The ‘heart’ of a ‘loving/tolerant ecumenist’

People sympathetic to the aims of ‘Take Heed’ often ask me whether or not I receive much by way of ‘opposition’. The answer is that such ‘opposition’ does manifest itself from time to time but it is far outweighed by the messages of support and encouragement that I receive. Normally I would never consider making such ‘opposition’ known publicly. However, in recent days I have had an exchange of emails that are of such a nature, that to fail to make them public, to serve as an advanced warning for any other faithful, fellow ‘contenders’ unfortunate enough to ‘run across’ Mr Wilkes in his current spiritual frame of mind, would be inexcusable on my part.

On our website for many years now under the ‘Words of Wisdom’ section we have carried an article called ‘When tolerance is sin’ by Bible commentator, William MacDonald. What follows now are extracts from the early part of the article.

Tolerance can be a virtue, but it can also betray an inexcusable weakness of character. We admire the person who tolerates differences where no great issue is at stake. He allows for a variety of preferences, methods and unimportant viewpoints. He would rather be killed for a sheep than for a lamb.

But there is another tolerance that is despicable. This is the willingness to remain silent when God’s name is blasphemed or when Christ is dishonoured. It is the treachery of silence when truth is on the scaffold. It is the unwillingness to speak out against evil. Tolerance that condones deceit and unrighteousness is sin.

Those who think that Jesus was always tolerant should read Matthew 23, a denunciation of hypocrisy. This passage proves forever that our Lord was capable of scathing indignation at the pretence of religious leaders. Or they should read Revelation 2:20 where He condemned the church in Thyatira for tolerating a woman teacher named Jezebel.

Paul too was intolerant of evil. He even mentioned names, something that is considered unacceptable in evangelical circles today. He delivered Hymenaeus and Alexander to Satan, that they might learn not to blaspheme (1 Timothy 1:20). He didn’t hesitate to single out Hymenaeus and Philetus as false teachers (2 Timothy 2:17) and he denounced Alexander the coppersmith by name for his evil behaviour (2 Timothy 4:14). John also had the courage to name Diotrephes as one who loved to have the pre-eminence (3 John 9).

Bearing these ‘Words of Wisdom’ in mind herewith are the emails concerned – they have been edited to exclude lies that Mr Wilkes has imbibed as ‘truth’: As you will read they were prompted by Mr Wilkes’s reading of our ‘Open letter to the Belfast Telegraph’ article on our website at

http://www.takeheed.info/an-open-letter-to-the-belfast-telegraph/

  • Subject: Belfast Telegraph
  • Date: 31/05/2006 15:15:52 GMT Standard Time
  • From:
  • To: takeheed@aol.com

Mr Andrews,

I note from your very sad website that you are exercised and have taken umbrage against the BT’s [Belfast Telegraph’s] commendable decision, for once, not to publish one of your regular, tiresome, arrogant and self-righteous letters.

I am thoroughly sick and bored to death by your pathetic missives and it is laudable that the Tele has decided to give us all a break.

Your whinging on your website has every sound of someone who thrives on attention, who desperately craves publicity, being denied same and acting up like a spoilt child. It is not very humble of you – is it?

Those of your tiny mindset and bigoted ilk have every opportunity to rant and rave to the like-minded. You have plenty of places and mediums whereby to peddle your poisonous opinions.

I am glad that the Tele has decided – at least on this occasion – not to indulge you, Sir. You are given more than enough chances to put your views across. And, let it be said, you speak mainly for a minority in our society – a gatherup of benighted oddballs and zealous fanatics – in fact, the space you are regularly given is quite disproportionate.

I will certainly write to Mr Curran and to “Writeback” to thank them for ignoring your tantrum and properly treating you on this occasion – as one would indeed treat a petulant child demanding attention – by ignoring you and letting you “rattle on there”.

Get over yourself, Cecil.

