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 & Articles further down 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:

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Interesting views about the possibly of the pope visiting Northern Ireland in 1979

Papers released under the 30 year rule in the Republic of Ireland have brought to light some interesting view about the possibly of the Pope visiting northern Ireland back in 1979 when he came to the Republic.

The decision by Pope John Paul II not to visit Armagh when he came to Ireland in 1979 was viewed as a "victory by Paisley", by the then Irish Prime Minister Jack Lynch.

For a fuller report see article in The Irish Times.

May the same outcome be seen if the Pope proposes to visit the Republic of Ireland another time!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Anyone notice the gross hyprocrisy of Sinn Fein and the issue of child abuse!

On 28th November 2009 Sinn Féin vice-president Mary Lou McDonald said anyone found to have covered up the abuse of children in the Dublin Archdiocese should be arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law. Sinn Fein's own website carried a statement, part of which reads:

The report on clerical sexual abuse of children in Dublin exposes how the most powerful men in the Catholic Church in the Dublin Diocese conspired to protect abusers of children. It was a gross betrayal of generations of children.

It is especially damning that the State authorities facilitated the cover-up and allowed the Church to be beyond the reach of the law. Senior Gardai, up to and including the level of Commissioner, repeatedly turned a blind eye to crimes of clerical sexual abuse.

Anyone, including Gardaí, found to be complicit in the cover up of child abuse must be arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law

Little did she and the rest in Sinn Fein realise what was about to come to light concerning Gerry Adams covering up for over two decades the abuse of his own niece by his brother.

This story seems to be developing into a much wider issue, see here and here.

Will Mary Lou McDonald now call upon Gerry Adams to be 'arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law'? I doubt it!

This is just another example of the rottenness that lies at the heart of IRA/Sinn Fein. And to think that this party is in government over us! Truly the land mourns when the wicked bear rule, Proverbs 29:2 … when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

The hidden things of darkness are coming to light!!

The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted, Psalm 12:8

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

How grossly stupid can you be!!

A number of media outlets are carrying the story of a Church of England minister in York who has said that it is all right to steal.

For more details:
Shoplift advice sermon priest criticised
Priest defends shoplifting sermon
Full transcript of the sermon

The comments were made in a sermon to his congregation on Sunday past where he said stealing from large national chains was sometimes the best option for many vulnerable people. He said:

Instead, I would rather that they shoplift. My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift.

I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither. I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices. I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need. And I would offer this advice with a heavy heart, wishing that our society recognized that bureaucratic ineptitude and systemic delay constitutes a dreadful invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope at the very bottom of our social order.

Mr Richard Dobbs, from the British Retail Consortium said shoplifting was wrong no matter what the circumstances. He said:

I would have hoped that a vicar of all people would understand that there's a plain principal difference between right and wrong and stealing is wrong and it's wrong in all circumstances. The effect is of course to pile on costs to retailers which ultimately filter through to the prices that are paid by honest customers. There's often a big human cost in retail crime which is that staff are often abused or even attacked when they intervene to try and stop it.

It says much about the terminal decline of the Church of England that comments like this come from the mouth of a 'minister'. This minister is a clear example of the blind leading the blind: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch, Matt 15:14. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a hireling.

How ill served is any person or congregation who have a minister like this to give them spiritual instruction.

You just wonder how much rational thinking goes on in a person's mind to come out with comments like this.

It is never right to do wrong on any occasion or in any circumstances. The eighth commandment can hardly be clearer: Thou shalt not steal, Exodus 20:15.

The New Testament clearly states that thieves shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven, 1 Cor 6:9,10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

It wasn't out of love for the souls of his congregation that he announced this advice. He was encouraging them to follow a path that leads down to destruction.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Welcome news! No Pope Here!

According to a report in today's Irish Independent Newspaper the Pope will not be coming across the Irish Sea when he visits the British mainland in September 2010. This is very good news. It would be even better if he was not making what is only the second visit of a pope to the UK since the time of the Protestant Reformation.

Every Bible believer ought to oppose a papal visit.

The reasons for doing so are:

1. The claims of the Pope -
i. He is a sovereign and all other Kings, Queens, Presidents, etc. are subject to him;
ii. He is the supreme Judge of all;
iii. He is the director of men's consciences;
iv. He is the successor of the Apostles, the vicar of Christ and the way to God;
v. He is God on earth;
vi. The British Monarch is an usurper.

2. The Act of Settlement.

3. The memory of the Reformers all who have died at the hands of popery in this nation.

4. The past and present deeds of Roman Catholicism.


Even Irish Catholics are very angry with the Pope

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The Christian, Climate Change & Global Warming

Updated 26th Dec 2009

There has been much ado in recent weeks about the UN climate convention which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark. High level discussions lasted long into the night in order to come up with an agreement to cut the level of CO2 emissions across the world.

Some countries were all for an agreement; others were seeking to safeguard their own interests. They ultimately failed to negotiate a legally binding agreement.

It is an established fact that there has been a measured 20% increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration levels from 1958 to 2007. They have risen from 315 to 380 ppm [parts per million].

What should a Christian's view be of climate change and global warming? Is the rise in CO2 concentration levels a development to be worried and concerned about? What saith the Scriptures on this matter? Consider:

I. The Christian is required to look after and take care of the world they live in.
God has made man a steward over the created world.

Our Creator has given His chief creation this responsibility, Gen 1:28-30; Gen 2:15. Man was commanded to subdue and have dominion over the earth. He is first to engage in a study of the earth with all its intricate processes and complex systems and then he is to utilise that knowledge for the benefit of the earth's inhabitants both animal and human. Here is the very basis for science and technology, research and development, theory and application, study and practice.

Man even in his state of innocency was a creature of work. God has no time for idleness. Part of man’s work was to look after his environment. The word 'keep' means 'to guard' or 'to be a watchman' upon a city wall. The same word is used in Ps 127:1 & Isa 21:11. This watchfulness is not so much a protecting of the earth from external enemies but the exercising of a careful and loving stewardship over it. Adam was to keep his environment beautiful and orderly, with every component in its place and in harmonious relationship with the whole.

Man is therefore commanded not to exploit his environment, rather he is to keep it.

The onus to do so became even greater after the Fall into sin and the curse of sin coming upon the whole physical world, Gen 3:17-19. The need to exercise stewardship has not lessened but increased with the Fall. The earth is marred by sin and now with the sweat of his brow man will exercise his stewardship of the earth.

A Christian should therefore always be conscious of the need to take care of the earth and is not a recent convert to the idea of preserving the earth’s resources or protecting its climate.

II. The earth's resources are there for man's use and yet they are limited.
The earth and its resources are there to serve the needs of God's creatures.

