Alan comments: I have put this article back near the top of our front page as I get constant queries about whether Chrstians should now watch Revelation TV. Pat and I do not, but those who do tell me there are many now broadcasting who should not be going out on a Christian channel run by people with discernment. I was saved while watching Christian TV, while living in America, so have a keen interest in Christian broadcasting. What a shame it is not used better.
I was thrilled when it opened up in Britain. But it is a mixed blessing - and sometimes no blessing at all. For example, Doug Harris, who ran a discernment ministry, failed to explain, when broadcasting on Revelation TV, that Catholicism is the world’s largest pseudo-Christian cult. Here’s what Doug said on TV in answer to this question: "Is it okay for a born again Christian to worship in a Catholic Church if it's the only church local and no transport?”The answer shocked many viewers.
Doug Harris, who has since died, answered: “Yes.” Howard Conder: “Thank you.” The conversation continued: Doug: 'I think it is this idea of feeling that we, as Protestants, we are all against Catholics; we are not. I 've met many people that I've witnessed to, that they are Christians as we've talked and only afterwards they told me they are Catholics. We do have to be careful - does the Catholic Church sometimes do things that we would may be feel are extra biblical and that? - Yes.
“I can understand why people have question marks, but in the end if it's the only place around, if there's no where else to go, maybe you should go and get fellowship there. In the end you really have to be led by the Holy Spirit: what we say isn't God's Word to you, we pass our opinions.
“If you are comfortable in the Holy Spirit doing that, fine. Be aware, there might be some things that you would totally disagree with from the biblical point of view but at the same time maybe you just need that fellowship and you need that encouragement, you need that place where you need to be with other people. End of transcript.
Alan comments: I cannot imagine a situation in which there would be “nowhere else to go.” You could always meet in a home, as the early Christians did. Colin, a reader who contacted me at thefreepressonline.co.uk, commented as follows:
“Did the martyrs die for nothing? Even if these people on Revelation TV send just ONE unsuspecting soul to be devoured by that vile, heinous, idolatrous and pagan Roman church, that is one soul too many. When I go past my local cathedral in Gloucester I think of one John Hooper who was burnt alive outside there because he wouldn't bow to Rome.
“These men at Revelation TV are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing. Doug was the head of a deliverance ministry, presumably highly knowledgeable about the Catholic Church and the issues involved and in a position of great responsibility when he is answering spiritual questions on television. It is possible that the person seeking advice and e-mailing the question could be vulnerable and easily influenced. If they are truly led by the Holy Spirit why would they have asked such a question?
Since I wrote the above many false teachers have joined the grisly gang at "Revelation." The thing that needs to be revealed is why on earth professing Christians allow so many false teachers air time, including Seventh Day Adventists.
“Doug is clearly giving the opinion that fellowship within the Catholic Church is acceptable. Once the person has gone to the Catholic Church it may not be so easy for them to get out. It is purely our opinion, but we believe it is somewhat foolhardy to think that we can go into the Catholic Church and convince people of their error.
“The reformers were in the Catholic Church and could not reform the whore church; they didn't want to start a Protestant church; they wanted to correct the Catholic Church and were martyred for their refusal to obey Rome. At the end of this transcript, Doug mentions that a person may need fellowship and encouragement. Surely the Catholic Church would not be one of the places that any of us, as born again believers, would recommend? Unsuspecting viewers need to be warned.
“I was reading Revelation 13.14 this morning about the false prophet telling the earth dwellers to make an image to the beast and to worship it. Why do we believe that God doesn't want us to be involved with images and statues etc? These images and the like were instrumental in leading the Israelites of old away from the ONE TRUE GOD!” The email goes on to castigate broadcasters for “ sending people into this whore church that encompasses every mode of superstition, necromancy and idolatry going. The worst thing about all of this is that Reachout Trust is supposed to help deliver people from error! I find this disturbing, but it confirms how strong the delusion will be in 2 Thess 2.10-12.” God bless, Colin….
Now I think this is a very biblically-based argument. Howard Conder of Revelation TV does not. Here is his response, copied to me – Alan: “Such unkind words from such men of GOD ??? By their fruits you will recognize them..... Love or venom for one another ??? Don't bother anymore Doug. Blessings, Howard” By their TV fruits indeed! Howard should stop pretending ignorance and read this superb article, written by Pat, an ex-Catholic. This expose of the Roman Catholic Church is taken from our archive: http://www.thefreepressonline.co.uk/admin/index.php?page=news
Here’s an e-mail I then sent to Howard: “Dear Howard,
I think your definition of words is odd. ‘Unkind’? Not half as ‘unkind’ as allowing unsuspecting souls to be decoyed into the false faith that is Catholicism, the biggest and worst cult of all.
“Please note that it is biblical to examine the scriptural statements of all who teach the word of God. That includes, in particular, those who teach on TV, as you reach a large audience. In chapter 18 of ‘Cults and Isms: True or False?’ we have a lot of material about judging, which you would find interesting. Of course, a lot of TV teachers have good reason not to be examined closely in the light of scripture (I am not referring to Doug, who gets a lot of things right.).
