Editorial: 500th Anniversary of the Birth of

Five hundred years ago, on the 10th of November 1483, Martin Luther 'the monk who shook the world' was born. That event marked a beginning of a change in the whole of European history. The Papacy which ruled supreme was never to be the same again after his protest. From the controversy and struggle which Luther helped to originate modern Protestantism was born.


On the eve of the 30th October, 1517, the good Elector of Saxony, Frederick, had a strange dream. He told this dream to his brother Duke John early the next morning.

He dreamt that God sent him a monk who was to show his people and himself the true way of God. The monk asked for permission to write on the door of the old Castle Church of Wittenberg. The monk wrote on the door something so large that the Elector could read it at his palace at Schweinitz six leagues away. The pen the monk used reached Rome and there it pierced the ears of a lion which crouched there and caused the Pope's tiara to topple. The cardinals and princes tried to stop the pen and break it, but the pen became as strong as steel and out of it jumped other pens. The monk confessed he got the pen from one of his old schoolmasters and that it came originally from an old goose of Bohemia and that he himself marvelled at its strength.


On the very morning that the Elector told his dream its meaning was being made known six leagues away at Wittenberg. There, on the door of the old Castle Church, Luther with hammer and nails fastened up his famous ninety-five theses against indulgences. Each one is important. Each one strikes a fatal blow at the system of popery and priestcraft. Here are some of them--

"The Pope cannot remit any condemnation, but can only declare and confirm the remission that God Himself has given, except only in cases [3] that belong to him. If he does otherwise, the condemnation remains the same."

"Those who fancy themselves sure of salvation by indulgences will go to perdition along with those who teach them so."

"Every true Christian, dead or living, is a partaker of all the blessings of Christ, or of the Church, by the gift of God, and without any letter of indulgence."

"We should teach Christians that the Pope (as it is his duty) would distribute his own money to the poor, whom the indulgence-seekers are now stripping of their last farthing, even were he compelled to sell the Mother Church of St. Peter."

"To hope to be saved by indulgences is a lying and an empty hope, although even the commissary of indulgences -nay, further, the Pope himself - should pledge their souls to guarantee it."

"The true and precious treasure of the Church is the holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God."

"The Papal pardons cannot remit even the least of venal sins as regards the guilt."

We believe that Luther was right and the Pope was wrong and is still wrong. We believe that Luther was true and the Pope a liar and is still a liar. We believe that Luther preached Christ's Gospel and the Pope preached the Devil's gospel and still does.

We believe that Luther's God still lives and in the 20th century we can have a similar Reformation to the 16th century. May we pray and preach in 1983 to that end!

This act of Luther, although he himself knew it not, was the beginning of the great separation from the Roman Antichrist.

These theses caused a great sensation throughout Germany and they became the talking point of the whole nation. The people who read and discussed them said, "If Luther's right, the Pope's wrong; if Luther's true, the Pope's a liar; if Luther has Christ's gospel, then the Pope has the devil's gospel."


On the 1st of August 1946 Ian Richard Kyle Paisley was ordained to the Christian Ministry in the old Ravenhill Church. Rev. W. J. Grier, Evangelical Presbyterian; Rev. Thos. Rowan, Irish Presbyterian; Prof. T. B. McFarlane, Reformed Presbyterian and Dr. Paisley's father, Rev. J. Kyle Paisley, took part in the solemn service.

"My Battle Scars - My Best Credentials"

A Sermon preached by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley M.P., in the Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church on Lord's Day morning 1/8/82, on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of his ordination to the Christian Ministry.

Galatians ch. 6, v. 17: "From henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks (the brandmarks) of the Lord Jesus".

"From henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the brandmarks of the Lord Jesus."

Paul was every inch a man. It was the grace of God that made him so. When he was in sin he was cowardly. He was vicious. He was blood-thirsty. He was murderous. Unbridled zeal and untamed hatred lashed him on to diabolical acts as black as the midnight of Hell itself. Then suddenly this murderer with hands crimsoned with the blood of the saints was changed, transformed on the Damascus road. The untameable was tamed. The zealot was transformed. The murderer became mysteriously motivated with love, joy, peace and a sound mind.

What happened? The light of God - the light from Heaven - the light above the brightness of the sun - the great Light, shone into his heart, and it dispelled the darkness of sin, the darkness of death and the darkness of Hell. Sin enthroned became sin dethroned in his life. Henceforth Paul was to learn in the hard school of experience what Christ revealed to Ananias when he sent Ananias to heal his eyes and to welcome him into the fellowship of the saints. "What great things thou must suffer for Jesus' sake. What great things thou must suffer for Jesus' sake!" [5]


Turn to the Word of God. Let us read the grim and terrible catalogue of Paul's suffering. II Corinthians, chapter 11, and in the verse 23: "Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool), I am more, in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. (One hundred and ninety-five lashes on the back with a cat-of-nine-tails). Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep. In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities." Chapter 6 of the same epistle and verse 4: "But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses. In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings. By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned. By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left. By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true: as unknown, and yet well known: as dying, and, behold, we live: as chastened, and not killed: as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing: as poor, yet making many rich: as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."


