Sunday, September 5, 2010


God has laid it upon my heart to share with others those things that I have been "taught of God" (John 6:45) throughout my Christian pilgrimage (Heb. 11:13-16), namely the fulness and sufficiency that is to be found in Christ alone, and that Christ indeed is the key to unlocking the Scriptures.

With that in mind, I have carefully selected transcripts of sermons from Godly men (Jer. 3:15), which show Christ's fulfillment in prophecy, Christ as He is pre-figured, typified and foreshadowed (Hebrews 8 & 10) in the Old Testament, and Christ as the only Saviour for sinners (Matt. 1:21; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:25) and the only way to God(John 14:6; 1 Pet. 3:18) to the end that you might "know Him"! (1 John 5:20)

My prayer is that you too might "see Jesus" (Hebrews 2:9-18) as He is revealed in the Scriptures . . . how "precious" He is (1 Peter 2:6-7) . . . and come to regard Him, as have I, as the "one thing needful"! (Luke 10:42)

May it please the Lord Jesus Christ to open your eyes that you too might behold Him in all His glory!

(Matt. 11:25-27); (Luke 24:13-45)

In Christian love, June


Isaac . . a 'foreshadowing' of Christ's miraculous birth . . and 'in type'. . of the miraculous "new birth" of sinners!

Source: Gleanings In Genesis
25. The Birth of Isaac / Genesis 21

The birth of Isaac marked a pivotal point in the outworking of God's eternal purpose. The coming of this son to Abraham and Sarah was the second great step toward the fulfillment of Jehovah's plan. This purpose and plan was to have a people of His own, separate from the surrounding nations; a people to whom should be entrusted the Holy Oracles, a people of whom as concerning the flesh the Savior was to be born; a people who should ultimately become the medium of blessing to all the earth. In the realization of this plan and purpose the first great step was the selection of Abram to be the father of the chosen nation, the call which separated him from the idolatrous people among whom he lived, and the migration unto the land which Jehovah promised to give him.

Some twenty-five years had now passed since Abram had left Ur of the Chaldees, and during these years he had received promise from the Lord that He would make of him a great nation (Gen. 12:2) and that He would make his seed as the dust of the earth (Gen. 13:16). But years went by and Abram remained childless: the promised seed had not been given and Abram was exercised and perplexed. "And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezar of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me Thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir" (Gen. 15:2, 3). To these questions the Lord returned answer, "This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir" (Gen. 15:4). Another interval passed and yet no child appeared, and "Sarai said unto Abram, Behold, now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai, and he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived" (Gen. 16:2, 4). A further thirteen years dragged their weary course and (Gen. 17:15-19). Shortly after this the Lord, accompanied by two angels, appeared unto His servant in the plains of Mamre and, "God said unto Abraham, as for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations: Kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before Thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac""they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. And He said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son" (Gen. 18:9-14).

And now the appointed hour for the fulfillment of God's promises to Abraham and Sarah had struck, and we read, "And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him" (Gen. 21:12). Thus we reach, as we have said, the second stage in the accomplishment of Jehovah's purpose. The birth of Isaac marked an important crisis in connection with the history of the chosen line, for not in Ishmael but in Isaac was Abraham's seed to be called (Gen. 21:12).

Many are the important truths illustrated in the above Scriptures, and many are the profitable lessons to be learned therefrom. We name a few of them without attempting to enlarge. We see from the above that God is in no hurry in the working out of His plans. Man may fret and fume, hurry and bustle, but Jehovah has all eternity at His disposal and works leisurely and with deliberation. Well for us to mark this attentively- "he that believeth shall not make haste" (Isa. 28:16). Again, we note here God's Almightiness. Nothing can hinder or thwart the outworking of His purpose. Abraham may be old, Sarah may be barren, but such trifles present no difficulty to Him who is infinite in power. Abraham may seek to obtain an heir through Hagar, but Jehovah's plan cannot be foiled: Sarah's son shall be his heir, not Ishmael. Behold, too, the faithfulness of God. The Lord had said Sarah shall have a son, and what He promised He performed. His promise may seem unreasonable and impossible to the carnal mind, but His word is sure. Learn, also, how faith is tried and tested. This is in order to display its genuineness. A faith that is incapable of enduring trial is no faith at all. A hard thing was promised to Abraham but, "he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God" (Rom. 4:19, 20). Finally, note that God has a set time for the accomplishing of His will and the fulfilling of His word. Nothing is left to chance. Nothing is contingent on the creature. Everything is definitely fixed beforehand by God. "For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him" (Gen. 21:2). Mark how this is emphasized by repetition- "But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year" (Gen. 17:21); "At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son" (Gen. 18:14). So also we read in another connection, "For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak" (Hab. 2:3). Compare Galatians 4:4.

Isaac was the child of promise. The Lord took great interest in the birth of this boy. More was said about him before his birth than about any other, excepting only Abraham's greater Son. God first made promise to Abraham; "As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her" (Gen. 17:15, 16). The response of the aged patriarch is recorded in the next verse- "Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed." Later, the promise was renewed in the hearing of Sarah, "And He said I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son" (Gen. 18:10). Then we are told, "Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?" How reason ever opposes the promises of God. The "laughter" of Abraham was the laughter of worshipful joy, that of Sarah was credulous unbelief. There is a laughter which the Lord fills the mouth with, when, at some crisis, He comes to our relief. "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, the Lord hath done great things for them" (Ps. 126:112). But there is also the laughter of cynicism and unbelief. The former we are not afraid to avow; the latter makes us, like Sarah, cowards and liars. But are we not told "Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised" (Heb. 11:11). How shall we harmonize this with her laugh of unbelief? To the infidel this would appear a contradiction, but the believer has no difficulty in reconciling these two, for he knows from experience there is a continual struggle going on in his heart between faith and unbelief, sometimes the one and sometimes the other being uppermost. But is it not beautiful and blessed to note that in the New Testament Sarah's unbelief is passed over, just as nothing is said there of Rahab's deception (Heb. 11:31), or of Job's impatience (Jam. 5:11).

Isaac was the child of miracle. Sarah's womb was "dead" (Rom. 4:19) and ere she could conceive a supernatural "strength" must be given her (Heb. 11:11). In this, of course, we discover a foreshadowment of the miraculous birth of the Lord Jesus- now, alas, so generally denied. We are tempted to digress here but must refrain. Certain it is that the vital importance of the virgin birth of our Savior cannot be overestimated. Well did Sir Robert Anderson say, "The whole Christian system depends upon the truth of the last verse of Matthew one" ("The Coming Prince"). Returning to the miraculous birth of Isaac, do we not see in it, as also in the somewhat similar cases of Rachel, the mother of Samson, Hannah, and Elisabeth, not only a foreshadowing of the supernatural birth of Christ, but also the gracious way of God in preparing Israel to believe in it, facilitating faith in the Divine incarnation. If God quickened a dead womb and caused it to bear, why should it be thought a thing incredible if He made the virgin give birth to the Child!

The birth of Christ was markedly foreshadowed by that of Isaac and this in seven ways at least.

First, Isaac was the promised seed and son (Gen. 17:16); so also was Christ (Gen. 3:15; Isaiah 7:14).

a lengthy interval occurred between God's first promise to Abraham and its realization. When we are told, "And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said" (Gen. 21:1), the immediate reference is to Genesis 17:16 and Genesis 18:14, but the remote reference was to the original promise of Genesis 12:7. So also was there a lengthy interval between God's promise to send Christ and the actual fulfillment of it.

Third, when Isaac's birth was announced, his mother asked, "Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?" (Gen. 18:13), to which the answer was returned, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" and the striking analogy is seen in the fact that when the angel of the Lord made known unto Mary that she was to be the mother of the Savior, she asked, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34), to which query the answer was returned, "With God nothing shall be impossible'' (Luke 1:37): so that in each case God's omnipotency was affirmed following the annunciation of the birth of the child.

Fourth, Isaac's name was specified before he was born- "And thou shalt call his name Isaac" (Gen. 17:19); compare with this the words of the angel to Joseph before Christ was born- "And thou shalt call his name Jesus" (Matthew 1:21)!

Fifth, Isaac's birth occurred at God's appointed time (Gen. 21:2) "at the set time"; so also in connection with the Lord Jesus we read "But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman" (Gal. 4:4).

Sixth, as we have seen above, Isaac's birth required a miracle to bring it about; so also was it with the incarnation of Immanuel.

Seventh, the name Isaac (given unto him by Abraham and not Sarah, Genesis 21:3), which means laughter, declared him to be his father's delight; so also was the one born at Bethlehem- "this is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:17) Need we remark how strikingly this sevenfold type evidences the Divine inspiration of Scripture, and demonstrates that the book of Genesis- so much attacked by the critics- was written by one" moved by the Holy Spirit."

It has been noticed by others that in Abraham we have a striking illustration of election, while in Isaac we get, typically, the precious truth of sonship. Abraham was the one chosen and called by God; Isaac was the one promised and born of God's power. The historical order of Genesis is thus the doctrinal order of the New Testament. Thus we read in Ephesians 1:4, 5, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him: in love having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will."

Isaac brings before us in type regeneration,
and it is this which will now engage our attention.