Yours sincerely,

Sammy Wilkes

  • Subject: Re: Open letter to the Belfast Telegraph
  • Date: 02/06/2006 22:05:03 GMT Standard Time
  • From: Takeheed
  • To:

Dear Mr Wilkes,

Thank you for your email which I believe is perhaps our first ‘contact’.

If by asking an organisation, in this case the Belfast Telegraph, why they have not, in relation to a number of less than gracious comments made freely by their religion correspondent, Alf McCreary, against a godly man, Dr Harry Uprichard, published my defence of that man – if that is construed by you as me ‘taking umbrage’ well so be it.

Just by way of a reminder this is what I wrote to the Belfast Telegraph –

Can you perhaps explain to me why neither of these letters have been published by you as I would want to honestly pass on your reasons/explanation to the many supporters of our ministry who would be sympathetic to the views expressed by myself and who do not ‘have a voice’ within regular columns and so rely upon my letters to make their viewpoint known.

As stated you apparently view what I wrote as me throwing a ‘tantrum’ or me displaying ‘offence’ or me expressing a ‘sense of injury’ – that’s what ‘umbrage’ constitutes – others, myself included, view it as simply making a perfectly reasonable inquiry or request for clarification.

As for me speaking for ‘a minority’ in our society – I believe you are quite right – because God’s Word declares that “narrow is the gate and hard is the way which leadeth unto life and FEW there be that find it” [Matthew 7:14]. The preceding verse should therefore make for alarming reading for the ‘majority’ in our society for it states “wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and MANY there be who go in that way” [Matthew 7:13].

If by ‘censoring’ any counter-view to Alf MCreary you view that as ‘proper treatment’ then I can only conclude that the spirit of people like Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein etc is still alive and flourishing today. And what is my crime – proclaiming and defending the truth of the glorious gospel of the only Saviour of sinful men, the Lord Jesus Christ.

You tell me to ‘get over yourself, Cecil’ – Mr Wilkes I ‘got over myself’ on the 19th August 1984 when God graciously, by the working of His Holy Spirit, regenerated me and revealed to me the glorious salvation accomplished for me by Christ at Calvary. You can read my testimony to that wonderful day and experience on this link

http://www.takeheed.info/personal-testimony-cecil-andrews/

As a result of God’s grace and mercy toward me I now possess a Saviour, one who has saved me from God’s just wrath against my sin and I have a peace that the world could not give me and neither can the world or anyone in it rob me of that peace.

That is not being ‘arrogant and self-righteous’ – that is simply telling of the great things that the Lord has done for me – just as another man was told to do by the Lord Himself in Mark 5:19.

Mr Wilkes, I assume by your email address that you too profess to be a Christian, perhaps some time you will share with me your testimony of God’s regeneration of your life.

Your servant for Christ

Cecil Andrews

‘Take Heed’ Ministries

  • Subject: Re: Open letter to the Belfast Telegraph
  • Date: 05/06/2006 13:19:39 GMT Standard Time
  • From:
  • To: Takeheed@aol.com

Dear Mr Andrews,

Doubtless this will be a pretty pointless exercise but I’ll “give it a go”.

You don’t come across as a man who possesses that peace the world cannot give – in fact, there comes to mind the adage “methinks he doth protest too much”. You, indeed, do not know me and this our first (and probably last) contact…

My awareness of you are your tiresome epistles in the Tele. You really are talking pathetic and paranoid nonsense when you try to compare yourself to victims of Stalin, Hitler, Hussein, etc. Wise up, Mr Andrews!! I know people who have written letters to the Tele to criticise some of your letters and THEY WEREN’T PUBLISHED! Please try and get over your martyr complex.

You “rejoice” in being part of a minority and you refer to Matthew 7:14. However, there is much more to these matters than that one Scripture. There is also verses 21-23 of that same chapter. Also, as regards a “limited” notion of “minority” salvation, there is also 1Jn 2:2. I believe in a great and limitless God – the God referred to by the Lord Jesus as “loving the world” – not just a “minority”.

