I can well believe that my article, on the main page of the current “Burning Bush” — “Child abuse: Stormont ministers set March date for apology” — will arouse bitter opposition, especially since an slightly edited version has appeared as a letter in the ‘Belfast Newsletter’ today, January 24th, even though the Editor of that newspaper saw fit to remove the last, very telling, sentence in my letter.
That sentence read: “They (the clerics and nuns of the Church of Rome) and they alone are to be publicly shamed for the vast majority of the wickedness of this deplorable episode that is but a repeat of what is recognised by historians as the ongoing dark practices of Rome!”
My letter has been published on the same day as the local BBC news site carried the headline, quoting the words of former Chief Constable, Sir George Hamilton: Martin McGuinness acted ‘with integrity’ says former PSNI chief constable. Martin McGuinness was a self-confessed leader of the murdering terrorist organisation, the IRA. Just how one could classify a notorious terrorist as a person of ‘integrity’ defies logic and common gumption!
Yet this is the mind-set of so many people. They live in a world of sentimentality, engendered by the utterly deceitful modern philosophy emanating from the pulpits of the land. The prevailing notion is that to ignore the truth concerning the dreadful acts perpetrated by prominent public figures and embrace saccharine views of their persona, is a wholesome and ‘Christian’ thing to do!
Well documented historical works substantiate the crimes of the Roman Catholic Church against both its people and those it deemed it enemies. The Wikipedia site provides evidence of what I say, underlining the innumerable news reports that have shocked and sickened Roman Catholic and Protestant readers over recent years.
Just how this deeply corrupted organisation can be deemed worthy of respect, never mind ‘Christian’, utterly baffles both Bible-believers and non-believers!
Many will see what I said in my letter as being outrageous and utterly contrary to my professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, a little knowledge of the Bible and of the words of the Saviour recorded in the Gospels will demonstrate that I but speak in the same vein as He did with regards to the sinfulness of the ways of men who masquerade as ‘servants of God.
I would ask my readers to peruse Matthew 23 as given us in the ‘Authorised’ or ‘King James Version’ of the English Bible. There you will see the forthright and unreserved condemnation by the Saviour of the religious ‘humbug’ of his day. It is the same ‘humbug’ that is ‘alive and well’ in modern ‘Christianity’!
Maybe the reader would count the number of times the Lord Jesus directs ‘woes’ against the religious leaders of His day and calls them ‘hypocrites’, ‘blind guides’, ‘fools and blind’, ‘whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness’, ‘full of hypocrisy and iniquity’ and ‘serpents’, ‘ye generation of vipers’.
That is plain speaking on a divine level!
Christ called ‘a spade a spade’, as we are in the habit of saying, and has left us a record of just how we ought to follow His example and not equivocate and prevaricate when dealing with the deceitfulness and fallacious claims of Roman Catholicism.
Rome is, in ‘faith and practice’, what our Reforming forefathers saw it to be!
We have samples of those views in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the old 39 Articles of the Church of England and Ireland and the the Notes of John Wesley on the Bible,.
WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH, Chapter 25, Paragraph 6.
VI. 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 exalteth himself, in the Church. against Christ and all that is called God.
39 ARTICLES OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND AND IRELAND.
XXII. Of Purgatory.
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.
XXXI. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.
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.
THE NOTES OF JOHN WESLEY ON THE BIBLE, the acceptance of which was required of all former Methodist ministers before they could be ordained, tell us in his notes on 2 Thessalonians 2:3, just what was the authoritative view of Methodism on the subject of Popery.
“Unless the falling away – From the pure faith of the gospel, come first.
This began even in the apostolic age. But the man of sin, the son of perdition – Eminently so called, is not come yet. However, in many respects, the Pope has an indisputable claim to those titles. He is, in an emphatical sense, the man of sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled, the son of perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers, destroyed innumerable souls, and will himself perish everlastingly.”
That is how our Protestant forefathers saw the Church of Rome. In the light of all that has happened within its ranks, at home and abroad, who dare say that they were wrong and deny that we would be wise to adopt the same views today rather than clasping this viper to our breast, as advised by the Ecumenical church leaders!!
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
24th January 2022.