Jesuit-led ‘service’ for mostly ‘gay’ congregation
On page 41 of the Daily Mail of Friday 27th April 2007 their lead article by Simon Caldwell stated the following – ‘The BBC is to relay a “gay Mass” from San Francisco this Sunday, the first time such a service has been broadcast. The 50-minute Mass at the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in the predominantly gay Castro district of the city will feature prayers and readings tailored for the gay community…Its parish priest, Father Stephen Meriweather blesses participants in the San Francisco’s annual gay pride march…Last night a media watchdog said Sunday’s radio broadcast was “bound to cause offence” to mainstream Christians…However Father Donal Godfrey, the U.S. Jesuit priest celebrating the Mass said he was delighted the BBC was “exploring how gay people fit into the perspective of the Christian narrative”. “Being gay is not special,” he said. “It’s simply another gift from God who created us as rainbow people”…The preacher will be James Allison, a homosexual British Catholic theologian and author of “Is it ethical to be Catholic? – Queer perspectives”.
What particularly caught my attention in this Daily Mail article was the reference to Jesuit priest, Donal Godfrey as Mr Godfrey had been based for a number of years here in Northern Ireland.
In July 2004 I wrote an article entitled
in which I expressed concerns about the ‘ecumenical ambitions’ of the Youth Board of the Irish Presbyterian Church. In the course of that article I wrote a short section on Mr Godfrey and this is what I said –
A Roman Catholic contributor on the PYP DVD is referred to as ‘Bishop Donal’. This is Bishop Donal McKeown and his inclusion on the DVD reminded me of one of his former Irish ecclesiastical colleagues who was another ‘Donal’ namely Donal Godfrey who is a ‘Jesuit’ priest. Some years ago, at the same time as the launch of the Irish version of ECT mentioned earlier, a book was produced by the so-called ‘Evangelical Catholic Initiative’ called ‘Adventures in Reconciliation – 29 Catholic Testimonies’. The ‘Preface’ was written by Roman Catholic Cardinal Cahal Daly; The ‘Foreword’ was written by the [then] current Presbyterian Moderator, Ken Newell and one of the ‘Protestant’ ‘Commendations’ was by former Presbyterian Moderator Trevor Morrow and it was in this ‘commendation’ that Trevor Morrow penned his ‘scripture twisting’ of Paul’s letter to the Galatians… to justify [his] condemnation of those who opposed the concept of so-called ‘Evangelical Catholics’’. One of those whose ‘testimony’ appeared in this book was Donal Godfrey SJ. Here are some extracts from what he wrote –
‘I was born in Liverpool in 1959…I was brought up as a Catholic in a neighbourhood where faith did not seem to be very important for most people. In fact we were considered rather odd because we actually went to church each week!…My parents sent me to a boarding school called Stonyhurst College. It was run by Jesuit priests. ..I met a visiting American who was an evangelical Christian. Doug helped me to see that being [note – not ‘becoming’] a Christian was not about working at pleasing God by my own efforts, but rather about surrendering to Jesus as my personal Lord and Saviour. I thought about it and decided that I would trust in Jesus as my personal Saviour and see if He would help me…I had found a new beginning and a new life. In Jesus I now knew that I was loved and accepted exactly as I was…I had discovered a personal relationship with Jesus…I now experienced this NEW BIRTH which is always God’s work…Now many years later I am an ordained priest. I am also a member of the Jesuit order which was founded by St Ignatius of Loyola…As part of my Jesuit training I did the ‘SPIRITUAL EXERCISES’ of St Ignatius…Although I was born and raised a Catholic I know I cannot be a Christian by birth, by custom or by tradition. I can only be [note – not ‘become’] a Christian by deciding to choose Christ and accept Him into my heart…Being reborn in [note – not ‘into’] Jesus is about surrendering to the power of the Spirit and allowing Jesus to take over’.
This is truly ‘Jesuitical spin’ designed to convince the unlearned that Mr Godfrey shares evangelical convictions on spiritual ‘new birth’ and on ‘being a Christian’. On reading these excerpts one might think that Mr Godfrey was ‘born again’ after his encounter with an ‘evangelical Christian’ called ‘Doug’. The question must be asked – how many times can an unregenerate sinner be ‘born again’. By reading the Lord’s conversation with Nicodemus as recorded in John 3 it is clear that such a spiritual regeneration takes place only once.
