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LPHA AND ECUMENISM

By Ministry of Hope
November 6  2007

resource: "Alpha the unofficial guide"
by Elizabeth Mc Donald & Dusty Peterson



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What is Alpha? The alpha Course is normally described as "a practical introduction to the Christian faith". Originating in England, it usually comprises a series of fifteen talks plus some ministry times, and typically takes place over ten weeks- including a day or weekend retreat. Each talk is generally preceded by a meal and is followed by a 'small group' session where questions raised by the talks can be freely discussed. It has been used in almost every nation on earth

 Content of Alpha and Ecumenism. Chapter 12

NICKY’S KNOWLEDGE
WHO ARE THE BIGOTS
SOCIAL ACTION
ADDITIONAL POINTS
JESUIT ACTIVITY
SO NEGATIVE
EVANGELISM
MEDIA OBJECTIVITY
SEMPER EADEM
CONCLUSION

ALPHA AND ECUMENISM
 

from; Alpha - "the unofficial guide" page 170-173
with written permission of Dusty Peterson

12:1 NICKY’S KNOWLEDGE

 Nicky Gumbel is on staff of the Holy Trinity Brompton, birthplace of the well known Alpa Course, used in many denominations and the Roman Catholic Church. Nicky, while not the author of the original Course, is the author and director of its modern manifestation.

We have used the term 2.2 to refer to the official set of Alpha video talks that were released in transcript form by the Holy Trinity Bromptom (HTB) in the summer of 2000. All Alpha talk quotations are from this set unless otherwise stated

Now that we are aware of the true nature of the ‘Church’ of Rome, we can see just how dangerous to the body of Christ is the following statement from Talk 14: (Alpha video).

"One of the exciting things that is happening in these days is that God is lowering the denominational barriers and people don’t mind so much anymore whether you are a Methodist or a Baptist, whether you are a Roman Catholic or an Anglican. These are not the significant things".

In this short paragraph, Nicky sweeps away the entire Protestant Re-formation and the pitiless murder of countless men and women who would not compromise their faith during it. Is he right to do this? Is Rome really just another ‘denomination’, or is it, as we have so far seen, a false religious system which has persecuted true believers throughout the centuries and con-tinues to do so in countries where it holds sway? Nicky goes on:

"There are some issues which aren’t that important about which Christians have divided. It is amazing the issues about which Christians divide. New denominations start sometimes over the most trivial matters…".

Nicky doesn’t say which denominations he considers started over "trivial" matters and which – if any – started over fundamental issues. And since he has already included Rome as a denomination earlier in that talk, it does not take much for any historically uninformed Alpha guest to assume that the Protestant ‘denominations’ divided from the Catholic ‘denomination’ over trivial issues – and that this was not a good thing. Nicky speaks on the theme of denominational disunity in Talk 9:

"Paul says there is only one body; one Holy Spirit indwells Christians. So it doesn’t matter whether you are a Roman Catholic or a Protestant … Of course, there are still some people who think their denomination is the only denomination that are true Christians. It is very rare, but you do come across it.

"I heard of one person who was like that – a Baptist pastor, a true Christian, a very, very bigoted and arrogant man – who was going to preach at a church one Sunday. It was an ecu-menical Sunday; a time when we were meant to be looking at unity between denominations, but he didn’t want anything to do with that and people who knew that stayed away … But it is a very unusual attitude these days because most people recognize that the Spirit of God unites us with … every denomination, be-cause there is one family…".

Paul says that there is one body and one Spirit, and that there is one Lord and one faith. If the teachings of Roman Catholicism were true to that one Lord and one faith, then Nicky would be right to urge unity with the Roman Catholic Church. But Roman Catholicism never has been a part of the body of Christ and it never will be; it is teaching ‘another doctrine’ (1 Tim. 1:3) and ‘another gospel’ (Gal. 1:6,8), and far from urging unity with false teachers, Paul commands the true body of Christ to separate from them (1 Cor. 5:11; 6:9-10; 2 Cor. 6:16-18).

"[F]lee ye from the Chaldeans…" (Isa. 48:20); "Remove out of the midst of Babylon and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans" (Jer. 50:8). See also Isaiah 14:22 & 21:9.

By contrast:

"My father … decided to send me to a church of England school … I was married in the church attached to the school … [After] Alpha … I was received into the Catholic Church".

