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, 31 October 2012

Pillars of the Reformation - 1. Sola Scriptura

The last Lord's day of October is usually commemorated as Reformation Sunday. It was on 31st October 1517, the evening prior to the feast of All Saints, that Martin Luther nailed up his 95 Theses against the sale of indulgences on the door of his Church in Wittenburg. To mark Luther's act it is important to refresh our memories on the five great pillars of the Reformation.

For what saith the scripture? Romans 4:3 
The Protestant Reformation was simply a going back to New Testament Christianity. It was not a new thing in that regard. The Reformers desired to purify the church from the trappings of false religion that had crept in over the centuries. They opposed the false doctrines and ecclesiastical malpractice which was so prevalent in Romanism, especially the false teaching on and the sale of indulgences, and the selling and buying of clerical offices or Simony, as it as called after Simon Magus in Acts 8 who sought to buy the gift of dispensing the Holy Ghost.

While the beginning of the Reformation is usually marked by the action of Martin Luther in nailing up his 95 Theses against the selling of indulgences on the door of the Wittenburg Church, the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation stretch back much further than that.

Halloween - its origin and connection with Ireland

This is the outline of a sermon preached on Halloween on 30th October 2005 in Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church. 

When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations, Deuteronomy 18:9. 

We are all aware of the type of celebration that goes on at this time of the year. People dress up in the most hideous clothes and masks, they have their lanterns, they go tricking and treating, they talk of ghosts, haunted houses and supernatural happenings and all things spooky.

Have we ever asked ourselves the question: where did this all come from?

An insight in the origin of halloween can easily be discovered when we remember that this festival is one of foremost important to the old pagan religion that sadly is still practised in society today. The Druids and those involved in witchcraft look upon the festival of Halloween as being of great importance.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Over a dozen reasons why the argument for Exclusive Psalmody doesn't stand up, Part 9

9. The early New Testament Church did not believe in Exclusive Psalmody 

Exclusive psalmody cannot claim that this was the view of the early New Testament church. A number of different sources can be quoted:

1. There are some interesting comments made by Tertullian in chapter 39 of his Apology [Apology = a defence of Christianity]. Tertullian lived ca. 160-220 AD. He was born in Carthage, North Africa and is believed to have been converted in middle age. He was also believed to have been the son of a Roman army officer, who was stationed in North Africa. He did good work in formulating the doctrine of the Trinity. He also wrote a long defence of Christianity

Tertullian makes reference to the fact that the early New Testament Church did not sing Psalms exclusively. In the section where he writes about the observance of the Love Feasts in his day his apology reads:

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Free Presbyterian protest outside Marie Stopes Clinic in Belfast

A Free Presbyterian protest was held today against the opening of the Marie Stopes Clinic in Belfast. It was led by Rev Robert Omerod, Convenor of the Government & Morals Committee of Presbytery

Monday, 22 October 2012

Abortion is equivalent to a 'bullet in the back of the head'!

So says the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin. His comments likening abortion before birth to putting a bullet in the back of the head of a newborn child after birth were made in May 2008.

To read more click here - Fury at Larkin: Anger over abortion like 'bullet in head' comments

As can be well imagined a comment like this, which brings home to the stark reality of abortion in many cases, is causing a huge furore. The 'pro-choice' brigade are up in arms at such a comparison. Some are wanting the Attorney General to step back from any involvement in scrutinising the legality of the Marie Stopes Clinic in Belfast.

If there ever was a misnomer then surely calling the supporters of abortion 'pro-choice' must rank among the foremost. The irony is that the unborn child doesn't have any choice. Its right to life is taken away. Whether the unborn child lives or dies is governed by the opinion of someone else, who may decide, on the most tenuous of grounds, to abort a healthy child.

Remember that it was recently revealed that out of the 6.4 million unborn children have been aborted in England and Wales between 1968 and 2011 just 0.376% of these abortions were carried out to save the life of the mother.

The most dangerous place for a child to be today in our society is in its mother's womb!

There is a Free Presbyterian protest outside the Marie Stopes Clinic in Belfast on Thursday 25th October at 1 pm.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Billy Graham & Mormonism - more compromise!

I was informed of this by a reader in the United States - Thanks Tim

Billy Graham and his son Franklin had a meeting in North Carolina with Mitt Romney, the Republican party nomination for President. Read more here.

A short time after this meeting the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association [BGEA] chose to remove a reference to Mormonism from its website. Mitt Romney is a Mormon bishop. 

