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:

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Luther's Conversion in his own words

An account of Luther's own conversion is to be found in Luther's Works Volume 34, pages 336-337. It reads:

Meanwhile, I had already during that year [believed to be 1519] returned to interpret the Psalter anew. I had confidence in the fact that I was more skilful, after I had lectured in the university on St. Paul's epistles to the Romans, to the Galatians, and the one to the Hebrews. I had indeed been captivated with an extraordinary ardor for understanding Paul in the Epistle to the Romans. But up till then it was not the cold blood about the heart, but a single word in Chapter 1, "In it the righteousness of God is revealed," that had stood in my way. For I hated that word "righteousness of God," which, according to the use and custom of all the teachers, I had been taught to understand philosophically regarding the formal or active righteousness, as they call it, with which God is righteous and punishes the unrighteous sinner.

J A Wylie's Account of Luther's transformation from Monk to Reformer

James A. Wylie wrote the classic known as "The History of Protestantism". In Book Five entitled "History of Protestantism in Germany to the Leipic Disputation, 1519" and Chapter Four entitled "Luther the Monk becomes Luther the Reformer" Wylie describes the transformation that took place in Luther's life.

Chapter Four of Book Five is reproduced here:

Chapter Four summary
Staupitz – Visits the Convent at Erfurt – Meets Luther – Conversations between the Vicar-General and the Monk – The Cross – Repentance – A Free Salvation – The Dawn Begins – The Night Returns – An Old Monk – "The Forgiveness of Sins" – Luther's Full Emancipation – A Rehearsal – Christendom's Burden – How Delivered

An account of Martin Luther’s Conversion By Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar lived from 1808 – 1889. He was a contemporary and acquaintance of Robert Murray M'cheyne. He came from a long line of Gospel ministers who had served a total of 364 years in the Church of Scotland. His brothers John and Andrew were also ministers of the Gospel.

Horatius Bonar knew a lot of tragedy in his life. Married to Jane Catherine Lundie in 1843, five of their young children died in succession. Towards the end of their lives, one of their surviving daughters was left a widow with five small children of her own. She subsequently returned to live with her parents. His son in law, Rev. G. T. Dodds, died in 1882 while serving as a missionary in France. Horatius Bonar later wrote a biography of his son in law, entitled: 'The Life and Works of the Rev. G. T. Dodds'.

Horatius Bonar was first a minister in the Church of Scotland. His first charge was a mission work at St. John's parish in Leith and then settled at Kelso. I the Great Disruption of 1843 Horatius Bonar left the Church of Scotland and joined the Free Church. In 1867 he moved to Edinburgh to take over the Chalmers Memorial Church, named after Dr. Thomas Chalmers. In 1883, Horatius Bonar was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland.

Horatius Bonar was a prolific and hugely popular author. This is what he wrote of Luther:

Reformation Day - in Commemoration and Celebration of the Event that went on to shake the World

Martin Luther is known as 'the Monk who shook the world'. The event that set off this religious
earthquake was his nailing of his 95 Thesis against the sale of indulgences to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. The subsequent tremors were felt across the nations of Europe for decades and centuries to come.

Selling Indulgences
The selling of salvation by the means of the hawking of indulgences around the nations of Europe in order to increase ecclesiastical wealth was a growing scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. In particular the selling of a 'Jubilee Indulgence,' authorised by Pope Leo X to pay for the rebuilding of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome, infuriated Luther and stirred him to take action.

Romanism based this corrupt practice on a verse in the Gospel of John, where Jesus gave the Apostles the authority to forgive or retain the sins of humanity, John 20:23: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. The Roman Church justified this practice of selling indulgences by citing that, although God released the offender from his heavenly obligation, he was still required to pay an earthly price for his sin.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Rev David McIlveen responds to Jeffrey Donaldson's comments welcoming a papal visit

Retired Free Presbyterian minister Rev David McIlveen has responded to MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson's comments welcoming a papal visit.

Rev McIlveen said there will be protests if Pope Francis visits Northern Ireland next year. He said that while the Pope has a right to visit, he can expect some opposition.

The full article can be read here: BBCProtests planned by Free Presbyterians if Pope visits NI

The Belfast Telegraph's editorial [no friend of Biblical Christianity] was quick to welcome the change in tone from the DUP MP, see here DUP MP's views on papal visit to Northern Ireland are very welcome and show just how far we've come since 1979.

Video clips of Rev Gordon Dane preaching at the Open-air at Belfast City Hall

Video - March of Witness

March of Witness & Open Air to commemorate the Reformation

Martin Luther believed in taking the battle for Protestantism into the 'public square'. He battled for truth, and contended with the enemies of the Reformation, publicly and openly. He didn't hide away in Wittenberg University, he boldly and unashamedly bore reproach and stood for God in the 'public square'.

Today, in commemoration of Luther's stand for truth and to mark the 500th anniversary of the commencement of the Reformation, a march of witness left John Knox Memorial Free Presbyterian Church and walked down into Belfast City centre and held an open-air outside the gates of the City Hall. Rev Gordon Dane, Deputy Moderator of the Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church, was the preacher at the Open-air.

There follows some photos of the March of Witness and Open-air

Reply to Mr Alban Maginness from Rev David McLaughlin

Rev. David McLaughlin, minister in Carryduff Free Presbyterian Church, has sent the following reply to the Belfast Telegraph in answer to Alban Maginness' comments about the Protestant Reformation.
How much they will print no one knows so it is published here in full.

As a Bible believing Protestant I sincerely respect the right of people to document their views and opinions. This principle of civil and religious liberty is enshrined within the great tenants of our favoured nation. But the freedom to express our opinion does not, in and of itself, immunise us from a thoughtful analysis by those who hold to a different interpretation and application of the subject that is being considered.

