Following the costly ecumenical venture ‘Power to Change: Launched September 2002’ [Can anyone let me know if the Southern Irish PTC Committee ever announced publicly what happened to the approximately 750,000 Euros that had been earmarked for adverts on RTE Television but which was never spent on these as RTE decided at the last moment not to run the adverts? Also, if you wish to refresh your memory on ‘Power to Change’ you can do so by following these links –
and the emotionally charged ‘Passion Movie and Café’ launched in the early months of 2004 [That was the ‘evangelical’ café-outreach whose organisers sought clandestinely to have Roman Catholic involvement. Again you can refresh your memory by following this link
it was inevitable that, given time, yet another major ‘initiative’ purporting to be ‘evangelical’ would be ‘marketed’ by many of the leading figures involved in these previous and for many, mostly now forgotten items of history.
The September 2005 issue of the ‘Christian Irishman’ [An official publication of the Board of Mission of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland] included an article and an advert for the following planned event.
To fully understand the background to this article I believe it will be helpful for those who come to this article to first read the following articles that are posted elsewhere on our web site.
The articles and their links are as follows –
‘Evangelical Catholic’ suggestions for Belfast ‘Passion Café’ rejected?
The ‘leaven’ in ‘Power To Change’
Power To Change – Ecumenical or not Ecumenical?
In the article on the ‘Belfast Passion Café’ I referred to an ‘unnamed person’ in these terms – ‘One of the committee for the café’- and explained how this ‘unnamed person’ had sought guidance from the so-called ‘Evangelical Catholic’, Eugene Boyle. The rest of the article was an exposure of the devious suggestions put forward by Eugene Boyle and was not as some mistakenly thought a ‘condemnation’ of the planned café outreach to those who view ‘The Passion’ movie.
In the providence of God I have now been put in possession of further information that shows just how premeditated both this ‘unnamed person’ and Stephen Cave, General Secretary of Evangelical Alliance [NI] (this is the same Stephen Cave mentioned in the ‘Power to Change’ articles listed above) were to try and ensure that their solicitation of ‘Evangelical Catholic guidance and participation’ in the ‘Belfast Passion Café’ should not become public knowledge.
Several years ago as part of an attempt to maximize the publicity-potential of the deceptive and ecumenical ‘gospel’ charade known as ‘Power to Change’, a café was manned for about 7 months in the centre of Belfast by, I have no doubt, some well-intentioned but sadly misguided professing believers.
This group are currently planning, in their terms, to ‘ride the wave’ of the publicity that will be generated by the screening in Belfast of the Mel Gibson movie ‘The Passion of The Christ’ by manning a ‘Café Passionate’ close to where the movie will be screened. What was somewhat disturbing, about what may well be promoted as an ‘evangelical’ initiative, was that important aspects of the format were initially ‘checked out’ in a hope that Roman Catholic involvement would be both possible and encouraged.
One of the committee for the café submitted documents and planned training procedures to Eugene Boyle of the so-called Evangelical Catholic Initiative to see if he could identify any problems from a Roman Catholic perspective that would hinder Roman Catholic involvement. Eugene Boyle’s reply makes very interesting reading – here are some extracts –
At a meeting I attended last Saturday evening it was reported to me that at the recent New Horizon event, Stephen Cave of ‘Evangelical Alliance’ in his public promotion of ‘Power To Change’ stated publicly words to the effect that ‘Power To Change is not an ecumenical ploy’.
In view of the fact that I opened my article ‘The Leaven in Power To Change’ with these words – ‘The latest ploy to involve ‘Evangelical Catholics’ as full ‘partners’ and ‘participants’ in mainstream so-called Evangelical Mission efforts is being progressively launched over the next months’
I feel it only right to respond to what Mr Cave said. ‘Ecumenism’ in the professing Christian world has always been understood as being ‘co-operative effort’ to promote Christianity. Historically faithful ‘evangelicals’ did not get involved in such ‘co-operation’ when the Roman Catholic church was involved for the simple reason that Rome does not preach Biblical Christianity.
So, when it comes to ‘Power To Change’ is there ‘ecumenical co-operation’? – Mr Cave apparently says ‘No’. Firstly, in support of my assertion that it is ‘ecumenical’ can I ask
The term ‘spin doctor’ has come to prominence in recent years because of the use by ‘New Labour’ of specialist spokespersons who put a ‘spin’ [usually glossy] on items of government policy for public consumption. They have come to be regarded with increasing suspicion as ‘truth’ has subsequently emerged to show very often the questionable nature of their official ‘spin’.
On Sunday 21 July, ‘Power to Change’ spokesmen, Michael Fitch [Northern Ireland committee] and Tom McGuiness [Southern Ireland committee] were interviewed on Radio Ulster’s ‘Sunday Sequence’ about the forthcoming ecumenical ‘mission’ called ‘Power To Change’to be staged from23 September until 20 October 2002.
In answer to the question ‘What’s the thinking behind Power to Change’? Michael Fitch stated ‘The whole thinking behind Power to Change is that for the average Christian in Ireland, after they’ve become a Christian, within 3 years they don’t know any other people apart from Christians and the whole idea of Power to Change is to mobilise Christians to get them out beyond their comfort zone and to share THE GOSPEL, which is as relevant today as it has been for 2000 years, with those that are around them’.
The latest ploy to involve ‘Evangelical Catholics’ as full ‘partners’ and ‘participants’ in mainstream so-called Evangelical Mission efforts is being progressively launched over the next months through a series of video presentations and talks in various locations around Northern Ireland.
The name given to the initiative is ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ – It was first used in Canada and is now being imported here.
It stems from Campus Crusade for Christ whose founder Bill Bright was one of the ‘evangelical’ signers of the ‘Evangelicals and Catholics Together’ document in USA in 1994 and who a few years later accepted the Templeton prize [million dollars] for progress in religion – he accepted it in a Roman Catholic chapel in Rome in the presence of Cardinal Edward Cassidy who was involved in an advisory capacity for Rome in the drafting of the ‘Evangelicals and Catholics Together’ document. Other recipients of the Templeton prize have included ecumenists Billy Graham and Charles Colson and the well known [now deceased] Roman Catholic nun Mother Teresa.
According to the Belfast Telegraph of 4th December a United Celebration of Christmas being held in Townsend Presbyterian Church on 13th December is to be addressed by a speaker called J JOHN. The July 1997 issue of CHARISMA carried an article on J JOHN and the following are extracts from the article –
‘It’s not everyone whose ministry has been endorsed on the one hand by controversial revivalist preacher Rodney Howard Browne [as the promoter of ‘Holy Laughter’ at the time of ‘Toronto’ he described himself as God’s ‘Holy Ghost Bartender’] and on the other by the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. Yet that’s the broad spectrum of support enjoyed by J JOHN, arguably one of Great Britain’s foremost evangelists…. Recently he preached to capacity crowds at Sunderland Christian Centre [a product of ‘Toronto’]…. J JOHN, who is Anglican himself was one of only 2 non-Catholic speakers addressing last year’s charismatic Roman Catholic conference.