News From The Front – June 2005

Dear praying friends,

I want to thank the many who contacted me to inquire how I was physically in the wake of the ‘roof space fall’ that I referred to in my opening letter of the March 2005 NEWS FROM THE FRONT. I did for a period of time experience some pain and discomfort in my back and shoulders caused by bruised/damaged muscles pressing on nerves but to all who prayed I am pleased to report that following 6 sessions of physiotherapy the problems have been put right so we give thanks to the Lord for His kindness and healing. I want now to bring a very special prayer request to your attention. In 2003 my wife Margaret and I attended the wedding of my niece Heather who lives in Canada. Heather is in her early thirties and following recent necessary and urgent surgery she has been diagnosed as having a particular form of cancer. She is scheduled to have 6 sessions of ‘strong’ chemotherapy – the first 3 being on 24 May, 14 June and 5 July [DV]. I would be most grateful if you would remember Heather in your prayers – praying both for her physical well being and also for her spiritual well being – she would not profess to be a believer, nor would her husband Dave whom I would also ask you to remember. Please pray also that the Lord might move in the midst of these difficult circumstances in the lives of their wider family circles.

Your servant for Christ

CECIL ANDREWS

  • Ministry visit by Alan Morrison – GOD [channel] TV: Helpful or Harmful?

Between 2nd and 19th April a total of 20 meetings were held in locations all over Northern Ireland and all but one of the talks [the one exception was a talk to a Pastors Fraternal on the subject of ‘Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare – Fact or Fiction?’] addressed the topic – ‘GOD [channel] TV: Helpful or Harmful?’ Alan Morrison had previously been my invited guest back in 1994 when he spoke at 4 meetings on the subject of the then very topical so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’. It was fascinating to see as Alan addressed the topic of ‘GOD TV’ that there was a close linkage to his previous visit as many of the same heretical faces that featured in ‘Toronto’ are still featuring prominently today on ‘GOD TV’. Overall the attendances at meetings were very good and Alan had many profitable discussions with people afterwards – many of whom did not realise just how ‘harmful’ to the gospel this media outlet is. During Alan’s talk several portions of very revealing video of an April 2004 fund-raising exercise by ‘GOD TV’ were shown and can I say to all who contributed to our ‘Video Projector Appeal’ of several years ago that the projector really proved its worth during this ministry visit by Alan.

There are several items that may be of interest to those who are concerned by the heretical impact of ‘GOD TV’. Firstly you can obtain from us either on video or on DVD a copy of Alan’s talk – ‘GOD TV: Helpful or Harmful?’ The cost [including postage etc] for either the video or the DVD is £7.00. I also had available at the meetings a 2-tape audiocassette presentation called ‘Christianity in Crisis’. On these tapes many of the well-known faces that appear on ‘GOD TV’ [such as Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn] can be heard actually teaching what I might call their ‘hidden heresies’. This 2-tape set can also be obtained from us and the cost [including postage etc] is £5.50.

It was good to have Alan back over with us to deal with this topic and I want to thank him for all the diligent and well researched attention he paid in addressing this particular subject and I want to wish him and his family every future blessing in their service for the Master.

  • After ECT will there be an EMT?

