May 2024

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Watch Kilskeery Free Presbyterian services live online here


 

The DUP's less than honourable blindness to what everyone can see

Two articles from the ‘Belfast Newsletter of Monday, 20th May. 2024.

The following two articles reminded me of the famous response of Lord Nelson to the signal from his commander in chief, Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, to ‘disengage’ during the battle of Copenhagen. Nelson’s response was to say to his flag captain, who had reported the Admiral’s signal, ’You know, Foley, having only one eye it’s my right to be blind sometimes.’ Then he put his telescope to his blind right eye, said, ‘I really do not see the signal,’ and carried on fighting with his own signal, ‘Engage the enemy more closely flying.

His deliberate act of ‘blind disobedience’ to a coward signal, resulted in a most admirable victory.

The present ‘self-inflicted blindness’ of the DUP to that which is plain to everyone else, friend and for — that their arrangement with the British Government to end the  Irish Sea border has always been a sham and they have been taken for fools by London! No admirable victory will come of this ‘blindness’. The next election in Ulster I feel may well prove this to be so!

Read the two articles carefully.

Owen Polley: The DUP’s interpretation of the deal over the Irish Sea border is being shown up repeatedly in the most embarrassing ways

It was a week of contrasts last week for the DUP.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris with copies of the ‘Safeguarding the Union’ document.

Writing in today’s News Letter, DUP deputy leader Gavin Robinson says his party’s agreement with the government ‘goes further than ever before to undo the damage of the NI Protocol’. He adds: ‘The arrangements we have secured not only restore but safeguard Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom and its internal market’ Click to read more…

Posted on 2024-05-21 a 9:23 pm


The future of Northern Ireland, and will there be a "united Ireland"?

“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant,” Psalm 25:14.

“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: and he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: he revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him,” Daniel 2:20-22.

There has been something of a controversy of late in the columns of the ‘Belfast Newsletter’ regarding the future of Northern Ireland as part of a united Ireland. It was sparked by the comments of one, Mr Wallace Thompson, a retired civil servant and who it is said was a foundation member of the DUP. Mr Thompson is a professing Christian who terms himself a staunch witness to the truth of God.

He has, on a number of occasions, put forth the view that there will be a united Ireland in the not too distant future. For saying this he claims he has been called a ‘Lundy’, a reference to a well known figure, who during the time of the Siege of Derry (1689), was the first Governor of the City (during the siege) but who sought its surrender to the forces of the Romanist King James II. He was expelled by the citizens and the cause of King William III prevailed.

To be termed  a ‘Lundy’ is the basest sobriquet that can be directed toward a Protestant here in Ulster. Mr Wallace Thompson rejects such a name as a slander. He says of himself: ‘I supported Terence O’Neill for a period in the mid-1960’s but, once the civil rights movement began, I feared the worst. Ian Paisley was giving voice to my concerns and fears, and I became a Paisley man, both in political and spiritual terms. I remain so to this day.’ ‘In relation to allegations of some people that I am a Lundy  . . . some of those denouncing me now said the very same things when I supported the DUP decision to share power with Sinn Fein in 2007.’

There can be no doubt that a majority of Unionists will reject what Wallace Thompson says on the subject of a ‘united Ireland’ but how many of them know anything about what the Bible teaches regarding the future of these islands?

Mr Thompson being interviewed by Mark Carruthers of the BBC on Thursday May 9.

I think it fair to say that Mr Thompson argues that a united Ireland is drawing on when one reads the direction that local political developments are taking and also the very obvious evidence of London ‘abandoning’ the cause of the Unionists of Northern Ireland.

I personally would find little to object to in such a surmising!

However, I take issue with Mr Thompson’s proposition for the simple reason that as a professing Christian he leaves God and His Word out of the case he presents. Click to read more…

Posted on 2024-05-21 a 9:15 pm


Cowardly Stormont . . . .

This is a most welcome ‘Belfast Newsletter’ Editorial on the subject of the shift in ‘Abortion’ law here in Northern Ireland.