What good has been accomplished in this land Mr Andrews by the proponents of your brand of “religion”? I think of the arrogance, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, bitterness, refusal to forgive, nursing of grievances that goes on in our Protestant communities and so much of it is fed and nurtured by so-called “preachers” of “the gospel”. The likes of Paisley and co.

Also, did you see UTV Insight last week? Paul Berry? “Born-again believer”? Blaming God or his neglect of God for poor wee Paul driving all the way from Tandragee to a hotel in Belfast to meet a male “masseur” for a “sports masssage”??? Nauseating or what? Certainly brainless and stupid beyond belief if he thinks his hypocritical rubbish cuts any ice with anyone with a titter of wit!!

I am glad that you and your ilk are indeed a minority. And you get more than enough airspace so I don’t know why your complaining. Anyway, I’m sure the Tele have been flooded with complaints on account of your being in high dudgeon (NOT!)

I used to think the way you think. I was saved as a teenager. I was in the Orange Order and I looked down on Catholics believing what I was told about them. But thank God, He opened my eyes over the years – mostly through contact with Catholics who are every bit as godly as Dr Uprichard. Catholics who are more thoroughly Christian than some of those who say they are saved (again Matt 7:22-23). Catholics who love the Lord and walk with Him – some of them far more closely than I do – to my shame. Who am I and who you are you – and the likes of you – to judge these good people – who are clearly and evidently God’s People, His saints?

Your brand of “religion” has fostered the hatred, pride, lack of forgiveness and intolerance in this society. It has perpetuated division. What good has it done? What contribution are you personally making – or have you made – towards reconciling people and healing wounds?

Humbly listening to Catholic believers can teach us so much. But, sadly, I know I won’t get through to you. I’ll receive a lecture about Catholics not being Christians, them being “idolaters”, etc. etc. ad nauseam. Spare me – it will be wasted.

Go and take a good long, look at yourself, Sir. I don’t believe for a second that you “got over yourself” on Aug 19th, 1984. You have a long ways to go. You might, for your devotion, take these verses from God’s Holy Word: St Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:35-38, I Cor 10:12 (A very apt text for you given the title of your so-called “ministry”) and II Cor 13:5.

May God enlighten and truly convert you, Mr Andrews.

Your Servant for Christ,

S. Wilkes

  • Subject:Re: Open letter to the Belfast Telegraph
  • Date: 05/06/2006 22:23:06 GMT Standard Time
  • From: Takeheed

To: Dear Mr Wilkes,

I would confirm safe receipt of your email. It reveals much about your understanding of ‘the gospel’ and says much about your own ‘fruit of the spirit’…

As for your use of ‘methinks he doth protest too much’ I would make a simple point that God has supplied His people with a ‘suit of armour’ [Ephesians 6:11-17] and not a ‘suit of pyjamas’ which appears to be the attire of many who are so asleep that the gospel is once more being lost in a sea of ecumenical/interfaith confusion.

You talk of attitudes in ‘Protestant communities’ and list some of the features that you identify – ‘arrogance, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, bitterness, refusal to forgive, nursing of grievances’ – quite what this has got to do with me I fail to fathom. The so-called ‘Protestant communities’ are some of the most godless, Christ-rejecting, sin-cursed communities in Northern Ireland. To apply the term ‘Protestant’ to them is actually an insult to those who were historically first identified as ‘Protestants’ – men and women of God who ‘protested’, in many cases unto death, in defence of the true gospel that had been buried under centuries of Roman paganism and superstition.

I have already rejected your charge of ‘arrogance and self-righteousness’ in my first email so on what basis do you dare to associate me with ‘bitterness, refusal to forgive, nursing of grievances’ – it really is rather rich of you to then go on and ‘confront’ me with verses like Matthew 7:1-5.

I didn’t see the programme on Paul Berry but all I can say is that I take no delight in any professing believers possible fall into such sin and I certainly would not express myself in the same vitriolic terms that you used in your email.