Mr Godfrey would have us think that his ‘new birth’ or his being ‘reborn in [note – not ‘into’] Jesus’ took place when he was an adult but yet he also informed us that he was ‘brought up as a Catholic’ and that his family ‘actually went to church each week’. I can only assume [and if wrong I will readily retract] that his parents would have brought Mr Godfrey as an infant to the Catholic Church for the Catholic Sacrament of Baptism and that, as they subsequently faithfully attended the Catholic Church, that they would all have witnessed many other infants being baptised by their priest.
Mr Godfrey has informed us that he himself is ‘an ordained’ priest’ and I would be most surprised if he has not himself baptised many children of Roman Catholic parents. ‘The administration of Baptism’ is one of ‘The functions especially entrusted to the parish priest’ [Code of Canon Law: 530]. What are the claimed effects of Roman Catholic baptism by a parish priest – ‘Baptism, the gateway to the sacraments, is necessary for salvation, either by actual reception or at least by desire. By it people are freed from sins, ARE BORN AGAIN as children of God and made like to Christ by an indelible character, are incorporated into the Church. It is validly conferred only by a washing in real water with the proper form of words’. If Mr Godfrey was baptised in the Catholic Church as an infant and then in his capacity as a priest he has likewise baptised many babies, is he by his ‘testimony’ inferring that through the Sacrament of Baptism babies are not ‘BORN AGAIN’ as Roman Catholicism teaches but that an experience, later in life, such as he related in his ‘testimony’ must be sought in order to be ‘reborn in [note – not ‘into’] Jesus’.
There are serious consequences for Roman Catholics who reject the claims made by Rome for the Sacrament of Baptism – ‘If anyone saith, that in the Roman Church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism; let him be anathema’: ‘If any one saith, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema’. [Council of Trent; Session 7: Canons III & V].
Mr Godfrey is a Jesuit priest and I think we can safely assume that he would not continue in this position if he did in any way reject the claims of the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Baptism, as otherwise he would be under the ‘anathema’ [curse] of the Roman Catholic Church.
Certainly ‘being [not ‘becoming’] a Christian’ involves ‘surrendering to Jesus as…personal Lord and Saviour’ but becoming a Christian through ‘new birth’ happens only and sovereignly through the “quickening” work of the Holy Spirit. ‘New birth’ only happens as He, the Holy Spirit, sovereignly chooses and moves and not automatically [as defined in Roman Catholicism as ex opere operato (which means ‘from the work performed’)] through any Roman Catholic Sacrament of Baptism.
This ‘testimony’ of Donal Godfrey is full of theological ‘double-speak’. In the ‘Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus – 21st Century Edition’ the following entry is found under the definition of ‘Jesuit’ – ‘a person given to subtle and equivocating [ambiguous] arguments’. Someone who ‘equivocates’ is as this dictionary also states ‘deliberately misleading or vague; avoiding speaking directly or honestly; of doubtful character or sincerity’. These definitions lie at the heart of ‘Jesuitry’.
Mr Godfrey confirmed that in his training he ‘did the ‘SPIRITUAL EXERCISES’ of St Ignatius’. In these ‘Exercises’ there is a section entitled ‘RULES FOR THINKING WITH THE CHURCH – The following rules should be observed to foster the true attitude of mind we ought to have in the church militant’ and one of those ‘Spiritual Exercises’ 365:13 teaches – ‘If we wish to proceed securely in all things, we must hold fast to the following principle: What seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical Church so defines…For it is by the same Spirit and Lord who gave the Ten Commandments that our holy Mother Church is ruled and governed’ [‘The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius by Louis J Puhl SJ: Loyola University Press – Chicago: pages 157 & 160].
Having seen from my analysis of what Mr Godfrey wrote that he is more than capable of misrepresenting biblical terminology it will come then as no surprise to learn that he did likewise during the course of the broadcast service.