In March 1994 the Evangelical Christian world was somewhat surprised and even rocked by the publication of the document ‘Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission for The Third Millennium’. Its publication was a major step forward in the accelerating apostasy that is everywhere rampant. Of course, the preparation and issue of this ECT document did not happen overnight but it was rather the end product of a process that had been in motion for a number of years. The Arizona Republic newspaper of Wednesday 30 March 1994 reported in an article headed ‘Catholics, Evangelicals urged to be as one flock’ the following – ‘leading Catholics and Evangelicals are asking their flocks to make a remarkable leap of faith. To finally accept each other as Christians…Charles Colson on Tuesday joined conservative Roman Catholic leaders in upholding the ties of faith that bind the nation’s largest and most politically active religious groups…The consultation was started in 1992 by Colson…and the Rev [‘Father’] Richard Neuhaus…The document…was drafted over the next two years by a group of Evangelical and Catholic scholars’. Looking back on its issue we can see how several key ‘players’ and strategies were employed in an attempt to prepare evangelicalism to accept the oxymoronic notion of ‘Evangelicals and Catholics Together’. For decades leading ‘evangelist’ Billy Graham had been co-operating with Rome in his crusades [viewing them as fellow Christians and happily sending supposed converts back into the fold of Roman Catholicism] and of course he took great pride and delight in telling how he was preaching in the Cathedral of Polish Roman Catholic Cardinal, Karol Wojtyla on the day that he was elected Pope and took the name John Paul II. I personally do not believe that this was mere coincidence – I think there are much more sinister forces at work behind the scenes shaping both the political and spiritual landscape of the world. Then, supposed high profile evangelical, Charles Colson began meeting with Roman Catholic priest, ‘Father’ Richard John Neuhaus in an attempt to forge a common Christian theological alliance between evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism. Their efforts were at all times monitored by the Vatican in the form of Cardinal Idris Cassidy. A document was produced and to give it an air of evangelical legitimacy the approval of a leading supposed evangelical academic/theologian was sought and obtained in the person of J I Packer. That then is a very brief ‘thumbnail’ history of how ECT came to see the light of day. So what does the EMT in the title of this article stand for? Well, it stands for ‘Evangelicals and Mormons Together’. Since last year I have been receiving details of meetings [both public and private] that have been taking place in America and it seems to me that they are following the same pattern established in producing ECT. 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.”

Just how ‘evangelical’ is Ravi Zacharias? After visiting his website to put together a response to an inquirer I discovered the following that I included in my response to the inquirer –

‘After receiving your email I went to his web site and noted the following which rang alarm bells for me.

1. Ravi Zacharias is listed as being a ‘Visiting Professor’ with Wycliffe Hall in Oxford. This is a pseudo-evangelical college where Alister McGrath [close friend of compromiser J I Packer] is one of the main figures there. McGrath is actually mentioned on the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries web site’s page about Wycliffe Hall. I wrote an article about Alister McGrath and his views on the Catholic Catechism and you can see it by following the ministry newsletter link on my web site http://www.takeheed.net/MARCH%202004.htm

2. 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!

3. 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’.

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. So, if an EMT agreement is in the offing, who better than Ravi Zacharias could be found to prepare the ‘evangelical’ ground to accept such a notion just as Billy Graham, over many years, prepared the ‘evangelical’ ground for the notion of ECT? So in the preparatory strategy there is a role for an ‘evangelist’. Do we then have in the preparation for a possible EMT, equivalents to the roles played by Charles Colson [Evangelical] and ‘Father’ Richard John Neuhaus [Roman Catholic] in the formulation of ECT? The report in the Casper Star & Tribune [Wyoming] of Friday 19 November 2004 also said –

‘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 ministry referred to here – and known as ‘Standing Together’- is headed up by a man called Greg Johnson. In a website report by Religious News Service [http://religionjournal.com/showarticle.asp?id=628] we read

‘Evangelicals and Mormons get to know each other better. Meetings between top theologians of the two religions have promoted increasing understanding, according to the Rev. Greg Johnson, an evangelical leader who attends the sessions, held twice a year…Evangelical and Mormon theologians began meeting after the 1997 publication of “How Wide the Divide,” a landmark book that helped each faith community understand the other’s beliefs…The Evangelical-Mormon meetings were arranged by Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, and Robert Millet, a professor at Brigham Young. They are held alternately at Fuller and the Mormon campus…Johnson is involved in a separate Evangelical-Mormon dialogue. Since 1997, he and Millet have been holding approximately eight public, interactive dialogues a year on theological issues. Johnson told religionjournal.com that the depth and breadth of discussions taking place between evangelicals and Mormons in various places today is unprecedented. “God is up to something,” Johnson said. “This kind of interaction has never gone on before.”