The first point
we would here dwell upon is that before Isaac was born the power and activities of nature were made an end of. Abraham and Sarah had come to the end of themselves. Abraham's body was "dead," and so too was Sarah's womb (Rom. 4:19). And in order for Isaac to be born that which was dead must be quickened, quickened by God. This is a very humbling truth; one which is thoroughly distasteful to man; one which nothing but the grace of God will enable us to receive. The state of the natural man is far worse than he imagines. It is not only that man is a sinner, a sinner both by nature and by practice, but that he is "alienated from the life of God" (Eph. 4:18). In a word the sinner is dead- dead in trespasses and sins. As the father said of the prodigal, "This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found" (Luke 15:24). That the natural man is dead in trespasses and sins is no mere figure of speech; it is a solemn reality, an awful fact. It is ignorance and the denial of this fact which lies at the root of so much of the false teaching of our day. What the natural man needs first and foremost is not education or reformation, but life. It is because the sinner is dead that he needs to be born again. But how little this is pressed today! The unspeakably dreadful state of the natural man is glossed over where it is not directly repudiated. For the most part our preachers seem afraid to insist upon the utter ruin and total depravity of human nature. This is a fatal defect in any preaching: sinners will never be brought to see their need of a Savior until they realize their lost condition, and they will never discover their lost condition until they learn that they are dead in sin.

But what does Scripture mean when it says the sinner is "dead"? This is something which seems absurd to the natural man. And to him it is absurd. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14). To the natural man it seems that he is very much alive. Yes, and Scripture itself speaks of one that lives in pleasure as being "dead while she liveth" (1 Tim. 5:6). Herein lies the key to the meaning of that expression employed by our Lord in His teaching upon the Good Samaritan. Describing the condition of the natural man under the figure of one who had fallen among thieves, who had stripped him of his raiment and left him wounded by the wayside, the Savior termed him "half dead" (Luke 10:30). Mark then the absolute accuracy of Christ's words. The sinner is "half dead": he is alive manward, worldward, sinward, but he is dead Godward! The sinner is alive naturally- physically, mentally, morally- but he is dead spiritually. That is why the new birth is termed a "passing from death unto life" (John 5:24). And just as the deadness of Abraham and Sarah- in their case natural deadness, for they but foreshadowed spiritual truths had to be quickened by God before Isaac could be born, so has the sinner to be quickened by God into newness of life before he can become a son of God. And this leads us to say.

Second, before Isaac could be born God had to perform a miracle. As we have said, Abraham's body was "dead" and Sarah was long past the age of child-bearing. How then could they have a son? Sarah laughed at the mention of such a thing. But what was beyond the reach of nature's capacity was fully within the scope of Divine power. "Is there anything too hard for the Lord?" (Gen. 18:14). No, indeed. "Ah, Lord God, behold! Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee" (Jer. 32:17).

As it was with Isaac so it is with every Christian. Before any of us could be born again God had to work a miracle. Make no mistake on this point; regeneration is the direct result of the supernatural operation of God. This needs to be stressed today, for regeneration has been so misrepresented by modern evangelists that to the popular mind the "new birth" signifies nothing more than a process of reformation. But the new birth is no mere turning over of a new leaf and the endeavor to live a better life. The new birth is very much more than going forward in a religious meeting and taking the preacher's hand; very much more than signing a card and "joining the church." The new birth is an act of God's creative power, the impartation of spiritual life, the communication to us of the Divine nature itself.

Abraham and his wife- each of them nearly a hundred years old- desiring a son- what could they do? Nothing! absolutely nothing. God had to come in and work a miracle. And thus nature had nothing to glory in. So it is with us. The natural man is not only a sinner, a lost sinner, but he is a helpless sinner impotent, unable to do anything of himself. If help comes it must come from outside of himself. He is, like Abraham and Sarah, shut up to God.

Third, the coming of Isaac into Abraham's household aroused opposition and produced a conflict. "And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had borne unto Abraham, mocking" (Gen. 21:9). In the epistle to the Galatians we are shown the dispensational meaning and application of this, and there we read, "But as then he that was born after the flesh (Ishmael) persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now" (Gal. 4:29); but it is with the individual application of this type that we are now concerned. Ishmael exemplifies the one born after the flesh: Isaac the one born after the Spirit. When Isaac was born the true character of Ishmael was manifested; and so when we are born again and receive the new nature, the old nature, the flesh, then comes out in its true colors.

Just as there were two sons in Abraham's household, the one the product of nature, the other the gift of God and the outworking of Divine power, each standing for a totally different principle, so in the believer there are two natures which are distinct and diverse. And just as there was a conflict between Ishmael and Isaac, so the flesh in us lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh (Gal. 5:17).

It is of first importance that the Christian, especially the young Christian, should be clear upon the two natures in the believer. The new birth is not the improving of the old nature, but the receiving of a new; and the receiving of the new nature does not in any wise improve the old. Not only so, the old and the new natures within the believer are in open antagonism the one to the other. We quote now from the works of one deeply respected and to which we are much indebted: "Some there are who think that regeneration is a certain change which the old nature undergoes; and, moreover, that this change is gradual in its operation until, at length, the whole man becomes transformed. That this idea is unsound, can be proved by various quotations from the New Testament. For example: The carnal mind is enmity against God. How can that which is thus spoken of ever undergo any improvement? The apostle goes on to say, "It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." If it cannot be subject to the law of God, how can it be improved? How can it undergo any change? Do what you will with flesh, and it is flesh all the while. As Solomon says, "Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him" (Prov. 27:22). "There is no use seeking to make foolishness wise. You must introduce heavenly wisdom into the heart that has been hitherto only governed by folly" (C. H. M.).

Fourth, it is to be noted that it was the birth of Isaac which revealed the true character of Ishmael. We know practically nothing of Ishmael's life before the birth of Isaac, but as soon as this child of promise made his appearance the real nature of Hagar's son was made manifest. He may have been very quiet and orderly before, but as soon as the child of God's quickening-power came on the scene, Ishmael showed what he was by persecuting and mocking him. Here again the type holds good. It is not until the believer receives the new nature that he discovers the real character of the old. It is not until we are born again we learn what a horrible and vile thing the flesh is. And the discovery is a painful one: to many it is quite unsettling. To those who have supposed that regeneration is an improving of the old nature, the recognition of the awful depravity of the flesh comes as a shock and often destroys all peace of soul, for the young convert quickly concludes that, after all, he has not been born again. The truth is that the recognition of the true character of the flesh and a corresponding abhorrence of it, is one of the plainest evidences of our regeneration, for the unregenerate man is blind to the vileness of the flesh. The fact that I have within me a conflict between the natural and the spiritual is the proof there are two natures present, and that I find the Ishmael-nature "persecuting" the Isaac-nature is only to be expected. That the Ishmael-nature appears to me to be growing worse only goes to prove that I now have capacity to see its real character, just as the real character of Ishmael was not revealed until Isaac was born.

Fifth, we read, "And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him" (Gen. 21:4). Our space is exhausted and we must be very brief on these last points. The circumcising of Isaac, and later of the Israelites, was a foreshadowing of our spiritual circumcision: "And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:10, 11). Judicially we have been circumcised and God no longer looks at us in the flesh but in Christ, for circumcision- typically and spiritually- is separation from the flesh, and the eighth day brings us on to resurrection ground in Christ. Compare Colossians 3:9, etc.

Sixth, "And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned" (Gen. 21:8). Here again the type holds good. Isaac "grew" by feeding on his mother's milk. Thus, too, is it with the believer. By the new birth we are but spiritual babes, and our growth is brought about by feeding on the milk of the Word. "As new-born babes, desires the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby" (1 Pet. 2:2). We cannot now touch upon the significance of the "great feast" above.

"And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had borne unto Abraham mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away" (Gen. 21:9-14). At last the conflict is over. He who "persecuted" Isaac is now "cast out" (Gal. 4:29). So it will yet be with us. Judicially the life of the flesh is already ended for us, but practically it is still here with us and in us. But blessed be God what is true now judicially shall soon be true experimentally also. When Christ returns for us, the flesh shall be put off for ever, just as Elijah left behind him his earthly mantle. But mark how accurate our type is: not till Isaac "grew" and was "weaned" was the persecuting Ishmael cast out! Let this be our closing thought. Soon our Ishmael shall be cast out. Soon shall this vile body of ours be made like unto the body of Christ's glory (Phil. 3:21). Soon shall the Savior return and we shall be "like Him," for we shall see Him as He is (John 3:2). Blessed promise! Glorious prospect! Does not the presence of the vile flesh within us now only serve to intensify the longing for our blessed Lord's return? Then let us continue to cry daily, "Come quickly. Even so, come Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20)


Sunday, July 25, 2010


God has laid it upon my heart to share with others those things that I have been "taught of God" (John 6:45) throughout my Christian pilgrimage (Heb. 11:13-16), namely the fulness and sufficiency that is to be found in Christ alone, and that Christ indeed is the key to unlocking the Scriptures.

With that in mind, I have carefully selected transcripts of sermons from Godly men (Jer. 3:15), which show Christ's fulfillment in prophecy, Christ as He is pre-figured, typified and foreshadowed (Hebrews 8 & 10) in the Old Testament, and Christ as the only Saviour for sinners (Matt. 1:21; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:25) and the only way to God(John 14:6; 1 Pet. 3:18) to the end that you might "know Him"! (1 John 5:20)

My prayer is that you too might "see Jesus" (Hebrews 2:9-18) as He is revealed in the Scriptures . . . how "precious" He is (1 Peter 2:6-7) . . . and come to regard Him, as have I, as the "one thing needful"! (Luke 10:42)

May it please the Lord Jesus Christ to open your eyes that you too might behold Him in all His glory!

(Matt. 11:25-27); (Luke 24:13-45)


Joseph, A Type of Christ
from Care for God's Fruit-trees... by H. A. Ironside

The story of Joseph as given in Genesis (chapters 37 to 50) is perennially fresh and delightful. Young and old alike revel in it. Looked at as an old-world picture of customs and people long-since vanished, there is a freshness and charm about it that stirs the heart and holds our attention in a remarkable way.

