Dear praying friends,
My sincere thanks to all those who prayed specifically for the visit of Shaun Willcock during the period 26 October – 9 November. During that time Shaun spoke at 17 meetings and his message shed much light on the reality of what has happened and is happening in his homeland as he spoke of ‘Contending for Christ in South Africa’. For those with Internet access his message given on 7 November can be listened to on www.sermonaudio.com/kilskeery Alternatively you can obtain an audiotape of the talk from us [price £2.00 includes p&p]. His exposure of the lie of the ‘modern-day miracle that is South Africa’ should sound as a wake up call to God’s people in these islands for the very same assault on the open preaching of the unique Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ that took place in South Africa and that is now enshrined in their Constitution and Laws is taking place in our homeland and is very likely to be enshrined in the proposed European Constitution and other laws under which we will have to live. Imprinted on all of these changes are the fingerprints of the Vatican [aided by her associates such as the World Council of Churches] who pull and manipulate the strings of political establishments all over the world. Shaun has just had published a book entitled “‘Holy War’ Against South Africa” giving a full account of the history and events in South Africa and if you would like a copy it can be obtained from us [price £11.50 includes p&p]. Please pray much and often for Shaun, his wife Stacey and their little daughter Bethany. Margaret and I send you all our love and greetings at this season and our thanks for all your faithful support.
Your servant for Christ
WAS – C S LEWIS – TRULY ‘OUR GREATEST CHRISTIAN WRITER’? [Part 3]
Following on from our 2nd article in which we considered the doctrine of REPENTANCE I want in this 3rd article in our series on C S Lewis to consider his understanding of the doctrine of REGENERATION. To begin with I want to consider 2 things namely – firstly, what is ‘regeneration’ and secondly, does sinful man have any input into his own ‘regeneration’?
In answer to the first question – what is ‘regeneration’ let me quote from Vines’ Expository Dictionary of Old and New testament Words’. On pages 517-518 under the heading REGENERATION we read the following ‘Palingenesia “new birth” (palin – “again”; genesis – “birth”) is used of “spiritual regeneration” [Titus 3:5] involving the communication of A NEW LIFE, the two operating powers to produce which are “The Word of Truth” [James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23] and “The Holy Spirit” [John 3:5-6]…The NEW BIRTH and REGENERATION do not represent successive stages in spiritual experience, they refer to the same event but view it in different aspects. The NEW BIRTH stresses the communication of spiritual life in contrast to the antecedent spiritual death; [see Ephesians 2:1] REGENERATION stresses the inception of a new state of things in contrast with the old’ [see 2 Corinthians 5:17].
Turning to the second question – does sinful man have any input into his own ‘regeneration’ I think we need to consider carefully the Lord’s words to Nicodemus in John chapter 3 where He declares the necessity of being “born again” [ie ‘regenerated’] for entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. In considering question one we read that in ‘the communication of A NEW LIFE’ there were ‘two operating powers’ namely “The Word of Truth” [‘seed’ – see Luke 8:11] and “The Holy Spirit” [the ‘quickening’ agent’ – see John 6:63 & Romans 4:17]. When someone is born for the first time [‘born of the flesh’ – see John 3:6] there are likewise ‘two operating powers’ involved namely the woman’s ‘seed’ and the man’s ‘sperm’. If a child is conceived all the credit belongs to the Lord for we read in Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward”.
Any resultant offspring has had no input whatsoever into his ‘first birth’ and in like-fashion anyone graciously ‘born again’ [‘born of the Spirit’ – see John 3:6] has had no input into his own ‘regeneration’. As we read in Jonah 2:9 and Psalm 3:8 “Salvation is of, and belongs to the Lord”. God does use other independent human agents to sow and water the ‘seed’ but as Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, any ‘quickening ’ of that ‘seed’ resulting in ‘fruit’ [‘new birth’] is entirely due to God ALONE – “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then, neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth, but God giveth the increase”.
