By November BTM will have been in this ministry for 30 years, in spite of much opposition from mainstream churches and organisations like the Evangelical Alliance (for more details on the latter ask to see articles on our stand against the EA).
We have battled on even though our finances are usually nil, or almost nil. It is a fact that the majority of our outlay is paid for by ourselves – from our salaries at first, and then from unemployment and state retirement pensions. Yet, we are still here!
This is because it is God Who initiates a ministry, gives it necessary gifts, and the command to continue through all odds. And it is God Who will cause the ministry to cease.
It is interesting that almost no Christian group wishes to align with us in public. They are happy to do so privately so long as no-one knows about it!! We are now very familiar with this silly game, and now think nothing of it. God is with us and guides us along the paths we take, and that is sufficient. Let others do (or not do) what they will.
Very few Christians receive a command to conduct this kind of ministry, which is VERY hard, bringing us very few friends. Only those in similar ministries can understand why we exist and why we speak as we do. Our ministry places our heads into the lion’s mouth, and only God stops it from crushing our skulls! We are at the ‘sharp end’ of God’s work, in a part of the vineyard rarely visited by other believers. Indeed, they prefer to avoid it, though the whole vineyard belongs to God and must be tended. Thus, these well-meaning Christians give massive funding to the ‘feel-good’ ministries, but give nothing to ministries such as this.
But, it is not our intention here to moan and groan about lack of support! One reason is that while the above facts are self-evident, the influence of our ministry runs to every corner of the world and has good effect where God intends it to take root and grow... even without sound finances. And, Jesus openly said He did not need public approval!
We therefore thank God for His grace and mercy, and for those precious contacts who discover that our work is vital and ongoing. Individuals and whole churches take advantage of our website material, and many academics have quoted from it.
It is also a fact that individuals have come to Christ either through reading the articles, or, after reading, communicating with us and receiving counsel. All this, of course, is unknown to readers, but it is part of our ministry. Unlike other ministries, we don’t trumpet our ‘good works’ as part of an overall marketing campaign to make us look good!
What do we envisage next? Well, we will continue to add new articles to our list. We will also send out news items daily, because they help Christians to understand what is happening in the world. Barry will look again at former materials used to teach students of scripture. In the past these were used by many pastors and preachers, as well as by ‘ordinary’ Christians who want the truth.
Our title – Christian doctrine – means what it says. We believe and teach that doctrine is vital for a true and personal link to the Lord. It also stops people from falling to the lies of cults and heresies, even within the true churches. This work will continue. Amusingly, many things we have spoken against in the last thirty years are now finding new ears, when written about by others! No matter, so long as they learn.
In many ways, of course, our future work depends on finances. As we have already said, these finances have been almost nil from the start, so unless God provides givers who can fill the coffers, the work will remain mainly in writing and non-glossy papers.
We go through stages at BTM. If God wishes us to tackle certain topics, He will press it upon us until we do something! The latest is Islam, though it was never my intention as editor to write much about it. As with homosexuality, I find the topic of Islam distasteful, but I also recognise that someone has to speak out. The majority of Christians are too afraid to do so. So am I – but God comes first! I am not sure how much more we need to publish on Islam, but it will continue until I believe God tells us to stop.
(Additional note: As ISIS and other Islamic terrorists take lives on a vast scale, some Christians are saying that we must pray for our persecutors, love them, etc. It is evident they are reconciling this with the idea of turning the other cheek, etc. But, they are wrong. ISIS and other Islamists are not just thugs, they are openly waging war against all that is free. They are killing anyone who will not submit to Allah.
In any war, God calls upon us to drive the vicious enemies from the face of the earth. This is our own view, too. At the same time we can certainly do what our ‘love’ brethren talk about, but with individuals, at whom this kind of doctrinal statement is aimed. We have publications on this very matter, but I hope to simplify it soon. As always we must be realistic and godly, but not foolish, taking scriptures that apply to one thing and using them in a different situation to which it does not apply. It should be borne in mind that Islamists are murderers, and God says we must put such to death. On a wide scale, in a war, this means troops killing as many of the enemy as possible).