But in studying Scripture there is not only the literal application, which is always important, but every part of the Word of God has a spiritual, typical, and dispensational application as well, and in Joseph's character and experience we have a wonderful type of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ordinarily when we speak of any individual in the Old Testament being a type of Christ, we refer to what he is officially, and not to his personal character. David, for instance, in his official capacity is a striking type of our Saviour; Solomon, too, as the king of peace typifies Him who is yet to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords; but neither of these men could be said to typify Christ in their personal characters. With Joseph it is otherwise. His life shines forth from the pages of Holy Scripture as practically flawless. It is not indeed that he was actually sinless, for he had in himself the same corrupt nature that any other child of Adam has, but it has not pleased God to speak of any flaws or blemishes which His holy eye may have discerned in this devoted servant, but He has rather emphasized his faithfulness and practical godliness.

If we study him as a type of Christ, we would first notice him as

The Beloved of the Father's Heart

This comes out clearly in the early part of chapter 37. We read that Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colors. Here we have more than a hint of the One who from all eternity was the delight of God the Father, the One whom He ever sought to magnify and glorify, for our Lord Jesus Christ was with the Father from all eternity. There are some who question this, and particularly some who would deny His right to the term "Eternal Son"; but if He was not the Eternal Son, then there was no Eternal Father. Saintly J. G. Bellett has well asked, "Had the Father no bosom in the past eternity?" and the answer is clearly found in John 1:18, "The only begotten Son, which is in (or subsisting in) the bosom of the Father." The expression implies a relationship of devoted attachment, of deepest affection. The Father loved Him before the foundation of the world and ever delighted to honor Him.

Then we notice in Joseph the dreamer of dreams with

Premonitions of Coming Glory

He saw in a vision his brethren and all his father's house bowing down to him, and this was the vision granted to our Lord Jesus Christ. His delights were with the sons of men and He ever looked forward to the time when, as the exalted Man, He would be the means of blessing for all His brethren and His Father's house. That term, "His brethren" includes not only Israel but we read in the epistle to the Hebrews, "He is not ashamed to call us brethren." All the redeemed rejoice to own His authority and gladly bow in submission at His feet. But there is more than this involved in the thought of His coming exaltation for "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:10-11).

Joseph comes before us in his first active ministry as the one who left the father's house and went forth

Seeking His Brethren

His father's heart was toward the sons who were caring for the flock, first at Shechem and then at Dothan, and to them Joseph went forth sent by the father to see how they did and to declare the father's concern for them. How truly this sets forth the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ who came "not to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved;" (John 3:17) who came from the Father's house into this dark world of sin seeking His brethren that He might declare the Father's Name to them and manifest the Father's love. Of this we have more than a hint in the journey of Joseph to distant Dothan, but as the story proceeds how the whole tragedy of the

Rejection of the Son

comes before us in the treatment accorded to him by those whom he sought out for blessing — hating him the more because of his father's love and detesting him because of his superior virtue. Angered too, because of those dreams of glory, they exclaimed in indignation as he drew near, "Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams" (Gen. 37:19-20). And so in the sordid tale of their hatred and rejection we have more than a foreshadow of the treatment that Israel and the Gentiles would yet accord to God's beloved Son. While every detail does not, of course, fit perfectly with the experiences of our blessed Lord and His unbelieving brethren after the flesh, yet it is plain to see that the story is one and the same: the love of the Father's heart, the yearning of the Son, and the cruel setting at nought by those whom He loved so tenderly, all are clearly manifested. Hated, spurned by those who should have welcomed him with gladness, Joseph is cast into the pit, which speaks of death, and then sold to the Gentiles and carried down into Egypt. Of course, with our Lord He was sold first and then crucified, but both stories alike tell of the corruption of the human heart and the love of the heart of God.

The scene changes and we next see Joseph as

The Tempted One

and here how his experiences illustrate the testings and triumphs of our Lord who was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). In Joseph's case we have a man sinful by nature triumphing in the hour of testing because of the fear of the Lord. "How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Gen. 39:9) This was his strength. He had set Jehovah always before him and therefore he was not moved when the hour of trial came. In the case of our Lord, He was, of course, the sinless One and His temptation was but the demonstration of this. "Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners," (Hebrews 7:26) it was unthinkable that sin should ever hold dominion over Him. He stood unflinchingly against every attack of the evil one, and He could ever say, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me" (John 14:30). In Joseph's temptation and victory we see clearly set forth the way in which every one of us may overcome. It is as the Word of God is hidden in our hearts that we shall be kept from sinning against Him.

But Joseph's testing was not only in Potiphar's house. There he was tempted in the midst of luxuries. There was a further trial when, falsely accused, he suffered for righteousness' sake in the prison-house. But there his integrity was demonstrated and the fear of God preserved him. He shone just as brightly in the dungeon as he did in the mansion. D. L. Moody once said, "Character is what a man is in the dark," and this indeed comes out wonderfully in the case of Joseph. They put him in fetters of iron, but the prison-cell was only the antechamber to the royal palace.

He is as truly the messenger of Jehovah in the prison, interpreting the dreams of the butler and the baker, as when he told his own dream so long before. It is evident that there was no break in his communion with God. It was as easy for him to interpret a dream as to see visions, for he was under the control of the Holy Spirit.

And so in due time we find him

Exalted in Glory

He who had been despised and rejected, he who had been hated and spurned, given up for dead and sold into slavery, unjustly accused and imprisoned, came forth in due time to share the throne with Pharaoh as the preserver of the lives of both the Egyptians and all his father's house.

His Gentile bride, Asenath, seems to give a hint of the fact that our Lord, while rejected by Israel, has found a Bride among the Gentiles, and Joseph's two sons Manasseh (forgetful) and Ephraim (fruitful), tell how he was made to forget all his sorrows because of the fruitfulness of his ministry by the Spirit among the Gentiles. The day came when all of Egypt and the peoples of distant lands bowed at his feet asking for the sustaining corn. When they cried to Pharaoh and said, "Give us food," his answer was, "Go to Joseph," for he was the custodian of all the treasured corn of Egypt, and so today, all blessing is centered in Christ, and to every seeking soul the Father says,

"Go to Jesus"

"There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12) but the Name which was written above Him when He hung rejected on Calvary's cross, and, thank God, no other name is needed, for He declares, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18). He is exalted to God's right hand, speaking peace to all who trust Him and ministering grace to every seeking soul.

Joseph's dreams were wonderfully fulfilled when his brethren came in their abject need, bowing at his feet, glad to receive from his hand that which would maintain physical life, and so now He who is greater than Joseph gives eternal life to bankrupt sinners who bow before Him confessing their guilt and owning His grace.

The tender heart of Joseph, his deep compassion for his brethren, comes out most clearly when he reveals himself to them, and again when they doubt his love after his father's death. Like the One of whom he was but a foreshadow, he was a man of tears. As he beheld his brethren, he could not refrain from weeping, and when they feared that he would remember their sins after the burial of Jacob, their distrust of his love moved him again to sobs uncontrolled. He loved to be trusted; he could not bear to be doubted, and in this how truly he portrays the character of the Lord Jesus.

But the type falls far short of the reality, and the book of Genesis closes with the death of Joseph and his body placed in a coffin in Egypt. Thank God, He of whom Joseph speaks lives to die no more, but just as Joseph gave commandment concerning his bones, and Israel carried those bones all through the wilderness and at last laid them to rest in the land of Canaan, so a pilgrim people today are called upon to always bear about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in us. The bones of Joseph were the memorial of death. Suppose a stranger noticed his bier carried reverently throughout the wilderness and inquired concerning it, he might have been answered by something like this, "We were in deep distress, likely to die of famine, but Joseph our brother, whom we had rejected, saved us. Our deliverer died, and we are carrying the memorial through the wilderness to find a resting-place in the land to which we go."

And so we too have that which reminds us of our Saviour's death, "As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come" (1 Cor. 11:26). Some day we will be through forever with the memorials of death when we shall have gone to that rest which remains for the people of God, and there we shall have our blessed Lord in all His fulness to be the delight of our hearts throughout an eternity of bliss, while a regenerated world will see Him enthroned in highest glory and all peoples will be nourished by His beneficence and bow at His feet in rapt adoration.

Copied from Care for God's Fruit-trees and Other Messages by H.A. Ironside. Rev. ed. New York: Loizeaux Brothers, [1945].


Sunday, December 13, 2009

FAR FROM ROME . . NEAR TO GOD by Richard Bennett & Martin Buckingham

This book contains the moving testimonies of fifty priests who found their way by the grace of God out of the labyrinth of Roman Catholic theology and practice into the light of the gospel of Christ.

From the back cover:

This is not a narrowly polemical work, nor is its relevance limited to the ongoing controversy between Rome and the churches of the Reformation. The love and concern felt by the former priests for those they left behind, and their fervent desire that they too should experience the joy and peace of salvation in Christ are seen throughout. The wider relevance of the experiences described will also be felt in many contexts remote from Roman Catholicism where human pride and presumption have erected rival sources of authority between people and the Word of God, so obscuring the way of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone.

Richard Bennett is the Director of Berean Beacon, based in Portland, Oregon, USA. Martin Buckingham is the Director of The Converted Catholic Mission in Leicester, UK.


Reviews commending this book from

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book if you want to really get an unbiased view of the RCC, March 14, 2008

By MacLover (Missouri)

This book is probally the best I have yet to read regarding the RCC. I was looking for something that my brother would be able to read that was too loaded with all the technical RCC doctrines. This gives testimony's of priests who studied and studied and still did not find salvation. The more they seeked God, the more they turned away from the RCC and to the one and only Saviour Jesus Christ. The testimonies also provide scriptures which is wonderful. This is the perfect book to give a Catholic person in search for the truth. I have not given it to my brother yet because I can't put it down! What a great book. It really helps me because I was born and raised Catholic and it confirms that when you are far from Rome you are surely nearer to God.

