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A final warning from a faithful warrior

Wall relief of Amun receiving gifts from Ramses III, mortuary temple of Ramses III, Medinet Habu, Theban Necropolis, Egypt

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD,” Joshua 24:14.

(Bible reading for July 17th)

To the end of his days Joshua laboured to strengthen the obedience and dedication of  Israel to the Lord their God.

Equally tenacious was the spirit of disobedience found amongst many in the ranks of that nation.

Note how in the verse above Joshua says, “Put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.” Incredible as it would seem, there were still those Israelites who, despite all that they had seen and witnessed of God’s kindness and saving power toward them and His hatred of idolatry, worshipped idols.

Joshua faithfully warned of the consequences of disobedience.

“If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good,” verse 20.

He felt it necessary to repeat his call to reject idolatry.

“Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel,” verse 23.

This exchange took place just before the great man died.

“And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old,” verse 29.

But we must note the ominous assertion in verse 31.

“And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.”

The clear implication is that their obedience and their adherence to the covenant they made at Joshua’s insistence would not last long. (more…)

Is it Canute-like to protest against the errors of our denomination?

King Canute commanding the waves to proceed no further. From Peeps into the Past by Trelleek, published ca 1900.

Is protesting against the follies, the breaches in discipline and the deafness of many in our church leadership, an exercise akin to that of the actions of King Canute seeking to stop the incoming tide??

Critics and mockers may sneeringly say ‘yes’ to the question in our title. However, I recall the words of the Lord, found in the book of Jeremiah.

“‭And now, because ye have done‭‭ all these works‭, saith‭ the LORD‭, and I spake‭‭ unto you, rising up early‭‭ and speaking‭‭, but ye heard‭‭ not; and I called‭‭ you, but ye answered‭‭ not;‭ ‭Therefore will I do‭‭ unto ‭this‭ house‭, which is called‭‭ by my name‭, wherein ye trust‭‭, and unto the place‭ which I gave‭‭ to you and to your fathers‭, as I have done‭‭ to Shiloh‭.‭ ‭And I will cast you out‭‭ of my sight‭, as I have cast out‭‭ all your brethren‭, ‭even‭ the whole seed‭ of Ephraim‭.‭ . . ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬But this thing‭ commanded‭‭ I them, saying‭‭, Obey‭‭ my voice‭, and I will be your God‭, and ye shall be my people‭: and walk‭‭ ye in all the ways‭ that I have commanded‭‭ you, that it may be well‭‭ unto you.‭ ‭But they hearkened‭‭ not, nor inclined‭‭ their ear‭, but walked‭‭ in the counsels‭ ‭and‭ in the imagination‭ of their evil‭ heart‭, and went backward‭, and not forward‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Jeremiah 7:13-15, 23-24.

“‭For I earnestly‭‭ protested‭‭ unto your fathers‭ in the day‭ ‭that‭ I brought them up‭‭ out of the land‭ of Egypt‭, ‭even‭ unto this day‭, rising early‭‭ and protesting‭‭, saying‭‭, Obey‭‭ my voice‭.‭ ‭Yet they obeyed‭‭ not, nor inclined‭‭ their ear‭, but walked‭‭ every one‭ in the imagination‭ of their evil‭ heart‭: therefore I will bring‭‭ upon them all the words‭ of this covenant‭, which I commanded‭‭ ‭them‭ to do‭‭; but they did‭‭ ‭them‭ not,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Jeremiah 11:7-8. (more…)

Is encouraging the adoption of papist prayers official policy of the Free Presbyterian Church?

Thomas Aquinas By Sandro Botticelli

An email sent to some Presbytery officers on the subject:

Is encouraging the adoption of papist prayers official policy of the Free Presbyterian Church?

Brethren,

At the close of an article on prayer in the present ‘Vision’ magazine, the writer, Jonathan Story, minister of Mt Merrion Free Presbyterian Church, recommends that we adopt the prayer of the Romanist ‘saint’ Thomas Aquinas, an Italian Dominican friar and priest.

Is it now the accepted and established position of the Free Presbyterian Church that the prayers of mass-mongers and blasphemous bachelor priests of Rome are models to be followed and emanated?

If it has the sanction of the Ulster Presbytery then a line has been crossed that brings the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster into the camp of liberalism and apostasy.

As published in the current “Vision” magazine published by the Free Presbyterian Church

I have no doubt many members of our denomination will find that intolerable!

Should not the prayers of such an idolatrous priest be rejected as did the Saviour with the devil’s quotation and misapplying of Holy Scripture?

“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,” Matthew 4:5-7.

I consider this a most serious and unacceptable breach in our denomination’s adherence to the Word of God and to the Reformed Faith and it is time to call a halt to such violations of our God-ordained stand and witness and deal with those guilty of such.

If the sentiments of this article are not the official position of the Free Presbyterian Church, then how was it sanctioned for publication in an official magazine?

Are we to expect exhortations to attend Corrymeela Ecumenical Centre published in the ‘Vision’ next?

I will be circulating a copy of this letter since the sinful error of promoting popery has also been circulated amongst our church members.

Sincere regards,

Ivan Foster
15th July 2024