I often hear unregenerate people being urged to ‘exercise faith’ – but what is ‘faith’? Well, we find the answer in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. This is something a “natural [unregenerate] man” [1 Corinthians 2:14] does not possess [and therefore cannot ‘exercise’] because such understanding and assurance comes only through the work of “The Holy Spirit” [1 Corinthians 2:14] who must FIRST ‘quicken’ [‘regenerate’] the sinner who is “dead in trespasses and sins” [Ephesians 2:1]. [Tom Wells in his book ‘Faith – The Gift of God’ wrote “A man must be born again in order to exercise faith…Repentance and faith do not cause the new birth. Far from it! The new birth causes repentance and faith…God makes a new man who delights in exercising faith towards God…Yet the faith is from God, a gift pure and simple…To God be the glory!! P58-60] Lazarus could not ‘exercise faith’ to initiate his ‘coming forth’ from the tomb [see John 11:17-44] – he first had to be ‘quickened’ [regenerated’] by the voice of God [‘Lazarus’ – see John 11:43] and when the Lord called him by name he was ‘reborn’ and so could “come forth” but He FIRST had to be brought to life by God and it is exactly the same in the matter of ‘spiritual regeneration’ [“for the glory of God” John 11:4]. Let me at this point say that if anyone promotes teaching on REGENERATION that is in conflict with what has already been biblically shown, in the earlier part of this article, to be the truth on this matter of REGENERATION, if they accommodate in their thinking the necessity for some input by sinful man, such as in the form of a conscious decision coupled with religious ritual, then I believe they are promoting a ‘false gospel’ and such a ‘gospel’ was anathematised by Paul in Galatians chapter 1. There, Paul, under inspiration, rejected the false teaching of a human decision to submit to ‘ritualistic’ circumcision as being necessary for salvation – “And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved” [Acts 15:1]. This cave-in to a ‘false gospel’ by the Judaisers was mirrored in a similar ‘sell-out’ committed by so-called ‘evangelicals’ back in 1994 when they signed their agreement to the ‘Evangelicals and Catholics Together Agreement’ – an agreement that in effect sanctioned 2 ways in which people could become Christians. One was the biblical and true way as outlined in Vines’ Expository Dictionary but the second was the false ‘ritualistic’ way as captured by these words from the agreement – ‘Those converted, whether understood…as having experienced the reawakening of the new birth originally bestowed in the sacrament of baptism’ – this was a statement that Charles Colson, Bill Bright, J I Packer and other ‘evangelicals’ had no difficulty in publicly endorsing – what a betrayal of divine truth!
Now, how does C S Lewis view REGENERATION, namely ‘the communication of A NEW LIFE’ as we learnt from Vine’s definition? Let me turn again to his book ‘Mere Christianity’ and there we read on page 59 – ‘In Christ a new kind of man appeared: and the new kind of life, which began in Him, is to be put into us’. I have great difficulty with this statement for this reason – Jesus Christ was the INCARNATE Son of God whereas believers today are REGENERATE sons of God. To my way of thinking Mr Lewis is as wrong here as was [the late] Kenneth Hagin Snr when he taught ‘Every man who has been born again is an incarnation and Christianity is a miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth’ [Quoted by Hank Hanegraaff on page 383 of the hardback edition of his book ‘Christianity in Crisis’]. Jesus Christ was the SINLESS INCARNATE Son of God whereas believers are SINFUL REGENERATE sons of God – yes, believers now have ‘spiritual life’ and their personal hope and God’s earnest desire is that they should ‘be conformed to the image of his Son’ [Romans 8:29] but we must never forget that the INCARNATE Son of God was IMPECCABLE whereas sadly, as we all know from bitter experience, believers are REGENERATE but PECCABLE sons of God – ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us’ [1 John 1:8]. Later on page 59 of ‘Mere Christianity’ Mr Lewis writes ‘There are three things that spread the Christ life to us: baptism, belief, and that mysterious action which different Christians call by different names – Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord’s supper’. When professing Christians use Christian terminology, their understanding of that terminology must be framed in the context of the ‘faith community’ with which they personally identify. [By way of example, when a Mormon speaks of ‘salvation’ he usually has ‘resurrection’ in view whereas a Christian would have an altogether different theological concept in mind]. So when C S Lewis speaks of ‘belief’ sandwiched between ‘baptism’ and ‘Holy Communion’, it is patently evident that his ‘belief’ is that the reception of what he calls ‘the Christ life’ or what Christians would call REGENERATION comes to a person via a SACRAMENTAL SYSTEM. On page 62 of ‘Mere Christianity’ he writes ‘this new life is spread not only by purely mental acts like belief, but by bodily acts like baptism and Holy Communion…God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put new life into us’. These teachings would all be perfectly consistent with his own personal identity with the Anglican Church and also with his ‘fellowship’ with active, practising Roman Catholics. Each of their SACRAMENTAL SYSTEMS involve ‘belief’ or what I referred to earlier as ‘a conscious decision coupled with religious ritual’ and the reality is that such ‘belief’ has no concord with the biblical teaching on REGENERATION.