5.0 out of 5 stars Protestant/Catholic Household, August 18, 2006

By Irish Girl "christ like" (jackson co. west virginia)

This is a great book and I recomend it to both Protestant and Catholic alike.It is a book for the open minded only!!!I am sorry to say that I havent run into to many open minded when it comes to religon.This book gives you a good look at the brainwashing involved in not just Catholics but any religion that requires its people to study church doctorine only and not the Bible itself.Out of each story in this book not one of these men came to know God until they picked up and read a Bible.That is amazing to me!!!!

4.0 out of 5 stars A good testimony of those that left the organization., May 23, 1998

By Lee Jensen "riolion" (Rio Rancho, New Mexico USA)


Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)

This review is from: Far from Rome Near to God: (Paperback)

This book contains a small sample of testimonies of people that felt the need to know their Creator but did not find it within the church with its elaborate rituals, dogmatic belief system, and authoritative hierarchial power structure. I read that nearly all of the priests that left either were directed by a small voice within themselves as they carried out their assigned duties or were drawn away from it after reading the Bible which they found to conflict with the unique doctrines of the Roman Church. The book points out the failure of the Roman Church in teaching their leaders the Scripture who are to feed the flock. It is a book that also make one sad in that the spiritual needs of people are not met or the feed that they receive is not at adequate for ones daily spiritual life. As in all critiques, one can gain an understanding of the beliefs of the Roman Church by examining the views of those that left. This book is indeed adequate for that.

4.0 out of 5 stars Far From Rome Near to God, March 23, 2006

By Arnold Urbonas "Bible connoisseur" (Edmonton, AB Canada)


I am enjoying this book very much. This book provides a condensed version of life stories of former priests. Although I was never a priest, I did find that I could identify with many stories, having personally undergone a similiar spiritual transformation.

I am particularly moved by the courage and risk that these men took after studying for the priesthood for 10+ years, and found no other alternative than to leave all that they had come to know. They didn't know what they would do for a living, but God provided for them.

These men didn't just decide to leave the Roman church, but after honest soul searching were convicted even after growing up in the Roman church. But each and every testimony had this in common- these priests encountered True faith from witnesses who were not afraid to speak the Truth.

4.0 out of 5 stars Unless One Is Born Again, November 9, 2004

By CHRIS TAN (Langley, British Columbia Canada)

An excellent testimony and revelation of men (actually, ex-catholic priests) being regenerated by the Holy Spirit to see the Truth. And the Truth have set them free. Jesus said in John 3:3, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." And Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Only two things stands out from this book, believing in salvation by grace (only God converts) or believing in salvation by works (that man has the ability to convert themself). In the words of Jesus Christ, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound!, April 11, 2002

By A Customer

This review is from: Far from Rome Near to God: (Paperback)

Though this is a book with 50 testimonies from former priests, it should be viewed as one testimony to God's grace in calling forth his people, even when the odds are against it. I was struck by the extent to which God's Word cut like a sword into the hearts of these men, and awakened them to God's truth and away from the "magisterium" of man-made and erroneous Catholic doctrines. The book is also interesting for the varied perspectives offered by former priests from several orders (Jesuits, Franciscans, Carmelites, etc.), and from all around the world (North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia). One of the saddest testimonies, which would sum up much of Roman Catholic life, was the description of monastic life, and how earnestly deceived men sought to earn holiness and salvation through their futile acts of self-denial, self-flagellation and other acts of humiliation. Also, the testimonies touch briefly on several problematic areas of Catholic teaching that each priest had to accept were sinful, such as teachings on the worship ("veneration" in Catholic doublespeak) of Mary, idolatry, transubstantiation, the re-sacrifice of Christ in the Mass, and other serious errors. Lastly, I would counsel wisdom before this book is shared with Catholics because some of the testimonies are harsh in their criticism of the Roman church's teachings and bishops. Read this prayerfully before you give away, and consider how your Catholic friends and family would react....

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For All Roman Catholics!!!, January 4, 2002

By Pastor Roger "Roger R." (Chicago, USA)

This review is from: Far from Rome Near to God: (Paperback)

I'm a former Roman Catholic. I got this book as a recent Christmas gift from a friend. I must admit, the evidence in this book is very compelling. If you're a Catholic struggling with your faith, you need to read this book. Or if you're thinking about becoming a Catholic, you need to read this book. God is found in the Bible and in its teachings. I must warn you-you'll find a lot of differences between the Catholic Church and the Bible if you read this book. As you read it, I'd suggest keeping a Bible close by. You'll find that all of the information these former priests give is 100% accurate. Excellent book!!!

4.0 out of 5 stars Far from Rome Near to God, July 22, 2001

By Rev. Ray Dubuque (East Haven, Conn. - USA)

This review is from: Far from Rome Near to God: (Paperback)

As one of the 100,000 priests who saw the light, I could have been featured as one of its contributors. When I saw the Roman Catholic Church do a U-turn and start undoing the 2nd Vatican Council's reforms that had been 3 centuries or more in coming, I joined the reformation and was welcomed into the ministry of the United Methodist Church.

But more important than my story is the teaching of JESUS that is too often neglected by BOTH the Catholic (as well as the Orthodox) and Protestant traditions, which I highlight at my extensive web site "Liberals Like Christ"....

5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Will Set You Free, July 9, 2001

By A Customer

This book puts a human face on the number of those who eventually had to leave the Roman Church priesthood because they could no longer reconcile their changing beliefs with those that they were required to practice...and it does this via fifty testimonies of the over 100,000 men who have left the Roman Catholic priesthood since 1970

As these priest tell their stories, we are educated in a number of ways.

One, we learn a great deal about Roman Catholic Church theology, including the Mass, confession, justification, etc.

Two, we are provided fascinating insights into the various trainings, practices, duties and obligations of priestly and monastic orders. Some of these practices seem barbaric by our contemporary sense of spiritual awareness. It is appalling, for instance, to think we have Roman Catholic orders of monks who still practice medieval, physical forms of cruelty upon themselves (like flagellation) and their fellows (blows to the face) in an attempt to be right with and pleasing to God.

Since the spiritual journeys of these priests are internationally and ethnically diversified, we are also educated in terms of the Roman Catholic Church's role in various countries and cultures. In some countries, it is apparent that the RCC has a power that is every bit as dominant politically as it is religiously.

Many of these priests feared for their personal safety as well as their future careers when they entertained notions of leaving the priesthood, because of the Roman Church's vindictive representatives in government, in the police forces and in the business community. Some of these priests, after having left the priesthood, were forced to leave their countries to find hospitable refuge elsewhere. Evidently, in some parts of the world, leaving the priesthood is not like quitting a job.

For these reasons, and the fact that many faced the potential of a cultural stigma as well as intense disappointment of friends and family, we learn that leaving the priesthood required a good amount of courage. The fact that all the ex-priests in this book left because of a crisis of conscience or belief, as opposed to yearnings for worldly or physical desires, make their stories even more compelling and credible.

We also learn the extent to which the Roman Catholic Church, despite calling Protestants "brothers," in actual practice in various locales considers Protestantism its number one enemy. Many of these testimonial conversions are remarkable considering the fact that the priests relating them were raised and educated to hate Protestants. Many actually were led to believe that Protestant Bibles were radically different than Catholic Bibles. Protestant literature, in one man's story, was kept in a forbidden, locked closet in a church library.

When reading this book, anyone who considers himself a serious Christian will be shocked by how little the theological training of Roman Catholic priests involves the study of scripture. One man testifies in this book that in thirteen years of training to be a priest, he had twelve hours of studying the Bible. Another stated that he was not allowed to even read a Bible until after he had turned 21, despite the fact that he had been trained to be a priest since he was a ten. One is left with the impression that since so many Roman Catholic Church dogmas (like the sacrifice of the Mass, the Marian dogmas, confession, transubstantiation, purgatory, the priesthood itself) have questionable or no scriptural basis, the Roman Catholic Church prefers to train its future priests with literature on what they say about the Bible, rather than risk having seminarians question Church teaching by reading the Bible itself.

Despite this effort, the constant thread throughout many of the narratives is how God brought the truth to anguished, confused, and troubled souls in spite of Roman Catholic "brainwashing" as one ex-priest phrases it. Many times the seed of God's truth was sown as priests were required to perform actions that in their hearts they knew only God was capable of, such as absolution. Many more times conversion occurred as a result of studying the Word of God and learning that the Gospel message of God's love and forgiveness, and Christ's one time perfect sacrifice blatantly contradicts the Roman Catholic view.

We cannot simply dismiss the conversions of these brave and intelligent men as being a result of ignorance. In some cases, these men experienced decades of training and learning in Roman Catholic teaching. An objective reader, regardless of denominational affilliation, must conclude that there is something wrong with a Christian church that shields not only its laity, but its clergy from the Bible...but when one sees how a thorough grounding in the Word of God can lead to exodus from that church, we can at least understand why.

A quick read: informative and surprisingly entertaining as well.

5.0 out of 5 stars Putting God's Thinking Above Our Own, April 21, 2000

By Rande C. Snyder (San Antonio, TX)

This review is from: Far from Rome Near to God: (Paperback)

Unfortunately, most major denominations are based on what some person, or committee, thinks of some passage or passages of Scripture, and not what God intended at all. The Catholic Church is just one of many in a long list. While being raised in Catholicism, many times I was taught that a thing was okay as long as I thought it was, and didn't feel bad about it. That's NOT how it works! First you have to read the Bible and get real familiar with what He thinks and adjust your thinking to His -- not the other way around! This is the truth that these ex-priests have found. We cannot do it our own way, or any man's way, and expect to get to Heaven. Sorry, but He says so -- it's His Word, and His thinking, not my own. It is a miracle that these men found their way out of the labyrinth of religion, and into the light of His infallible truth.

