An appraisal of the Book by John Hayworth
A Maltese Catholic, Mario Cappello, attended one of these Schools inspiring him to bring an evangelistic community together. After sharing his vision with members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Malta, Evangelisation Courses were begun and a community was formed where members would meet in different homes for praise and worship, formation and evangelistic outreaches and soon began to grow.
By 1985 this small local group, was now operating on a larger scale attracting participants from 14 different countries becoming the Institute for World Evangelisation – ICPE Mission, which now operates in 12 countries across the world.1
According to its statement:
The ICPE Mission is dedicated to the formation and training of Catholics so that they may become more effective evangelisers.
Through evangelisation, discipleship, community building and mercy work, the ICPE Mission pursues its purpose of training, formation, serving the Church and affecting the world for Christ. 2
Now you may be wondering what all this has to do with Hope Together? Well, much in every way.
Now you may be wondering what all this has to do with Hope Together? Well, much in every way.
In October of 2012 the Bishops of the Catholic Church held their XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and the topic of discussion was:
The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.
According to Catholic World Report:
“The frequent reading of the Sacred Scriptures – illuminated by the Tradition of the Church who hands them over to us and is their authentic interpreter – is not only necessary for knowing the very content of the Gospel, which is the person of Jesus in the context of salvation history. Reading the Scriptures also helps us to discover opportunities to encounter Jesus, truly evangelical approaches rooted in the fundamental dimensions of human life: the family, work, friendship, various forms of poverty and the trials of life, etc.”
It is precisely “in consideration of the necessity of familiarity with the Word of God for the New Evangelization and for the spiritual growth of the faithful”, that “the Synod encourages dioceses, parishes, small Christian communities to continue serious study of the Bible and Lectio Divina – the prayerful reading of the Scriptures” (cf. Dei Verbum, 21-22).
Such emphasis on the importance of the Bible and its reading explains the presence of one of three special guests who were called to deliver a speech in the Synod: Lamar Vest, president of American Bible Society, who spoke at the end of Synod’s October 9, 2012 session about the grandeur and freshness of the Bible, which remains the same despite the changing world.
He made it clear that “our hopes, our prayers and our desires are to join the Catholic Church in a rediscovery of the heart of evangelization in the frame of a mission lies at the heart of American Bible Society’s ABS cause: the experience of Christian faith as the encounter with Jesus Christ, God the Father’s Gospel to humanity—which transforms us”.
Despite the fact that contemporary evangelisation calls for new methods and new means, “this remains ever the same: the transmission of faith rooted in an encounter with Christ by means of sacred Scripture and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit”.
He is profoundly convinced that “at the deepest level of our commitment to the Christian faith, we all agree that the Word of God is the foundation of our common work—the witnessing for Christ in our world”. 3
This particular synod was an historic occasion because it marked the first time that an Archbishop of Canterbury ever spoke at such an event. Rowan William’s speech was reported:
Archbishop’s address to the Synod of Bishops in Rome
Wednesday 10th October 2012
In the first address by an Archbishop of Canterbury to the Synod of Bishops in Rome, Archbishop Rowan Williams spoke about the profound connection between contemplation and the task of evangelisation, saying it “must be rooted in a profound confidence that we have a distinctive human destiny to show and share with the world.
The Archbishop emphasized to his Roman Catholic audience the need for evangelisation to be grounded ecumenically: “the more we keep apart from each other as Christians of different confessions”, the “less convincing” will the face of a renewed humanity seem to our contemporaries. “In a very important sense, a true enterprise of evangelisation will always be a re-evangelisation of ourselves as Christians also, a rediscovery of why our faith is different, transfiguring – a recovery of our own new humanity.” 4
Since then the Church of England has a new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby the former Bishop of Durham. The Catholic Church has reported that Justin Welby is a “strong ally in the work of evangelization”:
New Archbishop of Canterbury ‘a strong ally in work of evangelisation’ By: Peter Jennings
The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, and Co-Chairman of ARCIC Three (the Anglican Roman-Catholic International Commission) issued a statement following the announcement on Friday, 9 November, that the Right Reverend Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, will succeed Dr Rowan Williams as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.
Archbishop Bernard Longley said: “I am delighted to hear the good news for the Church of England and the Anglican Communion that Bishop Justin Welby has been appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
“This will be good news too for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations, nationally and internationally, as the new Archbishop builds on the strong commitment and ecumenical legacy of Archbishop Rowan Williams.”
