In a statement from moderator Rev John Armstrong, co-signed by deputy Colin Mercer and clerk John Greer, it criticised Rev Stockman for regarding the Pope as a
“follower of Jesus”.
“He would do well to ascertain which ‘Jesus’ it is to whom he refers,” the statement from the Free Presbyterians said.
“Pope Francis is the head of a religious system which continues to reject the Jesus of the New Testament.”
They also added that Rev Stockman could be “rightly charged with heresy” for what he had written – a charge which Rev had anticipated; in an earlier online post before the Papal meeting, he had said: “I have no doubts that many in my denomination and other Protestants will call me a heretic!”
The specific religious arguments from the Free Presbyterians are as follows:
“In statement 969 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994, Mary is presented as a mediatrix, in direct contradiction of 1 Timothy 2:5 which teaches that
there is, ‘...one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.’
“Furthermore, the Pope claims to be the Vicar of Christ and the head of the church, however Scripture declares, that Christ alone is the Head of His Church (Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:18).
“Thus, in the light of the dogmas of Rome, Pope Francis is a blasphemer of the Lord Jesus Christ and is the promoter of another gospel.
“Steve Stockman has abandoned the Scriptures and the confessional teaching of his own denomination, which states: ‘There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God’ (Westminster Confession of Faith 1646, Chapter 25).
“Therefore, since Steve Stockman openly declares that he and the Pope are fellow followers of Jesus – but not the Jesus of Scripture – he has set up the platform upon which he is to be rightly charged with heresy.”
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