed, we have even on occasion demonised you… But we can now discuss these topics as friends And tonight many more of our friends have come together in this place for a very public and large-scale “Evening of Friendship.” God be praised… What a wonderful thing it is that we can meet together to talk about the Lord Jesus and about who he is and what he has done on our behalf’. I believe it is worthwhile pointing out at this stage that Richard Mouw also gave his endorsement to the ECT agreement of 1994. So, knowing the history of Richard Mouw’s ecumenical compromise with Rome, it would appear that Ravi Zacharias had no problem both sharing a platform with and fellowshipping with this servant of false ecumenism.

  • Anne Graham Lotz: Speaker:
  • Details that demonstrate real ecumenical compromise

With Roman Catholicism: The following is an extract from Anne Graham Lotz’s own website as she reports on her attendance at the funeral of Pope John Paul II –

‘As my Father’s official representative to Pope John Paul II’s funeral, I was seated on the third row. From that honoured position, I looked out on a vast sea of people jammed into St. Peter’s Square… Surrounding me were leaders of almost every major Christian religious group, including my own brother-in-law, Dr. Denton Lotz, the General Secretary for the Baptist World Alliance, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, the General Secretary of the Methodist Church, Egyptian Coptic priests… To my left were row upon row of Catholic bishops, dressed in their raspberry coloured robes and caps. Beyond them and seated on the steps of the Basilica were the 115 Cardinals who would be responsible for electing the next pope… The most impressive aspect of the entire, almost surreal scene was the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of unmistakable, respectful reverence. How could so many people be so still? How could so many warring factions and sects come together in such harmony? …surely God had a message He wanted to convey. What was it? And then I knew… Just as the death of one man, Pope John Paul II, brought together people from virtually every nation and religion in a momentary atmosphere of peace and harmony, so the death of one Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, can bring the world together in permanent peace–peace with each other and peace with God… I stared at the crucifix on that chilly, windswept platform and wondered–was God once again offering “peace on earth, good will to all men?” Was He calling the people of the world to put their focus, and their faith, in the Man on the Cross–Jesus? I believe He was… Sitting that day on a wooden chair in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, as I experienced firsthand a moment of enormous historical and eternal significance, I bowed my head and thanked God over and over for the opportunity to just give them Jesus’.

I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the sentiments expressed by Anne Graham Lotz when she ‘thanked God over and over for the opportunity to give them Jesus’. However, the cause and Gospel of the true Lord Jesus Christ can never be assisted by someone who, in disobedience to the teaching of the Scriptures, attended the funeral of Antichrist and then described their seating as an ‘honoured position’. To believe that in the midst of that staged event, that ‘the Man on the Cross – Jesus’ would be the focus of attention rather than the deceased Pope and his own personal hope for his salvation, namely Mary, is to be naive in the extreme. No true evangelical would have been a party to this Christ dishonouring spectacle.

Interviewed on 8 April 2005 by CNN Mrs Lotz commented further about being at the funeral in these terms ‘I think the Pope is someone who – he believed in Jesus. He believed in the scriptures. He took his message of hope and peace in – through faith and Jesus Christ outside the Vatican walls…even though, you know, as Protestants we might disagree with some of his theology, all of us would have to respect him as a person, as a leader. And what he did to bridge the gap between Protestants and Catholics and Jews and Catholics and other elements of society and the world, I think was a wonderful thing and I just applaud it. I think that they – WE buried a great leader… I think the Pope was someone who found God’s calling in his life and he fulfilled what he believed was God’s purpose for him… And this Pope is someone who believed in heaven and he believed that when he died he was going there. The wonderful thing, in Rome I’ve heard people say the Holy Father IS in heaven and everybody is so confident that the pope IS in heaven. And I think it’s because he was such a good man’.

If John Paul II believed that when he died he would go straight to heaven [as Mrs Lotz has inferred] then according to Roman Catholic teaching he would have been guilty of the ‘mortal’ sin of presumption and would in fact then have gone to hell. Local Jesuit priest, Paul Symonds [currently based in Ballymena] had an interview with himself published in the Belfast Telegraph of 1st October 1994. One of the questions he was asked was ‘In your opinion can a person be sure they will get to heaven?’ This was his answer ‘NO, there’s always the possibility of backsliding [Ezekiel 18:24]. Heaven is a gift and it would be a sin of arrogance to presume that the gift will be ours regardless of the way we have behaved in this world’.

John Paul II believed in suffering and purification after death for those who would EVENTUALLY get to heaven as he demonstrated in this section of his message given on 2nd June 1998 ‘During the Eucharist, through the general intercessions and the Memento for the dead, the assembled community presents to the Father of all mercies those who have died, so that through the trial of purgatory they will be purified, if necessary, and attain eternal joy… The Church believes that the souls detained in purgatory “are helped by the prayers of the faithful and most of all by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar” [Council of Trent: Decree on Purgatory] as well as by “alms and other works of piety” [Eugene IV, Bull: Laetantur Coeli]… I therefore encourage Catholics to pray fervently for the dead, for their family members and for all our brothers and sisters who have died, that they may obtain the remission of punishments due to their sins and may hear the Lord’s call “Come O my dear soul to eternal repose in the arms of my goodness… I entrust the faithful who will pray for the death to the intercession of Our Lady, of St Odilo and of St Joseph, patron of a happy death’ – this then was the Pope’s ‘message of hope and peace’.

It is interesting to read a section of the ‘Statement of Faith’ on Mrs Lotz’s website.

‘We believe Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and the third day He bodily arose from the dead guaranteeing the bodily resurrection of all those who have received eternal life through faith in Him’.

