The ‘leaven’ in ‘Power To Change’

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.

Local Northern Ireland ‘Evangelical Alliance’ representative, Stephen Cave, was involved in one such presentation in Enniskillen and featured in the video shown was well known ‘Evangelical Catholic’ spokesperson

Paddy Monaghan.

Mr Monaghan, along with Basil Good of Scripture Union [Republic of Ireland] who in the last year appointed Paddy Monaghan’s fellow ‘Evangelical Catholic’, Jim Donnan, as Director of Scripture Union in the South of Ireland, appeared on UCB radio in the South of Ireland in October to give details of the planned launch of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’.

In the course of their broadcast they named Mr Michael Fitch as being one of the leaders of this new initiative in Northern Ireland.

A ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ booklet has been published and can be obtained by phoning 9026 6799.

Eugene Boyle (another high-ranking ‘Evangelical Catholic’) handled one inquiry that I know of. This booklet contains amongst other sections a number of ‘testimonies’. Amongst the ‘testimonies’ are those by Roman Catholics, Bernadette Power [page 56], Jim Donnan (mentioned above) [page 68] and Michael McGoldrick [page 82].

These 3 ‘testimonies’ also appeared in the ‘Evangelical Catholic’ book publication ‘Adventures in Reconciliation – 29 Catholic Testimonies’ [Published with the help of European funding in 1998].

The Roman Catholic influence is also highlighted on page 55 in the section dealing with ‘Suggestions For Further Growth’ where we read

‘If you don’t already have a Bible, you can get one from your local bookshop. The New Living Translation Bible uses modern English. Or ask a priest or minister or Christian friend’.

According to information supplied to me another venue for presenting ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ will be High Kirk Presbyterian Church in Ballymena whose minister Russell Birney has in times past publicly given his seal of approval upon ‘fellowship’ with ‘Evangelical Catholics’.

I have no doubt that as more details emerge of other presentation locations, the usual leading local ecumenical clerics and their churches will be found to feature in this location list.

The aim of presenting faithfully the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified is a most worthy aim but when many differing theological groups are ‘lumped’ together we must “Take Heed” to the Apostle Paul’s words found in his letter to the Galatians

[And we do well to remember the problem with the Galatians was their entanglement with the ‘Judaisers’ and of course the modern day  equivalent of the ‘Judaisers’ is the ‘Roman Catholic Religion’]

Paul wrote in Galatians 5:9 “A little leaven [ie false doctrine and practice] leaventh the whole lump”

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 23 November 2001

  • PART 2 – Launch of ‘Power To Change’ Aborted

Since preparing the first part of this report more information has emerged which certainly does nothing either to enhance or improve this initiative of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’.

On 11 January 2002 I was speaking to a minister whose church had been planning to make use of the planned advertising for and booklet issued by ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ in conjunction with a forthcoming mission to be held in their church.

However these plans were now being shelved as the ‘launch’ of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ has itself been put back to September of this year. He advised me that he had been informed of 2 reasons for this delay.

1. The organisers of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ felt that an upcoming debate in March on ‘abortion’ in the Republic of Ireland would adversely affect the impact of their planned, heavily financed billboard, bus shelter, and media etc advertising campaign.

2. Then, according to what my minister friend had been told, it appeared that two men [from loyalist paramilitary backgrounds] whose testimonies were included along with amongst others the 3 Roman Catholic ‘testimonies’ in the ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ booklet had apparently expressed concern about their past being ‘raked up’ and the possibility of problems arising for their families and so they had withdrawn permission for their testimonies to be used in the booklet and in consequence this change would also result in a delay of the ‘launch’.

I advised my minister friend that he should perhaps check again the reason for the withdrawal of these 2 testimonies from the booklet.

The reality is that these two men, when they saw the ‘ecumenical nature’ of the booklet and discovered the ‘ecumenical make-up’ of this whole initiative, were so hurt by what in their words was a ‘deception’ that had been foisted on them, that they both contacted the ‘POWER TO CHANGE’
office in Belfast – in one case by calling in person and in the other case by phoning from England and instructed that their testimonies be withdrawn from use in any form, whether in the booklet or on a video, in the promotion of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’.

