[1]
"No longer any real disagreement between Anglicans and Roman Catholics
over the Doctrine of Justification by Faith" - Archbishop McAdoo of the Church of Ireland

The Reformation was finally and fully betrayed at the recent meeting of the Church of England Synod. The doctrine of transubstantiation that the bread becomes the body and the wine becomes the blood of Christ in the Mass has now been officially accepted by the Anglicans. What is more the Synod refused to discuss the crucial doctrine of justification by faith, Archbishop McAdoo of the Church of Ireland maintaining that the Roman Church and the Anglicans had now no real disagreement on this doctrine - controversy over which brought about the Reformation.

The following alarming report appeared in 'Christian World' 1.4.79.

Bishop Eric Kemp of Chichester, opening the debate on the agreed statements of the joint Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission, welcomed Rome's new "openness" but felt that many issues still needed clarification. He asked for much greater lay participation, not only on commissions, but at all levels of church government. Here, he claimed, the Church of England had an example to set before Roman Catholics.

Synod accepted an amendment to the original motion from Canon Peter Boulton of Worksop Prilory, a Church of England representive to the ACC meeting which will be considering the [2] Report. The amendment asked the Anglican Communion "to proceed to the implementation of the stage-by-stage progression to full communion recommended by the 1968 Malta Report". His amendment also called for the appointment of a "joint commission for continuing oversight and development of official Anglican-Roman Catholic relations".

Canon Boulton argued that the three commissions, which produced the statements on ministry, eucharist and authority, should have been sub-committees of a major commission responsible for monitoring and directing ecumenical relations as a whole.

Synod also accepted an amendment put forward by Prebendary Boyd of Truro setting up another commission to study "the doctrine of the Church with a view to producing an agreed statement, in order to provide an overall context for its three previous Agreed Statements".

During the debate the Bishop of Derby, the Rt. Rev. Cyril Bowles, pointed out that the Anglican-Roman Catholic scene in Britain was not quite as rosy as some claimed. It might be so in London, Bristol or Liverpool, but his experience was that it wasn't always so in the North. He was also worried that Free Churchmen might feel "coldshouldered". Reunion, he insisted, was not "just round the corner". The real goal was not reunion anyway, but the unity of all Christendom. His speech, which received the greatest applause during the debate, obviously expressed the feelings of many Synod members.

An amendment by Gervase Duffield, who was not present, calling for an examination of the doctrine of "justification by faith" was rejected by the Synod. Dr. Henry Chadwick of Cambridge and Archbishop McAdoo of the Church of Ireland and chairman of ARCIC both agreed that there was no longer any real disagreement between Anglicans and Roman Catholics over this doctrine.

After the debate applause greeted the almost unanimous vote accepting the motion as amended.

THE WONDER OF MATTHEW'S GOSPEL By Ian R. K. Paisley

Turn over to Luke's Gospel and you will find that Luke's Gospel parallels Mark's Gospel. Luke's Gospel chapter three and verse three, 'And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins'. But this Gospel of the King tells that he preached, 'Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'.

Turn to chapter four of Luke's gospel, and you have the temptations; and you find that the Devil offered the Lord all the kingdoms of the world in verses five and six, 'And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give thee'. But Jesus said, 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve'. There is only one way whereby Jesus could get the kingdoms of this world, that was not [3] by falling down and worshipping the devil; it was by going to the cross and breaking the devil's power, and that is what He did.

Turn to Matthew chapter five. What is the first beatitude? 'Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven'. You see, the kingdom comes in first of all to the sermon on the mount. That covers six and seven. Then when we come to that wonderful chapter of the parables, all the parables are prefaced with these words in verse twenty-four of Matthew chapter thirteen, 'The Kingdom of heaven is likened unto'. Look at verse thirty-one 'The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed'. There are three exceptions. Have a good look at these three exceptions for they are very important. You read all the parables in Matthew's Gospel, and they start off with 'The kingdom of heaven is like unto', with three exceptions. And, of course, remember that there are in the Gospels fourteen parables. You have a good look at those fourteen parables. Try and find them, and do not come to me and say there are only twelve. Just keep reading and you will find them. You will find there are three that do not say 'The kingdom of heaven is like unto'.

