News From The Front – December 1998

Dear praying friends,

A lot of miles have been safely covered both on land and in the air since last I wrote to you (thank you for your faithfulness in prayer) and I will be reporting on these travels in this newsletter. It would appear that for the time being I will be reverting back to 4 newsletters per year so as we again approach the end of another year Margaret and I together wish you God’s blessing for the remainder of 1998 and on into 1999.

This year has been the usual mix of highs and lows but through it all our unchanging God has been our constant source of comfort and strength. We are deeply grateful to the many who constantly pray for the work and provide for us in many thoughtful and practical ways. Please pray that during 1999 (DV) we will be sensitive to God’s leading and that whatever is undertaken in His name will bring glory to Him.

In conclusion ponder this wonderful promise to the true children of God “their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12;10:17).

Your servant for Christ

Cecil Andrews

  • Few At Fresno

As you know my last newsletter was issued early due to my participation in 2 debates in Fresno, California. The debates were organised by a Roman Catholic group calling itself The Athanasius Apostolate. They advertised it on their leaflets as a CROS conference standing for Catholic Rights and Obligations Symposium and at the foot of the front page of their advertising leaflet was this exhortation ‘Catholics be proud of your Roman Catholic Faith’!!!

The organisers left no one in any doubt where they stood for when Rob Zins and I arrived at Warner’s Theatre in downtown Fresno for the first debate we took a few paces into the auditorium, stopped, stared and then looked at each other. The sight on stage was ‘something else’ – on the right hand side of the stage was a large statue of Mary, to the left was an equally large statue of the Lord with a bleeding heart, in the centre was a large cross with the Lord hanging on it, at the foot of the cross was a replica host [large size] and finally draped around the lectern we would speak from was a huge wooden rosary – we immediately turned to the Lord in prayer for His special help in this less than neutral environment.

The debate eventually got under way just after 7.00pm and lasted over 4 hours – the heat was intense as we were sitting under a battery of stage lights and it was more of the same the next evening when the 2nd debate was held.This was my first real excursion into this type of service for the Lord – as you know I have organised and chaired similar debates in the past and earlier this year I took part in a short half-hour debate which was broadcast on Channel 5 TV so how would I assess events at Fresno?

I would summarise like this – Rob Zins was brilliant and I learned a lot. I managed to say all that I had prepared but was somewhat rushed by time constraints. However having listened to part of the audio tapes I am pleased by what comes across on tape. I had hoped that both audio and video tapes would be available by this stage but to date I only have part of the debates on audio and am waiting videos for all of the debates – they have been promised!

Perhaps you are wondering why I headed this article ‘FEW AT FRESNO’. Well The Athanasius Apostolate took full responsibility for flying myself from Northern Ireland and Rob Zins from New England to take part in the debates. They put us up at a good quality hotel in the centre of Fresno – they hired the ornate Warner’s Theatre which seats over 2000 people – they circulated their advertising leaflets widely amongst the Fresno Roman Catholic community – they erected something like 8-10 tables in the entrance hall selling lots of pro Roman Catholic literature and tapes etc – they organised the recording of the events

– all in all they really tried to fire-up the Roman Catholic population. What was the response? At the first debate we estimate there were 50 people in the theatre and for the 2nd debate we would put the number at 30. In spite of this apathy the organisers were keen to know if Rob and I would take part in future debates and we indicated our willingness.

Despite the few there we would covet prayer for two [RC] people. The debate chairman called Ed, a most gracious man showed clearly in conversation that he was listening closely to the debates. Also I spoke to a young man called Patrick [a ‘convert’ from nominal Protestantism] after the 2nd debate [he had driven for 4 hours to attend] and had opportunity to witness concerning the saving sufficiency of the work of the Saviour at Calvary. In conclusion thanks to all who prayed and in particular to Oscar and Edna for their sacrificial love.

  • Visit of Frank Eberhardt

Frank arrived safely at Dublin airport on Friday 2nd October and the day following started into the schedule of meetings which had been arranged. Over the next 25 days Frank spoke at 30 meetings and in total we covered over 2500 miles. It is great to be able to report that at many meetings extra seating had to be brought out and the feedback from many many people was that they had been both blessed and challenged by Frank’s ministry.

