There is a well known phrase that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”.
And this appears to be the general mindset adopted by a lot of the forces operating in opposition to abortion and other moral and social issues in Northern Ireland.
Many so-called Protestants are coalescing with the Roman Catholic Church these days as they, laudably, share an opposition to the murder of the unborn, euphemistically referred to as abortion.
Now, whether or not those Protestants who engage in this would consider the Roman Catholic Church to be their enemy is up for debate and, indeed highly improbable, but the general principle still stands.
And this can be seen very clearly at the Evangelical Alliance, with further demonstration of this errant approach given by its Public Policy representative, David Smyth.
This he did by addressing a conference organised by the Iona Institute NI, a Romanist organisation.
While it calls itself a Christian think tank, it is clearly a Roman Catholic dominated organisation at best.
The Iona Institute was originally formed in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Republic of Ireland and launched a Northern Ireland branch in 2016.
At its first conference in 2017, the keynote speaker was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin.
Other speakers at the event, held in a Roman Catholic parish hall in Belfast, included Nuala O’Loan and Alban Maginness, both well known former public representatives who are also known for their devotion to the Roman Catholic faith.
The subject of Eamon Martin’s speech was about how he expects the position of the Roman Catholic Church to be respected and “encouraged Catholics to meet like minded Christians more often to share their values”.
Ecumenical dialogue, in other words.
His comments, in their nature, were addressed entirely to a Roman Catholic audience and a report from the Irish Times from March 2017 calls the Iona Institute a “Catholic advocacy group”.
An excerpt of the report is as follows: “Archbishop Eamon Martin has told the inaugural conference of the Iona Institute Northern Ireland that the Catholic Church has no desire to create a theocracy in Ireland, but wants respect for its beliefs and values.
The Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland was the keynote speaker at the event in south Belfast, which was organised by the Catholic advocacy group to explore “faith in the public square”.
Delegates at the event in St Brigid’s Parish Hall also heard from former Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan and former SDLP MLA Alban Maginness, among others.
The archbishop told attendees the Catholic Church expected that “in a true pluralist democracy or republic, religion and faith will continue to have an important part to play in the national conversation”.
He acknowledged the Catholic Church’s “child abuse scandals and other shameful episodes” in the past.
He encouraged Catholics to meet like-minded Christians more often to share their values and contribute to discussions.”
This is a Roman Catholic focused group, with one of the church’s most senior figures encouraging them to engage in ecumenical activity.
And David Smyth and the Evangelical Alliance have been only too happy to help fulfil the wishes of this most senior emissary of Papal deceit.
The event was held in the Wellington Park Hotel in Belfast on Saturday past, 30 March and was advertised in Roman Catholic parish bulletins and featured prominently in the Irish News.
Its Northern Irish spokesperson is a Roman Catholic called Tracy Harkin.
And Tracy Harkin is an Irish republican who will contest next month’s local council election for a new all-Ireland political party called Aontu, led by a former Sinn Fein member of the Republic of Ireland’s parliament called Peadar Toibin.
Toibin left Sinn Fein due to his opposition to abortion and this policy is a key driver behind his new party.
However, while Toibin appears to be concerned about murdering the unborn, and rightfully so, by having ever been a member of Sinn Fein he shows his utter disdain and disregard for those innocent victims of terrorism perpetrated by the IRA, whose actions Sinn Fein continue to celebrate to this day.
And Tracy Harkin will be standing for this man’s party, which has a stated aim of promoting a united Ireland.
There certainly doesn’t seem to be much by the way of Protestantism about the Iona Institute and the Archbishop of Armagh certainly seems to think it is a Roman Catholic organisation.
All this makes it all the more disappointing that the Evangelical Alliance and one of its most senior representatives at that, should wish to engage with an organisation representing blasphemous beliefs.
These include the practising of the Mass, where Christ is sacrificed again and again throughout the centuries across the world, the idolatrous worship of Mary and veneration of statues, the deceit of Purgatory and the denial of the precious Biblical doctrine of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone.
Just because we may agree with Roman Catholics on the subject of abortion, there are, or certainly ought to be, vast chasms in what we believe on so many fundamentals of the faith.
