Sometimes when we come to write articles for this page, we struggle to believe we are actually at the point where so-called Christianity has reached the point it has.
Sometimes the sheer scale of the ecumenical betrayal of the Bible is so brazen, so outrageous and so clear, one can hardly believe it has happened or is happening.
This is one such occasion, where we are truly shocked that a leading figure in the Church of Ireland has actually formally aligned himself with a Roman Catholic order, the Benedictine monks.
That figure is Rev Henry Hull, the Church of Ireland Dean of County Down and man in charge of Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, which last week also held an ecumenical prayer event alongside Romanists and other Protestant compromisers.
On Friday past, Dean Henry Hull tweeted his delight that he was marking seven years as a Benedictine Oblate.
Dean Henry Hull said: “Marking my 7th anniversary of being a Benedictine oblate and 12th as a Dean praying at Holy Cross Monastery.”
In case, like us, you weren’t previously aware of what an Oblate is, Wikipedia describes them thus: “Oblates are individuals, either laypersons or clergy, normally living in general society, who, while not permanently professed monks or nuns, have individually affiliated themselves with a monastic community of their choice. They make a formal, private promise (annually renewable or for life, depending on the monastery with which they are affiliated) to follow the Rule of the Order in their private life as closely as their individual circumstances and prior commitments permit. Such oblates do not constitute a separate religious order as such, but are considered an extended part of the monastic community.”
So an oblate has made a “formal, private promise” to follow the rule of the order to which they have aligned themselves, in this case of Dean Henry Hull, a Romanist order.
It is a truly remarkable thing for a supposedly Protestant minister to do, to formally join up with an order which promotes Roman Catholic theology and practices.
Roman Catholic theology is completely at odds with Protestant theology, yet here is Dean Henry Hull consciously ignoring these stark differences.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches of purgatory, a fictional holding cell between heaven and hell, as well as the adoration of idols and relics.
The Bible never countenances such a place as purgatory, teaching instead that when we die we go straight to heaven or hell (see the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16) and forbids the worshipping of images (the Second Commandment forbids this – Exodus 20:4-6). However, Rome conveniently omits the Second Commandment to try to fit in their twisted theology.
In addition, Rome teaches of the praying to dead ‘Saints’, despite the Bible teaching we are to pray to Christ alone. 1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.
We will also remind Dean Henry Hull of what the 39 Articles, which are supposed to govern the Church of Ireland, the church whose historical standards he is meant to uphold, have to say.
Article 22 says this: “The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.”
His own church’s rules say that these “Romish Doctrines” are “repugnant to the Word of God”.
Not only that, Rome teaches the blasphemy of the Mass, whereby the priest sacrifices Christ again and again and again every day throughout the world. This is directly defying the Bible, which says in Hebrews 9:24-28: “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
We are told there that Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, yet Rome directly contradicts this.
And we will remind Dean Henry Hull what the 39 Articles which govern his church have to say regarding the Mass.
Article 31 says: “The offering of Christ made once is the perfect redemption, propitiation and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual. There is no other satisfaction for sin but this alone. Consequently, the sacrifices of masses, in which it was commonly said that the priest offered Christ for the living and dead so as to gain remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.”
His own church calls the Roman Catholic teaching of the Mass a “dangerous deceit” and a “blasphemous fable”, yet he chooses to fellowship so closely with a church which to this day teaches and practices such.
Not only is he fellowshipping with this erroneous doctrine, he is expressing his pleasure at doing so on social media.
How can Dean Henry Hull warn his congregation of the dangerous deceits of Roman Catholic doctrine when he is cuddling up with its advocates?
He is like those warned of in Philippians 3:19, “whose glory is in their shame”.
It is a great shame when a preacher leaves off from, or perhaps never started, teaching the Word of God faithfully and proclaiming it regardless of the opposition that might come.
Hosea 4:6-10 highlights this. It says: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings. For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the Lord.”
People and priest alike will be punished, for while the responsibility lies with the priest to proclaim the gospel, the people still have a responsibility to guard themselves, but instead often they are as those indicted in Jeremiah 5:31: “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?”
Let us be joined unto Christ and to his glorious gospel, not a grouping within a church which teaches lies to its adherents, lies which will lead its followers into a lost eternity in hell.
If you are yet unsaved and have not been to Jesus for the cleansing power, won’t you come even today?
No matter how lowly you may consider yourself to be, or how far away from deserving the grace of God you feel, there is salvation for those who repent, just like the publican (or tax collector), who would have been looked down upon in his own society, of whom Jesus spoke.
Luke 18:13 says: “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”
In the very next verse, Jesus declared that such faith, such penitence and brokenness over sin had saved his soul.
He said: “I tell you this man went down to his house justified…”
You, too, can be justified, if you simply repent of your sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your own and personal Saviour.