Nicky views the division between Protestants and Catholics as "absolute nonsense". But the reason "people don’t care so much these days which denomination someone comes from" is simple: few people today know anything about Church History – the Protestant Reformation being just one of the extremely important periods that is no longer properly taught in schools. Nicky, however, has no such excuse. He has access to hundreds of tomes dealing with Church History and cannot claim ignorance of the ongoing teachings of the Roman Church. (Nicky’s selective description of the history of the Christian Church even gives the impression that the Roman Catholic Church was the original to which we all therefore ought to be reconciled.)

And even if an Alpha participant happened to be aware of the material we have supplied about Rome, it is very likely they would be quickly silenced if they tried to raise these issues. This is because all Course leaders are told that Rome is just another denomination and "we make it a rule on Alpha never to criticize another denomination". Such an approach plays into the hands of the largest church – i.e. Rome.

What does Nicky think about the Reformation? What does he think of those brave Protestant men and women who were murdered by Rome for rejecting the abominations of the Mass, and Purgatory, and Mariolatry and sacerdotal mediation? What does he think of the countless faithful Christians who were put to death by the cruel Dominican Inquisition in the centuries leading up to the Reformation because they read the holy scriptures for them-selves? What does he think about these Bible believers and so many others like them who have stood up against the evils of the mighty Roman Insti-tution for the last 1700 years?

In fact, what about his own predecessors? The Church of England was founded by men of awesome faith and courage. For example, the deaths of Revs. Rogers, Saunders, Marsh, Cardmaker, Bradford, Bland, Frankesh, Samuel, Palmer, Hullier, Rough, and Yeoman were each an incredibly moving story of heroic courage and immense grace at the hands of their Catholic persecutors. How does he explain their deaths?

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from; Alpha - "the unofficial guide" page 173-175
12:2 WHO ARE THE "BIGOTS"?

As we have seen, Nicky brands as bigots those who believe that "their denomination is the only denomi-nation that are true Christians". However, if any group thinks "their denom-ination is the only denomination that are true Christians" it is the Roman Catholic ‘denomination’ – as we have already seen (in section 9:7) from their own official documents!

If we are still in any doubt as to who the ‘bigots’ are, here are some further telling statements from Rome. Please note that she always seems to refer to Protestants as being ‘separated’ from her, rather than the two Churches being separated from one another. It follows that, for the Catholic Church, ecumenism is not a movement of Protestants and Catholics toward one another, as Protestants believe, but is seen as the ‘separated brethren’ reconciling themselves to the Roman Church.

"The Catholic Church possesses the whole of the wealth of God’s revealed truth and all the means of grace. It is unable to concede similar status to others. When Catholics pray for the restoration of full Communion with other Christians they are praying for that unity … which is found in all its characteristics in the Catholic Church".

"Is it possible to explain this attachment of an entire people to their own [Protestant] church as a fully conscious act of rebell-ion, and of open revolt, as it was in their founders? … Certainly our church is right, while … the one in which they live is wrong…".

"The Church … Catholic … is the one [i.e. sole] Ark of salvation for all"; "The sole Church of Christ … is governed by the successor of Peter" [Catholic Catechism]

"The Church … is upheld infallibly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops." [Catholic Catechism]

Similarly, in Vatican II, ecumenism is nothing other than sub-mission to Rome. Hence we read:

"[O]ur separated brethren … are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow … For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, … that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained…" [Vatican II].

"The ‘ecumenical movement’ means those activities and ent-erprises which … are started and organized for the fostering of unity among Christians … The result will be that … all Chris-tians will be gathered … into that unity of the one and only Church ... This unity, we believe, dwells in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose" [Vatican II].

As we have seen from many of the quotes given so far, the Council of Trent vigorously and repeatedly denounced the Scriptural truths upheld by the Protestants of the 16th century. And while Vatican II may have put a different face on Rome, now addressing Protestants more subtly as ‘separated brethren’ rather than ‘heretics’, yet the message is the same. When Rome calls us "separated brethren" she means that, until we are back in her clutches, we are lost brethren, separated from God.