By referring to ‘eternal life through faith in him’ and not to ‘eternal life through faith ALONE in him’ Mrs Lotz has ensured that she will be able to move unhindered, like her father, in the false ecumenical circles that he so willingly helped build up and that he so readily moved in and continues to move in.

  • Joel Edwards: Speaker:
  • Details that demonstrate real ecumenical compromise

On the Christian Witness Ministries Apologetics website [http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/cetf2005/evangpope33.html] various quotes about the late pope, John Paul II, by leading ‘Christians’ are posted and amongst them is this –

Joel Edwards: Director of Evangelical Alliance: “John Paul II was one of the most remarkable Christian leaders of recent times… a Christian pastor… [with a] commitment to evangelisation and the global church… [and to] credal Christianity…”

The full statement can be seen on – http://www.eauk.org/

The following report appeared in 2001 on the website of Evangelical Alliance just above a photograph of Joel Edwards, Iain Duncan Smith and 2 children. The report read as follows – ‘Conservative Party leader, the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, outlined the importance of his Catholic faith and praised the work being spearheaded by church groups when he addressed around 2000 Evangelical Alliance Assembly delegates… He revealed that “the enduring truths of Christianity” inspired him to look beyond himself to the needs of the wider world and was a pivotal influence in his decision to go into politics after careers in both business and the Army’.

This obvious acceptance by Evangelical Alliance of Roman Catholicism as being ‘Christian’ was well expressed in a letter written by Carys Moseley of Magdalen College, Oxford that was published in The Times on 17th June 2002 – part of it read ‘Today it is increasingly the Evangelical Alliance that speaks for Protestants in Britain who are practising Christians. It represents the members of all denominations who actually take the basics of the Christian faith seriously and believe in the full supernatural revelation of God as witnessed to in the Bible. Like all non-conformist bodies, the Evangelical Alliance is a loose network of churches, charities and organisations based upon a shared confession of faith. They are willing to accept differences in church government and also accept other bodies, such as the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, as Christian’.

Although perhaps not so obviously linked to ‘Ecumenical compromise’’, although I view it as being so, it is interesting to note that in the wake of Steve Chalke’s rejection of ‘penal substitution’ in his book ‘The Lost Message of Jesus’ there has been much debate on the matter including a public debate hosted by Evangelical Alliance in the Emmanuel Christian Centre, Westminster on 7th October 2004. According to one report of this meeting Joel Edwards delivered the opening welcome and prayer. Joel Edwards would have listened as Steve Chalke described what is at the very heart of the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, namely ‘penal substitution’, as ‘arrogant’, as ‘repressive’, as ‘distorted’, as ‘encouraging rudeness’, as ‘ethically weak’, as ‘simplistic’ and as ‘perpetuating the myth that violence can be redemptive’.

In response to the compiler of the report of the debate who afterwards commended Steve Chalke ‘for his courage in coming forward to be argued with’ but who also warned him that he had ‘departed from the gospel’ Steve Chalke replied ‘How many people have you converted over the last two months?’.

Joel Edwards reportedly stated ‘Clauses 3&4 of the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith fully and strongly imply “penal substitution” and that would certainly be the understanding of very many people within the Evangelical Alliance. Now whether or not it excludes those who don’t, is a very important question and an exercise for us to enter into together’. The ‘Clause 4’ referred to states

‘We believe in…The substitutionary sacrifice of the Incarnate Son of God as the sole, all sufficient ground of redemption from the guilt and power of sin, and from its eternal consequences’.

Maybe I’m being too ‘simplistic’ but that seems to me to more than ‘imply penal substitution’ but to categorically affirm ‘penal substitution’ and if that is the case it would leave no room to accommodate the ‘penal substitution rejecting’ views of Steve Chalke. For Joel Edwards to state that the position of those who reject ‘penal substitution’ is not a clear case for ‘exclusion’ is quite frankly nonsense. Those who reject ‘penal substitution’ are preaching “another gospel” and are ‘excluded’ by God to the point of “anathema” [Galatians 1:6-9]. The “fear” of deception outlined by Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 seems very relevant in this whole debate.

The ‘gospel-shattering’ truth is that if there was no ‘penal substitution’ as Christ died on the Cross then God has no grounds on which to [1] impute His righteousness to regenerate, repentant believers [Romans 3:21-22] and [2] to remain “just” and at the same time forensically “justify” regenerate, repentant believers [Romans 3:26]. Such a ‘shredding’ of the true gospel plays right into the hands of those who promote the false ‘gospel’ of Roman Catholicism and will serve to energise false ecumenism.

In the time-gap between the publication of Steve Chalke’s book and the holding of the public debate Joel Edwards had the following letter published in the British Church Newspaper of 1st October 2004 – ‘I would like to commend Steve Chalke and his social action group Faithworks for their Trust campaign. Having launched our initiative focusing on trust earlier this year we fully endorse the work his organisation is doing in promoting trust in the run up to the General election…The vision of Evangelical Alliance is to promote trust in business, public life and the Church and encourage Christians to take up this issue where they live’. Well then, who needs to worry about theological issues such as “penal substitution” if ‘trust in business, public life etc’ is your ‘vision’. And if the ‘very important question’ of “penal substitution” is ‘an exercise’ that Joel Edwards and Steve Chalke do ‘enter into together’ then perhaps the wording of what will be ‘Clause 6’ in the new September 2005 Basis of Faith of Evangelical Alliance may allow them to more easily accommodate differing understandings of the atonement that may or may not include “penal substitution” because ‘Clause 6’ will, according to the Evangelical Alliance website read –

‘We believe in…The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God’.

