Why I have closed my account with SermonAudio

As of 30th May, 2017, I have requested that SermonAudio close my account. I am not sure just when the closure will take place as that is in the hands of SermonAudio. However, I will no longer mount sermons there. Instead, my own website The Burning Bush will now house all my sermons. It has long been the home of my articles and news links. Gradually we will mount the 1376 messages I had on SermonAudio on my own site.

I think that I am correct in saying that our sermons were among the first that were mounted on SermonAudio when Mr. Steven Lee opened his exciting new venture. I recall him heading off home to the United Sates with a large box of old cassette recordings of early sermons preached by me here in Kilskeery, many hundreds of which have been downloaded over the years. I am ever mindful of the introduction SermonAudio gave me to a multitude of believers across the world.

Without a shadow of doubt Steven Lee’s innovative site quickly became a success and, I believe, a most useful tool in this digital age for spreading the gospel and serving the saints of God worldwide.

Mr Lee and his parents and siblings were known to me from the early 1980s. I ever recall and will never forget the many kindnesses that I and my family received from the hands of the Lee family and latterly, from Steven himself.

For this reason leaving SermonAudio is a sad and grieving step for me to take. I do not take this step lightly.

For some time I have been concerned at the content of SermonAudio. There were postings from ministers who were not separate in their preaching or practice but they were advocates of unscriptural doctrines. Many of the most popular preachers on SermonAudio are ‘New Calvinists’, weak, to say the least, on the question of modern, flawed versions and translations of the Scriptures, who maintain fellowship with preachers with charismatic links and even ties to Popery.

Also SermonAudio has become involved in sponsoring conferences which had amongst their ‘celebrity’ preachers those whose ecclesiastical affiliations were quite contrary to the Word of God and the early witness and stand of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and of North America, of which Mr Lee is an elder.

I have contacted Mr Lee on a number of occasions about these matters in recent times. Some of my complaints were heeded but others were not.

The latest event, and the final straw for me, was the circulating of a SermonAudio announcement posted on its Facebook account. It said:

A special shoutout to one of our esteemed broadcasters, Dr. James White (@droakley1689) for his choice in attire during one of his Dividing Line broadcasts.

Go get yours: http://store.sermonaudio.com

It will be seen that Dr White earned this accolade by purchasing a T-shirt from the SermonAudio gift shop!! However, the man ‘honoured’ in this fashion is most unworthy of any honour from anyone anxious to uphold the purity and honour of the Word of God in these last days – an objective which prompted Mr Lee in former years. Dr White is not one in whose company a person, seeking to serve God in these days of deception, delusion and ecclesiastical deceit, would wish to be, let alone ‘esteem’!

Here are links to some articles which highlight aspects of the character of the man and the character of his ministry to which a believer in the Bible must object.

Apologist James White Draws Concerns After Holding, Defending Interfaith ‘Dialogue’ at Church With Muslim Imam

Apologist Defends Group at Center of Tattoo, Beer ‘Church Plant’ Fundraisers Amid Growing Concerns

I sent an email to Steven Lee about this matter on May 25th. It stated:


I saw that Dr James White has been listed as one of SermonAudio’s “esteemed broadcasters”. In the light of the article I read on the “Berean Research” site, does SermonAudio stand by this estimate of James White??


Sincerely, IF.

To date, I have received no answer to my email. (Update: A reply has been received, 9th June, 2017, but no reply was given to the question I asked.)

There are many names linked to SermonAudio about which similar criticism could be made as about Dr White but I will not go any further in this brief explanation of our withdrawal from its site.

There was an old faithful preacher many years ago who exclaimed: “I have spent my life coming out of things!”

Doubtless, he will be deemed an eccentric old ’stick-in-the mud’ by many. However, his testimony but reflects the dreadful decay that has gripped denominations and organisations, once faithful to God and His Word, over the last century in particular.

That decay is warned of most clearly in God’s Word.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away,” 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

The adjectives employed by the Holy Spirit to describe those within Christendom in the last days are very applicable to many who are now hailed by the ‘Church’ as its leaders and ‘esteemed’ champions. Sadly, they characterise many whose names are prominent on SermonAudio for it has become a stage for the promotion of the vain-glorious.

That is sad and it ought not to be. Thus we must take our leave of SermonAudio and once more step into the whirlwind of criticism and denunciation that follows such a step. However, we hope that it causes some to stop and think and examine the trends which have been embraced by many ‘fundamentalists’ of late.

We especially hope it will be so for Mr. Steven Lee.

We hope to be able to transfer all the sermons we had mounted on SermonAudio to this site – “The Burning Bush” just as soon as that is possible. It will be a gradual process since we must depend upon volunteers giving of what time they can.

We especially hope to be able to mount very quickly the messages we delivered to the children of Kilskeery Independent Christian School in recent days. We have some 72 messages on the “Return of Christ” which were given over the period starting on 9th September 2014 until 23rd June 2015. There are also some 122 messages on the subject “Pictures of Christ in the Bible”. This series which began on 24th September 2015 is presently ongoing.

There have been thousands of copies of these recordings downloaded over the last three years and we hope that those who have been accustomed to listen to them will quickly find the new location of the downloadable messages.

You can help by passing on this information and the link to this site (The Burning Bush) to friends.

I am saddened that my relationship with SermonAudio has come to an end. It marks the end of a very important period in my life. However, I am glad that I have been enabled to put the honour of Christ, the purity of His testimony and the preserving of an uncompromising witness to His Word before all things in a day, when it sadly seems that personal prestige and status are so commonly put before the glory of Christ.

Is this not a day when many believers count their standing in the sight of men more important than how God sees them? It ought not to be!

“Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men,” 2 Corinthians 8:21.

Our standing in the sight of men is important but must take second place to our standing before God.

Ivan Foster