So, representing the ‘Evangelical’ camp there is Greg Johnson and as you will have read, representing the Mormon camp is Brigham Young University Professor Robert Millet – they are in effect paralleling the roles played by Charles Colson and ‘Father’ Richard John Neuhaus in the preparation of the ECT document and agreement. Earlier I also mentioned the role played in ECT by the supposed evangelical academic/theologian J I Packer and how his endorsement and defence of it gave ‘an air of evangelical legitimacy’ to ECT. Well, is there an equivalent supposed evangelical academic/theologian involved in the possible formulation of a future EMT agreement? The answer is ‘yes’ and his name appeared in the Religious News Service report. He is Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary. It might be very worthwhile pointing out at this stage that Richard Mouw also gave his endorsement to the ECT agreement of 1994. Richard Mouw really ‘opened a can of worms’ by his introductory remarks at the Mormon Tabernacle meeting that Ravi Zacharias spoke at. Here are some excerpts of what he said –

‘Here in Utah, the Standing Together ministry has been willing to take some considerable risks in countering the more aggressive and disruptive evangelical attacks against the LDS church. And Pastor Greg Johnson’s well-attended dialogues with Professor Bob Millet have done much to model a new spirit of frank but friendly exchange about important faith topics…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. There is much here to talk about. I personally take great encouragement from words that Joseph Smith uttered on the occasion of the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April of 1830: “we know,” Joseph said, “that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.”… I greet you this evening in that spirit…This is the spirit in which Ravi Zacharias is going to speak to us this evening-the spirit of devotion to the One whose name is above every name, the One who alone is mighty to save, and before whom someday every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord to the glory of the Father’.

On the actual evening Ravi Zacharias made no attempt to distance himself from this attack by Richard Mouw upon Evangelicals and their past attempts to identify Mormonism for the cult that it is. Subsequent attempts by Bud Press of Christian Research Service, have failed to elicit any personal comment on this issue from Ravi Zacharias. In recent times a book has been published called ‘A Different Jesus? ’ authored by Brigham Young Professor Robert Millet. There is a foreword written by Richard Mouw in which he says –

‘In rather lengthy discussions about Jesus with Mormon scholars over the past several years, I am the one who has been tempted to say accusingly “Not your Jesus! Not your Jesus!”…Let me say right up front that I still have some serious misgivings. But I also have to admit that the misgivings do not run quite as deep as they did earlier…Robert Millet, the author of this book and I…have become good friends. Indeed I encouraged him to write this book…In our Evangelical-Mormon dialogues we have talked at length about many important theological topics. But none is more important than the subject of this book. The question of what a person believes about Jesus Christ is not only a central issue for theological discussion; it is one that has eternal significance for all human beings…In this book Robert Millet addresses the key topics with refreshing candour…he does not shrink from setting forth distinctive LDS beliefs about Jesus and his redemptive mission. But he also explores important commonalities with our convictions about Christ’s person and work…I hope then that traditional Christians will read this book with an open mind…That is what Robert Millet is asking in this book. And we owe him that hearing.’

Do we ‘owe a hearing’ to anyone who presents ‘A Different Jesus’ to the Jesus of what Richard Mouw refers to as the ‘Jesus’ of ‘traditional Christians’ and by that I assume that he means the Jesus of Orthodox, Biblical, Evangelical Christians. Well, before I answer that let me establish that the ‘Jesus’ of Mormonism is not the Jesus of ‘traditional Christians’. In a report by James Walker of the Christian apologetic ministry known as Watchman Fellowship Inc. he reported as follows –

‘Paris, France: In a surprising admission during last month’s three nation European speaking trip. Mormon President Gordon B Hinckley stated that the Christ he believes in is not the same Christ as the one followed by those outside the LDS Church. Hinckley quoted unnamed critics of the LDS Church who claim that Mormons do not believe in the traditional Christ and then he agreed with them [could these ‘unnamed’ critics be some of the evangelicals that Richard Mouw took to task in his opening remarks before Ravi Zacharias spoke?] The LDS news reported: “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ’. No I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times” [June 20 1998].

