THE PROGRESSION IN THE MINISTRY
THAT ENDS WHERE IT BEGINS, IN JESUS CHRIST
1) For brief chronological progression, and testimony, see below.
2) for awards for the Biblical Christian Apologetics work, see this link.
3) For Autobiography, written at request of old school Scotch College, click here.
4) For Refutation of the PC in America's novelette as it almost becomes, reverting to biblical premises, see here:
a) the prelude and b) the substance.
THE START AND THE UNUSUAL
The beginning of what became quite a spiritual saga with vast powers of concerted opposition, was my conversion to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, with His word as His own, reliable, His Spirit as sent by Him, as provided and His task as assigned, the work of the Christian Ministry through the Presbyterian channel, my responsibility and His charge and care.
Eventually, this led to the graduation in B.A. B.D. and this was almost small compared with the non-academic challenge to follow.
After graduation, academically, I took the Master of Arts with Honours at Melbourne University (1964), and the Diploma of Education with all Honours there also when it was needed (1977), and was awarded the Doctor of Theology Degree, at the instance of the Chairman of the Doctrine Committee of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria, from the Berean Graduate School of Divinity for my 150,000 word thesis in Christian Biblical Apologetics and sundry works. All this may sound routine, but its setting was far from that.
However, inside this exterior there was a vast conflict; and it was not within, but with those purporting to serve Jesus Christ, professors and their allies in the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. So vile was their teaching, so anti-biblical their theme, so enormous was the hideous defilement of the Bible, so irrational its clothing and so depraved its nature that one wondered why the other students did not equally risk their careers and stand for Christ and His word, in the midst of such a quisling operation as this CHURCH ASSAULT on the Bible. It was sometimes venomous, often emotionally highly charged: it sought to subvert, quite explicitly, the Bible as the written criterion of truth, was lofty, self-exalted and when it was exposed as false, there was a super-charged atmosphere of hostility which led to my excision from the Class.
THE CHALLENGE, THE CONSEQUENCE AND THE VICTORY
In testimony, therefore, the account is longer.
Before Westminster Seminary graduation in 1957, I challenged these liberal Professors in the Ormond College Seminary, Melbourne, in answer to their challenge to students as they attacked the book of Daniel as being subterfuge, and tried to deny the powers of prediction of Jesus Christ; and was removed as a candidate for this in 1954.
After graduation, ecclesiastically, I found that the confrontation rolled on. Exclusion from the ministry rollicked on at the hand of my liberal opponents, in control of the body which decides candidature. This took its time to move to the final test in this world, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, but after I had taught for some years and proceeded to the work of my Master's degree, the time came for the meeting.
In this, I was backed by a Presbytery in Canada, where I had preached both when at Seminary and subsequently, and one in Tasmania, where I was teaching in a Church School (including religious studies) as also by a large congregation in Victoria, giving a threefold cord. We acted against the Theological Education Committee of Victoria, which sought to exclude me from the Ministry for my testimony. The opportunity to fall from it was presented and refused, and as is not uncommon, false charges had been added.
In Sydney in 1964, we won on appeal to this General Assembly of Australia, in a most dramatic exchange when the Lord verified profoundly the promise of Luke 21:15; but that in itself is a separate story! It may be seen from this link, and others like it at this site. The important thing is this: that despite a 'congregation' of ministers and elders, a large proportion of whom would have been mis-educated by liberal teaching, the Lord undertook to uphold His servant, and overturned the false condemnation of 10 years or so standing, and even brought applause at the God-given answer to one of the probing questions of the opposition! Praise God because with Him, NOTHING is impossible!
The contest had a further phase, even after that, but it also led to a victory in the power and goodness of the Lord.
It happened in this way. A required essay for licensing, on the virgin birth in Isaiah 7, my choice, was rejected; but a copy sent to Professor E. J. Young of Westminster was given Honours. On my presenting challenge to the Stated Clerk of that Assembly, the GAA, on the ludicrous nature of this further persecution, and affirming that this was a grave dishonour to the Church, he agreed, and undertook to act. Thus, he pledged that if I provided another Essay, New Testament, he personally, being able, and under certain conditions, would call a special meeting of the General Assembly of the PC of Australia, just to cover the outrage of such a case.