The English Churchman published our letter to Manifesto Writers that we sent out to the major parties and UKIP. A hard-hitting article on how to deal with Islam will be published by them in the next edition. We commend English Churchman for their courage, and for not succumbing to PC! I can warn readers that the next article in EC is truly hard-hitting, because it has to be. It is how I would tackle the problem if I were Prime Minister!
Barracuda in Malta
As many of you know by now, one of my favourite places to visit is Malta. Sadly, my wife’s condition now prevents us from going abroad by ‘plane ever again, but even she still has fond memories of this lovely island.
We went one year in December, thinking it would be like the other time we went in December when it was warm and sunny. Oh dear! It was mainly very windy with lots of rain.
One day, we thought we’d revisit a favourite spot, the Mdina glassworks – we are never disappointed by its amazing output! It became drier but was still cold, so we drove down south to the small seaside village of Marsaxlokk (which is pronounced something like ‘marsh–ah–shlok). Walking along the harbour front we stopped to look at a restaurant we had not used before. A young girl, maybe about 18, and the most beautiful I had seen anywhere (there are many beautiful girls in Malta!), handed me a menu and asked if we’d like to eat there.
In we went, and were led to a smallish room with a harbour view, and no-one else there. My wife ordered Shark and I ordered Barracuda caught locally. Before that we were brought appetisers that covered a large plate! They were so delicious I wanted to eat the lot but refrained, because it might have spoilt my next course (even though the appetisers were free!!). That was probably the best lunch I had ever had in Malta, and was relatively cheap...
The year before that, in about Autumn, it was so hot we were both soaked in perspiration as soon as we walked out of the air conditioned hotel! But, what brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies. In that kind of heat one has to grin and bear it as clothing wraps around the body totally wet! You learn to walk very slowly, and that helps. It is an odd sensation sitting down to a meal when soaking wet! Nights were just as hot even with air conditioning. But, we loved it all. As they say, those were the days.
A few years before, we strolled up the steep road running through Mellieha and went into a restaurant. Being clever I thought I’d order a salad with an exotic name. When it arrived at the table I wondered what on earth it was... the entire plate was covered with a plenteous supply of black, including the potatoes and salad! A tentative mouthful told me it was all covered in Balsamic vinegar. It looked revolting. On the other hand it was quite nice to eat, so I chalked that one up to experience. I always asked what a meal consisted of after that!
On another summertime trip I came across the best meal ever in Malta – in a supermarket (well, a large shop) just outside Bugibba, on the main road towards Mosta, I found huge locally-grown ripe plums. We took a very large bag of them back to our hotel, and they were our main meal that day. Trouble was, they were so delicious we ate them all within an hour! I couldn’t say the same for the prickly pears we bought another year in the same shop... they tasted like bits of wood! Never mind – worth a try.
I could go on about wonderful times we had in Malta, but I won’t bore you any longer! But, why not try it?
The day after Stephen Fry appeared on Irish TV (1st Feb) I was compelled to respond in the strongest of terms. He is an unabashed homosexual and pompous atheist (aren’t they all?). My response was hard-line and tough, because it had to be.
Others produced similar rebuttals, but it will not make a difference to this arrogant man who, though not believing in God nevertheless blames Him for the ills of the world, even though his own life is a self-confessed mess and self-caused.
Fry is very aware of our response because we told him. His fans went ballistic, but there are times when Christians MUST issue a strong defence, if not an offense. This was one of those times.
At the end of my response I warned him of the results coming from rejecting the Gospel message. Friends, Christians in the UK are notoriously lax, and rarely, if ever, rebuke these public figures robustly. Thus, their evils grow stronger and greater. If every Christian took their part and issued dire warnings when these fakers dare to speak against God, they would not be so free with their curses and moronic statements. If you want a copy of my response, just ask (it’s on the website).
All manner of wickedness is underway in the world, a veritable growth-industry, thanks to Christian refusal to speak up. This is NOT the time to tell every wicked man that God loves him! Indeed, God does NOT love wicked men!! Rather, He warns them and then carries out sentence, which includes hell. People like Fry grow in number, because Christians will not speak out strongly. Show your colours.
