Friday, 10 August 2012

Children-focused Ecumenism

In Portstewart this afternoon (Friday 10th August 2012), a group of young children, The New Irish Youth 2012, held a performance at the band stand at the Crescent.  When I came along, they were singing "Jesus Loves Me."  Initially, I thought this was a CSSM group where children are taught the truths of the Gospel.

But it wasn't.  When I approached one of the leaders, I discovered that this was a children's ecumenical group that was supported by the ecumenical churches, and which sought to teach them that there was no difference between any of them.  These were children from all the churches and none who were being brought together to minimise if not obliterate doctrinal difference those who were from the Christian faith and those who were from liberal Protestant and Roman churches, and from no church background at all.

I explained that the mainline churches in Northern Ireland had tried to pursue ecumenism through the adult members of the church and failed; then they focused on the young people, and again that came to nothing.  Now the ecumenical churches are focusing their attention on the school children, sending their emissaries into the schools to teach them something which is no Gospel at all (Gal.1). 

Did you ever see anything so deceitful as that?  I remember writing an article many years ago to a church magazine highlighting an event that was designed to entrap young people into the ecumenical snare.  I exposed what was happening, and at one of the church's Board meeting, my article was waved about by an irate minister, and younger ministers were warned not to have anything to do with me.

Ecumenists are basically deceitful people; they twist Scripture, taking it out of its context, and make it mean whatever suits their own nefarious purpose best.  People need to be warned about the encroachment of such people, for clearly they do not have the spiritual and eternal well-being of their children at heart.  Their religion is syncretistic, that is, a hodge-podge of religions and religious ideas whether true or false does not matter.  The mixture of liberal Protestantism and Romanism and Nothingism does not make it a Christian event, far from it.

Again, I urge great alertness amongst parents regarding this matter.  These people are deceitful.  And when evangelicals become enmeshed with them, they, too, become deceitful.  I have seen this very thing this week.  Christian people are taken in by high profile 'evangelicals' who are leading many astray. 

Tied in with this, no doubt, is the new political ecumenism that rules Northern Ireland.  This ecumenism amongst vulnerable and impressionable children is what they can and will support.

These are terrible times in which we are living.  Paul told us that this would come to pass.  The 'itching ear brigade' is still with us; and they gather around them teachers who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear (2 Tim.4:3).  They cannot endure sound doctrine.  Truth does not matter.


One of the practices of dysfunctional people, families, communities, churches, nations, etc, is to engage in 'window dressing.'  It is the attempt to paint the best possible picture of a person or a situation.  It ignores the obvious wrongs in that person and situation, and uses all kinds of verbal gymnastics to re-frame the description that you wish to portray or promote.

Take the police as an example.  How they spare no efforts to sell a public service that is just a little bit short of being perfect so that the leadership can be applauded as worthy of honour.  How great are the police we adore!

Or take politics as another.  Politicians employ the best "spin doctors" aka communications directors to demonstrate the great successes their employers have had in the political realm.  The country never was better, the economy is growing, crime is down, young people are getting jobs, and look at our success in the Olympics.  How great are the politicians we adore!

Take a look at the churches too when you're at it.  Was they ever a time in recent history that churches were so pathetic, so apathetic, so unfaithful to the Lord and His saving Gospel!  Listen to church leaders when they give their annual reports - the church is in very good heart, they tell us.  The Gospel is being preached, prayer meetings are being held, new members are being welcomed into church membership, so many baptisms have been carried out, and so on.

But in all these situations, this is mere 'window dressing.'  And who is it that engages in such theatrics?  Dysfunctional people, organisations, societies and churches.  If your church does this kind of thing, then be assured that it is fundamentally dysfunctional.  It is certainly not what it appears to be or claims to be.

