(Continued from page 256)
[TCE: No doubt ML-J knew that Knox preached a theology of resistance to tyranny whereas Reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin reserved the right to rebellion to the civil rulers alone. Knox maintained that the common people had the right and duty to disobedience and rebellion if state officials ruled contrary to the Bible because to do otherwise would be rebellion against God. Knox was not against civil government per se. He knew full well that civil government is ordained of God, but maintained that state officials have the duty of obeying God's Laws. The effectiveness of the Presbyterian system was so great that the persecutions of the following century were unable to root it out. The Reformation had come to stay and it was John Knox, an exponent of godly resistance in the face of tyranny, who planted the seeds that were later nurtured by such men as Samuel Rutherford.
Charles V's law, Constitutio Criminalis Carolina, (1532) made sorcery throughout the Holy Roman Empire (mainly Germany), a criminal offence resulting in many being tortured and burnt at the stake. Lutheranism spread throughout Germany and Denmark, and Calvinism to Transylvania and Scotland where John Knox said the Scottish witch law was introduced 'to please the Godly.' Knox personally saw a witch condemned in Saint Andrews in 1572 and allowed her to be tied to a pillar of the church while he delivered a gospel message - after which she was burnt! The 'Protestant Inquisition' is a term applied to the severities of John Calvin in Geneva and Queen Elizabeth I in England during the 1500s. Calvin's followers burned 58 'heretics,' including theologian Michael Servetus, who doubted the Trinity. Calvin personally called for the death penalty for Servetus, first by beheading as he followed Papal Rome's example of using a state trial to condemn the man, but then resorting to the even more cruel method of burning with half-green wood (while a sulphur strewn wreath was placed on the poor man's head) so that it took 30 minutes, according to one eye-witness account, or 3 hours, according to another, to kill him! It is an enormous irony that those who can accuse TCE of 'warmongering' will quietly acquiesce to the acceptance of ecumenism with Rome - the evil cult that killed many more people than Knox or any other Reformer and which was responsible for the initial 'priestly' training that led them to react in this bloodthirsty manner!]
It remains to be said that, isolated though Dr Lloyd-Jones was as a leader, he was not altogether alone and although Anglican evangelicals came to feel that they were under his criticism, there were some among them who gave their support to what he was saying. The Rev. Gordon Murray, Editor of the English Churchman, was one of this group. When Anglican evangelicals involved in ecumenical discussion accused ML-J of wanting a 'pure' church of a perfectionist type, Murray replied:
There may be those who would like their Church to be one field of unblemished wheat but we have never met any Christian who has expected that this side of eternity. What we have met are Christians who are concerned to keep their doctrine of the Church as scripturally pure as they know how and if that is not a biblical, evangelical and reformation idea we do not know what is ... There is all the difference in the world between the mixed Church of Scripture and the kind of mixed Church we are getting now, and which is found within the ecumenical movement, a mixing of biblical doctrine and teaching which is clean contrary to Scripture.
If it is true that the strength of evangelicalism in England is overwhelmingly in the Church of England, then evangelicals generally have a right to expect a strong scriptural lead to be given them by us on these matters. We believe, however, that such a lead is not being given ... .This failure to act positively against doctrinal error is our greatest weakness at the present time. We refuse, apparently, to decide whether or not we believe others to be preaching another gospel in case the answer proves to be too embarrassing. Yet this is the question which must be asked and answered if we are to know what to do.
A Church only exists where the true gospel is proclaimed ... and only those who preach the gospel should be allowed to minister in it. Is this true of the Church of England today? Of course it is not. All sorts of different messages are being proclaimed, and if we are as scriptural as we claim to be we would rebuke those who preach another gospel and after the second or third admonition reject them, refuse to have fellowship with them ... It is our candid opinion that the policy which is being followed at the moment far from high-lighting the uniqueness of the gospel is simply confirming others in their view that we have a few valuable insights to contribute to the understanding of Christ's truth as a whole.
Another who stood close to Dr Lloyd-Jones was Dr J. I. Packer, although he knew that the preacher's 'peers in official Christianity treated him as scarcely more than an extremely able freak'. [Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Chosen by God, p. 42.] When A Report to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Conference of the Methodist Church,' prepared by representatives of both denominations, was issued in1963, with recommendations for the reunion of the two denominations, Packer and five colleagues went into print with serious objections. Packer believed that the proposals for reunion rested on theological foundations which were 'opportunist, equivocal and dissonant at several points both from Scripture and from the theological standards and traditions of the two churches'. He saw the negotiators who wrote the Report as double-minded and considered that they showed no serious desire that the two churches should be reformed by the Word of God. To expect a renewal in health in the Church of England and the Methodist Church - 'neither noted for soundness and depth of doctrine, or sanctity of life' - simply by reunion was, he believed, as unrealistic as 'to expect two consumptives to get better simply through getting married'. In particular, Packer criticized the way in which the report represented 'the Church of England as containing 'evangelicals' and 'catholics' side by side on an equal footing, without a mention of the fact that its authorized formularies exclude some things for which Anglican 'catholics' stand'.
To this book the Methodist leader, Professor Gordon Rupp, replied with a stinging missile in which he asserted that Dr Packer and his friends were 'putting the interests of an ecclesiastical party [i.e. evangelicalism] before the welfare of the whole Church of Christ'. [Consideration Reconsidered, An examination of The Church of England and the Methodist Church, The Epworth Press, 1964, p. 58] At this same time Packer's convictions also involved him in an open difference with some fellow Anglican evangelicals. Six conservative evangelical leaders who were Anglicans, including A. T. Houghton and Maurice Wood, had published their own response to the proposals for reunion with the Methodist Church entitling it, The Anglican-Methodist Conversations: An Evangelical Approach. [Edited by Peter Morgan, S.P.C.K., 1964.] This book Packer reviewed and argued that a question mark needed to be added to the authors' use of the word 'evangelical'. He complained that they had adopted 'an unusual role for evangelicals, and not a very becoming one':
They view their evangelicalism as simply a party view in the Church of England and do not object in principle to the Church's official ecumenical actions being determined by Anglo-Catholic convictions about the ministry ... To be sure, most of them wish to maintain that saying 'yes' to the report involves no real sacrifice of Evangelical principle at all; but their special pleading fails to convince, for it neither faces all the facts nor reaches the heart of the issues handled.