Yes, and at the end of this great Galatian epistle, having defended the doctrine of free and sovereign grace alone, against the Judaisers, Paul turns on all who accuse him, the members of the church who jeer at the fact that his bodily presence is weak, the dwarfs who from a safe distance would challenge this mighty apostolic giant, and he says, "From henceforth let no man trouble me". The word translated "henceforth" here in the Greek text occurs in only one other place in the New Testament. Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 10 when it is translated "finally". Paul is saying a final word, "Finally I have a word to say", and that word is this, "Let no man trouble me. You critics, you murmurers, you Judaisers, you upholders of the Mosaic ceremonial and circumcision. Be silent, shut your mouth, hold your tongue. See the brandies on my body. See the welts on my back. See the scars on my figure. See the beatings, buffetings and bruisings on my person. Do those not show to you that I will not, and I cannot change my doctrine, I cannot compromise my preaching. I am totally, finally and eternally committed to preaching Christ. My battle-scars are my best credentials. I bear in my body the brandmarks of the Lord Jesus". [6]


The word in the original for brandmarks is 'stigmata' - the word from which we get the word 'stigma'. It is a mark of shame. It is a mark of ignominy. It is a mark which doesn't boost pride. It is a mark which people want to hide and conceal. But Paul is proud of the stigma. He is proud of the brandmarks. He is proud of his prison record. He is proud of the branding. He says, "Finally, every critic keep quiet. I bear in my body the brandmark of the Lord Jesus". This is the only place in the New Testament where the word 'stigmata' is used.

The word was used of the mark made by a sharp piercing instrument which cut through the flesh so deeply that the flesh had an indelible mark as the result. It is also used of the mark made by a hot branding iron which burns up the flesh and leaves behind it its mark.

The slave in Paul's day was branded. The prisoner in Paul's day was branded. The soldier in Paul's day was branded. The devotees of heathen deities branded themselves in Paul's day. The old veteran of many battlefields was also branded with the scars of frontline action in the day of war and in the day of conflict.

I want to take those particular categories today. Paul was branded as the slave of Christ. Paul was branded as the soldier of Christ. Paul was branded as the prisoner of Christ. Paul was branded as a devotee of Christ, and Paul was branded as the veteran. He is writing from the prison. He is talking about coming death. He says, "Finally, let every man be silent, for I bear in my body the brandmarks of the Lord Jesus".


The brand of the slave was put there to establish the rights of the owner. There were thousands of slaves and their dark colour helped to disguise them, but the slave-owners of Rome had their own brandmark, and if a slave ran away it was easy to prove whose slave he was. The master's possession of the slave was established by the brandmark. It could not be hidden. It could not be concealed. Every slave carried the brand of his owner, of his master.

Paul carried the brand. He says, "I am the prisoner and slave, the branded slave of the Lord. I show you the branding on my body. I say, recognise these marks, recognise these scars. This is the branding of the Son of God. I'm Christ's man for ever. I have been dragged at the chariot's wheels of the Eternal King of kings and Lord of lords. I am not a mere conscript of a servant. I'm in the front line for God. I'm the slave of Jesus".


Could I turn for a moment and remind you that Jesus Christ Himself was a slave. The great prophetic Scriptures talked about the Servant of Jehovah or the Slave of Jehovah God.

Christ had no will but the Will of His Father. Nowhere to go but where the Father sent Him. Nothing to do but what the Father wanted Him to do.

As a boy of twelve in Herod's temple He said, "Wist ye not that I must be [7] about my Father's business" - the first recorded Words of the Son of God on earth. And on the Cross, His final cry before He committed His Spirit to the Father, was, "It is finished". John chapter 17, "I have finished the work that Thou gavest me to do".

Jesus Christ, slave of God, wants us to be His slaves, and if we are going to be His slaves we are going to bear the brandmarks, for if the world hates anything it hates the man, the woman, totally dedicated to Christ.

Half hearted believers, Christians who are not fully committed, those who treat their Christianity as they treat their Sunday clothes, something for a special day, for a special occasion, will not suffer persecution. But the totally committed believer will know the branding of the slave.


Paul was not only a slave, Paul was a prisoner - "The prisoner of the Lord" "In prisons often". When you read the catalogue of Paul's suffering, the paper and straw men of the twentieth century fade away. One would feel like saying, "There are no men today, we be but dwarfs, we be but pygmies when we stand beside this giant."

"In prisons oft". He said, "I am branded. I am distinguished. I am separated. I am a man with a difference. I am in chains to Christ. I am in fetters to the Saviour. I am imprisoned by the Lord. I crave not my liberty. I just want to serve my Saviour. His law rules me. I am under His government. His will is supreme. I murmur not at this prison cell, because His presence makes it a palace. I complain not at these chains, they seem to be made of silver when He draws near and touches my heart. The isolation, the loneliness, the bitterness, the anguish, the torment, the darkness of this damp cell is nothing, I am a prisoner for the Lord, let no man trouble me. I bear on my body the brandmarks of the Lord's slave. I have the brandmarks of the Lord's prisoner".


