Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Songket Affairs Diaries: Fab fridays: How to Have a Wonderful Wedding Without Being Knee Deep In Debt

Please pass this on to anyone who wants to Have a Wonderful Wedding.  

Gospel Churches To Be Closed by UK Government!

Does that headline surprise you?  Do you think you will never see such on the front pages of our most cherished daily's?

Gospel churches can only expect government at every level to turn on those churches with a ferocity that has been unmatched for many centuries in the UK.

Since government is essentially anti-God, the church of Jesus Christ is not safe in our land.  Steps have been taken to evict Gospel churches from local government premises because those churches apply the Gospel to every situation, especially the religious.  Government has been successful so far, and the only churches that will be safe are those that government uses for state ceremonies and those that do not take the Gospel seriously. 

But those churches that preach a radical message - which is what the Gospel message is - will be systematically shut down by British politicians and agents who have been given the powers to do so.  This is on its way.

And the motivation?  Government must protect Islam at all costs, no matter what happens to the true Christian churches and Gospel ministers.  This false religion cannot be criticised in any regard, but the Christian faith can be opposed, ridiculed and laughed at by government funded organisations such as the BBC.  Our universities which receive massive government funding are supported to undermine and ridicule the Christian faith, but they are not allowed to subject Islam to academic scrutiny.

What our government protects will be the means of closing down, not all that call themselves 'churches,' but Gospel churches.  Islam means 'submission;' that religion is well on its way to bring UK democracy into submission to its immoral laws and unethical religion and its practices (for example, female mutilation).

Yes, the true Christian faith can be vilified at will, and government will turn an accommodating blind eye to that.  But it will not tolerate the exposure of Islam from any quarter - all offenders will be dutifully punished.  Writs of zero tolerance of truth exposing error are now in place, and are being operated.  Laws have been passed which not only murder the unborn in their mother's wombs, but which protect the worst promoters of barbarity ever seen. 

And decent people are not allowed to open their mouths and expose such wrong doing.  Christian ministers are this very day in the UK being warned about their preaching of the Gospel.  They are not to shine the light of Gospel truth on those who clearly do not want it, but who urgently need it.  One Gospel minister in England whom I know has been so victimised and warned not to apply the Gospel to certain erroneous and horrendous situations.  Another minister has been warned by colleagues not to preach a clear Gospel message or he will be removed.  Yet another is being persecuted so badly that the church is doing all it can to remove him from his charge.  Another Gospel minister is deliberately barred from servicing on church oversight committees.  One of those ministers who bar him uses language that is rather coarse and unbecoming a minister.

The fight for the Gospel goes on relentlessly.  Reformed evangelicals need to stand together and support each other - that is, evangelicals who are not primarily "church men."  Non-churchmen evangelicals must rally behind each other across the denominations and show their support for the evangelical cause and for evangelical ministers. 

The state in encroaching steadily, and has engaged the internal help and facilitation of churchmen-evangelicals - they already have the support of non- and anti-evangelical ministers.  The track record of such good men is not good in this regard, preferring rather to keep their heads down and follow the guidance of the hymn - "you in your small corner and I in mine." 

But this has to change and change immediately before it is too late. 

Ungodly Church Leadership Protected.

I find it extremely disheartening and also extremely encouraging when I hear of Gospel ministers being vilified for their Gospel stance in their dead, liberal congregations.  Disheartened because in connexional churches where mutual support ought to be seen as clear as day, but isn't; yet encouraged because these men are taking the Gospel into congregations where it has not been preached with any clarity in the past.

Unbelievers have been allowed to remain unbelievers who are under God's heaven-revealed wrath simply because they are church members.  They have been allowed to remain in their sin yet serve as church elders; they can maintain their sinful lifestyles, yet hold their office.  And no one can say a word about it.

Very often, these are the very people who oppose the Gospel and do all they can to prevent the Gospel having definite influence within the congregation.  Elders can continue to live with their girlfriends, and retain their office.  Elders can blaspheme the Lord's precious Name, yet serve as spiritual leaders within their church.  Elders can use the foulest of language imaginable, yet be kept in office.  Notorious womanisers are allowed to hold church office because no one is to bring a charge against an elder without very good cause, and womanising is not a good cause to bring such an allegation.  Foul language and blasphemy is not a good reason to report elders to their line managers/supervisors because the moral tone within today's church accepts such a perversion. 

Do church elders, by whatever name, have licence to frequent prostitutes in England under the guise of business travel, and be kept on?  It seems so, because a distinction is drawn between one's public and one's private lives.  It's none of our business to tell a man how to live his life, they say.

The reason?  Once an elder, always an elder.  Such men cannot, even with the most charitable attitude possible, be regarded as regenerate men, can they?  These are ungodly men who love darkness rather than light, and whose motivation in life is to extinguish that light wherever it shines.

Given that Gospel ministers are expected to regard such rascals as godly and spiritual men, and work with them in the spiritual oversight of the congregation, is it any wonder that their Gospel preaching is opposed with all the might and main of these church apostates?  But because they are elders, regularly called and ordained, their opposition to the Gospel must be given as much weight as the minister's Gospel stand.