The concept of living off the earth is one ordained by God. For example, the concept of growing crops for food, raising animals and eating their meat is one which came directly from the God of heaven after the Flood, Gen 8:21-9:4. There are also other resources, such as fossil fuels, which are for man's use.

However, the earth and its resources are not going to last for ever. The earth is a finite resource and its duration is limited by the Lord. The world is hastening towards its close. Because the earth's resources are limited they are going to eventually run out.

This is what troubles environmentalists, NGOs and governments. Yet to a Christian it is an undisputed reality.

The earth’s limited resources ought to teach us all that neither we, nor the earth we live in, are here for ever. Moses in his prayer in Psalm 90, after having dwelt upon the earth’s and our own mortality, calls upon us to number our days and to apply our hearts unto wisdom, Ps 90:12.

Sadly, the present clamour over climate change, etc. does not make men and women do this. They give no thought for the hereafter.

While man certainly does do damage to the physical world the extent of the present global warming is very much over-hyped. While those who completely dismiss climate change and global warming are wrong, those who speak about it in cataclysmic terms are equally misguided.

They do not have a good record. There have been a host of ‘issues’ hyped up in the past and none has transpired. Not all that long ago there was great concern over ‘desertification’. Yet you hardly ever hear today of expanding deserts in Africa. A global ice age was also predicted back in the 1970s, now it's the opposite.

Scientists have discovered that many of these things go in natural cycles. That may well be the case with global warming. One thing is sure - the earth will continue as long as God intends it to.

III. There is an extreme degree of hypocrisy and irony in the Global Warming lobby.
There is a considerable degree of hypocrisy shown by politicians, world leaders, etc. who fly around the world on chartered or private jets, which emit huge amounts of greenhouse gases, to lecture others on why they should limit such emissions and lobby to cut the number of plane journeys everyone else makes. Let's start with theirs!

It is extremely ironic that evolutionists are following a Creationist model in being careful about the world’s climate and resources. It highlights the inherent contradiction within much of the global warming lobby. Evolutionists believe that the world has evolved over billions of years and that we are all the product of chance, mutations, natural selection and survival of the fittest.

If this is so then why do they not trust what they believe and say that the world will continue to mutate, survive, adapt, evolve and the fittest will continue to survive?

Supposedly unknown and unobservable processes have brought the world to where it is today. If the earth has supposedly survived for these billions of years as claimed then why do they not trust their beliefs that it will continue to do so?

By their words and by their actions they are casting doubt on their own thesis.

Instead what we get is something along a creationist model where they are calling upon everyone to take care of and preserve the earth and its resources. There is a considerable degree of irony in it all.

Man in his heart knows the truth that God is the Creator and that He has given man a responsibility to look after the earth and unawares to him he is acknowledging this reality.

Gatherings like the one witnessed in Copenhagen illustrate the teaching of the Word of God that the Truth is written upon all our consciences, Rom 2:14,15 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another).

This truth may be corrupted by the Fall but it is still there to some degree nevertheless. Men and women may seek to strenuously deny this truth, however, their denial does not negate its reality.

Climate change is often built upon a distortion of the facts. Former vice-president Al Gore’s film 'An Inconvenient Truth' has been found in a court of law to contain at least eleven material falsehoods. These falsehoods relate to claims:
1. That the snows melting on Mount Kilimanjaro was evidence of global warming;
2. That evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years;
3. That Hurricane Katrina had been caused by global warming;
4. That the drying up of Lake Chad in Africa was caused by global warming;
5. That a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing Arctic ice;
6. That global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age;
7. Blaming global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching;
8. That the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously;
9. That the Antarctic ice covering is melting;
10. That sea levels could rise by seven metres causing the displacement of millions of people;
11. That rising sea levels have already caused the evacuation of the inhabitants of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand.

The recent exposure of emails from the East Anglia's Climate Research Unit has shown individuals massaging the figures to establish climate change and global warming.

Temperature and climate fluctuations have been known in the past. Four hundred years ago and again as recently as Victorian times, the river Thames in London was frozen over. Evidently, winters were much colder than London presently experiences.

The Normans’ Domesday survey of 1086 listed no less than thirty-eight vineyards in England, with Ely marking the most northerly spot, seventy miles northeast of London. It was evidently a much warmer climate back then than presently exists.

Higher CO2 level may not lead to the problems imagined. From the levels of CO2 detected in rocks, etc. today there was a time [mostly likely prior to the Flood] when these levels were considerably higher than they are today.

It was not these levels of CO2 that brought the Flood but man's own sin!

IV. The earth is going to warm up considerably one day.
The end of man's wicked rebellion and then later the end of this earth will be characterised by rapid, extensive, 'global warming'.

God’s future judgment of the earth and its ungodly inhabitants is going to be of this nature, Rev 16:8,9 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. These events will take place prior to Christ's second coming.

Preparation for the new heavens and the new earth will see events of this nature, 2 Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. This dissolving of the elements will take place many years after those which mark Christ's second return.

May we all give heed to these future events. May we be wise in the light of eternal realities, O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! Deuteronomy 32:29.

Some further reading on the subject:
Global warming - a creationist's view
Global warming - facts & myths
The great global warming swindle

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Well done to The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)

I should have said this before but well done to The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) who have been successful in the case they took against the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, claiming the advice to medical professionals on abortion did not accurately reflect the law.

Read more:
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
Belfast Telegraph

Abortion is the murder of the unborn plain and simple! Thankfully there has been a knocking back of the pro-abortion agenda in our Province. The vast majority of people are against an extension of the 1967 UK abortion law to Northern Ireland.

The Scriptures make the following observations about the unborn:

I. The unborn child in Scripture is described as a person.
The unborn child is not somehow less a person because it is yet unborn. That is what secular society seeks to say. They use terms about an unborn child that dehumanises and depersonalises the unborn and portrays them as a mere form of matter. They never talk about the unborn child in human terms. It is called an 'embryo' or 'foetus'. It might not be deliberately done by all but that is part of the reasoning behind it with many pro-abortion campaigners. This type of terminology gives the impression that somehow the unborn child is not to be looked upon as a full human being that has not yet reached the stage of being a person. But in God’s Word that is not how the unborn child is considered.

A. The same word is used for both. It is said of Rebekah’s twins that the children struggled within her: And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD, Genesis 25:22.

This is the word for children already born. Note the use of the same original word but a different English translation 'youths' in Proverbs 7:7: And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding.

It is likewise so in the New Testament. The same word is used for a child whether born or unborn. At the very beginning if its existence it is looked upon in exactly the same terms as immediately prior to its birth. In both places it described as a son: And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren, Luke 1:36. Compare these words with v57: Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.