Mormonism had been listed on Billy Graham's website as a cult, alongside Jehovah's Witnesses, the Unification Church, Unitarians, Spiritists & Scientologists. A cache version of the webpage which has since be removed can still be viewed.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Belfast Telegraph supports Abortion and Sodomy

A Belfast Telegraph editorial, dated Friday 19th October 2012, makes it abundantly clear where the newspaper stands on these two important moral issues:

Editor's Viewpoint: Lack of tolerance puts us in bad light

Friday, 19 October 2012

Over a dozen reasons why the argument for Exclusive Psalmody doesn't stand up, Part 8

8. If 'inspired praise' is required then an equally valid argument could be made for 'inspired praying' and 'inspired preaching' in public worship.

Exclusive psalmists tell us that inspired praise is absolutely necessary because of the importance of praise in the worship of the Lord. But surely this begs a series of questions: why only limit this argument to praise? Why should this same argument not apply to praying and preaching as well? Why should you have a lower, lesser standard for these two elements of Biblical worship? Why is there such a narrow interpretation of the commands of texts such as Ephesians 5:19 & Colossians 3:16 but a much broader interpretation of commands respecting prayer and preaching?  

Praying and preaching are just as important as praise. In fact, it is the Reformed position that preaching is the primary act of worship. The exclusive psalmist argument requires 'inspired' praise for some elements but not for other elements and certainly not for what is deemed the primary element of worship. You would be forgiven for missing the logic of this line of argument!

Does praying and preaching not require the same accuracy as is argued for by exclusive psalmists with regard to our praise? There is no logic in only restricting our singing to what has been given in the Scriptures. If a preacher is permitted to employ his own words and even quote a hymn in prayer or in preaching how is this different to the employment of hymns in singing?

Furthermore, many of the 150 Psalms are actually prayers and may never have been sung in praise in the Temple at all. This is the opinion of that eminent Old Testament scholar Edward J. Young: 
We are mistaken when we regard the entire Psalter as designed for the usage of the Temple. That some Psalms were so used cannot be denied, but it is interesting to note that liturgical directions are lacking for many of the Psalms, An Introduction to the Old Testament.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Creationism and the Giant's Causeway

The controversy regarding the creationist explanation at the Giant's Causeway rumbles on.

The latest development involving the £18.5 million National Trust visitor centre, which opened in July, concerns documents released under a Freedom of Information request that suggest that the Stormont Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) considered making the inclusion of a Creationist viewpoint at the new Giant’s Causeway visitor centre a condition of it receiving millions of pounds in public money.

Belfast Newsletter - Documents cast light on Causeway creationist wrangle

Belfast Telegraph - National Trust denies pressure to include creationism at Giant’s Causeway

This new controversy comes after an extensive campaign by the intolerant, anti-creationists to have the creationist explanation removed entirely from the exhibition at the Causeway's visitor centre. Thankfully they have failed! While the National Trust did give some ground in response to the pressure they came under and reduced the prominence of the creationist explanation, they did not remove it entirely. It is still present and still informing people that there is an alternative explanation for the origin of the Causeway other than the evolutionist version. 

Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic in Belfast - Trading in the murder of the Unborn!

It is a very sad day in Northern Ireland when an abortion clinic opens. Today a Marie Stopes Clinic opens on Great Victoria Street in Belfast. The centre is to be managed by Dawn Purvis, a former MLA, who lost her seat at the last Assembly Election.

This clinic claims that it will act within the law regarding abortion in Northern Ireland, which is much stricter than in the rest of the United Kingdom. The 1967 Abortion Act has never been extended to Northern Ireland.

The opening of this clinic surely raises the question: why would someone go along to this establishment and pay £450 for a legal abortion when they can have the same legal abortion on the National Health Service at no financial cost to themselves?

Statistics for the Health Service indicate that there are, on average, only 43 lawful terminations in Northern Ireland per year. Why would a clinic like this come into operation for 43 cases? One obvious conclusion is that this abortion clinic will push the boundaries of what is legal. Their trade is the murder of the unborn!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Over a dozen reasons why the argument for Exclusive Psalmody doesn't stand up, Part 7

7. The Exclusive Psalmist's position requires them to reject ever singing the 'very best song' in public worship

The 'song of songs' is the wonderful title given to the book of Song of Solomon, ch 1:1. There are a number of ways of expressing the superlative in Hebrew. One of those ways is to speak of the: song of songs or King of kings or Lord of lords or holy of holies. When this type of expression is employed in the Scriptures then it is indicating the highest quality or degree of something, that is, the superlative. 

However, an exclusive Psalmist, in public worship at least, can never use this very best of songs to praise the Lord and extol Jesus Christ. By limiting their public praise to the Psalter they can never sing a paraphrase or a hymn based upon this superlative song of songs. 

