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:

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Bible exhibition 2

At our Soul Winners Convention Dr David Allen put on display a replica of a timeline of the English Bible. 

Friday, 25 March 2011

Bible exhibition Part 1

At our Soul Winners Convention Mr Alastair Bonar, one of our members, put on display a number of old Bibles he owns.

Thought for the day

Faith, without trouble or fighting, is a suspicious faith; for true faith is a fighting, wrestling faith.

Attributed to Ralph Erskine, well known Scottish preacher in Reformed circles, who lived from 1685-1752. 

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Sandown FPC wins its court case on Sodomy

It has been announced today in the Belfast High Court that Sandown FPC has won its case against the Advertising Standards Agency. A good day for the truth and freedom of expression!

To read details of the case and the ruling please click on the following links:

Church advert breached code

Church challenges sodomy ad ban

Judge overturns ASA sodomy ad ban decision

Updated 23/03/11
The Newsletter & Belfast Telegraph have further reports on this court case

Newsletter - Victorious minister will not be gloating

Belfast Telegraph - Church’s anti-gay advert was freedom of expression: judge

What are they so afraid of?

The Guardian reports that the new 'Free Schools' being encouraged by the coalition government will not be able to teach Creationism in any science classes. Not that I ever expected they would be!

For fuller details click - Free schools will not teach creationism, says Department for Education

This surely begs the question: what are these secular educationalists afraid of? Can evolution not stand up to scrutiny in the classroom? If creationism is the outlandish notion of fundamentalists as they claim then surely it will be easily seen to be the case when considered alongside evolution, if evolution is indeed scientific fact as they claim. After all, truth is never afraid of the searchlight, it is falsehood that loves the dark and loves to go unchallenged.

It would seem that these secular educationalists are somewhat afraid that when their pet theory, which at its core is fuelled by an innate desire to reject the existence of God, is examined alongside alternative explanations for the origin of the universe it might be found wanting. That it might be discovered to be less than scientific fact. 

If evolution & creationism were both taught would it be discovered that evolution is also a faith based belief. This has been acknowledged in the past by evolutionists. 

For example in the introduction to one edition of Darwin's The Origin of Species it says:
The fact of evolution is the backbone of biology, and biology is thus in the peculiar position of being a science founded on an unproven theory - is it then a science or a faith? Belief in the theory of evolution is thus exactly parallel to belief in special creation - both are concepts which believers know to be true but neither, up to the present, has been capable of proof
L. Harrison Matthews, FRS, Introduction to Darwin's Origin of Species, J M Dent & Sons Ltd, London 1971, page xi.

If evolution is faith based then creationism has the same right to be examined in the science classroom as evolution.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

School Choir singing at 60th anniversary regional rally

Some photos of the joint school choir [Bangor & Newtownabbey Independent Christian schools] which took part in the 60th anniversary regional rally in Martyrs Memorial FPC last night.

Practising beforehand in the Paisley Jubilee Church

Taking part in the service

Friday, 18 March 2011

What did St Patrick really believe? Part 3

Here is a link to a sermon preached some years ago on the subject:

What did St Patrick really believe?

For Transcript of Part 1 click here
For Transcript of Part 2 click here

Transcript Part 3
II. Patrick’s teaching on the matter of salvation. 
The most important matters are: what did he teach about the matter of salvation? What does he teach about Jesus Christ? That will be the chief test of his orthodoxy. We have his creed to consult which is available from his confession.

Patrick had a deep and accurate knowledge of the Scriptures. You cannot read his confession through without marvelling at the rich knowledge of the Word of God which he possessed, even though he confesses: I have not read like others, who have been well imbued with sacred learning. He certainly had read his Bible.

It is God’s Word alone that is to direct us in the matter of salvation.

He believed in the deity and Godhead of Jesus Christ. It was Patrick who is renowned for illustrating the doctrine of the Trinity by the use of the shamrock. While preaching before the king of Meath at Tara he illustrated the mysterious doctrine of the Trinity by the three-leaved shamrock.

The belief in the doctrine of the Trinity necessitates the acceptance of the deity and Godhead of Jesus Christ and the personality of the Holy Ghost. You cannot have a Trinity of persons without there being equality of the persons in that Trinity. He had right views of Christ and the Holy Spirit. His confession is distinctly Trinitarian and evangelical.