How different this is to the Christians of the twentieth century. They want the easy passage. They want the sweet primrose road. They want the path without sacrifice. They don't like the self-denying of the old rugged path of the Cross. "Give us our pleasure. Give us our recreation. Give us our privileges. Give us our joy. Give us our happinesses."

One dear woman said to me, "The Lord wouldn't want His people to suffer. He wants us to have the easiest possible time here below." I said, "Woman, you are a fool. The Bible says, 'Don't be alarmed if you suffer tribulation, for in this world ye shall have tribulation'. The Bible says, 'If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him'."


Could I turn for a moment and remind you that Christ was the prisoner. They took Him from prison to the judgment, and who shall declare His generation? [8] (Isaiah 53:8). Incarcerated by the Jewish Sanhedrin, incarcerated by the minions of Caesar - the Imperial Caesar. Christ of God the prisoner. If I would be His true follower I too will know the brandmarks - the stigmata of being a prisoner of Christ.


The soldier was branded. Many of the soldiers and sailors of that day were pressed men. What did that mean? They didn't want to be soldiers. They didn't want to be sailors, but the press gangs rounded them up in their homes, in their places of employment, in their families, and pressed them into Caesar's service. So they could not desert they were branded.

In a sense every believer is pressed into the army of the King. There was a time when we served the Devil and served him well. We enjoyed his pleasures, enjoyed his prosperity and enjoyed his satanic privileges. Then one day, Hallelujah, the Blessed Holy Ghost pressed me into the service of the King, broke my stubborn will, took out of my heart the love of sin, turned me from the road to Hell, changed my life, my outlook, my future and, glory to God, my Eternity - I was pressed into the service of the King. I cannot desert that branding. I cannot turn back, I am branded - branded to fight the King's enemies. I am committed to battle against the powers of darkness.

How many branded soldiers of the Lord today are playing the traitor. They have gone over into the enemy's ranks, pared down the sharp-pointed message of the Gospel for the sake of an easier ministry and a better way in the world.


After 36 years in this city I could tell you story after story of compromising preachers who chose the easy road, who chose the softening of the message, who chose the popularity of the denomination, who chose the cheers and plaudits of the multitude. They took the easy road. Some of them God has taken from their ministry, for the Bible says, "Many are weak and sickly among you and many sleep". That is the sleep of death. "If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged, but when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world".

There is a sin unto death and it is not the unpardonable sin, it is a brother or a sister who commits that sin. What happens? God takes them home to heaven before the time.

I remembered Mr. Nicholson telling, "When I was a boy, and I misbehaved in the street, my mother would come out and say to me, 'Billy, you behave or I'll bring you in'. If I continued to misbehave I was called in. Many a man has to be called in from the street of service to the Father's House because he hasn't judged himself, he has misbehaved."


Could I turn the Picture again and tell you, Christ was the great soldier - the Captain of our salvation - the Field-Marshal of Heaven - the General of the [9] hosts of the Lord. He didn't fight with a battalion. He didn't fight with a regiment. He didn't fight with an army. He fought on His own. "Could I not ask for twelve legions of angels, but I'll not ask for them. I must tread the winepress of God's wrath alone". The One Who is the mighty soldier of the Cross calls me to be a soldier. He says to me, "See my branded hands. See my branded feet. See my thorn-pierced brow. See my scarred side. You too are called to be a soldier, a battler, a fighter, a contender for the faith."

Now the church today doesn't want contenders. "Give us great expositional preaching. Give us pleasant devotional talks. Give us bright evangelism, but don't talk about evil - Apostacy, Popery, Modernism, Ecumenism - don't speak of those things." If I speak not of those things I am a traitor to the Captain Who has enlisted me. I have gone over to the enemy's side. I am found out to be an Iscariot, a Judas, a betrayer.


The devotee is branded. Of course the Jewish devotee had the mark in his flesh of circumcision, but the other contemporary religions of Paul's day, they had their brandmarks as well. They shewed them publicly in the streets, "I am a worshipper of this god. I am a devotee of this goddess. I bow at this shrine. My god is Baal. My god is Ashtaroth. My god is the god of Egypt, of Babylon, of Athens, Great is Diana of the Ephesians". They all wore the brandmarks of the gods they worshipped.

But Paul said, "Jesus Christ is my God. Jesus my God, I own His Name". Paul said, "Look at me. Look at the marks on my body; the bruises on my flesh; the cuts on this person of mine. I am the devotee of Jesus Christ. There is a flame burning in this soul of mine and it is the flame of love to Jesus. It cannot, it must not be quenched. By the power of prayer, by the joy of the reading of God's Word, by committed service to Christ the fire burns. It is burning, it is blazing, it is flaming. I have the brandmarks of a devotee to the Son of God."


