2 John 1:9-11: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
The Church of Ireland’s Rural Dean of South Belfast has proudly helped lead further ecumenical compromise in our country by congratulating a Roman Catholic Church on reaching its 90th anniversary.
He was in attendance at what appears to have been part of a Novena to mark the 90th birthday of the church.
A Novena, as we previously highlighted in a post about arch-ecumenist Archdeacon Stephen McBride of Antrim Church of Ireland, is a Roman Catholic ritual and, according to the ‘Pray More Novenas’ website, “a Novena is made up of nine days of prayer and meditation, usually to ask God for special prayer requests or petitions. Novenas are often used to ask specific saints to pray for us.”
So it is an event where “often” there is the invocation of saints, despite the Scriptures clearly stating we approach God through none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.
Even if it wasn’t a Novena and instead an ordinary service, it was an act of grave compromise and disobedience to God.
Rev Kevin Graham (pictured, second left of the above photograph with numerous priests) “brought greetings” from St John the Evangelist Parish Church, Malone in Belfast to the Roman Catholic parish of St John the Evangelist on the republican Falls Road.
While the service was described as taking the form of “sung Vespers” by the Church of Ireland’s Diocese of Connor on their website, a Roman Catholic lady involved heavily with St John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church features the same photograph on her Twitter page of Rev Kevin Graham with a host of Romanist clerics as the Church of Ireland website does.
She features it below her own comment that it was taken at the “sixth day of the Thanksgiving Novena”. Following an enquiry from another Twitter user, she confirmed the photograph was taken after the prayer at the Novena.
All this certainly would lead you to have the impression that Rev Kevin Graham took part in or at least was present at the Novena. There would appear to be no reason why the Roman Catholic lady, who appears to be Italian, Maria Rosa Logozzo, should tell a lie.
If, as would seem likely, her account is accurate, it certainly poses questions for the Diocese of Connor as to why they failed to disclose the fact their South Belfast Rural Dean was attending a Novena.
Not only did Rev Kevin Graham attend the event, he brought along with him “some parishioners from Malone”.
This is very much an occasion where the words of Jesus in Matthew 15:14 are appropriate. It says: “…they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
While it may be considered neighbourly, not that the two areas are even especially close to each other within Belfast, to send well wishes to another church, this is a great misconception.
As we said in our Scripture quotation at the top, we are warned not to receive or wish God speed to those who abide not in the doctrine of Christ.
The Roman Catholic Church quite simply cannot be considered to be abiding in the doctrine of Christ.
There is a great number of reasons for that, from prayer to saints and Mary to the blasphemous titles ascribed to the Pope; from the falsehood of Purgatory to the proliferation of relics and idols.
But, very simply, the main reason is because Rome teaches that faith alone in Christ alone is not sufficient for salvation.
That is the crux of the good news of the gospel, but Rome takes that away and instead inserts a system of sacramental merit, whereby one must be baptised, confirmed, etc in the Roman Catholic Church.
They say it is down to good works and devotion to the church and pronounce their anathema, or curse, on any who holds to another view.
Yet repeatedly we see those who would claim to be Christian constantly liaising with Rome, worshipping with Rome and, in this case in Belfast, also sending their best wishes to Rome.
It is truly incredible that anyone who would claim to be a believer would seek the success of a church which actively contradicts the gospel message, thus putting the souls of its adherents on the road to ruin.
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Titus 3:5-7 says: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
We have no goodness of ourselves, our salvation comes through Christ alone in His mercy towards us.
We are utterly unworthy of any of His goodness towards us, our best efforts are as filthy rags.
Isaiah 64:6 says: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Our hearts are devoid of goodness until Christ comes to us with His offer of His free grace. It is not our own merit which causes God to save us.
However, the Roman Catholic Church teaches our salvation comes by our acts of righteousness, but all they are doing is telling their followers to build up a pile of filthy rags to present to God come judgment day.
What a frightful judgment awaits those who are in such a position.
And what a frightful judgment is in store for those, especially ministers, who fail to warn the people of this impending judgment.
Ezekiel 33:6 says: “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.”
A watchman, or minister, ought to sound the alarm when danger is coming.
What greater danger is there than a lost eternity in hell? Yet so many ministers never warn of the impending judgment for sin, and how bloodguilty will they be.
Dear reader, if you are as yet unsaved, won’t you turn away from your sin, repent to Christ and, if you do that, He will save you.
Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”