Here are just some of the Roman Catholics (not to mention Anglo-Catholics) whom Nicky cites as founts of wisdom, or as examples of true Christianity: Descartes; Gregor Mendel; Clifford Longley; Phan Thi Kim Phuc; Malcolm Muggeridge; Tom Wright; G.K. Chesterton, and Graham Greene. Nicky neglects to identify any of them as Catholics, thus many Protestants will not be aware that he is implicitly endorsing Rome on these occasions (although most Catholics will). Could Nicky not find people with a sound doctrinal base to legitimize? Has no evangelical Christian ever said the things Nicky wants to quote here? And if not, why can’t Nicky go to the Bible instead of sanctioning the Roman church like this?

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from; Alpha - "the unofficial guide" page 175-177
12:3 SOCIAL ACTION

There is plenty of evidence to show that any ecumenical ‘movement’ is indeed "all one way". Protestants who foolishly think they can work with Rome on social issues – however worthy those concerns may be – all too easily succumb to Rome’s false religious spirit. For example:

"[A]t the large ecumenical conference in Indianapolis in August 1990, which I attended … Catholic priest Michael Scanlon [sic] told of his experiences in ecumenical anti-abortion demonstra-tions. He described how he and a group of other Catholic and Protestant demonstrators were arrested and jailed for several days. They were incarcerated together in a barracks of some sort, and during this time the priest conducted Mass each day and led the group in praying the Rosary…

"The priest testified excitedly that some of the Protestants adop-ted the Rosary permanently into their own private devotions! This is the danger of fellowshipping with error. ‘Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners’ (1 Cor. 15:33)".

Even if someone thinks they know better than the Lord, and they imagine that associating with idolators would not be a snare to them, never-theless just by working with Rome in this sort of way they are legitimizing her in the eyes of others.

Protestants need also to be aware that Rome’s calls for world peace are not all they seem. Of course peace is a very attractive proposition, and as individuals we are promised true shalom (peace and harmony) with God if we accept His gospel and walk with Him (2 Thess. 1:7-8; 1 Pet. 4:17-19). But God’s Word does not promise either the world or the Church physical peace on earth. Far from it: "In the world ye shall have tribulation" (John 16:33). Satan however wants men to be at peace with him using whom he will to that end. He is only too happy to promise temporal peace if it will lead people to join his false church.

"[E]very one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no [true] peace" (Jer. 6:13-14).

But this false peace will be destroyed when the Lord Jesus returns:

"For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then [at the Lord’s return] sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child and they shall not escape" (1 Thess. 5:3).

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from; Alpha - "the unofficial guide" page 177-179
12:4 ADDITIONAL POINTS

While we are on the subject of social activism, it is – as always – worth checking what Scripture says, rather than assuming that God shares our traditional outlook on things. What does God’s Word say about a Christian’s primary social concern?

"We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth" (2 Thess. 1:3).

"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; … Distributing to the necessity of saints" (Rom. 12:10-13).

"And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves … Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Pet. 4:8-10).

From the above it appears that we should be especially concerned for the temporal welfare of fellow believers. "But the Bible says ‘do good to all men’"! Of course we must desire the good of all, and seek to be a blessing to everyone whom the Lord introduces into our lives. We must do good, rather than evil, to those with whom the Lord brings us into contact. But let us not lose sight of the remainder of that verse:

"[D]o good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith [i.e. Bible-believers]" (Gal. 6:10).

Even if our own local church may have no great needs, our suff-ering brethren elsewhere in the world certainly do. In many regions they are persecuted and impoverished by the governments and people of pagan nations. Organizations like Voice of the Martyrs regularly expose the attacks that bible-believers are experiencing in growing numbers of nations.

During the famine in Judea in Acts 11:28-30, the disciples in other regions seem to have actually been primarily concerned for the believers in the land. It is notable that the ‘Great Commission’ made no reference to social activism – only spiritual.

We are called actively to bless those unbelievers who live very close to us. This includes people who have committed themselves to us in a significant way (e.g. because they work for us, or rent property from us). But the point about the ‘good Samaritan’ (Luke 10:29-37) is not that every-one is our "neighbour". For a start, the Samaritans were half-Jews who also lived in the land of Israel – i.e. they were related to, and identified them-selves with, God’s People. The ‘good Samaritan’ was more eligible to be treated as a neighbour than the hypocritical ‘leaders’ of God’s People be-cause he was good.