Ralph Erskine penned a delightful paraphrase of this song. The first five stanzas read:
1. This Song of Solomon the wise
As penman fam'd belongs; 
And justly for its sacred rise,
Is nam'd the Song of Songs. 

2. With kisses of thy mouth divine,
O let me favour'd be;
For better than the richest wine
Thy love appears to me. 

Monday, 8 October 2012

Over a dozen reasons why the argument for Exclusive Psalmody doesn't stand up, Part 6

6. Exclusive Psalmody leads to different levels of worship
According to exclusive psalmists Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 restricts what praise is to be sung in corporate worship to that contained in the Psalter, but many of them do not apply these same restrictions to the area of family or personal worship.

This inconsistency, in this matter of acceptable praise, arises with many exclusive Psalmists having no problem singing uninspired hymns or songs outside of public corporate worship when at home or in other circumstances. This inconsistency is compounded by the fact that these items of uninspired praise are often accompanied with music. No musical accompaniment is permitted in public corporate worship but seemingly allowable in family worship or personal devotions.

Dr. John Kennedy of Dingwall, a fervent believer in exclusive psalmody in his day, acknowledged, maybe unwittingly, that this inconsistent distinction does indeed exist in the practice of exclusive psalmists. When speaking in a debate on this very issue in the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland in 1872, he said:
Some desire them [hymns] because of an experience of enjoyment in using them, in private or in social Christian conference, to express their feeling of sorrow, hope, or gladness. Let these continue so to use them; I will yield to none in my desire to have them as a vehicle of any strong spiritual feeling that stirs my heart; but to use them in the worship of God in the sanctuary is quite another thing.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Over a dozen reasons why the argument for Exclusive Psalmody doesn't stand up, Part 5

Here is a fifth reason why the arguments for exclusive psalmody do not stand up:

5. Progressive Revelation argues against Exclusive Psalmody. 
Here is what the renowned A. A. Hodge had to say about Progressive Revelation in his Outlines of Theology: 
The progressive character of divine revelation is recognised in relation to all the great doctrines of the Bible. One of the strongest arguments for the divine origin of the Scriptures is the organic relation of its several parts. They comprise more than sixty books written by different men in different ages, and yet they form one whole; not by mere external historical relations, nor in virtue of the general identity of the subjects of which they treat. but by their internal organic development. 

All that is in a full-grown tree was potentially in the seed. All that we find unfolded in the fulness of the gospel lies in a rudimental form in the earliest books of the Bible. What at first is only obscurely intimated is gradually unfolded in subsequent parts of the sacred volume, until the truth is revealed in its fulness. This is true of the doctrines of redemption; of the person and work of the Messiah, the promised seed of the woman; of the nature and office of the Holy Spirit; and of a future state beyond the grave. And this is specially true of the doctrine of the Trinity…

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Over a dozen reasons why the argument for Exclusive Psalmody doesn't stand up, Part 4

Here is a fourth reason why the arguments for exclusive psalmody do not stand up:
4. There are possible remnants of hymns/canticles/doxologies quoted in the New Testament. 

Some writers/commentators have raised this possibility over the years.

There are most certainly examples of quotations in the New Testament which are taken from outside the Old Testament Scriptures. For example on three occasions Paul quotes heathen poets. Two are very obviously quotations from heathen poets as Paul clearly states this to be the case. The third is maybe not so obvious:
1.  Acts 17:28: 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.
2. 1 Corinthians 15:33: Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good mannersThe respected John Gill said of this text: This is a sentence [speaking about the words that are underlined] taken out of Menander, an Heathen poet, showing how dangerous is the conversation of evil men, and what an influence bad principles communicated and imbibed, have on the lives and practices of men.
3.  Titus 1:12: One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Over a dozen reasons why the argument for Exclusive Psalmody doesn't stand up, Part 3

Here is a third reason why the arguments for exclusive psalmody do not stand up:
3. The angels and glorified saints did not sing the psalms. 

It is surely to be expected that these angelic and glorified creatures will sing perfect praise in their worship of God. Yet when we read of their praise of God in the Scriptures we do not find them singing from the book of Psalms. 

The angels did not sing from the Psalter when they came to the shepherds on the hills of Jud├Ža to announce the incarnation of the Son of God, Luke 2:13,14: And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

These words are nowhere to be found in the Psalter. If the Psalter is the compendium of perfect praise you would surely expect the holy angels, on such a heavenly mission as this, to sing from the Psalter. Did the holy angels set a bad example to the Shepherds? Is it just permissible for the angels to sing words not found in the Psalter but redeemed souls on earth are not?

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Home Rule, Rome Rule!

Why did our Protestant forefathers resist Home Rule 100 years ago? 

This sermon was preached in Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church on Lord's day evening 30th September 2012