From this segment, according to my analysis of it, we are apparently ‘taught’ the following by Mr Godfrey –
‘Perverting the Rainbow’
1. The ‘gay pride’ lobby have adopted ‘the rainbow’ as the symbol/emblem on their community’s flag and so when their people see it they know exactly what it stands for – it identifies and flies over a community of those who engage in lifestyles and behaviour similar to many who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah.
2. The rainbow apparently was a sign that the flood was over and that creation could now rest secure.
3. The rainbow apparently teaches that for God there is no ‘us’ [presumably those who are God’s children] and ‘them’ [presumably those who are not God’s children] but ultimately only God’s children – we are all the rainbow people of God.
I want now to comment upon these ‘teachings and I want to begin with point 2. From Genesis 9 we learn God’s purpose in placing ‘the rainbow’ in the sky. It was not so much a symbol that ‘the flood was over’ but rather that never again would God use a universal flood as his instrument of judgment upon mankind’s sin. Then what about Mr Godfrey’s ‘teaching’ that ‘creation could now rest secure’. With Mr Godfrey being a Jesuit we have to try extra hard to figure out what exactly he meant when he asserted this. I think there could be 2 possible options when trying to decide what he meant.
Option 1 could mean that Mr Godfrey believed that as a physical reality the ‘natural world’ could ‘rest secure’ from any future cataclysmic upheavals. Well, if that’s what Mr Godfrey meant, history, the words of Paul in Romans 8:22 [“the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain”] and the words of the Lord Himself in Matthew 24:7 [“earthquakes”] show that the ‘natural world’ is far from being ‘secure’ when it comes to experiencing ‘natural disasters’. If Mr Godfrey meant that ‘creation could now rest secure’ from ever again experiencing a destructive global flood [the only true certainty because God specifically promised this in Genesis 9:11] then he should have stated that clearly and specifically.
Option 2 could mean that Mr Godfrey believed that the world would never again be subject to God’s universal judgment because of mankind’s sin. Well, if that’s what Mr Godfrey meant, the words of the Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3 refute that possible interpretation of what Mr Godfrey said. In response to the views of “scoffers, walking after their own lusts” [verse 3] Peter assures his readers that “the heavens and the earth which are now…are…reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men”.
The words of Jude also refute such a notion for we read in his epistle of “angels…he hath reserved…unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah…giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” [verses 6-7]. If Mr Godfrey meant that ‘creation could now rest secure’ from ever again experiencing God’s universal judgment because of mankind’s sin then he was ‘flying in the face of’ what God’s Word teaches.
The Biblical reality is that neither the ‘natural world’ nor ‘unrepentant sinners’ can ‘rest secure’ in the light of the certainty of the coming fiery judgment of God.
Then moving on to the’ teachings’ of point 3 I would comment as follows. There is absolutely no Biblical basis for Mr Godfrey to assert that ‘the rainbow’ signifies that everyone in the world, without exception [no ‘us’ and ‘them’] is now part of the only ultimate reality, namely that of all being ‘God’s children’, or as he colourfully phrased it, ‘we are all the rainbow people of God’.
No less a person than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself puts paid to such an unbiblical, fanciful notion. In John 8:44 He stated clearly to the unbelieving Pharisees that they were “of your father, the devil”. When writing to the Christians in Ephesus, in Ephesians chapter 2, the Apostle Paul reminded them how that prior to their conversion to Christ they had [verse 2] “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [the devil]” and how they had been [verse 3] “by nature the children of wrath, even as others”.
The biblical reality is that everyone born since ‘the fall’ of Adam is [according to Psalm 58:3] “estranged [from God as their Father] from the womb” for “they go astray as soon as they are born”.
When someone is ‘born again’ of the Spirit of God, through Holy Spirit conviction of sin and conversion to Christ, one of the great spiritual privileges that they are blessed with is that of “adoption” as a son or daughter into God’s family. Paul wrote to believers in Rome [Romans 8:15] “Ye have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father”. Paul explained to the believers in Galatia that the saving mission of Christ was [Galatians 4:5] “so that we might receive the adoption of sons”. It was in the light of this need for repentant sinners to be truly ‘born again’ that the apostle John wrote of the joy of being a child of God in these terms [1 John 3:1-2] “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God…Beloved NOW are we the children of God”.
John then goes on to state [verse 3] how “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he [God] is pure” and that brings me to what I want to say about point 1.