Finally, the veteran was branded. The old soldier has scars to show. He has been in the front line. He has stood the hottest fire. His companions have fallen. He has witnessed many a stricken field. He has not lolled about the barrack room in a dress suit. He has been out in battledress in the front line. His garments are torn. He smells of gunpowder. His garments are crimson with the gore of blood that has been shed. He has not been out there as a new recruit but as an old tried veteran. He is not some Johnny-come-lately soldier. He is a man who has served in the hottest conflict, in the front line for God. He has got scars on him. His scars are his best credentials.


What shall I say of this veteran Paul? One hundred and ninety-five marks upon his body. That is the mark of the cruel lash with a bit of bone at the end of [10] it, and when it came down the back it left a river of blood. Beaten with rods, stoned, assaulted, set upon, battered, broken, beaten, Paul stands there, having finished this epistle, and he cries, "Let every mouth be stopped. Clear the road. Stand away. Don't hinder me. I'll not be changing my message. I'll not be altering my commitment. I'll not be paring down the sharp edge of the truth. I'll not be blunting the sword of the Lord to please anybody. I'm a veteran, I've fought with wild beasts at Ephesus. I've fought with the devils of Hell. I've fought with the Judaisers. I've fought with those who peddle another gospel, and God's curse is upon them. Here I am and I'm nearly through. I'm going to put my head down some day soon, not on a pillow, but on the axeman's block and they're going to sever the head from my body. I bear in my body the brands of the Lord Jesus."


There are those who don't want us to be veterans. They want us to preach smooth things. They want us to conform to religious practices. They don't want a preacher who is going to stand against the flow of the present religious thinking and the present religious age.

During these past 36 years how many people have sought and pled with me to pare down my message, to use a different method, not to be outspoken, not to denounce sin, not to fight apostasy, not to cause people to separate themselves from darkness and devilry.

I remember a deputation waiting for me one night after the prayer meeting. Two prominent gentlemen, who said, "We have a message from God for you". When a 'softie' comes to you with that word open your ears, and open your eyes, for usually it is a message from the devil he is bringing, and like the devil he will misquote Scripture.

They said, "We really love you". I said, "I'm deeply impressed. I'm glad somebody loves me". They said, "We think that you are going about things the wrong way. You have great talent". Man, when the flatterer comes beware of him! "You have a great ministry before you. You could rise so high on the rung of ecclesiastical preferment, but not the way you are going. You denounce Popery too much. People don't like that. You antagonise people. You grieve our families, for our families don't like the reproach of this Church".

I had heard enough, so I stepped forward to the door and I opened it and I said something like this, "Gentlemen, if you are gentlemen, you better leave now, for if you stay one moment longer my toe will assist you through the door". I meant it. They were emissaries from Hell, that is who they were, sent by Beelzebub, commissioned by Satan to tell the man of God to compromise.


I found it a lot easier to be faithful 36 years ago than I find it today. I found it 36 years ago a lot easier to fight the battles. I tell you, the larger the Church, the bigger the influence, the heavier the responsibility, the harder it is to be true to Christ. I have often prayed to my Lord and said to Him in the secret place, "If I [11] should compromise one iota, put me in a coffin, get me away."

How many great men of God in history fought a good fight until the last years of their ministry, and the last years of their ministry was the saga of a great tragedy. Did you ever read the life of Solomon? The last chapter of his life is as dark as Hell's midnight. The wisest man on earth became the greatest fool on earth.

"I am a veteran", said Paul, "I defy men, for I am determined and dedicated. Stand clear you Judaisers. Stand clear you false doctrine propagators. Hinder me not, I bear in my body the brands of the Lord Jesus".


Could I turn it, could I speak of another veteran, the Blessed Lord Jesus Christ - the Blessed Son of God. He Who, in the Song of Solomon, has hair as black as a raven, but He Who, in Revelation, has hair as white as silver. Why? Can the Ancient of Days be aged? Can the Eternal youthfulness of Jehovah have upon it the marks of the passing of time? Yes, He Who became Mediator and took upon Him the form of man, He is a veteran - a veteran from the Cross. His scars, His wounds yet visible above declare to angels, to the redeemed hosts that He is the veteran from Golgotha's brow. He bears in His body the brandmarks.

Many years ago a great soldier, a famous General, was honoured by his fellow officers and the members of his Army. They called a great feast, a great dinner, where they were going to honour him. All his fellow officers from the ranks of General down to Sub-Lieutenant turned up in their full dress uniforms, medals sparkling on their breasts, uniforms with black and gold and crimson, the silver swords by their sides.

What a galaxy of soldiers of all ranks. They waited for the General whom they were going to honour, they waited for him to make his entrance.

They anticipated, "How well he will look in his dress uniform. What medals will be pinned upon his breast. The crimson sash that he has been given by the Queen, how he will wear it with dignity and honour". They waited for him.

The door opened and the Master of Ceremonies announced his name, and the old veteran walked in. He hadn't on his dress uniform, he had on his old battle garment. It smelled of gunpowder, part of it was torn, some of the buttons were missing, it was dyed purple with blood.