The Archbishop of Birmingham emphasised: “In Bishop Welby it will be good to have a strong ally in the work of evangelization that lies ahead of all the churches, especially during the Year of Faith when the Catholic Church is seeking an evangelization that is ‘new in its ardour, methods and expression’.
“Bishop Welby’s long experience of business and commerce suggests that he understands the contemporary context for the task of evangelizing our culture.”5
The Ties That Bind
With the above in mind let us turn our attention to Hope For Easter. Hope for Easter is an official publication by the Hope Together organization. It was published in 2011. It’s aim is to encourage Christians to be involved in evangelisation by giving them ideas as to the kinds of activities that they can be involved with during Lent and Easter.
On the back cover of the book it quotes 4 key people who have involvement with the Hope Together movement:
Roy Crowne, Executive Director of HOPE
The then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams,
Agu Irukwu, Senior Pastor of Jesus House &
Mike Pilavachi of Soul Survivor.
I have already covered Rowan Williams so I would like to turn our attention to just two names on this list; Mike Pilavachi and Agu Irukwu.
He was a youth worker at St Andrew’s C of E church in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire. St. Andrews is notorious as the church largely responsible for bringing the so-called “Toronto Blessing” to UK. Later its former vicar Mark Stibbe would endorse Lakeland false prophet Todd Bentley.
Mike Pilavachi founded Soul Survivor, and along with Roy Crowne and Andy Hawthorne (The Message Trust) founded the organisation now known as Hope Together.
One of Soul Survivor’s major annual events is “Soul in the City”. This event attracts thousands of young people to London every year. Unity amongst churches is a key element in Soul in the City’s programme. In 2004 the Catholic Herald, in an article by Dan Frank entitled Youthful soul inspires the city of London, declared:
Organised by the Watfordbased charity Soul Survivor, the mission was supported by the Catholic Youth Service and the Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation (CASE).
It was endorsed by leading public figures, including Cardinal Cormac MurphyO’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mayor Ken Livingstone, and the Metropolitan Police. 6
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal Magazine reported in its May/June 2006 issue of Goodnews:
CALL TO CATHOLICS TO TAKE PART IN “SOUL IN THE CITY” THIS SUMMER!
Two years ago 15,000 young people came to the capital for a week of fun, fellowship, Christian teaching and service to the wider community in “Soul in the City” organised by Soul Survivor. It was such a success that the idea has lived on, and has been taken on board by local churches anxious to engage their young people in witness, unity and service. The week will be launched on 29th July with a lunch event at KICC (Kingsway International Christian Centre) in Hackney and end with a closing celebration at Brixton Academy on 5th August. The organising team led by Jonathan Oloyede and Patrick Regan are anxious for Catholics to take part as the vision is one of unity. The structure of the week gives a lot of freedom for young people to be as creative as they want in the name of Christ and serving the community. Last time round the young people spent the week tidying up litter, doing wall paintings, Christian nail bars etc. A Catholic group based at St Patrick’s Soho Square did a drama outreach. 7
Pastor Irukwu is senior pastor at Jesus House, a church in London that is part of the Redeemed Christian Churches of God denomination of mainly black African and Caribbean Christians. One of Pastor Irukwu’s leadership team was recently appointed as an Associate Director of Hope, Rev. Yemi Adedeji. Hope made the following announcement:
Hope appoints Jesus House Pastor:
Rev Yemi Adedeji has been appointed as an Associate Director for HOPE. He will be consulting for HOPE, building up networks and bringing different church networks and denominations together for the purpose of united mission.
Pastor Agu Irukwu, Senior Pastor at Jesus House said: “We are delighted to see Rev Adedeji spend some time deepening partnerships across the UK Church. We dream of a time when Baptists, Evangelicals, Methodists, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Catholics, Free Church, Anglicans and so many more will all come together, no matter what background they are from. They will come together and be the Church – a Church without walls that is making an impact.”8
Although Rev. Adedeji is part of the leadership team at Jesus House he is also an Anglican Priest. Jesus House gives the following Bio:
Yemi is an ordained Anglican Priest at the Chaplaincy of St. Marylebone and a Canon of the Cathedral at St Pirans. He has an M.A. (Theology) and M.Min. (Pastoral Studies) from the University of Wales and is a graduate of Business Management and Economics and a former commercial manager with Marks and Spencer.