In the light of these teachings by C S Lewis I would once more challenge Derick Bingham’s public assertion that Mr Lewis was ‘Our greatest Christian writer’ for, in the light of what we have considered to date, I believe that Mr Lewis was wrong in his teaching on REPENTANCE and REGENERATION and in our final article we will [DV] consider what Mr Lewis taught on the matter of REDEMPTION.
‘IN SIX DAYS’
In our June 2003 newsletter the lead article was entitled “Partial” Agreement to “Plenary” Inspiration and was prompted by the public preaching earlier this year by the assistant Pastor of a church that claimed in its Doctrinal Statement to believe in ‘The plenary inspiration, sole and all sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures’. The problem addressed in our article was this assistant Pastor’s rejection in his sermon of belief in a literal 6-day creation – a rejection that was subsequently endorsed by his senior Pastor the following week.
A couple of months ago I purchased a copy of a book first printed in 2001 called ‘In Six Days – why 50 scientists choose to believe in creation’. The book was edited by John F Ashton PhD and as a further response to the ‘rejection sermon’ dealt with in my June article I want to publish some brief extracts from this book by just a few of the very well qualified scientific contributors to this book.
Jeremy I Walter [pages 9-22]
Dr Walter is head of the Engineering Analysis and Design Department within the Energy Science and Power Systems Division at the Applied Research Laboratory [ARL] at Pennsylvania State University. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering with highest distinction, an M.S. in mechanical engineering and a PhD in mechanical engineering…He was a 1975 recipient of a prestigious National Science Foundation Fellowship…Dr Walter has been the leader for a number of undersea propulsion development projects for the US Navy.
‘Our world suffers from the false notion established during the modern era that reality and truth are limited to the empirical [relying solely on experiment or experience or observation and not theory] and that man’s knowledge and reasoning are our supreme guide. The concept of a living, volitional, personal and loving First Cause is willfully rejected, even though it is completely compatible with both science and the Bible…The principles and observations of true science do not contradict a literal interpretation of Genesis 1, but in fact offer support for the creation of all things in six days!’
Jonathan D Sarfati [pages 75-85]
Dr Sarfati is a research scientist for Answers in Genesis in Australia. He holds a B.S. [Hons} in chemistry with a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
‘Many people have the belief that “science” has proven the earth to be billions of years old, and that every living thing descended via evolutionary processes from a single cell, which itself is the result of a chance combination of chemicals…The Bible claims to be the written Word of God, completely authoritative on everything it teaches [2 Timothy 3:15-17] …Romans 1:20 says “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse”. Upon seeing the wonderful works of design in this world I believe that the intellectually honest person must conclude that they were made by a great designer…I believe in a recent creation in six consecutive normal days because the only eyewitness tells us what He did, and He has shown that He should be trusted.’
Ariel A Roth [pages 86-101]
Dr Roth is a former director of the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, California. He holds a B.A. in biology from Pacific Union College and an M.S. in biology and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan…He has authored over 140 articles on origins issues and for 23 years edited the journal ORIGINS.