Let us come down a little farther and we will find that in Matthew's Gospel chapter thirteen and verse nineteen you have a particular expression, and it is not used in any other of the Gospels, Verse nineteen, 'The word of the kingdom'. You will not find it in any other of the Gospels. That is peculiar to Matthew's Gospel, because, of course, Matthew's Gospel is the Gospel of the kingdom. Turn to Matthew chapter four and verse twenty-three, and you will find that other expression that I have already referred to, 'the Gospel of the kingdom'. That, of course, is 'the word of the kingdom and that occurs only in Matthew's gospel with one other exception. I am not going to tell you either what that other exception is. You try and find it. That expression 'the gospel of the kingdom' occurs three times in Matthew's Gospel. There is a significance why it occurs three times in Matthew's Gospel, and I want you to try and think of that significance. Let me give you the reference, Matthew chapter four and verse twenty-three; Matthew chapter nine and verse thirty-five, 'And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom'. There is the second reference. Turn over to Matthew chapter twenty-four, and you have one of the key portions of the great prophetic passage of Matthew's Gospel. You will find there that 'this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come' (Verse fourteen). So three times in Matthew's Gospel there is 'the Gospel of the kingdom'.

Three is the number of completion. And I have already told you when you look at the number three, the first and the last go together; the middle one is in the centre. You just have a look at those three references to the gospel of the kingdom, and you will find out how that principle is so carefully worked out by the Holy Spirit who wrote this Book.

To be continued

[4]
THE DOWNGRADE APOSTASY by C.
H. Spurgeon

 
AMUSEMENTS

As for questionable amusements - time was when a Nonconformist minister who was known to attend the play-house would soon have found himself without a church. And justly so; for no man can long possess the confidence, even of the most worldly, who is known to be a haunter of theatres. Yet at the present time it is matter of notoriety that preachers of no mean repute defend the play house, and do so because they have been seen there. Is it any wonder that church members forget their vows of consecration and run with the unholy in the ways of frivolity, when they hear that persons are tolerated in the pastorate who do the same? We doubt not that, for writing these lines we shall incur the charge of prudery and bigotry, and this will but prove how low are the tone and spirit of the churches in many places. The fact is, that many would like to unite church and stage, cards and prayer, dancing and sacraments. If we are powerless to stem this torrent, we can at least warn men of its existence, and entreat them to keep out of it. When the old faith is gone, and enthusiasm for the gospel is extinct, it is no wonder that people seek something else in the way of delight. Lacking bread, they feed on ashes; rejecting the way of the Lord, they run greedily in the path of folly.

An eminent minister, who is well versed in the records of Nonconformity, remarked to us the other day that he feared history was about to repeat itself among Dissenters. In days gone by, they aimed at being thought respectable, judicious, moderate, and learned, and, in consequence, they abandoned the Puritanic teaching with which they started, and toned down their doctrines. The spiritual life which had been the impelling cause of their dissent declined almost to death's door, and the very existence of evangelical Nonconformity was threatened. Then came the outburst of living godliness under Whitefield and Wesley, and with it new life for Dissent, and increased influence in every direction.

POISON

Alas! many are returning to the poisoned cups which dragged that declining generation, when it surrendered itself to Unitarian lethargy. Too many ministers are toying with the deadly cobra of "another gospel", in the form of "modern thought". As a consequence, their congregations are thinning: the more spiritual of their members join the "Brethren", or some other company of "believers, unattached"; while the more wealthy, and show-loving, with some of unquestionable devoutness, go off to the Church of England.

Let us not hide from ourselves the fact that the Episcopal church is awake, and is full of zeal and force. Dissenting as we do most intensely from her Ritualism, and especially abhorring her establishment by the State, we cannot but perceive that she grows, and grows, among other reasons, because spiritual life is waning among certain Dissenters. Where the gospel is fully and powerfully preached, with the Holy Ghost [5] sent down from heaven, our churches not only hold their own, but win converts; but when that which constitutes their strength is gone - we mean when the gospel is concealed, and the life of prayer is slighted the whole thing becomes a mere form and fiction. For this thing our heart is sore grieved. Dissent for mere dissent's sake would be the bitter fruit of a wilful mind. Dissent as mere political partisanship is a degradation and travesty of religion. Dissent for truth's sake, carried out by force of the life within, is noble, praiseworthy, and fraught with the highest benefits to the race. Are we to have the genuine living thing, or are we to have that corruption of the best from which the worst is produced? Conformity, or Nonconformity, per se is nothing; but a new creature is everything, and the truth upon which alone that new creature can live is worth dying a thousand deaths to conserve. It is not the shell that is so precious, but the kernel which it contains; when the kernel is gone, what is there left that is worth a thought? Our nonconformity is beyond measure precious as a vital spiritual force, but only while it remains such will it justify its own existence.