Thus assured, I agreed to write a further essay, and several copies of this were to be sent to scholars, including F.F. Bruce. The arrangement was that if the international scholars such as he, were happy with the essay, and the examiners in Australia sought to exclude me further, then that special meeting of the GAA would be called! It should be emphasised that not only were the Liberal academics in seminary making an entirely different book of Daniel, on a self-contradictory theory (the ground of my exclusion, when I showed this to be so, in Class, a reply praise God, never answered!); but we as students were placed under explicit challenge as to our integrity, if we still believed the book of Daniel.
The case in fact was even worse than this. In New Testament studies, a new Christ who could not know He would rise from the dead in three days had been presented in Class, and when as enabled by the Lord, I exhibited this for the flamboyant folly it was, in argumentation the day before my exclusion from Ministry training in the PC of Australia, the stage was set, and the official termination of that training, being now virtually assured, duly arrived! Thus, falsely accused for reminding the Church of its wicked teaching, I left; but the Lord in His time turned the tables, years the interim!
We return to 1964, some 10 years later. F.F. Bruce and Professor John Skilton of Westminster Seminary both being happy with the new essay, no one in Australia tried any more to exclude me and I was licensed in 1965, sent to a Charge and eventually became a Presbyterian Minister when, called as a Visiting Preacher to a suburban Church in New Zealand, I was ordained by South Auckland Presbytery.
At that time, Professor Geering, Principal of the only NZ Presbyterian seminary, was busy denying, with vast Press coverage, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was then called to a pastorate in Blenheim on the South Island, just opposite Wellington where the challenge to this heresy, was presented via Overture by our congregation, to the Assembly of 1966.
Given 7 minutes flat to speak, as commissioned as an Assembly representative, I duly delivered the Overture. In this event, I showed from the Greek in Acts 2, there was no possible other rendering than that which indicated that Christ’s flesh did not rot, and that any schoolboy understands what it is to rot; and likewise affirmed that a prime apostle had so affirmed on a central occasion in the very establishment of the Church, and this for a central reason, and that to deny it was not merely to offend our official standards, but the Bible and the foundation of the Church. They refused the correction required by us, of this heresy. We indicated we would so hold to biblical truth, whatever they did.
When it came to the vote, I alone (it sounds like Elijah’s prayer) made a request to have my DISSENT RECORDED, from their Resurrection Statement, a fact not presented in the Press, but exhibited in a Christian Paper published in New Zealand, shortly afterwards.
After a few days, I duly presented some thousands of words of official ground for my dissent from their heretical ‘Resurrection Statement’, which had made the body of Christ irrelevant to the ‘resurrection’. The bodily resurrection was, I indicated, indispensable to the faith, incorrigible and indefeasible: apostasy alone could deny it. This meant that in all matters involving the Resurrection Statement, I condemned these also. The Stated Clerk told me that “the Presbytery will deal with you,” which in due course they did, coming by announcement in the secular Press, to examine my Ministry. It began to appear almost like the dealings of a theological mafia.
This meant that there was ONE dissident to the total apostasy of the PC of NZ, the dissent recorded for all time, officially and formally, in all matters covering the use and nature of that resurrection statement. Passed in Assembly in my presence as a representative, and with my dissent, formally requested in session, to be recorded, it stands forever. What finds it convenient to distress the truth for whatever purposes, has fallen into the abyss of the powers of deception, but they were exposed, here as in Australia. It is amazing that so simple a thing should be ignored by so many in that land for so long, as a matter crucial to the faith; but it teaches the shudderingly horrid reality of the distortions of history which some even amongst the Reformed, appear to have contributed.
It is this which emphasises and
underlines the beauty of truth, and the reality of that judgment which comes.
There have even been reported two Ministers who (though wishing to remain
anonymous) were stated to doubt that the speech in the Assembly of 1966 was ever
made, even though the Session of St Ninian's authorised the Overture to Assembly
and the Minister, oneself, duly acted in that hyper-charged atmosphere to
present it, and duly received the threats noted, and then their fulfilment with
the Presbyterian in condemnatory mood, visiting the charge. Those who listen to
anonymous and unsupported statements of this kind have truth to rebuke them, and
sources in N.Z. were contacted to rebuke this infamous an d ludicrous
When will truth once more be revered, and evil speaking contain itself in what is called the Church! One is all too aware of the follies such as Paul was ready to correct in diseased misuse of tongues, as seen in the end of II Corinthians 12. But let us return to reality in NZ and watch the flow of actual events following the Assembly confrontation from St Ninian's via their Minister.