Likewise the word ‘babe’ in Luke 1:41,44 referring to an unborn child is also used of newborn children, Luke 2:12, 2 Tim 3:15, 1 Peter 2:2.

God uses equivalent terms to speak of children from conception, before they are born and after they are born.

B. Personality and life is present in the unborn from conception. David’s description of himself before and after he was born shows that there is a personal identity present in the fully grown man is present in the unborn child from their earliest days: Ps 139:1-16. David speaks of God having a blueprint for his development.

The Lord said He knew the prophet Jeremiah before he was born, Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Being a person in every sense of the word, then the unborn child has the same right to have its life protected as any other individual would.

C. This applies whether the child has some serious disability or is the offspring of a forbidden relationship. The first is no better than what Hilter did with his eugenics programme in Germany and was rightly condemned. Whatever the terrible wrongs of the second the child is certainly not to be killed for the wrongs of a father. Two wrongs do not make a right!

II. God requires the same punishment for killing the unborn as for killing a man.
In Exodus 21 we are told what the punishment is for deliberately killing a fellow human being. v12.

A. The crime of murder is punishable by the perpetrator forfeiting his own life. The idea of capital punishment originated with the Bible. There is however a distinction to be made between murder and manslaughter. Manslaughter is where a person accidentally kills a fellow human being but never intended so to do. The manslayer was not to lose their own life in these circumstances, v13. The institution of capital punishment is carried over into the New Testament. There were others crimes in Israel punishable in this way. They have ceased but the capital punishment for murder still holds true. Murder is the willful deliberate taking of another’s life.

B. God states that the same punishment is to be passed upon the person who causes the unborn to die, Exodus 21:22,23 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life.

Whoever harms the unborn their life is to be taken. In God’s eyes the killing of the unborn is as sinful as the killing of an adult. In God’s eyes to kill the unborn is to murder them. In God’s eyes the unborn child is as real and of the same value as an adult.

C. Murder defiles a land, Numbers 35:30-34. Nothing will lift that defilement until and unless the murderer is punishment. No bargain is to be struck to let the murderer escape, v31 Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.

How great is the strain on so called civilised society with the murder of so many unborn children? Their blood cries out unto God for recompense.

III. The unborn child does not have the right to kill its mother.
Is it ever right to be party to ending the life of the unborn? The sole exception to the rule that the unborn child has the right to life and is not to be killed for some personal, social or economic reason is the case where a mother’s own life is at stake.

A. The unborn child must abide by the law of God which says that it must not kill. It has to be stressed that these types of cases are extremely rare. The unborn child like anyone else does not have an absolute right to live even to the point where someone else loses their life like its mother.

For example, if a mother needed medical treatment or surgery to preserve her own life but that treatment would harm and kill her unborn child then she is entitled to go ahead with that treatment.

Historic Protestantism has always held to the belief that in those cases where it is impossible to save the life of both mother and child then it is the mother’s life which should have the first right to be protected.

B. The rationale. An unborn child does not have an innate right to kill its parent. If nothing is done in these circumstances then both mother and child will die. The sixth commandment not only forbids us to take life, it also requires us to preserve life. The answer to Shorter Catechism question 68 states: The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life and the life of others.

To stand back and let both mother and child die is to break the sixth commandment and kill by omission.

To be without natural affection is a mark of the days of departure from the Truth of God, Rom 1:31.

Gerry Adams to 'preach' on 'love, forgiveness and repentance'

According to this report in the Daily Mail Gerry Adams has been invited by Channel 4 to examine Christian teachings on 'love, forgiveness and repentance'. The proposed programme is one of a seven-part documentary series called 'The Bible: A History'. Each part will be presented by commentators from 'very different backgrounds'.

The families of those killed in the Troubles, however, have condemned the programme as an insult and said the broadcaster was being used.

Victor Barker whose son was killed in the Omagh bombing has said:
Asking Gerry Adams to speak about love and forgiveness is like asking Myra Hindley to lecture on child-minding. 'I think it's a big mistake and completely misguided. Channel 4 is being used by Mr Adams. It is offering him a platform for doing what he does so well, of coming across on camera as a genuine, peaceful person who wants to promote peace and love.

Michael Gallagher who also lost his son in the Omagh bombing has said:
I am a supporter of free speech, but there always seems to be an imbalance. The victims are never given the same influence as the perpetrators. 'As a Christian, I believe that forgiveness is something Gerry Adams will have to ask for in the next life.
You can't compare a democrat like Ann Widdecombe with someone who gained political power on the back of innocent people being bombed and murdered.
It is dangerous to give people a degree of respectability because it means young people growing up today don't understand their heinous past.

Former Tory minister Lord Tebbit, who was injured in the 1984 IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton and whose wife was seriously disabled by the same bombing, burst out laughing when told about Mr Adams taking part in the programme. He said:
I wish him well. And I hope he also comes across the doctrine of hell and the consuming of pernicious unrepentant murderers and sinners in general by the fires of hell for all eternity.
What will he do after that? A programme about pigs discovering cleanliness?

The day when darkness is put for light and light for darkness is certainly upon us, Isaiah 5:20.

Unrepentant terrorists like Adams, who glory in or conceal their past, know nothing of 'love, forgiveness and repentance'. One text of Scripture sums up what Gerry Adams needs to know about the subject:
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy, Proverbs 28:13

The very fact that he has been invited to take part in this programme highlights the view that many people have of him. He is eulogised as a man of peace when he is in reality a man of war, The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords, Psalm 55:21.

In one way it is no surprise that he has been invited. After all, if he and his murdering cohorts are deemed fit for government and have been elevated to the highest positions in the government of this Province is it any wonder that broadcasters ask them to contribute to programmes like this. Gerry Adams and his fellow travellers are fit for either!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The Millennial Position of C H Spurgeon

A very interesting article specifically setting forth the millennial position of C. H. Spurgeon but also very good on end time matters generally.

Different millennial views are defined and explained in an easy to follow way. Well worth reading!

Click on image below to download pdf [Adobe reader required]

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Very sad evidence of the moral decline in our Province

57% of Belfast's children born out of marriage

This story is a sad testimony of the moral decline that is gathering pace in our Province. The moral law of God, summarised in the ten commandments, is being set aside and forgotten.

Any nation or society that turns away from the Law of God will reap a sad harvest.

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people, Proverbs ch 14:34.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Atheists very annoyed by the Consider Christ Campaign!

An advert sponsored by The British Humanist Association is running on billboards in each of the UK's capital cities: London, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

From what is reported on the BBC news website the local spokesman for the BHA is very annoyed at the recent Consider Christ campaign run by the Free Presbyterian Church. 

