Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.


All quotations from the Scriptures will be from the Authorised Version - the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures.

Please see sermons down the left hand column of the Blog about why the Authorised Version is the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures

and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

Beware of the Errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible! 
Featured Sermons:

Friday, 29 April 2011

Hurt of Hearing Mass reprinted

John Bradford's treatise on The Hurt of Hearing Mass was re-typeset and reprinted some time ago by Focus Christian Ministries Trust based in Lewes East Sussex.

The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland Bookroom has some copies. They are priced at £1.30 plus postage.

Monday, 18 April 2011

More opposition to attending the Mass

Five other Free Presbyterian ministers have spoken out against attending the Mass.

Rev Ivan Foster, retired minister:
Burning Bush website - The true nature of the Mass

Rev David Creane, minister in Lurgan FPC:
Lurgan Mail -


Rev John Greer, minister in Ballymena FPC:
Sermonaudio - Attendance at the Mass forbidden by Scripture

Rev Thomas Martin, minister in Lisburn FPC:
Newsletter: Robinson ought to rethink Mass views

Dr Stephen Pollock, minister in Kilskeery FPC:
Sermonaudio - Why Christians should not attend the Roman Catholic Mass

Update Tuesday 19th April - The Newsletter this morning reports on the opposition of Revs Creane & Greer click here

Update Saturday 23rd April
Other Free Presbyterian ministers who have preached against the Mass in the past:
Office bearers of Presbytery:
Rev Ron Johnstone, minister in Newtownards FPC:
Sermonaudio - The Roman Catholic Mass - What it Means Preached 29th August 2010

Rev Ian Brown, minister in Londonderry FPC:
Sermonaudio - Should A Protestant Attend The Mass? Preached - 1st May 2005

Others:
Rev Paul Fitton, minister in Dungannon FPC:
Sermonaudio - The Mass - A Blasphemous Fable and a Dangerous Deceit- Preached 12th September 2010

Rev Thomas Martin, minister in Lisburn FPC:
Sermonaudio - Reformation: Why we should reject the Mass - Preached 28th October 2007

Dr Alan Cairns, Retired minister:
Sermonaudio - Repudiating the Blasphemous Idolatry of the Roman Mass Preached 7th October 2007
Sermonaudio - The Mass Vs. the Finished Work of Christ - Preached October 1982
Sermonaudio Let the Bible Speak - In Latin or English the Mass Is a Blasphemy - Preached 18th August 2007


Rev William McCrea, minister in Magherafelt FPC
Sermonaudio - The blasphemy of the mass Preached - 30th April 2006


Dr Mark Allison, minister in Malvern FPC, Pa, USA: - Preached - 31st October 2004
Sermonaudio - Lord's Supper Vs. Rome's Mass

Rev Reggie Cranston, minister in Port Hope FPC, Canada:

Sermonaudio - The Mass in the Light of Scripture - Preached 28th July 2002

Friday, 15 April 2011

Orange Chaplain has called for expulsions for attending the Mass

The Newsletter has reported that Rev David McCarthy, an Orange chaplain, has called for members of the Orange Order who attend the Mass to be expelled.

Read the full report here

Lets hope they do but I won't hold my breath!!

Monday, 11 April 2011

'The Hurt of Hearing Mass'

The title comes from the writings of the Reformer John Bradford. He was arrested in August 1553 and imprisoned for a time in the tower of London before being moved to other prisons.

Almost two years later on 15th July 1555 at 9 am, John Bradford, aged around 45, along with John Leaf, aged just 19, were led out from Newgate prison to be executed at Smithfield market, situated near to where St Bartholomew's hospital now is in London. Another one of many Protestant martyrs who would rather die than countenance Romanism and the Mass. This was during the reign of 'bloody Queen Mary'. 

Among John Bradford’s final words at the stake were these: O England, England, repent!

Turning to the young man who was being put to death beside him he said: Be of good comfort, brother, for we shall have a happy supper with the Lord tonight

As the faggots burned around his feet he repeated the Saviour’s words: …strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

You can read a fuller account of his death in Foxe's Book of Martyrs. 

What a contrast between John Bradford's resolute stand for the truth and the sad compromise and betrayal we have witnessed this past week by Peter Robinson, Tom Elliott, Norman Hamilton [the moderator of the Irish Presbyterian Church] and many other Protestant politicians and ministers of religion. As reported in the Newsletter the weak, craven response of the Orange Order who has let it be known that they will not discipline members who have attended the Mass also stands in stark contrast to the courage of John Bradford. [Although I am informed that no such decision has been made or could be taken prior to a meeting of Grand Lodge.

I mention this man John Bradford because while in the tower of London he wrote a tract entitled: The hurt of hearing Mass', which sets forth why he would rather be burned at the stake than countenance the Mass. 

You can read the entire tract online here

Here is a synopsis of what he wrote.

He took for his text 1 Kings 18:21: How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.

