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Letter - Relationship and Sexuality Education - RSE
The following letter by Mr Samuel Morrison, Press Officer with the Traditional Unionist Voice party, appeared in today’s ‘Belfast Newsletter’.
I know it will be of interest to our readers.
Sincerely in Christ’s name,
The Relationship and Sexuality Education curriculum
Back in June the Secretary of State announced that he was bringing in changes to the Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum in Northern Ireland. These changes did not come out of the blue. They are a direct consequence of Section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019. Section 9 is of course the same piece of legislation which stripped Northern Ireland’s unborn of the protection of the law and created one of the most permissive abortion regimes in Europe. Another consequence of the 2019 Act was the redefinition of marriage.
As the title of the legislation suggests, it also provided for the formation of an executive. Anyone who went into government on the basis of the 2019 Act did so on the basis of legislation which redefined marriage, introduced abortion and paved the way for the changes to RSE. That may be a fact which makes some in the DUP rather uncomfortable – particularly when one remembers just how long the Executive formed on the basis of the Act lasted – but fact it is nonetheless.
The changes in relation to our abortion law has already had radical consequences. Up until October last year, 4,136 were performed in Northern Ireland since the law changed at the end of March 2020. Contrast that with the situation between 2014 and 2019 when a total of 65 abortions were performed across Northern Ireland and it cannot be denied that the increase in the number of abortions is astronomical. One would be hard pressed to maintain an argument that there is a lack of information on how to access an abortion.
Yet information on how to access abortions is exactly what the Secretary of State is bringing into our schools. The Relationships and Sexuality Education (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 state that secondary schools will have to teach “age-appropriate, comprehensive and scientifically accurate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights covering prevention of early pregnancy and access to abortion”.
Tellingly, there is no provision for the ethos of schools in the regulations – something which will set schools in Northern Ireland apart from their counterparts in the rest of the U.K.
Furthermore, suggestions that those who are concerned about these matters will have opportunity to feed into a consultation are at best being disingenuous. Any curriculum must be faithful to the legislative framework which frames abortion in terms of a “right”.
Simply put, the regulations lay the groundwork for secondary schools in Northern Ireland to be required to teach a moral wrong is actually a civil right. It will do so without any regard for the conscience of the teacher or the ethos of the school.
While the Department of Education has been quick to seize on salacious and inaccurate information spread by one group which suggested the changes were much more radical and would impact primary schools (they will not) there has been little serious debate in Northern Ireland about the changes which are coming.
It is also noteworthy that the changes have knock on consequences for devolution. Many Unionists who held their noses when it came to accepting Sinn Fein in government did so on the basis at least Stormont would permit Unionists to exercise a degree of control. Some argued that the parallel consent mechanisms of the Belfast Agreement could be used to stop the redefinition of marriage and abortion and would prevent Westminster imposing things over the heads of Unionists.
London has, however, not only repeatedly meddled in devolved matters but, due to the Protocol, has even trashed Northern Ireland’s constitutional position as a full and equal member of the U.K.
With little prospect of things improving if devolution was to return – there is a majority in the Assembly which is even more radical than Westminster on a range of issues such as “conversion therapy”, transgenderism and exclusion zones – those concerned about the changes to RSE in Northern Ireland are unlikely to see any improvement under a Stormont executive.
Mr Samuel Morrison
Traditional Unionist Voice
31 August 2023
Posted on 2023-08-31 a 4:23 pm
Shifting attitudes of the C of E!
This report on the state of the Church of England is of interest to all who love the truth of God, irrespective of our view of that particular religious body.
The ‘Church of England’ emerged from the mists of religious and political controversy in the 16th century, trailing with it much of the ways, the language, the costumes and the errors of popish trumpery!
There were many very brave men and women who did their best to further reform the new ecclesiastical body, many of whom paid with their lives their faithfulness to God and His Word.
In the seventeenth century, under Charles II, the ‘Church’ was purged of virtually all who desired a greater reforming and a closer alignment in faith and practice with the Word of God. They were literally cast out into the street at the King’s command in what became known last the ‘Great Ejection’.
The ‘Act of Uniformity’ of Charles II prescribed that any minister who refused to conform to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer by St Bartholomew’s Day (24 August) 1662 should be ejected from the Church of England. This date became known as “Black Bartholomew’s Day” among Dissenters, a reference to the fact that it occurred on the same day as the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre of 1572.
Oliver Heywood estimated the number of ministers ejected at 2,500. This group included Richard Baxter, Edmund Calamy the Elder, Simeon Ashe, Thomas Case, John Flavel, William Jenkyn, Joseph Caryl, Benjamin Needler, Thomas Brooks, Thomas Manton, William Sclater, Thomas Doolittle, and Thomas Watson. Biographical details of ejected ministers and their fates were later collected by the historian Edmund Calamy, grandson of Calamy the elder.