Further confirmation of the ‘aborted launch’ of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ came during an ‘Interdenominational {code for ecumenical} Service’ broadcast on RTE 1 Television on Sunday 13 January 2002. The editor of this 45-minute programme was ‘Father’ Dermod McCarthy. Clearly visible near the front of the congregation was well-known ‘Evangelical Catholic’ spokesperson Paddy Monaghan.

The whole purpose of this programme was to promote the initiative of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’.
Interspersed amongst the musical items, prayers etc were a number of interviews. One such interview was with Maire Brennan who is best known as the lady with the ‘haunting’ voice of the singing group ‘Clannad’  [Probably best known for singing the theme tune to a TV series some years ago known as ‘Harry’s game’].

How reliable would Maire Brennan’s endorsement be of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’?

In the February/March 1993 issue of the ecumenical/charismatic magazine ‘BREAD’ there was a two-page interview with Maire and Tim her husband. Speaking of her [Roman Catholic] parents reaction to her professed ‘Christianity’ she said the following

‘They were sad to see us not going to church and now they’re delighted Tim and I are Christians. They aren’t worried what type of Christian! In Donegal I go to the local Catholic church and feel very comfortable and at home there and in Cambridge, with Tim’s parents I go to their local C. of E. – the church we were married in. What matters is not the church – it’s being close to God.’

I would simply say that ‘the church’ attended will be a very good indicator of whether or not a person is truly ‘close to God’ for as Paul says in  2 Corinthians 6:14

“What communion hath light with darkness?”

Another interview during the broadcast service was with Basil Good.

Anyone who reads my report on the email exchanges I had with

‘Scripture Union – Republic of Ireland’ following their appointment in 2001 of the ‘Evangelical Catholic – Jim Donnan’ to be their director will know that Basil Good was the man who singularly failed to address the concerns, particularly in the area of ‘doctrine’, that I raised with them.

Mr Good was introduced as ‘the chairman’ of the committee of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’. With a great air of confidence Mr Good boldly asserted ‘This is going to be, I’d say without any doubt, the biggest event in the Christian calendar. in 2002 – everybody, everybody will know about this come September next’.

Mr Good then went on to enthuse that over one million pounds had been made available for this venture, not by churches, but by lay business people. He explained that the idea originated in Canada where business people stated that if they were going to ‘promote a product’, this is the way [by advertising] that they would do it and so they felt that
they could apply the same method in promoting ‘the cause of Christ’.

Mr Good gave details of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ ‘Promotional Aids’ that would be available to churches for use in conjunction with specially organised events – along with the booklet there was a CD Rom that included a copy of the ‘Jesus Film’.

[For an interesting insight into the benefits or otherwise of this ‘Jesus Film’ I would recommend the reading of the letter published on page 25 of the  January 2002 issue of ‘Evangelical Times’].

Mr Good was keen to emphasise that Churches would not be asked to contribute financially to the advertising campaign and stressed that ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ would not interfere in the area of ‘doctrine’ but would leave that entirely to the discretion of the ‘participating churches’.

That doesn’t come as any great surprise given Mr Good’s lack of appetite to discuss ‘doctrine’ when I contacted him about Jim Donnan’s appointment with Scripture Union. Bearing this approach to ‘doctrine’ in mind I just wonder how ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ would react if a Mormon Church applied to ‘participate’.

As I thought on this whole approach I thought of the incident in Acts chapter 8 where Simon the Sorcerer saw the ‘power’ exercised by the Apostles in Samaria and we read in verses 18 & 19 that “he offered them money saying, Give me also this power”. Peter, knowing that this man’s heart was “not right in the sight of God” [v21] told him straight in verse 20

“Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money”.

Having spoken to a few people who initially were enthusiastic about this venture, it is clear that they were attracted by the prospect of the heavily financed advertising, but being now aware of the true ‘ecumenical nature’ of this venture, they have in fact decided to withdraw their participation in it.

One other friend, a church elder, admitted that he had been influenced in initially advising his church to get involved because he had seen a leaflet for ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ carrying an endorsement by the teaching Pastor of Christ Church, Belfast – Mr Derick Bingham.

