On the 17th May the Annual Day of Prayer for Renewal and Revival will be held at St Annes Cathedral, Belfast. This event is organised by Divine Healing Ministries and is now in its sixth year. The theme for this year's event is 'Moving Forward Together', and when the list of speakers at the event is examined it becomes evident exactly what is meant by 'Moving Forward Together'. The line up is as ecumenical as it gets with a Church of Ireland Canon, two Presbyterian ministers and two Roman Catholic priests taking part. Add to this a speaker from the Roman Catholic ministry of Koinonia John the Baptist and speakers from Transformations Ireland and 24/7 Prayer Ireland, both ecumenical organisations, all organised by Divine Healing Ministries, an organisation which is itself deeply ecumenical. Such a cross community array of speakers makes it clear that their desire to move forward together does not simply mean Roman Catholic and Protestant living peaceably together side by side, but the two communities united together in one Christian faith.
Full details of those taking part in the service can be found here
2nd Corinthians 6:14-16 contains some words which are very applicable when considering this service:
'Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?'
The Christian is forbidden from having any form of spiritual communion with the unrighteous and with those who are apostate, yet at this day of prayer professed Christian ministers will share services with Roman Catholic priests, giving them recognition as fellow believers. Whilst we are used to ascribing the term of Antichrist to the Pope, and rightly so, it is worth remembering that every priest of Rome is also in a sense an antichrist. By claiming to have the power to absolve people of their sins, they put themselves in the place of Christ, for 'who can forgive sins but God only?' How can any true believer participate in a service with someone who makes such a blasphemous claim. To do so is to greatly compromise the truth of the gospel.
Sadly this form of ecumenism is more common in Northern Ireland today than it has ever been before. It is more and more common for Protestant and Roman Catholic church leaders to worship together, to issue joint statements, to swap pulpits and to stand together in a show of unity. So common has is it now become, that such events no longer cause any commotion, whereas in years gone past large numbers of believers would have been in uproar had a minister in their town shared a service with a priest. Ecumenism is sadly now completely acceptable within all mainline denominations in Northern Ireland, and in many smaller denominations does not seem to be the issue that it once was. Those ministers who will participate in the service at St Anne's Cathedral will likely go back to their congregations and suffer no repercussions for their actions, with multitudes continuing to sit under their compromised ministry. To those true believers who still worship within such churches we leave the words of 2nd Corinthians 6:17:
'Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye seperate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you'