Upon the launch of this poster Mr Brian McClinton said that the poster provided 'opposition to the near ubiquitous 'Consider Christ' ads that are currently covering most of our Translink buses'.

This comment would indicate that Mr Brian McClinton is not best pleased with the extensive coverage of our campaign has received or the media attention it has attracted. It is evidently having an effect. 

This reminds us of the power of the Word of God. You don’t need fancy marketing slogans that appear on many church signs across the country. It is the Word of God that is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, Hebrews ch 4:12. It certainly seems to be doing its work in Mr McClinton’s mind!

May it be true of individuals like Mr McClinton as was true of Saul of Tarsas: it hard to kick against the pricks. Atheists can and have been converted. 

May the Lord continue to bless those 'Consider Christ' adverts which are still on the buses.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

A good day for free speech

The BBC is reporting that the government has admitted defeat in their attempt to remove a 'free speech' defence from new laws against inciting homophobic hatred.

MPs have voted four times to scrap it but it has been repeatedly overturned in the Lords, who again last night voted by 179 to 135 to keep it.

An offence of inciting hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation was brought in by legislation last year, but a 'free speech' defence, opposed by the government, was inserted by Conservative peer Lord Waddington.

The law was not brought into force while the government sought to remove the defence but on Thursday, the last day of this Parliamentary session, the government admitted defeat in a statement from the Ministry of Justice. A spokeswoman said the government was 'very disappointed' at the Lords vote and as the threshold for prosecution was 'high', the defence was not needed.

She said: 'The offence only covers words or behaviour that are threatening and intended to stir up hatred'. But she added the government could no longer delay the passage of the Coroners and Justice Bill. 'It is with considerable disappointment, therefore, that the government has agreed not to remove the 'freedom of expression' section'.

She added that the law against inciting homophobic hatred would now be brought into force 'as quickly as possible' and the government would return to the issue in future 'should it prove necessary to do so'.

However the concession was not announced by Justice Secretary Jack Straw in the Commons on Thursday. Instead deputy speaker Sir Alan Haslehurst read out a list of amendments on which 'this House does not insist, in its disagreement with the Lords'.

Conservative MP Edward Leigh asked, unsuccessfully, for a statement from Mr Straw, adding it appeared 'that the government has run up the white flag on the Lord Waddington amendment. This is a great victory for free speech, I think we should know more about it'.

MPs have, on four occasions, voted to remove the free speech clause from the bill by large majorities during its passage through Parliament. Ahead of Wednesday's vote in the Lords justice minister Lord Bach warned peers: 'There must come a point where this House, with all its great virtues, gives way to the House that has been elected by the people of this country'.

But Lord Waddington argued that peers had to maintain consistency: 'If we are to finish up with a free speech clause in the religious hatred offence but no free speech clause here, we're simply asking for trouble'.

And during the Lords debate crossbencher Lord Dear cited the example of grandmother Pauline Howe, 67, who was visited by police after writing a letter to Norwich Council to complain about a gay pride march.

The council informed her the letter was assessed as 'potentially being hate related' - she argued she was expressing her Christian beliefs.

On Thursday Simon Calvert, of The Christian Institute, welcomed the government's decision as a 'victory for common sense'.

This is indeed to be welcomed. Thankfully it is still legally possible to call sin sin and to declare with Scripture that sodomy is an abomination to God: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination, Lev 18:22.

'The abortion capital of Europe'!

The news that Britain has become the abortion capital of Europe ought to be connected in our minds with the government's insistence that children of a younger and younger age must received 'sex education' and also with the removal of a parent's right to remove their children from receiving this 'sex education' after the age of fifteen.

There can only be one outcome when younger and younger children are introduced to topics at an age far beyond their capacity to appreciate and understand them.

One thing this 'sex education', required by the government, never includes is the moral teaching of the Word of God which forbids sexual intercourse prior to and outside of marriage.

An immoral generation and multitudes of murdered, aborted children is the result of this educational requirement.

There will be no change to these sad facts while this policy persists of introducing sex education at an ever earlier age and the absence of biblical morality.

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people, Proverbs 14:34.

Friday, 6 November 2009

The Alpha Course part 5

What is wrong with 'The Alpha Course'?

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

The Alpha Course is 'New Age' in Ethos.
Let me briefly define what is meant by 'New Age'. It is that movement which shares a vision of a new age of enlightenment and harmony (the Age of Aquarius) and who subscribes to a common worldview. That common worldview is based on Monism (all is one), Pantheism (all is God) and Mysticism (the experience of oneness with the divine).

The New Age Movement is evidenced in the Animal Rights Activists, Eco-warriors, the Green Movement, the anti-capitalists rioters, anti-gender brigade, etc, etc. There is a spiritual side to all these lobby groups and it’s false religion. They practice a religious syncretism which brings together different and sometimes contradictory religious and philosophical teachings. The New Age Movement is not 'new' in the sense of its teachings never been known before. It is but a 'new' expression of age old heresies.

In this sense of the term The Alpha Course is New Age in Ethos.

i. The New Agers are very much at home with The Alpha Course.
Commenting on the ‘Holy Spirit Away Weekend’, Nicky Gumbel says of those who had come from a New Age background:
They are on more familiar territory in experiencing the Holy Spirit. Telling Others, page 19.

How can this be? How can something that claims to lead men to the truth be in such harmony with that which is expressly not of God? The answer is that the Alpha Course is not of God but is of another spirit, even the spirit of antichrist. The same philosophy that underpins New Ageism underpins The Alpha Course.

ii. Experience leads to explanation.
This is the philosophy of the Toronto Blessing, The Alpha Course and New Ageism. There can be no absolutes in New Ageism. There is no infallible standard by which all things are to be judged. No individual can claim to have the truth.

The philosophy of those who promote the Alpha Course is similar. Whatever works, run with it. If a methodology ‘works’ then it has value and merit, regardless of whether or not it is Scriptural.

John Wimber applied this philosophy to his life and ministry. He focused more on experience and feeling than on doctrine. He even warned against ‘worshipping the Book’. He mocked those who judged everything strictly by the Bible saying they have ‘God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Book. He also warned against being ‘too rigid’ and ‘too heavily oriented to the written Word, John Wimber, Counterfeit Revival.

Nicky Gumbel esteemed John Wimber very highly, tracing his ministry in many respects back to the ‘Word of Knowledge’ that Wimber gave to him. This type of practice in the professing Church of Christ is New Age philosophy at work. Anything goes, if it prospers. It is subjective religion, based on experience.

iii. A direct mirror of New Age Philosophy.
A direct parallel exists between the teachings of the New Age Movement and The Alpha Course. The two can be set side by side. The same ideas and concepts appear in both. The similarity goes to demonstrate that they both are the fruit of the same corrupt and false tree.