I advised my friend that for some time now I have been disturbed by the advice and endorsements coming from Derick Bingham and that my information file on these concerns is available to any on request. My friend asked for this information and also my [then] report on ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ and having presented the information to his fellow elders they have now withdrawn their participation in ‘POWER TO CHANGE’.

Mr Good also shed additional light as to why the venture had been put back until September. Not only would their advertising campaign have had to compete with the ‘abortion’ debate in the Republic in March, but then apparently in April and May it would have run foul of the likely run-up to a ‘General Election’, in June it would have clashed with the soccer ‘world cup’ in Japan and then of course July and August are the traditional ‘holiday months’. Listening to Mr Good I began to wonder why the Sovereign God of Heaven couldn’t have organised things a bit better for what after all we are assured by Mr Good is going to be ‘the biggest event in the Christian calendar in 2002’.

This reasoning by Mr Good emphasises the belief behind this initiative that the ‘marketing conditions’ must be just right in order to obtain the best possible results. It would appear that the Apostle Paul didn’t really understand evangelisation when he wrote to that young Pastor, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 4:13 “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” or when he wrote in his final epistle [2 Timothy 4:2] before being martyred for the cause of Christ “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season”.

He should really have advised Timothy to check first that the ‘market conditions’ were right before seeking to promote ‘the cause of Christ’. Those in charge of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ obviously believe that the promotion of ‘the message’ of Christ can change lives. They fail to recognise that ‘the message’ itself is the power of God. To them Christ says

“Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” [Matthew 22:29]. In the face of opposition and adverse ‘marketing conditions’ Paul declared “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” [Romans 1:16].

Can I ask how those in charge of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ will feel about people who will die between now and September and who will have been deprived of being challenged about their spiritual well-being because ‘the biggest event in the Christian calendar in 2002’ had to be postponed for six months due to adverse ‘marketing conditions’.

The ‘ecumenical nature’ of this initiative was clearly underscored by Mr Good when he read out the joint message of support issued by the leaders of the ‘four main churches’ – a statement which appeared in the coloured half-page advert in the December issue of the [free] Roman Catholic newspaper called ‘Alive’. The statement reads

‘We are happy to endorse POWER TO CHANGE as a potentially significant North/South Initiative for evangelisation and reconciliation at this critical time in our country and in our world. POWER TO CHANGE will facilitate local congregations to share the Good News with all the people of this island, who all matter to God.

Archbishop Sean Brady – Catholic Archbishop of Armagh Archbishop Robin Eames – C. of I. Archbishop of Armagh Rev Harold Good – President Methodist Church in Ireland Rt. Rev. Dr. Alastair Dunlop – Moderator Presbyterian Church

Another clear ‘ecumenical indicator’ was outlined by Mr Good when he drew attention to the hopes of those organising ‘POWER TO CHANGE’  that the supporters of and participants in the initiative would together ‘clock up’,  One Million Hours of prayer for Ireland’

[As it is listed on their web site].

Clearly prayers offered from whatever source, whether Roman Catholic or otherwise are deemed to be of equal value and can be recorded on ‘prayer postcards’ published by the organisers or can be recorded on the web site.

[The ‘running total’ as I prepare this report is 142 hours].

It has been reported to me by two sources who have heard Stephen Cave of ‘Evangelical Alliance’ strongly advocate church involvement in ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ that Mr Cave has declared that the initiative is not ‘ecumenical’. Well, if this venture is not ‘ecumenical’, then the word has lost all meaning!

Mr Good also confirmed that what he termed ‘smaller churches’ were also involved and sadly from my own perspective, as an Irish Baptist, as I prepare this report, 4 churches belonging to the Association of Irish Baptist Churches are listed amongst the ‘participating churches’ on the web site of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’.

On the page where details of one of these Baptist churches is listed you can also find listed on the same page the following ‘participating church’ details

Parish of the Nativity – Poleglass St Lukes – Twinbrook St Patricks – Lisburn


Can anyone, in all conscience, really declare that this is not ‘ecumenical’?

