Dear praying friends,
It seems that Northern Ireland is fast becoming a haven for every modern heresy that is currently circulating under the guise of being ‘evangelical’. In June/July Brian McLaren will speak to thousands of young professing Christians at the local ‘Summer Madness’ event. Also in July, Joel Osteen will ‘preach’ at the Belfast Odyssey arena. In November the main speaker at the ‘Mandate’ gathering for men will be Erwin McManus who, like Brian McLaren, is identified with what is called ‘The Emerging Church’ – I’ve just had a phone call to tell me that another ‘Emerging Church’ figure called Rob Bell [we have an ‘Alarm Bells’ warning article about him & his wife on our website] will be speaking in Belfast in June, with the Church of Ireland Youth Dept., closely associated with ‘Summer Madness’, advertising Bell’s visit. On our website and in this newsletter these issues will be addressed. Why do we do that? Let me quote from John MacArthur’s latest book ‘The Truth War’ [mentioned on page 13] ‘As always a war is being waged against the truth. We are on one side or the other. There is no middle ground…in every generation the battle for the truth has proved ultimately unavoidable because the enemies of truth are relentless. Truth is always under assault. And it is actually a sin not to fight when vital truths are under attack…whenever the enemies of gospel truth succeed in infiltrating the church [as represented by all those mentioned above] faithful believers are obliged to take the battle to them even there. That is certainly the case today’ [pages XXIII-XXIV]. We thank you for all your support and encouragement and covet your prayers as we continue to engage the enemies of God’s “truth”.
Dear praying friends,
The quotation that I gave in our December newsletter from the article at the front of our gift Study Bible provoked some very favourable feedback and also stirred memories of some lines that tell of how God’s Word is like an anvil that over the centuries has resisted the hammers of error. These lines, written by someone unknown [but not to God] go as follows –
Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door and heard the anvil ring the vesper chime: Then looking in, I saw upon the floor old hammers, worn with beating years of time. “How many anvils have you had,” said I, “to wear and batter all these hammers so?” “Just one,” said he, and then, with twinkling eye, “the anvil wears the hammers out, you know.” And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s word, for ages sceptic blows have beat upon; Yet though the noise of falling blows was heard, the anvil is unharmed . . . the hammer’s gone. One friend also shared these lines from the front of her father’s Bible – Prove all things by the Word of God….all ministers, all teaching, all preaching, all opinions, all practices — prove all by the Word of God. Measure all by the measure of the Bible. Test all in the crucible of the Bible. That which can abide the fire of the Bible receive, hold, believe and obey. That which cannot abide the fire of the Bible, reject, refuse, repudiate and cast away.
If professing Christians were more knowledgeable of ‘the anvil’ and used it to “prove all things” there would a lot less need for the cry of ‘Take Heed’ to go up. But the need is still there and so we do value your love and support of us.