‘there are many good reasons to believe in creation by God in six days. In fact, it seems to me that it takes a greater degree of blind faith [where there is no evidence] to believe in evolution than in the creation model of the Bible… While evolution proposes that life has been evolving for thousands of millions of years, creation suggests that God created the various forms of life in six days a few thousand years ago…Many have tried to reconcile the great differences between science’s evolutionary model and the biblical model of creation…“Theistic evolution” is one of these intermediary models. It proposes that God used an evolutionary process over eons of time…Another model is “progressive creation” where God occasionally creates more advanced forms of life over eons of time…there is no suggestion in the Bible that God created over long periods of time. There is only one model of creation in the Bible: God does it all in six days’.
- CATHOLIC CATECHISM CORNER
- NON-CHRISTIAN TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CATECHISM 
For this our third look at a non-Christian teaching in the Catholic Catechism I want to look at Paragraph 841 that states –
‘The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day’.
In this paragraph 841 the Catholic Catechism teaches that Muslims ‘adore’ [worship and love intensely] the same ‘merciful God’ that Christians ‘adore’ and that because Muslims ‘acknowledge the creator’ they are therefore, because of this, included in ‘the plan of salvation’ or as Christians would say ‘saved’.
In my June 2003 NEWS FROM THE FRONT, in the article entitled ‘All God’s Children’, I told of how the Belfast Telegraph’s religious affairs correspondent, Alf McCreary had claimed that Christians and Muslims worship ‘the one God’ and I went on to demonstrate that Muslims do not worship the Tri-une God that Christians worship, the one true God who has revealed the truth concerning Himself in the pages of His inspired Word, the Bible.
As we consider this paragraph 841 of the Catholic Catechism, the question simply is this – can anyone who rejects God’s revelation concerning Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be a party to ‘the plan of salvation’ of this ‘one, merciful God’ as He is referred to, in other words are they ‘saved?’ – Rome says ‘yes’ but ‘What saith the Scripture’? [Romans 4:3].
According to the Bible those who are included in ‘the plan of salvation’ or ‘saved’ must testify to an ‘experience’ and must also manifest ‘evidence’. Firstly, what is the ‘experience’ they must testify to? It is to having been ‘born again’ or ‘spiritually regenerated’ for Jesus said in John 3:3 “EXCEPT a man be born again he CANNOT see the kingdom of God” and we learnt from our earlier study on this subject in relation to C S Lewis that ‘regeneration’ is a work of God.
Then secondly, what is the ‘evidence’ that those in ‘the plan of salvation’ or ‘saved’ must manifest. Well they must be correct in their doctrine concerning Jesus Christ for we read in 2 John 9 “Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son”. Look again at what Rome states at the start of paragraph 841 of the Catholic Catechism namely – ‘The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims’. Who do Muslims view as being ‘the Creator’? The following table sets out what The Koran [Translation by N J Dawood] and what The Bible have to say on this topic of ‘the Creator’.
‘Praise be to God, Creator of the heavens and the earth…There is no God but Him’ [Surah 35:1-3] Unbelievers are those that say “God is the Messiah, the son of Mary”…Unbelievers are those that say “God is one of three”. There is but one God. If they do not desist from so saying, those of them that disbelieve shall be sternly punished…The Messiah, the son of Mary, was no more than an apostle: other apostles passed away before him’ [Surah 5:71-76] ‘The Koran accuses the Jews of corrupting the Scriptures and the Christians of worshipping Jesus as the son of God’ [Introductory notes by N J Dawood page x].
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ [Genesis 1:1] Referring to Jesus Christ, the Apostle John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” [John 1:1, 14 & 3]. Writing to the Church in Colosse the Apostle Paul declared concerning Jesus Christ, “For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth…all things were created by him and for him…and by him all things consist” [Colossians 1:16-17]
In his book, ‘Plain talk on Colossians’ M G Gutzke, when commenting on the verses quoted above wrote [page 19], ‘The One who is responsible for creating all things and holding them by the word of His power is none other than the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ’.
In his bible notes for Colossians 1:15-20 John MacArthur wrote, ‘One component in the heresy threatening the Colossian church was the denial of the deity of Christ. Paul combats that damning element of heresy with an emphatic defence of Christ’s deity’.
