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Semper Reformata Press

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The Fly in the Fundamentalist Ointment

Originally posted on thinkGOSPEL blog:

The Practice of Sin of the Principle of SeparationSee Pt. 1Pt. 2Pt. 3 & Pt. 4

A few years ago, when Dr. Paisley made, what some saw as uncharacteristic political choices, the whole of Britain and Ireland, indeed the world media, buzzed with the news. I also was surprised, and, like a good Ulsterman and expat, I had my opinions. Ironically, I was in Northern Ireland at the time doing research on fundamentalism and preached for Dr. Paisley in his church in Belfast. Some wondered how I could disagree with Dr. Paisley and still preach for him.

To my mind the answer was very simple. Unlike many who publicly and vigorously disagreed with him, I found that my differences with Dr. Paisley did not impinge on my relationship with him and did not diminish my respect for him as a preacher of the gospel. Although I still had many questions, I could disagree with…

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Heaven and Home

John 14:1-6, Rev. 15:1-4

In our recent lecture on heaven, we have seen that the soul of the Christian goes immediately to heaven at death. There are two aspects of heaven that I want to bring to your attention this morning:-

1. Heaven is Our True Home!

Jesus had been speaking of His imminent departure, of His crucifixion, and the disciples were in a sombre frame of mind. They must have wondered what would become of them! They were deeply disturbed! Jesus said to them: Let not your heart be troubled

  • They were cheerless and miserable, because He would soon be gone, and three years of life spent together on the road would soon be ended!
  • They were embarrassed and humiliated, because of their own selfishness and pride, for they had been arguing among themselves about who would get the prominent places when He came into His kingdom!
  • They were confused and bewildered, because they had just been told that one of them would betray the Master!
  • They were wavering and unsteady in their faith for they could not understand how someone who is about be crucified could be the promised Messiah!

And so Jesus gives them hope. He says: ye believe in God, believe also in me. What better to talk about than Heaven! Read more…

Peace and Quiet

Bob McEvoy:

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;

Take from our souls the strain and stress,

And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of Thy peace.

Originally posted on

Had a wee dander out into the countryside around Ballygowan this evening, out along the Tullyhubbert Road. It was a lovely calm evening as this photo of the lake shows.

Shot on a Leica c-Lux 2 compact camera.

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Guard The Deposit- 1 Timothy 6:20

Paul’s PS to Timothy.

Text: 1 Timothy 6: 20, KJV

Paul’s conclusion to his letter is a reiteration of his opening words. In his summary, Paul reminds Timothy of some of the main points of the letter, – helpful instruction so that Timothy can honour God in his life, his ministry and in the Christian assembly.


1. Keeping the Commitment! keep – that which is committed to thy trust (παραθηκην),

Timothy has a very high obligation placed upon him. Literally – this is simply, ‘guard the deposit.’   He MUST preserve that which has been committed to him – a business term – used by ‘bankers’ and those who used them. Now, this term has a profound meaning, which we would do well to explore.

  1. What was it that Timothy must preserve? Most commentators will agree that this sacred trust is not just the ministry that had been committed to him, or his own personal faith in God, but the body of doctrine which has been committed to the Christian church:- 1 Timothy 1:11 It is the GOSPEL which has been entrusted to him. 2 Timothy 1:13  Timothy has been entrusted with the Gospel, the doctrines of grace, and that is a very sacred trust indeed.
  2. What will this commitmentmean?
    1. It is to be guarded, It is to be CONTENDED FOR. Jude v3 You will find yourself under attack from atheists and liberals and ‘evangelicals’ who place their own personal feelings and impressions and experiences on a par with Scripture. Hold forth the Word of truth fearlessly.
    2. It is to be preserved. There is no room for Timothy to add anything to this body of truth, the Gospel. He is not required to invent anything, or make something up, he is to pass on the same message which he has received, and nothing else.
    3. It is to be passed on. What Timothy has learned from Paul, he is to teach to others; to faithful men, who would preach the truth of the Gospel, as Paul had preached it. 2 Timothy 2:1 That is how the apostolic message, and the apostolic doctrine is to be preserved, until the end of time itself. It is the pattern of teaching and discipline men for the ministry.
    4. It is to be accounted for. We will be called upon to give an account, to state what we have done with the Gospel message, the clear, Christian doctrine of sinful man and redemption in Jesus.
    5. It is an ongoing commitment. – it is such a sacred bond that has been placed in Timothy’s keeping, that it must be preserved intact, until the day when the Master returns.