He believed in the necessity of being born again. Another quote from his confession states: 
I am greatly a debtor to God who hath vouchsafed me such great grace that many people by my means should be born again to God and clergy should be ordained everywhere for them. I pray those who believe and fear God, whosoever may condescend to look into or receive this writing which Patrick the sinner, though unlearned, wrote in Ireland, if I have done or established any little thing according to God’s will, that no man ever say that my ignorance did it, but think and let it verily be believed that it was the gift of God.

He believed himself to be a sinner and that all sinners are in need of being born again.

He became an evangelist. His name is associated with many places both north and south of Ireland. Temple-Patrick, Down-Patrick, Sea-Patrick, Croagh-Patrick, Leck-Patrick, Inch-Patrick. There is also Patrick’s chair in the Clogher Valley.

He knew what it was to trust God. From his writings it is clear that he had a strong belief in the guiding and overruling providence of God. He accepted the providences of God that brought him away from his family and as a slave to ireland. He accepted that this affliction ‘corrected’ him and brought him to ‘know God’.

He learned the truth of this text of Scripture: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me, Ps 50:15.

In his day of trouble on the slopes of Slemish he cried to the Lord for salvation and the Lord delivered him and he went on to glorify the Lord by a life lived to the service of God and man.

May this island again redound to the sound of the gospel which Patrick preached. May God be pleased again to move among the Irish with such God glorifying results.

The creed of St. Patrick 
As given in His own confession:
I am not able, nor would it be right to be silent on such great benefits and such great grace as [God] hath vouchsafed unto me in the land of my captivity, for this is our recompence, that after we have been corrected and brought to know God, we should exalt and confess His wondrous works before every nation which is under heaven

God the Father 
that there is none other God, nor ever was, nor shall be hereafter, except God the Father, unbegotton, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, upholding all things as we have said

God the Son
and His Son, Jesus Christ, whom we acknowledge to have been always with the Father before the beginning of the world, spiritually with the Father, in an ineffable manner begotton before all beginning

Christ the Creator 
and by Him were made things visible and invisible; and being made man, and having overcome death, He was received into heaven unto the Father

Christ the preeminent One
And the Father hath given unto Him all power, above every name, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God

Christ the coming Judge
Whom we believe and we look for His coming, who is soon about to be judge of quick and dead, who will render unto every man according to his works, and hath poured into us abundantly the gift of the Holy Ghost and the pledge of immortality, who maketh the faithful and obedient to become sons of God the Father and joint heirs with Christ. Whom we confess and worship, one God in the Trinity of the sacred Name. For He Himself hath said by the prophet: Call upon me in the day of thy tribulation and I will deliver thee

Thursday, 17 March 2011

What did St Patrick really believe? Part 2

Here is a link to a sermon preached some years ago on the subject:

What did St Patrick really believe?

For Transcript of Part 1 click here

Transcript Part 2:
I. He had no connection whatsoever with Romanism. 
Roman Catholicism loves to speak of Patrick as one of their own. They call chapels by his name, they place his statue above entrance doors, attired in full ecclesiastical costume, with a great mitre on his head and a formidable crozier in his hand. These are articles of dress which the simple missionary in all probability never either saw or wore. What is certain is that he had no connection whatsoever with Romanism.

Romanism was not known in Ireland at the time of Patrick. Rome can hardly with justification make a claim on Patrick when history teaches us that Romanism itself was not established in Ireland to many years after Patrick lived. In fact the Papacy was only developing on the continent of Europe at the time of Patrick and not fully developed there until c.a. 600 AD.

Biblical Christianity had come to Britain with the serving soldiers of the invading Roman armies. The Roman armies left in 410 AD. Romanism only came to Britain with Augustine arrival at Canterbury in 597 AD, at least 100 yrs. after Patrick’s death. The story is told of Augustine’s attempt at bringing the Celtic Church under his and Rome’s control. The Celtic representatives had previously decided that whether Augustine rose up from his seat when meeting them would indicate whether they were meeting as equals or not. Needless to say he did not rise to meet the Celtic representatives so they wanted nothing to do with him.

Romanism only came to Ireland around 1100 AD when Pope Adrian give Ireland as a dowry to the then English King to subdue and bring under the control of Rome.

Patrick never claimed Papal authority. In his confession which exists to this day we have in some detail the circumstances under which he came to Ireland. There is not a word said about either Rome or the Pope. An omission which would be simply inconceivable if he had been an emissary of the pope. With the success that he enjoyed surely Rome would have taken credit if she had sent him. Many letters of Pope Leo I from 440-461 are extant yet say nothing about Ireland and Patrick. He himself never appeals to any papal commission when his authority was challenged.

