The Naive And The Nefarious
Dr. Ian R.K. Paisley
Our Reformed stand can be defined in this way:
May our Biblical stand be always successful, but whether successful or otherwise, always right.
Those who willingly wash in the incoming tide of ecumenism and consider that while they are the ‘patriotism’ we, who constantly sound the alarm, are to be regarded as being on the level of the ‘nationalism’ in this quote from Aldington’s, ‘The Colonel’s Daughter’, should consider this article.
‘Patriotism is a lively sense of the collective responsibility, Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on its own dunghill’
This article highlights the Roman Catholic Church’s smile at the Church of England’s naivety, and the Church of Rome’s hidden agenda as reported under the headline, ‘The C of E Naivety on Unity’, by one of its own, in a Roman Catholic Newspaper.
Generally we consider the ‘ecumaniacs’ of the Church of England, Church of Ireland and others, to have a misplaced longing to be partners with the ‘Church of a Different Gospel – named ROME’. The Roman Catholic Church itself is contrary to the Word of God and any dalliance with it, must also be contrary to the Word of God and naïve. Frequently, members of ecumenical bodies, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Roman Catholic Archbishops and ARCIC will try to persuade that:
Church of England (in fact the whole Anglican Communion)
+ the Church of Rome
= Jesus’ desire ‘that they may [all] be one’
or another way that:
+ Roman Catholic
= Visible Unity
Protestant Churches (who rely solely on the Bible – sola scriptura)
+ Roman Catholic Dogmas and heresies (seriously contrary to God’s Word)
= effective and a unified witness to the world which will now believe
The result according to Roman Catholic thought is:
Church of England
+ Church of Rome
= Church of Rome
Whereas the result viewed from the Biblical standard
= rebellion toward God, exchanging truth for a lie
= ERROR, with the world just on another wrong path of the broad way
Why should the world be impressed by a group of people who actually hold differing and contrary opinions about God?
UNTRUE UNINTELLIGENT UGSOME UNITY
Can unity be possible, let alone desirable, with something so utterly contrary to God’s word? What would be the purpose in someone, while holding to God’s Word, seeking unity with a body holding to a different gospel? Would this not simply result in the expansion of the ungodly; God is not going to embrace what he has not ordained. When a believer accommodates or compromises with outsiders, he mocks God’s word and nullifies his own belief in others eyes and obeys not the Law.
When unity is claimed between two groups, where one adheres to the Bible and the other to its own inventions, claims, teaching and traditions, it is no unity as far as the gospel is concerned for it is a ‘unity’ at the cost of Truth. After all there can be only true unity in the Truth. The Truth is God’s Word, which He has revealed to us in His infallible Bible.
VISIBLE VARNISH TO A VENOMOUS VENEER, VEILED OR VALID
What we are seeing in this present climate, with the constant use of the phrase ‘visible unity’ is an attempt at just that – visible and in a worldly and physical sense. Not real unity, but rather a wallpapering over the crack that has not been filled. Ecumaniacs would have us believe that they are filling-in this gap with Christ; an outstretched, nail-ripped hand holding out to each side of the crack to protect His honour! By putting Christ there they think people will be convinced of unity in diversity!
From a Biblical standard it is not so much, unity in diversity, but so much diversity as not to be unity!
Often is quoted ‘as Jesus said, "that we may [all] be one"’. This is an abuse of Scripture for John 17:21 states:
‘That they may all be one; as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me.’
It must be remembered that this is a prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning those who will believe through the disciples' message. It may be seen as a rebuke of groundless divisions among the believers but the gulf between the Church of Rome and the Reformed faith is not groundless, but is serious. The fallacy of the current situation is that while ‘that they may [all] be one’ emphasises unity, it is not, as the ecumenists say ‘as a unity to be achieved’, but rather is the unity already given. The numerous and serious differences between the gospel of Rome and the gospel of the Bible clearly is to be regarded as really different. We are not called to be ‘one’ with any individual or group that holds not to the Bible as the standard, for they are not a part of the body of believers. They are not even fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Putting it another way, Biblical unity is indeed apart of our witness but is never given top priority by the Lord. Real Biblical unity comes from putting the truth first, for are we not commanded by the ‘God of truth’ to ‘love the truth’ and ‘call upon Him in truth’ for by abiding in the truth we will be kept safe and shall ‘enter in’ to Heaven.