As he stood there, it is said that all his comrades stood to their feet and they pulled out their swords and they cheered and they cheered and they cheered until the vaults of that great banqueting hall rang with their cheers. But there was only one man scarred and battered and broken among them, and that was their leader.


When we get to Heaven there will be no scars upon the bodies of the saints. The Lord, He is going to give us perfect bodies. The body of Paul in the resurrection will not have a mark on it. The rod marks will not be upon it. It will [12] be a transformed body, the old body renewed. There will be no blemishes on it, Paul.

But when we stand in our dress uniforms to hail the Captain of our salvation when He takes His place, He will have His battle scars forever.

In the hands of Jesus for all Eternity will be the marks of the nails. On the brow of Jesus for all Eternity will be the marks of the thorns. In the side of Jesus for all Eternity will be the marks of the spear. "Five bleeding wounds He bears received on Calvary, they speak effectual prayers, they strongly plead for me. 'Forgive them, O, forgive' He cries, nor let the ransomed sinner die".

Hallelujah, what a Savour and what a salvation!

God help me to be a branded slave, a branded prisoner, a branded soldier, a branded devotee and a branded veteran, for Jesus' Sake!



The Convenanters Memorial Free Presbyterian Church at Mulvin, Victoria Bridge, was crowded to capacity on Friday evening the 26th November for the ordination and installation of Mr. Thomas Murray as the first Minister of the Congregation.

Mr. Murray who comes from Eglinton, Co. Londonderry, was the student minister in Mulvin from the 6th April 1980. The service was presided over by the senior minister, Rev. John Greer from Sixmilecross. The service commenced with the singing of Psalm 124 (2nd verse) and was opened in Prayer by the Rev. Wesley McDowell from Limavady. This was followed by the Scripture reading and ordination sermon by the Rev. Alan Edgar, recently installed as minister of Tullyvallen Free Presbyterian Church.


The prescribed questions to the minister elect were then put by the Acting Clerk of Presbytery, the Rev. John Long of Rasharkin. Mr. Murray then subscribed the Westminster Confession of Faith and was ordained to the ministry by the laying on of hands of the Presbytery and the ordination prayer was led by Dr. I. R. K. Paisley, Moderator of the Presbytery.

The charge to the minister and congregation was then brought by Dr. Paisley who based his remarks on 2 Timothy 4:1-7. He said the service marked an important milestone in the history of the church at Mulvin. He also emphasised the solemnity of standing behind the sacred desk and told Mr. Murray that the most important part of his role in Mulvin was to preach the Word of God to the full. He warned that there were those who would not 'endure sound doctrine' and it was the duty of a faithful minister to stand against apostasy and the false doctrines of the Church of Rome. Dr. Paisley closed by charging the congregation to faithfully support their minister.

Following Dr. Paisley's address the Chairman called on the newly ordained minister to address the meeting. Mr. Murray began by giving a word of testimony, relating how he had been saved in Limavady Free Presbyterian Church on the 22nd September 1974. He recalled how he had enjoyed his ministry as the student minister for 21/2 years in Mulvin [14] and thanked the congregation for extending to him the call to become their minister. Mr. Murray then thanked everyone for coming to the service, especially members of the Limavady church of which he was a former member. He also paid tribute to his parents for their support.

Mr. Murray was welcomed on behalf of the Session and congregation by Mr. William Annerly, who presented a cheque to him. Mr. Annerly also presented an inscribed silver plate and cheque to the Rev. John Greer in appreciation of his work and help as Senior Minister. Dr. Paisley, who was responsible for purchasing the building at Mulvin and commencing the work, was presented with a gold fountain pen in appreciation of his labours.

Rev. Wesley McDowell, minister of Limavady Free Presbyterian Church, presented a number of books which he described as 'vital tools' to Mr. Murray on behalf of the Limavady congregation.

The meeting was then brought to a close by prayer led by the Rev. John Morrow. Tea was served afterwards by the ladies of the congregation.


The amazing gains which Romanism has made in the past few years are nothing short of spectacular. One hundred years ago Romanism was a despised religion in America. Slowly the climate changed, and the suspicious air of American Protestants gave way to the irenic dialogue and ecumenism.

Paul Blanshard in speaking of the change which has come about in the news media toward Romanism in the last one hundred years uses Vatican II for an example. He says that Vatican II was a spectacular triumph. He elaborates:-

"It was made possible, of course, by the willingness of the world's news media to give the church something better than an even break . . . The Pope suddenly became for many the most prestigious individual alive."

Blanshard then contrasts the way the American news media reported Vatican II with the way their journalistic counterparts reported Vatican I in 1870. Surely, the difference reflects the dramatic change which has taken place in the American religious scene in the last generation.

Blanshard quotes "Father" Ryan Reiser: "In general the New York press was opposed to everything Catholic . . . The press wanted Roman control to be discredited and broken." He goes on to point out that "the critical language used by editors in 1870 would be quite inconceivable in today's journals."


Blanshard then gives an example of the journalism of that time.