The President of the Mormon Church stated openly that his ‘Jesus’ is not the ‘Jesus’ of traditional Christianity. Later in his report James Walker also writes –

‘Although they are rare, there are similar statements by LDS leaders in the last 25 years. For example, Elder Bernard P Brockbank, of the First quorum of Seventy, speaking from the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City during General conference quotes a June 18, 1976 London Times article that states in part “In fact there is good reason for regarding them [Mormons] as a new religion rather than as another variety of Christianity…the Christ followed by Mormons is not the Christ followed by traditional Christianity”. Elder Brockbank then adds a very frank admission “It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. But Brockbank’s frankness may be the exception that proves the rule. LDS Apostle, Bruce R McConkie was one of the last LDS leaders to openly state that the Christ of traditional Christianity was different than the LDS Christ, and false…McConkie said Christians worship “false Christs”. He specifically named Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists and included all Christianity by implication’.

Earlier I asked – Do we ‘owe a hearing’ to anyone who presents ‘A Different Jesus’ to the ‘Jesus’ of ‘traditional Christians’. Mormonism affirms that the ‘Jesus’ of ‘traditional Christians’’ is not their Jesus and so we look to God’s Word for direction and we find it in Galatians 1:9 where Paul writes “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed”. The Mormon ‘Jesus’ is one of the “false Christs” the Lord warned of in Matthew 24:24, dreamt up by one of the “false prophets” [Joseph Smith] that the Lord warned of in the same verse. Both Richard Mouw and Greg Johnson epitomise the fears expressed by Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:4 when he wrote “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached…ye might well bear with him”. Mormonism [Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 25:23 ‘For we know that it is by grace that we are saved after all that we can do’] like Roman Catholicism seeks to blend ‘grace’ and ‘good works’ in an ‘unholy gospel’ and to bring people into bondage rather than liberate them. Paul again warns against falling into such a trap when he writes “Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” [Galatians 5:1]. For more helpful information visit www.christianresearchservice.com where Bud Press writes about many of the other issues involved in this latest attempt to depict a ‘false’ Christ as the real Christ. Bud wrote about the book ‘A Different Jesus?’ –

Christian Research Service has obtained a copy of Robert Millet’s latest book, A Different Jesus? The Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. The following paragraph from the Glossary (page 198) is just one of the things that separates Mormonism from Historic Christianity forever: “Godhead: The Godhead consists of three distinct personages and three Gods–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father and Son have bodies of flesh and bones, while the Holy Spirit is a spirit personage.”

It is worth noting that an organisation known as FAIR said this concerning the criticism of evangelicals by Richard Mouw before Ravi Zacharias spoke – “We at FAIR welcome Dr Mouw’s comments and believe they will help in promoting understanding between our communities. They come to us as a breath of fresh air. But not everyone agrees. There are some in the evangelical community who were upset by his comments, believing they might “give credence to the Mormon message by muddying the waters,” and “[send] a message to Mormons that they are a part of mainstream Christianity.”

Who then is the organisation known as FAIR. According to their own website http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/journal/FJ200411.html

“FAIR is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS doctrine, belief and practice…The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR) was formed in late 1997 by a group of LDS defenders of the faith who frequented the America Online Mormonism message boards. In defending the Church against detractors there, this small group realized that they had no way of sharing their information with each other, much less the rest of the Church. As a result of this, FAIR was born. Incorporated as a non-profit organization in November 1997, the fledgling organization put up its first Web site in March 1998.”

In conclusion and by way of illustrating the potential similarities between the formulation of the existing ECT agreement and the formulation of a possible future EMT agreement I have drawn up this little table that I hope will help.

  • ECT – ROLE – EMT
  • Billy Graham – Evangelist – Ravi Zacharias
  • J I Packer – Theologian/Academic – Richard Mouw
  • Charles Colson – ‘Evangelical’ – Greg Johnson
  • ‘Father’ Neuhaus – Catholic – Mormon – Professor Millet
  • The Vatican – Overseers – FAIR

What I have written is of course speculation and not prophecy but I hope it will serve as a warning against possible future apostasy in ‘evangelicalism’.