And while it may seem to some to be a practical approach to forge links with a church on a matter on which you agree, in the light of Scripture it is shown to be an errant attitude to take.
One must only look at the example of the good king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, foolishly linking with the evil king of Israel, Ahab.
2 Chronicles 18:1-3 says: “Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab. And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramoth-gilead. And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.”
Jehoshaphat focused on the commonality between him and Ahab.
Their kingdoms were born from the division of one kingdom, the peoples they ruled were all the children of Jacob.
However, they were vastly different, as we are told that Jehoshaphat was faithful to God.
2 Chronicles 17:3-4, 6 says: “And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.”
Ahab, meanwhile, was an extremely, notably wicked man.
1 Kings 16:30-33 says: “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.”
While Jehoshaphat was taking away the high places and groves used for idolatrous worship, Ahab was busy setting them up.
Yet for some reason Jehoshaphat considered it a good idea to form an alliance with this evil man.
After his ecumenical foray, Jehoshaphat was told he had kindled God’s anger.
2 Chronicles 19:2 says: “And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.”
Despite warnings such as this (you can also refer to Zerubbabel and Jeshua fending off such an advance in Ezra 3), there are many who plough on regardless, walking hand in hand with Rome.
This is what the Evangelical Alliance is doing as they seek to find common cause with Rome.
Unlike the famous adage adopted by the Jesuits, who one of the Evangelical Alliance’s members, Alain Emerson of Emmanuel Church, is a big fan of, the ends do not justify the means.
Of course, this is not the first time David Smyth or the Evangelical Alliance has mingled seed with the corruption of Rome.
When it was announced that Pope Francis, the man who blasphemously calls himself God’s representative on earth, despite that being the role of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18; John 16:7-11), was planning to visit Ireland, David Smyth said he wanted to extend “a warm and sincere welcome to the Pope”.
He also said he hoped such a “warm and sincere welcome” would be shown “by the whole community”.
Leaving aside the fact that true Christians should not be glad handing the representatives of a system which has condemned untold millions to hell, did David Smyth include the countless numbers who have been abused by Romanist priests as part of “the whole community”? Should they welcome the man at the head of the system which harboured their abusers?
David Smyth went on to say that “sometimes we can be concerned that by showing warmth or generosity that that can be misunderstood as endorsing everything someone stands for”.
This is very much a fig leaf to cover the nakedness of his betrayal of the Bible.
It says in Ephesians 5:11: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them”.
David Smyth continued his overture to “that man of sin, and son of perdition”, by saying “maybe we need to be bolder in our welcome”.
So not only was he keen to be offering a “warm and sincere” welcome to the Pope, he was keen to be bold about it and do it in a very overt and obvious way.
Such boldness in welcoming sin is not found in the Bible.
The boldness we find is in preaching the word of God and sharing the precious gospel of Jesus Christ which the Pope denies and pronounces his curse upon any who believe it.
Ephesians 6:19-20 says: “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
1 Thessalonians 2:2-5 says: “But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness”.
We are also to be bold, if we are saved, in our approach to God in prayer.
Hebrews 4:16 says: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 10:16-20 says: “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh”.
There is the true boldness we are to have to put our prayers and petitions before God, not to be bold in welcoming warmly a man who denies the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Even those verses above rip apart the teachings of Rome, speaking of how God will no longer remember our sins, He won’t make us go through Purgatory, He won’t require us to do penance, He doesn’t want us to offer up a sacrifice of His precious Son again and again.
Yet the Evangelical Alliance and David Smyth want to warmly welcome a man who engages in such wickedness.
And the Evangelical Alliance and David Smyth want to join hands with a Romanist organisation like the Iona Institute and walk hand in hand with an Irish republican who wants to bring us under the rule of those who hate true Christianity.
Dear reader, please separate yourself from this organisation, please separate yourself from any churches involved in the Evangelical Alliance or indeed any who would have any fellowship with the Iona Institute.
Make it clear that this betrayal of true Christianity and true Protestantism will not be carried out in your name.
Hebrews 13:13: “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”