"The New York Tribune, ridiculing some of the alleged relics displayed in Roman Churches - the wing of angel Gabriel, the rope used by Judas, the beard of Noah, etc. - published (what Blanshard calls) an ugl jiibe at the council in the form of a prayer, handed about by Americans at Rome.

"Our Father who art in the Vatican: Infallible by thy Name: Thy temporal sovereignty come: Thy will be done in Europe and America as it is in Ireland. Give us this day our tithes and titles, and forgive us our trespasses as we give plenary indulgences to those who pay penitently unto us: lead us not into Ecumenical Councils, but deliver us from, thinking: for thine is the Crozier, the Key, and the Tiara, Rome without end. Amen."

Blanshard then asks, "Can anyone imagine such overt anti-Catholic ridicule in an American newspaper today? Or can anyone imagine an American BROADCASTING COMPANY IN THIS CENTURY SHOWING FUNDAMENTAL DISRESPECT FOR A POPE, EITHER PICTORIALLY (in reference to a cartoon jibe published in 1870) or in words?" The answer, of course, is no. Modern Americans have been too well propagandized to ridicule or refute the errors of Rome. [17]

Blanchard draws his own conclusion:

"The distance between the broad malicious journalistic anti-catholicism of 1870 and the respectful almost reverent approach to papal personalities during Vatican II is a yardstick for the measurement of Catholic triumphs in American public opinion."

Certainly any thinking person would have to agree with Paul Blanchard's assessment of contemporary journalism. From the most liberal secular paper to 'Christianity Today' to the 'Sword Of The Lord', Romanism gets good coverage and a sympathetic press.


Fundamental Christians could always in the past be counted upon to point out the errors of Romanism (see The Fundamentals as they were originally written for corroboration of this point.) But the fundamentalists and conservatives of the present do not follow in the same train.

A question not raised by Blanshard in his assessment of the changes is this: "Why should Romanism be accorded a respectful or reverent press?" It is the only North American Church with the exception of the Moon cult whose headquarters are not in America. Every other church severed national ties and became American except Romanism.

Has any of its original goals changed? Has any of its erroneous dogmas changed since 1870? Has any of its idolatrous practices changed? Has the blasphemy of the Mass been abolished? The answer to all these questions is an emphatic no! In fact other errors have been added since 1870 so that Romanism is now further from the truth than when it was lampooned by the knowledgeable writers of another century.


Modern writers, however with but few exceptions, continue to present Romanism in an ever increasing better light than it has ever been presented since the Reformation. The modern newspapers, network television and the radio all combine to present Romanism as a beautiful and wonderful religion and a great bulwark against Communism. All news media sources constantly refer to Romanism as Christianity. It is not even referred to as Roman Christianity, but in speaking of Romanism they continually allude to it as Christianity. A good example of this was seen on the ABC television network on June 7, 1979, when this network did a special half-hour program on the Pope's visit to Poland. The word "Christianity" was used often during this half-hour program. The Pope was shown celebrating the blasphemy of the Mass; he was shown in conjunction with the Black Madonna which was an example of gross idolatry, superstition and Mariolatry; yet this was all referred to as "Christianity". True Christianity is as far removed from this blasphemy and idolatry as Heaven is from Hell but not to our modern newsmen! [18]

One newsman quoted some European thinker as saying "Euro-Communism is dead; Euro-Catholicism is on the march," and then he added, "While the first half of the statement is exaggerated, the second part is not." So the ABC newsman agreed that Euro-Catholicism is on the march. References were made also to Mary being the Queen of Poland. So Rome has not in any way softened its stand on Mariolatry but in fact has begun to play up the importance of Mary more in recent years than formerly.


When Cardinal Wright died, the news media again gave full coverage to this event. Pictures of the Cardinal and lengthy first page articles appeared in the leading newspapers of the U.S. Again to show what the leaders of Romanism believe concerning their religion, let us hear what Cardinal Wright said: "I love the Catholic Church as I love nothing else. I don't think of the church as an Organisation, an institution. To me, it's the personal presence of Christ in history." So the Mother of the Horrors of the Inquisition, and the Matrix from which came the gross immoralities of the Middle Ages, and the institution that "Father" Lucien Vinet described as riddled with sexual perversion in the Twentieth century, is said to be the personal presence of Christ in history! Never was there a more flagrant euphemism, never a grosser misrepresentation, sent out nation wide by our modern news media.

The continual bombardment of Roman Catholic propaganda in the American news media is certainly unprecedented in American history. Even after the overwhelming presence of the Pope in the news media during and immediately after his visit to Poland, he was again thrust into the limelight. His picture was published in many leading newspapers showing him placing a crown on the image of the Virgin Mary during his outdoor general audience in St. Peter's Square. Following that he was kept in the limelight by the constant reports of his upcoming visit to the U.S.


Television news told of a platform upon which he was to stand with a cross one hundred feet above him while he would address hundreds of thousands in Dublin and celebrate the Mass. Immediately following this piece of news came the announcement that in the U.S. the Pope would have a concelebrated Mass with hundreds of priests assisting him, and then he would visit and speak to the United Nations while in New York.

