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Scripture Memory: The Preeminence of Christ.

VERSE: Colossians 1:17 “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

 

20 August 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (Ye Are the Salt of the Earth, Matt 5:13)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Eld Khoo Peng Kiat (Teach Us to Number Our Days, Psalm 90)

 

27 August 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Calvin Loh (Ye Are the Light of the World, Matthew 5:14-16)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Jack Sin (Under the Shadow of the Almighty, Psalm 91)

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THE B-P CHURCH MOVEMENT (Part 1)

(A message delivered by Rev Charles Seet at the Combined B-P Churches Reformation Conference on 9 August 2017)

 

“We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and His wonderful works that He hath done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.” (Psalm 78:4-7)

 

            This passage highlights the importance of passing our knowledge of God’s work to the next generation. One of the aims of our conference is to help the next generation to appreciate and preserve the precious biblical heritage that we share together. We want everyone to understand how God raised up the B-P movement at a time of spiritual decline and apostasy.

 

The Beginning of the Presbyterian Church

 

            Our roots can be traced to the great Scottish Reformer, John Knox (1514-1572). David Murray said, “No man in all our history has done more for Scotland than John Knox. By God’s grace he saw a land immersed in idolatry, immorality, ignorance, bondage and superstition, and by the Gospel of Christ transformed into a free, democratic, educated, poor-provided-for, liberated, civilised nation. Scotland was his monument. And all through Christ!”

 

            John Knox received the Reformed faith when he studied at John Calvin’s Academy in Geneva. He said that this was ‘the most perfect school of Christ seen on earth since the days of the Apostles.’ He brought the Re-formed faith to Scotland in 1559 and founded the first Presbyterian Church. After a year it became the official Church of Scotland. In 1647 the Presbyterian Church adopted the Westminster Confession of Faith as its doctrinal standard. 121 godly theologians had worked together for about four years to produce this statement. It took so long because every paragraph was prayerfully composed and supported with Scripture verses. The Westminster Confession has been used for over three centuries. Today it is the doctrinal standard of the Bible-Presbyterian Church and many other reformed churches.

 

The Development of the Presbyterian Church in America

 

            In the seventeenth century, many Scottish Presbyterians mi-grated to Northern Ireland in search of religious freedom. From Ireland, about 200,000 of them sailed to America. One of them was Francis Mackemie. He is considered to be the father of American Presbyterianism. In 1706 Mackemie was elected as the moderator of the first presbytery that met in Philadelphia. As more Presbyterian churches were planted in America, a synod was formed. The Westminster Confession of Faith became its doctrinal statement. Princeton Theological Seminary was founded in 1812 to train new ministers for the increasing number of Presbyterian churches in the US. Princeton became a very large seminary producing many godly ministers.

 

            However in the 19th century, new doctrines began to creep into many churches. American scholars went to Europe to learn from eminent professors who taught something called Liberal theology. These professors regarded the Bible as an ordinary book that was written by human authors. They reduced it to a collection of religious myths and legends. They rejected all the miracles of the Bible. They claimed that Science had proven that all things were not created by God, but that they had evolved naturally over millions of years. They taught that all religions are morally good and acceptable to God. They claimed that Jesus Christ was merely a wise moral teacher, and that He is not the only way to God.

 

            These Liberal doctrines were promoted by professors with very high degrees of learning. They claimed to have the most advanced theological education in the world. In reality the doctrine they taught was not Christianity at all. It was opposed on every point to biblical Christianity. But students in many seminaries were being indoctrinated by them. After they graduated, they infected the churches they pastored with their defective teaching. Instead of preaching the pure Gospel which has the power to convict souls, they preached a powerless social gospel. The main goal of the church became social reform, rather than the salvation of souls from sin.

 

            As a result of this, many Presbyterians became Liberal. They wanted to change the Westminster Confession to reflect their Liberal doctrinal views. However, the Presbyterians who wanted to keep the Westminster Confession unchanged tried to stop them. At a General Assembly held in 1910, they affirmed their belief in five biblical doctrines: The inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, the bodily resurrection of Christ, and the miracles of Christ. Only those who subscribed to these five doctrines were allowed to become pastors of Presbyterian churches. These five doctrines were eventually published in a series of booklets entitled “The Fundamentals”.