The emphasis on loving the brethren first and foremost is repeat-edly given in Scripture: "Love the brotherhood. Fear God" (1 Pet. 2:17). See also John 15:12-19; 1 Thess. 3:12 and all of 1 John 3. Christ reinforced this point in Matt. 25:34-40 (c.f. Matt. 12:48-50 and Joel 3:2). If we, the beloved, fervently love one another (as per 1 John 4:7-12; 1 Pet. 1:22; and 2 John 1:5), then the result will be to draw unbelievers to Christ (John 13:34-35). This is what they most need.

We must be certain of God’s will for us over a given social situa-tion before launching in, however good our intentions may be. Many Chris-tians go on humanitarian aid trips that have negligible evangelistic content. Like anything else, active social help without the Lord’s specific direction is bound to do nothing but harm to the Kingdom.

For example, God sometimes brings distress upon nations so as to humble them and encourage them to cry out to Him – and find Him. If they have a man-made safety net, we may well not just be propping up ungodly regimes, but actually keeping people from seeking the Lord and being saved – see Acts 17:26-27. Man’s good intentions frequently get in the way of God’s higher purposes – as exemplified in Matt. 16:21-23. The proper way for a nation to be healed is given in 2 Chr. 7:14.

Even when there is evangelistic preaching alongside our philan-thropy, we must avoid the temptation to ‘bribe’ people into the Kingdom, as this is very unlikely to make true converts. Christ was loving toward the Samaritan woman, but He was more interested in giving her spiritual aid than physical. (Indeed, He requested physical aid from her.)

We need to be wise about the extremely impressive social works that some Catholics undertake; even devoting many years of their lives to very moving causes around the world. People are prepared to do amazing things when they believe that their very salvation – and not just the duration of their time in "Purgatory" – relies upon works. (The Pharisees too were zealous and tithed generously and went to huge lengths to make converts (Matt. 23:15). And members of other works-based religions (e.g. Mormons) can be similarly devout and selfless. This is not the test of a true believer.)

The question we should ask ourselves is whether these works are God-ordained or rather the result of man’s ideas – in which case they are not serving the Kingdom but are actually getting in the way of God’s true calling for the person doing them. In fact, ‘good works’ by Catholics end up promoting the heretical Roman church and serving its long-term goal of deluding "all nations" (Rev. 18:23). None of those helped is actually taught the true gospel. Catholics are simply providing temporal balm before con-signing the person to eternal doom. Where is the ‘good’ in that?

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from; Alpha - "the unofficial guide" page 180-183
 
12:5 JESUIT ACTIVITY
 

 The Jesuits are not history. They are alive and well and still determinedly carrying out the work they were originally formed to do. The following information may be a little difficult to accept, but it is fact nonetheless, and can easily be confirmed if the reader wishes to do so:

"Cardinal Manning, leader of Catholicism in England at the end of the 19th century and a staunch supporter of Papal infallibility in 1870, spoke to the Jesuit ‘fathers’ in stirring fashion, calling them to battle and unmistakably laying out the strategy and plan of attack for the 20th century: ‘Great is the prize for which you strive. Surely a soldier’s eye and a soldier’s heart would choose by intuition this field of England. None ampler or nobler could be found. It is an head of Protestantism, the centre of its movements and the stronghold of its power. Weakened in England, it is paralysed elsewhere. Conquered in England, it is conquered throughout all the world. Once overthrown here, all else is but a war of detail. All the roads of the world meet in one point, and this point reached, all the world is open to the Church’s will’".

"Jesuits, or at least those with Jesuit training, for the first time in our history, are in the most influential leadership roles; as … broadcasters, as chaplains in Britain’s top schools, and edu-cational establishments and as speakers, teachers and organizers among the leading para-church organizations…".

The Catholic Renewal Movement and Ecumenism

Consider also this quote: "Another former pupil of top Jesuit school, Stoneyhurst College, is leading English Charismatic Charles White-head. In his testimony … he has revealed and affirmed his Jesuit back-ground … [He] heads the Catholic Charismatic organization in Britain and also for Northern Europe, for which he regularly reports to the Vatican. His para-church activities … have greatly influenced many Protestant leaders, who have been led in an ecumenical direction by him".

