Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News, this is John Billington with you this week. Well as we record this week it is a fairly calm night with nothing especially unusual across the country here in Canada. This however is not the case for those in the British Isles! Tonight is Guy Fawkes night and it is to the origins of this night and the irony of groups of Anglicans joining the Roman Catholic church this past week that we will look into for this week edition of the Bible in the News!
So tonight Protestants and Catholics will be celebrating for different reasons as we will see.
Well for most that live in Britain the origins of Guy Fawkes night will be known, however the night of bonfires, fireworks and the burning of ‘Guys’ is not elsewhere practiced in the world to my knowledge, certainly not here in Canada! Literally kids make a scarecrow looking gentleman that is supposed to be Guy Fawkes, they parade him around an collect money for fireworks and at night they have fireworks, a bonfire and burn Guy.
The origins of Guy Fawkes night goes back to “the gunpowder plot” of 1605, it was a failed Jesuit assassination attempt against King James I of England, (The king of the “King James Bible”). The plot intended to kill the King and most of the Protestant aristocracy by blowing up the Houses of Parliament during the State Opening on 5 November 1605. The plot was discovered and Guy Fawkes the man placed in charge of executing the plot was discovered red handed leaving the cellar of the houses of Parliament where the 36 barrels of gun powder had been stashed.
About 100 years before this William Tyndale lived, the man who translated the Bible into English much to the dismay of the Roman Catholic church. A Catholic priest once taunted Tyndale with the statement, “We are better to be without God’s laws than the Pope’s”. Tyndale was infuriated by such Roman Catholic heresies, and he replied,
“I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the scriptures than you!”
Well true to his word Tyndale translated the Bible into English and thus enlightened the common man, the effect of this was enormous, people could now read the scriptures for themselves and identified the Roman Catholic System was the harlot system of Revelation, and the “Man of Sin” of 2 Thessalonians with the Pope. Tyndale was arrested and imprisoned in the castle of Vilvoorden for over 500 days. He was tried for heresy and treason and was convicted. Tyndale was then strangled and burnt at the stake in the prison yard, Oct. 6, 1536. His last words were a prayer, "Lord, open the king of England's eyes."
Well as the story goes England separated from the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic church was of course none to happy about the position of England, and in keeping the story short we come down to 1605 (Although in between Tyndale and Guy Fawkes we have the birth of the Jesuits) when Guy Fawkes was one of thirteen who conspired to blow up the parliament, with the reason behind this being to throw the whole country into turmoil, out of which they hoped to raise a new monarch who was sympathetic to their cause, and return England to its Catholic past.
Well Guy Fawkes did not succeed in blowing up James I and turning the British Isles to Catholicism, and in fact a poem was written that was recited nation wide for hundreds of years and it gives the real feelings of the nation. The first verse reads:
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!”
Well that part of the poem is still around today, but with a little searching you can find the complete version. It continues and becomes a little more intense but am going to read it just so that we can see the extreme change in the view of the Roman system.
“Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England's overthrow.
But, by God's providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James's sake!
If you won't give me one,
I'll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn'orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!
Now as we mentioned, King James I was the king behind the King James version, if you open to the preface you will find a letter to James from the translators, it begins as follows:
“To the Most High and Mighty Prince James, by the grace of God, King of Great Britian, France, and Ireland, Defender of The Faith…”
He is the defender of THE Faith, if you continue down to the second paragraph they have been talking about his loyal and religious subjects and their contentment, we will pick it up there, it continues as follows:
“And this their contentment doth not diminish or decay, but every day increaseth and taketh strength, when they observe, that zeal of Your Majesty toward the house of God doth not slack or go backward, but is more and more kindled, manifesting itself aboard in the farthest parts of Christendom, by writing in defence of the Truth, (which hath given such a blow unto that man of sin, as will not be healed)… and so it continues and later talks of the popish persons!
Well the man of sin did take a blow but it has healed and today with spirit of ecumenism strong at work we see Anglicans heading back to Rome.
In defense of the Pope’s decision to allow Anglicans to join with the church Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said that the Pope's intention was not to "poach" Anglicans. He said: "If these priests and lay people really want to become Catholics, then let's have them, particularly if they've got a lot of lay people with them. Something like this is obviously going to be easier than receiving them one by one."
He also continued by saying “After more than 40 years of official Anglican-Catholic dialogue, he said, "some of the classic disputes at the root of our painful divisions have today been basically resolved through a new consensus of fundamental doctrine"
Or we can look at it through the words of the Globalist website who looks at the situation in business terms:
“How humiliating! The nation that bred Margaret Thatcher, and that has reveled in the personal financial gains of bringing the dynamic art of the hostile takeover to the corporate world over the past 30 years, is meeting its match.
It now finds its own, nearly 500-year-old national religion under assault from the biggest multinational corporation of all — the Roman Catholic Church…”
“…The Vatican’s policymakers, shrewd religious business analysts for most of the past two millennia, recognize the Church of England is in Chapter 11 and won’t be coming out of it in any recognizable form.”
“…It’s almost as bad as if Pepsi finally admitted defeat — and accepted being swallowed up by Coke.”
This truly is a victory for Rome and one that is being won without gunpowder! The reason behind the slide toward Rome and dark ages can only be attributed to one thing, the lack of Bible reading. When the Bible was translated into English people could read it for themselves, the response was they threw off the chains of Rome. What we are seeing today is a reversal of that.
It must be said however that when we open our Bibles this is what we expect to see. Turn to Revelation chapter 17 and we find the picture of a system described as a whore that sits on many waters. In scripture the virgin is a picture of Christ’s bride, his true ecclesia, we see this in 2 Corinthians 11:2, well here in Revelation 17 this woman is described as a whore, she is a spiritual whore who is “drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” She sits on many waters which verse 15 tells us are “peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.” She is in control of the masses, verse 18 says “…the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”
Well the Roman Catholic system has put on a humanitarian face and is growing but the Church of England is feeling the pinch, its in the name of ecumenism but the kind of that goes - as long as your under the Pope. What we are seeing today is only the thin edge of the wedge but the warning is to “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
Apparently in England today many are moving to Halloween and less are roasting Guy Fawkes on bonfires, and in the Church of England it seems that they have forgot the Gunpowder treason and plot. This may be the case but as God is concerned after the warning to “come out of her my people” he continues “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”
Thats it for this week, thanks to listening to another edition of the Bible in the News, see you again next week!