MAKING INFIDELS

The case is mournful. Certain ministers are making infidels. Avowed atheists are not a tenth as dangerous as those preachers who scatter doubt and stab at faith. A plain man told us the other day that two ministers had derided him because he thought we should pray for rain. A gracious woman bemoaned in my presence that a precious promise in Isaiah which had comforted her had been declared by her minister to be uninspired. It is a common thing to hear working-men excuse their wickedness by the statement that there is no hell, "the parson says so". But we need not prolong our mention of painful facts. Germany was made unbelieving by her preachers, and England is following in her track. Attendance at places of worship is declining, and reverence for holy things is vanishing; and we solemnly believe this to be largely attributable to the scepticism which has flashed from the pulpit and spread among the people. Possibly the men who uttered the doubt never intended it to go so far; but none the less they have done the ill, and cannot undo it. Their own observation ought to teach them better. Have these advanced thinkers filled their own chapels? Have they, after all, prospered through discarding the old methods? Possibly, in a few cases genius and tact have carried these gentry over the destructive results of their ministry; but in many cases their pretty new theology has scattered their congregations. In meeting-houses holding a thousand, or twelve hundred, or fifteen hundred, places once packed to the ceiling with ardent hearers, how small are the numbers now! We would mention instances, but we forbear. The places which the gospel filled the new nonsense has emptied, and will keep empty.

CULTURED CONCEIT

This fact will have little influence with "the cultured"; for, as a rule, they have cultivated a fine development of conceit. "Yes", said one, whose pews held only here and there a worshipper, "it will always be found that in proportion as the preacher's mind enlarges, his congregation diminishes". These destroyers of our churches appear to be as content with their work as monkeys with their mischief. that which their fathers would have lamented they rejoice in: the alienation of the poor and simple-minded from their ministry they accept as a compliment, and the grief of the spiritually-minded they regard as an evidence of their power. Truly, unless the Lord had kept his own we should long before this have seen our Zion ploughed as a field.

The other day we were asked to mention the name of some person who might be a [6] suitable pastor for a vacant church, and the deacon who wrote said, "Let him be a Converted man, and let him be one who believes what he preaches; for there are those around us who give us the idea that they have neither part nor lot in the matter". This remark is more commonly made that we like to remember, and there is, alas! too much need for it. A student from a certain college preached to a congregation we sometimes visit such a sermon that the deacon said to him in the vestry, "Sir, do you believe in the Holy Ghost"? The youth replied, "I suppose I do". To which the deacon answered, "I suppose you do not, or you would not have insulted us with such false doctrine". A little plain-speaking would do a world of good just now. These gentlemen desire to be let alone. They want no noise raised. Of course thieves hate watch-dogs, and love darkness. It is time that somebody should spring his rattle, and call attention to the way in which God is being robbed of his glory, and man of his hope.

SEPARATE

It now becomes a serious question how far those who abide by the faith once delivered to the saints should fraternize with those who have turned aside to another gospel. Christian love has its claims, and divisions are to be shunned as grievous evils; but how far are we justified in being in confederacy with those who are departing from the truth? It is a difficult question to answer so as to keep the balance of the duties. For the present it behoves believers to be cautious, lest they lend their support and countenance to the betrayers of the Lord. It is one thing to overlap all boundaries of denominational restriction for the truth's sake: this we hope all godly men will do more and more. It is quite another policy which would urge us to subordinate the maintenance of truth to denominational prosperity and unity. Numbers of easy-minded people wink at error so long as it is committed by a clever man and a good-natured brother, who has so many fine points about him. Let each believer judge for himself; but, for our part, we have put on a few fresh bolts to our door, and we have given orders to keep the chain up; for, under colour of begging the friendship of the servant, there are those about who aim at robbing The Master.

We fear it is hopeless ever to form a society which can keep out men base enough to profess one thing and believe another; but it might be possible to make an informal alliance among all who hold the Christianity of their fathers. Little as they might be able to do, they could at least protest, and as far as possible free themselves of that complicity which will be involved in a conspiracy of silence. If for a while the evangelicals are doomed to go down, let them die fighting, and in the full assurance that their gospel will have a resurrection when the inventions of 'modern thought" shall be burned up with fire unquenchable. [7]

GEORGE WHITEFIELD - An Eloquent Tribute by Dr. Morley Punshon

A bright rosy lad, with the blue apron of a common drawer in an inn, struggling with a confusion of great thoughts about himself and about his destiny, which he could neither exclude nor comprehend - a pole servitor of Pembroke College, choosing the meanest drudgery, wearing the coarsest serge, eating the homeliest food, and but little of that; standing in the biting frost until he had no feeling either in feet or fingers; wandering in Christ Church meadows at the gloomy nightfall; trying hard to fast through the whole forty days of Lent; the chosen butt for the ridicule and insult both of town and gown these are the glimpses we get of the childhood and youth of George Whitefield, who afterwards became an evangelist such as the world has never known since Peter the Fisherman witnessed a Pentecost under the first Gospel sermon.