He was ‘Presbyterian’ in Church order. Patrick ordained bishops in every Church he founded. Some say it was 365 churches, others that it was 700 churches he founded. Whatever the total it is undenialable  that for every church Patrick founded he ordained bishops. This Presbyterianism not Prelacy or Popery.

His family did not believe in celibacy. Patrick states that both his father and grandfather were ecclesiastics, yet both were married. They were hardly following a cardinal doctrine of Romanism.

No mention of the other tenets of Romanism. In Patrick's writings there is no mention whatsoever of auricular confession, purgatory, the honour of Mary, the mass or any anointing of the dead or any other distinctive Roman Catholic doctrine.

He never was primate of Ireland. It is well known that neither in Patrick’s day or for hundreds of years afterwards was there any such person as either an archbishop or bishop of Armagh. Even Episcopalian writers acknowledge this.

One thing we can be absolutely sure about regarding Patrick - He was no Romanist!

To be continued

What did St Patrick really believe?

Here is a link to a sermon preached some years ago on the subject:

What did St Patrick really believe?

Transcript Part 1
March 17th is designated as St. Patrick’s day in which the patron saint of Ireland is supposed to be remembered. More and more this day is being marked by parades, festivals and carnivals which in the main are but an excuse for a day of worldly entertainment, sinful pleasure and amusement during which liberal measures of alcohol are consumed. Much of what takes place has very little connection if any at all with the life or preaching of St. Patrick.

St. Patrick is believed to have been a native of mainland Britain, Scotland it seems has the strongest claim as the place of his birth, during the early part of the 5th century.

As a young lad, at the age of 16, he was taken captive by raiders from his father’s farm and brought to Ireland and sold as a slave, where it is believed he tended sheep on the slopes of Slemish. His captivity became a means of blessing. It was the means of bringing about the conversion of his soul. Ireland may not have been the land of his natural birth but it was certainly the land of his spiritual birth.

We are privileged to have two works which have come down to us from the hand of Patrick. They are his ‘Confession’, and his ‘Letter to the Christians’. In his confession he has the following to say about his conversion to Christ:
I knew not the true God, and I was carried in captivity into Ireland.... and there the Lord opened the sense of my unbelief, that even though late I should remember my sins, and be converted with my whole heart unto the Lord my God.

After six years of slavery he escaped from his master, and making his way to the coast, procured a passage on board a boat, and after enduring many hardships, was able to be reunited with his parents in Scotland.

However he was not to be long in his father’s house. He had witnessed the darkness of Ireland and desired to bring it some of his light. A remarkable dream which he had led him back to Ireland. In his dream he saw a man coming to him as if from Ireland, whose name was Victoricius, bearing innumerable letters. He gave one to Patrick and the opening words were The voice of the Irish. As he read this in his dream he heard a call coming from the western sea: 
We entreat thee holy youth, to come and walk henceforth among us

Finally he made up his mind to return to Ireland as a missionary and spent the remainder of his days here. He is believed to have died on 17th March either 465 AD or 493 AD. He is said to be buried in Downpatrick. 

There is a local connection with St. Patrick and Templepatrick. According to tradition St. Patrick, during his time in Ireland is thought to have baptised converts at an ancient well in the village and is credited with founding a Church which stood in the area of the old graveyard, where the Templetown Mausoleum now stands.

What did St. Patrick really believe? We can discern this from his works.

To be continued

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The unscripturalness of observing Lent

Titus 3 v 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. 

Today is the beginning of Lent. Much reference is made to this observance. Sadly many Protestants are more and more being taken up with this religion of works.

I. The definition of Lent. 
Lent is the 40 day period before Easter, excluding Sundays, it begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. This year Lent begins on 9th March and will end on 23rd April.

Sundays are excluded because this is the day on which Christ arose from the dead, making it an inappropriate day to supposedly fast and mourn over sin. On Sunday we must celebrate Christ's resurrection for our salvation. It is Friday on which we commemorate His death for our sins. The Sundays of the year are days of celebration and the Fridays of the year are days of penance.

There are 40 days in Lent because 40 is the traditional number of discipline, devotion, and preparation in the Bible. Thus Moses stayed on the mount of God for 40 days, the spies were in the land for 40 days, Elijah travelled 40 days before he reached the cave where he had his vision, Nineveh was given 40 days to repent, and most importantly, prior to undertaking His ministry, Jesus Christ spent 40 days in wilderness praying and fasting, Matthew 4:2.