The participation of Irish Baptist churches is baffling in the light of one of the ‘Stated Aims’ of the Association which is declared to be ‘the fostering of spiritual unity [in distinction from EVERY form of false ecumenism] with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and who are faithful to His gospel’ It would appear that for some, drawing up a Basis of Fellowship is much easier than adhering to it! This whole ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ campaign is being governed by the world’s ‘ways and wisdom’. God’s Word to His people is “Be not conformed to this world” [Romans 12:2]

Dr Lehman Strauss in his ‘Studies in Philippians’ wrote on page 18

‘The beginning of the gospel in Philippi was an insignificant one and one of quiet waiting for the Lord to move. It started on a small scale. There was no planned crusade preceded by an ‘advance man’, no publicity committee, no ‘kick-off’ banquet’ no appeals to the local churches to cooperate. Paul’s ministry in Macedonia was New Testament evangelism at its best.

As he and his little party stepped off the vessel, there was no anxious group waiting to receive him, no transportation arranged to carry him to a hotel. How fine had someone been there to greet him and say ‘We welcome you, Brother Paul, and we are anxious to hear the message God will give through you’. But there was nothing like that. Luke merely states – ‘We were in that city abiding certain days’ [Acts 16:12] That is, they were waiting for the Spirit of God to make possible their first contact for Jesus Christ’.

In God’s Word we actually find that when Paul was in Philippi the only ‘free advertising’ for the ‘cause of Christ’ came from the lips of “a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination…The same followed Paul and us saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God who show unto us the way of salvation” [Acts 16:16-17].

Did Paul immediately think to himself – ‘this is great – widespread free advertising for the cause of Christ and the Power to Change – I’ll go with it and accept it and make use of it even though it’s coming from someone who is a stranger to God’s so great salvation’.

No, we read that “Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.” [Acts 16:18].

Paul did not cooperate with error he confronted it.

Where the proclamation of the life changing message and power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was concerned Paul did not adopt the popular adage of today’s generation that ‘any publicity is good publicity’ and neither should true believers today cave-in to this thinking.

Paul himself reminded the Corinthian believers of his evangelistic start there – “And I brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” [1 Corinthians 2:1-5]

Dr Strauss and the Apostle Paul, like Abel of old, both “being dead yet speaketh” [Hebrews 11:4] and give us true insight on the ‘POWER TO CHANGE’

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 19 January 2002


The claim by some that this initiative is not ‘ecumenical’ is further disproved by the report on page 3 of ‘The Irish Catholic’ of 10 January 2002. Reporter David Quinn in an article entitled ‘Parishes want the Power to Change’ wrote –

‘More than 50 Catholic parishes north and south of the border have so far signed on to the Power to Change evangelisation programme, first reported in The Irish Catholic last year. The programme which will run in tandem with a million pound advertising campaign starting at the beginning of Lent is intended to tell people of the power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to change their lives for the better. [Comment – The purpose of ‘evangelisation’ is to see souls saved from the wrath of God; certainly that is a “change for the better” but is that what Mr Quinn means when he uses this expression – I doubt it].

Individual churches can take advantage of the advertising campaign by running programmes telling people about the core message of the Gospel [Comment – as usual there is reference to ‘the Gospel’ but no actual definition of what it is – certainly where Rome is concerned it will not be justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone on the authority of the Bible alone].

The campaign is multi-denominational [another ‘code-word’ for ‘ecumenical’ as what follows will show] and Power to Change organisers hope 1,000 Catholic Parishes and Protestant congregations will have signed up to it by the time it is underway. According to co-ordinator Paddy Monaghan, 169 Churches of all denominations both North and South have declared a commitment to the campaign and made a contribution to it of £100.

Mr Monaghan told The Irish Catholic that the breakdown was 100 churches in the North and 69 in the South. In the North about “eighty per cent” of churches were Protestant [Comment – to my ear that sounds very like an “ecumenical propaganda coup”] whereas in the south the split was more even.