The one piece of encouraging news came when it was announced that the Pope had decided not to visit the North of Ireland. Whether men believe it or not, that which the Pope blesses, God curses. One scholar [19] has traced the calamities that have followed the blessings of the Pope. Showing how men like John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and others were blessed by the Pope and then what happened after the papal blessing. God will not give His glory to another, and only God can give or withhold blessings. Personally, we are glad that the Pope is not going to the land of Ulster; Eire will suffice to demonstrate the value of the Papal presence and blessing.

Dr. Ronald Cooke is Pastor of the Evangelical Methodist Church, Altoona, Pa., and Dean of Faculty of the Manahath Christian College and Seminary, Hollidaysburg, Pa.


Whatever men please to think or say, the Romanish doctrine of the real presence, if pursued to its legitimate consequences, obscures every leading doctrine of the Gospel and damages and interferes with the whole system of Christ's truth . . . You spoil the blessed doctrine of Christ's finished work when He died on the Cross. A sacrifice that needs to be repeated is not a perfect and complete thing. You spoil the priestly office of Christ. If there are priests that can offer an acceptable sacrifice of God besides Him, the great High Priest is robbed of His glory. You spoil the scriptural doctrine of the Christian ministry. You exalt sinful men into the position of mediators between God and men. You give to the sacramental elements of the bread and the wine an honour they were never meant to receive and produce an idolatry to be abhorred of faithful Christians.

I cannot doubt for a moment that our martyred Reformers saw and felt these things even more clearly than we do. Rather than admit the doctrine of the real presence of Christ's natural body under the forms of the bread and wine, the Reformers of the Church of England were content to be burned.

The late Rev. John Charles Ryle - Lord Bishop of Liverpool, England has been appreciated for many years by believers around the world for his staunch stand on the vital Doctrines of our precious Saviour.



On 28th March, 1982 a few members gathered in Killowan Orange Hall for their monthly day of prayer, this particular Sunday was a day of fasting also. Before prayer commenced Isaiah 56 was read and from that chapter two wonderful promises stood out: (1) Isaiah 56 verse 1, 'my salvation is near to come and my righteousness to be revealed': (2) Isaiah 56 verse 2, 'Blessed . . . is the son of man that layeth hold upon it' (i.e. the promise).

These promises were made known and claimed in all other meetings during that day and stood upon in the months leading up to and during the Gospel Campaign.

The prayer warriors were encouraged to pray on, when told that the great outpouring of God's Spirit in Ballymena during the 1975 campaign was due to the promise of God being accepted and held. Malachi 5, verse 10. It was with great expectancy we continued to pray on.

The Lord then gave us another encouragement on 17th October, 1982, in Isaiah 46 verse 13: 'I bring near My righteousness, it shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not tarry, and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel My glory.' Also Psalm 115, verse 12, 'The Lord hath been mindful of us; He will bless us': verse 13, 'He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great': verse 14, 'The Lord shall increase you more and more, your and your children': verse 15, 'Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth'. It was no surprise to find that as the opening of the new Church and the subsequent mission drew near that the air of expectancy increased. For months previous to this it seemed the tide of God had receded and little outward movement was noticeable, although souls were being won during hospital visitation. Yet, six weeks before leaving Killowan Orange Hall, the Spirit of God began to move, souls were saved, God's people were challenged and sin was forthrightly denounced.

That visitation has been our blessed portion since, with the first Sunday afternoon Gospel message preached by Dr. Paisley seeing 12 souls acknowledge their need of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many more left that meeting rejecting God's Son although many returned on other nights and found the Saviour. Dr. Paisley preached four Sunday afternoons and was greatly encouraged by the miracles of salvation wrought. Souls were saved, homes united, families joined together in grace, towers of falsehood blasted and all through the faithful preaching of the simple Gospel message. An amazing feature of the mission was the number of young people who came to the Lord, ages ranging from 8 to 25, broken by the power of God and weeping unashamedly over their sin. It certainly was a great joy to point them to the Lord Jesus Christ. Two Of these young people, aged 8 and 11, were seen by Dr. Paisley weeping during the appeal and when the 11 year old boy was asked if he wanted to come forward and get saved he replied, "No, I'm praying my daddy will [29] get saved". His sister of 8 years, when asked the same question on being spotted by the Moderator and seeing her tears, she replied, "No, I'm praying my mummy will get saved". 'A little child shall lead them' surely was fulfilled for both mother and father came to the Lord that very afternoon.

We believe that in drawing over 20 of these young people, the majority from our own congregation, that God was laying a foundation for the men and women of tomorrow. One particular family who came through the Sunday School years ago and who were well cared for spiritually by Mrs. Elizabeth Hartin (formerly McIlreavey) were completely united in grace and rejoicing in their new found salvation, (9 members in all). Another family was also won for the Lord and are now walking consistently with Him.

Rev. Kenneth Elliott preached two nights of the campaign and souls came to the Lord on both nights.

Rev. John Douglas preached the word at the Family Night Service and 4 souls were gloriously saved.

