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.


All quotations from the Scriptures will be from the Authorised Version - the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures.

Please see sermons down the left hand column of the Blog about why the Authorised Version is the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures

and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

Beware of the Errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible! 
Featured Sermon -

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Honouring the memory of Jesus Christ is more important than honouring the memory of anyone else

It is being reported that Peter Robinson is going to attend the funeral of murdered Roman Catholic police officer Ronan Kerr. This means that he is going to attend the Roman Catholic Mass. Back in the month of February this year Peter Robinson indicated that he would do this.
To read more of what he said then, click on this link for the Belfast Telegraph report. 

Republican terrorists, encouraged by seeing those who previously engaged in the same activity now elevated to high office and pandered to at every turn, are increasing their capacity to maim and kill. The sympathy of those whose trade in the past has been murder and mayhem is pure 'cant'.

Peter Robinson would be regularly briefed on the prevailing security situation here in Ulster. He may well have calculated that this day would arrive sooner or later in Northern Ireland where sadly a police officer, and a Roman Catholic one at that, would be murdered. That may well be what lay behind his comments some weeks ago. His announcement then was to pave the way for him actually attending the mass.

It is not being disrespectful to the dead to say that because of your religious beliefs you cannot attend the Roman Catholic Mass. As pointed out previously by the Free Presbyterian Church, the chief Jewish Rabbi refused to enter Westminster Abbey at the time of Princess Diana's funeral because of his religious beliefs. He was praised for the manner in which he conducted himself.

It might bring short term political advantage to Peter Robinson but it will do no one any good to dishonour the name of Jesus Christ in this way. To a Bible believer the Mass is a 'blasphemy' as the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of Ireland rightly state. It is an attack upon the finished work of Jesus Christ and because of this no Protestant should attend the Mass.

Honouring the memory of Jesus Christ is more important than honouring the memory of any one else. Christ and His honour must come first every time. To love God above and before everything and everyone else is the first great commandment; to love our neighbour is the second great commandment, Matt 22:37-39: 
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself
.

This same principle was repeated by the Lord Jesus in a different context in Luke 14:26,27:
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple
.

For whatever reason Peter Robinson has reversed this divine order. He has put the honour of his neighbour before the honour of Jesus Christ.

In putting the honour of Christ first it will seem at times that we are hating others we love dearly. But this is what it means to put Christ first in our lives and this is what the New Testament calls upon us to do. We cannot profess to follow Christ and neglect His word: If ye love me keep my commandments, He said in John 14:15. 

There is a reproach that must be borne when faithfully doing so. No doubt there will be much invective directed at those who oppose Peter Robinson attending the Mass. It will be caricatured as unloving and dishonouring to a murder victim.

Ronan Kerr deserves our respect and his family deserve our sympathy. Every Bible believer believes murder is wrong on every account. There are however other ways to honour the memory of someone wickedly murdered as Ronan Kerr has been. The dead can be respected and Christ's honour maintained. Going to the Mass does not do this.

30 comments:

C. said...

What a sad world you live in. Are you seriously telling me that if you had a Catholic friend you would feel more strongly about doctrine than common decency and respect for him? Your views are of the past and are not fit for a shared society. I speak as a Catholic and I have many Protestant friends and I have attended many Protestant funerals with absolutely no hesitation. You need to live in the real world where people care for one another and show each other respect.

Sean said...

Such disgusting bigotry.

Fair play to Mr Robinson.

As a Catholic I am touched by his decesion.

Rev Brian McClung said...

C.

Yes the honour of Christ is more important than anything else as I demonstrated in the post.

I think the sad world refers to you who won't tolerate another person's religious beliefs. It is not me who is showing the intolerance here.

Brian McClung

Rev Brian McClung said...

Sean

The bigotry is all yours for showing no tolerance to a sincerely held religious belief.

But then Romanism is well known for that!

Brian McClung

C. said...

Do you not think that Jesus Christ would wish all human beings to respect and love one another?