HIS CONVERSION

Rescued from his self-righteousness in an illness, and opening his heart to receive the love of the Saviour, he went forth to his loved work of preaching, beginning in the church where he had been baptized and had humbly knelt to receive his first communion. His directness offended the sinful, and his earnestness startled the timid, so that church after church was closed against him until at length, thinking little of irregularity, and less of the revival he was beginning to inaugurate, he went forth into the open air, and proclaimed to listening thousands the unsearchable riches of Christ. The effects which followed were extraordinary. As he stood forth, his frank, manly countenance seemed to bespeak a hearing, and when once his voice was heard, so exquisitely was it toned, and so skilfully wielded, that high and low were subject to its spell. Add to this a wealth of eloquent action which made every sentence dramatic, an earnestness which the heat of holy passion kindled, and above all a subject which had stirred his strongest convictions, and which bore him as with a torrent's force upon its stream, and you will not wonder that with all these advantages, and withal the "demonstration of the Spirit", his should be a mighty and transforming word. His power of description must have been marvellous. Men saw the scenes he pointed. they heard the ripple of the Galilean waters. they felt the awful shadows of the Tabor cloud, they shivered as the fierce wind swept among the olives, or the pale moon gleamed upon the paler brow of the sufferer in Gethsemane. they crouched as if they heard the tramp of nearing demons when he prophesied of doom.

HIS PULPIT POWER

Not only were Garrick and Pulteney, themselves orators, eager listeners to his burning words, but David Hume hearkened till he forgot to sneer; the philosophic Franklin acknowledged the sorcery, and emptied his pockets like a common man: the artificial Chesterfield yielded for once to an impulse of real feeling, and sprang forward to arrest the fall of the blind beggar whom the speaker pictured on the cliff's extremest verge. Among the rude and turbulent his triumphs were greater still. "I came to break your head, and you have broken my heart", said a ruffian, as the brick-bat dropped out of his nerveless hand. "He preaches like a lion", was the testimony of one whom he had terrified by some strong appeal. In single-handed defiance he went into Bartholomew Fair, and while he spoke the booths were [8] deserted. the acrobats tumbled in vain, and the baffled showmen found their occupation gone. The deaf old woman who had cursed him as he passed along the street was found presently clambering up the pulpit stairs that she might not lose a syllable of his sermon. "The prisoners heard him", and they wept and trembled. The flowing tears made little rills of cleanliness down the swarth faces of Kingswood colliers, ruder than the foresters who dwelt in the old Chase before them. Children hung upon his lips with loving, earnest eyes; and perhaps the most touching illustration of his influence was in the case of a little boy, who sickened after he had heard him preach, and whose sole cry in the pauses of his pain was, "Let me go to Mr. Whitefield's God".

HIS FLAMING ZEAL

All description must fail to make us realize his wonderful power, unless we could transfer the countenance, and fix the flashing eye and sweeping hand upon the page. And this power was not, as has been said., "the power of the cambric handkerchief or of the simulated tears". He could not help being an orator, but he aimed to be an evangelist; and so great was his success that he is said in one week to have received 1,000 letters from those who had been blessed by his ministry. He had no great grasp of mind, nor was he born to organize or to command. "I hate to head a party. If I were to raise societies, I should only be weaving a Penelope's web". These were his words. His work was preaching, and he knew it. The pulpit was his throne, and never monarch filled a regal seat with kinglier presence. Worn down with labour, the physicians prescribed a perpetual blister. He says he tried perpetual preaching, and found that it answered as well. When winter prevented his journeys he mourned like a smitten child - when spring opened his way he bounded to his beloved labour, glad as a gazelle upon the hills. His seal had for its device a winged heart, soaring above thin globe, with the motto, "Astra petamus", and this was emblematic of the business to which he had consecrated his life. "I hope to die in the pulpit, or at least soon after I come out of it. It is your cowardly Christians, who have borne no witness while they live, whom God honours at the last. I shall die in silence; my testimony has been given in my life".

PREACHING HIMSELF INTO HEAVEN

Such was his language as, after thirty-four yars of labour, he gathered himself up for what proved a final discourse. For two hours, though he had recently suffered from the cruel asthma which destroyed him, he spoke with a pathos and power which he had never surpassed, to a people who lingered like the hosts on Carmel, and as if they knew that for another Elijah there awaited a chariot of fire. The pavement and entrance-hall of the house in which he lodged were thronged with people, who craved a parting word. Exhausted with his labours, he requested another minister to speak to them, and with the candle in his hand was ascending the stairs to rest. Suddenly he turned, and, as if with a sense of opportunity rapidly vanishing, and of moments more precious than gold, addressed them from the stairway, and paused not in his labour of love until the candle burned down into the socket as he held it in his hands. The next morning he was not. In the night the messenger came, and, like his Master, he ascended from the summit of the mountain of prayer.