In 2004 he made Jesus House his family church. Yemi functions in a dual capacity and balances his responsibilities within the Anglican Church with those at Jesus House. He serves as pastoral aide to the Senior Pastor. His remit involves assisting in ecumenical engagements and in relationship-building between the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) network and the Anglican Church. He also oversees the Jesus House protocol department.9
Easter and Lent
“Make the most of Easter and Lent” is emphasised on the book’s cover.
For some reason we associate these two in this order. Easter actually follows Lent in the Liturgical Calendar. Most non-Catholics (the Church of England is the Anglo-Catholic Church, hence the name Anglican) are largely ignorant of how Easter ties in with Lent. So it is worth our while digging into the history of these two practices.
The practice of Lent came out of the Roman Catholic Church so it is to Catholic sources we must go for a definition and its history.
In his article History of Lent, Fr. William Saunders states:
Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. In the desire to renew the liturgical practices of the Church, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican Council II stated, “The two elements which are especially characteristic of Lent — the recalling of baptism or the preparation for it, and penance — should be given greater emphasis in the liturgy and in liturgical catechesis. It is by means of them that the Church prepares the faithful for the celebration of Easter, while they hear God’s word more frequently and devote more time to prayer” (no. 109). The word Lent itself is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words lencten, meaning “Spring,” and lenctentid, which literally means not only “Springtide” but also was the word for “March,” the month in which the majority of Lent falls. 10
Jesuit Priest, Norman Tanner writes:
The earliest mention of Lent in the history of the Church comes from the council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The council of Nicaea is best known for the profession of faith – the ‘Nicene Creed’ – which is still recited in most parishes every Sunday immediately after the sermon. However, the council also issued twenty canons of a practical nature, dealing with various aspects of church life, and the fifth of these canons speaks of Lent.
The word used for Lent in this fifth canon is tessarakonta (in the original Greek), which means ‘forty’. For the first time in recorded history, we have mention of this period of preparation for Easter as lasting forty days.
In many languages the word for Lent implies ‘forty’: Quaresima deriving from quaranta (forty) in Italian; Cuaresma coming from cuarenta in Spanish; Carême deriving from ‘quarante’ in French. The English word ‘Lent’ has another, very beautiful derivation. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon (early English) word meaning to ‘lengthen’. Lent comes at a time when the hours or daytime are ‘lengthening’, as spring approaches, and so it is a time when we too can ‘lengthen’ spiritually, when we can stretch out and grow in the Spirit.11
So Lent is a time of preparation for Easter marked by fasting and penances.
Just before Lent comes one more important day, Shrove Tuesday!
Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Tuesday and Pancake Day) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is determined by Easter; its date changes annually.
The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “confess.” Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. The term Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. 12
Shrove Tuesday occurs the first Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, usually February 2nd or March 9th. It officially ends the season of Epiphany and is the vigil for the starting of Lent.
Traditionally viewed as a day of repentance, Shrove Tuesday has become the last day for celebration and feasting before the period of fasting required during the Lenten season. The name “Shrove Tuesday” is derived from the word “shrive”, which means to confess and receive absolution. The name denotes a period of cleansing, wherein a person brings their lusts and appetites under subjection through abstention and self-sacrifice.
Shrove Tuesday originated during the Middle Ages. As in contemporary times, food items like meats, fats, eggs, milk, and fish were regarded as restricted during Lent. To keep such food from being wasted, many families would have big feasts on Shrove Tuesday in order to consume those items that would inevitably become spoiled during the next forty days.13
Explaining Ash Wednesday Dr. Richard Bucher writes:
David Katski writes:
Ash Wednesday is the name given to the first day of the season of Lent, in which the Pastor applies ashes to the foreheads of Christians to signify an inner repentance.