As to the question of those who are trusting in the Roman Catholic system of religion for their salvation, anyone enlightened by “the spirit of truth” [John 14:17] will know that it represents ‘another gospel’ [Galatians 1:6]. The ‘Lord’ they trust in and ‘walk with’ is not The Lord revealed in God’s Word. I don’t’ deny for one moment the many commendable features of everyday life displayed by many of its adherents [the same could equally be said about fine, upstanding Mormons], but life-style doesn’t save. A close friend of mine, a former Roman Catholic, summed it up perfectly when he said ‘Roman Catholics are taught how to behave rightly but to believe wrongly’ – that’s the tragedy in all this.

The greatest encouragements I have received over the years to keep contending for the true gospel have come from those who were saved out of the false system of Roman Catholicism and that includes many former priests and nuns – they are among some of my closest and dearest friends in Christ.

Perhaps you think Roman Catholicism has somehow changed since the days of the Reformation – well if you think that please read our recent article on

http://www.takeheed.info/news-from-the-front-september-2006/

and then ask yourself if all those who attended the gathering at St Peters have really been forgiven because of a ‘plenary indulgence’ dispensed thanks to a decision of ‘the Apostolic Penitentiary, a tribunal of the Holy See’.

Which is the most loving in such a situation – to acquiesce to the error or contend against it and explain what true forgiveness is?

You speak of ‘my brand of “religion” as having been responsible for many things including ‘perpetuating division’ – once more the reality of ‘division’ is perfectly scriptural for the Lord Himself said “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you nay but rather division” [Luke 12:51]. But let me tell you that by my religious conviction I am as ‘divided’ from countless numbers in the godless, so-called ‘Protestant communities’ as I am from those held captive by the false system of Roman Catholicism.

Standing for God’s truth will always cause division and just for the record – just because I disagree with someone’s beliefs doesn’t mean that I am ‘looking down on them’ – I have nothing to ‘take pride in’ because my salvation is all from the hand of a gracious and merciful God. Although I have nothing ‘to take pride in’ I do have a duty, as has every true child of God, to seek to rescue others from the grip of false ‘gospels’ that are leading them to an eternal hell.

As to your ‘testimony’ I really had hoped to read more than ‘I was saved as a teenager’. One further ‘testimony’ thought – based upon your closing expression to me in your email it is clear that have you judged that I was not ‘converted’ on 19 August 1984 – strange that you feel able to exercise that judgmental right but castigate me for exercising the same judgment, only in my case it is a biblically sanctioned judgment as I am only taking the important criteria of ‘doctrine’ into account.

Finally you did preface the remarks in your last email with ‘Doubtless this will be a pretty pointless exercise but I’ll “give it a go”. All I can say is that if your ‘point’ was to demonstrate the depth of your hatred for those who seek to be faithful to the clear teaching of God’s Word, to show your own clear contempt for and ignorance of the teaching of that Word, to highlight the hypocrisy of your chosen email ‘appellation’ and to evidence the ‘spirit’ that controls your thinking then rest assured that you succeeded in making your ‘point’.

From my standpoint, as the editor on the Belfast Telegraph letters page would write from time to time ‘This correspondence is now closed’.

I have been your servant for Christ

Cecil Andrews

‘Take Heed’ Ministries

  • Subject: Re: Open letter to the Belfast Telegraph
  • Date: 06/06/2006 22:50:54 GMT Standard Time
  • From:
  • To: Takeheed@aol.com

Dear Mr Andrews,

Clearly, Sir, you are extremely “rattled” and quite “beside yourself”. Your response is sad and predictable – I could have written it for you – it was exactly as expected. The godly Catholic people, whom I have the privilege to know, are not living a mere “lifestyle” – they are in love with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. You are an extremely ignorant, bigoted and sad little man.

You speak about some “Protestant communities” as being “godless”, “Christ-rejecting”, etc. Do you include Orangeism which is full of “professing Christians” and from whose platforms it is alleged “the gospel” is “preached”? Do you include the Independent OO whose “demonstrations” and rallies the Archbigot himself – IRK Paisley – is more than happy to attend and speak at?