Mr Monaghan said that the programme has won the enthusiastic support of a number of Catholic Bishops including Killala’s Bishop Thomas Finnegan, Tuam’s Archbishop Michael Neary, Ossory’s Bishop Laurence Forristal and Bishop John Buckley of Cork and Ross. It has won support from senior Protestant clergy including the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Walton Empey. He told Power to Change organisers that “he backed it very strongly”.

Bishop Finnegan wrote to organisers saying Power to Change was “a most imaginative and timely plan [Comment – please bear in mind we’re talking here supposedly about ‘evangelisation’]. Something like this [Comment – remember again it’s supposed to be about ‘telling people about the core message of the Gospel’] is long overdue”. [Comment – if telling people about ‘the core message of the Gospel’ is long overdue what precisely have Bishop Finnegan and his fellow ‘priests’ been telling their people up until now?].

Information evenings have been held to date in every county in the country according to Mr Monaghan. Power to Change has already won the support of the leaders of the four main Churches, namely Dr Sean Brady, the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Robin Eames, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh, Rev Harold Good, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland and Rt Rev Dr Alastair Dunlop, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church.

Mr Monaghan said that the inter-denominational approach of the campaign has attracted a “small amount of opposition” [Comment – now I wonder who these few people are that he has in mind]. Some clerics also wondered at the need for an evangelisation campaign to begin with. [Comment – after all, as far as Rome is concerned people became Christians when they were ‘properly baptised’ so it’s no wonder that her priests in particular would be baffled by this ‘evangelisation’ campaign].

On page 23 of this same issue of The Irish Catholic mention was made of the Inter-Denominational Morning Service on RTE 1 on Sunday 13 January @11.15pm. ‘Presented by Power to Change, a major all-Ireland media campaign, mobilising Christians to share their faith in Jesus with the support of the main Christian Churches in Ireland. [Comment – sounds like more ‘ecumenical propaganda’ to my ‘evangelical ear’]

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 24 January 2002


Cecil Andrews – “Take Heed” Ministries – 13 February 2002

Whilst paying a routine visit to the ‘Power To Change’ web site I was intrigued to note that details of the ‘Registered Churches’ were no longer being listed for the Counties of Northern Ireland. Instead, part of the message posted presumably from the ‘Power to Change’ office located in the accountancy office [hence the heading] headed up by Michael Fitch was –

* Currently over 700 Churches/Parish/Groups have expressed interest in Power to Change * Please Note: We are no longer publishing registered Churches.

What was also intriguing was that the ‘Registered Churches’ are still being published for the Counties of the Republic of Ireland. Their details as at today’s date plus Northern Ireland details as at 12 January 2002 are as follows

County [ROI] – No. of Registered Churches – Running total

  • Cork – 10 – 10
  • Kerry – 3 – 13
  • Waterford – 4 – 17
  • Wexford – 1 – 18
  • Kilkenny – 0 – 18
  • Limerick – 0 – 18
  • Tipperary – 4 – 22
  • Carlow – 3 – 25
  • Clare – 0 – 25
  • Laois – 1 – 26
  • Wicklow – 10 – 36
  • Kildare – 4 – 40
  • Offaly – 2 – 42
  • Galway – 4 – 46
  • Westmeath – 2 -48
  • Dublin – 30 -78
  • Meath – 2 -80
  • Longford – 3 -83
  • Roscommon – 1 -84
  • Mayo – 0 -84
  • Sligo – 2 -86
  • Leitrim -1- 87
  • Cavan – 0 -87
  • Louth – 2 -89
  • Monaghan – 1 -90
  • Donegal – 4 -94

County [NI] Registered as at 12/01/02 Grand running total

  • Antrim – 62 – 156
  • Down – 41 – 197
  • Armagh – 14 – 211
  • Tyrone – 5 – 216
  • Fermanagh – 5 – 221
  • Londonderry – 0 – 221

The actual total [221] of ‘Registered Churches’ is clearly a long way short of the ‘700 Churches/Parish/Groups have expressed interest in Power to Change’ noted on the web site. As to why the details of ‘Registered Churches’ in Northern Ireland are no longer being posted – could it be perhaps that some of those ‘Registered’ as at 12 January 2002 have subsequently withdrawn because they are now fully aware of the ecumenical nature of this initiative and the organisers are keen to hide this embarrassing fact from public gaze?