Since the heretical NZ Seminary Principal had by this time also indicated that the supernatural was actually an obstacle to 20th century belief, I told the presbyterial representatives that even Islam did better than this; and that led to our physical separation, they taking the rest of the Session, to indoctrinate them, leaving myself alone. After half an hour, the medical specialist on our Session returned, announcing that he had told them that I had been given 3 minutes, whereas the Session had counter-charge made over half an hour, and that in equity he could no longer participate. Later he resigned, indicating that the number of cars at the congregational meeting with Presbytery, concerning my ministry, was such that one would have thought it a wedding, or a crucifixion.
We as Session appealed to the next Assembly from the action by which Presbytery tried to remove me, and since Assembly then met in two halves over two years, this stood. I warned the people, but we lost a further elder who on understandable grounds, decided he could no longer stay in such a denomination, so losing our majority. It was then that I transferred (in three days, rather interestingly) to the RPCES, at that time a stout-seeming little body calling itself true-blue Presbyterian, and therefore proceeded to the USA, where various mission works were done. At this time, I was called to a pastorate in Hinsdale, Illinois, at The Church on the County Line.
Our youth work prospered greatly, but the Board moved from the Bible, critically refusing to cease having public prayer at political meetings open to all faiths and non-faiths; and so the pastorate ended. After preaching for some time, while visiting an OPC Church in Maine, we proceeded to Australia, where a separated Presbyterian Church was instituted and this proceeded during much of the 1970s, until it became necessary to do my Dip. Ed. to enable my teaching tent-making to continue; and after this, some years were taken with the Th.D. and similar biblical work, until I was called as Principal of a Christian School in South Australia, and during the eighties, proceeded to take a Headmastership back in Melbourne, and to teach in sundry posts, starting another separated Presbyterian Church, in Adelaide, which has continued from 1988 to the present, 2007.
RPCES which one had joined as a Minister in 1967, was swallowed up in this
period by the Presbyterian Church in America, in which one's US Ministry
remained sited, the whole covering 1967-1998. Thus one found oneself a Minister
in the Presbyterian Church in America. It was not the RPCES, which had a
distinctive separation according to the Bible, orientation. It was a
large, new body instead.
This was the approach, and
though that little denomination, the RPCES, had been small, it felt rather like a family, where
pomposity and formalism were not overwhelmingly present. However, the departure
of some 400 churches from the Presbyterian Church USA, in the South of the USA,
had led to this new denomination, one which claimed the past 300 years or so for
its life's journey. Long had they been with the doctrinally unsound southern
church, and now they moved. Indeed on arrival in the USA in 1967, I had been
approached as a possible pastor to one of these churches, from memory one of
some 400 members, before the new denomination had formed.
On learning, however, that it had received
those from another church, who being freemasons found there a home, I asked
further concerning this matter, and being not assured that this
Christ-compromising body had no
control, I could not pursue the matter further. Freemasonry has been rightly
condemned as unbiblical by the PC of Australia and the RPCES, indeed, this was
re-affirmed by that body, not long after my arrival in the USA, and after I had
made protest concerning it in our Synod meeting.
Indeed, as one pointed out to the medical
specialist in the Session where I was pastor, in NZ, how can anyone who is a
Christian become a freemason when you are allegedly proceeding out of darkness,
or obscuration of light, into masonic light. Is Christ darkness ? Is light
obscured from greater force, in Him! So fundamental is this fact, that one can
support no body which tolerates this heresy, be it an old school or other.
Meanwhile, for the new Presbyterian Church in
America (though as noted, it claims continuation from the long-standing southern
Presbyterian Church in USA), this being less sure on the issue separation, having merely left an
increasingly radical body: things changed.
Eventually it moved to a radical degree itself.
