Explanation I am sorry if there was confusion. The point being made here is this: whether one accepts that the oil is medicinal (even in everyday cases apart from the case in view here)or merely symbolic (a type of the Spirit)the important aspect is the prayer of faith. The anointing or rubbing with oil will not heal anyone, in THIS instance - i.e. someone who is so sick as to be beyond the help of medicine alone. Prayer is the key, both here and in the Old Testament case of Hezekiah. Hezekiah too would NOT have recovered unless effectual prayer had been offered for him, and by him. Whether you believe it is medicinal oil of olive or merely a symbolic oil, only the "prayer of faith shall save (heal) the sick".
A timely and necessary Alarm This message was both a blessing and challenge to my own heart. The greatest threat to the sheep is the wolf in sheep's clothing. Every minister of the gospel is entrusted with the oversight of the flock of God. May we do nothing, and say nothing, which might endanger the sheep. What shepherd who really loves the sheep would knowingly endanger their welfare by introducing them to dangerous predators, or by leave them in the care of one who might so do? What faithful shepherd would entrust the flock to a "hireling", or a false shepherd, who cares not for the sheep? Furthermore, what faithful shepherd would allow an unfaithful shepherd to help him or to work alongside him in shepherding the flock? May God deliver His church from those who are more interested in the fleece than the flock.
Piper and LaCrae I think this information on John Piper's association with "Holy Hip-Hop" artist LaCrae may be helpful: http://www.newcalvinist.com/john-piper-2/piper-and-hip-hop/
LaCrae was fully involved in "Rock the River":http://www.dasouth.com/news/24-news/1673-video-lecrae-gives-testimony-and-talks-about-rock-the-river-tour
Piper's links to LaCrae and support of him are public knowledge.
This man makes it up as he goes along. The fact is that many churches and pastors were providing programming to Family Radio until the early 2000s. All through the 1990's Rev John Greer had a daily program each weekday on Family Radio and was announced each time as Pastor Greer of Malvern Free Presbyterian Church. Announcements from churches were regularly aired on the network as well as preaching from a variety of pastors. Family Radio must have been under judgment in that case! What a deluded fool Harold Camping really is!
Our Nebraskan friend just has to keep riding his favorite hobby-horse! Des he live on here ? His little anti-KJV crusade is tiresome. However, despite his repeated (ad nauseum) attempts to discredit the Authorised Version, it still stands as a superior (though imperfect) translation of God's Holy Word. No matter that many seek to tar all KJV-supporters with the same brush ("foul-mouthed"??? fanatics) many of God's people continue to be blessed both by its reading and preaching. Yes there are some whose rhetoric on the matter is foolish and even childish, but that is also true of those who promote inferior translations. I would heartily commend some other reading on this subject, such as the excellent articles on the Trinitarian Bible Society web-site. The sermons on this site by speakers at TBS meetings are also recommended.
Of course, my friend, if you listen to my message on "The Entertainment Syndrome" you will know that I condemn that sort of thing. But my church does not condone it, nor do many Bible-believing churches. Do not judge all churches by what most "churches" may do. Many "churches" who bring the TV into church on Superbowl Sunday are only showing how unscriptural they are. But it does not prove that God has abandoned His true church. I do not judge all Christian radio by what Mr Camping does and says. Just because he teaches a falsehood does not mean all Christian Radio preaching is false, does it? And Camping's teaching on the church is unscriptural nonsense. Christ will never leave Himself without a faithful witness.The Lord's Supper, for instance, will be kept (says the Apostle) "till He come".
Neil wrote: Stephen, I find it ironic that many anti-creedal Baptists write pretrib premill into their "statements of faith," while denouncing Reformed confessionalism, which is mostly light on eschatology (besides pope-as-antichrist). Because I take subscriptionism seriously, I cannot join such, even those who otherwise have sound doctrine.
Confessional churches are not immune from apostasy - obviously - however they are not nearly so prone to departure from truth as those churches without such subscription. At least men who subscribe something can be held to account.
john joseph brown wrote: Rev Hamilton, the fp church subscribes to the WCF true ,but do all the fp ministers believe that the Pope is thee Antichrist?
Good question, John - and I know why you are asking it! Every FP minister swears to uphold the WM Confession. Every minister certainly believes Romanism is Anti-christian, and that every Pope is anti-christ. The wording of the WCF speaks of the Pope as Anti-christ "in the church". Some believe in a future, final Anti-christ (THE Anti-christ), while others believe the dynasty of Popes is THE Anti-christ. Presbyterians historically have allowed for this difference - e.g. several prominent Free Church of Scotland ministers held to a future Antichrist, while believing that Rome was anti-christian. Among those were the Bonars and R. M. McCheyne. Few would doubt their orthodoxy, even those (like me)who disagree with their prophetic outlook. The main point is that the FPC is opposed to Romanism and Popery - may it ever be so.
As far as I am aware the church in Ulster still subscribes to the WCF and its proper description of the Pope as "the man of sin and son of perdition" and "that Antichrist". This historic Protestant stance was re-affirmed in the Ulster Presbytery's public statement carried on the FPC web-site and in the media. That statement re-affirms the FPC's opposition to Romanism and Ecumenism. My own Bible Class lecture on the subject is still available on this audio site: "Antichrist - The Pope? The Historic Protestant view". You will find other audio sermons on the topic by F.P. ministers, including Dr. Paisley of course. So the "so-called fundamentalist church" to which you refer still publicly opposes Rome and all its works. Whether the political stance and actions of some is consistent with such a position is another question altogether. But your implication that somehow Mr Thompson is adopting a more faithful stance than the FPC is a bit foolish, is it not, since the same Mr Thompson is still a paid adviser to one of the D.U.P. ministers in the un-democratic Assembly at Stormont??!! His radio comments, however, are to be applauded by every Bible-believing Protestant.
us observer wrote: "Rev Johnston . . . vowed to uphold the traditions of Free Presbyterianism." I don't personally know the Rev. Johnston, but I am disappointed that the take of the belfast telegraph is this. Shouldn't an outsider or a member of the media have come away thinking that he had vowed to uphold the Bible, and not the traditions of anyone or any group? How is the world supposed to think of your denomination as any different from Rome when it is reported that your moderator swears to uphold traditions?