‘The rainbow’ should remind all who see it of God’s judgment upon sin. It should remind all who see it of God’s absolute purity and holiness and how mankind’s sin was such an offence to these that God had no option but to move in universal judgment by means of the flood.
The truth that ‘the rainbow’ is inextricably linked to God’s purity and holiness is demonstrated by John’s vision of heaven where we read in Revelation 4:2-3 of how John “was in the Spirit and behold a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And…there was a rainbow round about the throne”. The gracious reality of “NOW” being “the children of [a pure and holy] God” should spur all such to ‘purify themselves’ by repenting of all known and habitual sin so that they shall increase in “sanctification” which according to Paul in 1st Thessalonians 4:3 is “the will of God…that ye should abstain from fornication”.
Under the banner of a ‘rainbow’ flag do the ‘gay pride’ community “abstain from fornication”. Anyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, who has ever viewed the behaviour of those taking part in ‘gay pride’ parades under ‘rainbow’ flags will know the answer to that without me having to spell it out. The use by the ‘gay’ community of a ‘rainbow’ flag at such events is the outworking of those who [Isaiah 5:20] “call evil good…who put darkness for light…who put bitter for sweet” and who [Romans 1:32] “knowing the judgment of God, that they who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them”.
I want to conclude this section by quoting some words from a sermon preached by Pastor John MacArthur on “The Certainty of the Second Coming” and based upon
2 Peter 3:1-9. Pastor MacArthur said –
There are 260 chapters in the New Testament, 260. There are 300 references to the Second Coming. The New Testament is replete with warnings about judgment, information about the Lord coming to gather His own, teaching about the fact that He will judge the wicked, establish His Kingdom and bring in eternal righteousness….
And if you study the Scripture you find everything you need to know. It tells us that He will come in the clouds, He will come in the glory of His Father, He will come in His own glory, He will come in flaming fire, He will come with power and great glory, He will come as He went, He will come with a shout, He will come accompanied by angels, He will come with His saints, He will come suddenly, He will come unexpectedly, He will come as a thief, He will come as lightning, the heavens and earth will be dissolved and on and on it goes. It says the purpose of His coming is to complete the salvation of the saints, to be glorified in the saints, to be admired in the saints, to bring delight to hidden things of darkness, to judge, to reign, to destroy. That’s only the first argument…
Argument number two, Peter says the second argument for the Second Coming is the argument from history. I love this, the argument from history, verse 5, follow what he says. Now in verses 3 and 4, which we studied last time, they say, “All things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” Peter says, “For when they maintain this,” what? This uniformitarian view, this evolutional view that everything just keeps going along at the same pace, and there are no cataclysmic, catastrophic invasions by God and no judgments…they say, “There will never be a Second Coming because there has never been any cataclysm, there has never been any catastrophe, everything just goes along as it always has. It escapes their notice…The Greek says; “They shut their eyes to the facts.”… I love what the Authorized Version, the old King James says, “They are willingly ignorant of…” they shut their eyes to the facts…Why? They love their evil. They love their sin. They love their lust. They don’t desire truth. They don’t desire virtue. So they don’t want a judgment…
But you know something? They have to shut their eyes to two great historic, cataclysmic events that totally disprove evolution and uniformitarianism. You say, “What are they? What do they shut their eyes to?” First of all, creation… But even in that perfect environment man fell into sin and God looked at the world…in Genesis 6:5 and He saw that wickedness of man was great on the earth and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, and He was sorry that He made the whole thing. And He said I’m going to destroy it…How is He going to destroy it? Well, He’s going to use… Water…God built into His creation the tool of its destruction…
The present world system then is reserved for future judgment…Only the next time He’ll do it by fire. It is reserved for fire. The word “reserved,” treasured up, ‘thesaurizo’, from which we get thesaurus, a treasury, stored up. The world is waiting the destruction of fire. Once water, next time fire…In Isaiah 13 [Cecil – see verses 1, 6, 9, 11, 19] it says, “When the final Babylon [Cecil – see Revelation 18:1-2; 9-10 – notice especially ‘the smoke of her burning’] is destroyed, it will be destroyed as were Sodom and Gomorrah.” How were they destroyed? By fire and brimstone…
Look at verse 7; I have to give you this. The present heavens and earth, that’s different than the long-ago ones, “The present heaven and earth are by His Word reserved for”…what?…fire, not water. Remember the rainbow. What did the rainbow signify? God will never destroy the world again by water. So this time it’s being reserved to be destroyed by…what?…fire, “Kept for the judgment, the day of judgment, and the destruction of ungodly men.” The present world system then is reserved for future judgment and that future judgment will come by the Word of God just as the past judgment came and just as the creation came.
