The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity took up a significant part of ecclesiastical efforts in the mainstream churches of Northern Ireland in the latter stages of January.
Worshippers of various different hues shared in services with the stated aim of promoting unity between those carrying the banner of ‘Christian’.
One might respond to that: ‘Sure, isn’t that great? Would you not want everyone to be united?’ However, these ecumenical meetings are contrary to God’s Word and are rendered as such, in fact, to be anti-Christian.
Services were held in Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Church of Ireland and other churches throughout Ulster.
The theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was “That all may be free”, however, the ecumenists leading these meetings are preaching “another gospel”, and not seeking the Word of God, with the effect of trapping worshippers in the bondage of idolatry. Jesus said in John 8:31-32: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
There is no truth in the “another gospel” of ecumenism.
Given it was a week of prayer, it is surely a valid question to ask to whom were these people praying. The Bible states in 1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” However, the Roman Catholic Church teaches of prayer to Mary and to saints. So a Roman Catholic beside a Protestant in the meeting could be praying to different beings. What confusion!
We will briefly give a rundown of some of the meetings and their principal speakers held across this province during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:
Armagh Church of Ireland Cathedral – Roman Catholic ‘Father’ Kieran McDermott, administrator of St Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Dublin was the speaker.
Shankill Parish Church, Lurgan (Church of Ireland) – Roman Catholic Church layman and former British Ambassador to the Vatican, Francis Campbell.
St Patrick’s RC Chapel, Donaghmore – ‘Rev’ Lesley Carroll, ‘minister’ of Fortwilliam and Macrory Presbyterian Church.
Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Monea (County Fermanagh) – Hosted by ‘Father’ Jimmy McPhillips, guest speaker was Canon David Skuce, Inishmacsaint Parish Church (CoI) and the Bible reading was by Rev Sampson Ajuka, Devenish and Boho Parish Church (CoI).
We know of several others held in various other places throughout the country, including Limavady, Moneyreagh and others, but trust this gives a flavour of what we’re talking about, while also demonstrating how widespread this is.
So-called Protestant churches are selling themselves to Rome, rushing into her arms. One has to wonder why this is?
Part of the reason in ‘peace process’ Northern Ireland is surely a desire to be considered cross-community friendly (ie Protestants and Catholics getting on with each other). Surely the kindest thing we can do with our Roman Catholic neighbours is show them the errors of their church and outline the glory of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
It must also be feared a crucial reason is these people don’t know their Bible.
As is always important, the question must be asked: “What saith the scripture?” (Romans 4:3).
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:11: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
We are further instructed in the book of Jude verse 3 that we “should earnestly contend for the faith”.
Does cosying up with the church of Rome, with its tyrannical gospel of works, exaltation of the Pope, worship of Mary, blasphemy of the Mass, fictitious creation of Purgatory and its deceits and superstitions of relics and idols, count as “earnestly contending for the faith” or is it rather having “fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness”?
We trust it is clear as to which it is.
As for the individual so-called Protestant clergy and churches involved in the services above, it is clear they have disregarded their ordination oaths and the principles to which they signed up when they begin their vocation.
Perhaps of particular interest is the ‘Rev’ Dr Lesley Carroll, a Presbyterian clergy woman (a contradiction in terms, of course). She is holding a position to which she is not entitled for starters (1 Timothy 2:12) but is also an advocate of liberalising abortion law. Abortion is a euphemism for the massacre of the unborn, but this clergy woman wants an “emphasis on choice” for expectant mothers.
Presbyterian ministers, when ordained, are required to sign the Westminster Confession of Faith. In paragraph 25, chapter 6. It states: “There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ; nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the church, against Christ and all that is called God.”
Similarly, the ’39 Articles’ are the governing precepts of the Anglican movement (which includes the Church of Ireland). The 31st of these makes clear its view of the Roman Catholic Church and makes it all the more inexplicable why such close links are forged between the two.
Article 31 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.”
It is our desire that anyone reading this associated with those churches challenge those in leadership and force them to articulate their view clearly and definitively, and ultimately to follow the advice of 2 Corinthians 6:17 to “come out from among them and be ye separate… and touch not the unclean thing”.
Also, if you are associated with any other denomination and hear no voice of condemnation, then lift up your own voice and make sure it is heard loud and clear:
“There can be no peace with Rome until Rome makes peace with God.”