Stormont is rightly termed ‘cowardly’ for superintending such changes. Those who profess faith in Christ are to be particularly censured for their failure to mount a protest against such evil.

Political status and wages come before standing for the sanctity of life it would appear. Surely such remaining part of the legislative body which legalises the murder of the unborn make those who do so share in the guilt of that heinous crime!

Ivan Foster.


Editorial: Cowardly Stormont goes from an almost total ban on abortion to making it legal on demand, then placing sweeping restrictions on protests against such terminations

By Editorial

Published 17th May 2024, 00:15 BST

When same-sex marriage came into Northern Ireland, we were assured that churches would not be forced to bless such relationships.

While that principle remains largely intact, it has already been challenged and undermined within a few years of such marriages becoming legal so as to suggest that such a religious exemption is by no means guaranteed in the medium term (although radical activists who would merrily force Christian institutions to endorse such relationships would not dare to do the same with Islam).

When it comes to the horror of abortion, things are moving similarly quickly. Remember how only a few years ago we were told that legal reform was all about facilitating terminations in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and other exceptionally rare situations? Then in no time abortion on demand was on the statute books in Northern Ireland, a position that is legally far slacker than England and Wales, where there are stricter (albeit largely theoretical) rules before a pregnancy can be carried out.

Not only have we moved to abortion on demand in the first third of a pregnancy, we have made it hard to so much as protest outside a clinic where such a revolting procedure is taking place. Two people have just been in court for such protests in Coleraine.

These anti protest laws demand such long distances between protest and clinic as to render almost useless the right of the demonstrator to make a point that might in fact be heard.

Intimidation of people entering clinics should of course be prohibited. But it is cowardly of Stormont to go from being a parliament where there was a big majority against any liberalisation of abortion laws at all to one that won’t even let people make public the reasonable view that terminating a pregnancy is the calculated snuffing out of an emerging human being.

Posted on 2024-05-17 a 5:27 pm


Free Presbyterian protest against the obscene display in a Banbridge hotel

On Saturday, 11th May, 2024 at 8pm around 40 believers assembled outside the Bannville Hotel in Banbridge to oppose the flagrant violation of God’s law that was due to take place by the so-called “Pleasure Boys” group from England.

There was a large media presence to capture footage of our witness and we endeavoured to exalt Jesus Christ and expose the vices of darkness with the Spirit’s help.

A section of the supporters who gathered with Rev Henderson to protest at the lewd show that so many were happy to brazenly be seen entering the hotel where it took place.

This photograph appeared in the ‘Belfast Telegraph’ but I have  edited it for the newspaper superimposed some of the ‘lewd fellows of the baser sort’ (Acts 17:5) upon it.

We had a tremendous evening of gospel opportunity with even the proprietor of the Hotel coming outside and having a very keen ear for the gospel and all that we had to say about the event itself. Please pray for the many souls that were genuinely interested in what was said.

We were also asked for an interview with a local podcast that has a studio in a different area of the Bannville Hotel to comment on why we were protesting. Revs. Henderson and Smith spoke on the podcast for 30 or so minutes against the event that was taking place, the sanctity of marriage and the gospel of saving grace. Please pray that these means of sharing the gospel would be blessed by the Holy Spirit of God.

On Monday morning, we were encouraged to learn that an article in the Northern Ireland World published the story that the Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Council stepped in and said that “no nudity” was permitted. This was a tremendous victory as the sin-loving attendees had only come and paid for such obscenity and were reportedly left “disappointed”.

We count this as a victory to encourage our souls. We are told by the Saviour to be salt and light in this world. By the stand we make for Christ, we can see things done for God.

Rev. Daniel I. Henderson


I will only add that those “disappointed” by the restriction place upon the scandalous exhibition will find that an eternal  disappointment awaits them when the stand before God to give an account of their open, shameless support for what  amounted to an outrageous attack upon public decency.

What dreadful changes have come into Ulster with the decline of gospel knowledge and the fear of the Lord that ecumenical apostasy has brought upon us.