Lazarus Comes Out
From this segment, according to my analysis of it, we are apparently ‘taught’ the following by Mr Godfrey –
1. Mr Godfrey speaks of ‘the struggle’ of ‘being gay and spiritual’ and declares his belief that ‘it is God who calls and loves all of us whatever our sexual orientation…it is God who calls us to be fully human and fully alive’.
2. After a reading from John 11 of how the Lord Jesus raised Lazarus from the tomb Mr Godfrey taught ‘Coming out is actually for everyone and not only for gay people for it is not only gay people who need to come out of the tombs of our own making in this life…we need to listen to Jesus call us all to come out of our tombs and speak the truth of who we really are. We need to listen and respond to Jesus inviting each of us to take off the shrouds that keep us from being ourselves before God and each other’’
3. Commenting further on point 2 Mr Godfrey taught ‘It may come slowly or quite unexpectedly and suddenly this realisation that you are entombed but need not be, this realisation that what you thought was evil, corrupting, life-denying is in fact good, liberating and life-giving’.
I want now to comment upon these ‘teachings and once more I want to begin with point 2. Being a Jesuit there is perhaps unwittingly an aspect of ‘truth’ in what Mr Godfrey says but that is really only there to ‘mask’ the deadly poison of the main point that he wants to teach. He is Biblically correct when he says that ‘Coming out is for everyone’ – however he would probably not acknowledge and believe the biblical reality of his statement as his later comments show.
The Biblical truth of his statement is that all people according to Ephesians 2 [verse 1] are “dead in trespasses and sins” – spiritually-speaking all people are by nature entombed and cut off from the presence and blessing of God because of their “trespasses and sins”. The need for all to ‘come out’ of such a spiritual tomb is enshrined in the command of Christ in Mark 1:15 of “Repent [of sin] and believe the gospel” and in Paul’s preaching on Mars Hill when he told those listening in Acts 17:30 that “God…now commandeth all men everywhere to repent [of sin]”.
It is very clear that Mr Godfrey does not have this repentant spiritual ‘coming out’ in mind – his idea for people is to ‘come out’ by revealing ‘who [in our present lifestyle] we really are’ rather than repenting of ‘who [in our present lifestyle] we really are’. He sees no need after ‘coming out’ to remove the shrouds that were in fact our sins, that had us in our ‘spiritual tomb’ – according to him we must remove the shrouds of secrecy that have stopped us from revealing both to God and to each other the type of life-style that we pursue and indulge in.
Mr Godfrey is teaching that this miracle of the raising of Lazarus shows that everyone has the ability to raise themselves out of ‘the tombs of our own making in this life’ so that, by our own ability, we can then take off our own ‘shrouds’ in order to reveal and to follow our own natural desires and instincts in full-view of God and man. He is basically telling all people to ‘come out’ just as they are, don’t change and don’t worry about what others think or say about you [the ‘shroud’ of fear of man] and stop covering up what you do and stop hiding the way you want to live.