This had proceeded step by step, from RPCES to PC in America, and not least in
the fall of the former body, to a less than biblical position, perhaps moved by the desire to survive, to be well thought
of to meet the variant desires within it. Many wanted to have broader relationships, and one Minister even went to a WCC meeting, a fact at which one had to protest to the Synod, but by a formality
(too much time had passed before the protest reached the relevant body), no
action was taken. It was however acknowledged that the protest had basis!
Again, relationships with a non-biblical body
had been challenged and the church began to move to separate, but the party
appointed to do the job, simply did not do it. Eventually, an arrangement was
made not to proceed to rectify this failure. Things had begun to lapse further.
Then in the PC in America (the new body which digested and swallowed up the
RPCES), the creation doctrine was challenged, and while some wanted to keep to a strict
biblical position, others did not, and prevailed.
During this time, being in Australia, one could
not act normalltyin the Assembly, and the default in the USA duly occurred. My
own emphasis on the love of God as in the PC of Australia Declaratory Statement
and in Colossians 1, I Timothy 1, Ezekiel 33:11 and multitudes of other
declarations, had already, with insistence on keeping to the word of God, led to
no small lack of co-operation, and my protests at various degrees of failure to
be biblical had received small satisfaction. To be sure, when present in the
USA, in the RPCES Synod, I had requested this aspect be acknowledgep and
it was formally. But with the PC in America, all such was swallowed up in the
new and embracaive large Church.
Drift can be little at a time, but in sum can
render a foundation no more the actual base, but a notional accommodation as a
reference point. Such appeared to occur, and in particular in creation teaching,
until separation became necessary.
It was based in principle on three main thrusts, discernible at first and declared at last.
novelties in creation doctrine,
2) failures in slackness
coverage of the biblical emphasis on the scope
The first point being decisive (I Thessalonians 2:15, 3:6, Romans 16:17, Mark 7:7)
led to our movement to independence from such unbiblical departure from apostolic doctrine.
did one protest to Presbytery about the slide and decline, in this form or
that, into false ecumenism and practice, and movements towards schism, whether
in the USA or in Australia, where the opportunity to present a vast challenge to
the PC of Australia, so far from being pursued (as if in parallel to the initial
development of the Free Church in Scotland in Chalmers' day) was not merely
dropped. The opposite in near synthesis between the two erring churches
proceeded with apparent relish, each appearing to bolster the daring in biblical
departure of the other! Thus does reform, if not taken, become a positive
force to deform.
It is interesting to see how the change in the
PC in America on creation doctrine occurred. Let us construe this in the above
basis of Presbytery's repeated inaction.
as the case worsened, new focus came in another Presbytery in the PC in
America. It had declined to accept a candidate for the Ministry on doctrinal
grounds. This went to the Assembly which on the contrary, accepted him.
What had happened ? By report, It was this. While I was in Australia, the PC in America Assembly overturned a Presbyterian decision NOT to accept a candidate deeming Genesis 1 'a poetic account' (a prelude to much more of this kind), so that it became necessary simply to depart from what would never respond in substance or act but merely speak and continue as it was, now categorically contaminated. Therefore, as neither Presbytery nor Synod would act, wouuld deliver on the topic, but remained dumb and unresponsive,and the case progressed backwards in doctrine, in the end, a simple severance from the denomination became the path of continuance in the biblical purity that is one's duty and joy.
To turn what in the Bible, from
the outset, is
a stated account of organised happenings,
successive in impact, from first to last,
to the history of one of the created entities (man)
but in terms of genesis of generations,
from first the engendering
generation of heaven and earth (Genesis 2:4),
the engendered generations of man,
all in order and with measure and care presented,
from the beginning,
using a method of stating first, second and so on,
into wholly unsubstantiated alternative fantasy,
is what ?
It is to make evidence irrelevant, cohesion inconsequential, continuity misleading, a concept-consequence tie-up that is continual and compelling a mere sop to the fertile imagination of the re-writers of history. That they do not have the benefit of being God only adds to the arrogance of their geyser of doctrinal devastation. They set a new basis for doctrine: their imagination, and it is formalised as part of the teaching scope of the Church.