Out of this re-numbered and re-worded clause has gone any mention of ‘redemption’ or the ‘eternal consequences’ of ‘sin’. I leave it to you, the reader, to decide whether or not this new wording will have strengthened or weakened the case of those who believe in “penal substitution”. If Evangelical Alliance fail to expel Steve Chalke and they allow him and his group to continue in membership it will make a mockery of the truth of Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

  • Ken Clarke: Speaker & Steering Committee:
  • Details that demonstrate real ecumenical compromise

Right from its earliest days Ken Clarke was associated with the inappropriately named ‘Evangelical Contribution on Northern Ireland ‘ or E.C.O.N.I. as it was probably best known. He was listed amongst the ‘endorsers’ on their 1980’s publication ‘For God and His Glory Alone’.

In printed materials I have from 1994 and 2002 he is listed as a member of their ‘Steering Group’. I used the term ‘inappropriately named’ as this group openly debased the term ‘evangelical’. Just 2 brief and abbreviated examples from a little booklet I published about this group.

The E.C.O.N.I. stand at the Worldwide Missionary Convention in Bangor 1992 was at one stage ‘manned’ by a lady who, when asked if she was a member of the host church, Hamilton Road Presbyterian, replied ‘No – I’m a Roman Catholic’.

One of the ‘Trustees’ of E.C.O.N.I. was Ken Wilson. This ‘evangelical’ Methodist minister was responsible for organising a joint ‘celebration’ back in 1987 to [a] mark the 250th anniversary of the conversion of John Wesley and [b] mark the 200th anniversary of the death of a ‘Doctor’ of the Roman Catholic church, Alphonsus de Liguori who had the nickname of ‘Liguori the filthy’ and authored the Christ-dishonouring, Mary-exalting book ‘The Glories of Mary’.

Ken Clarke’s involvement with E.C.O.N.I. was clearly spelt out in an invitation letter to attend an ‘Evangelical/Roman Catholic Autumn Theological Conference’ held in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church on 24 September 1992. The letter [jointly signed by Presbyterian Ministers, Ken Newell, David Burke, Norman Hamilton and Godfrey Brown] stated ‘At this conference we explore the spiritual journey behind the beliefs of ‘Father’ Padraig McCarthy, a signatory to the enclosed document “What is an Evangelical Catholic?” and Rev Ken Clarke who plays a leading role in the work of “The Evangelical Contribution on Northern Ireland”’.

On 30 July 1998 a 16-page booklet entitled ‘Evangelicals & Catholics Together in Ireland’ was launched in Fitzroy Presbyterian Church hall. The ‘guest speakers’ at the launch were ‘Father’ Pat Collins’ and Dr J I Packer whose sad compromise with false ecumenism over recent decades is well-documented and probably reached its peak when he endorsed [and subsequently publicly defended his endorsement] the 1994 document ‘Evangelicals & Catholics Together; The Christian Mission for the Third Millennium’. Listed near the end of the Irish booklet were details of ‘Group Participants’: In amongst the list of names of Roman Catholics and ‘evangelicals’ was the name of Ken Clarke.

At the start of this article I mentioned the 2002 ecumenical venture called ‘Power to Change’ and I gave several Internet links to articles I wrote at that time. From the first of those links the following is a section detailing an event linked to ‘Power to Change’ and that involved participation by Ken Clarke –

Ken Clarke’s own personal endorsement of ‘Power to Change’ was quoted on one of their ‘Prayer Alert’ leaflets and read ‘I warmly commend “Power to Change” in Ireland. I believe it to be an initiative of inspiration and hope at a time when our world needs, more than ever, power to change and be changed’. Also quoted on this ‘Prayer Alert’ leaflet was Ken Clarke’s E.C.O.N.I. colleague, Methodist minister, Ken Wilson, who said ‘I fully endorse this as a modern up to date method of connecting with people in our communities with the Good News about Jesus’.

  • Trevor Morrow: Speaker:
  • Details that demonstrate real ecumenical compromise

Like Ken Clarke, Trevor Morrow’s personal endorsement of ‘Power to Change’ was also quoted on the same ‘Prayer Alert’ leaflet and it read ‘21st century Ireland is entering a period of moral and spiritual darkness. “Power to Change” provides an opportunity to light beacons of hope all across the nation’. I would surmise that the flood of false ecumenism that I documented and that engulfed ‘Power to Change’ stymied ‘at birth’ any hopes of ‘lighting beacons’ of genuine gospel-hope ‘all across the nation’.

Earlier in relation to Ken Clarke I mentioned the 1998 Belfast launch of the 16-page booklet entitled ‘Evangelicals & Catholics Together in Ireland’ and I pointed out that Ken Clarke was listed amongst the ‘Group Participants’ who drew up the booklet. Also listed, as a ‘Group Participant’, was Trevor Morrow. As well as the ‘Belfast launch’ for the booklet there was also a ‘Dublin launch’ and I attended the evening meeting there and the chairman for the evening was Trevor Morrow. This was the meeting at which J I Packer was asked by a converted, former Roman Catholic, how he viewed the then Pope, John Paul II, and J I Packer replied that he ‘viewed him as “a fine Christian man” but that he had problems with the office of the Papacy’ – a classic example of “a double-minded man” [James 1:8]

Coinciding with the launch of this booklet was another publication called “Adventures in reconciliation: 29 Catholic Testimonies”. In a brief analysis of this book I concluded by writing ‘it is clear that Christians should have no fellowship with the contributors to this book and should pray for their liberation from Roman darkness”.