What is needed? First, for a deep humility that will lead to honest acknowledgement of sin and disobedience to the Lord's Word.  Without this, there will be no remedy.  In Nehemiah's day (Ch.9), the people, in humility, acknowledged their rebellion against the living God.  Second, true heartfelt confession of sin that brings guilt must follow.  Until we have acknowledged sin, there is nothing to confess.  Third, the church must identify the rubbish that has accumulated and get rid of it - all!  This could be in the form of worldliness masquerading as being contemporary; it might be the receiving into church membership notoriously godless individuals who make a credible profession of faith to elders who may or may not know them; it could even be attitude of mind and heart that our church is better than all the others; or it could be the "what's in it for me" mindset where members take everything they can get from the church and more, yet contribute nothing to it.  This must be removed because the channels for receiving blessing from the Lord are obviously being cluttered up.

Fourth, there must be deep heartfelt repentance that breaks every stubborn and wilful heart.  Repentance includes, at least, a turning away from that which has been acknowledged as wrong and sinful.  It is also a turning to the gracious Lord Who has been so patient with you.  The church, as church, is not above divine judgement, a fact that is often forgotten by the window dressing church leaders.  Churches that have compromised themselves with theological liberalism must also repent of this sin; but they must not stop short at repentance - that would be too easy and utterly ineffective.  They must then put into action those actions that are necessary to rid the churches of such a poison.  Also, they must remove from their congregations every semblance of commitment to unbiblical ecumenism.  Alas, this very kind of ecumenism is being actively promoted by evangelicals who are held in high esteem by the gullible.  The church must distance themselves from every hint of these and all other varieties of worldliness.

Then, fifthly, and finally, there must be renewed commitment to biblical, as opposed to merely confessional, Christianity; if there is to be confessional religion, that confession must reflect accurately the teaching of the Word of God.  Perhaps this might well call for a covenant renewal of dedication to the Lord and His work - which is by definition wider than commitment to any denominational work.  A new commitment to Christ and His Gospel will be in order.

But be assured of this.  Those churches that engage in window dressing will not do any of these things, because they that are righteous have no need of a physician.  Something to think about, eh?

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Northern Ireland Heading Fast Towards Becoming A Police State

A short video was shown recently at a meeting I attended and which depicted how the state forces in China - army and police - were used to round up Christians and subject them to the most cruel ill-treatment imaginable.  Churches were closed down - except those who were licensed by the godless state; they were allowed to operate.  But Christian churches are not tolerated.

Why or how was it possible that police officers implemented those laws that authorised the persecution of Christians?  For this reason: police believe that "The Law is King."  Not God, not Christ, not Scripture - the LAW.  And whatever the law says must and will be implemented by the police, no matter what.  They are, after all, the law enforcement agencies of state.  Their role and task is to ensure that what the majority of people say the law is to be (through their elected politicians), is what they will enforce.

So when the majority of people in NI and also in the UK as a whole say it is better for society that we do not have these troublesome churches and Christians who stand up and say that sodomy, and all its cognates, is wrong, then they will have to be removed from society. 

I attended the inter-denominational Christian service of witness outside Belfast City Hall on Saturday 4th August 2012, and with the thousands who attended and participated in the display of sodomy, the few dozen Christian witnesses were focused on by the police because we were regarded as the most likely trouble-makers and disturbers of the peace. 

I witnessed the same as a participant in a march of the victims of terrorism in Londonderry a few years ago, and the police videoed our every movement, building up evidence upon which to level charges against us, if necessary.  I had the privilege of addressing a huge crowd in Trafalgar Square, London, a few years ago, and every move and speech was videoed by police.  When similar marches were held in Spain, and I participated in at least two of them, the police assisted and facilitated our march. We were not regarded as suspects who might cause a breach of the peace, but were honoured for our stand against terrorism.

Because the police do not seem to be able to think for themselves and simply take whatever the politicians throw at them, the day is not far away when men and women of that mindset will be instrumental in persecuting Christian here in Northern Ireland.  What will Christian police officers do when they are asked to act against their fellow believers?  What will be their response when they are commanded by a godless commander to arrest Gospel preachers?  Will they obey their orders?  Or will they have the Christian grace and courage to disobey orders, and face the consequences for such courageous action?

That will test the best of them, will it not?  The men who are Christians first and foremost, and then policemen, will know what their Christian duty is; but those who are policemen first and Christians second, will lead the charge against their fellow believers, and give as their authority Ephesians 6:5-9.