HIS LIKE MAY NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN

Such was George Whitefield, strangely reviled in his day, but whom time has amply avenged:

"We need not now, beneath well-sounding Greek,
Conceal the name the poet dared not speak". [9]

His praise is in all the Churches, and he belongs to them all. You can no more chain him to a sect than you can tame the libertine breezes or control the wilful spring. The works that follow the good man will keep his memory green, and cause his fame to grow, until world-wide as his benevolence and his ministry shall be the estimation in which he is held; and ages yet unborn, as they read the marvel of his life, shall bless God for this Prince of Preachers, this noblest, grandest embodiment of the Revelation angel, who "flies through the midst of heaven having the everlasting Gospel to preach to every nation and people and tongue". [10]

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES UP TO?
AN INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF THE ECUMENICAL ACTIVITIES OF THE WORLD
COUNCIL OF CHURCHES AND ITS ASSOCIATED BODIES

W.C.C. CONDEMNED OUT OF ITS OWN MOUTH

The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (W.C.C.) in his opening statement to the organisation's Central Committee, held in January of this year in Kingston, Jamaica, condemned the Council out of his own mouth.

In a statement on the Programme to Combat Racism (P.C.R.), which is the Programme that finances terrorist organisations throughout the world, he stated, "The fund supports movements in South Africa which are engaged in armed struggle with military and security forces of the racist regimes, in the course of which innocent people including missionaries are killed". This statement gives the lie direct to all the false propaganda poured out by the World Council's apologists in Northern Ireland and throughout the world. Here is the authentic voice of the world Council of Churches stating clearly and categorically that the Fund supports those terrorist organisations engaged in an arms struggle, and in the pursuit of that arms struggle missionaries are killed. The World Council of Churches stands indicted by its self. It is self-condemned.

RUSSIA'S COMMUNISTIC RELIGIOUS LEADERS WANT MORE OFFICES IN THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

It is well known that the Russian Orthodox Church is a propaganda platform for the Communist regime of the Kremlin. It is also well known that its leading ecclesiastics are not only card-carrying members of the Communist Party but are also high in office in the espionage service of the Communist regime.

The World Council of Churches has been used continually by these Communistic Churchmen to forward the aims of the Russian overlords. In Jamaica, in January of this year, at the Central Committee Meeting of the World Council of Churches a call was made by "His Holiness, Patriarch Pimen of Moscow and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church for more offices in the World Council of Churches for the Russian religious Hierarchy". It is noticeable that the call for these places stated that "The statutes of the World Council of Churches should secure more representation of the local, that is Russian Orthodox Churches, in all the Organs and Staff of the World Council". It also stated, "The voting system, used in the [11] World Council when doctrinal problems are being decided upon, wants improvement". Also it is considered important that the World Council of Churches pays more attention to informing its non-orthodox member Churches on the foundations of faith and order of the Orthodox Church. It is not surprising that the Russian Communistic religious patriarch expressed wholehearted support for the World Council of Churches' Programme on Militarism and Disarmament, and also for the Programme to Combat Racism which finances the Marxist terrorist organisations in South Africa.

The Communistic dominance within the World Council of Churches is being strengthened from day to day.

WORLD COUNCIL ELECTS ANOTHER COMMUNIST LEADER AS PRESIDENT

In Kingston in January of this year at the Central Committee Meeting of the World Council of Churches, the Organisation elected a Communist religious leader as a President of the World Body. "His Holiness Ilia, Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union was elected by the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches to fill the vacancy in the Council's Presidential Ranks left by the death of the Metropolitan Nikodim. Nikodim was identified as a communist trained and highly placed person in the Russian Secret Police. He used the church and the World Council of Churches as a platform for communistic propaganda and espionage. The new President is in his mid-forties. He studied theology at the Theological Academy of Moscow, and has been responsible for special studies on the Monastacism of Mount Aphos in Greece. He has participated in the Ecumenical Movement since 1968, and is very familiar of the working of the W.C.C. From 1968 to 1975 he was a member of the Working Group of Church and Society. So the World Council of Churches has another prominent Communist religious leader in the important office of one of its Presidencies.

THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES RENEWS ITS SUPPORT FOR FINANCE FOR TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA

The Central Committee of the world Council of Churches meeting in Kingston, Jamaica in January renewed its support for the financing of terrorist organisations in South Africa. Its Central Committee made it perfectly clear that the control and dispersing of funds to these terrorist organisations was not an act of any staff member of the world Council of Churches, but was done on the authority of the Executive and Central Committee of the movement, and that every Church in membership of the World Council of Churches had a responsibility in the same. The Central Committee also asked that there should be a concentration on the issues of investments, trade and bank loans with South Africa. It expressed concern about the plans for the mass movement of white migrants from South Africa to a number of countries in North and Latin America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The Central Committee also endorsed the efforts of the World Council of Churches in its propaganda to children in schools' textbooks as well as in Christian educational material.

In connection with the financing of its Programme to Combat Racism the Central Committee endorsed the request that donors to the Special Fund should give -10% more in order to cover the cost of the administration Of the Central Fund, and in order that the grants to terrorist organisations might be continued.

WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES PLANS TO HOLD WORLD ASSEMBLY IN 1983 IN VANCOUVER, CANADA

The Central Committee of the World [12] Council of Churches has announced that its sixth world assembly will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1983.

A vast worldwide Organisation Commission has been put in hand and working groups will meet twice in 1979 and 1981, and they will meet in 1982 to finalise the Assembly preparations. The Central Committee ruled that staff and ecumenical teams should visit as many member Churches as possible in the period between now and 1983, and that they should include a common agenda for consultations with member Churches in order to gear them into the World Assembly Programme. The World Assembly in 1983 of the World Council of Churches is looked upon as the most important Assembly ever to be convened.

WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES HAS NOW 295 CHURCHES IN MEMBERSHIP

The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches accepted at their Kingston Meeting in Jamaica in January two new Churches into membership. The Evangelical Church Mekane Yesu of Ethiopia and the Evangelical Christian Church in Halmahera Indonesia. This brings the World Council of Churches' membership to 295 churches.

The Mekane Yesu Church began in 1958 with the bringing together of most of the Lutheran Congregations in Ethiopia. These were joined later by the Bethel Evangelical Church of Presbyterian tradition. The Church has several regional synods and the membership is claimed of more than four hundred thousand. It maintains a theological seminary in Addis Ababa, a college in Debre, Zeit, and various hospitals across the country. The Evangelical Christian Church in Halmahera is in the North Moluccas of Indonesia. It became a self-governing Church of Presbyterian tradition in 1949. It claims a membership of 97,000. It operates its own Theological College at Ternate.

ANGLICANS SUPPORT WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES' FUNDS FOR TERRORISTS

According to the Ecumenical Press Service unequivocal support for the W.C.C.'s Programme to Combat Racism and the Special Fund of the Programme was expressed by the Lesotho Anglican Diocese and Synod on January 15th. The Resolution which made provision for gathering the nations to the Special Fund urged the Church of the Province of South Africa to reconsider its critical stand on the funds for terrorists. Protests against the lack of support for the fund at a provincial level had been made a few days earlier by individual priests, according to the Ecumenical Press Service in Lesotho. 'Father' John Osmurs and 'Father' Michael Lapsey had written an open letter to the Anglican Archbishop of Capetown, The Most Reverend Belburnet, asking the Church of the Province to make 'A more tangible commitment to the struggle of the oppressed people of South Africa for a life of dignity and justice. In many ways our church reflects collusion with Apartheid' wrote the two priests. 'The hour is late for the Church in South Africa'.

GERMAN CHURCHES SUPPORT WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN FINANCING TERRORIST PROGRAMME

On the 20th January, according to the Ecumenical Press Service, the Synod of the Protestant Church of the Rhine Land asked all parishes to support the World Council of Churches' Programme to Combat Racism (P.C.R.) with donations and to make financial contributions to the Humanitarian Programme of the P.C.R.'s Special Fund.

In a statement the World Council of Churches says, 'This is the first time, after the [13] controversy caused by the 85,000 dollar Grant made by the W.C.C. to the Patriotic Front of Zimbabwe in August, 1978 in the Federal Republic of Germany, that a German Protestant Church makes such a decision. The Synod also is to make a donation of 100,000 Deutschmarks (D.MS) to the Commission for International Church Aid, Refugee and World Service (CICARWS) to support its Financial Appeal of five million dollars for South Africa, which was launched last December to help the victims, refugees and displaced persons'.