Is that what the miracle of the raising of Lazarus shows? Let me answer that by quoting from a sermon preached by George Whitefield [1714-1770]. Mr Whitefield said in his sermon –
Come, ye dead, Christless, unconverted sinners, come and see the place where they laid the body of the deceased Lazarus; behold him laid out, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes, locked up and stinking in a dark cave, with a great stone placed on the top of it! View him again and again; go nearer to him; be not afraid; smell him, ah! How he stinketh. Stop there now, pause a while; and whilst thou art gazing upon the corpse of Lazarus, give me leave to tell thee with great plainness, but greater love, that this dead, bound, entombed, stinking carcass, is but a faint representation of thy poor soul in its natural state: for, whether thou believest it or not, thy spirit which thou bearest about with thee, sepulchered in flesh and blood, is as literally dead to God, and as truly dead in trespasses and sins, as the body of Lazarus was in the cave. Was he bound hand and foot with grave-clothes? So art thou bound hand and foot with thy corruptions: and as a stone was laid on the sepulcher, so is there a stone of unbelief upon thy stupid heart. Perhaps thou hast lain in this state, not only four days, but many years, stinking in God’s nostrils. And; what is still more affecting, thou art as unable to raise thyself out of this loathsome, dead state, to a life of righteousness and true holiness, as ever Lazarus was to raise himself from the cave in which he lay so long. Thou mayest try the power of thy own boasted free-will, and the force and energy of moral persuasion and rational arguments (which, without all doubt, have their proper place in religion); but all thy efforts, exerted with never so much vigor, will prove quite fruitless and abortive, till that same Jesus, who said, “Take away the stone,” and cried, “Lazarus, come forth,” comes by his mighty power, removes the stone of unbelief, speaks life to thy dead soul, looses thee from the fetters of thy sins and corruptions, and by the influences of his blessed Spirit, enables thee to arise, and to walk in the way of his holy commandments.
When the Lord Jesus deals graciously with a sinner and grants them forgiveness, He expects to see the fruits of holiness and righteousness, through obedience to His commandments, blossoming forth in the new life that He has given to them. We see that in John 8 when He tells the sinful, adulterous woman, that He had just forgiven, [verse 11] “Go and sin no more”. He certainly didn’t tell her that she had licence to pursue her former sinful lifestyle ‘before God and each other’ – yet that is basically what Mr Godfrey was teaching his listeners in point 2.
Moving on now to the’ teachings’ of point 3 I would comment as follows. In what he said here Mr Godfrey sheds more light on what he means by being ‘entombed’. He is clearly alluding to the lifestyles that many of his listeners have been told are ‘evil, corrupting, life-denying’ but in Mr Godfrey’s opinion they are in fact ‘good, liberating and life-giving’.
Earlier in the service Mr Godfrey listed many of these lifestyles – homosexual, lesbian, trans-gender etc. These lifestyles are not ‘foreign’ to the Word of God. Paul writes in Romans 1 [verses 26-32] of God ‘giving people up unto vile affections…even their women did exchange that natural use for that which is against nature; And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men, working that which is unseemly…Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness…inventors of evil things…without natural affection…knowing the judgment of God that they who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them”.
In God’s sight such lifestyles are ‘evil, corrupting, life-denying’. But with echoes of Genesis 3:4 and the serpent’s declaration “Ye shall not surely die” we find Mr Godfrey assuring many of his listeners that their lifestyles, that are clearly referred to in Romans 1:26-32 are in his view ‘good, liberating and life-giving’.
Mr Godfrey wants to convict his listeners through his preaching that their present lifestyles do not constitute ‘sin’, that their lifestyles represent acceptable [to God] ‘righteousness’ and that their lifestyles will not result in ‘judgement’ by God. This is another ‘spirit’ at work through Mr Godfrey and not the Holy Spirit whose mission, according to John 16:8, where unconverted sinners are concerned, is to “reprove [convict by convincing] the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment”.
Commenting in his Study Bible, Pastor John MacArthur notes ‘The world can’t make righteous judgments but the Spirit of Christ does. All Satan’s adjudications are lies…The Spirit will lead sinners to true judgment’. To Mr Godfrey God’s Word says in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto you who calls evil good”.
Let me deal now with point 1. Here Mr Godfrey teaches that ‘it is God who calls and loves all of us whatever our sexual orientation…it is God who calls us to be fully human and fully alive’. The call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ certainly does go out to all, ‘whatever our sexual orientation’, but if that ‘sexual orientation’ manifests itself in sexual practice that falls outside the confines of God’s boundaries for sexual intimacy as detailed in Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage [one man and one woman – Genesis 2:24] is honourable in all, and the [marriage] bed undefiled” then until by the gracious enabling of the Holy Spirit we repent of that sinful lifestyle and turn to and trust in Christ alone for salvation, God most certainly does not love us in our sin. In fact, in stark contrast, the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 7:11 “God is angry with the wicked every day”.