 

            Because of this, the Liberals began ridiculing those who believed in them as ‘Fundamentalists’. Since then, the term ‘fundamentalist’ has become associated with religious extremism. The Liberals strongly objected to making these five doctrines a requirement for ordaining all new pastors. In 1923 they expressed this objection in a statement which became known as the Auburn Affirmation. It was signed by 1,293 Presbyterian ministers (which was about 13% of all the Presbyterian ministers). This shows how far Liberalism had advanced within the church by then. Four years later, the Liberals won the battle. The whole Presbyterian denomination came under their control. By 1967 they replaced the Westminster Confession with a Liberal doctrinal statement.

 

            In the midst of this crisis, there was one Bible scholar who spoke out boldly to defend the faith. He was J. Greshem Machen. Machen was one of the leading professors at Princeton Theological Seminary. Unfortunately the Liberals managed to take over the Board of the Seminary. And so Machen together with four other professors and about 50 students left Princeton in 1929 to start their own theological seminary. Since it adhered firmly to the Westminster Confession of faith, it was named Westminster Theological Seminary.

 

            One of the students who left Princeton to form the new seminary was Carl McIntyre. He was a third year student who had dreamed of graduating from Princeton. But when the President of Princeton tried to dissuade him from leaving, he replied, “I come from a home where we believed the Bible. I don’t know where this book will take me in this life, but I know where it will take me for eternity.” In 1931 McIntyre graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. Two years later he began to pastor the Collingswood Pres-byterian Church in New Jersey which had 810 members.

 

The Beginning of the Bible Presbyterian Church Movement in America

 

            In 1936 the conflict between the Fundamentalists and the Liberals came to a great climax. Eight fundamentalist pastors were put on trial and were suspended. Carl McIntire was one of them. However, the Collingswood congregation that he pastored gave him very strong support. They voted to come out of the Liberal denomination. They had to give up their church building and find a new place of worship. Together with some other Fundamentalists they formed themselves into a new denomination. On 4 June 1937 fourteen ministers and three elders met together at the St James Hotel in Philadelphia. They started the Bible Presbyterian Church.

 

            The word ‘Bible’ was added to the name ‘Presbyterian’ because the controversy between Fundamentalists and Liberals had centered around the Bible. The first chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith teaches that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible Presbyterians resolved to uphold this Confession of Faith as their doctrinal standard. Besides that, they also adopted three denominational distinctives: (1) Biblical separation, (2) The Pre-millennial view of Christ’s return, and (3) Total abstinence with regards to the use of intoxicating beverages and tobacco.

     The Westminster Confession did not state any particular eschatological position as the assembly was divided in their views. How did the Premillennial view become one of the distinctives of the Bible Presbyterian Church? It was the result of intensive Bible teaching given at the Bible and Prophetic Conferences held in America between 1878 and 1914. A large number of conference speakers and participants were Presbyterians. Thus many Presbyterians were convinced about the pre-millennial position. (To be continued) 

 

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LF 39th  Thanksgiving Anniversary

9th Sept 2017 (Saturday)

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Beulah House MPH

Registration starts at 4:00pm

Dinner will be served at 6:15pm

 

Should Christians Have All Things Common?

Acts 2:41-45; 4:32-37

By Pastor Charles Seet

 

We welcome all sisters to join us for a time of fellowship and praising God together.

 

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1)        Every Believer is A Soul Winner for the Lord. It is Too Costly to Opt Out. Join 2017 Good Soil Evangelism Seminar: 1 & 2 Sep, 9.00am to 5.00pm. Register: URL: bit.ly/gsed2017

2)        Biblical Chinese Class, commencing on 6 Sep 2017, 7.30pm - 9.00pm at Room 2-1. Register with Mrs Iris Loe  by 27 Aug.

3)        Infant Baptism on Anniversary Sunday, 15 October 2017. Parents who intend to have their infants baptized must register by 10 September 2017. Please email to Doris Chik by giving the child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

4)        The family of the beloved late sister Judy Lee would like to thank the Pastors and session members for their prayers and encouragement during their recent bereavement. They would also like to thank the ladies who uplifted Judy with their home and hospital visits.

Preaching appointment: Rev Khoo at AF, 12.15 pm; Chinese BSF, 7 pm; overseas mission trip, 21-31 Aug 2017.

 

 

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

September 17 & 24 - Living for Christ

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20