Here is a link to a video taken during the protest.

Video of Free Presbyterian protest

Post script: 

The Lord frustrates the enemy as they seek to mock the gospel witness protest but end up simply advertising the very thing they sought to ridicule. Apparently some 127,000 have viewed this video and it has been forwarded on to others some 4000 time!

 

The Editor
Monday, 13th May, 2024

Posted on 2024-05-13 a 11:38 pm


A glorious light at the end of a long dark tunnel!

These two sermons were preached yesterday in Coragarry Free Presbyterian Church, Co. Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland.

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Matthew 24:3.

The subject of both were “A glorious light at the end of a long dark tunnel!”



Read sermon notes here


Read sermon notes here

Posted on 2024-05-13 a 10:51 pm


NI Unionist political party differences and the diminishing credibility of power-sharing at Stormont

Dr.Edward Cooke

Master of Philosophy, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

One policy area that differentiates the UUP and DUP sitting in the NI Executive at Stormont from the TUV (sitting in ‘opposition’ in the NI Assembly) is their respective positions on the funding, monitoring and regulation of NI third-level education sector.  An examination of how the DUP and UUP administer the third-education sector, not only indicates differences between them as unionist parties sitting in government for two decades from the TUV, it also highlights (as a case study) a growing credibility problem that incrementally, year-after-year, impacts on the declining number of NI unionist voters, voting in Stormont Assembly elections.  Essentially, if a political administration and system of government loses credibility, people cannot be enticed to vote for it.  If the political representatives elected are incapable of satisfying the philosophical foundations and long-established principles of representative government, the democratic system will collapse.  This historical fact is something that all NI political parties appear to have forgotten.  Our inept NI unionist politicians ever dutiful to their party political leaders put at risk what remains of our liberal democracy.

Within GB over the last year, all the political partes have acknowledged that there are existential funding and sustainability problems in the GB university sectors.  The dilemma for all the political parties is how best to tackle historical problems given the political importance of the sector and the rising cost of third-level education.  As yet, no political party is publicly prepared to admit that the UK university sector has grown too-large and needs to be culled in order to allow for public investment in the (badly neglected) UK further education sector.  The recent UK media disclosures of ‘back-door entry routes’, (or in other words, structured discrimination) into UK universities has galvanised Westminster, but not Stormont, into action.  Stormont’s intransigence, or cowardice, to act in this policy matter, is similar to Stormont’s indecision during the 2020 Covid-19 crisis when NI lockdown policy was decided on only after Westminster had acted! Click to read more…

Posted on 2024-05-11 a 11:26 pm


The death of a nation

Jewish leaders demand newly-elected Green councillor who hailed election as a ‘win for Gaza’ and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ is suspended – as party officials launch probe after he claimed Palestinians had a right to ‘fight back’ in wake of Hamas attacks

So ran the headline in a national daily newspaper today. The ugly grimace of the ‘Green Councillor’ at the centre of this controversy was pictured snarling out the Islamic catchphrase, so often used by terrorists with the intention of intimidation, ‘Allahu Akbar’. The words mean ‘god is the greatest’. The god referred to is the Islamic idol, known as ‘Allah’ and not the God of the Bible, Jehovah.

Mothin Ali, the pro-Gaza activist belligerently shouting out ‘Allahu Akbar’ following his election to Leeds City Council

We have thus the situation developing in the nation of those who come to the United Kingdom for reasons of bettering themselves from under the privations of an Islamic state but with the real agenda of destroying what remains of the Protestant heritage which has been enjoyed for centuries in this land.

In the early days of the New Testament Church, the enemies of righteousness were compelled to disguise themselves and their intentions and this is made plain by the warning of Jude in his epistle. “‭T‭here are certain‭ men‭ crept in unawares‭‭, who‭ were before‭‭ of old‭ ordained‭‭ to‭ this‭ condemnation‭, ungodly men‭, turning‭‭ the grace‭ of our‭ God‭ into‭ lasciviousness‭, and‭ denying‭‭ the only‭ Lord‭ God‭, and‭ our‭ Lord‭ Jesus‭ Christ‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Jude 1:4.