In addition to the 29 Catholic ‘Testimonies’ in the 1998 book there was a ‘Preface’ by Cardinal Cahal Daly and an ‘endorsement’ on the back cover by Sean Brady, the then Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and who of course has since succeeded Cahal Daly as Roman Catholic Primate of all Ireland. Sean Brady’s ‘endorsement’ said ‘A rich store of faith and relationship with the Lord Jesus is contained in the testimonies of people from within the Catholic Church… This book is an inspiration to all who wish to follow Christ and grow in love with Him’. There is a ‘Foreword’ by former Presbyterian Moderator, Ken Newell, minister of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church [mentioned earlier] and who, in spite of requests from a number of genuine evangelical Presbyterian ministers, insisted on going ahead with his invitation to Sean Brady to be one of his personal guests at his installation as Presbyterian Moderator.

In the book there were also 4 ‘Commendations’, one of which was by Trevor Morrow. This ‘Commendation’ contained one of the most devious scripture-twisting segments that I have ever read – twisted in order to malign those true evangelicals who in obedience to God’s Word separate from those who are trusting in the false ‘gospel’ of Roman Catholicism. In his article promoting ‘Kingdom Come’, Stephen Cave wrote – ‘others, particularly after New Horizon this summer cannot wait to hear Trevor Morrow lead the Bible readings each’ – I wonder if you will share Stephen Cave’s enthusiasm in the light of what I will shortly explain to you!

Before quoting what Trevor Morrow wrote could I mention that the same ‘scripture-twisting’ views were voiced in a sermon preached by another now, former Presbyterian Moderator, called Russell Birney, on 7 November 1999 and you can read my full analysis of what Mr Birney said by following this link to our March 2000 ministry newsletter – the article is entitled ‘Ecumenical “stones for bread” in Ballymena’.

http://www.takeheed.info/news-from-the-front-march-2000/

Now, to return to what Trevor Morrow wrote in his ‘Commendation’ [pages 26-27]. He wrote –

‘For Presbyterians like myself, who still hold to the principle of the Reformation – of justification by faith alone, the implications are straightforward. If these [’29 Catholic’] testimonies are evidence of real faith in Christ, then whatever our theological differences, these Roman Catholic believers are justified by faith alone, and so are our brothers and sisters in Christ’.

Let me pause here in what Trevor Morrow wrote and point out that the section I have underlined is according to Rome a theological impossibility. Rome teaches that its ‘believers’ are NOT ‘justified by faith alone’ as this quote from the officially approved Roman Catholic ‘Most Rev Dr James Butler’s Catechism’ illustrates. On page 26, question 7 reads, ‘Are we justified by faith alone without good works?’ and the answer begins clearly and simply ‘No:’ Trevor Morrow continued –

‘In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he saw this doctrine [justification by faith alone] as vital for Christian fellowship and freedom. The Jewish Christians from Jerusalem had come down to Galatia and were fearful that Paul’s message of justification apart from the work of the law would undermine the traditions and identity of their Jewish inheritance. [In Matthew 23:13 the Lord was more concerned that a similar problem that he identified had the damning effect of “shutting up the kingdom of heaven”] They were insisting that it was not enough for a Gentile to believe in Jesus Christ. They also had to keep the laws of Judiasm; to be circumcised, to keep the dietary requirements, to observe the Jewish Sabbaths and festivals, in order for them to be accepted as Christians. It became for them a criteria for fellowship. Paul rails against this. If someone insists that something else is required, apart from faith, in order to accept a person as a fellow Christian, or as a basis for fellowship, then they, says Paul, are preaching a false gospel’.

Trevor Morrow is teaching that Paul’s argument with the Judaisers was centred upon what the basis for ‘fellowship’ should be. This is Mr Morrow’s ‘devious scripture-twisting’ that I referred to earlier. Paul’s argument was not dealing with the basis of ‘Christian fellowship’ but with the basis for ‘salvation’. “The gospel of Christ [alone] is the power of God unto salvation” [Romans 1:16] and the Judaisers were preaching a ‘gospel’ of ‘Christ + works’ [just like Rome] that can never “save” anyone and so these preachers and their ‘gospel’ were placed under God’s curse [Galatians 1:8-9]. Paul positively encourages the discernment of and separation from such false teachers whereas Trevor Morrow teaches that those who rightly exercise Biblical discernment and separation are the ones who are in error.

I mentioned earlier that Russell Birney put this same false teaching forth in a sermon and at the end of my article on that sermon I wrote this –

‘By being willing to publicly fellowship with those who claim to be ‘Evangelical’ but still ‘Catholic’ [ie – still wedded to a false gospel] Mr Birney is guilty of the role played by Peter in the ‘Galatian error’.

Trevor Morrow, by what he wrote in his ‘Commendation’ is likewise guilty of mimicking the role played by Peter in the ‘Galatian error’.

 

  • Paul Reid: Steering Committee:
  • Details that demonstrate real ecumenical compromise

As was the case with Ken Clarke and Trevor Morrow, in the 16-page booklet entitled ‘Evangelicals & Catholics Together in Ireland’, amongst the names listed as ‘Group Participants’ who drew up the booklet was the name of Paul Reid. Again, like Trevor Morrow, one of those who wrote a ‘Commendation’ for the book “Adventures in reconciliation: 29 Catholic Testimonies” was Paul Reid.

In that ‘Commendation’ the ecumenical enterprise of Jesuit priest, Paul Symonds [listed as one of the many who endorsed the ‘Evangelicals & Catholics Together in Ireland’ booklet] was clearly spelt out. Paul Reid wrote ‘I then met a priest, Paul Symonds {see Paul Symond’s testimony on page 222} (actually should be page 224) and when, together, we officiated at a wedding something finally struck me. Here was someone who not only followed and served the same Lord as I did but I could see by his life and testimony that he knew Jesus in a way I didn’t’.

