News From The Front – March 2002

Dear praying friends,

Virtually on a daily basis the most horrendous acts of wickedness, barbarity and evil are being reported on the television news broadcasts. Often these acts are being perpetrated by vicious thugs on the weakest of society that is, either the very young or the frail and elderly. Constantly commentators and ‘experts’ are offering reasons and excuses as to why these things are happening. Not once is the cause of these terrible deeds attributed to ‘the depravity of man’ because we now live in a world that has set itself in opposition to the Divine truth that mankind, having been created by the one true God of the Bible, then ‘fell’ because of ‘Adam’s sin’. The teaching of ‘original sin’ has been almost totally eliminated as the promotion of the lie of evolution has globally swept the education systems of the world. Mankind is now reaping the bitter fruit sown by its rejection of the truth of Genesis. Just how strident this opposition to God’s truth is will be seen when you read the quote from Ken Ham recorded on page 16 of this newsletter. As a ministry we are praying much for the March visit [DV] of Roger Oakland as he with God’s help seeks to alert people to the impact of evolution on society, morals and behaviour. May God be pleased to use this dear brother in Christ as a light in a very dark world. We covet your prayers.

Your servant for Christ

CECIL ANDREWS

  • The ‘SWEET LORD’ of George Harrison

Shortly before the end of November 2001 “the last enemy” as Paul referred to it in 1 Corinthians 15:26 claimed yet another high-profile victim when the death of former Beatle, George Harrison, was announced. For quite a few years he had been battling with cancer and eventually it was to take him out of time and into eternity. Since then many column inches of newspaper articles have been given over to reviewing the life of this musically talented man and indeed as I prepare this article the re-release of one of his most famous and successful songs, ‘My Sweet Lord’ is ‘racing up the charts’ and getting regular daily airplay on national radio stations.

The Daily Mail of Saturday 1 December devoted many pages to articles and pictures celebrating the life of George Harrison and included many quotes from close family friends following his death. In what was referred to as a ‘final message’ one reporter wrote ‘The former Beatle who never abandoned the spiritual values he discovered in the Sixties called upon humanity to “love one another”’. Later in the same article we read ‘Announcing his death his family said’ “He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace surrounded by family and friends. He often said” ‘Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait and love one another’.

George Harrison wrote ‘My Sweet Lord’ in praise of his ‘god’ – ‘Lord Krishna’ – the ‘god’ of the Hare Krishna Movement to which he belonged. This is perhaps a timely moment to examine their beliefs.

1. AN EARTHLY HEAD OR FOUNDER

Hinduism is a complex religion that permits the worship of many gods and prominent amongst the divine hierarchy would be Lord Krishna. Devotion to him has tended to wax and wane over several thousand years of Hindu history but modern-day interest in the worship of Krishna was rekindled by the work of one particular devotee. Abhay Charan De was born in Calcutta in 1896 but later having been initiated into the Krishna Consciousness movement he became known as A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He wrote extensively and in 1965 went to America where he was enthusiastically welcomed and he established ISKCON, – the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. His influence extended to Britain where George Harrison embraced the teachings and became an influential financial benefactor of the movement. Prabhupada died in 1977 and in Krishna Temples images of this influential guru are revered as much as the images of Lord Krishna. In the 1974 publication ‘The Strange World of the Hare Krishnas’ we read ‘In devotees’ minds there is no doubt Prabhupada has a direct communication with God…Some say he is himself God’ and a leading ISKCON official in New York said ‘Prabhupada was a world-genius, greater than genius’. [Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna by J. Isamu Yamamoto pages 11-12].

WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

Isaiah 42:8 “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images”.

Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

Psalm 115:2-8 “Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them”.

2. AN AUTHORITY IN ADDITION TO OR IN PLACE OF THE BIBLE

Hare Krishna devotees, whilst having a respect for the Bible certainly do not submit to its authority. For them there is one book that governs their life and that is ‘The Bhagavad Gita’ [‘The Songs of The Master’] described by Lowell Streiker in his book ‘Cults – The Continuing Threat’ as ‘the layman’s Bible of Hinduism’ [p79]. This poetic work recounts a claimed visit to earth by Lord Krishna and records the conversations he had with a warrior called Arjuna.