The use of text to mean what it does not say, contrary to what it does say, and force it to conform to a fixed idea which lacks not only some but all evidence, is to be like a detective who, finding half a acre of crash items for an airliner, determines that the fact that they all conform in markings, shape, size and lettering to the original, including deterioration since the crash where relevant, deems this a mere challenge and would have the crash perhaps elsewhere - somewhere or other.
In this world, he says, where all the evidence is contrary, you must be suspicious and sniff, like a dog, at a butterfly as a more probable site of the action, even though, glaringly, the evidence in all respects conforms to one and only one 'site'!
In vain, said Christ, do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. The charge: making the word of God of no effect, virtually annulling it, so that you may keep your own traditions! This is all found in Mark 7 as in these innovatory compulsions which make a fable for the faith. All this however did not seem to divide what had already accepted much. The Assembly, being given by a Committee such an account, rushed into it without the recommended delay.
Alas and accordingly, instead of reform on both sides of the Pacific, intimate relationships between the two denominations were fostered, each wallowing in its own departures from biblical truth, neither reforming from this, but sailing sadly away from the purity of former days. Indeed the PC of Australia itself moved from its own constitutional emphasis on the scope of the love of God, through Assembly declaration in 1991. This was attached to a closure concerning the Confession, making it with similar moves, rather a confessional than a biblical church (Mark 7:7ff. to the contrary). On this unhappy movement, one might turn to The World Belongs to Him and I am His, and to Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Epilogue.
Meanwhile, as to the PC in America with its RPCES element of background, as seen above, the failure on ecumenism became failure in other doctrine and application, so that in the early 1980s, the swallowing up of the RPCES into the PC in America, which developed much later than the RPCES, became one of the tragedies of the 21st century. It was so important to have a body which with moderation and care, would nevertheless proceed with integral realism to follow the biblical commands, and this, whatever society or churches in their foretold failures in large numbers, would do. Now this opportunity in the realm of Presbyterianism was lost, and one could only like Micaiah among the 400 or so false prophets, stand firm and in departing do so by simple severance.
It became, then, necessary for one to sever from being a Minister of the PC in America, an association which by that time had extended, with the preliminary time in the RPCES, over a period of more than 30 years of ordained service (1967-1998). It was however by due and proper transfer to another Church of Presbyterian persuasion, that one moved, as a Minister in good and proper standing at that time, with the PC in America. The move was to an Australian Church holding to the infallible Bible and the approach to the Westminster Confession in the Constitution as originally present in the PC of Australia.
In so doing, one explicitly and in writing appealed to the Lord, the faithful judge, and by faith so acted. In this, Matthew 18 is so relevant and blessed. It is not numbers that count, in their vastness, but faith which does so. All through both Testaments, people have had to act by faith in the face of decline, and been pilloried. But what of this ? Truth matters, the Bible rules and whatever be the slander or slight that responds, spiritual life proceeds in, by, for and with Christ according to the Bible, not in some hybrid.
There are times when not to be daring in faith, is darting out of it!
What is NOT of faith does not please God. This therefore was by faith, leaving the PC in America to do what it desired.
The Church to which one moved made, in other words, the substance of the Confession to be received, but added to it on the love of God the insistence on a due complementarity concerning its scope, together with the Confession, just as does the Constitution of the PC in Australia, in order that not a Confession but the Bible would rule without intermission, moderation or suppression. All this was to be eminently clear and insusceptible to subversions. That was the essence of the matter. The Bible alone would always, in its own integrity and right, determine all issues.
It was not that the PC of Australia had a bad basis, but that it had shamelessly left it in extremism that was not biblical, not part of its original basis, and not tolerable in its categorical dismissal of biblical truth. It had been subjected to a radical and unbelieving swamping with radical extremism for 40 years progressively; then it came to be subjected to a servility to traditions not demonstrable from the Bible (versus Westminster Confession I, vi, XX, ii, XXXI, iv). It is in this way that we in our small church body are continuing the thrust and base of the PC of Australia on biblical lines; and indeed, it is not the past as such, but the Bible as such that rules. There is no need however for anything substantial to change; it is a matter of proceeding on the sound basis originally set up in 1901, and using as required, the Bible at all times to resolve all doctrines without addition or constraint outside it.