Paul Reid made reference in that section to ‘Paul Symond’s testimony on page 222’. Part of that ‘testimony’ read on page 226 ‘My parents were married in a Methodist church in London and when I came along they had me baptised in the same church…From my experience I have always believed that in my baptism in the Methodist Church I received the gift of new life and the Holy Spirit’. From what Paul Reid has written it would appear that the false practice of and belief in ‘baptismal regeneration’ doesn’t pose any problem for him. At the heart of the true and glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the gracious truth of “imputation” where, just as God imputed the sins of His chosen people to Christ on the Cross, so He imputes the “righteousness of God” to those whom He graciously regenerates [see Romans 3:22].

In a public debate that I organised back in September 1995 between Rob Zins and Paul Symonds on the topic of ‘Getting to Heaven’,

Perhaps in passing I could mention that Methodist Minister, Gary Mason, listed in 2002 as a member of the ‘Steering Group of E.C.O.N.I sent a particular book to Paul Symonds and in Paul Symond’s own words ‘My friend, a Protestant thought that book would help me prepare for the encounter with Robert Zins. How right he was!’ In 1993 Mr Mason was involved in the publication of a paper ‘commissioned by the Working Party on Sectarianism of the Irish Inter-Church meeting’ and that was called ‘How should we evangelical Christians handle our differences with those in the Roman Catholic Church?’ – Obviously Mr Mason believes the best way for him to personally handle these differences is to actively assist a Jesuit priest publicly defend his heresies against the doctrinal truths found in the Scriptures.

Paul Symonds publicly and categorically rejected the Biblical truth of the gracious doctrine of “imputation” and as part of his case against it he quoted his fellow but now deceased Jesuit priest Henri De Lubac. Here is part of the quote from Lubac’s ‘Salvation Through The Church’ that Paul Symonds gave

‘If God had willed to save us without our own co-operation, Christ’s sacrifice by itself would have sufficed…salvation on such terms would not have been worthy of the persons that God willed us to be. God did not desire to save mankind as a wreck is salvaged; [so much for the testimony of the Psalmist in Psalm 40:2 “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay and (He) set my feet upon a rock and established my goings”.] he meant to raise up within it a life, his own life…Christ did not come to take our place – or rather this aspect of substitution refers only to the first stage of his work – He came not to win for us an external pardon [through complete ‘substitution’ in life and death resulting in ‘imputation’] – but to change us inwardly. Thenceforward humanity was to co-operate actively in its own salvation, and that is why to the act of his sacrifice, Christ joined the objective revelation of his Person and the foundation of his church. To sum up, revelation and redemption are bound up together, and the Church is their only Tabernacle’.

This Jesuitical statement has just replaced Christ with the [Roman Catholic] Church as the only means of salvation and echoes the words of Vatican II: Volume 1, page 456 ‘For it is through Christ’s [Roman] Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation [sounds like the ministry of the Holy Spirit has also just been usurped] that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained’. These then are just a few of the heretical beliefs that Paul Symonds tenaciously holds to and defends and this is the man of whom Paul Reid wrote that ‘he knew Jesus in a way I didn’t’.

Earlier I mentioned the 2002 ‘Steering Group’ of E.C.O.N.I. and amongst the members listed is Priscilla Reid, wife of Paul Reid who is an ‘elder’ in her husband’s Christian Fellowship Church where the ecumenically supported and endorsed Alpha Course would be listed in the church ‘events’ on their website. This church back in the mid 1990’s was one of the main ‘distribution centres’ for the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’. I have on tape Paul Reid’s ‘testimony’ of how he went to Toronto and got ‘the blessing’ and when he returned to speak in his own church he fell off the platform and his main concern was about ‘getting fluff on his trousers’.

On letter heading that was used for the ‘MARCH FOR JESUS: Belfast: 15 September 1990’ a number of groups are listed including their ‘Council of Reference’ and amongst the names of that ‘Council’ is the name of Paul Reid. I quoted earlier how impressed Paul Reid had been with one Jesuit, Paul Symonds, well let me now quote what another Jesuit, Donal Godfrey had to say in his ‘testimony’ in the book “Adventures in reconciliation: 29 Catholic Testimonies”. This is of course the book in which Paul Reid wrote his ‘Commendation’.

Mr Godfrey wrote [pages 57:59] ‘I am an ordained priest. I am also a member of the Jesuit order which was founded by St Ignatius of Loyola…As part of my Jesuit training I did the “Spiritual Exercises” of St Ignatius…I was privileged last year to be the first Catholic priest to be part of the organising committee for MARCH FOR JESUS here in Northern Ireland. The committee would often meet for early breakfast in the Jesuit Community house where I live’.

Whether Paul Reid was personally still involved with MARCH FOR JESUS at the time of Mr Godfrey’s involvement I cannot say, but I have no reason to believe that Paul Reid, if he wasn’t personally involved, would not have been fully ‘in spirit’, with those ecumenists who did meet in the ‘Jesuit Community house’.

 

  • Stephen Cave: Steering Committee:
  • Details that demonstrate real ecumenical compromise

The reports that I wrote about ‘Power to Change’ identify Stephen Cave’s high profile involvement in and promotion of that particular ecumenical initiative. The ‘Passion Movie and Café’ report also details his involvement with Hugh Marcus of CARE NI as they clandestinely sought to involve Roman Catholics in that particular venture. In the report you will read that their Roman Catholic ‘sounding board’ was Eugene Boyle. On the front cover of the book “Adventures in reconciliation: 29 Catholic Testimonies” two ‘editors’ are listed and one is Eugene Boyle and the other is Paddy Monaghan. Jointly they would represent what is known as the ‘Evangelical Catholic Initiative’ on the island of Ireland.