Charles Johnston in the general introduction to his book on the Bhagavad Gita wrote ‘The Bhagavad Gita is one of the noblest scriptures of India, one of the deepest scriptures of the world. It is rich in beauty and full of poetic power…The figures of Arjuna, very human in despondency and doubt, and of Krishna, majestic, resolute, persuasive, are clear, living, of universal truth.’

Despite this assertion and contrary to what Her Majesty the Queen said in her speech on Christmas Day 2000 that ‘the Bible, the Koran and the sacred texts of the Jews and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs are all sources of divine inspiration and practical guidance passed down through the generations’, this book is merely a product of human origin.

WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

The Bible makes it perfectly clear that it alone is of ‘divine inspiration’ – Paul under inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote

 2 Timothy 3:14-16

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” and in his first letter to the Corinthians

1 Corinthians 4:6

Paul again limited them to dependence upon God’s Word when he said “learn in us not to think of men above that which is written”.

3. A WRONG VIEW OF THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST

Dr Eryl Davies in his excellent book ‘Truth Under attack’ sums up [p 263] the erroneous view held by Hare Krishnas concerning ‘The Person of Christ’. Dr Davies wrote ‘Christ is not God but rather a pure devotee sent from another planet by the inhabitants who had compassion on earth people’. Swami Prabhupada in conversation with John Lennon of the Beatles said ‘Lord Jesus says that he is the Son of God. He’s not God but the son of God. In that sense there is no difference between Krishna Consciousness and Christianity’ [‘Search for Liberation’ page 37].

WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

John 1:1-3 & 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”.

John 20:28 “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God”.

4. A WRONG VIEW OF SALVATION

Because Hindu philosophy is governed very much by the law of Karma [the belief that ‘all willful actions have consequences’ – ‘Spirit of Hinduism’ page 74] the notion of sin [the transgressing of and the breaking of the law of God – see 1 John 3:4] and the need for an atoning sacrifice to save people from their sins [see Matthew 1:21] is rejected by Hare Krishna devotees. Karma focuses on the consequences of our actions as seen from the human standpoint [either good or bad] whereas Sin introduces the offence and consequences [condemnation] of our actions as seen from the divine standpoint.

Can I just say in passing that the ALPHA course majors to such an extent on the consequences of actions [good or bad] as seen from the human standpoint that it is to the virtual exclusion of the offence that our sins cause to the One Holy God and to the almost non-mention of that same Holy God’s condemnation. ALPHA identifies people’s problems more in the likeness of karma rather than of sin.

The hope of every Hare Krishna devotee is that through a process of ‘Self Realisation’ to attain such a state of purification that one day they will qualify to be worthy of ‘Getting Back To Godhead’ which means going to be with Lord Krishna. The main means of purification is through chanting [1728 times per day] the Hare Krishna Mantra. It goes like this ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare Hare; Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare Hare’. Service in a local Krishna Temple [like washing and dressing the statues of Lord Krishna and Swami Prabhupada] also helps in the purification process. Through a series of lives [by means of reincarnation] it is hoped that increasing purity will be attained. Each life is governed by the law of Karma – ‘a person’s present circumstances are the result of past actions’ (‘Spirit of Hinduism’ page 75). This aspect of Glenn Hoddle’s New Age spirituality caused him to lose his job a few years ago as the England soccer coach. The reality is that for Hare Krishnas their ‘salvation’ depends totally on their own best efforts.

WHAT DO CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

Matthew 6:7-8 “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them”

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost”

Hebrews 9:27 “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”

Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”

The music of the Beatles brought much pleasure to countless millions around the world. However, with the murder some years ago of John Lennon and now with the death of George Harrison, two members of ‘the fab four’, we are all forcibly reminded of the reality of what is written in Hebrews 9:27 “It is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment”. To go out from time into eternity, without Christ, will bring only one statement from Christ who alone is Lord [Philippians 2:11] and it is found in Matthew 7:23 “I never knew you: depart from me.” For those who hear these words from Christ, truly it will be as stated in Hebrews 10:31 “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”. For eternity, they will weep bitter tears, for never having sought to know in time, the only true ‘sweet Lord’, the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • The ‘COPELAND CONNECTION’ With
  • ‘Tribe of Judah Motorcycle Ministries’

Towards the end of 2001 I was contacted by a believer who had attended a meeting for women in a church located not far from where Margaret and I now live. Someone representing a ministry known as ‘Tribe of Judah Motorcycle Ministries’ had addressed the meeting and this Christian lady was given a couple of photocopied ‘handouts’ and a copy of the Summer 2000 – Outreach Update being the glossy magazine of this ministry based in Texas. The reason this lady contacted me was that she was alarmed [and rightly so] to discover a number of favourable references in the ‘handouts’ to ‘Kenneth Copeland Ministries’.