WORLD COUNCIL (W.C.C.) REPRESENTATIVE AT EL SALVADOR FUNERAL MASS

The Ecumenical Press Service of the World Council of Churches have issued the following statement: 'The week of prayer for Christian unity in El Salvador was turned into a time of mourning following the assassination of four youths and a Roman Catholic priest by uniformed security forces who at dawn on Saturday, 20th January broke into a Parish House where young people were attending a retreat for Catechism Classes. On the day of the killings Dr. Jorge Laura-Braud, at the request of and as a representative of the World Council of Churches, arrived in El Salvador to participate in the Unity Week gatherings. Dr. Laura-Braud is an Official of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and also conveyed this organisation's greetings to the churches. In addition to participating in Ecumenical Group Meetings during the weekend involving the Roman Catholic and Baptist Churches, Dr. Laura Braud spoke at the Funeral Mass which was attended by 10,000 people. At the Mass he delivered an official message of greetings from both the W.C.C. and the N.C.C. In addition in the name of Christians in his adopted country the U.S.A. he asked forgiveness of his brothers and sisters in El Salvador in that the U.S.A. supports a social order that makes people poor and that gives prominence to oppressors. At the same Mass Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, whose name has been put forward for the Nobel Peace Prize by more than a hundred British Parliamentarians, announced the excommunication of the perpetrators behind the assassination of Father Ortiz.

Here we have Roman Catholics and Baptists participating in Church Unity World Council of Churches' inspired meetings, and one of the leaders of the World Council of Churches officially taking part in a Mass ceremony, and then apologising for the U.S.A. because of its support, according to him, of a social order that makes people poor and that gives prominence to oppressors. The real significance of the World Council of Churches can be seen in this statement by one of its most prominent leaders.

THE MASS AND THE MINISTRY PURSUED IN ANGLICAN/R.C. TALKS

The following statement has been issued in London by the Ecumenical Press Service of the World Council of Churches:

'The Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission met recently and completed two clarifications or elucidations on the agreed statements on the Eucharistic Doctrine and Ministry and Ordination.

'The Commission Meeting under the co-chairmanship of the Roman Catholic Bishop of East Anglia The Rt. Rev. Alan Clarke, and the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin Most Rev. Henry McAdoo took into account work done in 1977 and 1978 by the International Commission, and tried to work out the implications of the principles of the two earlier agreed statements in relation to the criticism and comment it has received by Anglicans and Roman Catholics from many parts of the world. On the agreed statement on Eucharistic Doctrine, Windsor 1971, the use of the Sacrificial Language for the Eucharist and what is meant by speaking of [14] the bread and wine becoming the body and blood of Christ were both considered as were the implications of the Reservation of the Sacrament. On the agreed statement on Ministry and Ordination, Canterbury 1973, the Commission took up the problem of the Nature of Priesthood, and the Origin and Development of the Ordained Ministry, and the relation to contemporary questions about Anglican Orders and the Ordination of Women. Work is continuing on the remaining problems of Authority Related to the Papacy, and a response is also hoped for on the Agreed Statement Authority in the Church, Venice 1976. Finally the Commission is expected to say something on the theological pre-suppositions and framework of its three agreed statements.'

This release is a very important one and shows how the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenical Bodies are not only pushing for organisational unity with the Church of Rome, but also for firm doctrinal unity.

ONE AND A HALF MILLION U.S. DOLLARS TO BE RAISED BY THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES FOR THEIR PROGRAMME TO COMBAT RACISM (P.C.R.)

The financial needs of the World Council of Churches Programme to Combat Racism for 1979 have just been published. In a statement by the Ecumenical Press Service, issued in Geneva, it has been announced that the World Council of Churches Programme to Combat racism has budgeted for one million, four hundred and forty-one thousand U.S. dollars to be divided separately into three administered budgets. The Programme project lists twelve projects which need 495,000 U.S. dollars, another operating budget for the Secretariat 396,000 U.S. dollars, and support towards the Special Fund which finances the terrorist organisations in South Africa of 550,000 American Dollars. This Special fund which the World Council announces is the best known work of the Programme to Combat Racism (The P.C.R.). In asking for 550,000 American Dollars is renewing the commitment of the World Council to operate a fund where money does not just go to organisations caring for racially oppressed but to the oppressed themselves. The figure asked for compares with the 560,000 American Dollars dispensed in 1976, and the 434,500 American Dollars dispensed in 1978. So the World Council of Churches keeps its firm commitment supplying money from its Churches to finance the murderous guerrillas who are murdering missionaries and innocent people in South Africa today.

MORE UNIFIES THAN DIVIDES US, SAY METHODISTS AND ROMAN CATHOLICS

Rome (EPS) - More unifies than divides Roman Catholics and Methodists in their mutual understanding of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual Christian and in the shared life of the community of faith, said the Joint International Commission of Roman Catholics and Methodists after its meeting in Rome earlier this month. the commission also affirmed that the Gospel calls Christians to speak for and respond to the needs of the poor, the hungry and the suffering dispossessed of the world and that the Holy Spirit empowers them in their strivings for justice and freedom.