This is not only a Christian and spiritual issue, it is also a moral issue.  A thing may be legal and also immoral at the same time.  I have seen how the law was used to act immorally against a Christian.  The police are masters at using the law irrespective of the moral issues involved in enforcing it. 

Christians in the UK and elsewhere must become increasingly alert to what the authorities are doing and might even do in the future.  Do not let your guard down, whatever the cost; and it could cost you a great deal, even your life, a reality that faces us here in Northern Ireland.

Police Chief Matt Baggot's Dangerous Ecumenism

Professing evangelicals who hold very high office in Northern Ireland are at the forefront of promoting a form of ecumenism that is utterly offensive to Christian people as well as flying in the face of the teaching of Scripture.

It was somewhat disconcerting to hear Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Matt Baggot, advocating very strongly the getting together of 'faith communities' and describing this as the work of God.

Mr Baggot, an Englishman who said he knew nothing about Northern Ireland prior to his appointment as Chief Constable (this was evidenced by his not knowing the correct name of our second city, Londonderry), spoke about the need to go to the people we don't necessarily like, and cited the example of Jesus as his authority for saying so.

This is yet another example of how Scripture can be made to say whatever we want it to say, Louis Carroll style ("a word means what I want it to men, no more and no less").  When Jesus approached the outcasts of society, including outcasts from religious society, it was usually with a view to winning them to Himself.  He never went to them merely to be friends with them and to say that what they have done and how they lived was OK.  His purpose was always redemptive; He sought to forgive them the moment they repented of their sins.  He worked towards getting them, as sinners, to repent of their sins so that they could know the experience of forgiveness.

Jesus was not blinded or mesmerised by those who were deemed to be important people in His day, nor was He taken in by their smooth, sugared, words.  He did not commit Himself to them because He knew what was in man (Jn.2:25).  Jesus was not into taking people at face value because He was not a superficial Person.  He was not a 'back slapper.'

However, we like to be seen with the 'big men' of society, with the important people, with those who may be able to advance our careers a bit.  In fact, Jesus was most critical of those who claimed to be 'religious' and yet who were taking the people away from God and His way.

Mr Baggot celebrated the coming together of 'faith communities,' a term that he studiously avoided defining.  But by this I believe he means the coming together spiritually of evangelicals, liberal protestants, Roman Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, and anything else that calls itself 'religious.'  He is promoting unbiblical ecumenism of a most nauseating kind.  He is advocating evangelical and reformed Christians working together as spiritual equals with those who not only do not believe the Christian faith, but actually by their religion, deny it.

Mr Baggot contends that the Lord is bringing people together, from 'faith communities' as he calls them.  He blames the Lord for doing what he condemned the people in the OT for doing - introducing syncretism into the Hebrew religion.  The Chief is working hard to create a 'melting pot' religion that he thinks is of the Lord.

To do this, of course, one needs to disregard the teaching of the Scriptures, to use the Bible selectively, but to throw in the odd 'evangelical text' so that unsuspecting evangelicals can be reeled in by this bait.  If the true Christian faith is confined and limited to those who have been justified by faith in Christ alone; and if only the forgiven belong to Christ, how is it that a professing Christian man can say in effect that both Jesus and Paul and Peter got it all wrong and that now because of our superior twenty-first century knowledge, we know better than they did?

This is sheer arrogance of the worst kind.  And it demonstrates how liberalism's methodology has infiltrated the Christan Church and also those para-church organisations that have traditionally stood for evangelical truth.  Those who mix biblical religion with religion of the ecumenical kind are set to take themselves and those who follow them on a road that leads to hell and eternal destruction.

What makes this so much the more disturbing is the fact it is as a professing evangelical that he is doing this.  And because of his position within Northern Ireland society, evangelicals are being deceived by what he is saying; not a few Christians whom I would have regarded as sound men spoke very highly of the Chief Constable's remarks.

But what he is doing is precisely what the liberal and ecumenical churchmen of the mainline denominations in Ulster have been doing for many decades, with the effect of virtually silencing the Gospel of Christ in many congregations.  This is the ecumenism that gets the applause of most people, but not of God.  It shows an utter lack of discernment and discrimination, something that is not true of the Lord.  While Matt Baggot is made very welcome in many churches and para-church organisations, liberal ecumenical churchmen from the apostate churches would never be invited to speak in those same churches or Christian organisations.