Is that ridiculous or what?  Does that please God?  Is the Lord who brought us honoured by such spiritual cowardice?  These church men might even be found praying for revival and reformation within the church; yet they are guaranteeing that such will be further away than ever, but is urgently needed, and God will send it despite their worst efforts at preventing it.  These churchmen are keeping and protecting ungodly church leadership within the very church they say they love.  These men would bring the great men of the past - the Calvinists of Europe, the Huguenots, the Covenanters, the Puritans, the Welsh and English Methodist Fathers of the eighteenth century, and their faithful successors - to shame and indescribable embarrassment were they to return to this time and see what is happening.

May God have mercy on us in these dreadful days of apostasy and corruption.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Church first, no matter what!

Because a minister claims to be reformed and evangelical, one would expect that such a man is primarily a Gospel man.  One would expect that man to stand foursquare with and for the Gospel and with Gospel ministers.  The "one another-ness" of mutuality should kick in automatically, and the persecution a brother is receiving should be 'nipped in the bud' by church officials who are reformed evangelicals.

Sadly that is not the case.  I have been told of a Gospel minister who described his evangelical and reformed colleagues as 'smiling assassins' - they are nice to your face (sometimes) but when your back is turned, they drive in the knife.    

You would also imagine that a Gospel minister would recognise Satanic opposition when it is directed against another Gospel minister, and oppose that opposition, not him.  But no. 

And the reason?  The church is paramount in importance in the minds of these church ministers, NOT the Gospel.  They have become what one very highly respected and experienced church elder, now with the Lord, called 'scheming ecclesiastics' or 'ecclesiastical politicians.'  They are there in the churches today!

I used to be gravely annoyed as a young minister when I saw the older men who were not as clear on what it means to be a Gospel minister as they used to be, degenerating into 'church' evangelicals rather than Gospel evangelicals, which effectively means that they have been neutered so far as any evangelical witness or stand is concerned within the wider church.  When they preach, they still maintain a clear evangelical position; but when it comes to supporting a persecuted brother evangelical, they become church men rather than Gospel men.

How hypocritical and pathetic such men are!  How unreliable! They are as dependable as Egypt was in Israel's history.  They are evangelicals in the pulpit, but degenerate churchmen when dealing with the persecution of Gospel ministers.  These men will not upset the ecclesiastical apple-cart.  These men are not what they appear to be when in pulpits.

Let us take on to our hearts and pray for those ministers known to us who are being persecuted for their stand for the Gospel.  Ask the Lord to defend and protect them day and daily.  Ask Him to vanquish all His and our enemies.  Plead with the Lord of the Church to uphold His servants and to throw into confusion all those who oppose the establishment of the Gospel in liberal congregations.  Thank God for those good men and their wives who stand for the Gospel in every situation, and who apply Gospel principles to every circumstance - individual and church. 

Biblical Worship.

For reformed Christians, a principle has been identified that regulates both personal and church life - the Scripture Principle.  Whatever we do, especially in church life, must have a clear warrant in the Word of God.  Her life is to be regulated according to this principle.

Some Christians believe in and practice only the singing of the Psalms in the public and private worship of God, the argument being that this is the hymn-book of the early church, and later Christians have no right to move from this.  Now, if this is the rule for faith and practice, then only what was used in the early Christian Church can now be used in the worship offered by the contemporary church.

To be quite correct, we ought to be singing the Psalms in Hebrew - to ensure that we are singing the true Word of God and not human compositions; the moment we translate the Hebrew Psalms in Scottish metre, we have produced a human composition.

Further, ought we not also to sing the Hebrew Psalms to the original Hebrew tunes?  Surely to sing them to any other tune is to use human compositions in the worship of God, and for some Christians this is wrong.

It is a fact that during the days of the early New Testament church, there was no written New Testament; so what the church used for the instruction of her members was the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament.  If this is the Scriptures that were used then, who gives the later church the right to add to the Scriptures what we call the New Testament.

OK, Peter equates Paul's letters with the OT Scriptures, but when preaching was done, it was invariably based on the OT.  Is this what we ought to be doing today?

Similarly with church prayers.

Now I love the Psalms and I love worship where Psalms are sung.  I love to conduct worship where the Psalms are used in the praise of God.  I find it rather odd that many churches that claim to be reformed find no place whatever for the singing of Psalms in the worship of God, including within broad evangelical churches.

But are we to believe that only the OT Psalms, which look forward to Christ, are to be used in the worship of God because the words are of divine origin, yet tunes can be used that are clearly not of divine origin and composition?  Can we claim to be biblical in our understanding of worship when we say that psalmodic words are inspired but psalmodic tunes that were used in the OT are not?  Can we maintain this position when we flout our own cherished practice by introducing metre into the Psalms when they were not written originally in metre?  Can English and Scottish and American and Dutch and Genevan tunes ever be a substitute for Hebrew tunes, when it comes to worshipping God acceptably?

These points raise very real questions for me when considering this exceedingly important matter of how to worship God and with what.  If we can allow for human musical compositions in the worship of God, then we have, by that concession, opened the door for human compositions that are regulated by Scripture to be used in the worship of God.

If all our worship is to be governed by the Hebrew Bible, then let it be so.  But even the advocates of this depart from it in so many other ways.  Indeed, their belief system is controlled by human compositions such as confessions and catechisms.

So those churches and Christians that understand Paul's "Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" as including both the inspired songs of the Psalter and those human compositions that comply with Scripture teaching are closer to the biblical norm for the public and private worship of God than those who adhere to a more restrictive policy.