As regards the details of my testimony and your desire to have “hoped to read more”, I will bear in mind the Saviour’s caution in St Matthew 7 v 6.

You are an angry, bitter, discontented, attention-seeking, prideful man. I don’t believe you are truly converted because, as God’s Word states, “by their fruits shall ye know them”. You are full of poison towards your Catholic fellow Christians…

I am from a Methodist background but I have many friends in many Christian denominations – including, of course, the Catholic Church.

You are like so many so-called “professing Christians” in our “Protestant” communities – the blind leading the blind. You have nothing to offer. Nothing except hatred and lack of that most basic Christian virtue of forgiveness. Yesterday we heard Archbigot Paisley ranting on – yet again – with his evil and devil-inspired “NO, NO, NO”, stalling progress towards the normalisation of life in this sin-sick society.

Mr Andrews, whatever you and so-called “converted” ex-Catholics might think and whatever nonsense you might spout about Catholics “being taught to behave rightly but believe wrongly”, on the Last Day the Lord Jesus Christ will be examining before His Father how we have BEHAVED not BELIEVED!!!! Matt 25:31-46.

Sir, indeed, this correspondence is now closed (though I doubt you will be able to resist having “the last word”). I will leave you with a Scripture I proposed to you before: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth TAKE HEED lest he fall” (I Cor 10:12). You are such a man who “thinketh he standeth” but be careful Sir and TAKE HEED that you do not fall, for, as the Word saith “and great was the fall of it” (Matt 7:27).

Goodbye Mr Andrews. I hope to see you in Heaven with all those good Catholic Christians you dream of being in Hell. How you will blush to the roots of your silver hair!!!

The True Gospel can never be “lost” Sir. What you and your ilk peddle is a perversion of Christ’s Gospel. It is the mainstream Christian denominations who, by preaching the True Gospel – and not its twisted distortion by hirelings and false prophets (“pastor” Clifford Peeples comes to mind – ever hear of him? Or “pastor” Alan Campbell? Or “pastor” Kenny McClinton? Do you regard these men as “born again”?) that has saved this society from even worse horrors than we have endured. S.W

In view of the fact that I said in my last email to Mr Wilkes that for me the matter was now ‘closed’ between him and I, I shall not be replying directly to him about his last email, but I would make these comments about its content.

1. It reinforces the observations I made in the last paragraph of my last email to Mr Wilkes about his ‘point’ in writing to me.

2. Mr Wilkes has sought to somehow align me or identify me with a fraternal and a political dimension, both of which I have studiously avoided being involved with as I believe the ministry of ‘Take Heed’ is best served by total separation from any such involvements.

3. Mr Wilkes wrote – ‘You have nothing to offer. Nothing except hatred and lack of that most basic Christian virtue of forgiveness’ – I can say publicly, with the clearest of consciences that I have never withheld my ‘forgiveness’ from anyone who has come to me in true contrition and repentance and asked pardon for some wrong that they may have committed against me. That of course is the only kind of ‘forgiveness’ that I can give [just as God has graciously likewise forgiven me] but I suspect that Mr Wilkes has in mind other unscriptural notions of dispensing so-called ‘forgiveness’.

4. Mr Wilkes wrote – ‘Goodbye Mr Andrews. I hope to see you in Heaven with all those good Catholic Christians you dream of being in Hell. How you will blush to the roots of your silver hair!!!’ Setting aside Mr Wilkes’s cheap ‘shot’ about the colour of my hair [although I do draw much comfort from several verses in the book of Proverbs that mention silver/grey hair] I reject his assertion that I wishfully ‘dream of Roman Catholics being in hell’. In my last email to Mr Wilkes I encouraged him to read a recently posted article on our website about ‘Rome and Indulgences’ and to reflect on its implications. Nothing in his email would indicate that he read or thought through that article. In that article I wrote some words that refute totally what Mr Wilkes has alleged about me and my supposed dreams of ‘Catholics being in hell’. This is what I wrote – “Sincere, faithful Roman Catholics are still being ‘spiritually hood-winked’ by the present Pope Benedict XVI and his Magisterium, every bit as much as in the days of Luther and for that we, as God’s people, should not only weep for them but also witness to them concerning the breadth of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ as proclaimed by Paul in Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them who are in Christ Jesus”.