In many ways, this was a mortal blow for the Church of England has ever since been an avenue by which false teaching and heresy has been introduced in ‘the name of the Lord’ and corrupt practices have been sanctioned by it.
It has been slowly dying as an institution ever since. This article gives further evidence of the corrupting process known as DEATH, being at an advanced stage in its ranks! Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-30 a 5:21 pm
Prominent US priest took umbrage at being linked to the IRA
The following article is from the ‘Belfast Telegraph, Monday 28th August.
It relates the attempts of a priest who came from our part of the world, for he was born in Co. Fermanagh, my native county.
He comes from a strongly republican family with very obvious ties to the IRA. His brother, Patrick, was a member of the IRA and was killed in an explosion in 1958 during the IRA’s “Border Campaign”.
The Word of God tells us that Christ forbids the use of the spiritual title ‘Father’ to any man. “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven,” Matthew 23:9. McManus, like all Roman Catholic priests, displays his defiance of Christ by the use of such a title. It is for this reason I try ever to place quotation marks around its use!
McManus took umbrage at a BBC reporter, Seamus McKee, who alleged claimed he had links to the IRA.
This priest, like others who have made no secret of their ties to the terrorists of the IRA, had indeed links with the terror group. He had family links as his brother’s membership of the IRA indicates. Furthermore, he had moral links for his whole public witness was but a reiteration largely of the usual Sinn Fein/IRA propaganda.
In the end, he abandoned his attempts for one reason or another.
But the case is not over, for like all such matters, there is a day when the Lord will publicly reveal the truth concerning such matters men have attempted to conceal.
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil,” Ecclesiastes 12:14.
“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel,” Romans 2:16.
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart,” 1 Corinthians 4:5.
In the light of that day, the Christian is able to bear with the vexation and the anger that the arrogant and deceitful claims of the likes of McManus, knowing that one day, the God of all truth, will declare the authentic story of the life of such men!
Sincerely in Christ’s name,
Prominent US priest tried to sue BBC’s Seamus McKee after claiming he’d linked him to the IRA
‘Fr’ Sean McManus began the action in the late 1980s — but a decade later government officials were still dealing with the consequences
Yesterday at 14:30
A high-profile Irish American priest launched a libel action against BBC journalist Seamus McKee and others after being linked to the IRA — but abandoned it after several years, declassified files show.
A file on the matter was drawn up by Stormont’s Department of Economic Development because it had been named as one of the defendants in the action, along with the senior BBC figure, the BBC itself and former Alliance leader John Cushnahan. Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-29 a 6:55 pm
Given for our encouragement - not for our excuse-making!
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do,” Romans 7:18-19.
These words of Paul denote great humility on the part of the great man. He has ever been an example to the millions of Christians who have read of his conversion, life and labours in the New Testament. Yet for all his true greatness, God inspired him to record these words of self-deprecation in this epistle “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 1:7.
He would never adopt the title of ‘His Holiness’ as does the usurper who presently claims to be the chief successor of the apostles and the very ‘Vicar’ (one in the place) of Christ’, the Pope of Rome!
What Paul here says of himself, is of course, true of every genuine believer. I would have us consider just what the Holy Ghost has inspired Paul to say in these few words.
I. THESE WORDS WERE MEANT FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF BELIEVERS
Our inherent sinfulness is ever a cause of deep regret and despair amongst Christians. There is an ‘air’ of lamentation about these words. And if we are truly saved we likewise will lament with Paul over our sins.
Therein lies the encouragement in these words -— holy Paul was beset by sin as we sadly must confess of ourselves.
1. Strive as we may, we cannot live without sin. Every Christian is driven to seek purity by the inward work of grace, the new nature fashioned after the likeness to Christ. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure,” 1 John 3:2-3.
However, we cannot attain to perfection while in this body. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us,” 1 John 1:8. The words of Paul tend to offset the disappointment that stems from our failure to procure that ‘beauty of holiness’ that we would desire to adorn ourselves with.
We must ever live with the knowledge “that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing”!
2. This awareness of our undeniable sinfulness will surely cast us upon the Lord. It was so with Paul. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin,” Romans 7:24-25.
Paul here describes the ever-presence of his old nature like carrying about a dead body strapped to him. It has been said of these words by John Gill: ‘He was weary of the present life, and wanted to be rid of his mortal body, this did not arise from the troubles and anxieties of life, with which he was pressed, which oftentimes make wicked men long to die; but from the load of sin, and burden of corruption, under which he groaned, and still bespeaks him a regenerate man; for not of outward calamities, but of indwelling sin.’