The media did not give the full text of Presbytery's statement. The word "traditions", if it was used, was being employed in the Biblical (not R.C.)sense. The Apostle Paul used that very word to the Thessalonians, when he urged them to "hold fast the traditions". The FPC does have a "traditional" stance on many issues in the province of Ulster - these "traditions" of Free Presbyterianism include a strong stand upon the inerrancy of Scripture,with a particular defense of the traditional Bible Version of the Church (KJV), an emphasis on prayer, protest against apostasy and ecumenism, and vigorous evangelistic effort. Having studied alongside Rev. Johnstone, I expect him to uphold the Biblical "traditions" of Free Presbyterianism.
The Ecumenical spirit is alive and well in N. Ireland. Witness the words of Marty the Murderous at Armagh on Tuesday: "I want to pay tribute to the leadership shown by the leader of the D.U.P, our First Minister Ian Paisley. I think he has made a very powerful contribution to bringing the position to where it is today.There is tremendous hope on this island. We want to end conflict on this island. I believe the First Minister and myself are part of an administration that is full of dedication and committment to make this work..." (From The Irish Times web-site, "ireland.com")To quote an old friend, "It's enough to make a buzzard puke." Can this really be happening?
I must comment on a couple of recent contributions here. First,to my friend in Canada: I am NOT an American citizen, but a British citizen from N. Ireland. Furthermore, unlike him I know all about the internal workings of the Presbytery on both sides of the Atlantic first-hand. To 33k I note your gentle(?) chiding of me with regard to men not commenting at this stage. This has nothing to do with the "5th amendment" or ungodly silence. There are ways of dealing with matters that affect churches,internal matters, and many choose not to do that on web-sites and blogs which often generate more heat than light. Believe me, this saga is not over by a long chalk. There are things taking place, efforts being made, which I am not going to discuss in a public forum like this thread at this time. My prayer is that God will preserve that part of the Separated witness represented by the Free Church in Ulster, and that dirty politics will not destroy its testimony for Christ.
It never ceases to amaze me how some folks are ready to use any stick to beat the Free Presbyterian Church in Ulster with. Our "Canadian" friend has strayed pretty far from the subject of this thread. Wild generalizations concerning the Free Presbyterian Church and its inner workings are not only unwise but sinful. Perhaps he believes he himself is "smarter" than others and one "gifted from God" to judge those "many if not all" ministers and elders of that church? His comments are well wide of the mark. I am most certainly not afraid to state publicly what I believe. Having ministered in both FPC denominations I am only too aware of our imperfections. However, some matters affecting the church are best dealt with - at least initially - in private and in proper church courts. Some men's opinions are not going to be aired on blog-sites and web-pages. Many elders and ministers may well feel that cheap shots from those outwith the denomination - and especially those with only a limited knowledge of it - are best treated with contempt. Before setting the rest of us straight you might want to take a look at yourself in the light of Holy Scripture, beginning with the message to Laodicea.
Kudos to Alan for his ability to make some kind of coherent argument for the present arrangements - the problem is people like him are the only ones who really believe their own "spin". The "chain" he refers to is attached at BOTH ends: the D.U.P. are wedded to a party which still glories in its violent and ruthless past. This is not a marriage made in heaven - quite the reverse. The soon-to-be-convened All-Ireland Council, chaired by the newly-weds, will be evidence enough of how unsafe the Union really is. The D.U.P. has opened widely the gates of Troy - which the U.U.P. first unlocked - and wheeled in the Trojan horse. On another point,very many disabled victims of IRA terror and the bereaved relatives of the murdered will fully endorse the sentiments of Mrs Morrison on Belfast Telegraph TV. The insulting comments concerning those who never suffered during the Troubles were well and truly answered by her courageous response.
The N.T. teaches that those in the "true church" will subject themselves to one another. This includes subjection to godly leadership - the Pastoral epistles are meaningless if there are to be no organised "churches". Just because "most churches" have departed from the Word does NOT mean there should be NO churches at all. Free-lance, maverick "Christianity" has NO Biblical basis. Does Paul's teaching on elders and deacons, and on "those who are over you in the Lord" have no relevance in the 21st century??
I do not share in this pessimistic outlook...God's church will continue to exist till Jesus comes. Paul stated that the Lord's Supper was to be kept by believing Christians "Till He come", while Jesus said "Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." When churches apostatise God always raises up other faithful churches to take their place. They may be in the minority, but faithful Bible-preaching congregations will always exist amid the apostasy of the age.
Good for him - he stands by what he says. That is indeed unusual in the present political climate in N. Ireland. Unfortunately Ian's name is inextricably linked with the grant from the office of FMDFM of 180,000 pounds to the "gay" groups (the same office in which he is a junior minister). It is impossible to oppose the sodomite agenda in Ulster while at the same time you implement laws which support it, unless of course you believe that it is right and proper to say one thing and do another!