4.0 out of 5 stars Common threads in troubled priests - fascinating, January 11, 2000

By J. Long (Raleigh, NC USA)


This review is from: Far from Rome Near to God: (Paperback)

I have always had a fascination for why people believe the way they do. I could not put this book down. It is interesting that all of the priests kept thinking that the next event (entering seminary, becoming a priest, saying the first Mass, becoming a missionary, etc.) would provide them with peace with God. Yet, at each turn, they found no answers to their questions, no peace. Each of them stumbled across the Bible under differing circumstances, but had trouble justifying Catholic dogmas with what they read in the Bible. Most of them had to sacrifice everything in order to leave the priesthood. Some testimonies were very insightful, others repetitious, but all provided me with an insight into the difficulties many priests must be faced with. Anyone opposed to Catholicism should first read this book to gain a greater sense of compassion for the person on the other side. The author should focus on organization of the testimonies (perhaps chronilogically), add dates where missing, and add transitions where it seems to jump.

With Christian love,

June & Ralph Nadolny, two witnesses for Christ

Sinners by birth (Ps. 51:5); Roman Catholics by tradition; converted to Christ by His grace (Eph. 2:1-9); made "new creatures in Christ" (II Cor. 5:17) by virtue of the "new birth" (John 3:3-8) to the praise & glory of God's grace (Eph. 1:3-14)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"For I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ . . ." Rom. 1:16

"With deep love for Catholic people, Peter Slomski in this DVD explains his own coming to personal faith in Jesus Christ. Peter is from a Polish Catholic family and photos from his Catholic youth give clarification to his touching testimony to the Lord’s love and grace."
- Richard Bennett

This video is "embedded" here with permission from Richard Bennett, Christian Apologist & former Catholic priest. Additional Christian commentary, testimony & videos by Richard Bennett and others can be accessed at his website

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Massive Scale of Child Abuse by Priests in Ireland

Excerpt: "Millions of Roman Catholics have left their “Church” in disgust. And for the true Christian, it must always be remembered that even if millions of Roman Catholics ultimately rejected their religion, this is not the same as conversion to Christ!

Their Romish priests may have abused them, but the Lord Jesus Christ is the one true great High Priest (Heb. 3:1), who is holy, harmless, and undefiled (Heb. 7:26). The priests of Rome claim to possess the power to forgive sin, but only Christ truly has such power. Neither priests of Rome, nor psychological “counselling”, can help them; but if they come to Christ the Lord, He will save them to the uttermost! Here is good news indeed, the very best of news, glad tidings of a true Saviour and Friend!"

Shaun Willcock, Gospel Minister & Christian Apologist

**********August 22nd, 2009

A massive, 2600-page report on child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Ireland was published in May 2009 by an independent commission, the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse, after listening to evidence from victims given over a nine-year period. The commission was established by the Irish government in 2000 to hear evidence from people, now in their 50s to 80s, alleged to have suffered abuse at institutions since 1940. These institutions, which were funded by the state but usually run by Roman Catholic religious orders, included schools, orphanages, hospitals, children’s homes, and other facilities.

The report (known as the Ryan Report) stated that physical and sexual abuse, including rape, was endemic in government institutions for boys that were run by Roman Catholic religious orders, chiefly by the order known as the “Christian Brothers”, between 1940 and the late 1970s. Literally thousands of boys were abused during this period. It said: “A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys.” Children lived in daily terror. And although girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the order known as the “Sisters of Mercy”, suffered much less sexual abuse (although it certainly did occur), they suffered frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless. “In some schools,” the report stated, “a high level of ritualized beating was routine…. Girls were struck with implements designed to maximize pain and were struck on all parts of the body. Personal and family denigration was widespread.” Witnesses not only described being hit and beaten, but being flogged, kicked and otherwise physically assaulted, scalded, burned, and held under water. They described being beaten in private, as well as in front of other staff, residents, patients and pupils. One man described everyday humiliations he had suffered as a boy in “Christian Brothers” institutions, such as being forced to wrap his urine-stained sheets around his neck and parade in front of other children when he had wet his bed.i

Proper spanking, of course, has been used since the beginning of the world and is a very biblical form of chastisement (Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14; 29:15); and unfortunately in today’s world, psychologists and others have convinced many that any form of corporal punishment is wrong, which is nonsense. But flogging, kicking, scalding, burning, and being held under water! Such things are methods of torture. The report said the overwhelming, consistent testimony from the victims had demonstrated beyond a doubt that the entire system treated children like prison inmates and slaves. It stated: “It was systemic and not the result of individual breaches by persons who operated outside lawful and acceptable boundaries.”

It also said that sexual abuse was reported by approximately half of all those who testified before a confidential committee of the commission. And sexual abusers were often repeat offenders. Furthermore, it was clear from the documented cases that monks and priests were aware of the propensity for abusers to continue to abuse – despite the religious orders’ claims that the recidivist nature of sexual offenders was not understood. The report uncovered previously secret Vatican records which showed that “Church” leaders knew of the child sex abusers in their ranks, going as far back as the 1930s. And not only did “Church” officials do nothing about it, but they deliberately and knowingly shielded such sex abusers from arrest! They simply shunted the offenders off to new parishes or locations where they continued the abuse.

The Ryan Report is full of horrifying detail. But it does not name the abusers. The leaders of the religious orders, despite claiming to have co-operated fully with the investigation, were adamant that the identities of the perpetrators be kept out of the report – and they indicated that they would continue to protect their identities even now. The “Christian Brothers” order claimed to have co-operated fully with the investigation, and yet in 2004 it successfully sued the commission to keep the identities of all its members, dead or alive, unnamed in the report.ii Partly for this reason the report will not be used for criminal prosecutions. This was very disappointing to the victims of the abuse, who strongly believed that the guilty should have been named and shamed. As one of the victims, John Walsh of Irish Survivors of Child Abuse, said, “It has devastated me and will devastate most victims because there are no criminal proceedings and no accountability whatsoever.”iii

Officials of the Roman Catholic institution in Ireland claimed to welcome the report, and to express sorrow about the incidents it documented. And yet, as always, the sincerity of these high-ranking ecclesiastical officials is to be seriously doubted, especially when the president of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Sean Brady, the Romish cardinal of Armagh, Northern Ireland, said that “the report throws light on a dark period of the past”.iv The past? What a lie! This is not a dark period of the past, it is still going on right now! Thus, even while professing sorrow over these shocking crimes, he chooses his words carefully so as to give the impression that it’s all over now, it’s in the past, it isn’t happening anymore, and it won’t happen again. He hereby continues to do his best to cover up the truth, and push it all into some “dark period of the past”.

A.W. Richard Sipe is an ex-Benedictine monk and priest, who is involved in full-time research into the sexual and celibate practices of the priests and bishops of Rome. Not a Christian and moreover sadly a psychotherapist, so that he sees the problem and the solution in terms of the unbiblical muddy waters of psychotherapy, which can never help anyone, Sipe nevertheless has ripped the veil off much of the goings-on of priests, caused by the doctrine of priestly celibacy. Commenting on the claim that these sins had been committed only “in the past”, he wrote (italics added): “Apologies from the hierarchy continue to be offered as if the problem of sex abuse is ‘now behind them.’ News Flash! The problem of sex by Catholic clergy and religious is very much alive and well within the clerical system. Sexual distortion… is endemic to the clerical culture….Most are not actually interested in understanding or practicing celibacy…. The system of authoritarian ecclesiastical control fosters and protects secret sexual expression – homosexuality and a double life. The power structure colludes to cover up the facts about clergy sexual activity. Sexual failings by bishops and priests are relegated to the confessional wastebasket where all is forgiven and forgotten…” He went on: “The problem is over? Is there anyone who thinks that Irish and American bishops and priests have lost their sexual drive – or their orientation, or their habits and relationships? In what ways has the clerical system of education or culture changed?”v As a psychotherapist and not a Christian, Sipe speaks of “sexual orientation”, and this of course is nonsense; but nevertheless he is absolutely correct in stating categorically that the abuse of children continues. It is most certainly not “in the past”. These men have not suddenly all undergone a moral change. They are evil men, with evil desires.

Getting back to the Romish cardinal, Brady: commenting on the report, he said moreover: “The publication of this comprehensive report and analysis is a welcome and important step in establishing the truth, giving justice to victims and ensuring such abuse does not happen again.” Another lie, for the Romish hierarchy certainly does not welcome this report or any other into these crimes. For centuries these things have been going on, and yet they have always been hushed up by the Roman Catholic leadership. The priests, bishops and cardinals of Rome have done their utmost to prevent the truth from ever being known. The only reason they now say such a report is “welcome” is because they have no choice, it has come to light and been exposed and there is nothing they can do about it, so they have to go into damage-control mode and try to make the best of a terrible situation. If it was up to them, they would never, ever have either issued such a report, nor done any investigation in the first place. It is as Jesus said: these men “loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (Jn. 3:19,20).

Brady said, “This report makes it clear that great wrong and hurt were caused to some of the most vulnerable children in our society. It documents a shameful catalogue of cruelty – neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse – perpetrated against children.” And: “I am profoundly sorry and deeply ashamed that children suffered in such awful ways in these institutions. Children deserved better, and especially from those caring for them in the name of Jesus Christ.” It all sounds good, and contrite – but it’s all a sham. For years now, it has been solidly documented all over the world that Roman Catholic bishops and cardinals knew about the abuse going on right under their noses – and did nothing. They simply shunted the guilty priest off to another parish where he could continue to abuse children; they turned a blind eye. And this is what Rome has always done, when its priests have been caught out in any crime, as ex-priest Charles Chiniquy shows in his classic work, 50 Years in the “Church” of

That the hierarchy deliberately shielded these predator priests was even admitted in an editorial of the Roman Catholic southern African weekly, The Southern Cross, which said (italics added): “The culpability, however, does not reside only with those who committed these abuses… but also with those who could have taken action to prevent these, but failed to do so. Witnesses before the commission testified that they were intimidated and silenced when they sought to bring these abuses to the attention of Church leaders. This suggests very strongly that the cover-up went to the top of the Irish Church, to superiors and bishops.” vii Of course it did, as indeed it did all over the world, not just in Ireland. This has ever been Rome’s way. Perhaps the fact that this particular editor, although a Papist, is not a priest, made him more forthright than many. He added that the betrayal was “in the interest of an institution that clearly was inebriated with the hubris of its unchallenged power.” Strong words from a Roman Catholic editor, and true ones as well. Yet this man remains a Roman Catholic all the same.

