I received the following email on Saturday evening past, from a Free Presbyterian minister, criticising me for my article on Rev David Wilson dancing at his daughter’s wedding in breach of the vow he had taken before the Lord and His people just a few weeks earlier. See the original article here.
It is to be noticed that the writer did not in the least condemn the breaching by David Wilson of his ordination vow. It is also to be noted that this minister did not quote one verse of Scripture to support his view of the incident or his attack upon me.
His views I find almost as alarming as the actions of David Wilson. For that reason I am going to publish his letter without revealing his identity. I am challenging him to defend his defence of the wedding day incident and also his criticism of my article.
I am just hoping that he now thinks better of his folly. Sadly, I fear that there are others who think like him but they desire to remain hidden!
If ‘dancing’ is acceptable Christian behaviour, then Presbytery will have to change the vows used at the ordinations of ministers and elders and also its BOOK OF ORDER!
It will also have to apologise to the people of God generally for our Church imposing an unscriptural oath upon men for the last seventy two years and repent for misrepresenting the mind and will of God on this matter!
There is a verse in Proverbs which would need to be sincerely considered in this context.
“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set,” Proverbs 22:28. The vow denouncing ‘dancing’ has been a landmark set by our ‘fathers’ as they felt guided by the Lord and we would need to be most careful in removing it!
There can be no defending of the casting aside of a vow taken by a minister or an elder before the Lord. If the vow was wrong, he should not have submitted to it. If it is right, then he should have kept his vow.
Two verses come to mind on the matter.
“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay,” Ecclesiastes 5:4-5.
The sender of this email of protest has an opportunity to defend his position and set forth from Holy Scripture just where I am wrong in highlighting on my website that which was made public on FaceBook.
I can only say that in better times, in the heyday of the late Dr Ian Paisley, such a matter would have been dealt with swiftly and scripturally and just discipline would have been meted out.
I, and many others no doubt, wait for the matter to be dealt with by the Presbytery with a measure of anxiety and concern for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ and the honour of His name. There is a solemn duty placed upon its members who see the ‘dancing’ incident as wrong, to pursue the matter and have it resolved to God’s pleasing, no matter what the cost!
Sincerely in Christ’s name,
THE MINISTER’S EMAIL OF PROTEST
Dear Mr Foster:
I’m writing to express my opposition to what you did with that young ladies (sic) wedding photo on your website.
To take, what was, I would think the happiest day of her life and use part of it to publicly attack her father David Wilson is quite frankly disgraceful.
I was and still am horrified to see the heartless nature of what you did.
That was that ladies (sic) wedding day and to have it now in the limelight for this reason is awful.
Please consider removing that article.
Your response is exactly what I would expect from you and in keeping with your past activities.
Your view of taking an oath before God is obviously very different from mine and those Free Presbyterians, including ministers and elders, who have expressed support for my article.
According to the standards of the FPC, which are solidly based upon the Word of God, dancing is a sin to be EXPOSED and opposed!
In its BOOK OF ORDER, the Free Presbyterian Church requires of its members that they live a life:
“Sanctified in Behaviour, . . . . to lead godly lives in obedience to the Scriptures which call on God’s people to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Testimonies of holiness and righteousness are vital to the life and witness of Christ’s Church in a world increasingly plagued by the pleasure crazes of this generation, such as drinking (as defined in 5.6c), DANCING and gambling.”
Your defence of David Wilson using his daughter’s wedding day as an opportunity to openly and blatantly act in defiance of the oath he so recently took, is a strange response on your part to that same oath that you have taken, on a number of occasions if I am not mistaken! I did not put him in the ‘limelight’! That was the doing of the one who mounted the photo, for all the world to see, of him dancing
It is apparent that you DO NOT think his public dancing is a violation of the oath he had taken a short time before!
I note the absence of any reference to the Word of God in your criticism of me. I must say I find that comforting.
There are some verses I will leave with you.
“Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God,” Leviticus 18:30.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” Romans 12:2.
“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father,” Galatians 1:4.
“Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,” Ephesians 2:3.
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,” Ephesians 4:17-22.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things,” Philippians 4:8.
“Abstain from all appearance of evil,” 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
“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.
“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy,” 1 Peter 1:14-16.
“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning,” 2 Peter 2:20.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world,” 1 John 2:15-16.
Instead of removing the article, I think I might well add your email as an appendix.
If you feel inclined to refute my view that the verses I have quoted apply to the question of a Christian engaging in ‘dancing’, I will happily give you space on my ‘Burning Bush’ website to set out a view that is opposed to orthodox Christianity, with an understanding that I will reply to it as well!
Yours in the cause of true holiness,