Such as the Archbishop of Canterbury and others who are displaced to give priority to unity – their pre-occupation with ecumenism is totally flawed and especially in using this text from John as they do. It should be remembered that it was a prayer to God the Father and not a command to us and that it refers to those that have ‘kept Thy Word’ – those who have put truth first and held on to it.
In Luke 12:51,52 does God not bring division when necessary – praise God for the Reformation.
While unity for unity’s sake is more pleasant than separation from those whom we may like, it is nevertheless not the Lord’s way, as this sort of unity is but ‘visible’, that is, superficial, and not based on unity of belief.
The writer of the article, ‘C of E Naivety on Unity’, in ‘The Catholic Times’ highlights quite clearly the naivety of the Archbishop of Canterbury and others. One might add that its leaders are driving the Church of England down a path which the majority of church members would not go, if they were awake.
This Roman Catholic writer says that,
‘those who are not full members of the [Roman] Catholic Church cannot receive Catholic communion, except in extraordinary or life-threatening situations’.
‘Not surprisingly the Anglican denomination feels hurt by this "exclusiveness"’.
‘In the recent House of Bishops document: "The Eucharist: sacrament of unity" a response to "One Bread One Body", the Archbishops of Canterbury and York say that they find the Catholic discipline with regard to Eucharistic hospitality "hurtful and unhelpful"’.
What a pantomime - a masked ball between the leaders of some of the churches and the Church of Rome! They talk about unity as being a good witness, however, it only serves to show how little regard or fear of God’s word they have. The impression is given that our being separated is a mistake, which is exactly what Rome desires everyone to believe. In essence it does indeed highlight the naivety of one and the nefarious agenda of the other.
I am not offended, that I cannot partake in a Roman Catholic communion, as I do not submit that the Roman Catholic communion, is communion; it being clearly contrary to Christ, His teaching, and not only undermines but denies His once for all redemptive sacrifice. They have it at an altar – a place of sacrifice -do they not?
On this basis, to be allowed Roman Catholic communion in an ‘extraordinary or life-threatening situation’ would indeed be extraordinary and the last thing I would want in such a situation. By this, is the Church of Rome saying that their communion has some special power that will be of benefit to a dying person? Are they suggesting that you could be saved from illness or receive salvation by communion?
The Church of England has broad tolerance in the naïve belief that such would keep it together. Evangelicals maintain that the bread and wine are but symbols yet the High Anglicans or rather Anglo-Catholics believe in the ‘real presence’.
SEPARATED FROM OR SEPARATE FROM?
Is the Church of England firmly rooted in the Reformation, its birth fought for by the Reformers or is it that the Church of England was formerly the Roman Catholic Church until the Reformation ‘rebels’ caused a split therefrom? Rome prefers to maintain that the Church of England is separated from Rome, rather than it being a new church separate. This perpetuates the thought that the Church of England is somehow at fault while the Church of Rome ‘visibly in the mind’ appears pure.
That is the naivety of the Church of England hierarchy but what about the naivety of the writer.
Father Francis Marsden considers that when the Church of England traces its origin to the beginnings of Christianity in England and to the Church of the Apostles and Fathers, it is only so continuous via the church of St Augustine, Thomas Beckett and John Fisher through the occupation of the medieval cathedrals churches, titles and dioceses. However, at the Reformation it altered its creed, devotions, sacraments, liturgies and practices. He then cites much about Henry the VIII. This is always the basis of their case. Never mentioned is the martyrdom of the reformers when God brought many countries out of Roman Catholicism into truth and enlightenment.
