Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.


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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Alpha Course Part 3

What is wrong with 'The Alpha Course'?
Part 1
Part 2

The Alpha Course is Ecumenical in Emphasis.
There is considerable emphasis placed upon so-called unity in the Alpha Course. Alpha has extensive cross denominational support. Church leaders from all the major denominations have voiced their support for it. Anglican, Baptist, Elim, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and The Salvation Army all support Alpha.

i. The stated ecumenical philosophy
Nicky Gumbel says the following about his intentions:
We need to unite...there has been some comment which is not helpful to unity. Let us drop all that and get on. It is wonderful that the movement of the Spirit will bring churches together. He is doing that right across the denominations and within the traditions… we are seeing Roman Catholics coming now.… Nobody is suspicious of anybody else... People are no longer ‘labelling’ themselves or others. I long for the day when we drop all these labels and just regard ourselves as Christians with a commission from Jesus Christ, Renewal, May 1995, page 16.

This Alpha Course is the product of a confirmed and committed ecumenist. All that he sets forth in these lessons is geared to bringing the Churches together. He wants unity at any cost. The things that divide - drop them. That means the fundamental doctrines of the Scriptures and the Reformation, and the historic confessions of faith are to be dropped. All are to be sacrificed on this altar of ecumenical, God-dishonouring false unity. At the Reformation the Spirit of God did not take men back into the arms of popery. He brought them out of that wicked system. Will the Spirit now reverse what He has previously done? I think not!

To use Alpha is to promote ecumenism. That is why it is so bland in respect of doctrine. It will please everybody and offend no one in these ecumenical churches. It does, however, offend the God of heaven. No right-thinking, Bible-believing Christian should have anything to do with it.

ii. Rome is entirely happy with the Alpha Course
The Roman Catholic Church has set up its own Alpha office and produced a number of booklets to go along with Alpha. ‘Alpha for Catholics’ in the section: Can Alpha work ecumenically? says:
Yes, because Alpha focuses on the basic Christian message, it easily lends itself for use by ecumenical groups. It aims to present the core truths upon which the churches have already agreed and which form the real but imperfect unity that the Catholic Church already enjoys with other Christian Churches....

Nicky Gumbel states that the differences between Protestants and Catholics are:
Totally insignificant compared with the things that unite us...we need to unite around the death of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus; the absolute essentials at the core of the Christian faith on which we are all agreed. We need to give people liberty to disagree on the things that are secondary, Talk page 8 section ii.

The things which divide Biblical Christianity rediscovered at the Protestant Reformation and
Romanism are highly significant. They go the very heart of how a sinner can be right before God. The Bible teaches justification by faith alone. Rome teaches that it is by a mixture of faith and works.

Bishop Ambrose Griffiths RC Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle says:
Alpha does not contain anything that is contrary to Catholic doctrine. What’s more it provides, in wonderful form, the basis of Christian belief which many Catholics have never cottoned on to..…, Alpha, God changing lives page 8.

How can Alpha set forth the true way of salvation if this bishop can say that there is nothing contrary to Catholic doctrine in it? The Council of Trent Session vi Canon 10 has this to say about the Biblical doctrine of salvation by faith alone:
If any one says that justifying faith is nothing else than trust in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake; or that it is by trust alone by which we are justified; let him be accursed.

Evidently Alpha does not set forth salvation by faith alone or else the Bishop could not say that there is nothing in it contrary to Catholic doctrine. How then can this lead any man to a true saving knowledge of Christ and a proper understanding of the Christian Faith? It is a betrayal of the true doctrine of salvation.

iii. It is seen as being useful in the renewal of Romanism
Rome is encouraging her people to conduct the Alpha course. This is with the objective of renewing her people’s devotion to Holy Mother Church. Alpha is praised in Church magazines as a tool to this end. The renewal of devotion is to that system of popery which our forefathers fought to the bitter death.

In a Post Alpha Catholic Teaching manual, under the heading: Who needs the Catholic Church? a most startling statement is made:
I want to give thanks for the gift of the papacy to the Church. It really is a wonderful blessing. The episcopacy, the papacy are moorings which keep us from drifting away with any fad that comes along... we are blessed to have that sort of Anchor.... I need the Church’s tradition because I’m not smart enough in reading the Scriptures to understand what they say. It is only with the help of St Augustine, St Gregory of Nicea, Thomas Aquinas and St Catherine of Sienna that I can hope to understand what God is saying to me and to all of us as I read the Scriptures... I really need the saints not only in their wisdom but in their example. They keep me motivated knowing that if they made it I can make it through their prayers and by the power of the holy host, Exploring the Catholic Church by Dr M D’Ambrosio, Professor of Theology, Catholic University of Dallas.