Our sinful nature is a weariness to the believer, far outweighing any troubles or afflictions that may come our way! It mars the enjoyment of our every blessing, intruding into every aspect of our walk with God, our fellowship, our prayers, our worship! It is as a stinking corpse of which we cannot rid ourselves.
It is to the Lord we must cry for relief amidst this affliction.
3. There is relief to be found in Christ. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We must not be overcome or overly depressed by our sin. Rather, we must heed those wonderful words of John. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9. These blessed words, sandwiched between two verses in which stern words remind us of our undeniable sinfulness. One verse I have already quoted: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” 1 John 1:8. The other reminds us of the crime involved in denying our sinfulness. “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us,” 1 John 1:10.
As I say, in between these two darkly true statements is the sunshine of mercy and grace. Confession of our sins brings forgiveness and cleansing from One Who is ‘faithful and just’, that is, He is faithful to His merciful promise of pardon to the repentant sinner and is ‘just’, in that He cannot punish our sins in us as they were punished in Christ upon the cross. From Christ’s blood-shedding there springs the blessing of cleansing from ‘all unrighteousness’! O how sweet is the glorious truth of the substitutionary death of Christ! Old Isaiah the prophet rejoiced in it some seven hundred years before it took place.
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isaiah 53:4-6.
II. HOWEVER, WE MUST NOT READ THESE VERSES AND THEN EXCUSE OURSELVES OF SIN
It would be all too easy to misunderstand the implication of these words and say of them that they are saying that I cannot stop sinning therefore I am not to blame for my sinfulness!
1. Please note carefully that despite his open acknowledgement of his unconquerable sin, Paul indicates that he continually seeks to resist it. That is what he says in the verses 24 and 25 he seeks a deliverance from his sin through “Jesus Christ our Lord”.
We Christians have two natures. One is the old Adamic nature, inherited from our fathers. It produces the wickedness of which all men are guilty. “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries,” 1 Peter 4:3.
It is ‘incurably’ sinful. But the Christian has another nature, placed within him by divine grace at his regeneration. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust,” 2 Peter 1:3-4.
We have been given a nature akin to God’s holy nature, with the exception of His divine attributes, His omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience etc. We are however, as Peter says, partakers of the holy nature. “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” 1 John 5:18. James speaks of this ‘keeping’ of ourselves. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world,” James 1:27.
There is a resistance to sin within each true believer.
2. This spirit of resistance drives us to Christ for deliverance. When Peter sinned as he did when he denied the Lord Jesus, it says that “Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly,” Matthew 26:75. There was brought to his mind what the Saviour had said and Peter realised his sinfulness and he then ‘went out’ from the presence of others to seek in private the face of the Lord and brokenly confessed his sin and repented of it. That he was forgiven and reconciled to the Lord may be seen in the words of the angel to “Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome” in the empty tomb. “And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you,” Mark 16:5-7.
How significant are those two words: ‘and Peter’. He was not excluded but being forgiven he was to resume his walk with Christ and continue in the work he was called to do.
The Psalms are filled with examples of the saint running to the Lord, burdened by the guilt of sin and the shame of defeat, and then to be raised in joy to praising the Lord.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God,” Psalm 43:5.
3. Through the grace and power of Christ, the Christian is enabled to live in victory over sin. When In prison in 1966, these words became most precious to me and have remained a constant comfort throughout the subsequent years. “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets,” Micah 7:7-10.
Yes, we ‘fall’ into sin and are brought into ‘darkness’ BUT we may look upward to the Lord by faith and enjoy that blessed recovery of which only the Lord is capable of working within us. We may have to bear the ‘indignation’ (anger) of the Lord for a season and justly so, yet light from Him will dispel our self-inflicted darkness and He will bring us out of it to look upon His face afresh and enjoy victory over our sinful nature and the devil who has rejoiced in our fall!
As the old hymn puts it: ‘Each victory will help us, some other to win’! Each victory we enjoy over sin as we repent and come against to ‘the fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s veins’ for cleansing from its stains, is but a foreshadowing of that glorious victory of which we will one day partake.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.
Please remember the wonderful conclusion Paul draws from these truths: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 15:58.
May the Lord bless you through these few thoughts.