Rev. James Beggs preached the final message and 4 souls, all from the same family, trusted the Saviour.

On all the remaining nights of the Gospel Campaign the Rev. John Morrow sounded forth God's Word and was mightily blessed and used as souls nightly came to the Lord.

The week after the conclusion of the mission was given to teaching the new converts the basics of the Christian faith and each night numbers ranging from 42 to 70 attended. The following Sunday night after the end of the mission one dear man, who had been long prayed for, came to Christ.

We rejoice also in that the visitation work of the Whitefield College of the Bible students and that of Mr. Sam Houston was richly blessed and indeed we are grateful to all who stood with us in prayer, assisted in driving buses, made their cars available for transport, provided tea, or helped in any way; truly we can say 'We have all been labourers together with God'. We will be receiving into full membership many new converts as a result and we trust you will pray for us that our blessed portion will be that of many other congregations. In all, approximately 78 souls were counselled. Yet we believe in Coleraine the work is not finished for the Lord has revealed himself again to us in His Word: Psalm 60 verse 12, 'Through God we shall do valiantly'.


I read the other day a statement from dear old David James Burrell, the man who made W............ Church, as few other pastors ever imparted power to it. You know he only recently passed away after a notable work in the Marble Collegiate Church, New York City. He tells how, when he was a student at Yale, he was caught up in the conflicting winds of controversy and how, little by little, his faith in the old time religion vanished until all was gone. "When I had finished at Yale I went back to my western home and was met by my dear mother at the gate. She threw her arms about me, kissed me on both cheeks, and said, 'Now, my boy, my dream is coming true. You are going to be a minister of Christ.' It was like a blow in the face. I loved my mother devotedly, but my plans were made. What could I do? For three days I wrestled with the problem. How could I enter the ministry, when my faith was gone? I had lost even the power of prayer. I was resolved not to enter the ministry unless I could honestly assume its solemn vows. I tried most earnestly to recover my faith. I resolved to try an experiment. I would take a year's course in theology and abide by the result. So I entered a liberal institution in Chicago where, by a kind providence, I roomed in old Farwell Hall, which was Mr. Moody's headquarters. I cannot thank God sufficiently for my association with the devoted man. But the lectures in the Seminary gave me no help. I returned to my room after each hour in the classroom, and the only prayer I could make was, 'Lord, help Thou mine unbelief.' Still I did not abandon my purpose. A second year in Union Theological Seminary serve me no better. One day as I sat in my room there was a knock at my door, and one of my newsboys entered with his heart in his throat and his hair on end. He asked me to come quickly. His father was dying and I was the only minister he knew. I followed him down the avenue and climbed the rickety stairs to an attic room where his father was dying. As I sat by his bed he looked at me and said, 'You are pretty young to tell an old man like me how to die. 'I shall never forget that night! The old man began by asking me if I thought God would have mercy on an old sinner like him. I answered by quoting Wesley's lines:-

'Betwixt the saddle and the ground,
Mercy sought is mercy found.

'How do you know that?' I replied that Christ had said so! 'How do you know Christ said so?' I referred to the Bible as my authority. He said, 'Do you believe the Bible?' What could I answer? I lied to him, saying that I did. He asked me, 'Do you believe Jesus died for a low down sinner like me?' I lied again, and said that I did. 'How do you know that?' Again I referred to the Bible as authority. 'How do you know the Bible is true?' I did my best to explain - insincerely. But what could I do? The dying man shot questions at me all night, thrusting me, metaphorically, from one corner of the room to another, and keeping his filming eyes on me as I sought to answer him. Oh, that dreary, momentous night! I had never [31] seen a man die before. At last the old man, who had been bred in a Highland home by Christian parents, began to remember, and presently he was murmuring to himself the Scottish version of the Shepherd Psalm:

"The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want,
He makes me down to lie;
In pastures green He leadeth me,

The quiet waters by.
Yea, though I walk through death's dark vale,

Yet will I fear no ill,
For Thou art with me and Thy rod
And staff me comfort still

The past was coming up before him. Presently he said, 'Pray with me.' I fell on my knees by his bedside and poured out my soul in the first real prayer I had offered in years. When I rose from my knees the old Scotchman had gone; the morning was dawning and I had reason to thank God that in trying to teach a sinner how to die, I had myself learned how to live. My faith had come back to me! I had discovered that henceforth there was no middle-of-the-road for me. I must believe or disbelieve. Since then, thank God, I have never wavered.

I am entering on my eighty-second year. For nearly half a century I have served in the ministry of Christ, and the memory of that night, in a tenement house on Eleventh Avenue, always abides with me. And the Lord Who has been my faithful keeper will keep me to the end." This testimony of that grand man, David James Burrell, has its lesson for minister and layman alike; its lesson for the menaced, and for the formal professor of Christianity. It is this: "The revealed truths of the Bible are the only truths that can save and establish a man in righteousness."

N.B. The above article was written by the late Dr. W. B. Riley the great Baptist Fundamentalist leader of the Northern States of the U.S.A.