Thus two churches were moving in parallel, astray in the USA and in Australia, and ONE marvellous opportunity was cleverly avoided, to bring a burning bush of truth, in united purging of error and continuance in soundness, into the twenty first century decline. The PC in America even fashioned a tale of sorrow in its innovative exuberance, and this has been answered in depth as shown in the next hyperlink. That is the testimony concerning it.
This bypassing of doctrine in creation on the part of the PC in America, lapse from the emphasis on the love of God as noted, and its joining with the PC in Australia for practical purposes appeared jointly to become one more case of the imperial majesty of the Church becoming a ground of conflict with the spiritual majesty of the Lord and the SOLE doctrinal rule of His word. Indeed, the latter church even maintained female elders as if to make it ultra clear that the word of God did not rule, except where the Church found it convenient.
The later negative finding concerning this point by the PC in Victoria on this departure from the biblical teaching, did nothing to improve the situation, since the matter was not applied nation-wide; so that convenience continued to the contrary of truth, in the practical rule (cf. Assault on Timothy).
Thus does error coalesce, and so did the original statement from the highest official in the PC of Australia in the 1970s, to two of us elders - namely that though many in the PC of Australia did not believe in the infallible scripture, yet they would vote for a Calvinistic approach as they could see no practical alternative - and let this proceed to its conclusion. It was to become prelude to a sad historical fact. Calvinism had the appeal for stability; it was used. It was more and more implemented. Was it to be Christ or some new Peter, however keen ? Is the Church to rebuke the word of God, rather than vice versa ? Is man to carary God in his bosom!
You cannot have two masters, and there is only one word which can and must in the Church of Jesus Christ, directly, unremittingly and finally rule (cf. Mark 7:7ff.). Any sound Church lets God and His written word rule, not some Confession, its summation critical. All should be purge-able at any time, just as a car should be serviced.
How often did Israel make decisions of convenience, worldly-wise, and suffer! Once more a decline into extremism, first to dismiss the word of God in its seminary, then to elevate the word of man, grievously occurred. Distortion of the grand scale of the original Constitution now became de rigueur, just like the former generation with its benighted radicalism.
It is not in this that one judges churches, but events; not people but doctrines; and this not by one's word, but by the Bible as one's ordination undertaking REQUIRES that one do, to seek to maintain the purity of the Church; and for one's own part, this is not an option, popular or not. The Lord will have one, as He did by His grace in New Zealand in the resurrection affair, whoever he be and even if at any time there be no more, who will not bow to unbelief and biblical licence. One must move from it: however many be the innovations; nor is this a personal fiefdom, but simply a spiritual necessity; the simplest and humblest of actions, like eating one's dinner when a child! (Romans 16:17, cf. Separation).
Nor is this some boast, but a necessity for testimony; and indeed, it is only and altogether through His grace, vitality and presence, than one has been kept faithful in so many of these conflicts. Nor is it to say that one has done well, for that estimate is for another; but one can say this, that wherever one wonders if one could have done better in these confrontations, testimonies and endeavours to be valiant for the truth, indeed faithful to it, it is NEVER a matter of whether one should have gone so far, but only of this: Could not not have done better by doing even more!
There is only one opportunity to pass in this way, and it is necessary to make the most of it for Christ. It is HE ONLY who is the Saviour, and what defiles His word, defiles the way of salvation for some, as Christ made clear in Luke 11:40-54. The Gospel is the way, and the word defines the Gospel, so any endeavour to bypass Matthew 5:17-20 is merely a confusion. No other Gospel has ANY place (Galatians 1), and no other word has the authority of God (Isaiah 8:20), everything else being merely derivative and conditional on His word, concerning Himself, His will and His ways. To be sure, nature itself teaches us much; but the definition is left to Him (Romans 1:17ff.).
Of ways of orientation, information in deity and salvation, there is one source in writing, and one in Person; for the Bible is the sole definitive declaration of God in written form for man, just as Jesus Christ is the sole Saviour in human form, God Himself in flesh (cf. SMR Appendix D, pp. 532ff,).
Judging this, that what the Bible says in instruction is to be obeyed, one does not have to condemn a church in order to leave it; but to watch the criteria and to follow them. In seeking fidelity, it is necessary to seek to follow, in obedience to His word, not lead, in departure from it. Exposure of error does not substitute for faithfulness; for that, if the word of God declares it time to separate, one must do so (cf. Separation 1997). .