There is no question that we are living in an age when many words appear to have lost their historic meaning and this is particularly true with words associated with Christianity. Words like ‘Evangelical and ‘Born Again’ are widely used within professing Christendom but vary greatly in their meaning as you move from one group of professing ‘Christians’ to another group of professing ‘Christians’. Genuine Christians should at all times make sure that their use of ‘Christian’ terminology agrees with God’s ‘dictionary’ – the Bible. Likewise in the use of ‘secular’ terminology Christians should also be seen to be scrupulously honest and upright. Paul praised the walk of the Christians in Corinth when he wrote “Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men” [2 Corinthians 3:2] and by this he was citing them as living proof of his apostleship.

In adverts placed in the Belfast Telegraph [2nd & 9th March 2002] details were given of venues where ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ training seminars were being held over the next 18-20 weeks. Part of the wording of the adverts said ‘We are asking each person taking the training to pay £5.00 to cover materials. This includes a workbook and ‘Experience the Power to Change’ book, CD-Rom pack’. There is clearly nothing wrong with advising people of this charge so what is the problem?

The problem for me is as follows. On the front of the box holding the ‘Experience the Power to Change’ book and CD-Rom pack’ is printed ‘Our GIFT to you’ [emphasis mine]. Inside the box is a letter jointly signed by Michael Fitch and Basil Good [both mentioned earlier in my report]. The opening line of this letter reads ‘We are delighted to be able to present you with this GIFT’. Later we read ‘Our desire is to give you a high quality GIFT that you will cherish… May this GIFT help you…’ In closing we read ‘We hope you enjoy your GIFT!’ [Emphasis again mine]. The ‘Collins Gem English Dictionary’ defines the word ‘GIFT’ as ‘a thing given’ – in other words something that is ‘given’ and not purchased. This pack purports to be a ‘GIFT’ from ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ – the reality is that it will only be a gift if it is given by an individual who in the first instance is prepared to pay ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ the sum of £5.00 for something that they are claiming as their ‘GIFT’.

Again on the question of money I would refer back to the RTE broadcast on Sunday 13 January 2002 and highlight afresh the fact that Basil Good was very keen to emphasise that churches would not be asked for money to help fund this campaign. The truth is that this statement has proved to be less than accurate. Let me quote again from the report on page 3 of ‘The Irish Catholic’ of 10 January 2002 – the part that reads – ‘According to co-ordinator Paddy Monaghan, 169 Churches of all denominations both North and South have declared a commitment to the campaign and made a contribution to it of £100’. Why would churches have made this financial contribution? Well, according to a prayer letter issued by ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ that has been quoted to me and that will hopefully arrive with me within the next few days, there is a direct appeal to participating churches to contribute £100.00 [at least]. This report is now in my possession and states under the heading of GIVING ‘We are asking all participating groups, churches, fellowships, parishes to contribute £100 registration. Additional contributions would be welcome. This contradicts what Basil Good stated publicly on television.

A report in the ‘Ulster Christian’ magazine [Issue 42] sets out clearly the reality that money is required and being requested. Michael Fitch is quoted as saying ‘We need to raise £250,000.00 in Northern Ireland to part finance this campaign. We have received some substantial pledges of finance so far, but we are largely dependent on the generosity of the Christian community in Northern Ireland. I would urge Christians to give what they can to support this exciting campaign’.

If the veracity of a project is questionable in minor, temporal areas, what confidence is there when it comes to major, eternal areas? Faithfulness in ‘small’ matters is important where The Lord is concerned for we read in Luke 19:17 “And he said unto him, Well done thou good servant; because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities”. Those organising ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ appear to me to be less than crystal clear in this whole area of ‘finance’ and certainly their campaign does not give them the ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ the meaning of words to enhance their own particular agenda.