Brady also said that the Papal institution “remains determined to do all that is necessary to make the Church a safe, life-giving and joyful place for children.” The “Church” of Rome has never been safe for children, as history testifies. Its priests have abused children, and its abominable confessional has been the means of corrupting youth through the centuries.viii

Another high-ranking Irish ecclesiastic, the Romish archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said that the victims’ “stories of horrible abuse are, in many cases, stomach-turning; their courage in telling their stories [is] admirable.”ix Hollow words, once again. This is a religious system that has condoned this kind of abuse for much of its history. By the time a man reaches the position of archbishop, if he has not personally been involved in such abuse himself he is well aware of the fact that a great many priests, bishops, archbishops and others have been. But it only becomes “stomach-turning” once it is made public.

He went on to say that all “Church” organisations involved in the report should seriously examine “how their ideals became debased by systematic abuse.” The answer is as plain as can be, but sadly these organisations will not admit to it. This is a religious system which forbids its priests, monks and nuns from marrying, which is called a doctrine of devils in 1 Tim. 4:1-3. It is a system that, by its very nature, encourages a huge percentage of sodomites to enter the priesthood, for priests, not allowed to marry, spend large amounts of time in very intimate all-male company, and then through the confessionals are given access to young children in a secretive, private setting. It is a system which is so concerned with appearing outwardly holy to the world, that it covers up any scandals emanating from its priesthood, pushing them under the carpet and glossing them over. It is a system of diabolical evil.

He then said: “We must find ways of ensuring that the cries and anxieties of children are heard and listened to. This is not a report to be put on a shelf – it’s a real cry for a new look at the way we care for our children. If we truly regret what happened in the past, we must commit ourselves to a very different future.” The cries and anxieties of Roman Catholic children stem from the fact that they are forced into intimate, private proximity with sodomite priests who can get away with almost anything because of the high regard in which the children’ parents hold priests of Rome. And as for not putting this report on a shelf, when the dust settles down (if it settles down) that is precisely where most predator priests will put it. This Romish archbishop can prattle on about regretting the past and committing to a different future, but in practical terms, what will actually change? Nothing. The system is an abomination, and that is not changing.

Both Brady and Martin met with the Roman pope, Benedict XVI, for 45 minutes to brief him on the findings of the commission; this after a series of meetings to discuss the report with Vatican officials, including cardinals. And they claimed that Benedict was “visibly upset” to hear of the abuse suffered by the thousands of Irish children in the care of religious orders. Martin said Benedict was saddened to hear “how the children had suffered from the very opposite of an expression of the love of God”, while Brady said, “The Holy Father listened very carefully, very attentively and very sympathetically to what we had to say”. He added, “He said in reply that this was a time for a deep examination of life here in Ireland in the Church.”x

A Roman Catholic man in Ireland, writing in a Roman Catholic newspaper, summed up Benedict’s crocodile tears perfectly when he wrote: “The media in Ireland have said much about Pope Benedict’s ‘sadness’ about the abuse when he was briefed about that, but the pope’s sadness means nothing without action. The pope granted exile in Rome to Cardinal Bernard Law, who was the archbishop of Boston when he was implicated in moving rapist priests from parish to parish where they continued their abuse of children. Why is Cardinal Bernard Law not being handed over to the authorities in the United States so that he can answer for his involvement in the abuse of children in Boston? Why does the pope not call for the criminal prosecution of bishops and heads of religious orders who knowingly put children at risk of predators?”xi He hit the nail right on the head. It is a conspiracy to cover up the truth which goes right up to the pope of Rome himself. Benedict’s “sorrow” is a sham. It is worthless.

What must always be borne in mind is that the pope of Rome has risen through the ranks to get to where he is now. He was once a priest, then a bishop, then a cardinal, and finally pope of Rome. Thus there is simply no way that Benedict was ignorant of these goings-on. Until recent times they may have been hidden from the general public, but they have always been well known within the fraternity of the Romish priesthood. There, behind closed doors, sexual abuse of children, as well as of women and men, was never a secret. The history of the Papal system is full of these wicked goings-on. Benedict, then, may now express “sorrow” over the suffering of these thousands of children; but the abominations committed by so many members of the priesthood, and which have always been so well known within the system, did not deter him from his ambitions within the system; and he was perfectly content to stay within it, to turn a blind eye to it, and to rise up through the ranks so as to eventually become pope of Rome. His expressions of sorrow, then, can hardly be accepted as genuine.

Others issued their own “apologies”. Eight chapters of the report were devoted to institutions run by the “Christian Brothers” order, whose schools cared for more boys than all the other Roman Catholic-run institutions put together. And a spokesman for the order, known to Papists as “Brother” Edmund Garvey, said on May 20: “We apologise openly and unreservedly to all those who have been hurt – either directly or indirectly – as a result of the deplorable actions of some brothers or by the inaction or inappropriate action of the congregation as a whole. We are deeply sorry for the hurt caused. We are ashamed and saddened that many who complained of abuse were not listened to. We acknowledge and regret that our responses to physical and sexual abuse failed to consider the long-term psychological effects on children.”xii

Please note, even while issuing the “apology”, the attempt to give the impression that only “some brothers” were guilty of this abuse. Some? The report shows that this abuse was committed by hundreds and hundreds of priests and monks! Yet over and over again, these wicked institutions try to make the public believe that there were just a few “rotten apples” in the basket. What a lie.

And this man admits that many who complained of abuse were not listened to. Well then, this alone shows that there was a deliberate conspiracy to keep the truth hidden, and that it must have been known by many more men in these orders than even the many who actually committed the abuse!

The “apology”, then, is meaningless, as all such “apologies” are.

The editor of The Southern Cross, despite voicing his disgust at the priestly child abusers, still wrote that “the dignity of the priesthood has been diminished by the crimes of a small number of priests, and by bishops who covered up for them.”xiii A small number? The number of those who have been exposed already runs into thousands – is this a small number? About a decade ago, Roman Catholic priest Andrew Greeley estimated that priests in the United States had abused at least 120 000 minors.xiv This was a conservative estimate – the true number was far, far higher. And another decade has now passed, so that the true number is even higher still.

The Roman pope, himself, has made the same claim – that although “some” priests have done great harm, the majority have been exemplary. After praising priests who work under the threat of persecution and endure much suffering, Benedict added, “there are also, sad to say, situations which can never be sufficiently deplored where the Church herself suffers as a consequence of infidelity on the part of some of her ministers.”xv There’s that word, “some”, again. It’s only some priests who do these things – this is the continual message we’re hearing. But it’s a lie.

This constant refrain we are hearing from the hierarchy of Rome – that only a small minority of priests have been guilty of such abuses and that the vast majority are decent, upright, godly men – is Rome’s subtle way of covering up the full truth of the matter. As they say, tell a lie, tell it often enough, and the people will believe it. For example, a Brazilian cardinal, Cláudio Hummes, said that people must recognise that the vast majority of the world’s priests have never been involved in any kind of abuse.xvi But how can he be so sure? How can he possibly know? As already many thousands of priests worldwide have been exposed as child abusers, who can say how many more will be exposed in the future? The system itself is wicked, and makes it easy for such abusers to find a home within the priesthood. Rome’s priesthood has always been stuffed full of such men, and there is absolutely nothing to indicate it’s suddenly going to change now.

Although some priests and bishops have issued “apologies” and expressed shock and dismay at the revelations of the Ryan Report, others have dismissed the report and rallied to the defence of Rome; and the real attitude of Rome to such reports and revelations is revealed by these priests, not by those who sanctimoniously issue “apologies” and wring their hands. When William Donohue of the Catholic League called the reaction to the Ryan Report “hysteria”, ex-priest Richard Sipe came out with guns blazing and wrote, “Donohue is a Bozo. I don’t know any other appellation that can adequately describe the uninformed, unintelligent, and frankly stupid reaction of a man who responds thus to the facts of abuse by supposedly responsible and trusted religious”. He went on: “As one reviews the list of clerics who support Donohue and the League – Egan, Mahony, Chaput, O’Brien, O’Malley and others – with encomiums for ‘the protection of the faith, the defense of victims, courage to speak up candidly, teaching the hard truths of the Gospel’ – one is struck by the oppositional, obstructionistic, and arrogant way all of the clerical Donohue supporters still operate…. Those like Donohue who minimize and distort the real picture of clergy abuse of sex and power continue to do a huge disservice to the Catholic Church. Every U.S. Grand Jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse of minors came to exactly the same conclusion: the church has colluded to cover up facts, protect offenders and preferred institutional image and the avoidance of scandal above the safety of children. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics know the truth even if many are too intimidated or tired to say so aloud. There is nothing hysterical – over emotional or attention seeking – in the Irish Report or in reactions to it. Only a Bozo would think so. Facts, even painful facts, are still facts – the truth remains solid even after attacks or dismissals from powerful coalitions. Truth silently prevails, Bozos don’t.”xvii

Just how “sorry” the priests and monks really are is shown by the reaction of many to the anger displayed by Diarmuid Martin, the Romish archbishop of Dublin, when the details of the Ryan Report became known. Martin claimed that he was so angry over the documents in his archives that he threw them to the ground. Perhaps he did, perhaps not. But the Irish religious orders accused him of “throwing us to the wolves” (their phrase) after the revelations came out – and they were furious with him. A Redemptorist priest named Tony Flannery revealed that many members of religious orders felt “terrified”, “ashamed”, “hurt” and “betrayed” by the actions and public statements of Martin and other members of the hierarchy who led the public criticism of members of the religious orders of Ireland. He said “there is enormous anger among religious [members of religious orders]. They feel that they have been scapegoated, particularly by one member of the hierarchy, the Archbishop of Dublin.”xviii

This just shows that many of the men in these orders were more concerned with their own reputations than with the abuse that had been committed against thousands of children. At the same time, of course, one can understand their anger over the fact that high-ranking ecclesiastical leaders put on pious faces and express shock and horror, when there is simply no way they did not know that these things were going on right under their noses, and no doubt many of them are guilty of abuse as well. They are indeed making scapegoats of those under them, when they are just as guilty and utterly hypocritical to express sorrow and dismay over the report. As journalist Damiean Thompson correctly observed: “underneath all his [Martin’s] public soul-searching and the sound of documents hitting the archiepiscopal floor, I think we can hear the sound of nifty footwork.”xix

What, then, should be done for the victims?