At the majority of the meetings Frank was recounting his testimony and the demand afterwards for copies of it on both audio and video was very high and I would ask you to pray that God will use these tapes to reach people [from whatever religious up-bringing or background] with the truth of The Gospel. To that end I would especially request your prayers for the following people to whom either Frank or myself spoke –

Mrs G. and Ray [both RC from the Dublin area]

Rita [RC from Cookstown]

John’s wife [John is saved but his wife is interested in Mormonism]

Ruth’s flatmate [Ruth is saved but her flatmate {RC} is not]

Majella [Majella’s mother-in-law is saved and requested prayer for her daughter-in-law]

Thomas [RC from the Castledawson area]

RC couple [spoke to Frank for almost 1 hour after the meeting in Ballee]

Andrew [Protestant background – from the Portrush area]

Mr G and RC priest [both from the Lisnaskea area and to whom a believer is witnessing]

In conclusion please join with us in giving thanks for Adele and Judith who professed faith in Christ following Frank’s meeting on 26th October – please pray for genuine fruit and growth in both their lives. Again my thanks to all who prayed for both Frank and myself.

  • International Church For Christ

In recent months this group, which over the past few years has been criticised for its recruiting methods in locations such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Dublin, has been making a concerted effort to establish itself in Belfast. Students have been the main targets with approaches being made at Queens University, Stranmillis Training College and Newtownabbey Technical College. Those approached have been invited to midweek bible studies at a flat in the university heartland or to a Sunday afternoon service in a nearby hotel. The activities of the group have attracted media attention both press and television.

From a theological perspective this group are presenting a false gospel due to their view that water baptism is the means by which salvation is appropriated. They differ from the historic Church of Christ group only in the methods (high-power) which they employ to attract and obtain ‘converts’ and they really trace their roots to a man called Kip McKean who along with his wife Elena developed these methods in the Boston Church of Christ. For those who would like further information on this group a little booklet called “AS ANGELS OF LIGHT” can be obtained from myself [cost £2.20 incl.p&p].

On 21st May 1995 a Sunday supplement contained the story of a former member of the London Church of Christ and I am reproducing extracts from his story which reminded me of the methods used in the charismatic house-shepherding movements of the 1980’s.

“in June 1986 as I walked along Acton High Street in West London I…tried to avoid the young man handing out leaflets… My attempt to sidestep him failed. ‘Excuse me, can I invite you to some meetings my church is having in the area?’…[he] asked for my phone number which I declined to give…The leaflet looked interesting…I shoved it into my pocket…My own relationship with religion had been taking a nose-dive …Perhaps the Church of Christ was an answer to my prayer. I attended a midweek meeting of 150 people in a local school hall…The welcome was warm…Another older man with a strong American accent asked questions about my work. He didn’t tell me that the LCC [London Church of Christ], believed that only its members were true disciples of Jesus…The Sunday gathering…took place at a former cinema in the West End of London. The service was impressive…It appeared to be just what I had been looking for…the members I had met…continually asked questions…Their phone calls were frequent, {a young Christian girl who contacted me for information had experienced this constant phoning by a female member of the Belfast group} usually nightly and sometimes irritating…Bible studies started off as fairly innocuous but as time went by the group increasingly put me on the spot, attacking my beliefs and devotion to God as half-hearted…the LCC saw themselves as a recreation of first-century Christianity.