Speaking for the commission, the two co-chairmen, Bishop J. Francis Stafford, auxiliary of Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. (Roman Catholic), and Bishop William R. Cannon, resident Bishop of the Atlanta area, United Methodist church, U.S.A., and ecumenical chairman for the World Methodist Council, stated: "We believe that the Holy Spirit has brought us together here in Rome, and that as Christians, Catholic and Methodist, we shore basic and essential agreement about the doctrine and person of the Holy Spirit and about his operation in [15] justification and sanctification in the church. We desire to speak with one voice about this fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith, and hope that this voice will be echoed by our fellow Christians throughout the world. the doctrine of the Holy Spirit has never been a point of division between us, and our discussions have shown that differing traditional emphasis and forms of expression are complementary and mutually enriching, rather than divisive or a cause of dissension. We believe that the unity we have shared together in our discussion has been in some measure a fulfilment of the prayer of our Lord that we may be one in him and in the Father"

At its next meeting in November 1979, the commission will discuss the work of the Holy Spirit in the church and the sacraments. This is intended as a further stage in the formulation of a more complete statement of common faith in the Holy Spirit which it is hoped will be drawn up before 1981.

John Wesley in his Notes on the New Testament has this to say of the Church of Rome:

The whole succession of Popes from Gregory VII are undoubtedly anti-christ. Yet this hinders not, but that the last Pope in this succession will be more eminently the antichrist, the man of sin, adding to that of his predecessors a peculiar degree of wickedness from the bottomless pit.

MISSIONARY REPORT: REV. ALAN SMYLIE MOVES TO CORAGARRY

"On 15th January 1969, after coming home from a gospel Mission in Lisburn, I cried to the Lord to save me, and He made me a new creature.

Through the Rev. Alan Cairns' ministry at a Youth Rally in Martyrs Memorial Church Hall in 1972, the Lord spoke to me concerning full time service. My response was, 'Lord, if You want me in Your service, I am willing to go'. In my daily Bible reading in the book of Ezekiel the Lord spoke to me through His word, 'This is the way, walk ye in it'. He underlined clearly that He wanted me in the ministry of the Free Presbyterian church. I applied to Presbytery, and was accepted for training. Last June I completed the four year course of Study.

For 18 months I had been working in connection with our Dromore congregation. Through Acts 14:25 the Lord spoke to me, and I felt that He was saying, 'Alan, I want you to move on'. Where, I did not know. I have always had an interest in the South of Ireland, but never felt any definite call to work there. When the Rev. Austin Allen, the minister of our Coragarry congregation, received a call to Clogher Valley church, he spoke to me about considering prayerfully the work in the South of Ireland. In Acts 8 and Genesis 12 God showed me clearly that He wanted me to move to the South. I asked Him for a definite seal, and that day while visiting a man in his own home I had the joy of pointing him to the Lord. At the Congregational meeting in Coragarry I was given the unanimous call that I had asked the Lord for as a further seal to my going there.

The Holy Spirit led Philip to a desert land (Acts 8). Such is the South of Ireland - a land without spiritual growth. We are rightly concerned about mission fields across the seas. But we must not neglect the mission field so near to our own land. Philip was called to speak to a man who was without spiritual understanding (Acts 8:30-31). That man represents the people in the South of Ireland.

Our church in Coragarry is a small congregation of 30-40 people. We have an [16] extension work in Corlea, 20-30 miles away. Services are held on Sunday afternoons when 20-25 of a congregation gather. There is some interest in Dublin for a work to be commenced, but the difficulty is securing premises. The Free Presbyterian Church has experienced strong opposition in the South from apostate Protestant denominations and other bodies - in particular the Faith Mission".

(Rev. Alan Smylie was installed as minister of Coragarry Free Presbyterian Church on 26 March, and commenced his labours there the following Sunday).

ANGLICANS SAY "YES" TO FURTHER TALKS WITH ROME

The Church of England's General Synod unanimously accepted that the three Agreed Statements, prepared by the Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) since 1968, are "sufficiently congruent with Anglican teaching to provide a theological basis for further dialogue".

This decision will be forwarded to the Anglican Consultative Council's session in May. The ACC, meeting in Canada, will consider the Church of England's response, along with those from other Anglican churches.

The Synod adopted two important amendments. the first asked for ARCIC "to initiate a joint study of the doctrine of the Church". The second called for the appointment of a "joint commission for continuing oversight and development of official Anglican/Roman Catholic relations".

Two further amendments, which called for an Agreed statement on the doctrine of Justification by faith" and for a referral to the dioceses for their opinions, were rejected as unnecessary.