  • The Pope is Dead – Long live the Pope

The television coverage [particularly by the BBC] of the final days, death, ‘lying in state’ and then burial of Pope John Paul II was quite simply ‘unprecedented’. Viewers were subjected to never-ending coverage of events as they unfolded in mankind’s ‘Celestial City’. If ever the ‘drawing-power’ of the Papacy was well illustrated it was during these days with the passing of one Pope and the swift election of his successor. As I watched my mind was drawn firstly to that part of the Translators’ preface to the 1611 Authorised Version of The Bible in which they rejoiced that through ‘writing in defence of the Truth’ they were of the opinion that they had ‘given such a blow unto that man of sin, as will not be healed’. They of course had the Pope in mind when they wrote this and we do well to remember that their translation had come less than 100 years after Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenburg on 31 October 1517 – the event that is viewed as triggering what eventually became The Reformation – and so they were still rejoicing in their deliverance and liberation from Papal Power. Then secondly my mind went to Revelation 13 [verses 1&3] where we read “And I stood upon the sand of the sea and saw a beast rise up out of the sea…And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed; and all the world wondered after the beast”. Rome was not slack in quoting the reaction of those around the world to the death of John Paul II. Herewith just a few cited –

Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, president of Italy “He has been a true apostle for peace in the whole world. Italy, Rome — his diocese that is congregating in St Peter’s Square — cry for the loss of a father, for a loved person.”

Aleksander Kwasniewski, president of Poland “A great Pope — our most outstanding fellow countryman, the Holy Father, a good father to all of us, believers and non-believers, followers of different religions — is no more.”

George W. Bush, president of United States “Pope John Paul II was, himself, an inspiration to millions of Americans, and to so many more throughout the world. We will always remember the humble, wise and fearless priest who became one of history’s great moral leaders. We’re grateful to God for sending such a man. A son of Poland who became the Bishop of Rome and a hero for the ages…A good and faithful servant of God has been called home”

Gerhard Schröder, German chancellor “The Pope had influenced the peaceful integration of Europe in many ways. By his efforts and through his impressive personality, he changed our world.”

Kofi Annan, U.N. secretary-general “Quite apart from his role as a spiritual guide to more than a billion men, women and children, he was a tireless advocate of peace, a true pioneer in interfaith dialogue and a strong force for critical self-evaluation by the Church itself.”

Tony Blair, prime minister of the United Kingdom “The world has lost a religious leader who was revered across people of all faiths and none. He was an inspiration, a man of extraordinary faith, dignity and courage.”

Many, many other quotes from a plethora of political and religious leaders could also be given but I think the point has been made – ‘all the world wondered after the late Pope’. Likewise when the new Pope, Benedict XVI [formerly Cardinal Ratzinger] was chosen, the VIP well wishes flowed in thick and fast and again The Vatican was pleased to publicly cite many such as –

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have joined other leaders in sending their “best wishes” to the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI. Their warm words were echoed by religious leaders, politicians and Catholics across the UK. There were warm words from the Church of England, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, calling the appointment significant “to Christians everywhere”. Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, added his support: “We very much hope that he will further advance the respectable relationship between the faith communities built by his illustrious predecessor. Senior Conservative Michael Ancram said: “I welcome the election of Pope Benedict XVI, he is following a remarkable Pope and has a great task ahead of him.” Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, himself a Catholic, added: “His appointment comes at a defining moment for Catholicism and in maintaining the momentum of the Catholic Church he will face the awesome task of reconciling its internal spectrum of opinion and fostering its external relations with the other great faiths of the world”. In America “President George Bush praised the new Pope “Laura and I offer our congratulations to Pope Benedict XVI,” Bush said. “He’s a man of great wisdom and knowledge. He’s a man who serves the Lord,” he said. “We remember well his sermon at the Pope’s funeral in Rome, how his words touched our hearts and the hearts of millions. “We join with our fellow citizens and millions around the world who pray for continued strength and wisdom as His Holiness leads the Catholic Church.”

By way of response to these VIP’s let me quote C H Spurgeon who said “Christ did not redeem his church with his blood that the pope might come in and steal away the glory. He never came from heaven to earth, and poured out his very heart that he might purchase his people, that a poor sinner, a mere man, should be set up on high to be admired by all the nations, and to call himself God’s representative on earth. Christ has always been the Head of the church.” To that I simply say ‘Amen and Amen!’

