The hypocrisy of Archbishop Eames never ceases to astound. "Much of what I have heard spoken at Drumcree on Sunday [July 9]," he writes in the Irish Times, "is very far from my understanding of the teaching of Christ, let alone the principles of the Church of Ireland." He states his fears that the Church of Ireland may have its name "blackened by those who have shown such rejection of its ethos and teaching".
Who is it in reality who has rejected the teaching of the Church of Ireland? It is Archbishop Eames himself, together with his ecumenical clerics, who are guilty of the very thing of which they accuse others.
They have betrayed the pure Biblical faith of the early Church, founded by St. Patrick on the Rock of Christ and renewed at the Reformation, the principles of which they have renounced in their blind enthusiasm for unity with the Church of Rome.
Now they even want the Pope, whom Protestant Confessions of Faith acknowledge to be the Man of Sin and Antichrist, to be the Head of an ecumenist-inspired universal church; but what do the formularies of the Church of Ireland state about the Church of Rome and its Bishop?
In Paragraph 2 of the Preamble and Declaration to the Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical (1870), the Church of Ireland declares that it
"doth receive and approve The Book of the Articles of Religion, commonly called the Thirty-nine Articles, received and approved by the Archbishops and Bishops and the rest of the Clergy of Ireland in the Synod holden in Dublin, A.D. 1634 […]."
Those Articles of Religion are uncompromising in their rejection of the Church of Rome, which, they proclaim, "hath erred, not only in […] living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith" (Article 19). They reject "the sacrifices of the Masses" as "blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits" (Article 31). They state that the "Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England" [and consequently, by receipt and approval of the Thirty-nine Articles, in Ireland] (Article 37).
When I took this matter up with the Hostmaster of the Church of Ireland Internet site in a forthright attack on what I called his Church's "unashamed hypocrisy", I received a number of typically vague and evasive ecumenical 'answers'. The Hostmaster wrote:
"My understanding is that the Church of Ireland is built on the rock [Rock] of Christ. If it was built on any other foundation – including 'the Reformation' – it is built on sand (see Matt. 7:24 ff.)."
Can you see what is happening here? The Reformation is being portrayed as something which is not necessarily in keeping with the foundations on which the Church of Ireland was built: it is being dissociated from the faith of the primitive Christian Church founded by St. Patrick. This is also confirmed by the Hostmaster's statement:
"I subscribe only to the primacy of Scripture, not the primacy of protestantism [Protestantism]"
– which not only fails to recognise that it was Reformation Protestantism that re-established the primacy of Scripture (sola scriptura) but also appears as an attempt to divorce Reformation Protestantism from its Scriptural foundations.
"We are catholic and we are reformed. But we are also constantly in need of reformation."
In the formularies of the Church of Ireland, as elsewhere, the word 'Catholic' means 'universal' or 'world-wide', while the term 'reformed' is a reference to that Church's declaration of commitment to the doctrines of the Reformation. Hence, in Paragraph 3 of the Preamble and Declaration to the Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical, the Church of Ireland declares itself to be "a Reformed and Protestant Church" which "doth hereby reaffirm its constant witness against all those innovations in doctrine and worship, whereby the Primitive Faith hath been from time to time defaced or overlaid, and which at the Reformation this Church did disown and reject".
What could be plainer? The Church of Ireland declared itself to be a Protestant Church which, like its sister Protestant Churches, at the time of the Reformation disowned and rejected the defacement of the Primitive Faith by the false doctrines of the Church of Rome introduced in the intervening centuries.
Moreover, nowhere in the formularies of the Church of Ireland do we find that it is, as the Hostmaster claims, "constantly in need of reformation": on the contrary, it is committed to continuing "to minister the Doctrine, and Sacraments, and the Discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded" (Preamble and Declaration, Paragraph 2).
Does Christ's doctrine preach a reformation which will enable unity with a Roman Church whose "blasphemous fables" and "dangerous deceits" the Church of Ireland constitutionally rejected? I think not – but read further how ecumenical drivel obscures that very discipline of Christ:
"He told us to love one another, even as he has loved us. He also wished us to be one, as he [He] and the Father are one."
The Bible tells us to love our enemies, not to join them. Would Christ have preached unity with the Church of the Antichrist? Is the embracing of superstitious, changeless and cruel Popery the ethos and teaching of our Lord? No! Christ was speaking here to his disciples, not advocating the abandonment of the Gospel for a mess of secularised ecumenical pottage being pumped out by the present-day leaders of the Church of Ireland. His message was the opposite – to come out from among them and be separate.
Alas! The once proud Church of Ireland with its Theological College, historically so vital to the success of the Reformation in Ireland, has lost its way, and is desperately fleeing into the arms of Rome.
On the Hostmaster's own admission:
"Like it or not, the Church of Ireland is committed to ecumenism. If you think that means betraying some sort of "protestant" [Protestant] roots then that is your privilege. If any member of the Church of Ireland has difficulty with our ecumenism then that is a matter for them and their conscience."
In the 1960's the Church of Ireland prescribed a book called How we differ from Rome for the Church Formularies section of its Higher Voluntary Examinations. Those were days in which that Church, in which my late Father was a minister, still preached an unadulterated Gospel from an unadulterated Bible. Today, in her ecumenical compromise with the Church of Rome which she once so vehemently denounced, and which has remained semper eadem, the Church of Ireland preaches no Gospel of sin and salvation, brings no message of repentance and redemption, offers no hope and no haven beyond the secularised socialism of its ecumenical love-in with the Vatican. Instead of preaching first the need for repentance of sin and spreading God's wonderful message of forgiveness and salvation, the Church of Ireland today is primarily concerned with spreading a social gospel and compromising Gospel truth for good-neighbourliness with the Church of Rome and its semper eadem blasphemies.
The confusion of the Church of Ireland about the fundamentals of its own constitution is evident in the section entitled "Protestant and Catholic" on its own Internet site, where the terms 'Protestant' and 'Catholic' are so distorted from their original meaning in the Preamble and Declaration that they are now described as "not really opposites". Satan, the author of confusion, must be delighted! So must the Pope!