Another ‘ECUMENICAL’ confirmation is to be found on the latest ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ report/update under the heading ‘What People Are Saying’ where we read ‘In accord with Pope John Paul 11’s call for a new evangelisation, I support this initiative taking place in Ireland’ Bishop Jim Moriarty – Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 11 MARCH 2002


As you will have read earlier in this report [part 2], two former loyalist paramilitaries, who are now soundly converted, evangelical Christians, were so disturbed and dismayed by the ecumenical make-up of the book produced by ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ that they gave instructions that their testimonies should be removed from the book as they felt that they had been the victims of what they termed as a ‘deception’. The ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ ‘gift’ book that I had to pay £5.00 to obtain [referred to in part 5 of this report] does now omit the testimonies of these 2 men and in their place we have the ‘testimonies’ of local TV presenter Paul Clark and athlete Jonathan Edwards.

The ‘ecumenical credentials’ of both of these men is on public record for all to see. Back in June [16th] 1994 Paul Clark, along with Gloria Hunniford presented UTV’s ‘SUNDAY’ programme which involved the congregations of the parishes of Killtyclogher [Church of Ireland] and Cashel [Roman Catholic]. During the opening phase of the programme Paul Clark was interviewed by Gloria and in relation to the Protestant and Roman Catholic communities Paul Clark said ‘You see these people get on very well with each other, Catholic and Protestant; they live together, they work together 6 days a week and today they’re going to worship together so while the services may start in individual churches the people in Killtyclogher are going to come back into Northern Ireland and they’re going to worship under the same roof at this church [Roman Catholic chapel] in Cashel’

Gloria then made reference to a terrorist atrocity the previous evening and in response Paul Clark said ‘It’s difficult to understand that Catholics and Protestants can be good neighbours and what’s happening here in Cashel [joint worship?] is happening in so many different parts of Northern Ireland – it’s unique in television terms but the fact that Catholic and Protestant can pray together as well as live together is going on around us in this country’.

In response to this Gloria stated ‘So a very positive day all round?’ and in reply Paul Clark said ‘A very positive day and I’m looking forward to it’. Later in the programme after the conclusion of the Roman Catholic mass the consecrated hosts were shown being locked away in the tabernacle and the priest drank the remainder of the consecrated wine. The priest then read a prayer and offered a ‘communion reflection’ and then a hymn was sung as the Church of Ireland people made their way to the Roman Catholic chapel [‘separated brethren’ making their way home to Rome!]. As the Church of Ireland people were walking up to the chapel Paul Clark said ‘In his sermon Canon Ritchie stressed his hope for the future and he emphasised that God makes all things new and among His wonderful works one new people made out of two and here is faith being put into action as Canon Ritchie brings his flock to St Joseph’s’. What a perverse misuse of the Apostle Paul’s teaching on the reconciliation of both Jew and Gentile when they are spiritually united “in Christ” [see Ephesians 2:14-18].

Following the joint prayers and closing praise Paul Clark said ‘And that concludes our morning worship from Killtyclogher in Co. Leitrim and Cashel here in Co. Fermanagh. In many parts of Northern Ireland, Catholics and Protestants are good neighbours and here in this part of Fermanagh they can not only live together but pray together – surely we can learn from this that when God commands us to love our neighbour He doesn’t ask us to be selective – we have much to learn from the people of Cashel’.

I would simply say that God does require His people to be ‘selective’ when it comes to the matter of who they worship and fellowship with – as 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 clearly teaches and it is not biblical ‘love’ to convey to those who are the victims of spiritual deception [in this case devout Roman Catholics] the impression that they are God’s people on their way to heaven. Christian “love” we learn “rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth” [1 Corinthians 13:4&6].

I did write to Paul Clark and asked him if the views he put across in the programme were merely a reflection of the programme editor’s point of view or whether they would also reflect his own personal viewpoint on the matter of joint worship. In reply to me Mr Clark wrote ‘I regard my religious beliefs as my own business’. Just a few months later [11 December 1994] in a non TV situation Mr Clark took part in an ecumenical Carol Service in Belfast Cathedral which featured amongst other participants a Roman Catholic girls choir.

As for Jonathan Edwards he was a willing guest at the closing rally in the Kings Hall in December 2000 for the ecumenical venture known as ‘History Makers’. The leaders of the ‘4 main churches’ including of course Sean Brady head of the Irish Roman Catholic church attended the rally.

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 28th March 2002