[1] Moving into the realm of the supernatural. The whole growth of gifts and the phenomena of modern Charismatics is often spoken of as the Church moving into the realm of the supernatural.

New Agers talk about humanity moving onto a higher plain. To them there is a coming Utopia. New Agers believe there is a new world order coming which involves one-world government, global socialism and a New Age religion.

[2] The idea of the experience of the Holy Ghost. According to The Alpha Course this is the leaving of yourself open to whatever God has for you. Attenders are to seek this experience of the Holy Spirit, which is nothing more than something emotional and subjective.

New Agers call it tuning into the divine consciousness. This ‘transformation’ is in two aspects: ‘Personal Transformation’ and ‘Planetary Transformation’.

Personal Transformation’ is variously described as ‘enlightenment’, ‘attunement’, ‘God realisation’, and ‘self actualisation’.

Planetary Transformation’ is brought about as a ‘critical mass’ of ‘personally transformed’ individuals take socio-political responsible for the world of humankind.

[3] The idea of supernatural gifts. The Alpha Course teaches that we all are to seek for the experience these gifts, have new revelations and ‘words of knowledge’ from the spirit world. As already pointed out Nicky Gumbel numbers the days of his ministry from such a ‘Word of Knowledge’.

New Agers call it ‘channelling from the spirit world’. A ‘channeller’ is one who yields control of his or her perceptual and cognitive capacities to a spiritual entity or force with the intent of receiving paranormal information.

[4] The obtaining of the anointing from a teacher. Gumbel believed he had it from Wimber. ‘Transmission of anointing’ by the closeness or the touch of a teacher on the forehead.

New Agers call it transmission into higher consciousness through the close proximity of a guru.

The Alpha Course is devious and ought not to be touched by any who love the truth revealed in Christ Jesus. It is deficient in doctrine, ecumenical in emphasis, charismatic in tone and New Age is ethos.

There are those who have acknowledged the validity of some of our criticisms:
An infectious enthusiasm, entrepreneurial spirit, and a bold plan for growth are all trademarks among Alpha’s top leaders. But not everyone is cheering Alpha onward. Some church leaders have found Alpha teaching too charismatic, too experience-driven, and too negative about traditional churches. Martyn Percy, director of the Lincoln Theological Institute for the Study of Religion and Society of the University of Sheffield, England, has commented about Alpha that it is ‘a package rather than a pilgrimage.’ In a recent essay, he said, ‘It is a confident but narrow expression of Christianity, which stresses the personal experience of the Spirit over the Spirit in the church. ... The Alpha approach has been faulted for pushing an experience-driven approach to evangelism that sidesteps intellectual difficulties. Christianity Today 9th February, 1998

Nicky Gumbel’s Alpha Course contains a little truth but much error. It is a well-packaged meal with a dose of e.coli. The non-discerning are at risk. To be spiritually healthly you need to avoid being contaminated with it!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Steve Chalke & 'The Lost Message of Jesus'

Further to J. Trimble's comment on a previous posting about Steve Chalke coming to Carnmoney Presbyterian Church [scroll down to page six of their Announcement Sheet] here are some interesting links that highlight his unbelief:

The Lost Message of Jesus is no message at all! - Answers in Genesis

Don’t take your cue from Steve Chalke - Takeheed Ministries

How much longer can those who profess to be born again believers remain in a Church that associates with those who deny the biblical account of creation, the Fall & the penal nature of Christ's atonement for sin?

The words of Obadiah the prophet come to mind:
In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them, Obadiah v11.

To say and do nothing when a man who teaches these errors visits the church of which you are a member or an elder is to condone his error!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Alpha Course part 4

What is wrong with 'The Alpha Course'?

Part 1
Part 2Part 3

The Alpha Course is Charismatic in Tone.
As the root so are the branches. Remember that a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. The Alpha Course could be nothing else, other than charismatic, when a closer look is taken at its author.

i. From the same stable as the ‘Toronto Blessing’.
The Church that brings us the Alpha Course is the same Church that brought the ‘Toronto Blessing’ to the U.K. It was in Holy Trinity Church, Brompton in the early nineties that the so called ‘laughing revival’ first appeared in Britain.

Nicky Gumbel was one of the leading lights in the promotion of the ‘Toronto Blessing’ around the country. He attended a meeting at which a Mrs Eleanor Munford was present. At this house meeting she told of her experiences in Toronto and ‘invited the Holy Spirit to come’. The moment she did that strange things began to happen. One person was thrown across the room and lay on the floor howling and laughing, ‘making the most incredible noise’. Another man lay on the floor ‘prophesying’. Some appeared to be drunken. Gumbel testified that he had an experience ‘like massive electricity going through his body’.

He got himself together and rushed to his Church where he was now late for a meeting. At its close he thanked the Lord for all He was doing and prayed that He would send His Spirit. The same phenomena were manifested with one individual lying on the floor with his feet in the air 'laughing like a hyena'. Taxis were provided at Holy Trinity for parishioners too ‘drunk in the Spirit’ to drive home from services. May 29th, 1994 was the start of this in Holy Trinity Brompton. The national newspapers carried the story shortly after. Nicky Gumbel has said:
I believe it is no coincidence that the present movement of the Holy Spirit (Toronto Blessing) has come at the same time as the explosion of the Alpha Courses. I think the two go together, Renewal May 1995, page 15.

ii. The Alpha Course itself is full of Charismatic error.
Nicky Gumbel’s Charismatic tendencies are to the fore in the Alpha Course. The phenomena of the Toronto Blessing are seen in Alpha:

[1] The calling down of the Spirit. In this Alpha Course each one is taken through the ‘experience’ of receiving the Holy Ghost. In conducting the course in his own Church Gumbel prays for the Holy Spirit to come down. The language is the language of the Charismatic Movement. This has no resemblance at all to what is taught in God’s Word. They are not looking for the infilling of the Holy Ghost, after He has indwelt them, so that they may live holy lives, glorifying Christ. This falling of the Holy Ghost upon them is the only time He comes and it is for the purpose of having the Charismatic gifts, outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. These gifts have ceased. They were for the early Church to authenticate the ministry of the apostles and were in evidence only for a limited period of time.

[2] Speaking in tongues. People are encouraged to look for the gift of tongues. Gumbel describes tongues as ‘talking to God in a language that he gives you to use’. He quotes: For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God 1 Cor 14:12 as proof that tongues is a form of prayer. This is not what Paul is saying if we read the whole verse and the next verse. If this is the substance of tongue speaking it is of no profit, cf. 1 Cor 14:13-15. Gumbel’s perception of tongues is not the Bible’s. He encourages people to learn this gift. They: take time to develop. Most of us start with a very limited vocabulary. It gradually develops. Tongues is like that. Don’t give up’, Questions of Life, page 147.