Sincerely in Christ’s name,
Saturday, 26th August, 2023
Posted on 2023-08-26 a 8:00 am
Cowardly and compromising
Here is further evidence of the cowardly and compromising response by the DUP to the LGBT advances and the dominant position that the advocates of perversion have attained in society, chiefly because of the pitiful attitude of men like Stephen Moutray. I am inclined to believe that the apology by Mr Moutray was the result of pressure from the DUP’s ‘hierarchy’! If that is so, it but magnifies the shamefulness of the prevailing character of the DUP and its members in the face of the LGBT’s arrogant aggression!
Why is the DUP leadership and rank and file so frightened of them? Given what the Bible says of their ‘future’ there is nothing to be frightened of!
Mr Moutray is reported in the ‘Irish News’ of 21 August, 2023, as saying: ‘In serving as a public representative for over 22 years, I am well aware of my responsibilities under the Code of Conduct to show respect and consideration for others. To this end, I apologise for any offence caused to Ms Bradshaw, Mr Muir and Mr Tennyson.’
He is under a very much superior ‘Code of Conduct’ than that instigated by any local authority here in Northern Ireland. All men are under the ‘Code’ of God’s Law!
I understand that Mr Moutray has frequented gospel meetings (a very common practice with politicians soliciting the votes of Christians) and is therefore aware of what the Word of God has to say about sodomy. That makes his spineless response all the more blameworthy. He is without excuse in his shameful kowtowing attempt to safeguard his council seat!
Under the code of God’s Word, it is absolutely no offence to decry the attitudes and antics of the LGBT crowd and their supporters. If it were the case, then how guilty is the Lord for none has spoken more scathingly, in a more derogatory fashion of the sodomite lobby than He.
Rather than show ‘respect and consideration’ to shameful acts of rebellion, the Christian is required to denounce such in the strong terms that God uses of them. We should follow Asa’s example and that of his son, Jehoshaphat, both of whom were followers of the Lord!
“And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made,” 1Kings 15:11-12.
“And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land,” 1 Kings 22:46.
Their actions brought God’s blessing upon the land. Stephen Moutray’s will not bring God’s blessing on himself or upon Ulster!
The Lord not merely has held an attitude toward these wicked people and spoken against them, but He has declared that He has prepared a place of eternal damnation for them and for all who defy His rule and Word!
That which He has prepared was set forth in His dealings with Sodom.
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire,” Jude 1:7.
The howls of protest against any Bible-based criticism of sodomy from them and those in league with them, are nothing to the ‘weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth’ which will be heard eternally from those who take no heed to the warnings of the gospel.
“The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth,” Matthew 13:41-42.
Sincerely in Christ’s name,
Posted on 2023-08-22 a 4:36 pm
49th Anniversary of the opening of Kilskeery FPC building
“Wondering at God’s Great Works”
“For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone,” Psalm 86:10.
A message preached by Rev David Creane (Rtd) at the morning service, August 20th 2023, marking the 49th Anniversary of the opening of Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church building on 17th August 1974.
A video of this sermon may be viewed here:
A brief account of the work of God in Kilskeery
Today has been set aside as an anniversary of the opening of the first building on this site 49 years ago.
However, the work of grace in the area had begun some years before. From the earliest days of the Free Presbyterian witness in Lisbellaw, where the first regular service began on 12th February 1967, there were Christians from the Ballinamallard/Kilskeery area attending the services.
But in 1970, chiefly as the result of the witnessing of a Kilskeery lady, Mrs Sadie McKinley, who had been saved in a meeting at which Dr Ian Paisley preached, in a gospel mission that I was conducting in Springfield, a few miles north west of Enniskillen, members of her family and friends in the Kilskeery area began attending the Lisbellaw meetings, travelling over from Kilskeery, a distance of some 12 miles. Very soon, some 20 adults and children were attending regularly, some 12-15 having been converted. Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-22 a 12:16 am
A nation of fools
The following article has appeared in today’s Belfast Newsletter.
This decision by the ‘Parades Commission’ indicates the sympathy with which everything linked to the ‘LGBT lifestyle’ is held by those in power. All that the ‘LGBTites’ do and desire is held to be ‘sacrosanct’ by those who come under the umbrella of the ‘status quo’!
Increasingly, over the last decade in particular, the perverted campaign mounted by those who would live in utter defiance of all things decent and that ordered by the God of Heaven, have been given carte blanche regarding all they wish to see the rest of society, the vast majority of society, concede to them.
Their views and evil practices have been enshrouded in legal protections and sanctions.
Basically, it is deemed a ‘hate crime’ to say of them and to them what the Lord, the Judge of all the earth, Who alone can only do right? (Genesis 18:25), has said is the unalterable and eternal consequences for those who give themselves to this wickedness.