The reaction to our letter to Fry was astounding. He apparently has over 8 million fans on his Twitter page!! And it seems that most of them have sent us emails containing huge amounts of filth and hatred. Such people cannot speak unless they string the most foul swear words together. Well, several hundred anyway. I took a decision not to answer them or to publish their comments on our website. This is because they usually use fake email addresses, and it is likely that all the others do the same. I attempted to write a decent response to his hate, but it didn’t work. While I am duty bound to respond reasonably to anyone who asks about my beliefs, these fanatics are just hateful, not desiring to ask questions but to simply cast filth our way. I didn’t think it appropriate to put foul language and filth on a Christian website.
For this reason I published a second paper to clarify our position. This, too, brought about more hate. I see all this as an example of what our country is really about, and how Christians will be treated if more pro-gay laws are made, especially by Labour. The country has been sexualised by homosexuals, and browbeaten by ignorant atheists. This is why Money Supermarket decided to offend Christians by putting on a new ad about an homosexual in shorts and high heels, prancing about like an idiot. I told the company it was now likely to lose customers, more than are gained by playing to the homosexual market. Once again, of course, very few Christians complained to the company. This is shameful, allowing unbelievers to do whatever they like.
Truth is not Hatred
For many years I have tried to apply a ‘cool head’ to my studies, which, I hope, is transferred to what I write. Hopefully, then, I am objective and not swayed by emotions. It is sometimes difficult to separate fact from fiction, but it is very necessary.
I am still surprised by critics who take objective material as proof of ‘hatred’, and have lost count of those who say that because I write in tough language that I ‘must hate’. This is far from the truth, especially as readers do not know my mind and heart.
As I have often said, Jesus spoke in very hard terms when faced with hypocrites and deceivers, such as the Pharisees! Yet, He would have been the first to welcome a repentant Jew back to genuine belief.
In my ministry, which deals with some of the hardest questions and issues to face the churches, I refuse to flinch and will only use ‘soft’ language where it is necessary and pertinent. However, it is the actual subject matter that affects how I write – which I take to be from God anyway.
Some topics require a very sharp response, or hard talk. But, when I use such approaches I have no animosity in my heart or mind. A few times (very few) I do feel a real anger, but it is righteous anger, not personal hatred for anyone. I also try my best to use specific language and words, so that when people read what I say it is obvious what the meaning is. Even then, some cannot grasp what I say! Oh well, can’t please everybody.
When Jesus told the Jews that He was God (which He did many times), He often had a nasty reaction. Strangely, the Pharisees and some Jewish listeners even accused Him of hatred! The Son of God hateful? Never! As He said to His spiteful critics, they hated Him because He told the truth.
And this is what I find happening today. I tell the truth, and it is dubbed ‘hateful’. There is no way I can ‘prettify’ what is being said on many topics. They need tough words and argument. To call it ‘hate’ is to express a lack of understanding of what argument is all about. (It is also direct evidence of their homosexualised ideaology). In my Sunday meetings I tend to be very straightforward, and do not ‘beat about the bush’.
The members, bless them, understand that I speak as I do because it is how I research and present material. I’m never angry with real questions and comments, even criticism, so they feel at ease with me. Which I love! I don’t mind if I am criticised, because I know what our members are like as people.
So, my friends, when you read something that appears to have a sharpness or hardness about it, remember that I mean no harm, and it is just the way I feel called to write at that time on that particular topic. After all, how can I be accused of ‘hatred’ when all I am doing is presenting a researched topic to people who, mostly, I do not know? Really, the question should be, “Is this true?” Which brings me to...
As I have said elsewhere, there IS such a thing as genuine, fruitful philosophy. In the world of the Bible it is called ‘theology’.
Philosophy itself is NOT condemned by God, as many think. What He DOES condemn is the ‘philosophy... of men’ (Colossians 2:8), which is “vain deceit” because it is fashioned after the “tradition of men” and worldly ideas.
Part of philosophical thinking is logic – which is also condemned by many Christians whose knowledge of either subject is limited. I can tell you (and you will find it in some of my articles) that there IS such a thing as ‘biblical logic’. It is not shameful to say so!
Put it this way... scripture is true, and it is presented to us by the Holy Spirit, through men. You will find God’s logic in how He gives us knowledge and facts. It is not possible for this to be illogical! Everything from God MUST be logical. And this is why, when we examine texts, we must always be careful to be logical, otherwise we can misinterpret what we read and mislead others. Be logical and let logic arise from the texts themselves.
© January 2015
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
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