Isaiah 29:13: “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men”.
Every year in the latter part of January, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes centre stage in many of the ecumenical churches, and 2019 was no different.
Indeed, it was the subject of one of the first posts mounted on this page last year and, sadly, once again this year we have the sad duty of documenting the wretched compromise carried out in the name of ‘unity’ in many of the churches up and down our land.
We are aware of at least eight ecumenical events which took place in Northern Ireland throughout the week, though it is more than likely there were more.
We would certainly encourage any readers who were aware of other events to get in contact with us to allow this compromise to be brought to a larger audience.
The towns (and cities) throughout our land of which we are aware holding such services are Coleraine (County Londonderry), Ballycastle, Belfast (County Antrim), Dungannon (County Tyrone), Lurgan, Armagh (County Armagh), Enniskillen (County Fermanagh) and Bangor (County Down).
That means in every county of our country there was so-called Protestant clerics either speaking at or promoting religious mingling with the errors and deceits of Rome.
This demonstrates how widespread the religious deception and delusion is in our country.
And part of that deception is caused by those who give some sort of an impression to others that they hold to a more traditional and orthodox view and theology.
This is where a great deal of spiritual discernment is needed and must be sought by Christians.
There is an old saying that ‘if you get a name for rising early you can lie all day’ and that appears to be the case with many church leaders in our country.
Too many today seem to think the acid test of orthodoxy is simply saying you are opposed to abortion and same sex marriage, but holding to those views simply means you are not a complete reprobate on moral matters.
Religious purity ought to be a precious commodity sought diligently by all who claim the name of Christ.
However, this is not valued by a significant percentage of today’s church.
And one such man who has somehow managed to carve out a reputation of being an ‘evangelical’ is the Church of Ireland Bishop of Down and Dromore, Harold Miller (pictured, top), who was the preacher at one such Week of Prayer for Christian Unity event last week.
In days of yore the term evangelical may have meant more but in recent decades that term has been hijacked by many clerical compromisers seeking a greater level of orthodoxy being attributed to them.
The late Rev Ian Paisley talked about evangelicals ‘with the emphasis on the jelly’ and certainly we can see the term evangelical being distorted and corrupted by many who adopt that banner.
Indeed, Bishop Harold Miller was one of two Anglican bishops from Ireland who attended the much vaunted GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference), a supposedly conservative Anglican gathering concerned with the worst excesses of the foul departure from God practiced by much of the global Anglican movement.
Were someone such a conservative, they would be much better separating from the Anglican church, which is the Biblical approach.
One must only look at the example of Paul when he was in Corinth to see how separation is a proper response to those who refuse to follow God’s Word.
Acts 19:8-9: “And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.”
When there were those who spake evil of the gospel and denied and rejected it, and indeed slandered its proponents and adherents, Paul separated and brought the faithful followers of Jesus with him.
He didn’t tell them to stay in the synagogue and try to win round those who refused to obey God, he brought them out and they formed their own church in Corinth.
And indeed it was to the church in Corinth that Paul, under the inspiration of God, penned those famous words in 2 Corinthians 6:17: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate…”
Yet this ‘conservative’, ‘evangelical’ Bishop Harold Miller remains in the Church of Ireland in his very prominent, and no doubt rather generously remunerated role.
And last Sunday, 20 January, Bishop Harold Miller was the preacher at a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service in First Presbyterian Church in Bangor.
The event was advertised in the Bangor Roman Catholic parish bulletin and clearly demonstrates the ecumenical nature of the meeting.
How does Bishop Harold Miller square his supposed evangelical credentials with ecumenical compromise with Rome?
Why does Bishop Harold Miller choose to align himself with an event with a stated aim of unity with Rome?
What does Bishop Harold Miller think of the 39 Articles he is supposed to stand for as a minister of the Church of Ireland? Does he believe them? Or has he rejected them?
It would certainly appear he has indeed rejected them.
Article 11, relating to the justification of man, says this: “We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings.”
Rome outright denies this, proclaiming its anathema, or curse, on any who holds to the Biblical doctrine of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone.
So why is Bishop Harold Miller promoting unity with Rome? Does he believe man can be justified by works? The Bible makes clear that is resolutely not the case.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says: “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.”
Bishop Harold Miller would also do well to reread Article 31, which states: “The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone.
“Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.”
So Bishop Harold Miller, who is supposed to adhere to the 39 Articles of his faith, is rejecting that very church’s teachings in relation to the central act of worship in the Roman Catholic Church.
Why does Bishop Harold Miller want to promote unity with those who teach “blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits”? And if Bishop Harold Miller doesn’t believe the 39 Articles, then why is he holding such high episcopal office, or indeed any episcopal office?
Dear reader, don’t just take what spiritual leaders say for granted, but rather follow the Biblical model and test out these characters before deciding whether they are worthy of taking heed of.
1 John 4:1 says: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”