Is this the gift of tongues as found in the Bible? The Apostles on the Day of Pentecost did not ‘learn’ tongues in this way. They were immediately able to speak other languages.

[3] Spiritual slayings. Here is another aspect of this error. The participants are encouraged to open themselves to the slaying of the Spirit. They are said to shake like a leaf in the wind and experience a glowing all over and liquid heat.

They are to empty their minds and let whatever comes in have its way. This is hardly in keeping with the injunction to let all things be done decently and in order. Gumbel’s advice is a licence for chaos. Where is this found in God’s Word?

[4] Words of knowledge. John Wimber, from the Vineyard fellowship in Toronto, gave Gumbel a ‘Word of Knowledge’. He told him he had a gift for telling others. Gumbel says he can trace his ministry of telling others to this time. The Alpha Course is the philosophy of Wimberism.

There are no revelations from God outside His Word. God speaks alone to individuals from the pages of Holy Writ and not through some modern day ‘seer’.

The Charismatic Movement is not based on the Word of God and therefore the Alpha Course, so full of this falsehood, is not built either on the Rock of Holy Scripture.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Pre-millennial Protestantism

The following article is well worth reading. It is entitled Premillennial Protestantism. It first appeared in Watching and Waiting, published by the Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony.

It is based upon a sermon preached by Rev Gordon Dane, minister of Crossgar FPC at a conference in Wales.

Premillennial Protestantism

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Alpha Course Part 3

What is wrong with 'The Alpha Course'?
Part 1
Part 2

The Alpha Course is Ecumenical in Emphasis.
There is considerable emphasis placed upon so-called unity in the Alpha Course. Alpha has extensive cross denominational support. Church leaders from all the major denominations have voiced their support for it. Anglican, Baptist, Elim, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and The Salvation Army all support Alpha.

i. The stated ecumenical philosophy
Nicky Gumbel says the following about his intentions:
We need to unite...there has been some comment which is not helpful to unity. Let us drop all that and get on. It is wonderful that the movement of the Spirit will bring churches together. He is doing that right across the denominations and within the traditions… we are seeing Roman Catholics coming now.… Nobody is suspicious of anybody else... People are no longer ‘labelling’ themselves or others. I long for the day when we drop all these labels and just regard ourselves as Christians with a commission from Jesus Christ, Renewal, May 1995, page 16.

This Alpha Course is the product of a confirmed and committed ecumenist. All that he sets forth in these lessons is geared to bringing the Churches together. He wants unity at any cost. The things that divide - drop them. That means the fundamental doctrines of the Scriptures and the Reformation, and the historic confessions of faith are to be dropped. All are to be sacrificed on this altar of ecumenical, God-dishonouring false unity. At the Reformation the Spirit of God did not take men back into the arms of popery. He brought them out of that wicked system. Will the Spirit now reverse what He has previously done? I think not!

To use Alpha is to promote ecumenism. That is why it is so bland in respect of doctrine. It will please everybody and offend no one in these ecumenical churches. It does, however, offend the God of heaven. No right-thinking, Bible-believing Christian should have anything to do with it.

ii. Rome is entirely happy with the Alpha Course
The Roman Catholic Church has set up its own Alpha office and produced a number of booklets to go along with Alpha. ‘Alpha for Catholics’ in the section: Can Alpha work ecumenically? says:
Yes, because Alpha focuses on the basic Christian message, it easily lends itself for use by ecumenical groups. It aims to present the core truths upon which the churches have already agreed and which form the real but imperfect unity that the Catholic Church already enjoys with other Christian Churches....

Nicky Gumbel states that the differences between Protestants and Catholics are:
Totally insignificant compared with the things that unite us...we need to unite around the death of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus; the absolute essentials at the core of the Christian faith on which we are all agreed. We need to give people liberty to disagree on the things that are secondary, Talk page 8 section ii.

The things which divide Biblical Christianity rediscovered at the Protestant Reformation and
Romanism are highly significant. They go the very heart of how a sinner can be right before God. The Bible teaches justification by faith alone. Rome teaches that it is by a mixture of faith and works.

Bishop Ambrose Griffiths RC Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle says:
Alpha does not contain anything that is contrary to Catholic doctrine. What’s more it provides, in wonderful form, the basis of Christian belief which many Catholics have never cottoned on to..…, Alpha, God changing lives page 8.

How can Alpha set forth the true way of salvation if this bishop can say that there is nothing contrary to Catholic doctrine in it? The Council of Trent Session vi Canon 10 has this to say about the Biblical doctrine of salvation by faith alone:
If any one says that justifying faith is nothing else than trust in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake; or that it is by trust alone by which we are justified; let him be accursed.

Evidently Alpha does not set forth salvation by faith alone or else the Bishop could not say that there is nothing in it contrary to Catholic doctrine. How then can this lead any man to a true saving knowledge of Christ and a proper understanding of the Christian Faith? It is a betrayal of the true doctrine of salvation.

iii. It is seen as being useful in the renewal of Romanism
Rome is encouraging her people to conduct the Alpha course. This is with the objective of renewing her people’s devotion to Holy Mother Church. Alpha is praised in Church magazines as a tool to this end. The renewal of devotion is to that system of popery which our forefathers fought to the bitter death.

In a Post Alpha Catholic Teaching manual, under the heading: Who needs the Catholic Church? a most startling statement is made:
I want to give thanks for the gift of the papacy to the Church. It really is a wonderful blessing. The episcopacy, the papacy are moorings which keep us from drifting away with any fad that comes along... we are blessed to have that sort of Anchor.... I need the Church’s tradition because I’m not smart enough in reading the Scriptures to understand what they say. It is only with the help of St Augustine, St Gregory of Nicea, Thomas Aquinas and St Catherine of Sienna that I can hope to understand what God is saying to me and to all of us as I read the Scriptures... I really need the saints not only in their wisdom but in their example. They keep me motivated knowing that if they made it I can make it through their prayers and by the power of the holy host, Exploring the Catholic Church by Dr M D’Ambrosio, Professor of Theology, Catholic University of Dallas.

The Alpha Course has not changed Rome. She is still a harlot Church. If Rome is happy with Alpha then no Bible lover should be. Alpha does not deliver from sin as the true Gospel did in the lives of the Reformers and many others. Rather it renews Rome. Therefore it cannot be of God. For these reasons we call on all who desire to contend for the truth to turn away from the Alpha Course.

