Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Marriage Again

Keep Marriage as it is.  That's the basic message of this short video on marriage.  Click here to watch it.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

No Place Like Rome?

With the process going on to elect a new pope, it is highly advantageous in this ecumenical age to inform ourselves of just how far Rome is from the Christian Church.  This is a man-made religion that has no warrant in the Scriptures, and as the years go by, the deeper her iniquity becomes.

Read these lines again, as supplied by Dr Alan C Clifford, Minister of Norwich Reformed Church.

Alan C. Clifford

Avoiding Rome’s predictable lies and her inevitable ecumenical deception in the run-up to this event,
we unashamedly issue the following statement:

1. The Pope’s religion is not the Christianity of Jesus Christ.
2. The Pope’s church is not the true Church of Jesus Christ.
So, since the Pope may be identified as ‘antichrist’ (as many Continental and British theologians have cogently argued in past centuries), conversion to the Roman Catholic Church is a retrograde and tragic step. While the apostate condition of many Protestant Churches (including the ‘feminized’ and ‘sodomized’ Church of England) gives sufficient cause for disillusionment, the Roman option cannot provide a safe or satisfying spiritual home. As affirmed in the doctrinal declaration Dominus Iesus (2000), Rome claimed to be the only ‘correct’ church. In a more recent decree (2007), we are told that ‘Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century’ cannot be ‘called Churches in the proper sense’. However, Rome’s claim could not be more invalid. The proof is as follows:

I The doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church are utterly inconsistent with the plain teaching of the New Testament. The finality of Christ’s unique sacrifice and His priestly intercession (see Hebrews 9: 28; 10: 11-12) rule out the sacrifice of the mass and a human priesthood. The theory of transubstantiation is an absurd philosophical fiction and utterly detrimental to the simple symbolism of the Lord’s Supper - a
memorial of our Saviour’s once-for-all sacrifice. Thus His blood shedding is remembered not repeated, on a
table not an altar (hence ministers are pastors not priests); His real presence is spiritual, not physical, in the
hearts of His people and not in the bread and wine.

II Justification by faith in Christ’s merit alone (see Romans 5: 1-9) and direct access to Him as sole Mediator (see Matthew 11: 28; 1 Timothy 2: 5) rule out the false, idolatrous and pretentious teaching that Mary is Mediatrix, a ‘female mediator’ through whom we approach our Saviour. Calling our Lord’s mother ‘Queen of Heaven’ has turned her into a goddess! The idea that the merits of the faithful are a necessary contribution to their salvation undermines the all-sufficiency of Christ’s merit. Rome’s traditional mistake in making sanctification a part of justification arises from her reliance on the Latin justificare instead of the Greek dikaioo. While the former verb means ‘to make righteous’, the latter means ‘to declare righteous’ by the remission of sins through faith in the blood of Christ (see Romans 4: 5-8; 5: 1, 9). Our pardon is provided by Christ’s sacrificial righteousness alone, imputed to all who trust in Him.
While good works are a necessary and certain fruit of saving faith (see Galatians 5: 6; Ephesians 2: 8-10), their imperfection rules them out from justifying us. Our persons and our performances alike always require
pardon. That said, Christian sainthood is the present status of true though imperfect believers (see Ephesians
1: 1-2) not that of dead believers canonised by the Church of Rome.

III Thus purgatory and prayers for the dead (including requiem masses) have no apostolic warrant. Those who die ‘in Christ’ have no need of our prayers. Those who die otherwise cannot be helped by them.
Besides corrupting Baptism and the Holy Communion, Rome arrogantly added five more supposed sacraments to those commanded by Christ. Her realignment of the Ten Commandments - combining the first two and dividing the tenth - obscure in summary form God’s prohibition of the idolatry of such popular graven images as crucifixes and statues of Mary. Venerating the bones of the saints and other relics breeds superstition. Other distortions of divine truth are no less serious. The Pope’s title ‘Holy Father’ is a blasphemous insult to God the Father (see John 17: 11). His claim to be the ‘vicar of Christ’ is a further insult to the Holy Spirit, Christ’s true representative on earth (see John 14: 16-17). The political claims of a highly fallible Papacy conflict with Christ's words that His kingdom ‘is not of this world’ (John 18: 36). Rome’s entire governmental structure-- pope, cardinals, archbishops, etc--has more in common with ancient imperial Rome than the apostolic Presbyterian order of the New Testament.

Rome’s growing ambition to dominate Europe as in the days of the Holy Roman Empire is a re-emerging tyranny to be resisted by individual Christians and national governments alike. Ever since the Reformation, the Papacy has always been opposed to the independence of the United Kingdom. Her arrogance is at odds with Christ’s liberating truth (see John 8: 32, 36; Galatians 5: 1).

IV In addition to theological objections, the track record of Roman Catholicism does not commend itself. For violent and bloody persecution, no organization can compete with Rome. Since the true Church of Christ is ‘persecuted’ rather than ‘persecutor’, this one consideration alone makes Rome’s claim to
‘correctness’ null and void (see John 15: 20-1; 2 Timothy 3:12). Besides the burnings of the sixteenth-century British reformers, the dreadful cruelties inflicted on the ancient Waldensians, the French Huguenots, the Dutch Protestants and others (including Jews, Muslims and Eastern Orthodox) have never been truly repented of-- since the doctrine directing these atrocities remains in tact. Indeed, under another name--The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Inquisition still exists.

Current persecution of Protestants in Central and South America shows no change in Rome’s methods where she has a free hand. The intrigue and corrupting influence of the Jesuits knows no parallel. Vatican complicity in the rise of Hitler and the Nazi holocaust is well attested. The evils of the confessional and the ‘unholy wedlock’ of supposedly celibate priests refute Rome’s sanctimonious image. While marital failure among protestant pastors is to be lamented, is it any wonder that paedophilia and HIV are rife among sexually-frustrated and homosexual Roman priests?

V Considering the post-reformation dogmas of Mary’s immaculate conception (1854), papal
infallibility (1870) and the Assumption of Mary (1950), the Church of Rome is even more apostate
than she was in Luther and Calvin’s day. Thus any form of ecumenism on Rome’s terms is nothing but
satanic delusion (see 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12). Especially in the wake of Dominus Iesus, when na├»ve and gullible evangelicals, charismatics and others try to persuade us that ‘Rome is changing’, ask them which of her antibiblical dogmas has Rome renounced? Indeed, the late Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was right to say that “The Roman Catholic Church is the devil’s greatest masterpiece.” May all God’s people understand the
‘signs of the times’ and cease not ‘contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints’ (Jude 3). Amen!

Dr Alan C. Clifford,
Pastor, Norwich Reformed Church