An editor’s note stated at the end of the ‘handout’ entitled

 ‘Riding Full Throttle For God’ – ‘Kenneth Copeland Ministries gives 10% of all its income to proclaim the gospel of Jesus to the poor around the world. If you are a Partner with KCM you are helping Tribe of Judah Motorcycle Ministries’.

This link between the 2 ministries was also confirmed by Kenneth Copeland Ministries.

We can read in their June 2001 ‘Believers Voice of Victory’ magazine

‘Twice- Sown seed’

Partners and Friends, you made it possible for KCM to graciously support ministries such as ‘Tribe of Judah’ [evangelistic outreach through motorcycle ministry].

As a ministry we have referred in previous newsletters to some of the heresies of Kenneth Copeland and several short reports documenting the false teachings of Mr Copeland have also been available from us. By way of example of Mr Copeland’s false teachings let me quote from a recent article in the December 2001 ‘Believers Voice of Victory’. In his lead article entitled ‘A Mystery Revealed’ Mr Copeland wrote – ‘What’s more, Satan never imagined that this “firstborn from the dead” would also become the “firstborn from among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). You see, after Jesus was born again from the dead, [Please note that Mr Copeland is referring to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in terms of Him being born again] He appeared to His disciples and gave them this final instruction before ascending to heaven “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). So 120 people gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem and waited for this “promise” – not really being all that sure of what to expect. But when that promise came…they knew it. Suddenly, where there had only been one glorified Son of God to contend with, there were 120. And that wasn’t the end of it. Within a matter of hours – after Peter stood up and began preaching – another 3000 would be added to the list. Just days after having crucified the Son of God, Satan was now faced with thousands of glorified sons of God… and every one of them having the God-given power and authority to crush every devil of hell. It was the mystery of the ages’

I just want to make 2 further points in relation to what Mr Copeland has written here. Firstly, Mr Copeland is basically just repeating in print what he has taught previously on tape about professing believers when he said

‘You don’t have a god in you – you are one’.

Secondly, since the Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead [not ‘born again’! – only sinners who are ‘dead in trespasses and sins’ can be truly “born again” as biblically taught and understood] He alone possesses a ‘glorified’ body. The ‘glorification’ of believers who “now are [we] the sons of God” (1 John 3:2) IS FUTURE! Satan is not ‘now faced with thousands of glorified sons of God’

1 John 3:2 continues “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 He is ‘glorified’]. Paul, writing of the Lord’s return, joyfully adds

“Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned [future] like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21).

Sadly this link to and identification with Kenneth Copeland by the Tribe ofJudah Motorcycle Ministries should warn all to steer clear of this ministry.

An audio tape called ‘Kenneth Copeland – Christian or cultic?’ documented by excerpts from his own tapes is now available from us – price £2.50 [includes p&p]

  • Launch of ‘Power To Change’ Aborted

Since enclosing a short report with the December 2001 NEWS FROM THE FRONT more information has emerged which certainly does nothing either to enhance or improve this initiative of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’. On 11 January 2002 I was speaking to a minister whose church had been planning to make use of the planned advertising for and booklet issued by ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ in conjunction with a forthcoming mission to be held in their church. However these plans were now being shelved as the ‘launch’ of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ has itself been put back to September of this year. He advised me that he had been informed of 2 reasons for this delay.

1. The organisers of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ felt that an upcoming debate in March on ‘abortion’ in the Republic of Ireland would adversely affect the impact of their planned heavily financed billboard, bus shelter, and media etc advertising campaign.