We must emphasize that we are not to be deceived into accepting any arguments in support of Rome, no matter how subtle or clever they are, if they do not line up with Scripture…

For example, as we noted in section 9:6, many Protestants have been seduced by Catholic Charismaticism into believing that God is chang-ing Rome and that we must likewise work with her. This deception has been fuelled by the dishonest way in which Rome’s charismatics spent the first 25 years of their movement hiding the fact that their ‘Holy’ Spirit leads them deeper INTO, rather than rescuing them out of, Rome’s heresies. Even then, clear statements were kept for Catholic audiences alone. Let us consider Tom Forrest. At the time he made the following speech he was already the head of the entire Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement:

"Our job is to make people as … fully Christian as we can … by bringing them into the Catholic Church … [Y]ou don’t just invite someone to be a Christian. You invite them to become Catholics … Why should this be so important? … First of all, there are seven sacraments, and the Catholic Church has all seven…

"We don’t just have the Eucharist as a symbol of the body and blood of Christ. On our altars we have the body of Christ; we drink the blood of Christ; Jesus is alive on our altars … [Rome also has the] sacrament of anointing the sick … [which] opens the doors of paradise and deals even with the temporal punish-ment due our sins. What a sacrament! What a Church! … As Catholics we have Mary: and that mom of ours, Queen of Para-dise, is praying for us … As Catholics we have the papacy … the rock upon which Christ did build his church … Our job is … evangelizing everyone we can into the Catholic Church"

The spirit behind the Jesuits, and behind the Catholic charismatic movement they guide, is a very different spirit from God’s.

"Their [Jesuits’] sincerity and the courage of their convictions in relation to their cause is not to be questioned. This is the very thing that makes the situation so dangerous and why it is vital that ‘the watchman sound the alarm’. The aim of the Papacy and its secret army is as it always has been, to gain world domination and every human subject to it. The ecumenical movement was not founded on the free evangelical message of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but was spawned in the dark corridors of the Vatican by the Jesuit General Bea. This movement is the latest expression of that system, spoken of in Scripture, which will be destroyed [by God Himself] according to … Rev. 17:16-18".

"Cardinal Bea, who was Pope Pius XII’s personal confessor and a close advisor to several other popes, saw the blossoming Charismatic movement as a vehicle for RC’s ecumenical goals. The Cardinal sought out David DuPlessis (known as ‘Mr. Pentecost’), whom he invited to the Second Vatican Council. DuPlessis and other leading Pentecostals and Charismatics accepted gladly and became Rome’s unwitting pawns. Thus began a growing acceptance of Catholicism by Protestant Charis-matics. Today’s [Protestant] Charismatic movement is a major bridge to Rome".

As things stand, could we not equally well replace the words ‘Charismatic movement’ with ‘the Alpha Course’ and produce just as accur-ate a statement?

"Cardinal Bea … saw the blossoming Alpha Course as a vehicle for Roman Catholicism’s ecumenical goals … leading Protes-tants accepted gladly and became Rome’s unwitting pawns. Thus began a growing acceptance of Catholicism by Protestant Alpha participants. Today’s Alpha Course is a major bridge to Rome."

If the reader thinks this unfair, then consider that Raniero Can-talamessa (whom Nicky quotes favourably – and often – in his talks and publications, and who will reappear in a later Part of this book) was described by the Catholic Alpha Office as being "very enthusiastic about Alpha, especially for its ecumenical [rather than evangelistic!] poten-tial".

We must beware of any group that acts as a stepping-stone to Rome, rather than as a force standing against it and for the truth.

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from; Alpha - "the unofficial guide" page 183
12:6 SO NEGATIVE

We acknowledge that some will accuse this material of being ‘negative’, although the word doesn’t appear in Scripture. The fact is that, if dangers exist which threaten God’s beloved "little flock" then the ‘sheep’ need to be alerted to them. There is nothing negative about warning the People of God of hidden traps or wolves in sheep’s clothing or other dangers that could lead them away from the Good Shepherd. It is the damaging, deceptive teachings and practices we expose that are the truly negative things. We highlight false teachings. In truth, is it we or is it those promoting heresy who are the ‘negative’ ones?

If people insist that anything which alerts them to perilous teach-ings or dangerous movements is automatically negative, then God’s Word is frequently negative. Jeremiah, full of the Holy Ghost, was immensely ‘negative’, as were Hosea, Ezekiel, and many other prophets – despite the fact that they were inspired by God to write these highly ‘negative’ things. It was actually the compromised individuals among the people who foolish-ly rejected these prophets for being ‘negative’. We would suggest that the truly negative people are those who negate God’s Word.