Eventually I became convinced that what they were teaching was right. Now I was ready to join God’s elite…I was baptised in the garage of the leader of the LCC, an American who had come over to Britain from Boston…THE LCC BELIEVES THAT BAPTISM IS THE MOMENT OF CONVERSION AND SALVATION. From then on…I was expected to start bringing others…the LCC engaged in regular…street evangelism known as ‘blitzing’…members would go ‘tubing’, riding the London Underground system, preaching and proselytising…We were expected to spend our free time ‘productively’…

TO MAINTAIN STRICT INTERNAL DISCIPLINE THE CHURCH ASSIGNED EVERYONE A ‘DISCIPLER’…In many ways it was similar to the sales strategy employed by American network marketing organisations…Everyone was accountable to their immediate superior…unmarried converts found themselves pushed to move in with other members…’brothers’ lived separately from the female ‘sisters’ and romantic attachments were discouraged unless endorsed by the Church…the rigidity and narrowness of the group’s world view meant that OBEDIENCE BECAME AS MUCH AN ISSUE AS THE MESSAGE that the LCC was preaching…The pressure to conform to the wishes of the leadership could be enormous…many were frightened that if they were to rebel or leave the church they would go to hell…THE DECISIONS OF ITS LEADERS WERE OFTEN EQUATED WITH THE WILL OF THE ALMIGHTY…For people living away from home a religious group like the LCC can seem a haven. After several years of membership its downside became increasingly apparent…Love for God was measured by evangelistic success…If good results were not forthcoming then they needed to be rebuked…Leaving was not easy. As far as the church was concerned, to walk away from the LCC was to walk away from God…Emotionally it was an enormous wrench when I decided to go…not dissimilar to breaking away from a close personal relationship…In retrospect I wish I had left sooner but perhaps through the experience I have ended up learning more about life than I lost”.

  • $ ‘Prosperity Preaching Plague $

The influx and influence of ‘preachers’ associated with the WORD FAITH MOVEMENT [often referred to as The Health and Wealth Gospel] appears to be gathering momentum through the efforts of a number of ‘ministries’ such as THE GREAT COMMISSION TRAINING CENTRE [MONEYMORE] STANDARD INTERNATIONAL MINISTRY [BALLYMENA] & RHEMA RESOURCE MINISTRIES [LISBURN/LURGAN].

Some of the efforts of the first two ‘ministries’ mentioned have been highlighted in previous issues of NEWS FROM THE FRONT – the most recent being the visit of Marilyn Hickey under the auspices of Standard International [Ballymena}. I was given the leaflet promoting the Hickey visit where she was scheduled to speak in the Diamond Hall, Coleraine

University on 27th & 28th November. As a ministry we undertook to phone many ministers and pastors in the area to alert then to the nature of the false message promoted and proclaimed by Marilyn Hickey. We also posted a warning on the ministry [internet] web-site.

On Friday 20th November I went along to a meeting being held in the Lagan Valley Conference Centre in Lisburn – it had been advertised the previous Saturday in the Belfast Telegraph – and when I read the name of the ministry organising it [RHEMA RESOURCE MINISTRIES] alarm bells began to ring because of course ‘RHEMA’ is closely identified with Kenneth Hagin [the ‘grand-daddy’ of ‘Health and Wealth’]. I prayed before-hand that there might be a book-table which would indicate clearly the nature of the meeting to take place and thus spare me having to sit through it and God answered prayer. There was an extensive book-table promoting materials by people like Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, T.D.Jakes, Jerry Savelle, Jesse Duplantis, John Avanzini, Charles Capps [all identified with ‘Health and Wealth’]. Other authors included Claudio Freidzon, Wes Campbell [who with his wife Stacey {a shaking ‘prophetess’} spoke in November at the Bible Centre in Bangor] Ken Gott, John Kilpatrick and Steve Hill [all these people featured prominently in the ‘Toronto’ and ‘Pensacola’ deceptions]. Books by Benny Hinn were also on sale. The guest speaker for the evening Greg Austin is President of NORTHWEST REVIVAL NETWORK MINISTRIES based in Vancouver (Washington State USA) and since 1995 he has been actively fanning the flames of what he believes have been genuine moves of God in Toronto and Pensacola. I left just before the meeting was due to start and would estimate that about 40 people were there [including the speaker and ‘praise’ group]. I noticed that further meetings at the same location on 27th & 28th November featuring Paul Scanlon of Abundant Life Centre [Bradford] were advertised.