In introducing his subject he makes mention of others who have written on this same subject. The margin lists the names of Calvin, Viret, Bullinger, & Hooper.

His proposition is: 

He proceeds to set forth twelve excuses people employ for attendance at the mass. Having outlined these twelve excuses he concludes that they are 'weak and vain'.

He discourses upon the origin of the Mass and the development of the title in church history showing that the Mass was not part of New Testament worship but a later development and corruption.

Next he writes about the evil of the Mass:





He first shows that the mass is a 'most subtle and pernicious enemy of Christ, against his priesthood and against his sacrifice'

Secondly he shows that the mass is not only a let [hindrance] but also a destruction of the true worshipping of God.

Thirdly he argues that the mass is not only beside Christ's institution and ordinance, but it is utterly against it and perverteth it horribly

He concludes this section by saying:




















He next proceeds to show that the Mass violates the first, second, third and fourth commandments. He also argues that it breaks the commandments of the second table of the Moral law generally and particularly. 

Interspersed with his arguments there is the exhortation that people should be willing to die rather than attend the Mass:












The history he relates is of the people of God in Edessa in ancient time who were forewarned that all that attended the house of God that day would be slain. That day there was a greater attendance than normal. 

Having concluded considering how the Mass breaks all ten commandments he presents a further thirty-nine reasons for non-attendance at the Mass. 

He finishes his thesis by answering the twelve reasons people employ to excuse attending the Mass. 

It is worth remembering that this man, along with many others, was prepared to give his life at the stake rather than attend the Mass. Our religious liberties and freedoms were dearly bought. 

May God give us courage to be like them in the resolute stand for the truth and purity of the gospel. 

Sunday Trading laws consultation

Here is the submission I made with respect to the consultation regarding Sunday Trading laws which closed on Friday.

Dear Sir/Madam
I wish to take part in the consultation regarding Sunday Trading hours. I do so on behalf of the congregation of Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church and also I believe I reflect the views of many evangelical Christians within the Newtownabbey area who are not members or attenders of the Free Presbyterian Church but attend other evangelical churches.
 

We do not want to see any extension or relaxation made to the Sunday Trading hours. We hold to this position because of a number of spiritual and practical convictions.
 



1. The Holy Scriptures teach that we are all to remember the sabbath day to keep it holy, Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Six days are given by God for labour, work, recreation and shopping. One day of the week is to be a sabbath which is given over to the worship of God. Civil authorities have a duty before God to uphold His moral law. We would therefore call upon you to refuse any call to relax the present trading laws.

2. Society loses out by not observing a Sabbath day. Not only spiritually where there is a failure to attend to spiritual matters, but socially as well. Due to our nature we need a day of rest from these secular employments and activities. There is a human cost in failing to observe the Sabbath.

One writer put it like this: 
Our bodies are seven-day clocks and they need to be wound up, and if they are not wound up they run down into the grave. No man can continuously break the Sabbath and keep his physical and mental health.

William Wilberforce had this to say:
Oh what a blessed day is the Sabbath, which allows us a precious interval wherein to pause, to come out from the thickets of worldly concerns and give ourselves up to heavenly and spiritual concerns. Observation and my own experience have convinced me that there is a special blessing on a right employment of these intervals. Oh what a blessing is Sunday, interposed between the waves of worldly business like the divine path of the Israelites through Jordan. There is nothing in which I would recommend you to be more strictly conscientious than in keeping the Sabbath holy. By this I mean not only abstaining from all becoming sports and common business, but from consuming time in frivolous conversations, paying or receiving visits, which among relations often leads to a sad waste of this precious day. I can truly declare that to me the Sabbath has been invaluable.

Mr Gladstone, the well known British Prime Minister, said on one occasion:
Tell me what the young men of England are doing on Sunday and I will tell you what the future of England will be. The religious observance of the Sabbath is a main prop of the religious character of the country. From a moral, social and physical point of view, the observance of the Sabbath is a duty of absolute consequence.

Sir Robert Peel, another Prime Minister, said:
I never knew a man escape failure, in either body or mind, who worked seven days a week.

3. Any relaxation of the Sunday trading laws is a false economy. Much is made in this consultation paper about boost[ing] the local economy, benefit[ing] the tourism industry and support[ing] the regeneration of town and city centres.

How can this be? There is not extra money to be spent just because it is Sunday. Not unless we are encouraging people to spend money they don't have and go into debt. The same money will have to be spread over a wider period of time. If people spend more money shopping on Sunday they will spend less Monday to Saturday. Surely this is obvious. With extended opening hours there will follow all the resultant extra staff costs and other running costs for any business. This is not going to help the economy. It is going to harm it by creating extra costs for the same level of return. It is plainly a false economy.


4. The religious liberty of employees will be greatly infringed. Pressure will be brought to bear on those who because of religious convictions do not want to work on the Lord's day. With any relaxation of the law then Sunday will be treated more and more as an ordinary day. Employees whose religious convictions about working on a Sunday will find it harder to obtain and retain employment. Today's Sunday shoppers will be tomorrow's Sunday workers.