In truth, though the ‘Pride’ organisers would never believe this, it is the greatest kindness that could be shown to these defiers of God when thy are plainly told from God’s Word of the harvest that awaits them for their rebellion!
Little do the ‘Parades Commission’ realise that they are denying, not the Christians who wish to witness against this wicked event, but a merciful warning from those who are wrongly deemed disturbers of the peace and potential instigators of disorder, to those parading and flaunting God’s Law!
What is happening bears out the recent headline in the ‘Times’ newspaper.
August 17 2023, 7.00pm.
We have become a nation of fools!
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good,” Psalm 14:1. Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-22 a 12:03 am
Creation's universal testimony to its Creator
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world,” Psalm 19:1-4.
Before Charles Darwin, or any of his unwise predecessors, opened his mouth to spout the utter folly of the notion of ‘evolution’ — the idea that there was a spontaneous coming into existence of the basic elements of all life and matter and their development by stages over countless millions of years to what we may observe today — there was the clear and universal testimony of the silent lips of that created of their origins at the hands of the Lord.
Psalm 19, quoted above, has long declared this truth, even before the creation of man.
Evolution, in whatever form it is presented, for there are as many variations of this ever ‘evolving’ notion as there are fish in the sea, is essentially nothing more than another attempt by fallen man to deny the existence of the Lord, his Creator! “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God . . . ,” Psalm 14:1. It is man’s attempt to contradict the testimony of the skies above and the earth beneath of the handiwork of God.
Such attempts at denial are indeed, as David says, the actions of the fool. So foolish is the ’theory’ of evolution that it has to be altered and corrected and updated almost as soon as it is articulated! It has more varieties than the famous ‘Heinz 57 Varieties’ of food products! The superfluity of variations of man’s notions of the origin of all things is testimony to the simple fact that man does not know the truth of how this world and the immensity of the heavens came about.
It is a self-inflicted ignorance for there is ever before his eyes the glorious witness of which our text speaks. But man is a creature in rebellion against God. He is the disciple of sin and will not admit the existence of the God of the Bible. I say, ‘the God of the Bible’, for man is not in truth an ‘atheist’! He happily invents for himself a ‘god’ of his own liking. Even those who profess Christianity are in truth in this camp. That is why the pulpits and the pews of most churches are occupied by those who reject the testimony of the Holy Scriptures given us of God and seek to amend and edit them to present a ‘god’ with whom they are content! Thus today’s ‘Bible’ bookshops are filled with a large variety of so-called ‘versions’ of the Word of God. They are in truth, ‘perversions’.
Please consider the testimony as old as time itself and projecting its witness since that first day spoken of in Genesis 1. Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-18 a 8:00 am
The believer's confidence in future glory
“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness,” Psalm 17:15.
I read Psalm 17 on the Lord’s Day morning past and then began a study of the verse 15. When time for the morning prayer meeting came round, I walked the few yards down to the church. The prayer meeting was opened by the singing of this psalm, which would indicate that the elder leading the prayer meeting also follows Robert Murray M‘Cheyne’s Bible Reading Calendar, something I recommend to all.
This psalm comes from the pen of David. God has been pleased to pass on to ensuing generations much blessed instruction through the psalms and songs of the King of Israel of old.
Every one of the inspired psalms abounds with divine instruction on all things spiritual and related to the experiences of the saints of God. For this reason they have been a favourite portion of God’s Word to consult in times of perplexity, trouble and fear.
As one who holds to the Presbyterian form of church government and polity, I know how much the Psalms have meant to my forefathers in times of tribulation and distress. We sing still with joy the metrical form of the Psalms as compiled and arranged by our 17th century forefathers.
Today’s generation of Free Presbyterians need to make sure that this holy practice does not diminish or die!
In our verse there is given to the people of God a wonderful picture of the happy prospect that is theirs through the grace of God. What the future holds for the believer has ever been revealed by the Lord to His people. Thus Job, who had no written record of God’s Word, was able to say with assurance: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me,” Job 19:25-27. There is so much in these words that it would take many sermons to expound them all!
Job was acquainted with the truth of the Redeemer and His then present existence. He knew of His second coming to this earth (which indicates he knew of His first coming) to rise up in power to rule the earth for that is implied in the Hebrew word translated ‘he shall stand’. Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-14 a 4:32 pm
No need to be ashamed!
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek,” Romans 1:16.
This is a text that I am sure every true gospel preacher has preached from at least once. Most will have visited it many times in their ministry. It is a wonderful compendium of gospel truth!
The apostle Paul was truly a great man though he never attained to the realms by which worldly men today measure ‘greatness’!