2. Then, according to what my minister friend had been told, it appeared that two men [from loyalist paramilitary backgrounds] whose testimonies were included along with amongst others the 3 Roman Catholic ‘testimonies’ in the ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ booklet had apparently expressed concern about their past being ‘raked up’ and the possibility of problems arising for their families and so they had withdrawn permission for their testimonies to be used in the booklet and in consequence this change would also result in a delay of the ‘launch’.

I advised my minister friend that he should perhaps check again the reason for the withdrawal of these 2 testimonies from the booklet. The reality is that these two men, when they saw the ‘ecumenical nature’ of the booklet and discovered the ‘ecumenical make-up’ of this whole initiative, were so hurt by what in their words was a ‘deception’ that had been foisted on them, that they both contacted the ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ office in Belfast – in one case by calling in person and in the other case by phoning from England and instructed that their testimonies be withdrawn from use in any form, whether in the booklet or on a video, in the promotion of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’. Further confirmation of the ‘aborted launch’ of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ came during an ‘Interdenominational {code for ecumenical} Service’ broadcast on RTE 1 Television on Sunday 13 January 2002. The editor of this 45-minute programme was ‘Father’ Dermod McCarthy. Clearly visible near the front of the congregation was well-known ‘Evangelical Catholic’ spokesperson Paddy Monaghan. The whole purpose of this programme was to promote the initiative of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’.

Interspersed amongst the musical items, prayers etc were a number of interviews. One such interview was with Maire Brennan who is best known as the lady with the ‘haunting’ voice of the singing group ‘Clannad’ [Probably best known for singing the theme tune to a TV series some years ago known as ‘Harry’s game’]. How reliable would Maire Brennan’s endorsement be of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’? In the February/March 1993 issue of the ecumenical/charismatic magazine ‘BREAD’ there was a two-page interview with Maire and Tim her husband. Speaking of her [Roman Catholic] parents reaction to her professed ‘Christianity’ she said the following

‘They were sad to see us not going to church and now they’re delighted Tim and I are Christians. They aren’t worried what type of Christian! In Donegal I go to the local Catholic church and feel very comfortable and at home there and in Cambridge, with Tim’s parents I go to their local C. of E. – the church we were married in. What matters is not the church – it’s being close to God.’

I would simply say that ‘the church’ attended will be a very good indicator of whether or not a person is truly ‘close to God’ for as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:14 “What communion hath light with darkness?”

Another interview during the broadcast service was with Basil Good. Anyone who reads my report on the email exchanges I had with ‘Scripture Union – Republic of Ireland’ following their appointment in 2001 of the ‘Evangelical Catholic – Jim Donnan’ to be their director will know that Basil Good was the man who singularly failed to address the concerns, particularly in the area of ‘doctrine’, that I raised with them. Mr Good was introduced as ‘the chairman’ of the committee of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’. With a great air of confidence Mr Good boldly asserted ‘This is going to be, I’d say without any doubt, the biggest event in the Christian calendar in 2002 – everybody, everybody will know about this come September next’. Mr Good then went on to enthuse that over one million pounds had been made available for this venture, not by churches, but by lay business people. He explained that the idea originated in Canada where business people stated that if they were going to ‘promote a product’, this is the way [by advertising] that they would do it and so they felt that they could apply the same method in promoting ‘the cause of Christ’. Mr Good gave details of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ ‘Promotional Aids’ that would be available to churches for use in conjunction with specially organised events – along with the booklet there was a CD Rom that included a copy of the ‘Jesus Film’. [For an interesting insight into the benefits or otherwise of this ‘Jesus Film’ I would recommend the reading of the letter published on page 25 of the January 2002 issue of ‘Evangelical Times’]. Mr Good was keen to emphasise that Churches would not be asked to contribute financially to the advertising campaign and stressed that ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ would not interfere in the area of ‘doctrine’ but would leave that entirely to the discretion of the ‘participating churches’. That doesn’t come as any great surprise given Mr Good’s lack of appetite to discuss ‘doctrine’ when I contacted him about Jim Donnan’s appointment with Scripture Union. Bearing this approach to ‘doctrine’ in mind I just wonder how ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ would react if a Mormon Church applied to ‘participate’. As I thought on this whole approach I thought of the incident in Acts chapter 8 where Simon the Sorcerer saw the ‘power’ exercised by the Apostles in Samaria and we read in verses 18 & 19 that “he offered them money saying, Give me also this power”. Peter, knowing that this man’s heart was “not right in the sight of God” [v21] told him straight in verse 20 “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money”.