5. We do not want to see any relaxation of Bookmakers opening hours. This society has enough problems with gambling addiction without giving even greater opportunities for people to waste their money. Many a family will be dismayed to think that the one day of respite they have with a loved one visiting the bookies has been taken away.

6. We wish to highlight the inbuilt bias of the consultation. There is not sufficient width to the choices in the online response for evangelical Christians to indicate a desire for the present Sunday trading hours to be tightened and not relaxed. This we believe to be wrong.

Precedence has been set for this when in December 2009 the German Constitutional court ruled that shops in Berlin were to fall into line with the law institutionalising Sunday as a day of rest and religious contemplation as contained in Germany’s Basic Law. If this can be done in modern day Germany why can it not be a choice in Northern Ireland. It is one which many would chose. 

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Honouring the memory of Jesus Christ is more important than honouring the memory of anyone else

It is being reported that Peter Robinson is going to attend the funeral of murdered Roman Catholic police officer Ronan Kerr. This means that he is going to attend the Roman Catholic Mass. Back in the month of February this year Peter Robinson indicated that he would do this.
To read more of what he said then, click on this link for the Belfast Telegraph report. 

Republican terrorists, encouraged by seeing those who previously engaged in the same activity now elevated to high office and pandered to at every turn, are increasing their capacity to maim and kill. The sympathy of those whose trade in the past has been murder and mayhem is pure 'cant'.

Peter Robinson would be regularly briefed on the prevailing security situation here in Ulster. He may well have calculated that this day would arrive sooner or later in Northern Ireland where sadly a police officer, and a Roman Catholic one at that, would be murdered. That may well be what lay behind his comments some weeks ago. His announcement then was to pave the way for him actually attending the mass.

It is not being disrespectful to the dead to say that because of your religious beliefs you cannot attend the Roman Catholic Mass. As pointed out previously by the Free Presbyterian Church, the chief Jewish Rabbi refused to enter Westminster Abbey at the time of Princess Diana's funeral because of his religious beliefs. He was praised for the manner in which he conducted himself.

It might bring short term political advantage to Peter Robinson but it will do no one any good to dishonour the name of Jesus Christ in this way. To a Bible believer the Mass is a 'blasphemy' as the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of Ireland rightly state. It is an attack upon the finished work of Jesus Christ and because of this no Protestant should attend the Mass.

Honouring the memory of Jesus Christ is more important than honouring the memory of any one else. Christ and His honour must come first every time. To love God above and before everything and everyone else is the first great commandment; to love our neighbour is the second great commandment, Matt 22:37-39: 
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself
.

This same principle was repeated by the Lord Jesus in a different context in Luke 14:26,27:
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple
.

For whatever reason Peter Robinson has reversed this divine order. He has put the honour of his neighbour before the honour of Jesus Christ.

In putting the honour of Christ first it will seem at times that we are hating others we love dearly. But this is what it means to put Christ first in our lives and this is what the New Testament calls upon us to do. We cannot profess to follow Christ and neglect His word: If ye love me keep my commandments, He said in John 14:15. 

There is a reproach that must be borne when faithfully doing so. No doubt there will be much invective directed at those who oppose Peter Robinson attending the Mass. It will be caricatured as unloving and dishonouring to a murder victim.

Ronan Kerr deserves our respect and his family deserve our sympathy. Every Bible believer believes murder is wrong on every account. There are however other ways to honour the memory of someone wickedly murdered as Ronan Kerr has been. The dead can be respected and Christ's honour maintained. Going to the Mass does not do this.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Pageviews for the last month

Here is a breakdown of pageviews for the blog for the month of March. I appreciate all who take time to peruse the blog. 

What it is to preach Christ

In reading one of C. H. Spurgeon's sermons I came across these words where he defines what it is to preach Christ:

My friends, I do not believe it is preaching Christ and him crucified, to give our people a batch of philosophy every Sunday morning and evening, and neglect the truth of this Holy Book. I do not believe it is preaching Christ and him crucified, to leave out the main cardinal doctrines of the Word of God, and preach a religion which is all a mist and a haze, without any definite truths whatever. 

I take it that man does not preach Christ and him crucified, who can get through a sermon without mentioning Christ’s name once; nor does that man preach Christ and him crucified who leaves out the Holy Spirit’s work, who never says a word about the Holy Ghost, so that indeed the hearers might say, “We do not so much as know whether there be a Holy Ghost.” 

And I have my own private opinion that there is no such a thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what now-a-days is called Calvinism. I have my own ideas, and those I always state boldly. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in his dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering, love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the peculiar redemption which Christ made for his elect and chosen people; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having believed. Such a gospel I abhor. 

The gospel of the Bible is not such a gospel as that. We preach Christ and him crucified in a different fashion, and to all gainsayers we reply, “We have not so learned Christ.”