When someone dies you have an opportunity to express your love and friendship for that person. Jesus Christ would rather that all Christians come together and display love in the house of God rather than squabble over doctrine.

And yes, you are displaying intolerance. Is doctrine more important than common decency and love? Is doctrine more important to you than showing your love and respect for a human life in the house of God? Do you not think that Jesus Christ would wish you to love your neighbour in life and in death?

When a member of my family died recently, a senior member of the Orange Order attended his funeral regardless of the fact that he could have been punished by his lodge for doing so. He did not agree with the doctrine of the Catholic Church but he most certainly believed in showing and honouring his respect and love for my family member.

That is a tolerant man.

Rev Brian McClung said...

C

You utterly fail to address the teaching of Jesus Christ in the passages quoted in the post. Jesus Christ would have us to honour Him first before anyone and everything else.

You would have us all to invert the order Christ gave in the Scriptures and put the feelings of the creature above the express teaching of the Creator. This is breaking the first commandment.

As I said there are other ways to express your sympathy. This has been the practice among Bible believing Protestants down through the generations.

Brian McClung

PS - the policy is that you give your name if you wish to continue this discussion.

David said...

It's not a matter of choosing between honouring Christ and honouring men, by showing Christian compassion to the family of a man who laid down his life in service of the people of Northern Ireland you honour Christ:

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40

Simone said...

This is the first of two posts due to word restrictions:

Firstly, I respect your point of view but I do not agree with your sentiments. My post is not intended to offend and I would actually appreciate a constructive dialogue in regards to my questions.

I come from a Roman Catholic background but I would describe myself first and foremost in religious terms as a Christian and I do not feel bound by any theological doctrine.

I know that you may have some issues in regards to this and I appreciate and respect that difference of opinion. I firmly do not believe that a divergence in theological doctrine should prohibit any Protestant from wishing to display his or her sympathy and love for a fellow human being – viewed by the Lord as a soul of equal worth and importance within the Kingdom of Heaven - by attending a funeral mass.

The message of the Bible would appear to suggest that all human beings are fundamentally equal. If this is the case, then why would a Protestant damage his or her profession in Christ by attending a Christian funeral service in order to pay tribute to a friend? To do so, is a very human reaction. Let us take a hypothetical situation.

If a Catholic mother decided to convert to Protestantism and her child, a committed Catholic, died would you honestly expect a mother such as that – a Christian and a firm believer in the word of Christ and his message of love for all human beings – to not attend the funeral service of her child due to mere earthly doctrine?

Given the overarching message of love in the Bible, do you believe that it would be permissible for a mother to feel that paying tribute to something as precious as a child in the House of God would be wrong? Do you believe that Jesus Christ – contrary to His immense love for all human beings – would perceive her actions as un-Christian or as an affront to His very being?

Do you believe that her profession and love for Christ would be damaged or that she would dishonour the name of Jesus Christ? Is it right to place any insecurities upon a grieving human being to suggest that reaching out and showing love for a fellow human being – a child of Christ – would in some way anger Jesus Christ or damage his or her Christian beliefs?

I feel that a funeral service is a hugely significant moment in one’s presence on earth. It marks the end of one chapter of life and the beginning of another: it is a moment in which one’s life is remembered and it presents friends and family with the opportunity to pay tribute in a very public manner and within the House of God – a place of love and spiritual Christian worship – to the life of a fellow human being. Should doctrinal law – which is man-made – assume greater significance than unity and love?

In a country which has been so deeply scared by religious extremism – on both sides - and division, should we not honour the message of Christ and unite?

Protestant attendance at a Catholic mass does not necessarily mean that the individual in question endorses the theological perspective of Catholicism. If one’s faith is strong and committed then why would attendance at either a Protestant or Catholic funeral service present any difficulty?

Can one not observe and respect the theological viewpoint of another Christian without the fear or insecurity of which you appear to suggest would arise from such attendance?