However, those bent on destroying the remnants of gospel liberty left us in the United Kingdom, be they political or religious activists, need no disguise. They can come in with ‘trumpets blaring’, as do the Islamic councillors recently elected in England and who make no secret of their intention of imposing their perverted religious and political views on the nation.

These individuals care nothing for the culture or heritage of the land to which they have come. They are intent upon changing this nation, destroying this nation by imposing their own heathen notions upon it and reducing it to the impoverished state of the land from which they sought to escape.

What blindness and idiocy this indicates! Click to read more…

Posted on 2024-05-10 a 9:23 pm


Desolation and deliverance!

Desolation is often the result of man’s wickedness. Photo by
AJITH S on Unsplash.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE SAVIOUR’S RETURN FOR THE WORLD AND FOR THE NATION OF ISRAEL

Please read Psalms 46 and 47.


Upon reading these two Psalms on May 3rd, as part of my daily devotional Bible readings, my heart rejoiced afresh to read of God’s revelation of events that will take place at the end of the age when the Saviour returns.

Many commentators have attempted to apply these two Psalms to events in Israel’s past. That is not so. C H Spurgeon, in his ‘Treasury of David’ commentary has the following comment on verse 7 of Psalm 47:

‘For God is the King of all the earth’.  The Jews of our Saviour’s time resented this truth, but had their hearts been right they would have rejoiced in it.  They would have kept their God to themselves, and not even have allowed the Gentile dogs to eat the crumbs from under his table.  Alas! how selfishness turns honey into wormwood.  Jehovah is not the God of the Jews only, all the nations of the earth are, through the Messiah, yet to own him Lord.’ (The Treasury of David). He obviously saw a reference to the ‘future’ in these Psalms.

Three verses

Three verses in particular indicate that it is future events that are spoken of here.

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth,”Psalm 46:10.

“For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth,” Psalm 47:2.

“For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding,” Psalm 47:7.

These verses refer to that event set forth in Revelation 11:15.

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

It may be argued that the Lord is presently ‘King’ over all the earth. That is correct in a sense but it pleases God in His wisdom to ALLOW sinful man to live in defiance of His rule. BUT there is a day coming when the Lord will take to Himself the power and authority that are His and bring mankind UNDER His rule!

I. THE TIME OF THE EVENTS HERE REVEALED

There is a number of indications of when the events spoken of take place!

This is set down very clearly.

1. It is at a time of great and unusual terrestrial and celestial occurrences. The Psalm 46 particularly refers to most unusual occurrences in the natural world.

“Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah,” Psalm 46:2-3.

The saviour referred to such phenomena as taking place just prior to His return in glory and great power. Click to read more…

Posted on 2024-05-08 a 4:57 pm


Please join us

Posted on 2024-05-05 a 11:34 pm


Passing of a dear friend

It was with great sadness we heard of the sudden home-call of Mrs Linda Ovadal, wife of Pastor Ralph Ovadal of Pilgrims Covenant Church, Monroe, Wisconsin, USA and mother of Gregory, Janet, Joy, and Thomas — and a grandmother to many grandchildren.

We offer our sincere sympathy for we have been close friends with the Ovadal family for many years and admire their uncompromising stand for the Lord Jesus Christ in these evil days.

We have experienced and enjoyed the kindness and Christian grace of Mrs Ovadal on our visits to their home.

May the Lord comfort all the family circle in this time of deep sorrow.