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from; Alpha - "the unofficial guide" page 183-185
12:7 EVANGELISM

The following quote from a speech given by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones to fellow evangelicals in 1967 at Keele Conference would seem particularly appropriate for Alpha’s ‘evangelistic campaign’:

"I remind you that the Protestant Reformers were not just bigoted zealots or fools. Their eyes were opened by the Holy Spirit: Luther, Calvin, Knox, all of them. They saw this horrible mon-strosity depicted in the Bible and were warning against it. At the risk of even losing their lives they stood up and protested. They confronted Rome, … The Roman Church is a counterfeit, a sham, it represents prostitution of the worst and most diabolical kind. It is indeed a form of the antichrist; it is to be rejected and denounced, but, above all, it is to be countered. And there is only one thing that can counter it and that is a Biblical, doctrinal Christianity.

"A Christianity that merely preaches ‘Come to Christ’ or ‘Come to Jesus’ cannot stand before Rome. Probably what that will do ultimately, will be to add to the numbers belonging to Rome. People who hold evangelistic campaigns and say, Are you Roman Catholics? Go back to your church’, are denying New Testament teaching. We must warn them".

The apostle Peter, whom the See of Rome erroneously believes to be the rock upon which the Catholic Church was built, wrote to his fellow believers to warn them of false teachers who would infiltrate the Christian faith:

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Sovereign Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of … whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not" (2 Pet. 2:1-3).

Earlier we quoted the brave and hopeful cry of Bishop Latimer to his fellow martyr, Bishop Ridley, as they prepared to face the flames rather than deny the Sovereign Lord who bought them. Tragically, the candle they lit is indeed being snuffed out, and the modern Alpha Course – the largest single evangelistic undertaking in the world – seems almost to be in the vanguard of this ecumenical effort to bring the Protestant Church back under the yoke of Rome.

"The unity [between Protestants and Catholics] which is being forged is not that of John 17:21 but of Revelation 17:13: ‘These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.’ ... There simply isn’t any middle ground. Catholics have ever been crystal clear about that: ‘The Roman Church is either the masterpiece of Satan or the Kingdom of the Son of God.’ insisted Cardinal Manning. His contemporary and colleague, Cardinal Newman was just as emphatic: ‘A sacerdotal order (of priesthood) is historically the essence of the Church of Rome; if not divinely appointed, it is doctrinally the essence of anti-christ’".

Even according to Nicky’s own measure, Rome must, at the very least, be a cult. So, is ecumenism – unity with the Roman Catholic Church – in accord with the Word of God? Is God indeed breaking down the denominational barriers as Alpha and other like-minded movements are assuring us He is? Should we sweep away the Protestant Reformation, as Alpha is teaching its participants to do?

Should we shut our eyes and ears to the martyrs of the Reformation whom God used so mightily and fearlessly to break the awful shackles of that dreadful "synagogue of Satan"? Should we forget the deaths of thousands upon thousands of evangelical believers through the long dark centuries in the medieval period before the Reformation – and the deaths of millions in the centuries since? Should we shut up our hearts to the billion souls still in bondage to Rome’s heinous, perverse doctrines, looking the other way as they plummet into a lost eternity? How can we?

"This ecumenical evangelism has provided fertile ground to rebuild the religious tower of Babel. Multitudes are being influenced by perverted gospels, doctrines of demons and false teachers. Many more are being persuaded by highly visible evangelicals to join the crusade. It is no surprise that the Roman Catholic Church has been the driving force behind this ecumenical movement since the close of Vatican Council II.

"No longer able to force people to submit to its popes under the threat of death and persecution, the Vatican has changed its strategy to win the world. Wearing a new face of love and concern for the ‘separated brethren’, she is now calling all Protestants back home to the ‘one true church’. Tragically, many pulpits are incredibly silent regarding the numerous scrip-tural warnings against being yoked with unbelievers".

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from; Alpha - "the unofficial guide" page 186-187
12:8 MEDIA OBJECTIVITY?

This misguided view of Rome is fos-tered in the media; but it shouldn’t be helped by the evangelical church! If one wants further proof that Rome is headed by the god of this world, one need only look at the press and other media and how they portray her.