“Please tell: what are the ‘fruits’ of Catholicism? Perhaps you should read Fox's Book of Martyrs. I think a lot of what you broadcast is up for challenge, actually, and you are informed enough to know what I mean, having broadcast real, sound teachers like Ron Matsen. Remember, there is an especially strict judgment for teachers of the word, who are expected to steer people right. Perhaps there is much you are unaware of: I don't know. However, I am enclosing some chapters of our book ‘Cults and Isms, True or False?’ for your information.
“Howard, a lot of people are concerned about some of the things being broadcast and they are good, precious born-again believers who you should listen to, not dismiss. I enclose a few e-mails sent to me in the past week. Please do not disregard them. With thanks and best regards, in His name- Alan.”
This was Howard’s response: “Dear Alan,
“No one is perfect in either word or deed and Revelation TV has benefited many and has played a major part of leading so many to the LORD and back to the LORD.
"Early disciples didn't always see eye to eye and it saddens me when grown men write such scathing words about each other and appear to jump on words spoken (especially when on 'Live' shows). Its almost like some take great delight in finding fault with a brother or sister in Christ and the venomous words soon flow.
“We all try our very best to serve the LORD with all our hearts and energy and Doug is certainly such a great example so I am very disappointed to see yet another unloving attack on such a servant of GOD attacked. I am a very poorly educated person, especially in the history of the church, post the first century and happy to leave that to folk like you and other theologians. My role models are those characters of the Bible where there is much to grasp and learn from without getting into the hatred and squabbles of religious spirited men of the modern church.
“I am not all impressed nor am I interested as your examples or role models (as is shown in your writings so far) therefore, I leave to you all and we will continue to serve the LORD as best we can and by His leading. I wish you well and hope you find peace and love in your heart for even us motley lot. Howard.”
Well, here’s my reply, an open letter. “I am not a theologian and do not claim to be an expert of any kind. I am a writer who does a lot of research. Howard has done remarkably well in getting a TV station on air from scratch, but has a big responsibility as a result. It is not good enough to broadcast error as long as the people spouting it claim to be “Christian.” (Again, I am NOT referring to Doug Harris but primarily the “name it and claim it” people.)
“Furthermore, it is disingenuous to claim ignorance when all the information of the world is available at the click of a mouse. Plus, anything you need to make a rapid evaluation of the Catholic false church is contained in the book chapters I sent to both Howard and Doug. Instead of being defensive and making excuses, perhaps they could cease to claim ignorance, for this will not wash.
“Not only are none of us perfect, but none of us are even good! ‘Early disciples’ did indeed have disagreements, for example about which of them could sit at the Lord’s right hand. But Jesus himself adjudicated, settled the matter and put things straight. There is right and wrong, good doctrine and unsound doctrine – and doctrine matters a great deal. Without it, we just have opinions. Nobody’s opinion matters in the slightest as all our views are subjective. Only the Holy Bible is infallible and THAT is what we are standing on.”
Now read what other readers and viewers have sent to me:
“Hi Alan “I get a monthly email from Reachout Trust, and I noticed that they mentioned that you had withdrawn support for them, over something Doug had said on Revelation TV, not that I watch Revelation TV that often, but I was curious, and so looked at your website, and also asked Reachout for their side (as Doug said he would send what was said to anyone who asked). “Anyway, reading what he said, I agree with you on this. I am an ex RC, and am saddened that he should say it was ok to go to a RC church.
He says he said "yes" for two reasons, one being do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (ourselves meaning the saints?), but you can't count RC's as saints, as they will be unsaved, or if any are, surely they would be in the process of coming out of that church - they would want to come out! Also, you can't go to a RC church week after week, and "witness"; why would you sit through a mass if you were born again, you just couldn't do that!
“He is saying you didn't print his response, and he was misquoted, and that it was only 1 person (not 2 or 3 witnesses as is biblical), and that you judged him on what he did NOT say, but even with the "correct" version as he puts it, it doesn't really put him in any different light, and at the end of the day he still said it was ok to go to a RC church.(My original informant said that Doug has used the word “good” church, when he actually said what we have quoted from the transcript above. The fact that he referred people to the Catholic church was the main thing, and you can read his words for yourself- Alan)
“Doug also says in his response "I distinctly said there were areas where those that accept scriptural revelation would CLEARLY DISAGREE with the Roman Catholic Church!" Well, if he said that, why on earth would he say it was still ok to go to one, because of the lack of scriptural churches! It's not just a few minor disagreements, Roman Catholicism is a religion of blasphemous idolatry!