Ash Wednesday, originally called dies cinerum (day of ashes) is mentioned in the earliest copies of the Gregorian Sacramentary, and probably dates from at least the 8th Century. One of the earliest descriptions of Ash Wednesday is found in the writings of the Anglo-Saxon abbot Aelfric (955-1020). In his Lives of the Saints, he writes, “We read in the books both in the Old Law and in the New that the men who repented of their sins bestrewed themselves with ashes and clothed their bodies with sackcloth. Now let us do this little at the beginning of our Lent that we strew ashes upon our heads to signify that we ought to repent of our sins
during the Lenten fast.”14
Easter is by far the most important date in the liturgical year. The Catholic Church set this time of the year in order to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even though the Bible places the death and resurrection of Christ at the time of the Jewish Feast of Passover, the Bishops of the Roman Church decreed (based on a formula adopted by the Roman Catholic Church at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD) that this should land on the first Sunday after the full moon following the spring equinox. In fact those Christians who kept to the Jewish reckoning of the date were, to quote the Catholic Encyclopaedia, “called Quartodecimans (14 Nisan) and were excluded from the Church”.15
We understand that the name, “Easter” is pagan in origin. The 8th Century English monk, Bede, states that it relates to Estre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring.16
So it is highly significant that the authors of the book should tell the reader to, “make the most of Easter and Lent” with the suggestions laid down in the book. Both of these times are of great importance in Catholic thinking.
The book itself
The book is divided up into 9 chapters. It contains ideas for group projects and activities and is interspersed with short messages from various Christians with the title, “What Easter means to me”.
For a politician it teaches the importance of social conscience.
For a Pastor it is about impacting the world, being salt and light.
For one lady it is about Love and “falling in love again with the new life you have because of Jesus.”
Another politician states that it reminds her of the decision she made to “confirm the faith in which she was raised as a child.
For a Bishop it means, “Difference”.
A student recounts how that the film, “The Passion of the Christ” brought home to her the reality of Christ’s sufferings.
For another leader it inspires him to lay down his life so that every community has heard the message of the cross and resurrection in a language they understand.
Throughout the book are short sound bites, key quotes, that are meant to stick in the mind of the reader enabling him/her to remember key points:
Magnifying God’s Love
Prayer is the secret ingredient that makes everything work. It enlarges our heart so we are passionate, it releases God’s presence into the people and situations we hope to be involved with. Pg 8
There we have it. This is the secret ingredient that Christians and Missionaries need in order to be successful—they need to pray. “Hope for Easter” set outs a plan and a set of initiatives for people to adopt and, as long as prayer is added to the mix, God will bless it. We set the agenda; we join Hope’s great plan for evangelisation and we can then expect God to bless it because we pray!
As God’s presence is everywhere (because God is everywhere) His presence doesn’t need releasing as if prayer were some sort of tap (faucet) that turns God on and off!
Let’s encourage teenagers to find creative ways to pray too; I was with one teenager who prayed as he drummed! Extremely noisy, but I’m sure God heard, so let’s think of creative ways that we can all be involved in magnifying God’s love and presence in our communities this Easter. Pg 9
Creative ways to pray? Simply speaking to God is not sufficient? Perhaps it is too boring for the average self-obsessed teen. All this nonsense about God accepting us, “Just the way we are” is putting disrespect into the minds of young Christians. This is supposed to be the thing about Easter—God had to send His Son into this world and endure all that He did because, as sinners, He cannot accept us “Just as we are”! If prayer is so important then surely a young person can cease drumming in order to give God his undivided attention?
Ideas for Mission
The premise that evangelisation operates under is that we must take time and befriend people. Through doing acts of kindness and waiting for them to ask us before we speak about Jesus we are doing something more effective and positive than merely “preaching”! We can then invite people to find out more about Christianity.
On Shrove Tuesday, for example, invite people to a Pancake Party.
During the run up to Easter give away Easter Eggs, hand out Hot Cross
Buns at strategic places.
Instead of a walk of witness have a ‘wave of blessing’. An Art or Photography Competition. Have an Easter themed fun day. Pg 14 & 15
For Lent it is suggested that people give up spending their money on certain pleasures and donating the money saved to charity:
When all the money has been received make a splash of handing it over to the recipients! Invite local press and members of the clergy to represent all the churches involved and present the money to the charity or organisation receiving it. Pg 18 & 19
Whatever happened to Christ’s instruction about giving money to charity?
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:1-4)
It is suggested that a Photographic Competition be held open to members of the community around the theme of “Hope”. Rather than offer cash prizes the business community could be approached to sponsor prizes. Pg 20 & 21
This idea of getting businesses involved in sponsorship is nothing new to Hope founder Andy Hawthorne. In 2003 the U.S. – based Luis Palau Evangelistic Association and Hawthorne’s Message Trust partnered with over 500 churches, the Manchester and Salford City Councils, Greater Manchester Police, and dozens of corporate and private supporters to produce an event, which combined community service and social action projects with a massive music festival.17
This would be like at the feeding of the 5000 Christ getting Birds Eye to provide the fish and Warburton´s Bakery to provide the bread. In this great scheme of things the end justifies the means.