- Muslims and ‘experience’:
Rome says Muslims only need to ‘acknowledge the Creator’ and ‘adore the one, merciful God’ to be included in ‘the plan of salvation’ or ‘saved’ but what about the ‘experience’ of ‘spiritual regeneration’? Islam is silent on the necessity of this ‘experience’ of being ‘born again’ [plainly stated in John 3:3]. In contrast to what the Bible reveals as being necessary for salvation namely ‘spiritual regeneration’ [a work of God] Islam lays before its followers the necessity of ‘Five Pillars’ that are in effect ‘5 works of righteousness’ namely Confession: Prayer: Fasting: Almsgiving: Pilgrimage. The Bible totally rejects any notion of ‘works of righteousness’ qualifying someone to be included in ‘the plan of salvation’ or ‘saved’. Ephesians 2:9 states plainly that ‘salvation’ is “not of works” and Titus 3:5 declares that ‘salvation’ is “not by works of righteousness”. So Muslims patently fail the clearly taught Biblical ‘experience’ requirement of being ‘born again’ in order to be included in ‘the plan of salvation’ or ‘saved’.
- Muslims and ‘evidence’:
Are Muslims who, according to Rome, are included in ‘the plan of salvation’ or ‘saved’, correct in their doctrine concerning Christ [a requirement plainly set out in 2 John 9]? Already we have seen that they deny Christ’s role as ‘the Creator’ but what about the person and redeeming work of Jesus Christ? Concerning the person of Christ, whom God the Father declared to be “my beloved Son” in Matthew 3:17, Islam plainly rejects this truth. In the Koran we read ‘Jesus the son of Mary, was no more than God’s apostle and His Word…God is but one God. God forbid that He should have a son!’ [Surah 4:171]. ‘Unbelievers are those who declare: “God is the Messiah, the son of Mary”’ [Surah 5:17&71] ‘The Christians say the Messiah [Christ] is the son of God. Such are their assertions, by which they imitate the infidels of old. God confound them! How perverse they are!’ [Surah 9:30]. ‘Say “Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom”’ [Surah 17:111]. ‘Never has God begotten a son, nor is there any other god besides him’ [Surah 23:91].
Concerning the redeeming work of Christ on the Cross this is flatly denied and rejected by Islam. In the Koran we read ‘They declared: We have put to death the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the apostle of God. They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did’ [a footnote says ‘or literally – he was made to resemble another for them’]…they did not slay him for certain. God lifted him up to Himself’ [Surah 4:155-158].
John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, who was without doubt included in ‘the plan of salvation’ wrote “The Father sent the Son to be the saviour of the world” [1 John 4:14] and also wrote “He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father who hath sent him” [John 5:24]. Does Islam give the honour due to ‘the Son’ and in consequence ‘the Father’? In a word ‘no’!
Islam not only denies Jesus Christ to be ‘the Creator’ but also denies the divine Sonship of Christ and denies His inherent divinity and this the child that we read of in Matthew 1:23 as being “Immanuel…God with us”. Islam, as we read already denies that Christ died on the Cross, yet in Acts 2:22-24 Peter tells the thronging masses in Jerusalem “Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth…ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain; Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death”.
Muslims know nothing of the ‘experience’ [being ‘born again’] and demonstrate no ‘evidence’ [fidelity to Christ] that the Bible states are essential for inclusion in ‘the plan of salvation’ or to being ‘saved’. Not only does Rome mislead Muslims concerning God’s ‘plan of salvation’ but also Billy Graham is equally astray. Some years ago David Frost asked him – ‘Is Islam the fastest growing religion in the world’ and this was Billy Graham’s reply –
‘I don’t know the answer to that but I can give some, my own theories. I think one is the tremendous discipline that they have in Islam in the sense that there’s a judgment if you do wrong and there’s the tremendous hope that people have if you are Islamic. Suppose you die on a battlefield fighting for Islam the promises they give you for the first thousand years would make any young man say, “well I think that’s what I’d like to have”. They have so many things and I think Islam is misunderstood too because Mohammed had a great respect for Jesus and he called Jesus the greatest of the prophets EXCEPT HIMSELF and I THINK THAT WE’RE CLOSER TO ISLAM THAN WE REALLY THINK WE ARE’.