In no way am I saying that he is not as Christian, far from it.  But what I am saying is that Christians need to be very careful when high profile people who claim to be evangelicals talk about going down a road that many of them would ever trod in a month of Sundays.

I must say, I found his words most insulting and hurtful both as a Christian and as a victim of terrorism.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Betrayal from the Inside.

The book of Nehemiah teaches us that as well as opposition to the work AND WORKER of God emanating from external sources, it often comes also from the inside, from within the organisation or church where the servant of Christ labours.  We expect the external threats and attacks, but we should not be ignorant of similar and often more vicuous attacks coming from within the Lord's professing church.  The Psalmist speaks of this, our Lord Jesus Christ experienced it, and His servants down the years also know what such betrayal from the inside is like.

My own familiar friend with whom I supper lifted up his hand against me.  He was a member of the external family of God, I worked with him, trusted him, enjoyed his company; but when the time was right, opportune, he moved against me and betrayed me.

What makes it worse is when the betrayer admits that that is precisely what he has done!  And calls in a witness to confirm that that is what he had done. 

When Nehemiah's enemies failed to bring the world of God to a standstill, the people of God, Judah, tried a different tactic, called the antagonists to the house of God and sought a peace agreement.  Thank God Nehemiah did not concede to such a devilish ploy, for that would have ruined the work of God.

How is it that churchmen are always keen to enter into peace terms with the avowed enemies of the Gospel, just because they are churchmen?  Why is it that they refuse to be Gospel-men when church issues arise?  When the very existence of the Gospel in a congregation is at stake, they refuse to be Gospel men, but descend into becoming again churchmen.

Gospel ministers need to be extremely alert as to what is really going on within their congregations.  This is difficult but a close walk with God will mean that God will share His secrets with His servants.  He will give them the discernment to know and identify what is afoot.  His colleagues will accuse him of all kinds of things, such as, being a conspiracy theorist, or being paranoid, of being psychologically unstable.  The rumour-mongerers will be at work all the time, trying to discredit the servant of Christ.

God will fight for them, and they will witness strange things happening amongst the enemies.  But GOD WILL WIN because GOD MUST WIN.

Monday, 6 August 2012

The Offensive Belfast Gay Pride March

The capital city of Northern Ireland was once again entertained to the grossly insulting spectacle of gay pride taking over the central thoroughfares of the city.  Not that this freedom of assembly and of expression is wrong in itself, but is rather something that is to be protected whether we agree with it or not.

However, the fact that this offensive and immoral parade was funded by the state and its agencies was disappointing to say the least.  Our government, local and regional, in Northern Ireland have given its sanction to sodomy; on top of that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has also in the past given funding to support such disgraceful behaviour, behaviour that is offensive to Almighty God and to His people.

Yet, this public display of sodomy did not go off unchallenged because an interdenominational groups of believers held a service of witness and evangelism at the from of the City Hall gates when six men preached the Word.  Of the six, it was great to hear a message from one preacher for all those who watched and/or supported the Gay Pride march, telling them that God loved them and wanted to save them.  The other speakers had a message only for those who were His people, and no one else.  It seems to me that the vast majority of those at the parade were not God's people, so the message as presented had no relevance whatever to them.  Christ was not interested in them at all; He was only interested in His people.

Yet the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for all the world because the Saviour Whom it preaches is the Saviour of the world.  He is "the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world," (Jn.1:29).  It was no less than the world that "God so loved," sending "His only begotten Son what whoever believed in Him should not perish but have eternal life," (Jn.3:16).  The God of the Christian Gospel - there is no other Gospel (Gal.1:6,7) is the God who is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance, (2 Pet.3:9).  This is the God and this is the salvation that all mankind needs; and how thrilling it is to hear a Gospel being preached that is big enough to embrace the whole world with a message of salvation that is sufficient to save it.

Thank God for that preacher and thank God for such a wonderful message.