Mr Alban Maginness, a former barrister, MLA and Lord Mayor of Belfast, recently wrote in the Belfast Telegraph that the Reformation was "a tragedy that still divides us”. According to the Oxford dictionary the word ‘tragedy’ means , “An event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress ..” What Alban Maginness is arguing for is that the Reformation caused great suffering, destruction and distress for the Roman Catholic Church from the 16th Century to the present day? From a Roman Catholic perspective the Reformation is viewed as a “tragedy”, because it exposed the Church’s intimidating system of ritual and penance to earn salvation, to be contrary to the Holy Scriptures. However, from the Protestant perspective the Reformation was neither “tragic nor an unfortunate misunderstanding”. In fact it was a glorious movement of the Spirit of God, because truth triumphed over error, light defeated darkness and the Scriptures exalted over manmade traditions.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Another Anniversary - This Time a Shameful One

This is the 500th anniversary year for the Reformation. On 31st October we will mark the 500th anniversary of Luther nailing up his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Church.

Today also marks another important anniversary, albeit a most sad and shameful one. Today is the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act being passed in Parliament. The Act didn't come into effect until 27th April 1968.

This shameful Abortion Act was first introduced by Member of Parliament Dr David Steel, now Lord Steel of Aikwood, as a Private Member's Bill. His private members' bill was, however, supported by the government of the day, who appointed the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Sir John Peel, to chair a medical advisory committee that reported in favour of passing the bill.

This Abortion Act made abortion legal in all of Great Britain, with the exception of Northern Ireland, up to 28 weeks' gestation. 

In 1990, the law was amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act so that abortion was no longer legal after 24 weeks, except in cases where it was necessary to save the life of the woman, where there was evidence of extreme foetal abnormality, or where there was a grave risk of physical or mental injury to the woman.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Rome's false teaching on Justification

The Catechism of the Catholic Church was revised and reprinted in March 2000. This gives an up-to-date record of Rome's teaching on various doctrines.

This Catechism of the Catholic Church has much to say about the doctrine of Justification. There are at least 40 references to the term 'Justification' in this Catechism of the Catholic Church. These 40 references demonstrate that Rome's view of 'Justification' is still the same as at the Council of Trent and is still contrary to the teaching of the Bible and the truth held by orthodox Protestantism.

The Reformation - A Blessing sent from God and no Tragedy

All this week, the Belfast Telegraph will be carrying a series of articles to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Today, Mr Alban Maginness, a former barrister, MLA and Lord Mayor of Belfast, writes that the Reformation was "a tragedy that still divides us" [click on the link to read his article]

Among a number of comments Mr Maginness makes, there is the impression given that the Reformation was a "tragic" and "unfortunate" misunderstanding and that "by today's thinking, much of the disputed issues are not considered that great a difference in Christian thinking".

Mr Maginness goes on to observe that "In particular, a common understanding about the doctrine of justification by faith has now been reached between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Churches and others."
In his mind "Some of those historic disputes now seem abstract and irrelevant today. That is not to say that these differences were not real 500 years ago, but rather that they have lost the passion and energy that they once inspired."

He is heartened by the fact that "… ecumenical growth over the past century has led to a healthy and mature reconsideration of the Reformation by all and an easing of the inter-Church tensions."

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Reformation Quotable Quote

Every week I preach justification by faith to my people, because every week they forget it. Martin Luther

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Reformation Quotable Quote

Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason-I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other-my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen. Martin Luther at the Diet of worms 1521.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Luther at the Diet of Worms

In April 1521 Martin Luther appeared at the Diet of Worms and confessed his allegiance to the teachings of Scripture before the Emperor and Church hierarchy. It was here he made his famous statement: Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.

Some years ago I had the privilege of being in the city of Worms. There is a large monument to Luther and other Reformers in the centre of the city. This monument was erected to honour Luther and his fellow Reformers in Worms in 1868.

The monument bears witness to Luther determination to stand for Bible truth.

Reformation Quotable Quote

From the beginning of my Reformation I have asked God to send me neither dreams, nor visions, nor angels, but to give me the right understanding of His Word, the Holy Scriptures; for as long as I have God's Word, I know that I am walking in His way and that I shall not fall into any error or delusion. Had I followed the enthusiasts and their many dreams and visions, I would have had to change my doctrine more than thirty or forty times. Martin Luther, Commentary on Genesis.

Unsuitability of CCEA's new GCSE English Literature Specification

CCEA, the examination body in Northern Ireland, has recently brought out a new specification for GCSE English Literature to come into effect from September 2017. The Presbytery Education Board has been raising objections to the changes and new content. So unacceptable are the proposed changes that it would be impossible to offer CCEA GCSE English Literature to any of the pupils within our Christian Schools.

The new specification purports to offer a range of texts, but in reality they are dreadfully similar in their portrayal of the seamy, sordid and base side of life and their use of unacceptable language. It also purports to give a choice but in reality there is no real choice for those with Christian beliefs and convictions.

Concerns exist around different sections:

Quotable Quote

The nearest place to the gate of heaven is the throne of the heavenly grace. C. H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Watchword of the Reformers - Jehovah Tsidkenu, The Lord our Righteousness

This is one of Robert Murray McCheyne well known hymns. In McCheyne's writings it is entitled "The Watchword of the Reformers".  The word "watchword" appears in the last verse and was placed in quotation marks in McCheyne's writings.

There are two more verse in the original poem that McCheyne penned than appears in the Free Presbyterian hymnal, see verse two and verse six. In his writings this poem was dated November 18 1834.

1. I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

2. I oft read with pleasure, to sooth or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure and John’s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu seem'd nothing to me.

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