Since Lent is a period of prayer and fasting, it is supposedly fitting for Christians to imitate their Lord with a similar 40 day period of penance. Christ used this 40 day period of prayer and fasting to prepare for His ministry, which culminated in His death and resurrection, and thus it is supposedly fitting for Christians to imitate Him with a 40 day period of prayer and fasting to prepare for the celebration of His ministry's climax, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. 

II. The purpose of Lent. 
Lent is observed as part of the system of Romanism that believes that salvation is obtained by human effort through the sacraments of the Church. They speak of imitating Christ. It is the old falsehood of penance, showing sufficient sorrow for sin to merit the favour of God. 

The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: 
Preparation for Baptism and for renewing baptismal commitment lies at the heart of the season. Lent is about conversion, turning our lives more completely over to Christ and his way of life. That always involves giving up sin in some form. The goal is not just to abstain from sin for the duration of Lent but to root sin out of our lives forever. Conversion means leaving behind an old way of living and acting in order to embrace new life in Christ. Lent is the primary time for celebrating the Sacrament of Penance, because Lent is the season for baptismal preparation and baptismal renewal

During Lent a person is apply ashes to show association with sorrow for sin. 

III. The unscripturalness of Lent. 
Search the Scriptures diligently, from Old Testament to New, and you will find no mention of Jews or Christians observing an annual period of 40 days of fasting and abstinence preceding the festival of the Passover, yet today most of the Christian world observes a 40 day period called Lent. Christ fasted forty days before His earthly ministry began not before His death. 

It is actually the mark of apostate religion to command to abstain from meats, 1 Timothy 4:1-3.

Roman Catholicism states that the reasons for celebrating her major feasts, when they do, are many and varied. However:
In general it is true that many of them have at least an indirect connection with the pre-Christian [pagan] feasts celebrated about the same time of year, such as Christmas and Easter

They also acknowledge that no observance of Lent is found in the early Church.

Where did the concept of Lent come from then? The 40 days abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess and her son. This is where the 'mother and child' idea comes from.

Numerous examples have been found in history of the old pagans observing a period to mark the birth of spring. The Babylonians, Egyptians, and others among them. It was usually preceded by a feast called a 'carnival'.
Lent is part of the concept of salvation by works and sacraments. However, salvation and peace with God are not obtained in this way. That which the Lord Jesus would have us to do is come and confess our sins to Christ and be saved from them for ever. 

In this text of Scripture we are simply taught the way of salvation. There is no great mystery about it, yet it is becomes the hardest thing for men and women to discover because of the pride of the human heart.

1. Salvation is not by human effort. Paul rules out works of righteousness which we have done as a means of obtaining salvation.
It is in our fallen nature to want to do every thing for ourselves. It is a basic lesson every child has to learn as they grow up, namely that they cannot do everything by themselves. They may want to, they may push away the help that is offered but they will have to learn that help is required.

The same mentality is applied to the matter of salvation. Sinners want to play at least a part in their salvation. They are happy for God to do a part and they also want to do a part. Not so. It is not by works.

It is not even by works of righteousness. People in general have their own definition of good works. It varies from one person to another. In doing so these people are convinced that God will be pleased and His favour obtained. Not so according to this text of Scripture. Surely Lent falls into that category.

2. Salvation comes from God’s mercy. Man cannot merit or earn salvation. Neither does he deserve it.
There is nothing is us that would attract God’s blessing. The only thing we deserve is to be cast away from Him as an unclean thing. Nothing that we do will ever bring us to the place where God will find us worthy of His favour.

Therefore we should stop trying and have done with all that is associated with this false way of salvation.

Salvation is by free grace. Salvation is the free gift of God. It flows from God’s infinite mercy, love and grace. We cannot earn it but we can receive it as a free gift. God out of the abundance of His mercy has provided salvation. He moved first towards fallen mankind. Man does not merit it, God freely bestows it.

Sinners need to fall upon God’s mercy and obtain salvation in this way, Micah 7:18.

3. Conversion is by the Holy Spirit. You do not grow into conversion as Rome claims.
Salvation is by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. It is the Spirit of God that makes dead sinners alive. He renews that spiritual life which died in Adam when he sinned. Spiritual life is brought into our hearts once more by the Spirit.