Having spoken to a few people who initially were enthusiastic about this venture, it is clear that they were attracted by the prospect of the heavily financed advertising, but being now aware of the true ‘ecumenical nature’ of this venture, they have in fact decided to withdraw their participation in it. One other friend, a church elder, admitted that he had been influenced in initially advising his church to get involved because he had seen a leaflet for ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ carrying an endorsement by the teaching Pastor of Christ Church, Belfast Mr Derick Bingham. I advised my friend that for some time now I have been disturbed by the advice and endorsements coming from Derick Bingham [since the beginning of 2002, not only has POWER TO CHANGE received Derick Bingham’s endorsement but he has commenced an ALPHA course under his own leadership and has publicly praised the doctrinally questionable C S Lewis] and that my information file on these concerns is available to any on request. My friend asked for this information and also my [then] report on ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ and having presented the information to his fellow elders they have now withdrawn their participation in ‘POWER TO CHANGE’.

Mr Good also shed additional light as to why the venture had been put back until September. Not only would their advertising campaign have had to compete with the ‘abortion’ debate in the Republic in March, but then apparently in April and May it would have run foul of the likely run-up to a ‘General Election’, in June it would have clashed with the soccer ‘world cup’ in Japan and then of course July and August are the traditional ‘holiday months’. Listening to Mr Good I began to wonder why the Sovereign God of Heaven couldn’t have organised things a bit better for what after all we are assured by Mr Good is going to be ‘the biggest event in the Christian calendar in 2002’. This reasoning by Mr Good emphasises the belief behind this initiative that the ‘marketing conditions’ must be just right in order to obtain the best possible results. It would appear that the Apostle Paul didn’t really understand evangelisation when he wrote to that young Pastor, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 4:13 “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” or when he wrote in his final epistle [2 Timothy 4:2] before being martyred for the cause of Christ “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season”. He should really have advised Timothy to check first that the ‘market conditions’ were right before seeking to promote ‘the cause of Christ’. Those in charge of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ obviously believe that the promotion of ‘the message’ of Christ can change lives. They fail to recognise that ‘the message’ itself is the power of God. To them Christ says, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” [Matthew 22:29]. In the face of opposition and adverse ‘marketing conditions’ Paul declared “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” [Romans 1:16]. Can I ask how those in charge of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ will feel about people who will die between now and September and who will have been deprived of being challenged about their spiritual well-being because ‘the biggest event in the Christian calendar in 2002’ had to be postponed for six months due to adverse ‘marketing conditions’. The ‘ecumenical nature’ of this initiative was clearly underscored by Mr Good when he read out the joint message of support issued by the leaders of the ‘four main churches’ – a statement which appeared in the coloured half-page advert in the December issue of the [free] Roman Catholic newspaper called ‘Alive’. The statement reads –

‘We are happy to endorse POWER TO CHANGE as a potentially significant North/South Initiative for evangelisation and reconciliation at this critical time in our country and in our world. POWER TO CHANGE will facilitate local congregations to share the Good News with all the people of this island, who all matter to God’.

  • Archbishop Sean Brady – Catholic Archbishop of Armagh
  • Archbishop Robin Eames – C. of I. Archbishop of Armagh
  •  Rev Harold Good – President Methodist Church in Ireland
  •  Rt. Rev. Dr. Alastair Dunlop – Moderator Presbyterian Church