Because of the mind-set of Roman Catholic leaders, Father Marsden considers that Henry VIII actions are a break from apostolic tradition, a fracture from continuity with the Church of the Apostles and Fathers. Why? Because they cannot understand why any group, unless errant, would want to break from their belief in the Apostolic See of Peter, that is, their claim to be a part of a continuous line (via popes) from Peter.
CONTINUITY – GOD OF THE VATICAN OR THE GOD OF THE BIBLE
However, I would say that the Church of England could trace its origins back to the beginnings of Christianity (rather than Roman Catholicism!) as indeed it was born at the Reformation. There was no Christianity before then, only ‘Churchianity’ of the Roman kind, which, still, is a travesty of the true gospel.
Father Francis is under the misunderstanding that one has to prove continuity. He doesn’t seem to grasp that Almighty God (I don’t mean the pope) can raise-up a people at any time and in any place and who will believe in His word, call upon His name and be obedient to Him. Such do not have to show a lineage but demonstrate that they stand for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is God’s method of continuity, not the Church of Rome. This is Father Francis’ naivety because he sees power only in terms of stemming from the Vatican and that in all matters persons are only saved by the Church, and that being only, the Church of Rome. Yet it is the Bible that has the answer, the power.
CLAIMS AND CREDENTIALS? LET THE BIBLE SPEAK!
In response to the statement that it is not a characteristic of Anglicanism to proclaim its credentials or to make comparisons with other churches, the Church of England simply states that it is a true and apostolic church of Christ - a part of the One Holy [c]atholic and apostolic church. Father Francis may claim this to be a naïve assumption but his view is somewhat askew when he ‘justifyingly’ writes – ‘they are not in communion with any of the world’s great apostolic sees and that mere assertion is not convincing’ – and suggests, ‘May this attitude betray a certain Anglocentricism?’
By this Anglocentricism he infers that we think we must be right because we are English and describes such as being - that old imperial assumption of effortless superiority. He claims that many ‘from beyond and even within these islands see them as but a national Anglophone organisation with branches in the ex-colonies of a now defunct empire’.
Now on which heap is the cock crowing! – the Holy Roman Empire?
It is amazing how this little, insignificant, island named England has influenced the whole world and at a stroke put the pope out of the realm. Perhaps one shouldn’t mention the papal ‘split’ somewhere in the vicinity of Constantinople? That was hardly continuity!
‘The Anglican bishops advocate the "ecumenical method of seeking full visible unity by clearly defined and mutually agreed stages": eucharistic inter-communion; participation of ministers in each other’s eucharistic services; full inter-changeability of ministries as part of full visible [only a visible thing then?] unity.
I would suggest that Anglicanism needs much more radical step-by-step overhaul to be brought back [!] into full church unity.’
Again it is clearly evident that Roman Catholic Church thinking totally relies upon the premise that the Church is in control. Never is theology of the Bible applied. In this writer’s article there has been no support sort, let alone proven from Scripture. There is this constant use of the term visible unity, which implies what - that it is purely visible and that actual unity does not matter? How gracious of them! I wonder whether the Lord minds that His purity is subservient to the church and that His statement is taken radically out of context.
God’s church is always in unity for its oxygen is the Holy Spirit, who himself is never divided or the author of confusion. The Church of Rome is not the arbiter it perceives itself to be - persons are definitely saved without it; those who may be saved within the Church of Rome are saved in spite of it.
Many ecumenical church leaders are working in the misguided realm of the church visible and instead look to see how matters can be effected by market forces and opinions of the world which we are told by Christ, hated Him and so will hate His followers. Surely the Church should stand for what the Bible says and not change to become more attractive to the population. Its task is not be attractive but is to be known for that which God has stated and nothing else. Compromise, while frequently shown to be in man’s vocabulary, certainly is not found in the annals of God.
PASSPORT TO PAPALDOM, NOT TO BIBLICAL UNITY
What is the radical overhaul to which the writer refers concerning the Church of England and by inference to all Protestant churches?