Favourable coverage from Newtownabbey Times

The Newtownabbey Times in their most recent edition have carried a favourable report of the 'Consider Christ Campaign' and our own upcoming Gospel Mission.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Gospel Mission

Free Presbyterian Church

Gospel Mission

11th - 25th October 2009

Main Evangelist: Rev Brian McClung

Lord's Days 7.00 pm, Monday - Friday 8.00 pm

Guest preachers:
Wednesday 14th Oct Rev Darryl Abernethy
Wednesday 21st Oct Rev David McMillan

Special singing or testimony each evening

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved, Jer 8:20

Monday, 28 September 2009

The Alpha Course Part 2

What is wrong with 'The Alpha Course'?Part 1
The Alpha Course is Deficient in Doctrine.
It has to be remembered that 'The Alpha Course' comes from a denomination that has long tolerated false doctrine. A whole profusion of Biblical doctrine has been denied and false doctrine permitted to hold sway, within the Anglican Church. The virgin birth is denied, along with the sinlessness of Christ, the vicarious atonement, the resurrection and ascension. Sodomy is tolerated and the ordination of women ministers accepted. The question is asked: Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one Job 14:4.

The Saviour says: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit Matthew 7:18. The Alpha Course is the fruit of a corrupt tree. It is deficient when it comes to doctrine.

i. The God of Alpha is not the God of the Bible.
God is revealed in the Scriptures as the great and mighty God. He is the Creator, Sustainer and Upholder of all things. He is the Sovereign God of all the earth, Isaiah 40:25-28. Man is a creature of the clay, responsible and answerable to Him. There are divine claims upon mankind.

There is no declaring of these things in Alpha. God is referred to, but never described. In many ways The Alpha Course bypasses God the Father altogether. There is no setting forth of who and what God is. There is continual mention made of God being love. But this is not how God is only described. He is much more than this.

How can something that claims to be an introduction to the Faith fail to start at the beginning, with the most important thing of all, In the beginning God...? This is where the Bible begins. There can be no true understanding unless we begin with God Himself and man’s relationship to Him. This is what the Christian Faith is all about.

ii. The condition of man in Alpha is not what it is in the Bible.
Man is totally and utterly depraved before God. There is no good in him. He is a rebel, at enmity with God. The wrath of God abideth on him. He is bound for hell. He is deserving of no good thing from God.

In Alpha man is viewed, not as to how God sees him, but rather as to how man feels before God. He is spoken of as having ‘feelings of sadness and unhappiness’, and ‘feeling dead inside, often guilty’. Man’s sin is spoken of as ‘rubbish that clutters up our lives and our world’. This is not how man is described before God. Man doesn’t feel dead he is spiritually dead. He is not often guilty, he is always guilty.

These are but a reference to the effects of sin and even then they are not accurate. The Alpha Course never sets forth man as a sinner who is under the wrath of God. In one manual I read through, there is no mention of the judgment of God or hell at all. Christ spoke about hell. A sinner has to be brought to see their need, only then they can be pointed in the direction of the work of Christ on the cross.

Nicky Gumbel has this to say about mankind:
In every human being the image of God has been to a greater or lesser extent tarnished, and in some cases almost eradicated by sin. Good and bad, strength and weakness coexist in all human beings, Questions of Life page 18.

This is not in accordance with God’s Word. The image of God has been lost entirely due to sin. There is no good at all in man. God’s Word says: There is none good but one, that is, God. Mark 10:18.

iii. The Christ of Alpha is not the Christ of the Bible.
Alpha has much to say about the Lord Jesus. It tells us what He did, what He said, and it does establish the certainty of the resurrection. In the chapter entitled: Why did Jesus die? it does not set forth the Christ of the Scriptures. Alpha does not set Him forth as the one who died because the justice of a holy God required it. We are left with the impression that Christ sacrificed Himself to rescue us from some impersonal and rather arbitrary justice system. Having bypassed God the Father it cannot adequately explain the death of Christ.

You can never come to understand the death of Christ until you realise that for a sinner to be saved the just demands of God’s law must be satisfied.

iv. The Holy Spirit of Alpha is not the Holy Spirit of the Bible.
There is more space devoted to the Holy Spirit than to the Lord Jesus in Alpha. That in itself it instructive, when we consider John 16:13,14: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The Holy Spirit will always work to uplift Christ Jesus not Himself. This is not taking place in Alpha. The Holy Spirit of Alpha is the agent for giving to people an ‘experience’ that is going to make God real to them. The main focus of this is the ‘Holy Spirit Weekend Away’. Going on that weekend people are told to expect that all manner of things might happen to them. We will have more to say on this.

v. Conversions of Alpha are not the conversions of the Bible.
In the Scriptures when men were converted there was deep sorrow for sin and a crying to God for mercy:
Acts 2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Acts 16:29: Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas...

Conversions of Alpha are often nothing more than emotional experiences about the love of God with no conviction of sin or sorrow over sin and no turning from sin. People can feel forgiven yet never have known conviction of sin. These are mere professions of Christianity. It is all an act of their own will. They make a conscious decision to live as a Christian, believing some basic tenets and doing Christian activities. But no heart change has ever taken place.

On page 221 reference is made to the extent of the Christian Church. The Encyclopaedia Britannica is quoted that the church has some 1.7 billion adherents. This confuses Church membership and outward profession with belonging to Christ. Not every one who is a Church member is a child of God.

As to when this change occurred in their lives, most said it was at the ‘weekend’. The decisive moment is when the Holy Spirit comes in rather than the momentous occasion when they were supposedly converted.

One account of conversion in Alpha News July/October 1997 demonstrates this:
I still needed some physical evidence of the existence of God, part of the course was the Holy Spirit Weekend at a camp, which I wasn’t looking forward to. I went and maintained a stone wall approach until the second day.... suddenly a feeling of joy came over me and I began to laugh uncontrollably. At that point I knew that I had become a Christian.

Men do not laugh their way to salvation rather they weep their way to the cross. Another so called testimony demonstrates that there is no reality to these ‘conversions’:
I have virtually stopped drinking. I only drink socially now - just the odd beer or glass of wine. God gives complete victory over sin not partial victory.

The truth is, this movement is energised by another spirit. It is doctrinally deficient.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Free Presbyterian Outreach at Ploughing Match in County Kildare

For a number of years gospel outreach has been conducted at the annual ploughing match in the Republic of Ireland. In recent years a marquee has been hired for this purpose. Much help was give by the Lord to those who gathered. In total twenty workers were present over the three days.

Calendars with gospel texts are distributed along with free Bibles, New Testaments, and other literature. Free tea, coffee or juice and biscuits are offered with the hope that a conversation about spiritual things can be struck up. Among those who were given gospel literature were the Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Mary Lou McDonald.

RTE interviewed Dr Lindsay Wilson on two occasions, once for a radio documentary and once for the television news.