“‭For‭ this‭ we say‭‭ unto you‭ by‭ the word‭ of the Lord‭, that‭ we‭ which‭ are alive‭‭ ‭and‭ remain‭‭ unto‭ the coming‭ of the Lord‭ shall‭‭ not‭ prevent‭‭ them which‭ are asleep‭‭.‭ ‭For‭ the Lord‭ himself‭ shall descend‭‭ from‭ heaven‭ with‭ a shout‭, with‭ the voice‭ of the archangel‭, and‭ with‭ the trump‭ of God‭: and‭ the dead‭ in‭ Christ‭ shall rise‭‭ first‭:‭ ‭then‭ we‭ which‭ are alive‭‭ ‭and‭ remain‭‭ shall be caught up‭‭ together‭ with‭ them‭ in‭ the clouds‭, to‭ meet‭ the Lord‭ in‭ the air‭: and‭ so‭ shall we‭‭ ever‭ be‭‭ with‭ the Lord‭,” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd) and the Foster family circle in Kilskeery, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Posted on 2024-05-03 a 6:20 pm


The blessings that follow patient waiting on God

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD,”  Psalm 40:1-3.

The word ‘patiently’ in the verse is one that refers to a ‘looking with expectancy and a lying quietly waiting’. Prayer often entails a ‘waiting’. Over against that, we must remember that the Lord has said: “before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear,” Isaiah 65:24. The commentator, John Gill has rightly said of these words: “That is, their desires shall be anticipated, God will see their needs, and He will impart to them the blessings which they need. He will not wait to be applied to for the blessing. How many such blessings do all His people receive at the hand of God! How ready is He to anticipate our needs! How watchful is He of our necessities; and how rich His benevolence in providing for us!”

General Rule

I think that we can say that such speedy answers are the exception to the general rule. “Waiting” is a time of preparation for the believer. Their desire for God’s blessing is heightened during the waiting. An awareness of their need is pressed in upon those praying and they are made to recognise their own helplessness and utter dependence on God’s mercy.

Swift answers come to those who are in a right state of heart and mind to receive mercy.

This is illustrated in the account of the death and resurrection of Lazarus, John 13:3-7. “Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.”

That two day wait was for a purpose. There was a readying of Martha and Mary.

The verses I have quoted from Isaiah 65 come from a passage which relates to the future changes that God will bring about amongst His ancient people, Israel. At the end of this age, the remnant of Israel, humbled, broken and distressed by the events they endured during the ‘great tribulation’, will be visited by the grace of God and in a miraculous manner, they will be converted.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn,” Zechariah 12:10.

And again, “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children,” Isaiah 66:8.

It is in this context that prayer is so swiftly answered. Those seeking the Lord’s blessing are so brought into union with the Lord and at one with God that they are thinking as one mind!

As the thought of a request is formed the answer to it is on its way.

Peter

I think the events featuring Peter walking on the stormy sea illustrates this. “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Matthew 14:30-31. Peter’s sinking down into the sea instantly brought him to a place of the awareness of his helplessness and danger and he cried with an unusual urgency and ‘immediately’ the Lord answered his prayer.

But to return to our subject: the blessings of patiently waiting on God.

I. THE LORD INCLINES TOWARD THE ONE PRAYING

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me . . .”.

The word means the Lord stretches out and bows down to hear the prayers of His people.

1. How faint and feeble are our prayers. The Lord underscores this by inclining toward us in order to hear our weak cries. As the approach of death robs a person of a strong voice so sin strangles our ability to ‘cry aloud’ in prayer. Sometimes our prayers are reduced to mere groanings. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered,” Romans 8:26. So weak are we that it is only by the help of the Holy Spirit that we are able even to groan!

2. The Lord is most attentive to hear our prayers. It is said of Samuel that “The LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground,” 1 Samuel 3:19. That is a reference to Samuel’s preaching. I believe that in like manner the Lord will not allow one word of our poor prayers to fall to the ground and lie unheard!

3. How precious to the Lord is even the weakest cry of the saint. Can we not see an eager response by the Lord and a reaching down so as not to miss one word of His child’s cry for help! In another place David prayed: “Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy,” Psalm 86:1. How often the Lord shows His love to us by hearing our feeblest cry!

 II. THE LORD HEARS OUR PRAYERS

“He inclined unto me and heard my cry.” Click to read more…

Posted on 2024-05-01 a 1:00 am