Let us not forget that irrespective of Protestant or Catholic doctrine, we share a common Christian ancestry which was built and focused upon the teaching of Jesus Christ. We share a Christian heritage free from doctrinal division; we are all Christian’s at the end of the day and therefore whilst certain doctrines may differ we all share a love for Jesus Christ.

One would imagine that the Lord would prefer all Christians to remember that common history and to act in accordance to his original teachings which first and foremost spoke of human love and common courtesy.

Simone said...

Part 2:

I doubt very much that any Protestant wishing to attend a Catholic mass will damage his love for Christ and in this regard I also doubt that Jesus Christ would look unfavourably upon a display of love. Do you believe that Jesus Christ would prefer doctrinal law to override his fundamental message of humanity and kindness?

Can you explain to me, why a Protestant would damage or endanger his faith in Christ and the centricity of Jesus Christ within his or her life by attending a Christian funeral service – acknowledging but not necessarily participating in all of the unique circumstances of a Catholic mass?

This goes to the core of my question: is earthly doctrinal law of more consequence to Jesus Christ than an expression of love, decency and respect for the life of a human being equal in the eyes of the Lord and a fellow Christian?

A Protestant life is not worth more than that of a Catholic life and vice versa. You have suggested that Peter Robinson’s actions will ‘dishonour’ the name of Jesus Christ. You are entitled to your opinion but I firmly believe that this sentiment is profoundly wrong. We should remember that PC Ronan Kerr may have been a Catholic but above all he was a human being; his young life taken by an act of unspeakable cruelty.

I believe very strongly that Jesus Christ would approve of a Protestant attending the funeral service of such a brave and much loved human being. Given the increasing dissident threat in Northern Ireland, it is vital that our political and church leaders unite and present a powerful and symbolic message to such violent extremists that we will not allow our society to be taken back to the past.

We should all be endeavouring to overcome the divisions of the past and I feel that Peter Robinson and Tom Elliott should be commended for having the courage and the conviction to attend PC Ronan Kerr’s funeral. It suggests that Northern Ireland has progressed; that we are building a shared society in which no one should feel any insecurity of fear of each other.

We have more in common than we do in division. Do you not believe that Peter Robinson’s attendance at this funeral will powerfully display cross-community solidarity with the Kerr family – a family which has displayed exceptional courage? Our unity is our strength and if our solidarity can save one life in Northern Ireland and delegitimise the actions of the violent extremists then I am perfectly sure that Jesus Christ would approve of such action and would rather we all overcome mere earthly doctrinal law and embrace a fellow human being in solidarity.

You suggest that a Protestant can express sympathy upon the death of a friend in ways other than attending a funeral mass. This may be true, but I believe – and you will undoubtedly disagree – that a mass has a huge degree of significance. I have enormous respect for Peter Robinson for having the courage to attend PC Ronan Kerr’s funeral. It demonstrates not only a man secure in his own faith but a man willing to reach out to his fellow Christians and to pay his respects to the life of a young man who lost his life in such awful circumstances. It is a message of tolerance and respect. If you were unfortunate to endure the death of a loved one, would it not mean a great deal to you if a Roman Catholic was able to overcome his or her difference of opinion in terms of the Protestant funeral service and pay his or her respects? Would that courage and common decency not prove uplifting?

I look forward to your response.

Wallace Thompson said...

Controversy at a time of bereavement - especially one so tragic at that of Ronan Kerr - is painful and never desirable, and as believers we are sensitive to all of that. However, as believers, we must hold that the honour of Jesus Christ is more important than ANY other consideration. Once a believer seeks, for whatever reason,to please men rather than God, he is on a slippery slope. Let us never forget that the vast majority of the Protestant martyrs died in the agony of the flames simply because they rejected the blasphemy of the papal mass. Oh for more people like them in Ulster today.

Rev Brian McClung said...

David

It has everything to do with honouring Christ and putting Him first.

The text you quote has nothing to do with the subject in hand.

Remember the martyrs would rather have died than attend the mass and many of them did. We are only speaking hear about not attending a funeral Mass. The martyrs saw it in even stronger terms.

Brian McClung

Rev Brian McClung said...

Simone

I will have to reply to you in two posts.

I am happy to engage in a discussion with you. I fully appreciate that there will many who cannot see the points I have made.

As I pointed out in response to a previous comment above the Protestant martyrs were prepared to die at the stake, and many of them did, rather than attend a Roman Catholic Mass. That is how serious an issue it has been in the history of Protestantism.

That strength of feeling can be seen in the doctrinal creeds of Protestant churches. For example the doctrinal creed of the Church Ireland states:
Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.

The Westminster Confession of Faith, which is the doctrinal basis for all Presbyterian Church including the Irish Presbyterian Church, states:
…the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one only sacrifice…

Refusing to attend a Mass has nothing to do with the equally of our souls or the value and worth of an individual. All men are equal before God.

In passing I would point out that no one is in the kingdom of heaven according to the Scriptures except those who are born again, John 3:3,7. We are not born physically into that kingdom, neither does baptism make us members of that kingdom.

The issue at stake is the honour of Christ above everything and everyone else as I outlined in my post. The Christian is to put Christ first at all times when when death is the consequence as still happens in countries across the world today.

Love for our fellow man is never to usurp the place of love for God which always must come first.

In response to your hypothetical situation I would say that it is not hypothetical. I personally know of converted Roman Catholics who would not attend the Mass when their loved ones died. They didn't do this because someone else told them what to believe and do. They did it out of personal conviction regarding the nature of the Mass.

Brian McClung

Rev Brian McClung said...

Simone part 2

The nature of the Mass is the crux of the matter. Protestants believe the Mass to be a blasphemy on four main counts:

1. The Mass is supposed to be a continuation of Christ's once for all sacrifice on the cross. Which means that atonement for sin is not finished but continues. This impacts upon our whole doctrine of salvation as taught in the Bible. The Scriptures teach that Christ's sacrifice is finished, that it was once for all, Hebrews 7:27; 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18.

This is not some earthly doctrine as you suggest but the very heart of the Gospel. The basis upon which we find acceptance before God is the most important matter in life.

2. The Roman Catholic church teaches that the bread and wine is changed into the actual body, blood, bones, sinews, & divinity of Jesus Christ. Transubstantiation is the term they use. This is a complete corruption of the remembrance feast Christ instituted prior to His death.

3. To have a sacrifice like the Mass you need a priest. bible Protestantism believes that the Old Testament priesthood passed away and is fulfilled in Christ.

This means that we do need any other priest. Roman Catholics priests are an attack upon the priesthood of Jesus Christ which the Bible teaches is unchangeable and untransferable, Heb 6:20 7:21.

4. In the Mass a priest claims the right to bring Christ down from heaven and offer Him afresh upon the altar for the sins of the living and the dead. Thus Christ becomes subject to the whim of a mere man. This we find unacceptable. No man has this power over Christ.

Biblical Protestantism does not recognise Roman Catholicism as a Christian Church. Her distinctive doctrines such as the mass, the priesthood, the confessional, prayers for the dead, idols, images, veneration of Mary and the saints are all totally alien to the Bible.

Both of us can't be right. Romanism teaches salvation faith mixed with works and the sacraments of the Church. Bible Protestantism believes in Salvation by faith alone in Christ alone without works or the sacraments, either baptism or the Lord's supper.

The Mass is the epitome of Roman Catholicism and because Protestants believe it to be such a serious attack among the work and priesthood of Jesus Christ we do not attend the Mass. This has been the historic Protestant position.

Brian McClung

Rev Brian McClung said...

Wallace

Thank you for yours comments

Brian McClung

gerry said...

"Honouring the memory of Jesus Christ is more important than honouring the memory of anyone else"

that is a good message, now why don't you take it to the orangemen regarding their remembering of king billy and a battle where no doubt the 5th commandment was broken many times, not to mention refusing to turn the other cheek or loving their enemies.

Have you the guts to take that message to the orangemen, tiss better to honour the memory of Christ than Billy or the boyne?

still have this picture of the christian with the ceremonial sword facing the police at the whiterock parade a few years ago, you can see it on youtube

gerry said...

The nature of the Mass is the crux of the matter. Protestants believe the Mass to be a blasphemy on four main counts:

are you suggesting that if I as any of my work colleagues that are proclaimed protestants to name these four points they will be able to tell me?

some how I dont think so, I asked one about the diet of worms and he had not a clue what I was talking about.

If protestants have no idea of the history of how their belief came into being how can they enumerate these four points?

Rev Brian McClung said...

Gerry

I fail to see the connection between the 5th commandment and what you say.

The 5th commandment reads:
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Am I missing something?

Brian McClung

Rev Brian McClung said...

Gerry

I can't answer for others in this regard. I suspect the same thing could be said about Roman Catholics and what they practice.

What I can say is that I have repeatedly preached to my congregation that we need to know why we believe something and not believe or practice something just because that is the way it is. We need to teach our children likewise what and why we believe something.

You may well be right about Protestant and the Mass. I would also suspect that sadly many of them would have no problem attending one.

There is a world of difference between political protestant and evangelical Biblical Protestantism.

Brian McClung

Andrew McDonald said...

Gerry

How do you know the man with a ceremonial sword was a Christian? His orange collarette does not make him one, neither does his membership of any church. I would agree with Rev McClung’s comment that ’There is a world of difference between political protestant and evangelical Biblical Protestantism’

For man looketh on the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart

Steve H said...

To those who accuse you of bigotry, and of a lack of respect, why is it that the "celebrant" of the Requiem Mass would not permit Mr Robinson to take the "host", if he had wanted to? And why not? Because Peter Robinson is not one of the "faithful" i.e. a baptized and confirmed Catholic. Is that bigotry? You may answer it is R.C. Church doctrine and practice, and so it is. It is Biblical Protestant teaching that precludes Christian believers from attending the "Mass". Respects can be paid to the dead before and on the day of a funeral without being present at the Requiem Mass. Ian Paisley and other Unionists did it for years when sympathizing with R.C. families who had been bereaved. They were able to love their neighbours without going to a Mass. The showing "respect" and "caring for one another" talk is actually a red herring. The real bigots are those who would force people to violate their Christian conscience in the name of peace-making.

gerry said...

Andrew McDonald,

I know the man wielding the sword is a Christian because of the following:-

The Orange Institution is a Christian organisation.

As Orangemen our trust is in God and our faith and dependence is in Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Lord of mankind. Our purpose is to maintain the Christian faith by word and deed; to propagate and defend that faith which we have received from the Church of the New Testament through the faithfulness of the Protestant Reformers. It is Christ-centred, Bible-based, Church-grounded. By it we are moulded in character and conduct.

The Orange Institution is set for the defence of Protestantism. This is true to the intention of Orangemen who are committed to the Christian faith with its Reformation emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour of mankind. There are also the Protestant beliefs in freedom of conscience; the priesthood of all believers and the primary place and purpose of the Holy Bible in Christian faith and conduct.

We proclaim "Civil and religious liberty for all : special privileges for none". We do not deny to others their civil and religious liberties; we expect the same tolerance from them. We shall be strong for truth, for peace, for the making of a good, fair and just society to which we shall contribute liberally as good citizens.

REV. CANON DR. S.E. LONG, M.TH., J.P.

the above taken from http://www.grandorangelodge.co.uk/parades/religious_basis.html

Now I imagine Canon Dr Long knows what he is talking about, If t is not a Christian organization then maybe someone should tell him. And not just to his face but publicly.

also I can't imagine an organisation like the Orange Order giving its overtly visible regalia to someone who should not, by virtue of him not meeting the aims and ideology of the organization, have it. They are surely not that stupid.

So, until someone who actually knows for sure what the heart of any man is, the members of a Christian organization, are Christian. and their lifestyle is a Christian Lifestyle.

gerry said...

"Honouring the memory of Jesus Christ is more important than honouring the memory of anyone else"

This is what differentiates the Free Presbyterian's from others who are in Christ.

some know the living Christ while others have the memory of the dead Christ.

If one believes that Christ is alive he/she prises Him in the Knowledge of Him.

Gerry said...

Both of us can't be right. Romanism teaches salvation faith mixed with works and the sacraments of the Church. Bible Protestantism believes in Salvation by faith alone in Christ alone without works or the sacraments, either baptism or the Lord's supper.

Not so, Free Presbyterians have Baptism, after all if it is not necessary for salvation, why would they have it?

Not so, Free Presbyterians have the Lord's supper, after all if it is not necessary why would they have it?

It might bring short term political advantage to Peter Robinson but it will do no one any good to dishonour the name of Jesus Christ in this way. To a Bible believer the Mass is a 'blasphemy' as the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of Ireland rightly state. It is an attack upon the finished work of Jesus Christ and because of this no Protestant should attend the Mass.

Begs the question with so much respect for the Church of Ireland why did the Free Presbyterians set up their own church and not just join the Church of Ireland

For whatever reason Peter Robinson has reversed this divine order. He has put the honour of his neighbour before the honour of Jesus Christ.

listen you will never get your head around this, not as long as you pollute your mind with hatred,

As A Believer, loving your neighbour IS LOVING CHRIST, honouring your neighbour IS HONOURING CHRIST

Rev Brian McClung said...

Gerry

Within Biblical Protestantism the sacraments play no part in salvation. In Romanism they do, contrary to the teaching of the Bible.

The dying thief was neither baptised nor did he take the Lord's Supper. Paul rejoiced that he had baptised so few in Corinth, 1 Cor 1: 14-17. Would he do this if baptism was necessary for salvation? I think not!

Within Biblical Protestantism the sacraments come after conversion not before as in Romanism. They are known as the 'means of grace'. They don't originate grace as Romanism teaches, they aid growth in grace as the Bible teaches.

As 1 Cor 11:23-29 teaches no one is to eat and drink at the Lord's table but those who are already converted.

There wouldn't need to be a Free Presbyterian Church if the mainline Protestant churches had held fast to orthodox Bible religion. Separatist denominations have come into existence because of the departure of mainline Protestant churches from the faith.

Loving your neighbour above/before loving God can never be a honouring of Christ. Take note of how strong the Saviour's words are in Matt 8:19-22:
And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

It is not me who has to get my head around anything. This mistaken idea that we are all the children of God, no matter what religion we practice, even when different groups believe contrary things, is just plain nonsense and has no Bible warrant. That's what people can't seem to get their heads around!

Brian McClung

Rev Mervyn Cotton (Heb13:6) said...

Hello Brian,

While I welcome, share and rejoice in your comments with respect to the only Redeemer of God's elect, I must point out that your criticism of your DUP colleagues appears a little duplicitous.

As your fellow ministers and office bearers in the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster unanimously support their DUP leader, they are found supporting the 'mass'.

Recently the FPC has been advertised as being the DUP church; the links are public knowledge. In this context therefore your comments require clarification, or perhaps, to put it another way; there needs to be an outright condemnation of the 'mass house' rush by the DUP and others; this would necessitate the discipline of FPC ministers and office bearers.

Rev Brian McClung said...

Mervyn

The DUP are not colleagues and the FPC is not a DUP Church. Furthermore, it is more than a little foolish of you to suggest so.

How could fellow ministers and officebearers of the FPC be supporting Peter Robinson when back in February when he first indicated a willingness to attend the mass the office bearers of Presbytery put out a statement which is on the front page of the denominational website?