In our unrepentant, unregenerate, sinful state are we as Mr Godfrey put it ‘fully human and fully alive’. The Lord Jesus said in John 5:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that heareth my word [‘Repent and believe the gospel’] and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but is passed from [spiritual] death unto [eternal] life”. Until a sinner is converted to Christ he/she is not ‘fully human and fully alive’. Far from God’s ‘love resting on them we find from John 3:36 that “the wrath of God abideth on him/her”.
In conclusion, the apostle Paul had the joy of counting amongst his ‘congregation’ some who had followed lifestyles similar to those who would have sat recently under Mr Godfrey’s preaching. This was what he wrote to them in 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 –
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind…shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you; but ye are WASHED, but ye are SANCTIFIED, but ye are JUSTIFIED, in the name of the Lord Jesus AND BY the Spirit of our God”.
This article is certainly not intended as a ‘witch-hunt’ against ‘gay’ people for as Pastor John MacArthur in his Study Bible comments on 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 ‘Though not all Christians have been guilty of those particular sins, every Christian is equally an ex-sinner, since Christ came to save sinners’.
Paul used the law of God to alert sinners to the reality of their sin and to their need of the Saviour – he wrote in Galatians 3:24 “The law [by convincing people of the reality of their sin] was our schoolmaster [taught what sin was] to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith”.
Unlike Paul in Acts 19:27, Mr Godfrey has failed to “declare unto his listeners all the counsel of God” and for that and the resulting consequences he and they must according to Acts 17:31 give an account to God when one day “He [God] will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; concerning which he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him [Christ] from the dead”.
One final, ‘final thought’ – earlier in this article I wrote that ‘a book was produced by the so-called ‘Evangelical Catholic Initiative’ called ‘Adventures in Reconciliation – 29 Catholic Testimonies’ and of how… ‘The ‘Foreword’ was written by the [then] current Presbyterian Moderator, Ken Newell and one of the ‘Protestant’ ‘Commendations’ was by former Presbyterian Moderator Trevor Morrow’.
This was part of what Ken Newell wrote – ‘The book you are holding is a miracle. I’ve lived in Ireland for fifty-five years and can’t ever recall coming across anything quite like it …never have I opened a volume of Catholic testimonies commended with such warmth and respect by Protestants…I feel greatly honoured to write this Foreword because many of the contributors are my personal friends. We have worked together for years on projects of an evangelical, charismatic and ecumenical nature. We know each other well. But the miracle is deeper than friendship. We have discovered each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. We feel that we belong to each other…the Holy Spirit has only one temple and we are all stones in its structure’.
This was part of what Trevor Morrow wrote – ‘For Presbyterians like myself who still hold to the principle of the Reformation – of justification by faith alone, the implications are straightforward. If these testimonies are evidence of real faith in Christ, then whatever our theological differences, these Roman Catholic believers are justified by faith alone and so are our brothers and sisters in Christ…It is therefore, on the material principle [Cecil – this ‘material principle’ includes Christ’s righteousness being “imputed” to a true believer and in our website article on ‘Father’ Paul Symonds, referred to below, you can see and hear ‘Father’ Symonds publicly rejecting this glorious aspect of the ‘material principle’] of the Reformation, that a person is justified by faith alone, [Cecil – also something that Rome officially denies – see Dr James Butler’s Catechism: Lesson X: Q&A 7 on page 26] that I, as a Presbyterian, unequivocally accept and affirm with joy and enthusiasm these Roman Catholic believers as my brothers and sisters in Christ’.
Well, the Jesuitical ‘eggs’ of the so-called testimonies that were laid in this book are now really beginning to hatch as we have shown, not only in this article but also in another article on our website –
that concerns [former?] Jesuit, Paul Symonds whose ‘testimony’ also appeared in this book.
I think it would be profitable for Ken Newell and Trevor Morrow to take time to revisit and perhaps reconsider their affirmations of these men as being their ‘brothers in Christ’ in the light of what we have published in our articles, but in truth, I do not expect that to happen and I fully expect Mr Newell and Mr Morrow to continue on the paths they tread and are leading others along and I fear that they and their followers will end up in a ditch similar to those of Matthew 15:14 and Luke 6:39.
Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 4 May 2007