Eugene Boyle is also a ‘Trustee’ of the Ecumenical/Charismatic ‘Christian Renewal Centre’ in Rostrevor. On the centre’s tape-recording listings under ‘C’, nestling amongst listings for others such as ‘Father’ Raniero Cantalamessa [who preaches to the Pope and who is a regular speaker at ‘Alpha’ events at Holy Trinity Brompton in London], ‘Father’ Neal Carlin, ‘Father’ Brendan Carr and ‘Father’ Pat Collins is a listing for Stephen Cave. [I saw also that at the time Hugh Marcus was having email exchanges with me about Roman Catholic involvement in ‘The Passion Café’ he was also guesting as a speaker at Rostrevor. Under ‘R’ listings you will see that Priscilla Reid, wife of Paul Reid also has tape-listings on the Rostrevor website].

Involvement in ‘Power to Change’, endeavours to involve Roman Catholics in ‘The Passion Café’ outreach and guesting as a speaker at the ‘Christian Renewal Centre’ in Rostrevor are items that no faithful evangelical would want appearing on his ‘Evangelical CV’. Nor would promotion of trips to Saddleback Church, home of Rick Warren’s ‘Purpose Driven’ conferences, enhance Mr Cave’s ‘evangelical credentials’ and yet that is just what he is doing through the Evangelical Alliance website. Rick Warren quoted favourably many Roman Catholic figures in his ‘Purpose Driven’ books and on Roman Catholicism itself he had this to say

The small group structure is the structure of renewal in every facet of Christianity – including Catholicism. I would encourage you to look at this evolving alliance between evangelical Protestants and Catholics, particularly in the evangelical wing of Catholicism. Now when you get 25 percent of America, which is basically Catholic, and you get 28 to 29 percent of America, which is evangelical, together, that’s called a majority. And it is a very powerful bloc, if they happen to stay together on particular issues.

Rick Warren is helping to fuel the fire of false ecumenism and Stephen Cave is right in there with him. One other item that no true evangelical would want to be associated with is the rejection of the biblical truth of 6-day creation and yet on the Evangelical Alliance website there is an article by Denis R Alexander of another inappropriately named organisation called ‘Christians in Science’. Just a few of the many scripture-denying segments in the article that is entitled ‘Can a Christian believe in evolution?’ read

‘So is it possible to be a Christian and believe in evolution? CERTAINLY, as long as ‘evolution’ refers not to some secular philosophy, but to the biological theory describing how God has created all living things. [Known as ‘Theistic evolution’. It would be interesting to know how ‘theistic evolutionists’ square this belief with the words of Matthew 6:27 “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”]. This explains why the vast majority of Christians who are active in biological research today have no problem with incorporating evolutionary theory within their belief in God as creator… Some Christians think belief in evolution undermines the uniqueness of humankind and the reality of evil and the fall. Not so. [The truth is that evolution does ‘undermine the uniqueness of humankind and the reality of evil and the fall’ and acceptance of it demonstrates complete ignorance of the ramifications of believing there was ‘death’ in the world before man sinned].

Mr Cave and his ‘Evangelical Alliance’ have on many fronts forfeited all rights to be viewed as genuinely evangelical and they are continually undermining genuine ‘evangelical endeavour’ by their pseudo-evangelicalism.

 

  • J John: Speaker:
  • Details that don’t encourage real evangelical confidence

The following report is posted to our website and can be viewed on this link

http://www.takeheed.info/intoxicatedevangelist-j-john-to-visit-belfast/

According to the Belfast Telegraph of 4 December [1999] a United Celebration of Christmas being held in Townsend Presbyterian Church on 13 December is to be addressed by a speaker called J JOHN. The July 1997 issue of CHARISMA carried an article on J JOHN and the following are extracts from the article –

‘It’s not everyone whose ministry has been endorsed on the one hand by controversial revivalist preacher Rodney Howard Browne [as the promoter of ‘Holy Laughter’ at the time of ‘Toronto’ he described himself as God’s ‘Holy Ghost Bartender’] and on the other by the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. Yet that’s the broad spectrum of support enjoyed by J JOHN, arguably one of Great Britain’s foremost evangelists…Recently he preached to capacity crowds at Sunderland Christian Centre [a product of ‘Toronto’]…J JOHN, who is Anglican himself was one of only 2 non-Catholic speakers addressing last year’s charismatic Roman Catholic conference. In his pursuit of God, J JOHN had acquired a yearning for more. Eager to go forward at Toronto-style revival meetings he was disappointed to find that everyone but him – even those praying for him – seemed to be falling over. Then evangelical bible-teacher and friend R T KENDALL introduced JOHN to RODNEY HOWARD BROWNE one of the pioneers of the renewal movement. Later JOHN was invited to one of Howard Browne’s camp meetings in St Louis…It was the fourth meeting before he saw a breakthrough. After speaking from the platform JOHN SUDDENLY FELT “INTOXICATED”…The St Louis incident proved to be a ‘landmark’ experience in his life….’I’ve been baptised in the Spirit’ says the 38 year old father of 3 ‘I’ve had all that. But I felt as though I got it again. It was like another baptism. But this time it was like a baptism of fire’. JOHN later met Sunderland renewal leaders KEN and LOIS GOTT…So he began leading weekly evangelistic meetings in Sunderland – the ‘Toronto’ of England – in early 1997…One woman attended after watching evangelist BENNY HINN on TV. She’d written to HINN and received a personal reply. Realising how near the inquirer lived to Sunderland, HINN strongly recommended that she attend the meetings there…There’s a growing realisation among British Christians that God is ‘unblocking the wells’ where revival has struck before…At one of the meetings in Harrow unemployed people were asked to come forward for prayer ‘I grabbed the microphone and said – if you can offer a job come forward as well’ recalls JOHN. One woman responded and said her company could offer about 120 jobs…’we started arranging interviews in the middle of an evangelistic meeting. That’s never happened before. But part of the gospel is about working for justice’. “This renewal [‘Toronto’] has cleared the skies” JOHN says, “we’re moving out of winter and into spring”.