As I watched Billy Graham utter these words I have to confess that a surge of righteous anger came over me. Here was Billy Graham commending Mohammed for saying that except for himself [Mohammed] Jesus was the greatest of the prophets. All that came to my mind was the truth of Philippians 2:9 where Paul declares, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him [Jesus] and given him [Jesus] a name which is above every name [including Mohammed’s] That at the name of Jesus every knee [including Mohammed’s] should bow…and that every tongue [including Mohammed’s] should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
In Deuteronomy 18:15 Moses said prophetically “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me, unto him ye shall hearken”. At the time of Christ’s transfiguration, the voice from heaven proclaimed “This is my beloved Son [Jesus] in whom I am well pleased: HEAR YE HIM” [Matthew 17:5}. Jesus was the great prophet, promised by Moses in the Old Testament and recognised by many in the New Testament. In John 1:45 we read, “Philip findeth Nathanael and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write, Jesus [not Mohammed] of Nazareth”. Preaching about Christ in Acts 3:22 Peter said “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord, your God, raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, Him ye shall hear in all things”. On the road to Emmaus, the risen Christ in Luke 24:27 enlightened the two downcast disciples by “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them, in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself” [not Mohammed].
In John 3:36 we read, “He that believeth on the Son [Jesus] hath everlasting life” [is included in ‘the plan of salvation’]. Muslims clearly do not correctly ‘believe on the Son’ [Jesus] both in relation to His person and His work and John 3:36 goes on to say “and he that believeth not the Son [that’s Muslims] shall not see life [are not included in ‘the plan of salvation’] but the wrath of God abideth on him”. Much is made by Rome about Abraham being a common ‘faith’ denominator where Christians, Muslims and indeed Jews are concerned – perhaps they all should consider afresh what Paul wrote in Galatians 3:29 “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed [spiritually speaking], and heirs according to the promise”. This promise relates to God’s ‘plan of salvation’ and Paul further wrote in Romans 8:9 “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”. As Muslims [and Jews] ‘have not the Spirit of Christ’ and consequently are ‘none of his’ then they are not ‘Abraham’s seed’ [spiritually] and not ‘heirs according to the promise’ and not included, in the absence of the Biblical ‘experience’ and ‘evidence’ already mentioned, in ‘the plan of salvation’.
When looking at Billy Graham’s reply to David Frost’s question, it really is no surprise that he was able to say, when interviewed by Larry King, that he [Billy Graham] and the Pope [who certified the Catholic Catechism to be ‘a sure norm for teaching the faith’ – page 5] agree on almost everything. They are certainly agreed in their error where Islam is concerned and in this matter are doing nothing for the Kingdom of God but much for the Kingdom of Antichrist.
ROWAN WILLIAMS and CHRISTIAN INTEGRITY
In my September 2003 NEW FROM THE FRONT I wrote an article that I entitled – ‘Alf McCreary and Christian Integrity’ and in it I pointed out how Mr McCreary, who is the Religious Affairs correspondent with the Belfast Telegraph, regularly writes articles and expresses opinions that are in total conflict with public affirmations that he would have made at his ordination as an elder within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. At ordination he would have publicly affirmed the Bible and the Westminster Confession of Faith to be his supreme and subordinate ‘standards’ of faith.
In the September article I gave examples of how publicly in his writings Mr McCreary had shown scant regard for the truths taught in both those ‘standards’. I quoted a definition of ‘Christian Integrity’ given by Pastor John MacArthur as being ‘the absence of compromise and the presence of biblical convictions’ and concluded that Mr McCreary’s views went ‘against all honest and rational thinking’. I was basically saying that he was devoid of ‘Christian Integrity’ as defined by Pastor MacArthur.
Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, would at his being ordained to the Anglican ‘Priesthood’ have made similar public affirmations to those made publicly by Mr McCreary except that Mr Williams’ subordinate ‘standard’ would have been the ’39 Articles of Religion’. I want to quote some sections from those articles as follows –
Article XX11 ‘The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons. Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics and also invocation of Saints is a fond thing vainly invented and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture but rather repugnant to the Word of God’.