The report recommended that “counselling” and educational services should be made available to victims, as many of them never received a secondary school education.xx Tragically, in these times, psychology is always recommended, but this is not the answer at all. Psychologists have become the high priests of the new religion of psychotherapy, but psychotherapy is utterly unproven, unscientific, and cannot possibly help. The real solution for those who have been abused by priests and monks of the Roman Catholic institution is to come to the Lord Jesus Christ and find salvation and everlasting peace in Him.

A solution put forward by Christine Buckley, a leader in seeking to expose the abuse, is for the religious orders to provide 50% of all their assets, estimated to be 20 billion euros, towards compensating the victims. She suggested that 5 billion euros be used to increase compensation to those who presented evidence to the commission, with the remaining 5 billion euros being set aside to compensate survivors who have not yet come forward.xxi And indeed, leaders of eighteen religious orders implicated in the abuse agreed to increase their contribution to a compensation fund, although no amount was set. An Irish government-appointed panel paid 12000 victims of the “Church”-run schools, orphanages and other institutions an average of $90,000 each, on condition that they surrender their right to sue either the Roman Catholic “Church” or the state. Thousands of other claims are pending.xxii

This has become the preferred solution worldwide, but it is far from ideal. The main reason being that knowing there is a lot of money to be made from testifying could very easily induce people who were not abused to come forward and pretend to have been, and accuse perhaps innocent people. This is a great danger. Still, by way of restitution the courts do not have many options available to them other than some form of financial compensation to the victims. Most important is for those individuals who committed the abuse, or who were accessories to it, to be punished by the full weight of the law. And yes, the religious institutions themselves should be punished too, wherever it is proved that they knew about the abuse going on within their structures and did nothing about it.

And where to, now, for the Roman Catholic institution in Ireland itself? Does it have a future in Ireland? The crisis for Rome in that once-so-Romanist country is truly immense in scale. This was admitted even by the Romish archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, who publicly conceded that the scandals had seriously damaged the image and credibility of the Roman Catholic institution in Ireland.xxiii And writing in The Irish Times, historian and journalist Brendan Ó Cathaoir described the Irish Republic as a state of “unbridled clerical power”, where the Romish “Church” possessed “unrivalled authority”, but stated that the Ryan Report has now consigned the triumphalist Roman Catholic “Church” in Ireland to the dustbin of history.xxiv

The following quotation from the editorial in The Southern Cross is worth quoting, as it is (for once) extremely honest about what has happened there:

“After a series of abuse scandals and the rise of secularism in Ireland – which in part is a reaction to inordinate ecclesial power in secular affairs – the Irish Church is at a nadir. For all the good it has done among the bad, the Church in Ireland as we know it is broken. Where its vocations were once so rich that Ireland lavishly sent priests and religious to the missions, today few men and women enter the consecrated life. Where its priests once were honoured, they are often publicly disrespected, to the point that some don’t even wear their clerical garb in public so as to avoid being maligned. And where once trust in the Church was implicit, it is now lost.”xxv

The numbers of men and women joining Roman Catholic religious orders in Ireland are in serious decline today. Michael Kelly, editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper in Dublin, said: “Most of these orders will literally die out in Ireland within the next generation or so. Many of them are already in wind-up mode. They lack the confidence even to seek new vocations (recruits), due to the stigma associated with their members’ shocking, scandalous behaviour.”xxvi

Large numbers of Irish Roman Catholics are shocked, hurt, disillusioned, and very angry with their priests, and with their “Church” in general. One, writing from Dublin to the southern African Roman Catholic newspaper, said: “Archbishop Martin has not acknowledged in full the conspiracy of the hierarchy in covering up the abuses…. Until all victims are properly compensated and all the perpetrators are prosecuted, his fine words amount to very little. The Catholic hierarchy and orders have failed to show that they are really serious about this. It seems rather that they want to pay out as little compensation as possible, and to keep the abusers out of jail. It is insulting of the Catholic leadership to pretend that they never knew about the physical and sexual violence. When individuals complained, they were intimidated into silence, and seldom was any action taken…. What the Church doesn’t understand, it seems, is that people are not angry only with the abusers but also with the whole Catholic Church that tolerated and covered up the violence against children, and now refuses to pay proper compensation. In my opinion, the whole hierarchy of Ireland should resign in shame. That includes Archbishop Martin. What a statement of solidarity with the victims that would be!”xxvii

He went on: “You [the editor of the Romanist newspaper] say that the Catholic Church in Ireland must now rebuild itself. This ignores the anger among Ireland’s people. Most want nothing to do with the Catholic Church after years of collusion with the government and the abuse scandal…. Many Irish people, probably the majority, have had enough, and the Catholic Church will never recover from this. It has forfeited its moral authority…. Many Catholics in Ireland have lost their faith not in salvation, but in the Church which claims to represent our Saviour, but then allowed evil men and women to commit evil acts against defenceless children.”

An article in the Irish Post was entitled “Where to now for Catholicism in Ireland?” The author, Joe Horgan, voiced precisely the sentiments of so many shocked and disillusioned Irish Roman Catholics when he wrote: “It is hard to know what to do now with all of that residual Catholicism. What to do with that reflex that wants to make the sign of the cross on passing a grotto. What to do when a priest passes by in the street. Still catch the eye and say hello, Father? What to do when a nun passes by in the street. Still catch the eye and say hello, Sister? Still? Now? After the Ryan Report? After being given full knowledge of what the institutions of that Church did? What to do with it now?”xxviii

He went on: “If you were writing a short history of the Catholic Church in Ireland now how would you assess it? Would you say it supported and helped the people through an often grim, difficult history? Or would you say it oppressed and manipulated the people?…. Or would you say that, on the shocking, overwhelming evidence of the Ryan Report that the Catholic Church has been a malign, divisive force in Irish life? Has been the one consistently proven force for evil?”

But perhaps the most damning indictment of all came from an Irish American Jesuit priest, known online simply as “Father Tim”. He has seen the handwriting on the wall as far as the Roman Catholic institution in Ireland is concerned, and he sees no future for Rome in that once staunchly Papist country after the Ryan Report revelations. Astoundingly, this is what he wrote, entitled “Memo to: Catholic Church/ From: Irish people/Re: Your services are no longer needed”:

“For the Catholic Church in Ireland, the game is over.

“The Irish people, and I am convinced it is the majority, no longer wish to have the Catholic Church in their country, or in their lives, and possibly not in their faith.

“I cannot blame them. The Church is solely to blame for this, from front to back, start to finish. It is reaping what it sowed. Although running away from a fire rather than toward it is not the example many of us in the Church believe should be our service to God and His Children, it may be best for all that we settle up our debts, hand over our criminals, and catch the next plane out of Dublin. I am sure that, after a transition period, many of the services the Church provides in Ireland can be contracted to others, and I would hope whatever damage settlements we must and should pay will smooth that changeover.

“Ireland is strong, and it will live on, and heal. Yes, it can and will do this without us. And, assuming it has learned anything, the threads that were once the garment of the Irish Church will heal too, and not repeat the horrible mistakes and misdeeds that have doomed its work in ‘the land of scholars and saints.’ Perhaps, in some tomorrow, the Church and Ireland will again be together. That is a prayer worth saying and a dream worth having – but not a reality worth expecting, not now or anytime soon.

“There is simply no way that an institution so horribly tainted and so utterly mistrusted can or should speak in the name of Jesus Christ in Ireland, nor attempt to project spiritual and moral leadership. So many of my dear online friends have written me with the same question, which I cannot answer: ‘How can we ever trust the Church again?’ While the Church can and must surrender its criminals and the highly placed conspirators who made the crimes possible and policy, it will never be enough in Ireland. The rage is too strong, a dam has burst. No matter what it does or says, the Church cannot and will not be believed anymore. Without that, its ministry is finished, at least for now.”xxix

As this was written by a Jesuit priest, one must always be very cautious and seek to discern any ulterior motive behind it, for the Jesuits are always wily, subtle, and seeking to promote Romanism in whatever way they can, by fair means or foul. But in this case, it is difficult to believe there is any ulterior motive behind this man’s article. It is a brutally frank acknowledgement of the Roman “Church’s” sins, and one would struggle to find any good coming to Rome through it. It would appear that this man is genuinely convinced that Roman Catholicism in Ireland is finished as a result of the priestly sex scandals. Perhaps he is simply (despite being a Jesuit) a decent man, committed to his “Church” but aware that the damage done in Ireland seems to be irreparable for now, and is deeply sorrowful over it. There are a few such priests within the Roman religion. Not many, but a few. True Christians should pray much for such men, that they may have their eyes opened by the Lord to see the Papal system for the demonic institution it is, and “come out of her”, coming to the Lord Jesus Christ, repenting of their sins and believing on Him alone for everlasting salvation!