5. I know the names mentioned by Mr Wilkes in his last paragraph, mostly through television, but I have never met any of those he mentioned in person nor have I had any dealings with the fellowships that they would be involved with.

6. I think in all honesty that Mr Wilkes should seriously consider altering his current email address that hypocritically includes the phrase ‘Christian Against Bigotry’.

7. Despite Mr Wilkes’s comment to me of ‘I don’t believe you are truly converted’ my wife Margaret and I have already obeyed the Lord’s command of Matthew 5:44 [“love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you”] by lovingly praying for him that the Holy Spirit would do a much needed work in his own heart and life. I would encourage all who read this article to likewise pray for Mr Wilkes, and I might add, also to pray for Margaret and myself.

Just in closing I would mention that Alf McCreary of the Belfast Telegraph took the opportunity in 2 articles to further criticise Dr Uprichard on the last Saturday [3rd June] before Dr Uprichard’s year as Moderator ended and he also voiced his hope that Pope Benedict XVI would be able to come to Northern Ireland at some time in the future – still further evidence of a rather one-sided ‘free press’.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 7 June 2006

Immediately following the posting of this article and other items to our website the following email was received from Mr Wilkes.

Subject: Website article

Date: 09/06/2006 01:19:07 GMT Standard Time

Wow, Mr Andrews, a dubious honour, an inverted compliment or what? A whole article devoted to me on your sad little website!! I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist having “the last word” and I was right! If it wasn’t so tragic for NI it would be funny. You refer, in your newsletter for June, speaking to your “praying” (preying?) “friends”, to Fr Paul Symonds and his “ecumenical wizardry”. That article on your website is a riot!! A good friend of mine knows Fr Paul – he ceased to be a Jesuit a number of years ago. He is now a priest of the Roman Catholic diocese of Down and Connor. Your hysterical rant about him is a classic instance of “protestant” paranoid bigotry.

On one hand you commend Fr Symonds and those who are trying to defuse the sectarian hatred in Ballymena – and in the next breath you condemn it all as some kind of “popish” plot. You are so pathetic.What have those of your form of religiosity been doing to reconcile people in Ballymena?? Mr Andrews, the Tele have undoubtedly realised – along with most normal people – that you are a crank and a nutcase – best ignored on some occasions. I can assure you that, among mainstream Christian circles in NI, the mention of your name usually elicits a knowing nod, a raising of the eyes to heaven, or an amused smile.

Mr Andrews, you are a lunatic and a crazed attention seeker. When a local newspaper – for once in a while – decides to starve your pride-filled self of the attention you so desperately need and seek – you throw a “wobbler”. You have a small circle of groupies who give you the illusion of “a lot of support”. You and your “religious” ilk are gradually losing their grip on NI society. You belong to a tradition within so-called “evangelical” “protestantism” that needs to seek God’s Face in repentance for an entire history of prejudice, discrimination, injustice and violent bigotry towards our fellow Roman Catholic Christians and neighbours.

You might try to distance yourself from the likes, for example, of the so-called “Loyal Orders”, but you are in the same stable and propound the same sick and bigoted ideology all the same – except you are too blind to see it!! You, Paisley and your kind do not preach the Gospel. You are peddling a twisted perversion of the message of Jesus Christ. You are part of the problem in NI – not the solution.