Article XXV ‘…There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord. Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony and Extreme Unction are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel…The sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon or to be carried about…’
Article XXV111 ‘…Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament and hath given occasion to many superstitions…The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up or worshipped’.
Article XXX1 ‘…the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits’.
It is clear from the statements just quoted that any ordained Anglican ‘Priest’ of whatever rank, should, if they have the slightest modicum of ‘Christian Integrity’ residing within them, shun any Christian fellowship with those against whom these Articles direct their warnings and rebukes, namely the Practices and ‘Priesthood’ of the Roman Catholic ‘Church’. However, despite these Articles supposedly constituting the subordinate ‘standard’ of Rowan Williams’ faith, they did not prevent him, in his capacity as Archbishop of Canterbury, of wending his way to grovel before the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic ‘Church’, the ailing Pope John Paul 11. This is how the Roman Catholic Zenit news agency reported the meeting between the Pope and Mr Williams –
‘the first visit of the new primate confirmed the cordial personal bond between the Pope and the Anglican leader. Dr. Williams, 53, thanked the Pope for the gift of a pectoral cross, sent from the Vatican when he took over the post at Canterbury… The Pope explained to the Anglican leader at the audience: “We must reaffirm our obligation to listen attentively and honestly to the voice of Christ as it comes to us through the Gospel and the Church’s apostolic tradition. Faced with the increasing secularism of today’s world,” he added, “the Church must ensure that the deposit of faith is proclaimed in its integrity and preserved from erroneous and misguided interpretations”… Speaking to journalists after his meeting with the Pope, Dr. Williams said, “We are conscious of the ecumenical implications of what has been done,” and “We shall need to consider those very carefully. We have, I think, in these days, listened hard to what has been said to us.”
The result of the visit, Vatican Radio reported Sunday, has been to emphasize “the will and commitment to reach the goal of full communion.” Zenit continued ‘The Anglican archbishop stressed this spirit with innumerable gestures, including kissing the Pope’s hand at Saturday’s audience. At that moment, he was wearing the pectoral cross that John Paul II gave him on the occasion of his enthronement, and the episcopal ring that Pope Paul VI gave one of his predecessors, Archbishop Michael Ramsey’.
Amongst the errors identified in the sections already quoted from the Articles were ‘invocation of Saints’ and ‘the sacrifices of Masses’ as being ‘blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits’. How ironic then, that on the very day after Rowan Williams [who supposedly agrees with these warnings in the Articles about Roman Catholic practices], met the Pope and kissed his hand [as an expression of his desire of reaching ‘full communion’ with Rome] that that very same Papal hand would be holding up for worship and adoration ‘transubstantiated’ bread and wine during a ceremony where the Pope was creating three new ‘saints’. This was part of the Zenit news agency report of the event –
‘In a two-hour-plus Mass, John Paul II canonized three missionaries of the 19th and early 20th centuries…The Pope gave Communion personally to about 30 people during the Mass. He pronounced the canonization formula in a clear though shaky voice. He appeared to regain his energy at the end of the Mass when greeting the pilgrims… Before reciting the Angelus, John Paul II invited the pilgrims to invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially this month, when the Year of the Rosary closes. He reminded them that he plans to go on pilgrimage Tuesday to the Shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary in Pompeii’.
In expressing a desire for ‘full communion’ with a Roman Catholic system that the ‘39 Articles’ correctly identify in Article X1X as having ‘erred not only in their living and manner of ceremonies but also in matters of faith’, like Alf McCreary, Rowan Williams, has shown himself to be devoid of ‘Christian Integrity’. Paul, writing prophetically in 2 Timothy 4:3 tells of the time when professing believers “will not endure sound doctrine but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears”. In the likes of Alf McCreary and Rowan Williams we see such teachers being ‘heaped up’ by doctrinally illiterate professing believers.