In the light of the track record of this “intoxicated evangelist” I would recommend all to abstain from attending this planned meeting.

Has J John’s ‘track record’ improved since I posted this report? It would appear not. Just one example – in 2004 I received an invitation postcard that said on the front ‘Joyce Meyer & J John coming to Birmingham’ and on the reverse of the card were details of meetings that would feature these 2 speakers at the NEC Arena from 6-8 May 2004.

Anyone willing to share a platform with Joyce Meyer, as J John obviously was, will receive no endorsement from myself. This link http://www.philotrust.com/links.php is to the J John website ‘links’ page and amongst the links are ones for ‘The Alpha Course’ and ‘Joyce Meyer Ministries’ – these ‘links’ demonstrate the absence of any perceptive Biblical discernment on the part of J John. This link leads to J John’s ‘Book Catalogue’ http://www.philotrust.com/pdf/philocatalogue02-03.pdf and the following listing caught my eye:-

The Big Picture 1 & 2
In these 2 books J John and Mark Stibbe consider eight films in each book to show how they reveal elements of the Christian Message, which can be relevant to each of us today.

The Big Picture: Price £5.99 features The Godfather: Tomb Raider: Billy Elliott: Saving Private Ryan: Titanic: Fargo: Cast Away: The Matrix.

The Big Picture 2: Price £5.99 features The Lord of the Rings: Simon Birch: The Green Mile: Bridget Jones’s Diary: What Women Want: Unfaithful: Minority Report: Shrek:

The ‘Christian Message’ is found in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover brethren I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you…By which also ye are saved…that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”. The Lord’s own command/message is found in Mark 1:15 “Repent and believe the gospel”. To proclaim that these films ‘reveal elements of the Christian Message’ seems to me to be a very real fulfillment of Paul’s prophecy in 2nd Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts, shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears”. The comments of Pastor John MacArthur in his Study Bible sum up perfectly the relevance of this verse to these books –

‘Professing Christians, nominal believers in the church follow their own desires and flock to preachers who offer them God’s blessing apart from His forgiveness, and His salvation apart from their repentance. They have an itch to be entertained by teachings that will produce pleasant sensations and leave them with good feelings about themselves. Their goal is that men preach “according to their own desires”. Under those conditions, people will dictate what men preach, rather than God dictating it by His Word’.

In conclusion, this link http://www.philotrust.com/about.php will take you to the following endorsement on J John’s website–

“It’s really hard to communicate if people don’t like you. I’ve heard J.John speak. He appealed to everyone. He was funny and he made us think – instant communication”
Sir Cliff Richard

Again I would suggest that no faithful evangelical would either welcome or wish to be associated with either the content or the source of this ‘endorsement’ unless they did not share the sentiments expressed by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians 1:10 “For do I now seek the favour of men or of God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of Christ”.

  • Colin Sinclair: Speaker:
  • Details that don’t encourage real evangelical confidence

Colin Sinclair is the minister of Palmerston Place Church, Edinburgh. Their church website contains the following piece of church activity information –

During Lent we share in a series of weekly house groups with our neighbours from St Mary’s and other churches from the Council of West End churches. We also share in services with St Mary’s in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and at Easter.

Once more it is my belief that no faithful evangelical would participate in or endorse the ecumenical-mix activities of Churches that support ‘The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity’.

  • Mark Greene: Speaker:
  • Details that don’t encourage real evangelical confidence

On this website link http://www.christianbookshops.org.uk/reviews/markgreene.htm we learn that ‘Mark Greene is Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity’. On the website http://www.licc.org.uk/ for this London Institute for Contemporary Christianity I noted the following –

Our partners include the Evangelical Alliance, the Missioners of the Church of England, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Spring Harvest, Alpha in the Workplace, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Reaching the Unchurched Network (RUN).

External speaking engagements by Mark Greene have included the keynote speech at the inaugural Billy Graham Marketplace Ministries Conference in America.

Mark Greene has recently spoken at … the Alpha in the Workplace Conference.

Founded in 1982 by John Stott, LICC’s focus has been on helping Christians to listen to the word and listen to the world – “double listening”, as John dubbed it.