The writer cites twelve points:
The true acceptance of sacred tradition including sacred scripture [the Bible or papal dictats?] as revealed doctrine
The abandonment of the unscriptural, Protestant idea of private interpretation. The acceptance of official Church teaching
That the Anglican Communion openly admits its lack of a central teaching authority. To recognise the Roman magisterium and all 22 general councils of the Church up to Vatican II
Accept confession, confirmation, anointing, holy orders and marriage as full sacraments by Christ’s will
Anglican statements on morality to conform to Roman Catholic doctrine [not the Bible]. The repudiation of divorce [which it willingly annuls if you are rich] Acceptance of prayer for the ancient Christian tradition of prayer for the dead [ancient Christian tradition?]
Abolition of Royal supremacy and rescinding of the 39 articles
The repudiation of erroneous protestant doctrines like justification by faith alone [yet Jesus taught this!] and the puritanical [!!] attitudes towards sacred art, images, icons [and relics? – God’s 2nd Commandment]
Eucharistic transformation - restore the doctrine of the priest mass
Papal jurisdiction, re-ordination of clergy
Having read this, it is nothing but a nefarious agenda to which the ecumenists have been working at for the last forty years and the Church of Rome for the last four-and-a-half centuries.
DO WE AGREE OR NOT AGREE, THAT IS THE QUESTION!
When liberal thinkers and ecumenists tell me that we agree on most things with Rome it is astounding that they can never come up with supportive arguments for their point of view. In light of this list, I remain convinced and I hope that you can now see, that we agree on nothing. We may use hymnbooks and have Bibles but the words are redefined in the rather different dictionary and rulebook of the Church of Rome.
Father Francis writes that Anglican bishops mistakenly believe that the issues of the Reformation and the split from Rome are unimportant and says that are they not beset by the fond illusion that a Tudor-founded national organisation can have the same credentials as the international apostolic Christ-founded Roman Catholic Church.
This is the same Roman Catholic Church, that has altered scripture; Hails Mary at least equal to, if not more than Christ; prays for the dead; prays to saints; worships idols, statues, relics; claims pope has taken place of Christ via some rather corrupt genealogy; has invented purgatory, papal infallibility and teaches that the bread and wine become real aspects of Christ whom they only worship in parts – never the whole Christ; and has invented its own dialogue of double speak - just to name several deviations from Christ’s true church.
In short, if the Church of England could be subsumed into the Roman Church’s labyrinths this would send a serious signal to other protestant churches. Needless to say it is this church that has been the thorn in the side for the Roman Catholic Church and one of its most serious humiliations.
There will never be unity between the Church of England and the Church of Rome unless the Church of England surrenders its charge to Rome and thus becomes defunct.
Everyone needs to consider whether unity with something contrary to the Scripture is what Christ wants. It seems unlikely. The strong delusion is upon many who in their hearts have decided for that which is contrary to God’s Word. It is this treachery that the archbishops of Canterbury and York are engaged in during the present dialogue.
I am reminded of a quote from an essay of Lord Macaulay (1843),
‘She [the Church of Rome] thoroughly understands what no other church has ever understood, how to deal with enthusiasts’
Or perhaps Sir Henry Wooton’s remark is apt,
‘Take heed of thinking, the farther from the Church of Rome the nearer you are to God’.
MERGER IS ANNOUNCED
An apt example of such woolly thinking and brainwashing is often seen in the ‘Alpha News’ (the newspaper of the dodgy, Church of Rome endorsed ‘Alpha Course’ of Holy Trinity Brompton Church, London)
Editions of the ‘Alpha News’ have stated:
‘On Alpha we can set aside our own traditions [!] come together in worship… and develop trusting relationships’ and ‘I did Alpha at Rostrevor and I was in a mixed group of Catholics and Protestants. The atmosphere was wonderful because there weren’t any divisions over doctrine’ and ‘There will be a growing realisation that the faith we have is a common faith and [we] will ask "What are we divided about?".
‘This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth and honoureth me with their lips but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men’ – Matthew 15:6. Their teaching are but rules taught by men. The word of the Lord is flawless and a Christian should correctly handle the word of God ‘to shew thyself approved unto God….rightly dividing the word of truth’. 2 Timothy 2:15