Conversion is not a process but an act. Conversion takes place in an instant. A sinner is either dead or alive. He/she is not in between somewhere. He/she is not half alive or half dead.

Salvation is by the washing of regeneration. Regenerating grace is here meant. We need to be born of the grace and power of the Spirit. It is comparable to washing with water for its purity and cleansing virtue, hence all who are regenerated and sanctified, are said to be washed and cleansed, having their hearts purified by faith, and their consciences purged from sin by the blood of Christ.

It is the washing of regeneration we need to save us from our sins not the washing of water. It is only the blood of Jesus Christ that will cleanse from sin. 

Titus 3:5 teaches a different ay of salvation as compared to what lies begin the concept of Lent. 

Monday, 7 March 2011

Interesting News Items

Some interesting news items:

1. Britain has the most anti-family tax system in Europe

2. Britain’s abortion laws currently leave vulnerable women without the most basic support and help to which they should be entitled

ConservativeHome - Nadine Dorries MP

3. Equality Commission has to apology for its smear of Christians.

Christian Institute - Equality Commission sorry for Christian ‘infection’ jibe

Equality and Human Rights Commission - website statement

Johns v Derby City Council
3 March 2011

Earlier this week the case of Johns v Derby City Council, in which the Commission had intervened, attracted some attention. Unfortunately a mistake within our legal submission led to an inference that we did not intend and which was misconstrued as suggesting that the Commission equates Christian moral views with an infection. This oversight was caused by a drafting error in our submissions to the court. This should have been picked up in our internal clearance process for the legal documentation and does not represent the position of the Commission in any way.

Furthermore, the Commission entirely rejects any view (as reported in the media) that rights in relation to sexual orientation ‘take precedence’ over religious rights. The Commission fully upholds the rights of looked-after children to be supported in their chosen religion or that of their family, in the context of the paramount importance of the welfare of the child.

The Equality Act provides protection against discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief as well as on the grounds of sexual orientation and the Commission has producedextensive guidance to explain this legislation, which was introduced by Parliament.

The Commission has written to Mr and Mrs Johns to apologise.

Can you imagine the outcry there would have been in the media if this had been the other way around and a church or minister had branded sodomy 'an infection'? We would have had every liberal 'do-gooder', human rights spokesperson etc, etc branding such comments as homophobic etc. Yet when it is Christians who are slandered in this way there is not a cheep out of any of them. So much for equality!!

Sunday trading laws consultation

There is presently a consultation taking place by the Department for Social Development regarding the extension of Sunday trading laws.

The Independent Orange Institution has made its views known here.

We would encourage Christians to make their views known on this subject. Submissions can be made to:

Social Policy Unit
Department for Social Development (NI)
4th Floor, Lighthouse Building
1 Cromac Place
Gasworks Business Park
Telephone: (028) 9082 9521
email: social.policy@dsdni.gov.uk

Submissions must be received by the Department of Social Development no later than 8th April 2011.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Special Soul Winners Convention

For over 30 years our congregation has held our Soul Winners Convention meetings. This year we are marking the 400th anniversary of the translation of the Authorised Version.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Thought for the day from C. H. Spurgeon

I came across this quote from C H Spurgeon today:

The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out as the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Christian Institute Statement on Christian Foster Case

The Christian Institute has sent out the following release about the Christian Foster case involving Mr & Mrs Johns

The media has reported the case of Mr and Mrs Johns, a Christian couple who faced difficulties in fostering children because of their views on homosexuality.

Much media reporting on this issue, and even some comments by Christians, have, in our view, been wide of the mark.

The impression has been given that the High Court has ruled that Christians who believe that homosexuality is morally wrong cannot foster children. This is not true. No such ruling has been made.

Christians are deeply concerned about the dramatic comments by the High Court judges in this case. It is no surprise that national newspapers are drawing attention to what has been said. Derby City Council seems to want a gay rights test to assess any potential foster parent. If so, this Council will be encouraged by the High Court, but thankfully other councils are free to take a different view.

Equality laws have closed down adoption agencies and are now being used against pillars of the community, such as Mr and Mrs Johns in this case and Mr and Mrs Bull, the Christian B&B owners from Cornwall.

The last government created a conflict of laws. It is for Parliament to unscramble this conflict. That is what we want to see.

Let us pray for those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Tim 2:1-4).

Let us also pray that those in authority will defend vulnerable children and give them the opportunity to be raised in a loving home.

A full statement by The Christian Institute is available here.