"If for any reason, I couldn't get to another solid bible-believing church, the last place I would want to go would be a RC church. Hopefully, Doug may realise the errors in what he has said, and repent and say that he was wrong to say that. I'm sure in the past, when I did occasionally watch Revelation TV, I have seen "debates" with good Christian people and "irate" RC's phoning in complaining about some point or other, and them being told that their religion is in error, so not sure why Doug would say what he did. I got some good materials from Reachout, on Mormonism, and I thought they were ok. But really, even if they do good articles and other good things, they really need to step out and say that Roman Catholicism is a cult and a false religion, and believers should have nothing to do with it.
“Do you think if you wrote to him and asked him to repent he would, as maybe then he would realise how serious it was to say what he did? In Him, Clare.”
I did write to him, Clare, and got nowhere. I said: “You are wrong, should admit it and should go on TV with a full apology.” He responded, in part: “Ok - that's fine. I see we are all being maligned and called all the worst names Colin can find. I trust the Lord has more grace and will not condemn to hell someone who has been inside a Catholic Church. Indeed I wonder what He will do with the practicing Catholics that have truly received Christ as their Saviour.”
Alan comments: This is a naïve comment – the kindest words I can think of. If Doug and Howard could be bothered to read the chapters of our book, they would see that my wife Pat is just one of millions to leave the Catholic church. Most Catholics who get saved then read the Bible, see they are in a false church and leave. Simple. If they choose to stay in I would question their salvation.
Here is another reader’s view:
A friend sent me your article earlier today; I had, last Sunday, mentioned to this friend and others at my Fellowship this very thing - i.e. Doug Harris live on Q & A with Howard Conder on Revelation saying that it was alright to go to a Roman Catholic church (although I thought the caller to the programme actually said, "if it was the only church there") and was absolutely horrified; I could hardly believe what I was hearing.
“I have to ask, if (Doug Harris) recommends going somewhere where a "different gospel" is preached, whom and what else is he recommending? You have done well to remove the Reachout Trust link, and I commend you for your stand; I intend now to remove my name from the Reachout Trust Mailing List. (thefreepressonline.co.uk had Reachout Trust on its links until this came to light. It has been removed as we are careful who we refer people to. AF)
Thank you, Alan, and thank you, Pat...and may you continue to contend earnestly for the truth!
In Him, with much love and gratitude,
And another reader with similar views:
Many thanks for your swift reply. It was much appreciated and I was wondering if you had heard anymore regarding this incident on RevelationTV concerning Doug Harris and Catholics. This is a link from his website :-
As you say, compromise is everywhere and we do have some shocks don't we? Doug is someone we personally would have recommended for teaching and he of course features in the Daniel Project which is excellent. It is so hard to understand where he is coming from. Yes we need to be loving, but we do not have the right to fudge the
truth… The Lord is really showing us more and more how he hates a mixture.
"We will pray for you Alan as men like yourself are in such short supply in our country. Trust you are well on the mend and 'fighting fit'! Would be interested on your thoughts on Doug's link as I find the whole thing very confusing!
Yours in Him, Ann”
And another reader:“Dear Alan
It was with great interest that I read your comments regarding Doug Harris and Howard Condor on Revelation TV the other evening. My husband and myself share your views. It has been particularly interesting to read as only today I felt to contact rtv regarding the way the late John Stott was applauded a couple of days ago. In no way am I passing judgment on this man and have every respect for other believers. My concern was genuinely over the fact that some of his beliefs were unbiblical. I forwarded a very interesting article from the Moriel website illustrating the areas that were particularly worrying. There is no way I am saying that the man has not done good things, but as believers we are admonished to rightly divide the Word of truth and when we see error, are we not told to say so?
The reply from Doug Harris was as follows :-
“We applauded where it was due. Yes there were errors and non-Scriptural teachings along the way but there was much good too. I trust the Lord will remember the ‘good’ in us all. I wonder what God will say to you Ann – and of course me?”
This, coupled with the remarks regarding going to a Catholic Church have seriously undermined our confidence in this TV channel.
Your ministry (thefreepressonline.co.uk) has been helpful and informative to us both for many years for which we thank God. It is no mean feat to stick to the plain truth in these days when everywhere we look people are saying 'black is white' so to speak. May the Lord protect and keep you both.
Our friends here in Sheffield are C (deleted by Alan) who we believe worshipped with you at Tongham a few years ago. We meet with them on a regular basis to study the word and enjoy good fellowship. Unfortunately we are finding ourselves more and more in a minority in these days which is of course exactly what the scriptures told us to expect.
Thank you for taking the time to read this - I felt I must write as I was so interested to read your views on the program the other night. Things unfortunately are starting to form a familiar picture. May the Lord bless and keep you both
There are several others in the same vein, but they are repetitious. Do these Christians strike other readers as "concerned" or "venomous"? We do not wish to have arguments with true fellow believers – it wastes a lot of time which could be usefully spent doing other things. Revelation has broadcast programmes from Creation.com, Ron Matsen and others that we value. We think Reachout Trust has done some fine work and would agree with them on many things. However, when things are wrong they must be put right. I am subject to correction, as are all speakers who teach and preach. We think that TV broadcasters have a special responsibility. We rest our case - Alan