  • CATHOLIC CATECHISM CORNER
  • NON-CHRISTIAN TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CATECHISM [4]

For this our fourth look at a non-Christian teaching in the Catholic Catechism I want to revisit 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’.

Regular readers of NEWS FROM THE FRONT will be aware that I considered this paragraph 841 of the Catholic Catechism in our December 2003 issue and in that article I wrote –

“In this paragraph 841 the Catholic Catechism teaches that Muslims ‘adore’ [worship and love intensely] the same ‘merciful God’ that Christians ‘adore’”. I then went on to Biblically refute Rome’s claim concerning God’s ‘plan of salvation’ and concluded by stating ‘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’.

Why then have I been prompted to revisit this paragraph 841 again? I think ‘the need of the hour’, where the eternal well being of Muslims is concerned, is one very compelling reason but two other items also prompted me.

The first was coming across something that the late Pope John Paul II said back in 1999 and which was quoted in the Calvary Contender of 15 July 1999 – ‘Pope John Paul II spoke about religious dialogue with Islam in his general audience on May 5th [6/7 Chr. News] “We Christians joyfully recognise the religious values we have in common with Islam. Today I would like to repeat what I said some years ago in Casablanca. ‘We believe in the same God, the God who created the world and brings His creatures to their perfection’.” The Calvary Contender then wisely added ‘Islam’s god is not the god of the Bible. The pope may believe in that god, but Christians believe in the Triune God of the Bible – the only God that exists’. I plan shortly to expand on the Triune dimension of the only true God revealed in the Scriptures.

The second item that prompted this revisit occurred during my time in America in June 2004. Friends that I was staying with had video-taped a couple of religious panel discussions hosted by American broadcaster Larry King and in the course of one of these discussions a Roman Catholic priest called ‘Father’ Michael Manning stated to all [including his fellow panellists that included Jewish and Muslim religious representatives] that ‘Jews and Muslims worship The Father’ and by ‘The Father’ he meant the First Person of the Triune God revealed in the Bible. As I thought about this statement by ‘Father’ Manning, and also taking into account the expressed views of Pope John Paul II on this subject, I was reminded very forcibly of the following two scriptures that demolish such false and soul-damning teaching.

John wrote in 1 John 4:14 “The Father [1st Person of the Triune Godhead] sent the Son [2nd Person of the Triune Godhead] to be the Saviour of the world”. JEWS and MUSLIMS do not believe this Biblical truth. In rejecting this they do not ‘adore the one, merciful [Triune] God’ – Catholic Catechism: Paragraph 841. By rejecting this truth they particularly insult ‘The Father’ that ‘Father’ Manning says they worship, as the following scripture clearly shows.

The Lord Jesus [2nd Person of the Triune Godhead] Himself said this in John 5:23 “He that honoureth not the Son [‘the Saviour of the world’] honoureth not the Father [1st Person of the Triune Godhead] who hath sent him”. JEWS and MUSLIMS neither ‘honour’ nor ‘adore’ ‘The [true] Father’.

Some years ago the late Pope, whilst visiting the Holy Land, held up a copy of The Koran and kissed it. In the light of this gesture, quotation of the following verses from Luke 22:47-48 “And while he yet spoke, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?” and from Mark 10:48-49 “Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign saying; Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus and said, Hail, master and kissed him” seems most appropriate.

Every Papal, antichristian “son of perdition” [pictured by Judas in the Lord’s words of John 17:12 but prophesied by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:3] still employs the same betraying ‘kiss’, aided and abetted by this Catholic Catechism, to seek to accomplish the plans and purposes of his ‘father’.