The most challenging news of all in relation to ‘Health and Wealth’ promotion was the Autumn Bulletin in Believers Voice of Victory [the magazine of Kenneth Copeland Ministries] announcing that the Copelands [Kenneth and his wife Gloria] will be coming to Belfast for 3 nights in October 1999 from 19th to 21st in the Belfast Waterfront Hall. I have already posted a warning to the “Take Heed”[internet] web-site offering a number of newsletters I wrote a few years ago which set out many of the false teachings of the Copelands on topics such as Redemption; Money; New Birth; The Cross; The Blood; The Firstborn; God – The Biggest Failure [according to Copeland].

Please pray that these materials will be used to protect people from these false teachers BUT ABOVE ALL ELSE – PLEASE START PRAYING NOW AGAINST THIS PLANNED VISITATION –either that it will not take place or that its influence will be less than minimal. A talk that I gave a few years ago on the errors of ‘Health and Wealth’ has also been posted to the audio section of the web-site. Please pray also that God will use it to alert people to this not only false but also repugnant so-called ‘gospel’.

  • New Age Alert

A number of issues that fall into the category of NEW AGE have surfaced in recent weeks. On several occasions I have been asked recently for information on a form of ‘healing’ known as REIKI that is now being actively promoted in the Province. Back in 1994 a local New Age periodical known as NETWORK in their Summer edition carried an article on REIKI by Peter Shields who was described as a Reiki master/teacher and in an advert that followed the article several locations where he would be holding REIKI classes were mentioned and amongst them was the Steiner School, Holywood. The following extracts will give some understanding of the nature of this ‘healing’ therapy.

“Reiki is a Japanese word meaning ‘Universal Life Force Energy’, the energy which is all around us, Reiki when activated and applied for purposes of healing addresses body, mind and spirit…Reiki was rediscovered in the middle of the 19th century by Dr Mikao Usui…he…travelled to north India…he visited the holy mountain of Kuriyama…he received the truth of the Sanskrit formulas…Reiki is a tool of empowerment…as we seek to develop a greater…level of communication with our Higher Self. Reiki…supports the BODY’S NATURAL ABILITY to heal itself, to loosen up blocked energy and to re-establish spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well being.

The treatment pattern…covers 12 basic hand positions…by laying hands gently on the various positions…Reiki brings about a state of balance and harmony to release the energy blocks…which in turn helps to release the cause of the disease. Reiki is complementary to other therapies such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic, colour therapy, homeopathy, kinesiology, massage, meditation, pulsing, reflexology, shiatsu.

In the Christian publication “The Facts on Holistic Health and the New Medicine” by John Ankerberg and John Weldon we read the following on pages 41-42

During the process of learning the technique, the master injects psychic energy into the student, allegedly opening his psychic centres (chakras) and activating his ‘life force’. This process is reminiscent of the Eastern gurus’ dramatic transmission of occult power into disciples known as shaktipat diksha. [When assessing the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ I referred to this shaktipat experience and likened it to the ‘slaying in the spirit’ experiences associated with ‘Toronto’]….This allegedly enables the initiate to receive and then channel psychic energy…REIKI IS THUS AN OCCULT TECHNIQUE DESIGNED TO MANIPULATE OCCULTIC ENERGIES…The practice appears innocent…Unfortunately occult practices can and do harm and they are anything but innocent.

The second area of concern involving NEW AGE is linked to the promotion of THE DELFIN SYSTEM that is committed to ‘Transforming the way the world thinks’. The President of DELFIN INTERNATIONAL, Leslie Fieger writes in the introduction to the training manual ‘Your life has just changed forever. You will become more, be able to accomplish more, and learn how to have more in all aspects of your life’. Just exactly what is someone who has spent in the region of £850.00 being introduced to as they plough their way through the manual and accompanying set of 8 audio tapes? The truth is they are being introduced to a veritable cocktail of NEW AGE thinking incorporating ideas associated with the likes of Carl Jung and philosophies associated with Occultism and Hinduism.

Space constraints prevent me going into this in great detail but let me cite a few quotations from the training manual that will illustrate the assertions I have just made.