As it was in the case of J I Packer it was also necessary for Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones to likewise disagree publicly with John Stott over John Stott’s ecumenical compromise with Roman Catholicism. In the booklet ‘The Unresolved Controversy’ the author, Iain H Murray [who served from 1956-1959 as an assistant to Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel] wrote

‘In Britain, the year 1996 marked the thirtieth anniversary of an event which became a milestone in the evangelical history of our country. Thirty years before, on 18th October 1966, Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones spoke at the National Assembly of Evangelicals in London. His subject was Evangelical Unity. At the end of his address the chairman, Rev John Stott, instead of closing the meeting, did something unscheduled. He took several minutes to make clear to the assembly that he disagreed with what they had just heard and he gave some reasons. So a conference intended to promote evangelical unity had the opposite results [p1-2]… What were Lloyd-Jones and John Stott disagreeing about? [p4]…The ecumenical movement was in its ascendancy and promising that a new era of Christian influence was at hand if only Christians would unite [p8]… Its main advocates were Fuller Seminary, Christianity Today, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association… they shared the common conviction that Fundamentalism had been too separatist, too negative, too exclusive [p9]…John Stott…is said to have acted as the unofficial chaplain to the [Billy] Graham team during the Harringay Crusade [p10]…the starting point of the ecumenical movement is that all who say they are Christians, on a minimum profession of faith, are to be accepted as such…the ecumenical leaders were ignoring the main problem. The possibility that teachers and people had adopted the Christian name without ever meeting with the risen Christ did not seem to come into their reckoning [p12]…How can evangelicalism be said to represent biblical essentials if one regards as Christians and works alongside those who actually deny these essentials? [Like ‘justification’ by faith alone in Christ alone and God’s gracious ‘imputation’ of His righteousness to those whom He justifies]…This was the point which Lloyd-Jones took up in his address at the meeting of October 1966 which brought on the disruption. His central point was that. As fellowship and brotherhood in Christ depend on gospel belief, the unity with which evangelicals should be concerned has to be evangelical not ecumenical. “We should be asking: What is a Christian? How do we get forgiveness of sins? And, What is a Church?” He believed that for evangelicals to appear to accept the “We are all Christians” axiom of ecumenism was fundamentally wrong’ [p13].

A Biblically based understanding of what I have quoted from Iain Murray’s booklet will show that absolutely nothing has changed since 1966 and the challenge for faithful evangelicals today is to follow the Biblical example articulated by and set by Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones, for the reality is that the compromising ‘evangelicals’ of his day have their present-day successors and many of them are scheduled to take part in this ‘Kingdom Come’ event. On pages 22-23 of his booklet Iain Murray wrote –

Lloyd-Jones died in 1981. It was a cause of grief to him that precisely what he had warned against twenty years earlier was patently happening. [Francis] Schaeffer [Snr] felt the same. He wrote in 1984: “What is the use of evangelicalism seeming to get larger and larger if sufficient numbers under the name evangelical no longer hold to that which makes evangelicalism evangelical?” … Few thought in the 1960’s that thirty years later leading evangelicals would be calling the head of the Roman Catholic Church “a wonderful Pope”, or that a message from the pontiff would have been read at [Billy] Graham meetings (as at Amsterdam in 2000) but it has happened’

The ecumenical compromise of John Stott is best illustrated in the statement that he and others issued at the 2nd National Evangelical Anglican Congress and that was held in Nottingham in 1977. The statement said, ‘The visible unity of all professing Christians should be our goal…and evangelicals should join with others in the Church of England in working toward full communion with the Roman Catholic Church’.

Concluding Thoughts

Earlier I referred to this ‘Kingdom Come’ initiative as being ‘marketed’. In the article in the ‘Christian Irishman’, the author, Stephen Cave [General Secretary of NI Evangelical Alliance] wrote

‘A special outreach event is planned for the Waterfront Hall, Belfast on Sunday night, 29 January 2006, preceding Kingdom Come. It will be entitled “More than Words” and will feature Ann Graham-Lotz, with music from various Irish artists. The Kingdom Come steering group are encouraging churches to plan to bring their evening congregations along, bearing in mind it will have an evangelistic theme. It is hoped to keep costs to a minimum, with tickets costing in the region of £8.00. Churches can block book tickets in advance. To register please contact us on…

Stephen Cave also wrote

‘Even the locations we will be using for me hold a tremendous significance. The Ulster Hall and Europa Hotel combined with rooms in Grosvenor House and spires, amongst others, mean that the very heart of Belfast should be buzzing with 1000 or so ministers, elders, youth leaders, Sunday School teachers, community workers and many others. What an opportunity that is in itself to have an impact on so many people that we will encounter during the event’.

I can think of no better way to close than by again quoting from Iain Murray’s booklet

‘He [Dr Lloyd-Jones] knew that the progress of the gospel today is not obstructed by new and unique problems which an adherence to Scripture cannot answer. The one great problem in every age is that “the natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God”. The first need of men and women today is exactly the same as in the apostolic era or as in the days of Whitefield and Wesley: it is the need of regeneration’.

No amount of trendy ‘marketing’ or co-operation between those who have a track record of ecumenical compromise [or as in the case of some people the ‘expounding’ of elements of the Christian message supposedly contained in Box-office hit movies] will guarantee that “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” [Acts 13:48] and it may well be that this venture will serve to swell the numbers of those who “have believed in vain” [1st Corinthians 15:2] – people who according to Pastor John MacArthur in his Study Bible notes ‘may have had a shallow non-saving faith…i.e. they were convinced the gospel was true but had no love for God, Christ and righteousness. True believers “hold fast” to the gospel (cf. John 8:31; 2nd Corinthians 13:5; 1 John 2:24; 2nd John 9).

It also may well be that God, in His great mercy, may see fit to sovereignly move and save at ‘Kingdom Come’, despite all the ‘ecumenical/evangelical infidelity’ of those taking part that I have catalogued, and if so, then I will truly share the “joy in heaven” [Luke 15:7]. However, such a possibility, does not absolve faithful evangelicals from answering the question ‘Kingdom Come: Should you go?’ with a resounding, factually assessed, Biblically reasoned and Biblically based, ‘No’.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 7 September 2005

 

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