Love your Street
Pick a street you will commit to adopting…. Pray for your street. Pray about the bad things, asking him to bring change.
Take action. As God leads you, start to do things to bless that street and make it a better place. It could be simple as picking up litter as you walk down it, or perhaps you’ll see a greater need…
Make friends and be hospitable. Purposefully and prayerfully look to start relationships with people who live or work on your chosen street…Pg 22
This practice is also known as Redeeming Our Communities. ROC is a strategy that was developed by another of Andy Hawthorne’s key partners in Manchester, Debra Green.
Redeeming Our Communities is a national charity founded in 2004 with over 50 projects throughout the UK. The charity’s main aim is to bring about community transformation by creating strategic partnerships which open up opportunities for crime and disorder reduction and improved community cohesion. This partnership approach has seen crime and anti-social behaviour fall and fresh hope brought to some of the most deprived and challenging areas of the UK, urban and rural alike.
ROC brings together community groups, churches, the police, the fire service, local authorities and voluntary agencies to encourage them to work together in positive partnerships for practical ‘on the ground’ change. As a result, statutory agencies have improved access to the support of community/church groups, and thousands of volunteers are enabled to better serve the needs of their community. This idea is proving to be even more valuable in the light of the current economic climate and the Big Society.18
Get your young people together for a day cleaning up their town….
This is great chance to show others that not all young people fit the media stereotype, so invite local press along to see the amazing work that the young people are doing. Pg 39
This sets quite a precedent and is a departure from anything that was taught and/or practiced by Christ and His Apostles and the New Testament Church. It comes across as being no more than a publicity stunt.
Lend us your Lent
Here we have a prime example of leading people into the acceptance of Roman Catholic tradition as being Biblical. But now they are adding a new twist to make it sit well in the conscience of the person—by appealing to notions of social justice.
Lend us your Lent is about connecting with God, to understand his heart for those living in poverty and to find ways to get into action to serve others.
This session is about why we fast during Lent, how it can change us and help us connect to God, and begins to get us thinking how our fasting could be of benefit to others. Pg 48 & 49
As we have already seen the whole purpose of Lent is to prepare people to receive Christ at Easter Mass. This has absolutely nothing to do with benefiting others.
The subject of fasting is spoken of. In the Bible when Fasting is mentioned it is always going without solid food and, in some instances, even water. The great example we are given in scripture is Jesus who fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.
In Hope for Easter, fasting for Lent is described as giving up:
Watching TV, going on Facebook/Twitter, magazines, caffeine, going to the cinema, downloading music, giving up a favourite food or drink. Pg 50
It is then suggested that the money saved by foregoing some of these things can be donated to charity. A quote from U2 lead singer Bono is used to impress this idea in the mind of the individual. Then a further suggestion is made that each member of the group be asked to:
… bring one luxury item to the next session that they think would bless someone else….you will use these luxuries to make small hampers to go to members of the community who are in need…Pg 52
Isaiah chapter 58:1-7 is quoted and fasting is then equated with the call for social justice in society:
When thinking about the exploitation of workers (v3) it’s worth mentioning that though we might not be directly exploiting workers ourselves, the clothes we wear, the products we buy and the food we put in our mouths may be produced by people across the world who are being exploited. Pg 55
Pg 63 contains what I believe is the key section of the book:
Being God’s witnesses means making sure our words and actions tie up.
Many Neo- Evangelicals revere the 13th century Catholic Saint, Francis of Assisi, and the leaders of Hope are no exception to this. Probably the most used quote attributed to Francis is:
Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.
This quote appears on page 63 of Hope for Easter,
In his article for the Gospel Coalition entitled Misquoting Francis of Assisi , Glen T Stanton writes:
Christians use lots of quotes. Pastors use them in their sermons constantly. Writers illustrate their points with them. Nothing wrong with that. They are quite helpful and encouraging in making a point. Save when the quote has no basis in fact.
We as evangelicals who claim we are committed to truth are certainly good at spreading falsehood, even if unintentionally. We can do better.
One very clever and popular quote we often knock around among ourselves is . . .
Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.
