PCI Moderator Betrays Confession at Westminster
Rev. Angus Stewart
The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland
(PCI), Dr. Norman Hamilton of Ballysillan PCI in Belfast, stated that
was "glad to change [his] travel plans" to accept an invitation to
attend a religious service at which the Pope, as an honoured guest,
delivered a speech (Friday 17 September, 2010).
The venue for this ecumenical service with the Bishop of Rome (on his
papal tour of the UK) is striking: Westminster Abbey in London, where
the Westminster Confession of Faith, the creed of
Presbyterianism worldwide and of Dr. Hamilton and the denomination he
represents and (to some extent) leads.
of the Pope and the Church of Rome are clearly opposed by the
Westminster Confession, especially its chapters on Scripture (ch.
1), God's eternal decree (3), divine providence (5), man's original
sin and total depravity (6), the bondage of fallen man's will (9),
effectual calling (10), justification by faith alone (11), good works
(16), the perseverance of the saints (17), liberty of conscience (20),
religious worship and the Lord's Day (21), oaths and vows (22), the
church (25), the sacraments (27), baptism (28), the Lord's Supper
(29), church discipline (30) and church synods and councils (31).
Indeed, it is highly doubtful if there is even one of the 33 chapters
of the creed formulated at Westminster Abbey with which the Pope could
Rome's theistic evolution (4:1), prayers to saints or for the dead
(21:2, 4) and purgatory (32:1) are condemned by the Westminster
Confession. "Popish monastical vows of perpetual single life,
professed poverty, and regular obedience ... are superstitious and
sinful snares" (22:7). The "Pope [has not] any power or jurisdiction
over [the state] or over any of [the] people," including in the UK,
and "ecclesiastical persons [e.g., paedophile priests] are not
exempted" from civil authority and punishment (23:4). Indeed, the
Westminster Confession states that the pope is "antichrist" (25:6)
and the mass is "most abominably injurious to Christ's one only
sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect"
No doubt the Pope rejoiced at being received and revered in the
historic building in which the Westminster Confession was
written. Dr. Hamilton may even have cast a guilty glance towards
Westminster Abbey's Jerusalem Chamber where the Westminster divines
drafted their great Reformed confession—a confession he signed.
Members of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland will look on with dismay
or in denial at yet another public mark of their moderator's and
denomination's betrayal of the truth of Jesus Christ set forth in
their church's confession. The Westminster divines would be appalled
and even the stones of Westminster Abbey would cry out if they could!