On page 11 we read the following – ‘Your individual consciousness exists within and is a part of a universal consciousness’ – this lines up with Carl Jung’s teaching of what he termed ‘the collective unconscious’. In his recent book ‘Occult Invasion’ DAVE HUNT refers to Jung’s teaching of a ‘collective unconscious’ in these terms ‘one of the lies taught to Carl Jung by these deceiving entities…the entities encountered through shamanic techniques are forms taken by demonic spirits intent upon deceiving and destroying mankind’.

On page 12 we read – ‘The universal consciousness CREATES, SUSTAINS and ENLIVENS the cosmos. Each part of this cosmos exists within and is part of this universal consciousness’. This is Hinduistic Pantheism which would teach that God is all and all is God drawing no distinction between a Divine Creator and His creation This false teaching is repeated on page 17 ‘The universal mind or creative energy of the source of all things IS AT ONE WITH YOU and is accessible within through your subconscious’ – in Hinduism and its offshoots like TM and the Hare Krishnas participants are told they can achieve this self-realisation of being ‘one’ [with all things] only by entering into an altered state of consciousness which in reality opens people up to encounters with the spirit world.

On page 33 we read – There are 4 basic steps to creating WHATEVER YOU WANT in life

1.Go within: 2.Visualise: 3.Desire: 4. Believe:

Similar techniques have been promoted for quite a few years now within professing Christendom by people like Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, David [Paul] Yonggi Cho, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland etc

Compare this quotation from page 44 ‘The most important words you speak are the words you say to yourself…select those things that are not in harmony with what you truly want for yourself and replace them with different words…This IS ACCOMPLISHED through affirmations. An affirmation is a CONSCIOUSLY CHOSEN SET OF WORDS that support what you want for yourself’ with this quotation from the back cover of a booklet by Kenneth Copeland called ‘THE POWER OF THE TONGUE’ –‘Words have played a vital role in life since the beginning of time…God created the world and everything in it with His words. TODAY AS BELIEVERS WE HAVE THAT SAME GOD-LIKE QUALITY to speak those things which be not as though they were’ This assertion by Copeland could be summed up in these words “Ye shall be as Gods” [Genesis 3:5] and we all know who first uttered those words.

I referred earlier to the book ‘Occult Explosion’ by DAVE HUNT and in it [and also in earlier books written by the same author such as ‘The Seduction of Christianity’ and ‘The New Spirituality’] readers are given clear warnings as to how many employees are being introduced often unwittingly to NEW AGE spirituality through being sent on ‘self-improvement courses’. Not only is NEW AGE spirituality gaining ground through the business sector but it is also permeating many aspects of ‘church life’ through methods found in the likes of the DELFIN SYSTEM. I will finish this section by quoting from page 190 of ‘Occult Explosion’

“it seems that the various occult techniques for altering consciousness…have been specifically designed and developed to open one to the occult by knocking down a ‘shield’…put in place by God to prevent an invasion of the human personality by demonic entities…Yet the very techniques which tear down that shield…are being promoted in the church…Here is what a former leader in the New Age movement speaking from years of experience has to say –

‘After lengthy observation [from inside as a leader] of the entire New Age scene I am convinced that these techniques (rebirthing, yoga, TM, visualisation of inner guides etc) have an intrinsic power in themselves. They work because they are designed specifically to blow open doors and knock down barriers that God has placed in the human spirit to prevent a take-over by demonic beings that I came to realise are real and very destructive’.

“The Flesh [Transubstantiation] profiteth nothing”

John 6:63

Earlier this year a booklet entitled ‘One Bread One Body’ was published and in the Introductory leaflet with it we read the following

‘One Bread One Body is a statement from the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, Ireland and Scotland on the importance of the Mass in Catholic faith and life’.