It is always attributed to St. Francis of Assisi—founder of the Franciscan Order—and is intended to say that proclaiming the Gospel by example is more virtuous than actually proclaiming with voice. It is a quote that has often rankled me because it seems to create a useless dichotomy between speech and action. Besides, the spirit behind it can be a little arrogant, intimating that those who “practice the Gospel” are more faithful to the faith than those who preach it.
But here’s the fact: Our good Francis never said such a thing.19
Just as Glen T Stanton states it is used and is intended to say that proclaiming the Gospel by example is more virtuous than actually proclaiming with voice. So we read in the book:
Serving the poor and standing for justice is a life-long journey and studies like these are just the start! Hopefully these four sessions have helped your youth group focus on God’s heart for mission and given you loads of ideas for ways to serve in the future. Pg 66
The way Christ lived amongst the community is cited as how we are to act in the world. One key fact that is overlooked is that Christ rarely got involved with anyone outside of the Community of Israel; in fact He was often blunt with people who approached Him for help who were not Jews:
And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 15:22-24)
In fact He goes on to use language with her that is almost insulting:
It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. (vs 26)
Glen T Stanton goes on to say in his article: Duane Liftin, president emeritus of Wheaton College, recently addressed the trouble with this preach/practice dichotomy in an important article. Of preaching the Gospel in deed, he explains, It’s simply impossible to preach the Gospel without words. The Gospel is inherently verbal, and preaching the Gospel is inherently verbal behavior.
And the “deed” proclamation of the Gospel is not biblical either. Paul asks the Church at Rome (Romans 10:14):
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
So next time you hear one of your brothers or sisters in Christ use this quote to encourage or challenge you in your labors for our faith, gently guide them from the land of misinformation and make believe into truth.20
On Pg 66 of the book we read:
Consider this verse: ‘If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.’
(1 John 3:17-18)
The implication is that what John wrote should be applied to the believer and the world. However John is speaking concerning the attitude of the believer towards his/her fellow believers. Those outside of Christ cannot be considered brethren in any way, shape or form.
As we can see, Hope is very much part of Rome’s and Canterbury’s joint move towards Unity of the UK churches under it’s banner. Hope’s main founders have their roots in the Church of England and the leadership of both the C of E and the Catholic Church have direct influence in the furtherance of “Hope” because “Hope” is the main vehicle to further the agenda of evangelisation and false unity.
Hope for Easter speaks more about how people should be involved in Social Action than it does about the preaching of the Gospel. In fact there is no real definition as to what the Gospel message actually is and isn’t.
The Bible is very clear about the Gospel. The Gospel is a MESSAGE that must be PREACHED. The Gospel is NOT our “serving the community amongst who we live.” Nor should we be doing all manner of good works in the community and somewhere along the way tack the Gospel in.
Throughout history groups that were set up with the same, or even similar, ideals promoted by Hope eventually succumbed to the world and are simply doing social work and rarely (if ever) preach the Gospel.
When was the last time you ever saw the Salvation Army preaching the Gospel on the streets as they did under their founder William Booth? I only ever see them either playing music at Christmas or occasionally on the street corner selling the Awake magazine!
But, of course, being ecumenical Hope cannot promote the uncompromising truth of the Gospel. The Roman Catholic Church could not be involved as Rome rejects the true Gospel of Salvation by grace through faith alone for its own false gospel of salvation by grace through faith in the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church alone! Both Canterbury and Rome have been like estranged sisters and now the family squabble that caused this rift seems to be at an end. The remarkable thing is that even though Rome has not budged one inch on its dogmas and doctrines (even adding several more false dogmas to the mass), Canterbury has chopped and changed here, there and everywhere to the point where there is now no real consensus on doctrine and/or practice amongst members of the C of E.
What is even more alarming is that the protestant evangelicals have succumbed to the same malaise that has infected the C of E and have joined in with Rome and Canterbury’s plan of unity and evangelisation!
12 Melitta Weiss Adamson, Francine Segan (2008). Entertaining from Ancient
Rome to the Super Bowl. ABC-CLIO. “In Anglican countries, Mardis Gras is known as Shrove Tuesday-from shrive meaning “confess”-or Pancake Day”-after the breakfast
food that symbolizes one final hearty meal of eggs, butter, and sugar before the fast. On Ash Wednesday, the morning after Mardi Gras, repentant Christians return to church to receive upon the forehead the sign of the cross in ashes.”
16 “De temporum ratione, I, v”