Friday, 11 September 2009

The Alpha Course Part 1

The Alpha Course is being run once again at the local Corrs Corner Hotel here in Glengormley. There will follow DV a synopsis of a series of sermons preached on 'The Alpha Course' a few years ago in Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church. 

What is Alpha?
The Alpha Course is supposedly an introduction to the Christian Faith in a non-threatening environment. The program consists of 15 sessions run over a 10 week period. It covers such basic topics as:
Who is Jesus?
Why did Jesus die?
How can I be sure of my faith?
Why and how should I read my Bible?
How does God guide us?
How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?
Does God heal people today?
What about the Church?

The sales pitch is ‘no preaching’!

The Alpha plan is described by the following acrostic in a brochure used to advertise Alpha:
A - Anyone interested in finding out about the Christian Faith.
L - Learning and laughter. It is possible to learn about the Christian faith and have fun at the same time.
P - Pasta and pudding. Eating a meal together gives people an opportunity to get to know each other.
H - Helping one another. The small groups give you a chance to discuss issues raised in the talks.
A - Ask anything. Alpha is a place where no question is regarded as too simple or too hostile.

Most of these topics may seem perfectly innocent and to be encouraged. But no book is to be judged by its cover. We need to try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world, cf. 1 John 4:1: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

The Alpha Course is the brainchild of Nicky Gumbel, curate of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Brompton, London (in the Knightsbridge area). The original Alpha Course has been running for almost 30 years. It has been a formidable success. Since its relaunch in 1992 the numbers signing up to run this course have been steadily rising. From 200 in 1993 in how has over 1.5 million attending. Churches are full where this course is run. Churches which closed down for lack of interest are being reopened. Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Pentecostalists and Romanists all run Alpha Courses. All with a strong spirit of ecumenical 'Christian' unity.

We as a denomination disapprove in the strongest terms of the Alpha Course. There is no false teaching as bad as that which mixes truth and error. The Alpha Course has a form of godliness but it denies the power thereof. From such, all who love the truth, are to turn away. They may use what seems like the right terminology. But it falls far short of genuine Bible religion.

Next part: Why we oppose the Alpha Course.

'We're born to believe in God'

Humans are ‘programmed’ to believe in God and the supernatural, scientific researchers have found.

A study into the way children’s brains develop suggests that beliefs in the supernatural are present from birth. The findings of Bruce Hood, professor of developmental psychology at Bristol University, challenge the claims of atheists such as Richard Dawkins.

Professor Dawkins’ assertion that religious belief is a result of poor education and ‘indoctrination’ is well known. Professor Hood said: “Our research shows children have a natural, intuitive way of reasoning that leads them to all kinds of supernatural beliefs about how the world works.” Other academics have said that their research supports Prof Hood’s findings.

In the science journal Nature, Washington University anthropologist Professor Pascal Boyer said: “Religious thinking seems to be the path of least resistance for our cognitive systems”.

“By contrast, disbelief is generally the work of deliberate, effortful work against our natural cognitive dispositions — hardly the easiest ideology to propagate.”

Speculating as to why their research showed religious belief to be ‘hardwired’, Prof Hood and his colleagues offered an evolutionary reason. 
They suggest that in the past, shared religious beliefs brought social benefits as believers cooperated to ensure mutual survival, while atheist societies lacked such beneficial cohesion.
The Word of God has long taught this truth. It is not attributable to evolution but rather to creation and the Creator. The God who created man in His own image has created us with an innate knowledge of Himself. Sadly, due to the Fall this knowledge is corrupted, distorted, and partly lost for it not what it was. It is not now a saving knowledge of God. This is why mankind needed the special revelation of the Scriptures. It is what is known as: 'The Seed of Religion':
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse, Romans 1:19,20;
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another, Romans 2:14,15;
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring, Acts 17:24-28.

John Calvin had this to say about the matter:
That there exists in the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, some sense of Deity, we hold to be beyond dispute, since God Himself, to prevent any man from pretending ignorance, has endued all men with some idea of His Godhead, the memory of which He constantly renews and occasionally enlarges, that all to a man, being aware that there is a God, and that He is their Maker, may be condemned by their own conscience when they neither worship Him nor consecrate their lives to His service, Institutes of the Christian Religion 3:3.1.

He further said:
All men of sound Judgment will therefore hold, that a sense of Deity is indelibly engraven on the human heart. And that this belief is naturally engendered in all, and thoroughly fixed as it were in our very bones, is strikingly attested by the contumacy of the wicked, who, though they struggle furiously, are unable to extricate themselves from the fear of God, Institutes of the Christian Religion 3:3.3.

Once again we have another example of those who are wise after this world catching up with the teaching of the Scriptures!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

False Prophecies of the Jehovah's Witnesses

Just had a visit from the Jehovah's Witnesses this morning.

I have discovered that one of the best ways to witness to them is to undermine their confidence in the Watchtower organisation and then tell them your own testimony of how Jesus Christ has cleansed from sin and has given the assurance of a home in heaven.

There are many documented false prophecies found in the writings of the Watchtower organisation. Here are a few:

1. Charlas Taze Russell, their founder, taught that 1874 marked the date of the second coming of the Lord, this teaching was held until 1943.

2. The date of the close of that 'battle' [Armageddon] is definitely marked in Scripture as October 1914, The Watchtower, 15th January 1892.

3. In 1898 the year 1914 was announced as the end of the world as we know it: In this chapter we present the Bible evidence proving that the full end of the time of the Gentiles, i.e. the full end of their lease of dominion, will be reached in A.D. 1914, The time is at Hand 1898, pages 76-77.
...the battle of the great day of God Almighty' ( Revelation 16:14 ), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced, The Time Is at Hand, page 101, 1898.

Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, page 89, 1918.

4. In 1924 Judge Rutherford stated that: 1914 was the beginning of the end, and set 1925 as the new date for the end of the world, The Watchtower, 15th July 1924.

The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year, The Watchtower, 1st January 1925, page 3.

6. Some anticipated that the work would end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so. The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything, The Watchtower, page 232, 1926.

There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah's faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1917, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time...and they also learned to quit fixing dates, Vindication, page 338, 1931.

8.… the evidence required, all of it, and it is overwhelming!’ that ‘the last days are here’ and Armageddon would take place in 1975, Awake! Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 8th October 1968.

9. The imminent events of 1975 were said to have been a major factor in influencing many couples to decide not to have children at this time, Awake! Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 8th November 1974 page 11.

All these statements have be set within the context of what they themselves have stated. In
1972 the Jehovah's Witness Watchtower claimed to be the prophet of God, The Watchtower, 1st April 1972, page 197.

Deuteronomy 18:22 counsels us what we are do with these types of prophets:
If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.