  • ‘Christian Meditation’ and Rick Warren

The Belfast Telegraph Churches Page for 15 January 2005 carried the following advert for ‘Christian Meditation’. The wording of the advert read – ‘18-25 January is the week of prayer for Christian Unity. Would you like to attend one of the many groups in Northern Ireland who meet each week to pray together in silence and faith?’ Various contact details were given including a website. This website is titled ‘The World Community for Christian Meditation’. The aim would appear to be to perpetuate the teachings of a man called ‘Father’ John Main who died in 1982. This work is now carried on by another Roman Catholic priest ‘Father’ Laurence Freeman OSB. The following is a short extract about Mr Freeman from the website itself

Laurence Freeman was born in London, was educated by the Benedictines and then took a Masters Degree in English Literature at New College, Oxford. His spiritual guide was Dom John Main whom Father Laurence had known for many years even before entering the monastic life. He studied with Father John in his novitiate and then assisted him with the establishment of the first Christian Meditation Centre in London in 1975, which was the origin of The World Community for Christian Meditation.

This advert is an example of a concentrated effort that is being made worldwide by various groups to promote a form of ‘Meditation’ that is most certainly not ‘Christian’. It is known by many names such as ‘Contemplative Prayer’ or ‘Mantra Meditation’ and is advocated by many best-selling so-called ‘Christian’ authors. For helpful resources and information the following website links will prove invaluable.

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/researchtopics.htm

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/sitemap.htm

Perhaps you are wondering why I have included the name of Rick Warren in the title of this article. In a little booklet called ‘What you need to know about the Purpose Driven Church’ author Dr Larry Spargimino Ph.D. writes the following [pages 30-34] – ‘Pantheism is one of the central tenets of the new spirituality taught by New Agers…This pantheistic view of reality is also found in Roman Catholic mysticism in general and Benedictine spirituality in particular and its “sacramental view of the world”…Warren endorses Benedictine spirituality…The Benedictines, not only have a sacramental view of the world, but also teach universalism. Benedictine monk John Main (1926-1982) [mentioned earlier in this article] admired Benedict’s insight “that this divine Christ is to be found and even adored in other human beings…His incarnate presence is not limited to Jesus of Nazareth but remains among us in the monastic leaders, the sick, the guest, the poor, a list so inclusive as to signify Christ’s presence in all whom one meets” – this last quote is referenced as having been obtained from the website of ‘The World Community for Christian Meditation’ [also mentioned earlier in this article]. Dr Spargimino continues ‘In Scripture meditation involves the Word of God. Biblical meditation is Bible-centred…However, Benedictine monk, John Main, whose order Rick Warren endorses has a radically different understanding of meditation. A ‘Christian’ meditation group…following in the Benedictine tradition of John Main states that “meditation is the prayer of silence [mentioned earlier in the advert] the place where direct contact with Christ can occur…In meditation, we go beyond words, thoughts and images into the presence of God within”…Warren explains “choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase [a ‘mantra’] that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath…Pray it as often as possible [“vain repetition”? Matthew 6:7] so it is rooted deep in your hearts…Benedictine monks use the hourly chimes of a clock to remind them to pause and pray” [Purpose Driven Life pp88-89] …Meditation is important to Purpose Driven teaching. It is also important to New Agers…A study of Purpose Driven teaching shows that it has many problems and dangerous tendencies…One thing you must not do…is to ignore the Purpose driven Movement in the hopes that it might somehow “go away”. I assure you it won’t.’ This promotion of New Age type ‘meditation’ by Rick Warren is just one of many reasons why Christians should exercise Bible-based discernment when it comes to the Purpose Driven Movement.

Copies of Dr Spargimino’s booklet are available from us:  PRICE £2.30 [includes p&p]

  • ‘RUNNING AGAINST THE WIND’ by BRIAN FLYNN

On the back cover of this recently published book we read

‘Who better to warn Christians about New Age practices infiltrating the church than a former New Age medium? As a kid Brian Flynn…experimented with Ouija boards and Tarot cards. After time in the Air Force he became consumed with the occult. In time he developed his skill for Transcendental Meditation and eventually had his own spirit guides. Through a series of events in his life Brian was radically saved out of darkness only to find that some of the same practices…were being introduced into the Christian church’.

Copies of this book can be obtained from us – £7.00 [includes p&p]

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