Clearly, they care very much for evangelism, and that is good; but they seem so obsessed with 'practical politics', and the desire to show themselves good and shrewd diplomats, as to be quite lacking in concern that the Church of England, in its public actions, should be obedient to the truth of the gospel.
This lack, along with their occasionally imperfect grasp of the meaning of biblical authority and their readiness to justify a seemingly unprincipled comprehension, leaves one wondering whether 'Broad Church pietists' would not be a better description of some of them than `Evangelicals'. ['An Evangelical Approach?' Church of England Newspaper, July 17, 1964.]
Such words were a help to Dr Lloyd-Jones on another front. In Wales a well known figure in the broadcasting world, Aneirin Talfan Davies, one-time member of the Calvinistic Methodist Church, was becoming a leading spokesman for ecumenism. He had joined the Anglican Church believing that, in its possession of a common tradition and a common principle of authority, it offered a security not to be found elsewhere. Dr Lloyd-Jones' belief that evangelicals should come together and leave the denominations to unite he criticised as 'a load of cynicism'. In a lengthy reply ML-J pointed his fellow- countryman to facts which could hardly be harmonized with Davies' belief that episcopacy could solve disunity:
What union can there be between the Catholic element and the evangelical element in the Church of England? From week to week, in their papers, their conferences and congregations, they continually contradict each other completely. I regularly read articles by my friend Dr J. I. Packer, and others, articles which attack the majority in the Anglican Church as being wholly unscriptural and out of touch with the Articles and the Book of Common Prayer in their ideas concerning bishops, the sacraments and the way of salvation. There is no authority within Anglicanism. Indeed, there is more confusion, disorder and a breaking of rules within that church than any other of the religious bodies. [Barn [Opinion], June, 1963, p. 237. This was the second of two long letters, in Welsh, debating ecumenism with Mr Davies, both entitled, Yr Hyn a Gredaf [That which I believe]. The first was published in the same journal, April 1963, pp. 171-73.]
By 1964, for the reasons we have considered, Dr Lloyd-Jones knew that there could be no expectation of any general evangelical unity. The truth was that evangelicalism itself was beginning to break up. But he still entertained hopes that a new grouping of some strength could emerge which might rise to the challenge of the hour.'
TCE: That is the complete section from The Fight of Faith, 1939-1981 and, if you have read carefully to this point, you will know that we are thoroughly in the Bible-believing 'faction' that Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and a relatively small number of supporters since, continue to adhere to in obedience to the Word of God. Things have clearly not improved but the Great Apostasy has accelerated to the point where so-called Christian leaders are embracing Rome ever more intimately and even claiming that Islam believes in the same God that Judaism and Christianity worship! That you choose to be in the 'ecumenical anything-goes faction' is your problem and something you will have to answer to before God, as do all who follow another path:
Joshua 24v15 'And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD... 24 And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.'
In the same period that we received your mail we received these two e-mails concerning one specific deception (by Biblical 'standards'):
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 12:37 AM
'I have just read the article on your website re the christadelphian cult and found the quotes from your reply very interesting. I have been studying with them for about two years, and before that I studied with the Jehovah witnesses. Each group I have studied with have had certain aspects that I have found difficult to understand or accept. For example were does it say we are going to heaven? It says that Jeruselum will be the capital of the new world here on earth.
I was brought up as a catholic and have been baptised once as a baby and then once in a Baptist church.
After reading your literature I am now even more confused and unsure of what the truth actually is. I really am searching for the truth and have found so far that the christadelphians seem to be the only group who say look for yourself.
Your explanations also seem to make sense in relation to how you explain the lower position of Jesus to God as opposed to nature of Christ and God being the same. I really feel stuck. I don't understand how there can be three persons in God
I feel that I have a lot of information and no real foundation upon which to rely. Sorry for rambling on and thanks for listening
Thanks for listening'
Perhaps you would like to let us know how you would reply to this, 'Hope'?!
Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2010 11:35 AM
Many thanks to the team at 'The Christian Expositor'
My name is trevor, and I want to thank The christian Expositor for leading me out of a delusion.
That delusion is called 'The Christadelphians'!
I'm still a member, but not for long! The reason? My eternal life is at stake!
I'm in the process at the moment looking for a church that teaches 'The TRUTH'!! Not some hotch potch mixture of half truths!!
Thank you once again'
Again, we have someone following a very 'gentle form of Christianity' - as judged by un-Biblical, worldly standards (those you have proposed as the way to 'Christian unity'!) - but, nonetheless, in serious error when judged by the Gospel preached from the apostolic age by genuine followers of the Word of God (and up to this present era by men such as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones), but now abandoned to a 'hotch potch mixture of half truths!!' by a large number of churches, particularly in the West. Again, how would you reply to this, 'Hope'? Since you have revealed your error in that you do not believe in strong doctrine - and therefore, logically, cannot correctly judge 'behaviour' - you will be utterly unable to make a correct judgement on Christadelphian error (or any other heretical teaching/behaviour). If this does not wake you up to the serious error in thinking to which you adhere then there is clearly nothing further to add because, by your reasoning, there can be no error and therefore no 'cults' in Christianity. In fact, are there any 'false religions' in your world?
Sincerely in Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour