Archive for October, 2017

Vatican Happy About the Way Christianity is Going? – “Christians Mark Reformation Anniversary in Westminster Abbey”

LTRJ Note: Posted for informational and research purposes only.

From Vatican Radio

Christians of all different denominations gathered in London’s Westminster Abbey on Tuesday to mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation movement. The midday service, led by the Dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall,  featured a new anthem, commissioned for the occasion by Danish composer, Bent Sørensen.

It also included the official presentation by the Archbishop of Canterbury of a resolution from the worldwide Anglican Communion which welcomes and affirms the 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation. Last year the World Communion of Reformed Churches also signed up to the declaration, while the World Methodist Council did the same in 2006. . . .

Anglicans have been invited to join Lutherans and Catholics around the world in marking 2017, including Tuesday’s celebration at Westminster Abbey. Gibaut says the passing of the resolution, together with its formal handing over, are part of a much larger picture of Anglican participation in the events of this Reformation year. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles from Lighthouse Trails:

Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome And How One Interview Revealed So Much

Is Beth Moore’s “Spiritual Awakening” Taking the Evangelical Church Toward Rome?

“On Reformation Milestone, Experts Detect ‘Astounding’ Thirst For Unity”

Pope Francis, right, hugs the President of the Lutheran World Federation Bishop Munib Younan during an ecumenical prayer in the Lund Lutheran cathedral, Sweden, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. (Credit: L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP.)

LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the source or the content.

By John L. Allen Jr.
Crux (Catholic publication)

Two experts on the Catholic/Lutheran relationship, one Catholic and the other Lutheran, both say that joint commemorations of today’s 500th anniversary of the launch of the Protestant Reformation reflect a strong yearning for unity in the grassroots, and may represent a new “springtime” in ecumenism, meaning the quest for Christian unity.

Five hundred years ago today, tradition has it, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the cathedral in Wittenberg, Germany, thereby triggering the Protestant Reformation that’s divided Western Christianity ever since.

Today, two experts on each side of that Catholic/Lutheran divide say what they detect in the trenches is an “astounding” thirst for unity. Click here to continue reading.

While Protestants Commemorate Reformation This Month, Papal Persecution Regarding the Eucharist Often Ignored

By Philip Gray
(Freelance writer and defender of the faith)

Pope Francis during a Mass, holding up the wafer that is said to have the presence of Jesus in it after transubstantiation

October 31, 2017 is being commemorated by many Protestant groups as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Many groups are using the occasion to suggest that there is no need for a Protestant Reformation any longer, and Protestants and Catholics can and should now unify, if not in name, then at least in mission and faith. Ecumenical events are taking place across the globe to supposedly celebrate the Reformation, but in reality, many of these are efforts to break down the walls that divide Protestanism and Catholicism. The Catholic Church insists there is no need for a Reformation any more because the Catholic Church, it says, is now in agreement doctrinally with Protestanism in many areas. While the motive by the Catholic Church of making such claims is highly questionable (e.g., to ultimately win back the “lost brethren” to the “Mother Church”), there is one area (and it is perhaps the most significant of all because it has to do with salvation) that the Catholic Church does not and will not ever claim to be the same, and that is in the Eucharist (i.e., the sacraments, the Mass). For if there was no Eucharist and Mass, there would be no Catholic Church. If you do not understand what the Catholic Eucharist is, then be sure to read some of the material* by Lighthouse Trails regarding this. In a nutshell, the Eucharist is the practice and belief that the real presence of Jesus is in the communion wafer (an event the Catholic Church refers to as  Transubstantiation that can only be performed by a Catholic priest), which is to be consumed by the sinner in order for his sins to be forgiven. It is, in essence, a recrucifying of Christ as if Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross was not sufficient (which is contrary to Scripture that talks about the “finished” work on the Cross.”

One thing that is not being brought up in many of these Reformation events this year is the many people who died at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church for refusing to believe in the Eucharistic Christ. In honor of those who were martyred because they would not bow the knee to a false gospel, below are posted the stories of two martyrs who died at the hands of the Catholic Church because they refused to take the Mass and believe that Jesus Christ was in a wafer. These are direct quotes from the Lighthouse Trails edition of  Foxe’s Book of Martyrs:

Martyrdom of William Hunter (martyred at 19 years old in 1555)
William Hunter had been trained in the doctrines of the Reformation from his earliest youth, being descended from religious parents who carefully instructed him in the principles of true religion. When Hunter was but nineteen years of age he refused to receive the communion at Mass and was brought before the bishop.

Bonner caused William to be brought into a chamber where he began to reason with him, promising him security and pardon if he would recant. Nay, he would have been content if he would have gone only to receive communion and to confession, but William would not do so for all the world.

Upon this the bishop commanded his men to put William in the stocks in his gate house, where he sat two days and nights with a crust of brown bread and a cup of water only, which he did not touch.

At the two days’ end, the bishop came to him and finding him steadfast in the faith, sent him to the convict prison and commanded the keeper to lay upon him as many irons as he could bear. He continued in prison three quarters of a year, during which time he had been before the bishop five times.

Then the bishop, calling William, asked him if he would recant and finding he was unchangeable, pronounced sentence upon him that he should go from that place to Newgate for a time, and thence to Brentwood, there to be burned.

About a month afterward, William was sent down to Brentwood where he was to be executed. On coming to the stake, he knelt down and read the Fifty-first Psalm, until he came to these words, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”

William now cast his Psalter into his brother’s hand, who said, “William, think on the holy passion of Christ and be not afraid of death.” “Behold,” answered William, “I am not afraid.” Then he lifted up his hands to heaven, and said, “Lord, Lord, Lord, receive my spirit;”and casting down his head again into the smothering smoke, he yielded up his life for the truth, sealing it with his blood to the praise of God.

Mrs. Joyce Lewes (died 1557)
This lady was the wife of Mr. T. Lewes of Manchester. She had received the Romish religion as true, until the burning of that pious martyr Mr. Saunders at Coventry. Understanding that his death arose from a refusal to receive the Mass, she began to inquire into the ground of his refusal and her conscience, as it began to be enlightened, became restless and alarmed. In this inquietude she resorted to Mr. John Glover, who lived near, and requested that he would unfold those rich sources of gospel knowledge he possessed, particularly upon the subject of transubstantiation. He easily succeeded in convincing her that the tomfoolery of popery and the Mass were at variance with God’s most holy Word, and honestly reproved her for following too much the vanities of a wicked world. It was to her indeed a word in season, for she soon became weary of her former sinful life and resolved to abandon the Mass and idolatrous worship. Though compelled by her husband’s violence to go to church, her contempt of the holy water and other ceremonies was so manifest that she was accused before the bishop for despising the Sacraments.

A citation addressed to her immediately followed, which was given to Mr. Lewes, who, in a fit of passion, held a dagger to the throat of the officer and made him eat it, after which he caused him to drink it down and then sent him away. But for this the bishop summoned Mr. Lewes before him as well as his wife; the former readily submitted, but the latter resolutely affirmed that in refusing holy water, she neither offended God nor any part of His laws. She was sent home for a month, her husband being bound for her appearance, during which time Mr. Glover impressed upon her the necessity of doing what she did, not from self-vanity but for the honor and glory of God.

Mr. Glover and others earnestly exhorted Lewes to forfeit the money he was bound in rather than subject his wife to certain death; but he was deaf to the voice of humanity and delivered her over to the bishop, who soon found sufficient cause to consign her to a loathsome prison, whence she was several times brought for examination. At the last time the bishop reasoned with her upon the fitness of her coming to Mass and receiving as sacred the Sacrament and sacramentals of the Holy Ghost. “If these things were in the Word of God,” said Mrs. Lewes, “I would with all my heart receive, believe, and esteem them.” The bishop, with the most ignorant and impious effrontery, replied, “If you will believe no more than what is warranted by Scriptures, you are in a state of damnation!” Astonished at such a declaration, this worthy sufferer ably rejoined that his words were as impure as they were profane.

After condemnation she lay a twelvemonth in prison, the sheriff not being willing to put her to death in his time. When her death warrant came from London, she sent for some friends whom she consulted in what manner her death might be more glorious to the name of God and injurious to the cause of God’s enemies. Smilingly, she said: “As for death, I think lightly of it. When I know that I shall behold the amiable countenance of Christ my dear Saviour, the ugly face of death does not much trouble me.” The evening before she suffered, two priests were anxious to visit her, but she refused both their confession and absolution when she could hold a better communication with the High Priest of souls. About three o’clock in the morning, Satan began to shoot his fiery darts by putting into her mind to doubt whether she was chosen to eternal life, and Christ died for her. Her friends readily pointed out to her those consolatory passages of Scripture which comfort the fainting heart and point to the Redeemer who takes away the sins of the world.

About eight o’clock the sheriff announced to her that she had but an hour to live. She was at first cast down, but this soon passed away, and she thanked God that her life was about to be devoted to His service. The sheriff granted permission for two friends to accompany her to the stake—an indulgence for which he was afterward severely handled. Mr. Reniger and Mr. Bernher led her to the place of execution; because of its far distance, her great weakness, and the press of the people, she nearly fainted. Three times she prayed fervently that God would deliver the land from popery and the idolatrous Mass; and the people for the most part, as well as the sheriff, said Amen.

When she had prayed, she took the cup, (which had been filled with water to refresh her,) and said, “I drink to all them that unfeignedly love the gospel of Christ and wish for the abolition of popery.” Her friends and a great many women of the place drank with her, for which most of them afterward were enjoined penance.

When chained to the stake her countenance was cheerful and the roses of her cheeks were not abated. Her hands were extended towards heaven until the fire rendered them powerless, when her soul was received into the arms of the Creator. The duration of her agony was but short; as the under-sheriff, at the request of her friends, had prepared such excellent fuel that she was in a few minutes overwhelmed with smoke and flame. The case of this lady drew a tear of pity from everyone who had a heart not callous to humanity.

(These two stories are taken from the Lighthouse Trails edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, which is an unaltered version from John Foxe’s account. See note below about the LT edition.)


Publisher’s Note from the LT edition: Foxe’s Book of Martyrs was first published five hundred years ago. Today, there are many editions of this book available. When Lighthouse Trails decided to start offering this book to our readers, we began our search for a suitable edition. Much to our dismay, we discovered that many of the current editions were compromised in one form or another. For example, in one edition by a Christian publisher, front page endorsements included the names of those who promote contemplative spirituality and/or the emerging church. When one realizes that contemplative/emerging spirituality embraces some of the very same beliefs that Foxe’s martyrs opposed to the point of suffering cruel persecution and death, it is most troubling and misleading to see these names in the cover of an edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.

In another edition we reviewed, the book was among a special set of “Christian classics.” We were once again perplexed to see that some of the other books in that series were written by contemplative mystics.

And yet another edition, published by a secular publisher, advertised mystical and occult practices on the back cover.

Finally, after an unsuccessful search, Lighthouse Trails decided to publish our own edition of this truly incredible and unforgettable account.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3: 17

 

*You do not have to buy material from Lighthouse Trails to gain information on these topics as there are many many articles on this blog that can be read and even printed and shared with friends and family.

“Why Millennials Are Ditching Religion for Witchcraft and Astrology”

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the source or the content. It is also a reminder that young people today desperately need to hear the true biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ.

By Kari Paul
Marketwatch

When Coco Layne, a Brooklyn-based producer, meets someone new these days, the first question that comes up in conversation isn’t “Where do you live?” or “What do you do?” but “What’s your sign?”

“So many millennials read their horoscopes every day and believe them,” Layne, who is involved in a number of nonreligious spiritual practices, said. “It is a good reference point to identify and place people in the world.”

Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, a study from Pew Research Center released Wednesday found. The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who “never doubt existence of God” fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012. Click here to continue reading.

Related Information:

 10 Vital Things Parents Can Do to Help Children Keep Their Faith

Lighthouse Trails Sends Out 6th Letter to 160 Christian Leaders

On October 23rd, Lighthouse Trails sent out the 6th letter plus two booklets to 160 influential Christian leaders in the evangelical camp. We began mailing out short letters and Lighthouse Trails booklets in February 2016 to a list that started with 100 names. To learn more about this project, click here to read the first letter we sent out. To see our current list in PDF, click here. Not all the names in the list are those in deception. This list has a variety of persuasions within the evangelical camp. We are compelled to send each of these people specific information on various important issues that are basically not being addressed in the church today. If you have a name and mailing address of an influential pastor, author, or leader whom you would like us to add to our list, you can e-mail that to editors@lighthousetrails.com and we will include him or her on the next mailing. We must have a good mailing address (only U.S. addresses at this time) to add a name to the list. If you print the leaders list, please consider praying that some of these individuals may understand the urgency of our warning. Below is the letter we included in this week’s mailing. Our next mailing will take place in early 2018:

Dear Christian Leader:

Please find enclosed two of our published booklets that we hope you will find useful in your ministry.

A new missiology that removes focus from the biblical Gospel message and replaces it with a “religiously correct,” “culturally relevant” way of doing missions is having a major impact on many mission efforts in the church today. In Roger Oakland’s booklet that we are sending you, The New Missiology: Doing Missions Without the Gospel, he presents examples of how this is happening. This emergent missiology will do more harm than good to Christian missions and bringing people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

We are also including Shack Theology: Universalism, TBN, Oprah, and the New Age, written by former New Age follower, Warren B. Smith. The Shack is one of the most popular books among Christians today. Most do not see it as theological but rather merely a heart-tugging novel. Yet, The Shack is theological but is not biblically sound. Rather, it introduces some of the most blatant New Age ideas and subtly draws readers away from biblical truth.

Thank you for taking the time to study these matters.

In service for Christ,
The Editors at Lighthouse Trails Publishing
P.O. Box 908
Eureka, MT 59917

The List of Leaders We Are Reaching Out To
(Not all of the names in the list are those in deception. This list has a variety of persuasions within the evangelical camp. We are compelled to send each of these people specific information on various important issues that are basically not being addressed in the church today.)

*photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.

“True Revival in the Midst of Persecution” by a Pastor Who Went to Prison For His Faith

Photo: A guard tower in a USSR prison camp

By Georgi P. Vins
(Pastor in USSR who spent 8 years in Soviet prison camps for his faith | Author of The Gospel in Bonds)

Revival

At the beginning of the 1960s, the Lord sent a spiritual revival among the Evangelical Baptists1 of the Soviet Union. The revival preceded a great assault from the atheistic authorities. Soviet newspapers and magazines spewed an endless flow of articles against believers and the Christian faith, against the Bible and God. Radio, television, and movies were used for anti-religious propaganda. Believers were fired from their jobs, and Christian young people were kept out of educational institutions.

In 1960, the Soviet leader, head of the Communist party, Nikita Khrushchev, announced a twenty-year program of definitively creating communism in the Soviet Union. By 1980, there was not to be a single Christian left, nor one church. All citizens of the USSR would have to become atheists and confess only Communist ideology.

In Evangelical Baptist churches, sermons on salvation were forbidden, and children under the age of sixteen were not to be permitted to be present at church services. As a primary measure, it was also forbidden to baptize young people under the age of thirty. This decision of the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was enforced by the KGB, the police, and other authorities.

forest-gathering-color

A communion and worship service in the persecuted church in 1984 in Kiev, Ukraine (taken from The Gospel in Bonds; from the personal collection of Georgi Vins’ daughter, Natasha Velichkin; used with permission)

Unfortunately, some of the ministers of Evangelical Baptist churches, fearing persecution, accepted these ungodly decrees as the basis for their ministry and actively began to implement them in the church. The churches were going through great testings. Many thousands of believers raised their voices in fervent prayer to the Lord for help and deliverance. The Lord heard those prayers and answered His people, as it is written in His Word: “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law” (Psalm 119:126).

A spiritual awakening began. New churches started to take shape, and groups of believers who refused to compromise with atheism proclaimed the Word of God as the absolute authority in all matters of faith and life. Young people and children attended newly formed congregations whose worship services often took place in crowded private homes or in forests. These meetings were subject to cruel disruption by the KGB and police, with the police beating up believers, and throwing them out of the meeting houses into the snow. Bulldozers were sometimes used to destroy the places where the meetings took place.

The atheistic authorities went to believers’ work places with threats of arrests and trials. But no one could stop the revival, because the Word of God says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:35-37).

By 1966, several hundred independent fundamental Baptist churches had formed. Sixty to seventy percent of the membership of these churches were young people between the ages of fifteen and thirty. The hearts of believers burned with great love toward God, courage, and selflessness in ministry. My poem “Revival” was written in January of 1966, and five months later, in May of 1966, I was arrested in Moscow for taking part in the revival.

Revival

My Savior! How I love Your precious call
To slaves of unbelief, by sin defeated.
You long to bless and have each one delight
In all the joys of our eternal promise.

My Jesus! Mighty is Your matchless love,
Your hands are full of tenderness and kindness,
As constantly You lift to life anew
The sons of earth, to save them from destruction.

Our brethren You have visited once more
With Your pure flame of heaven-sent revival!
For exploits and for suff’ring You inspired
To stand for truth and infinite salvation.

When I behold the vibrant Christian youth
With glowing faces, joyous and exultant,
Their gladness like a boundless ocean’s tide,
Burst forth in ever glorious songs of triumph. . . .

And when I listen to a youthful soul
For the first time, his heart to God uplifting:
Scarce breathing then I reverently pray,
While in my thoughts the sufferers recalling. . . .

I know that not in vain their blood was spilt!
They did not bear the pain and grief for nothing.
For now I see our youth’s pure, fervent love
Their hands stretched out to Christ in supplication.

For the revival burning in our church
And for our youth rejoicing in the Savior—
We may, without misgivings or dismay,
Lay down our very lives in distant prisons.
January 1, 1966
Kiev

Other Articles by Georgi Vins:

“Truth is Invincible!”—Even in a Communist Prison Camp

Story from the Gulags—The Great Escape Tunnel

Letter to the Editor: New Booklet Teaches Discernment Is For All Believers – Even Women and the “Uneducated”

Dear Lighthouse Trails Editors:

I just read your article “Sound the Trumpet” and wanted to thank you for your paragraph confronting those men in point who seem to have a corner on discernment, bulleting women of “sharp tongue” trumping their scriptural knowledge. The understanding I get is that compared to them most of us who belong to the Savior are a type of second-class members which despite the Truth (here named orthodoxy) is not far from the Roman Catholic hierarchy as in “We can’t trust the masses with Scripture.” It’s more about the light in His Words available for all of us to study, not about one’s status or gender. Indeed, He gives us teachers/shepherds to explain to and lead us, to warn us, but we have the same set-apart Spirit [the Holy Spirit]. We are not without discernment just because we are women or because we haven’t written books on things like “Justification.” These two men may not have actually meant the accusation in such a disdainful way, but this is surely a mindset of the “divinely educated,” with all due respect to the biblically learned.

Now, to the subject of your article, your teaching is that all of us come into maturity about what our Savior, the Head, does not want us to be ignorant of. Thank you for doing the exact work of teaching us we can and we must discern for ourselves, just as our Savior and the apostle Paul said.

Janet

Related Material:

Three Vital Questions to Navigating Discernment by Ironside and Proctor

 


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