Those whose faces and names frequently, if not ‘ad nauseam’, appear in news reports, will undoubtedly be forgotten, long before 2000 days are passed, never mind 2000 years!
It is believed that it was around AD 68 that the great man was put to death by the Roman Caesar, Nero. It is believed that he was converted to Christ (Acts 9:1-18) around about the early AD 30s. That means that he lived as a Christian and fervently served the Lord for some 35 years.
In those years, he left an indelible mark upon human history. He is still a guide, an inspiration, a pattern (1 Timothy 1:16) and an example to the countless millions of Christians who have sought to obey the gospel Paul preached and follow Christ.
In our verse Paul speaks of being unashamed of the gospel. Without doubt there were many things regarding himself that Paul was ashamed of. He said of himself, “I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God,” 1 Corinthians 15:9. Paul never forgot his shameful pre-conversion days. His heart burned with a hatred for Christ, His Word and His people. His spirit is displayed to us in Acts 9:1. “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord,” Acts 9:1. He was ‘dragon-like’ in his fury against God and His people!
I recall, while a ministerial student (1965-68), Dr John Douglas, in our English Bible studies, saying it was likely that the memory of his former fury against the Lord that motivated him in his gospel labours and spurred him on so that he could later rightly claim, with due acknowledgement of God’s grace in it all: “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me,” 1 Corinthians 15:10.
He not only surpassed the labours of his fellow apostles, but I believe that he suffered for Christ more than they all. Of this he was warned on the day of his conversion. The Lord sent Ananias, a disciple in Damascus, to help Paul (or Saul as he was then known). “But the Lord said unto him (Ananias), Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake,” Acts 9:15-16.
And suffer he did as he later testified. “In labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?” 2 Corinthians 11:23-29.
These words tell us of his zeal for the Lord, his indifference to what he had to endure to spread the gospel, his courage and his patient endurance. He is indeed an example for every Christian today.
Please come to the famous verse 16. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek and note:
I. WHATEVER PAUL HAD TO BE ASHAMED OF IT WAS NOT THE GOSPEL!
He tells us why he was not ashamed of the gospel. Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-12 a 7:43 pm
TUV challenges Chief Constable on data breaches
The recent data breach by someone within the Northern Ireland Police Service, whether civilian worker or police officer, is incalculable in its implications and ramifications!
That the full details of serving officers and civilian staff should have been made available to all and sundry, including terrorists, is incomprehensibly incompetent to say the least!
Mr Jim Allister KC, leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice, has quite rightly asked the Chief Constable the following astute questions,
We wait with interest the response of the Chief Constable!
Sincerely in Christ’s name, Ivan Foster
TUV challenges Chief Constable on data breaches
10th August, 2023.
Dear Chief Constable,
Re: Recent catastrophic data breach
I would like some clear answers arising from the above.
*Is there an internal audit trail of everyone concerned in processing this request within the PSNI? (These people must be held to account.)
*What supervision, and at what level, was there of those who put the information together?
*At what level was the intended FOI response checked? I note references to a junior member of staff compiling the information, but is there no threshold of seniority as to who has access to such information? How, if correct, did a junior member of staff come to be handling this information?
*Was the compiler a civilian member of staff, a full employee, an agency worker or a police officer?
*What level of security clearance did the compiler hold?
*What were the supervision arrangements in place and were they fully followed? Supervision, or lack of it, seems to me a key consideration, with scapegoating of junior staff not acceptable.
*What was the status of the person(s) who signed off on the release?
*What is/was the function and responsibility of a) ACC Todd and b) yourself in oversight of data handling?
*Is mishandling/disclosure of sensitive/classified information regarded as gross misconduct with dismissal consequences?
*As Chief Constable how far do you take responsibility for this disaster, or where does the buck stop?
I suspect you will seek to brush aside my questions under the guise of an ongoing investigation, but you should realise that public confidence in you and your staff is in play here and you should not compound the situation by prevaricating and seeking refuge from answering.
Posted on 2023-08-11 a 10:09 pm
The coming of the Lord is getting nearer
Preached in Coragarry Free Presbyterian Church, Co. Monaghan, the Irish republic, by Rev Ivan Foster, Lord’s Day 6th August 2023.
“Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh,” James 5:8.
This morning I wish to turn your attention, if I may, to a subject that I have felt more and more burdened to deal with, either in the pulpit or with my pen, as I near the end of my being able to so minister.
I refer to that great Bible truth:
THE RETURN OF CHRIST TO THIS EARTH IN POWER AND GLORY.
If it seems to some that I am preoccupied with this subject, may I quote some verses from the Acts of the Apostles. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began,” Acts 3:19-21. These are the words of Peter. He says that all God’s ‘holy prophets’ spoke of the return of Christ at the time of the “restitution of all things”.