The Alpha Course has not changed Rome. She is still a harlot Church. If Rome is happy with Alpha then no Bible lover should be. Alpha does not deliver from sin as the true Gospel did in the lives of the Reformers and many others. Rather it renews Rome. Therefore it cannot be of God. For these reasons we call on all who desire to contend for the truth to turn away from the Alpha Course.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Rev Brian McClung:

I am not a Catholic, but was raised in the Lutheran church; I'm a born-again Christian and a committed and devoted believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, that God raised Him from the dead and have been 'sealed' by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. I boast not of myself, but only for the glory of the Father. That being said, I completely disagree with your position about Alpha. I would be happy to explain why I disagree with you, if you will be kind enough to send me your Email Address to beaudetd42@aol.com
Sincerely, Dave Beaudet

Rev Brian McClung said...

Hello Dave

You are entitled to disagree if you wish.

However, this does not take away from the points that I made. The Alpha Course is an ecumenical tool!

As said on a previous post, there is nothing as bad as that which mixes truth and error. This is what the Alpha Course does.

If you wish to enlarge upon your thoughts feel free to do so by way of the comment facility. This way others can read our discussion as well. I will seek to reply as time permits.

Rev Brian McClung

Rev Brian McClung said...

Here are some other quotes from Ecumenical Church leaders about The Alpha Course:

Archbishop Sean Brady, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh:

Alpha has developed a reputation as an inspirational programme of Christian Education and formation, producing excellent results and having a long-lasting and positive effect for those who participate and beyond. I pray…that it, may continue to grow and develop.

Archbishop Robin Eames, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh:

Alpha has opened the doors to a living faith in Jesus Christ for many people. I have seen much evidence of this in my pastoral work over the years. I warmly commend Alpha as a means of introducing the Christian path to those who are seeking a new relationship with Christ and to those who want to deepen their on-going pilgrimage.

Bishop Donal McKeown, Roman Catholic Bishop of Down & Connor, Belfast:

The Alpha course… provides an opportunity to learn about the Christian faith in a way that recognises people’s need to belong as a key part of their journey of belief. It offers an opportunity to see clearly the key points of the Christian kerygma, and thus provides a basis for a deeper catechesis and a growth in spirituality.

Archbishop John Neill, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin:
Alpha brings us back to the basic relationship with Jesus Christ. Alpha works really well because it helps create a sense of community; a place where people are called by their first names. It is a clear and simple presentation of the good news about Jesus….I have no hesitation whatsoever in commending the Alpha course and encouraging people to do it.

Rev. Dr. Trevor Morrow, Former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church:

Alpha is an excellent way for people from all backgrounds and points of view to learn more about the Christian Faith. I commend it to all

Gerard Gallagher, Roman Catholic Youth Care, Dublin:

On the basis of all the changes that have taken place in Ireland recently, I think that Alpha offers a unique chance of presenting the message of Jesus Christ to another generation of young Irish people.

Harold Miller, Church of Ireland Bishop of Down and Dromore:

I have seen Alpha change churches! Not only does it change those who participate in it, but it can give to churches a new direction and purpose in outreach. My hope is that every church will have some means by which people who are seeking can explore and be drawn into the fullness of faith in Christ. Alpha is one of the best ways of doing it. Try it out in your church soon.

Bishop William Walsh, Roman Catholic Diocese of Kilaloe:

Adult catechesis ought to be an ongoing element in the life of our Church. The Alpha programme responds in a very effective way to need for such catechesis.

Rev. Dr. Ken Newell, Former Moderator Presbyterian Church:

Alpha is a valuable resource in making God known, loved and served. It helps many people who are seeking a spiritually fuller, deeper and richer life to experience the welcome of the Church and to discover the friendship of Jesus Christ.

Bishop Laurence Forristal - Bishop of Ossory:

I know Alpha to be an excellent means of awakening people to a deeper understanding of their faith and of giving them a greater sense of belonging to an active Christian Community.


Rev Brian McClung