Plans and Prayers
A number of plans for the year 2004 [DV] are currently taking shape and I would very much covet your prayers for them. The details to date are –
ENGLAND – MARCH 2004
I have been invited by the United Protestant Council to speak at their Annual Public Meeting on Saturday 6 March 2004 [DV]. The meeting is scheduled to be held at 2.00pm in St John’s Wood Road Baptist Church, London NW8. The topic I have been asked to speak on is – ‘Evangelising Roman Catholics’. Further details on the meeting can be obtained from the UPC secretary, Mr David Dyer 01323-722727. In addition I shall be giving an update on the work of ‘Take Heed’ on Thursday 4 March 2004 at 8.00pm in Ridley Hall Evangelical Church, Broughton Street, London SW8 3QU where I also hope to preach God’s Word at 10.15am on Sunday 7 March 2004. For further details the Ridley Hall Church telephone number is 020 7720 1819.
CALIFORNIA – JUNE 2004
Plans are in hand for me to speak in San Diego at the June 2004 annual conference of AFEC [Association of Fundamentalists Evangelising Catholics] to be held there 8-11 June 2004 [DV]. The topic I hope to speak on is ‘Transubstantiation – Food for Thought’. I have also been invited to speak at other locations whilst in America. In total I hope to be in California from 4-23 June 2004 and details of all the speaking engagements will be given in our next newsletter [DV].
ENGLAND – AUGUST 2004
I have been invited to address a group of believers in Barrow in Furness on Saturday 28 August 2004 [DV]. I had the pleasure of meeting this group back in 2001 when one of my guests from America, Mike Gendron, was asked to fit in a speaking engagement with them during our time in England [along with Rob Zins and Stephen Murphy]. Full details of time, topic and venue will be given in our next newsletter [DV].
VISIT BY ROGER OAKLAND – OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2004
Plans are well in hand for a return visit to Ireland by Roger Oakland and the likely dates are – 22 October 2004 – 8 November 2004 [DV]. Quite a number of meetings have already been set up but full details will be given later [DV].
C S LEWIS and REPENTANCE
This enclosure is really a ‘PS’ to the article that appeared in our June newsletter. Near the end I wrote on page 13 ‘My reading of all this is that Mr Lewis has equated the sinless Lord’s innate ability to resist sin with fallen man’s necessity to repent of sin. In so doing I believe Mr Lewis has maligned the impeccable character of our Lord…It seems to be that Mr Lewis has heretically confused the Lord’s “resistance” to sin with “repentance” from sin’. Just recently I purchased the latest ‘Dictionary of Theological Terms’ by Alan Cairns and I came across this entry on page 426
Vicarious repentance theory of the Atonement
Also known as the Theory of Sympathy and Identification. We may summarise it under the following points.
1. The only atonement necessary for sin is a perfect repentance.
2. Such a repentance from man would have been sufficient for salvation, had he been able to offer it.
3. Christ offered a perfect repentance [please remember in my article I looked at what Mr Lewis wrote in his chapter in ‘Mere Christianity’ called ‘The Perfect Penitent’] on behalf of man and so procured forgiveness.
4. The death of Christ was merely a sympathetic entering into the Father’s condemnation of sin, and as such showed the wickedness of sin and condemned it.
The theory is objectionable on various grounds.
1. It fails to see that sin makes the sinner liable to punishment.
2. It denies any objective quality in the atonement [i.e. It denies that Christ’s atoning death actually and effectively accomplished salvation for anyone].
3. It is a contradiction in terms – repentance is purely a subjective [relates to self] thing and cannot be valid unless it is personal. That Christ felt and sorrowed over the sins He vicariously bore for His people is certain [Psalm 40:12] but it was impossible for Him to turn back to God [during His life on earth] from committed sin, for – even in bearing our sins [on the cross] – He had never turned away from Him.
4. THERE IS NOT A FRAGMENT OF SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT FOR IT.
This definition by Mr Cairns seems to perfectly encapsulate the conclusions that I had come to when analysing what Mr Lewis had written on this subject of ‘repentance’ and it has come as an encouraging confirmation to my own understanding to discover that what I had ‘unearthed’ had already been identified and ‘quantified’ by Mr Cairns who for 33 years has been a lecturer in Systematic Theology in the Theological Hall of the Free Presbyterian Church.