If this is not an 'outright condemnation' of attending the mass then I don't know what is.

I repeat the statement just in case you missed it:
In light of recent criticism the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster wishes to publicly reaffirm its opposition to the Roman Catholic service commonly termed ‘The Mass’. In this ecumenical age, the false notion is propagated that there is little difference between the Roman Catholic Mass and the simple Communion Service as practised by Protestants. However, there is a vast difference. The historic creeds of Protestant Churches underline this difference by referring to the Mass as ‘blasphemous’, ‘idolatry’ and ‘injurious to the work of Christ.’

The reason for these statements is that the Mass purports to be a continuation of the sacrifice of Christ. It leads sinners to trust in the priest, the Mass, and the church rather than in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Great High Priest who made the one perfect sacrifice for sins forever (Hebrews 10v12). His is the only sacrifice that can deliver from sin.

Our objection to attendance at the Mass has nothing to do with bigotry or lack of respect for others as our critics often claim. During the funeral service of Princess Diana, the Chief Rabbi, on a point of religious principle, declined to enter the Cathedral and was praised for showing his respect by going as far as the entrance. Yet we and other Evangelical Protestants are often castigated and denigrated when, out of love and loyalty to our Saviour, we cannot countenance the ‘sacrifice of the Mass.’

Moderator: Rev Ron Johnstone

Clerk: Rev Ian Brown


Brian McClung

Rev Mervyn Cotton (Heb13:6) said...

Hello Brian,

With respect, the link between the FPC and the DUP is undeniable as it is deeper than by association. Free Presbyterian ministers and office bearers are members of the DUP, as such they give unequivocal support to their mass going leader, Peter Robinson.

While the FPC condemns the 'mass' it has not condemned nor disciplined its DUP ministers and office bearers for supporting their leader attending the mass.

In the same way, the FPC condemns homosexuality, yet it has not censored its DUP ministers and office bearers for sanctioning public money to fund Gay Pride activities.

In the past the FPC preached separation; now they support their DUP ministers and office bearers as they strive for a shared future where cohesion, sharing and integration are primary objectives.

Perhaps your ministerial and oversight colleagues should resign from the DUP in protest against its Secularist principles and values; if nothing else, this would serve as a damage limitation exercise.

Rev Brian McClung said...

Mervyn

The link is not 'undeniable' as you would like to claim. We all know that would suit your agenda very much indeed. You are just being plain silly!

There are minsters and office bearers who are members/supporters of other political parties. Are we equally linked to them? No, we are not, nor are we linked to the DUP.

Now be sensible and we might have a discussion about what is taking place. Otherwise go bother someone else!

The FPC has stated unequivocally that no Protestant should be at the Mass. I don't recall any other church or group putting out any statements at the time when Peter Robinson said he would go to a Mass. Did you release any statement Mervyn? Or are you just happy to snipe from the sidelines at those whom you once sat amongst?

Furthermore, show me a minister/elder who has made any statement contradicting that official statement of the Presbytery?

If I recall you made unsubstantiated claims in commenting on this blog before. You are heading in the same direction again.


Brian McClung

Samuel Morrison said...

I am just seeing these comments now. It would do no harm to point out to Mr Cotton that I am a Free Presbyterian and a member of another political party. In fact, my public stance in opposition to almost everything the DUP has said and done since 2007 has repeatedly appeared in print.

Rev Brian McClung said...

PWH

I can't and won't upload an unsubstantiated allegation. You may have the evidence for it, I don't and therefore I can't upload your comment.

This I will say - the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster's official position on attending the mass is outlined in the statement still posted on the front page of the denominational website - www.freepres.org/main.asp. We are totally opposed to any attendance at the mass under any circumstances.

Whatever some individual may say otherwise, whoever they may be, is simply going against the official position of the Church, the historic, orthodox Protestant viewpoint and the teaching of Scripture.

Brian McClung