So Timothy is to guard the deposit that has been entrusted to him. But why is this so important to Paul? Because this Gospel, this body of Gospel Truth, which is the message of salvation, is, and has been continuously under attack, and often from the most unexpected place, from within the visible church… Read more…

Advice on our Financial Priorities – 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Christians and Money!

Text:  1 Timothy 6:17-19, Proverbs 23:4-5

At the start of this chapter, Paul gave instructions to Timothy regarding the conditions and service of bond-servants.  1 Tim 6:1.  Being a Christian should have an ethical effect on both the slave and his master. But the conversion of so many Christians had a major effect on the economy of the city.  But what about the financial circumstances of the Christians themselves?

  1. THE SLAVE. Obviously, the slave would be working more productively, for he would be working ‘as unto the Lord’, and to demonstrate a good testimony.
  2. THE MASTER. For the master/businessman, then, having a Christian servant, or even several Christian servants, would be financially advantageous. He would be financially blessed.
  3. THE CHRISTIAN SLAVE-OWNER. No more visits to the pagan temple, where he would have had to pay for the services of a temple prostitute-priestess.  No more excesses that would have been financially crippling.
  4. THE ECONOMY. Add these two factors together, a more productive workforce, motivated by a desire for service, and a more moderate lifestyle for the businessman, and what is the result?  WEALTH! And there were such people in the Ephesian church.   Lydia must have been a wealthy woman, in Acts 16. She must have had a substantial property!

Paul never tells these wealthy people that their wealth is evil, or wrong.  He doesn’t tell them to give it all away.  But he does have some very serious warnings and exhortations for them.


1. Get a Proper Perspective on Money! 17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

We are all wealthy Christians, and there is great danger in that!  Paul urges Timothy to speak to those wealthy Christians, and tell them:

  1. Do not let your money go to your head. Do not be high-minded!  Our modern way of saying this would be ‘don’t get too full of yourself!’ The Christians at Ephesus were never to let their money go to their head, and make them think that they are something they are not.
  2. Don’t trust in your wealth – for a fool and his money are soon parted. It would be utterly foolish to place your trust in money, for like everything else in this world it will rot, and pass away.  Luke 12:18  
  3. Depend only on God – life comes only from him. Remember who is the source of your blessings.  God is the great giver, and we are to richly enjoy his blessings.  He is the living God who gives us all things to enjoy.

So, while we are not asked to dispose of our hard earned cash, to give it all away, we are certainly required to have a correct attitude to money, to not let it go to our heads, to not put our trust in earthly things, but to put all our trust in the living God.  AND:- Read more…

Pope Relaunches Catholic Church


Following the Pope’s recent conversion to seeker-sensitive, lifestyle ‘evangelicalism’ the Catholic Church is to become a ‘multi-site’ megachurch with big-screen messages beamed directly from Rome.
Priests will dress in skinny jeans and tee-shirts instead of vestments. Organs and choirs will be replaced with praise bands and the whole ‘Roman Catholic Church’ concept dropped. The church will now be known as ‘Fakeword’ to sound a little like ‘Lakewood’.

Pope does Osteen

No, this is NOT satire. The Pope has been busy meeting with ‘evangelical’ heretics like Rick Warren and Kenneth Copland. Now he’s gone all ‘seeker-friendly’ and published an Osteen style ‘top ten tips for happiness’. 
Forget all that old ‘confession and penance and purgatory’ stuff. That is so ‘Benedict!’ You can have your best life now!

Among the Pope’s top tips are such popular memes as:

  • ‘live and let live’ 
  • ‘Be calm’
  • ‘Love the environment’
  • ‘Respect to the yoof’
  • ‘Stop being negative’
  • ‘Stop trying to convert people’

Yep – the pope has been learning well. Pastor Rick will be proud of him.  You couldn’t make it up!!!

Read the Pope’s lifestyle tips here:


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