So far from being fixated with this wonderful subject, it would appear that I am in step with ‘all’ of God’s servants of old! The words of our text were written some 2000 years ago. This does not mean that believers back then were expecting the Lord any time soon. No, they would been instructed in what Paul taught the Thessalonians. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3. There I s to be a great falling away before the return of Christ. The phrase ‘a falling away’ is a translation of the Greek word from which we get ‘apostasy’.
The Saviour’s return is drawing nearer and nearer. We are commanded to watch for the sign of that event amongst the affairs of men and events in the physical world. Were Christians and men generally to ever keep this wonderful event before them, the passage shows the impact for good it would have on the rich, the greedy and those suffering under persecution. As for Christians, our text indicates that ‘patience’ and ‘stability and stedfastness’ would be the result.
One of the signs is given us in Luke 21:26. “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” We are witnessing strange times of late and certainly men are alarmed and postulating all sorts of reasons for the lawlessness in society and the environmental events taking place world-wide. I wish to quickly set before you the most prominent signs Scripture says will indicate the near approach of the ‘Coming of the Lord’.
I. NOTE THE FIRST SIGN PAUL MENTIONS
1. That day shall not come, except there come a falling away first. There is a be a most notable ‘apostasy’ amongst professing Christians. Paul refers to this time again in 2 Timothy 3:1. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” A time spoken of in Revelation 12:12. “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
2. It reminds me of the devil’s ‘last fling’ in the gospels. Mark 9:17-26. He rages before before departing from the child. In like manner, the great apostasy, culminating in the appearance of the Antichrist, is the devil’s ‘last fling’ before the return of Christ.
3. Today, the devil is seeking to destroy the gospel witness. He has succeeded in many places. We have but to consider our own United Kingdom, and closer to home, our own province of Ulster. It was once the home of gospel blessing and that not long ago. Some of us can remember times of real Holy Ghost stirrings, some 50-60 years ago. However today, there is a great resemblance to the lad in Mark 9:17. “he was as one dead’! Deadness prevails throughout our land. Apostasy rules and reigns in the vast majority of churches where once the gospel was preached. Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-08 a 5:37 pm
From terrorism to transgenderism
Sinn Fein supports the full spectrum of evil!
Sinn Fein has called for new legislation for Northern Ireland to make puberty blockers available to young trans teens as part of normal healthcare.
Every defiance of God springs from a common source — the depraved heart of man. This the Saviour affirmed very clearly. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man,” Matthew 15:19-20.
The very first evidence of man’s depravity that the Saviour mentions is ‘evil thoughts’. The word ‘thoughts’ refers to that ‘evil reasoning and disputing’ against God and His truth that has its source in the human heart, prompted and aided by the devil.
That is what lies behind the ‘thinking’ of Sinn Fein and its latest call for a defiance of God and His ordained order amongst mankind, as reported in today’s (3.8.23) ‘Belfast Newsletter’.
Never was there clearer evidence of Sinn Fein’s party’s God-defying mindset than this call by Emma Sheerin. This party would have it established here that the deviant demands for medical aid to hinder and oppose that natural transition that takes place in the human body as it grows and develops from adolescence to adulthood.
Sinn Fein’s MLA for Mid Ulster, Emma Sheerin, made her demand at the ‘Belfast Pride Talks Back’ radio event last week. Host William Crawley asked a political panel if their parties support access to puberty blockers for young trans teenagers in Northern Ireland. Emma Sheerin responded with this demand that such an abnormal procedure be ’normalised’ and become available on the National Health Service. According to press reports, Sinn Fein appears to have affirmed that this is the party position on this subject.
Apart from anything else, the NHS is so overstretched that with such an additional procedure becoming standard, it would mean that the treatment of common and legitimate ailments would suffer.
Shall such a scheme come about? In truth, I will be surprised (and delighted) if it doesn’t! Only Jim Allister’s TUV party has come out and publicly spoken against the issue of ‘transgenderism’. The party issued a statement and it is reported in the ’Belfast Newsletter’. I see no real opposition within the other Unionist parties regarding this perversion and of course, we cannot expect the Government in Westmister to oppose that which it has so much to promote! Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-04 a 6:41 pm
The evil of sodomy and the need to protest
“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire,” Jude 1:7.
Following the display of depravity by those who have adopted a life of moral perversion and defiance of God in Belfast, on Saturday, July 29th, there has been much in the press about one protest mounted against that exhibition of the latest example of the fast growing rebelliousness of mankind and the tragic acceptance of it by thousands of men, women and parents with their children.