This man had even more to say, however. “There never was much reason to expect that Benedict XVI or his legion of Roman red hats would rise to this or any occasion requiring Divinely-inspired leadership. They are better examples of the problem than the solution. Of course, the sorrow from Rome IS genuine, the contrition IS real. But it doesn’t really matter. Many readers have rightly said that, if the Church was a corporation (and it is), all those responsible would have been locked up in prisons or hospitals by now, and the company would have been driven out of Ireland on a rail. The best the Irish Church can do now is to buy its one-way tickets. All the Faithful, or what’s left of them, can only pray that Our Loving Father will find a way to restore a pure Church to Ireland, and that Ireland will want it back.”

From this we see that he is still a faithful son of Rome; he honestly believes there is genuine sorrow and contrition in the Vatican over what has occurred. In this he is very sadly deceived. But even so, to write this way about his pope and his cardinals is extraordinary, and certainly we can be sure that if one priest feels this way, many others do too. And this is a good thing. Let the disillusionment continue!

He ended his article forcefully, by pointing out that “few churches ever exerted such domineering social power as the Irish Catholic Church”, and that it was a religion of hate and fear, in which Irish priests supported fanatical Irish Roman Catholic murderers (without naming them, he meant the IRA); and he said: “They helped teach Ireland to hate, to never forgive, to fear, to be suspicious. Now, they are the hated, and the ones who can never be forgiven, not even by their own people and not even in spite of many, many, many good and Godly works they have done for them. It is the life they made for Ireland, and ultimately, for themselves.”

Truly, a profound change is occurring in Ireland, the likes of which has never been seen before. The times are not slowly changing, they have already changed, and the world has witnessed a once-staunchly Papist country become a very different place from what it was before. Perhaps the Jesuit priest quoted above has over-stated the case; perhaps many Roman Catholic Irishmen still believe in their “Church” and their priests and want them to stay; perhaps Ireland will not cease to be Papist after all, despite what has occurred. Rome has an amazing ability to bounce back from the brink of disaster. And Ireland has always had fanatical Papists, including fanatical terrorist madmen in the form of the IRA, who were supported fully by their priests in their murderous deeds.

But perhaps after all, the game really is over for Roman Catholicism in Ireland. Perhaps we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the enormous power that Rome has always exerted in that country. It has happened to nations before. In Roman Catholic France, described as “the elder daughter of the Vatican”, the priests ruled with an iron fist for centuries; but finally it all became too much for the French people, and, spurred on by anti-clerical revolutionaries, the French erupted in an orgy of horrific violence against the “Church” of Rome during the French Revolution. Centuries of cruel oppression at the hands of their priests led to the destruction of Roman Catholic power and influence in France.

But even there it was only for a time. Rome again made strides there, and regained much of its old power. Still, France is not what it was prior to the French Revolution, and it never will be. Rome was never again as all-powerful there as it had once been.

Perhaps, in fanatically Papist Ireland, the once all-powerful “Church” has now suffered a blow from which it will never fully recover. Perhaps Joe Horgan, quoted above, is correct when he writes, “In many ways I suppose, we are living in a post-Catholic Ireland. Coming generations are hardly likely to show the mass devotion that existed in the past. The power of the Church, the ideological power, has diminished enormously. The Church still has huge power in education and health but it is hard to see how that can survive. How can the Church be allowed to wield such power in a society that no longer shares its prayers? Quite simply, it can’t.”xxx

If this is indeed so, then we are witnessing something extraordinary. Certain countries have always been known as staunchly, even fanatically, Roman Catholic; and Ireland was one of them. If this is now changing as a result of the disgust of the Irish Roman Catholic people themselves, it will be astounding. Time will tell.

But if indeed Ireland does an about-face and ceases to be as Papist as it was until recently, it would be a huge mistake for anyone to assume that the worldwide sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Papal institution for years now signals the beginning of the end of this giant religio-political institution. If only it were so! But no – Rome will survive it. It has been, and continues to be, a major blow, one of the greatest blows Rome has suffered since the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. Millions of Roman Catholics have left their “Church” in disgust; perhaps millions more will follow. But this is an institution of over one billion members. Almost one in six of the world’s population is Roman Catholic! Even if Rome shed a hundred million followers as a result of these revelations (and it won’t), it would still survive and prosper in the long run. Bible prophecy does not indicate that the Great Whore that sits on the seven hills will be destroyed by a scandal like this. Prophecy tells us that it will continue to exist, and work its evil, until the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the editor of the Papist weekly, The Southern Cross, put it, although Roman Catholics are angry and hurt, they “will have to find ways of reminding themselves that the salvific mission of the Church is not diminished by the abject failures of human individuals acting in its name.”xxxi And they will indeed find such ways, sadly. The vast majority of the millions of Papists are simply too enslaved to their “Church” to ever even consider leaving, much less to actually do so. As far as they are concerned, their eternal salvation depends upon their membership in it – and they are not going to risk losing that for anything. Even the terrible abuse of thousands of children by thousands of priests and monks the world over is not enough to make them forsake it. When it comes down to it, for them it’s a matter of “My eternal salvation, or the good of untold thousands of children”. The children come off second best, no matter what evils have been perpetrated against them. It has always been so, throughout Rome’s long history. The attitude is, “Turn a blind eye – my priest holds my salvation in his hand, and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.”

Already Rome is consolidating and strengthening again. As the editorial in The Southern Cross, from which we have already quoted, put it: “The release of a 2600-page report detailing physical and sexual abuse perpetrated against minors in Catholic institutions over decades has profoundly humbled the Church [we would say it has embarrassed the “Church”, but not humbled it! – author]. At the same time, from its immediate position of weakness it can now emerge more solidly to truly serve Christ and the People of God.”xxxii

And for the true Christian, it must always be remembered that even if millions of Roman Catholics ultimately rejected their religion, this is not the same as conversion to Christ! They are disillusioned, shocked, disgusted – and so they leave Rome. But unless they turn by faith to Christ, they remain as lost, as dead in their sins, as ever. And this is the greatest tragedy of all. Their experience of Roman Catholicism may make them leave Rome, but their eyes remain blinded, their hearts remain hard. To them, all religion is now suspect – including, tragically, the truth as it is in Jesus.

And this is the great challenge for true Christians! – to seek to show these poor disillusioned people that the “Church” of Rome is not the Church of Christ! It is a false religion, no different from Hinduism, Islam, or Buddhism. Its “christ” is not the Christ of God, its priests are not the ministers of the Lord, its way of salvation is not the biblical way of salvation. The differences between Romanism and Christianity are as between night and day. And Christians must show Roman Catholics that although their false “Church” is a work of darkness, the Lord Jesus Christ is the light of the world! Although their pope is a deceiver, Christ is the way, the truth, and the light! Their false “Church” has failed them, but if they come to Christ, He will never fail them!

Their Romish priests may have abused them, but the Lord Jesus Christ is the one true great High Priest (Heb. 3:1), who is holy, harmless, and undefiled (Heb. 7:26). The priests of Rome claim to possess the power to forgive sin, but only Christ truly has such power. Neither priests of Rome, nor psychological “counselling”, can help them; but if they come to Christ the Lord, He will save them to the uttermost! Here is good news indeed, the very best of news, glad tidings of a true Saviour and Friend!

********This article is reprinted here with express permission from the author, Shaun Willcock, a Christian Apologist & Gospel Minister to South Africa. Additional resources are available at his website, Bible Based Ministries


i.Associated Press, 20 May 2009.

ii.Associated Press, 20 May 2009.

iii.BBC News, May 20, 2009.

iv.The Southern Cross, May 27 to June 2, 2009.

v.Irish Report on Sex Abuse, May 21, 2009.

vi.50 Years in the “Church” of Rome, by Charles Chiniquy. The Protestant Literature Depository, London, 1886; reprinted 1981 by Chick Publications, Chino, California.

vii.The Southern Cross, June 3 to 9, 2009.

viii.The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional, by Charles Chiniquy. Chick Publications, Chino, California, USA.

ix.The Southern Cross, May 27 to June 2, 2009.

x.The Southern Cross, June 17 to 23, 2009.

xi.The Southern Cross, June 24 to 30, 2009.

xii.The Southern Cross, May 27 to June 2, 2009.

xiii.The Southern Cross, June 24 to 30, 2009.

xiv.Irish Report on Sex Abuse, May 21, 2009.

xv.The Southern Cross, July 1 to 7, 2009.

xvi.The Southern Cross, June 24 to 30, 2009.

xvii.Irish Report on Sex Abuse, May 21, 2009.

xviii.The Telegraph, July 1, 2009.

xix.The Telegraph, July 1, 2009.

xx.The Southern Cross, May 27 to June 2, 2009.

xxi.The Southern Cross, June 17 to 23, 2009.

xxii.Associated Press, 20 May 2009.

xxiii.The Independent, June 29, 2009.

xxiv.The Irish Times, June 30, 2009.

xxv.The Southern Cross, June 3 to 9, 2009.

xxvi.Associated Press, 20 May 2009.

xxvii.The Southern Cross, June 24 to 30, 2009.

xxviii.Irish Post online, undated,

xxix.Irish Central, 4 July 2009.

xxx.Irish Post online.

xxxi.The Southern Cross, June 3 to 9, 2009.

xxxii.The Southern Cross, June 3 to 9, 2009.

For further reading by Shaun Willcock,

1) Child Sexual Abuse by Priests: Revelations of Shocking Crimes and Sinful Cover-Ups

2) Homosexuality in the Roman Catholic Priesthood

(available from Bible Based Ministries) Providing teaching from the Word of God, and a biblical exposure of the Papal system and all that is associated with it