  • Films frequently go out of their way to show the Catholic faith in a good light, or as harmless. From The Sound of Music to Sister Act, and from M*A*S*H to The Mission, almost every major cinematic refer-ence to Roman Catholicism is affirmative. Where the reference is negative, the slur is almost always against ‘Christianity’ generally rather than against the Roman church specifically.
  • Television programming is similarly biased. For example, whenever some tragedy occurs, newscasters speak of those affected ‘praying for the dead’. Papal comments on a given piece of news are regularly turned into a positive, high profile, item – even in Protestant countries. And the ‘Pope’ himself is invariably praised, regardless of what his institution has done. Exceptions are very rare and really do ‘prove the rule’.
  • Likewise the press are exceedingly pro-Rome. Journalists seem to have a miraculously short, and very selective, memory when it comes to her behaviour. Her true history is frequently swept under the carpet. Hor-rendous abuses happening today (e.g. by priests against children) are often hushed up unless they become huge in number. Even govern-ment cover-ups of such abuses (as have happened in Ireland) enjoy press acquiescence. Seldom the treatment meted out to Protestants!

Given the heavy slant of the media, the world may have an excuse for being ignorant about Rome. Elders in our churches do not.

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from; Alpha - "the unofficial guide" page 187-190
12:9 SEMPER EADEM
 

Like a chameleon, Rome changes her colour to blend into the surroundings, thereby fooling people into thinking she is something other than she really is. But she remains (self-confessedly) the same creature nonetheless. Rome actually insists that she is ‘semper eadem’ – i.e. ‘always the same’.

"[W]e must avoid the interesting but relatively fruitless anecdotal approach to the understanding of the Roman Catholic Church. That is, ‘Well, I have this wonderful Catholic neighbour, and the way he talks, you know, I believe he’s really saved. I’m sure the church is really changing.’ Or, ‘You know, in our town there’s a priest who has taken all the statues and images out of his church. And he has started reading the Bible with his youth group. There’s a real turn to the Bible in the Catholic Church today’ ... Any living thing is constantly in movement, but this doesn’t mean … that it is automatically becoming something differ-ent…".

"Rome does not change her dogmas [for the better]. She alters her style certainly but not her substance. Her face changes; she is very different in different countries. In England she adopts a high moral tone, represented in the Media as being firmer than that of any other ‘part of the Church’ … In countries where Roman Catholicism’s grip is surer, standards do not rise so high. In Uganda, Haiti and the Philippines … Roman Catholicism is fully integrated into local paganism and the Gospel totally obscured within it. In the Philippines, missionaries regularly have a glimpse of the other face of Catholicism which is not to be seen in England".

Rome herself admits she hasn’t changed and won’t change. We are not called to try to change her – it is many centuries too late for that, and anyway she was destined to be this way. We are not even to work with her. The reason Ezekiel did not know of the abominations taking place amongst the so-called believers in his day was that he rightly avoided mixing with apostates. We are to expose Rome’s filthiness just as the original Protestants did, and we are to try to rescue any to whom the Lord leads us who are still tangled therein:

"Beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts … But ye, beloved, building up your-selves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, … of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 1:17-23). See also Ezek. 3:17-19; Ezek. 33:2-5; and Jam. 5:19-20.

We must not compromise the "most holy" faith. We are to have the mind of Christ and are to be joined together only with those of the same mind: "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, [ac]quit you like men, be strong" (1 Cor. 16:13); "[W]e have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16); "…be per-fectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Cor. 1:10b). See also Jude 1:3!

Over the centuries the Roman Catholic Church has proved that she is not of the same mind as the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles. She cannot repent, she cannot be saved – and Scripture confirms this:

"We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto Heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies" (Jer. 51:9).

"Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils ... Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto Heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities … for in one hour is [her] judgment come … by [her] sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth…

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and wor-shipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great" (Rev. 18:1-19:5).
 

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from; Alpha - "the unofficial guide" page 190
12:10 CONCLUSION

We have had to say some extremely tough things in this Part. We encourage every reader to follow up on this material. We earnestly desire that readers be as informed as possible about this crucial matter and that they check what we say before rejecting (or indeed accept-ing) it.

Let us finish by completing the above quotation from Revelation 19, for it gives us a beautiful glimpse of the true Bride and her reward for her purity:

"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb … These are the true sayings of God" (Rev. 19:6-9, KJV).

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