These sad movements from former soundness on the part of two denominations, now large and elevated, was a thing NOT from the Lord of the Bible, since it did not comport with it; but we were forced in integrity to act in close dependence on Him who speaks; and indeed, He has continued to bless, with His mercy and favour as we serve Him. In fact, He is always faithful, gracious and understanding. Moreover, we seek as servants do well to do, to find and do His will as He works in us, both to will and to do (Philippians 2), and to follow His word, not lead it. Let God be God, whoever else is whatever else.
One can the more empathise with Elijah, when the vast declivities of his own day and the intense betrayals of many who did not act for the truth as they should, that he only was left. Actually, as he learned, there were some 7000 left (a tiny percentage of the population nevertheless); but he had to ACT even when they did not show. That is the nature of faith, Noah did not seek a social quorum before proceeding to build his ark, nor Elijah a priestly one before confronting the king.
During this time, indeed since 1988, and especially since independence in 1998, I have had occasion to write a set of books on Biblical Christian Apologetics, to which I felt distinctively called, and for which power and help with what has personally appeared to be an amazing degree of grace, has been given by the Lord. This set has hundreds of pages of index, and is now some 60,000 pages in extent, with 242 volumes so far published.
Rather interestingly, about 5 of these were published before the severance from the PC in America and transfer to the Ministry of the Australian Bible Church; about 237 have been published since - that is from that time in 1998, when the severance was made. Indeed, January 2008 was the end of a decade since severance from the PC in America, as one set out in a small bark, in the fleet of Christ, by His strength, grace and enablement, to do what was required, to strengthen what remains, and serve as directed. May His name be forever praised and blessed.
So the Lord has poured out His strength in a way which in retrospect, seems a most gracious and kindly thing for Him to do. Again and again, one feels it necessary to say, state and declare it: the Lord IS good! This is a vast ocean of wonder, just HOW good He is.
What then is a major emphasis in these 238 volumes that He has helped to provide, indeed stirred me up to write, and enabling, blessed. Consider this.
Is the Bible, the sole authorised word of God to man, demonstrably His ? Yes.
Is it infallible as His own ? of course it is. Does it work ? Every time. Does He honour it ? Nothing less, for it expresses His mind to man. Is His spiritual power abiding in it ? and is His love found through it ? In Christ, its basis and focus, it is all to be found, just as it is written.
His divine nature and work, being incarnate as Jesus Christ, are in these volumes shown to be demonstrable, verifiable and in every domain listed, commanding in testimony. This then is shown. It is all freely available on the Web, and has been so for nearly two decades as it developed, the address now being: http://webwitness.org.au Faith apprehends and possesses, but reason insists, whatever disfaith does.
We praise God that as far as the evidence goes, it seems way over one million calls for chapters or similar sites in this work have been made by students, surfers or others on the Web, since its institution; but it varies in popularity over time, in nations and in degree, action sometimes being intense. It has received much attention from the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England, and the American Biographical Institute who have freely included the pastor's name as author in various reference volumes in this and that category. Details are listed on the Web, under author. Some may instead condemn it; but that is standard, for those who live godly will suffer persecution as Paul stated, and it is well to do what God directs for His Church.
Thus my ordination was transferred to this separated Church, The Australian Presbyterian Bible Church (the shorter name - Australian Bible Church), in 1998, and remains in it. Meanwhile, as one whom He has redeemed through the blood of the Cross, I have just the same passion for Jesus Christ as Lord, Saviour and Son of God, and bodily resurrected, for the power of God and for the written word of God, the Bible, as ever. The yearning that people escape perdition and find God where the door is open, in Jesus Christ alone, does not change. The skies may fall, and lovely they are; but the word of God remains for ever. Wise is the one who follows it. Friends may betray, but the Son of God remains faithful in all things for ever. This testimony to the authenticity, infallibility and demonstrability of the biblical testimony to and from God, in Christ, remains a product of His grace.
Brethren who follow His word (John 17:8-9,
Matthew 5:19ff.), whose heart is in Him, pray for us.
Those who do not yet believe, look, taste and see!