Another clear ‘ecumenical indicator’ was outlined by Mr Good when he drew attention to the hopes of those organising ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ that the supporters of and participants in the initiative would together ‘clock up’ ‘One Million Hours of Prayer for Ireland’ [As it is listed on their web site]. Clearly prayers offered from whatever source, whether Roman Catholic or otherwise are deemed to be of equal value and can be recorded on ‘prayer postcards’ published by the organisers or can be recorded on the web site. [The ‘running total’ as I prepare this report is 142 hours]. It has been reported to me by two sources that have heard Stephen Cave of ‘Evangelical Alliance’ strongly advocate church involvement in ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ that Mr Cave has declared that the initiative is not ‘ecumenical’. Well, if this venture is not ‘ecumenical’, then the word has lost all meaning! Mr Good also confirmed that what he termed ‘smaller churches’ were also involved and sadly from my own perspective, as an Irish Baptist, as I prepare this report, 4 Northern churches belonging to the Association of Irish Baptist Churches are listed amongst the ‘participating churches’ on the web site of ‘POWER TO CHANGE’. On the page where details of one of these Baptist churches is listed you can also find listed on the same page the following ‘participating church’ details -Parish of the Nativity – Poleglass, St Lukes – Twinbrook and St Patricks – Lisburn. THESE ARE ALL ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPELS.

Can anyone, in all conscience, really declare that this is not ‘ecumenical’? The participation of Irish Baptist churches is baffling in the light of one of the ‘Stated Aims’ of the Association which is declared to be ‘the fostering of spiritual unity [in distinction from EVERY form of false ecumenism] with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and who are faithful to His gospel’ It would appear that for some, drawing up a Basis of Fellowship is much easier than adhering to it! This whole ‘POWER TO CHANGE’ campaign is being governed by the world’s ‘ways and wisdom’. God’s Word to His people is -“Be not conformed to this world” [Romans 12:2].

Dr Lehman Strauss in his ‘Studies in Philippians’ wrote on page 18

‘The beginning of the gospel in Philippi was an insignificant one and one of quiet waiting for the Lord to move. It started on a small scale. There was no planned crusade preceded by an ‘advance man’, no publicity committee, no ‘kick-off’ banquet’ no appeals to the local churches to cooperate. Paul’s ministry in Macedonia was New Testament evangelism at its best. As he and his little party stepped off the vessel, there was no anxious group waiting to receive him, no transportation arranged to carry him to a hotel. How fine had someone been there to greet him and say ‘We welcome you, Brother Paul, and we are anxious to hear the message God will give through you’. But there was nothing like that. Luke merely states

‘We were in that city abiding certain days’ [Acts 16:12]

That is, they were waiting for the Spirit of God to make possible their first contact for Jesus Christ’.

Paul himself reminded the Corinthian believers of his evangelistic start there

“And I brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God”

[1 Corinthians 2:1-5]

Dr Strauss and the Apostle Paul, like Abel of old, both “being dead yet speaketh” [Hebrews 11:4] and give us true insight on the ‘POWER TO CHANGE’

  • Sir Cliff Richard ‘singing out of tune’ again

In the December 2000 issue of ‘NEWS FROM THE FRONT’ I highlighted the incredible answer given by Cliff Richard to the question posed to him

‘WHY DID JESUS DIE’?

when he stated that some Jehovah’s Witnesses would be in heaven.

Well, as I was driving my car on 17 December 2001 the radio was tuned to BBC 2, the programme on was ‘Steve Wright in the afternoon’ and his special guest was [you’ve guessed it] Sir Cliff Richard. Steve asked Cliff – ‘Do you ever get tired of defending your faith’? to which Cliff basically replied ‘No’ but he then went on to express a personal hope as follows –

‘I hope one day that people of faith like Christians, Muslims, Jews, Mormon’s, Jehovah’s Witnesses will all band together to oust evil from the world’

In my ‘bachelor boy’ days I once heard the following statement attributed to Cliff Richard – ‘If you can read you can cook’ – I think Cliff should stick to giving advice on cooking and ‘pass’ on the questions on Christianity!

  •  The Evolutionary Mind-Set

A good example of just how ‘evolution’ has impacted upon society in general was found in the write-up in the Daily Mail TV guide for a film to be shown on Channel 4 on 3 January this year. The film was ‘One Million Years BC’ and the reviewer wrote the following -‘As most schoolchildren know. Dinosaurs didn’t roam the earth alongside man. Hammer studios blithely ignored this fact for their quaint prehistoric yarn’. Then this statement appeared in an e-mail from Ken Ham of ‘Answers in Genesis’ dated 23 January 2002 ‘Late last year, I spoke in Jamaica and participated in a debate about creation on nationwide radio. My debate opponent–who holds a high office in the Roman Catholic Church and is also a member of parliament-likened those who believe in Genesis to the Taliban!’

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