It is clear that this booklet sets out to guard jealously the Roman Catholic distinctives that apply to The Mass and that ‘ecumenical diversity’ does not apply to participation in The Mass for we read [p11]

‘It is right to expect that anyone who receives Holy Communion in the Catholic Church SHOULD MANIFEST CATHOLIC FAITH IN THE EUCHARIST’

In an article by Stephen McGrath in the Dublin Evening Herald of 29th October we read the following concerning One Bread One Body –


Whilst there is much what I would term ‘flowery’ language used in this booklet at its heart is a stout defence of all the unscriptural errors associated with The Mass and which are so repugnant to the true children of God. Defended clearly is the sacrificial nature [not merely celebratory/commemorative] of The Mass for on page 27 we read –

‘The sacrificial nature of the Mass was solemnly proclaimed by the Council of Trent and reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council’.

Also defended is the teaching on transubstantiation – pages 32/33 –

‘Through the great Eucharistic Prayer of thanksgiving, the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ by the action of the Holy Spirit so that IN COMMUNION WE EAT THE FLESH OF CHRIST AND DRINK HIS BLOOD’

and the claimed purpose for transubstantiation is outlined on page 35 –

‘to transform the lives of those who receive the sacrament into the Body of Christ, ever more united with one another in Christ’

so the teaching is that by PHYSICAL MEANS [‘the flesh’] SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION can be achieved. This echoes the words of Jesuit Theologian John Boyle who said on the video ‘CRISIS OF FAITH’

‘Transubstantiation simply means that what before was bread and wine, down deep now is the body and blood of Christ. AND WE TAKE THAT PHYSICALLY, BECAUSE WE’RE PHYSICAL AND IT’S THE PHYSICALITY OF LIFE’.


The following words spoken by the Lord Himself in Matthew 15:17-20 demonstrate clearly that physical ingestion does not transform behaviour

“Do not ye yet understand that whatsoever [including a ‘consecrated host’] entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth COME FORTH FROM THE HEART; and they defile the man. For OUT OF THE HEART proceed evil thoughts…These are the things which defile a man”

Physical ingestion does not cause the evil actions of men – they proceed from a corrupt heart and that is a SPIRITUAL PROBLEM and so physical means [transubstantiation] cannot remedy the situation; rather the remedy comes by SPIRITUAL MEANS – the Holy Spirit applying the truth of the Word of God and this we read in full in John 6:63 –

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life”

No wonder Paul’s final instructions to Timothy were “Preach the word” 2 Timothy 4:2 AND NOT ‘Celebrate The Mass’.

Margaret and I hope to attend the 2nd Ex Catholics For Christ conference which will take place (DV) in Dallas on 26/27th March 1999 and a number of speaking engagements subsequent to the conference have been lined up so your prayers are coveted. I continue to receive reaction to the first conference – this week I had encouragements from Syracuse, New York and also the Philippines – in one case the Internet web-site led to the contact and in the other case it was the videos of the first ECFC conference which led to the contact. I would hope to issue a newsletter before we travel to America [scheduled for 24th March]. Please pray that our knowledge will be increased as we attend the conference and that souls will be touched for good as I speak of God’s work at “Take Heed”.

  • Caleb Foundation Launched

At a meeting held in the Park Avenue Hotel [Belfast] on Friday 16th October THE CALEB FOUNDATION was officially launched. This FOUNDATION represents a significant coming together of ‘classic’ evangelicals from a wide range of denominations with the aim of ‘promoting the fundamentals of the historic Protestant faith’. It is hoped that this can be achieved through various avenues including ‘education’ and ‘the media’. So long as this group concentrates solely on ‘the gospel’ and does not get side-tracked into political or cultural issues then it will have my support – for further information please contact the secretary – Pastor D McConaghie 10 Seyton Park, Dollingstown, Craigavon BT66 7HY

  • Computer Update

Slowly but surely I am increasing my knowledge of the computer which was so wonderfully gifted to the ministry earlier this year and this NEWS FROM THE FRONT is the first to be produced in its entirety using the computer and I would very much welcome your HONEST feedback on what you think of it – whether favourable or not so favourable. I am pleased to say that a NEW COMPREHENSIVE ‘RESOURCE LIST’ giving details of the books, audios and videos which are available from “Take Heed” and incorporating an order form has now been produced [thanks to the computer] and I will be pleased to forward a copy to any who request it. Please continue to pray on that this valuable resource will be mastered by myself and will be used mightily for the glory of The Master.