I am referring to the open-air protest mounted by Mr Ryan Williamson. There followed quite a stir amongst the supporters of the sodomite parade at what he said during his open-air meeting. I will not repeat what was reported in the press as being his words of condemnation, for he has claimed that he was taken out of context though he did not dispute his use of the word ‘rape’. The matter is under consideration by the police who took videos of what was said by Mr Williamson. We await the outcome of that investigation.
I might offer my support to Mr Williamson in his protest. I do not know him. I have never met him or heard him nor do I know much about his theological views, though I do accept his profession of being a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have been a preacher in the open-air and in pulpits since I first feebly opened my mouth to proclaim Christ in an open-air conducted by Mr Noel Stephenson, back in April 1964, some thirteen days after God saved me out of darkness, ignorance and sin on 5th April of that year.
I have been engaged in preaching and in protest ever since, both in pulpits, open-air meetings and by the use of the pen. Some might even suggest that I have been a ‘mite’ controversial in my witnessing! Be that as it may, I have been led to follow a simple rule when denouncing the wickedness of this age. I recall hearing old Pastor Willie Mullan, as he related his response to criticism of something he had said: “Your argument is not with me, but with God for I have only quoted what He said in the Bible!”
Providentially, that simple precept was implanted in me from that time and almost unconsciously I have been constrained to abide within the parameters of that rule.
The Bible gives an abundance of clear and proper denunciations we may employ when dealing with men’s sinfulness. Indeed, we cannot come up with words more damning than those God employs. The Saviour’s censuring of His critics, His enemies, in Matthew 23, sets down an abundance of proper terms to employ against God’s enemies.
When criticised for employing the Saviour’s terms of rebuke against those who break His Law, we may respond with a ‘Thus said the Lord’! Such criticism should not in the least embarrass Christians nor, above all, bring any measure of reproach upon the cause of God.
These are evil times and whatever a Christian may seek to do to uphold the honour and truth of the Lord Jesus will be opposed and misconstrued by those who have no compunction about employing lies against the child of God. Remember it was so in the case of our Saviour Himself! Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-02 a 4:42 pm
Frederick Douglass statue unveiled
This brief article was prompted by a report on the BBC website today. A Statue of Frederick Douglass has just been unveiled in Belfast city centre. His name will be unknown to most.
Here is the BBC headline.
I know that it is likely that the most important fact about this man will be overlooked and ignored by the many who will view the statue and especially by those who will be most anxious to sing his praises and make political points before the cameras and microphones of the press!
Frederick Douglass said of Belfast, which he had visited in the 1840s at the invitation of the Belfast Anti Slavery Society and to where he had come when fleeing from the threat of recapture: “Whenever else I feel myself to be a stranger I will remember I have a home in Belfast.” It is recorded that Frederick Douglass asked British Christians never to support American churches that permitted slavery, and he expressed his happiness to know that a group of ministers in Belfast had refused to admit slaveholders as members of the Church.
Here are my comments.
Frederick Douglass – 1817/18 — 1895
A former slave and a leading campaigner for the abolition of slavery but first of all a Christian!
There is no mention of the fact of him being a converted sinner in the BBC report, likely because Sinn Fein has had a leading part in the erection of the statue. Bible Christianity has no place in the ‘persona’ of that party which openly has supported terror and murder, that which is of the same evil ilk as slavery! Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-01 a 4:51 pm
God's covenant with Israel -- yet awaiting final fulfilment!
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more,” Hebrews 10:16-17.
The Lord has a special relationship with the nation of Israel. So often hated by the nations of men, they are beloved of God! He has said of them: “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth,” Deuteronomy 7:6. The word ‘special’ is elsewhere translated by the phrase ‘peculiar treasure, jewel’. We stand in awe of this nation’s relationship with the Lord, despite all their sin and rebellion!
The verses which form our text, are among the final references in the Bible to the Covenant that God has made with Israel and which yet awaits final fulfilment.
I must emphasise that the LORD HAS NOT ABANDONED ISRAEL AND UTTERLY GIVEN THEM UP! That is something that Paul the apostle made ABSOLUTELY plain.
“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot (know) ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace,”Romans 11:1-5.
Many times, even in the periods of Israel’s deepest apostasy and departure from God, He reiterated the terms of the Covenant and sought to encourage and comfort those who were under His judgment for their sins. Just on Friday past, I read these words in my daily reading. “Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart,” Jeremiah 24:4-7.
The day before reading those words, I read these verses, and they are what suggested this study to me:
“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land,” Jeremiah 23:1-8. Click to read more…
Posted on 2023-08-01 a 6:00 am