Please do not imagine, Sir, that I “hate” you as your stupid martyr-complex would delude you into thinking. Your accusations against me of “hatred” are a projection on to me of your own extreme sickness and dysfunction. I pity and pray for you and your kind. You need true repentance and conversion. You are a man seething with anger and bitterness despite all your silly efforts to portray yourself in any other way. Go and examine yourself before God, Sir, and honestly test your heart before Him and confront whatever it is that causes you to project and obsess in this manner of fanatical anti-Catholicism. Is it that you are really so full of doubt about where you “stand” that you must – in a maniacal fashion – excoriate others so ruthlessly?

Many people are “on” to you, Cecil. You are unregenerate. Go and truly repent of all this wickedness of anti-Catholic hatred driven by ignorance. People like you are not “evangelicals” – for you twist, pervert and make an absurdity of the True Gospel. May God forgive you and all those like you.

We have all sinned. I too have sinned by believing bigoted, hate-filled lies, against my Catholic Christian sisters and brothers, pronounced by false prophets and hirelings. I am trying to make good. I glory in the title “ecumenist”. I pray that God will eventually open your so tightly shut eyes to the Light of His Truth.

Sammy

In response to this latest tirade from Mr Wilkes I would comment as follows –

1. At around the same time that Paul Symonds was denying to me that he was a ‘Jesuit he affirmed voluntarily and verbally to a ministerial friend who was working in the same area as Mr Symonds, that he was a ‘Jesuit’. That aside, even though he now portrays himself simply as a ‘CC’ does anyone, with a modicum of knowledge of ‘Jesuit’ history and intrigue, believe for one moment that Paul Symonds, still being ‘wedded’ to the Roman Catholic priesthood, will have forsaken totally his Jesuitical vows and intentions. Does your average ‘CC’ involve himself in ecumenical, political ‘prayer breakfasts’ or in political cross-border ‘local council’ co-operation or be present at the launch of a book critical of the Orange Order, one that will delight the ecumenical ideals of people like Mr Wilkes? I should add that I do not believe that the true gospel needs to be defended and propagated in any way other than through faithful preaching and personal one-to-one witnessing and for that reason I have never considered being a member of any ‘brotherhood’ other than that of the ‘born again’ believer and I have at times declined invitations to speak in locations that might compromise that conviction.

2. Mr Wilkes claims ‘Methodist’ allegiance. A former Baptist pastor but now Methodist minister, Gary Mason, Superintendent of the East Belfast Mission [I wonder is Mr Wilkes familiar with him and that fellowship?] took it upon himself to assist ‘Father’ Paul Symonds in his preparations for the public debate he had back in September 1995 with former Roman Catholic, Rob Zins – that debate was organised by myself under the auspices of ‘Take Heed’ Ministries. Paul Symonds in a subsequent letter to me wrote –

Thank you too for your copy of ‘Protestants & Catholics: Do they now agree?’ which was in fact lent to me last year by a dear friend [whose father died on 23rd August this year]. My friend, A Protestant [who turned out to be Gary Mason] thought that book would help me prepare for the encounter with Robert Zins. How right he was!’

3. To read Mr Wilkes’s comments you would think that Northern Ireland was the only place where faithful Christians are seeking to reach Roman Catholics with the true gospel of Christ and resisting the aims of the unscriptural, false ecumenical movement that he so zealously champions. Again, I have been privileged to contribute to 2 ‘Ex Catholics for Christ’ conferences in America. Many people travelled great distances [including a former nun resident in the Republic of Ireland] to be there but despite the joy of these Christians rejoicing in their gracious deliverance from the deception that is Roman Catholicism, ‘protestant’ Mr Wilkes clearly thinks that he knows better.

4. Mr Wilkes clearly takes great ‘pride and joy’ that he is numbered with the majority in today’s professing ‘Christendom’ and scoffs at those who are, as he claims, ‘losing their grip’. I fancy the religious leaders in Jerusalem took similar ‘pride and joy’ as they saw the zeal for the Lord, from the time of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, ‘lose its grip’ until only a faithful few identified publicly with the Lord as He died to save His people. Truly “there is no new thing under the sun” [Ecclesiastes 1:9].

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 9 June 2006

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail