General Election Result – ‘Put not your trust in princes’

The result of the General Election is in, and what an event it has been! Some political parties have been wiped out, and others have exceeded expectations. As ever with these things, almost every party leader is claiming victory, while members within their own parties are either openly criticizing or quietly sucking up in the hope of preferment.

One wonders what Mrs May—who is still Prime Minister today—is thinking. Does she regret her decision to call the election? Does she regret having said she would not call an early election, before going back on her promise? Does she regret the content of her party’s manifesto, key areas of which she had to turn from so soon after it was published? One wonders.

The election result has been called variously ‘chaos’, ‘catastrophic’ and ‘messy’. When Mrs May called the election she commanded a large lead in the polls, but during the course of the campaign she saw that lead melt away. Whether the Prime Minister will survive remains to be seen, but one is reminded of the comment of Winston Churchill, that politics is far more exciting than war; for in war one can only be killed once, but in politics one can be killed many times.

Whatever the result means for political parties and for individual politicians, one notes the likelihood of an alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party. The DUP has the distinction of being the most Christian of the parties represented at Westminster. Their stand on same-sex marriage and abortion, for instance, is at odds with that of the modern Conservative party—and that of much of society. If they do indeed form a coalition, will they be able to be an influence for good on these matters? It remains to be seen.

This does remind us that even politicians are under the authority of God. ‘Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God’ (Romans 13:1). For this reason the Apostle declares in another place, ‘I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty’ (1 Timothy 2:1).

There is great comfort to be had in Psalm 146. The psalmist issues the call to praise, both generally and personally to himself, v.1. The giving of praise to the Lord is a lifelong work, v.2, for it is the purpose of life.

In comparison with our heavenly Father, no human being is worthy of our trust. ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help’ (v.3). The reason, v.4, is that man is mortal; if we cannot truly help ourselves, how can we hope to help others? No human intentions can outlast the breath of our life, and they perish when we do. Many years ago a government minister famously walked out of an interview when the interviewer made reference to ‘here-today-and-gone-tomorrow politicians’, and yet that is exactly what they, and we, are. This much is declared in Psalm 90, one of the psalms set for the Burial of the Dead in the Book of Common Prayer. In vv.6–7 man is likened to the grass of the field; ‘In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.’

It was a failing of the Israelites that they trusted in foreign nations to save them. When the Lord, in his righteous anger, raised up a nation such as the Syrians or the Babylonians to punish his wayward people, they cast about for a defence. That defence was never repentance and submission to the Lord and his laws, but the seeking of alliances, with the Egyptians or some other nation. All such efforts to escape the wrath of God failed. They must, for as David declared in another place, ‘If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me’ (Psalm 139:6–7). As Jonah could testify, there is nowhere we can flee on earth where the Lord will not find us. Whether we take ship and go in the opposite direction from the one he has commanded, or whether we are cast into the pit, God sees us, and can deal with us for good or ill. There is, therefore, no wisdom in trying to escape the Lord or his authority. No man can do this, and no man can enable another to do it, for all are subject to the sovereign rule of heaven.

What is the alternative? Psalm 146 continues, ‘Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ This happiness arises from the fact that God is the Creator of the world, who keeps truth for ever, who executes judgment for the oppressed, who feeds the hungry, and delivers the prisoner. He gives sight to the blind, he raises up those who are bowed under a load, he loves the righteous, and keeps the way of the stranger, the fatherless and the widow. He overturns the way of the wicked. The Psalm concludes with the declaration of God’s eternal reign.

Such a God is no mere fancy of human invention, no idol of man’s imagination. This is the God of power and might, whose deeds are declared in the heavens. This Lord is worthy of all worship, for he is able and willing to save his people, and to glorify his great name among us.

In so doing our heavenly Father uses means. When he would save the Israelites from Egypt, they must kill the passover lamb, and mark the doorways of their houses with the blood. They must cook and eat the lamb, in readiness for a sudden journey. Having come out the land, they must cross the Red Sea. The Lord did not pick them up and carry them; they must walk, with the walls of water reared up on both sides. When they came to Jericho, they must take the city; not by force of arms, but by a full and ready obedience to the word of the Lord through his servant Joshua. When David would challenge Goliath he must take his five smooth stones and his sling, and cast a stone at the giant, before drawing the man’s sword and removing his head from his shoulders. Time and again we see that the Lord uses means.

Those means may not always be obvious. Who would have imagined that a little Israelite slave girl in Syria would be one to teach a general that there is a God whose power exceeds all we can think or ask? Who would have considered that the tyrant Cyrus would be God’s instrument to restore the Jews to Jerusalem? Who would have considered that a violent persecutor of Christ’s people would be the chosen instrument to bear Christ’s name before rulers and kings, and be the means by which the gospel would be preached to very many people?

Who knows what our politicians might yet be moved by the Lord to do for his glory and honour? It is improbable that anyone, looking at the young Henry VIII, would have taken him for a king strong enough to resist the power of the Pope, a resistance in which most of his predecessors had engaged almost back to the Conquest, but had failed. Who would have thought that the mild scholar from Jesus College, Cambridge, would rise to such a position that he would shape the English reformation? Who would have imagined that the miner’s son from the town of Mansfeld in Upper Saxony would strike such a blow that the whole edifice of papal power would crack from foundation to roof?

And yet our confidence is not in men. We do not trust in leaders. We are to be loyal to those in positions of authority, and we must pray for those who govern us. We must do so in the recognition that they, like us, are but frail creatures, and entirely dependent on the Lord’s gracious aid. But our help cometh from the Lord, which hath made heaven and earth. He neither slumbers nor sleeps.

Let us pray that our politicians, and our church leaders, would be brought to the knowledge of the truth, confessing Jesus Christ to be Lord and God, and giving him all the glory. Only God rules in equity, but he can and does turn the hearts of kings to do his bidding. Prime ministers, and government officials, are all under him. Let us pray that they will be led to govern wisely and well, in these needy days.

London & Manchester Attacks – Message from the PTS Chairman

When events such as those which have taken place recently in London and Manchester occur it can be difficult for us to know how to respond. I found that the words of Thomas Cranmer echoed across the centuries to me, urging us as he does to place our trust in the Lord, to follow his paths, and to ask for his assistance in times of trouble.

O God, from who all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed; give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that both, our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that, by thee, we being defended from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Rev. Dominic Stockford

Now is Christ risen from the dead

A recent survey, published to coincide with the annual Easter celebrations, has revealed that ‘nearly one in four Christians do not believe in the story of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead’. When one defines ‘Christian’ as someone who goes to church regularly, the percentage of those who do not believe in the resurrection drops to five percent. However, only 57 percent of regular church goers believe every aspect of the biblical record of the resurrection. What, one wonders, do the remaining 38 percent deny?

Given the fundamental nature of the resurrection in the Gospels and the preaching of the apostles in Acts, it seems strange that anyone would both call themselves a Christian and yet deny the resurrection. Paul knew this odd attitude. Writing to the Corinthians, he addressed those who say that there is no resurrection of the dead. His argument is a compelling statement, both of the fact, and of the theology, of this most glorious demonstration of Christ’s power. To reject the resurrection is to reject any meaningful hope in Christ. As he says, ‘If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.’ And then he adds those wonderful words, ‘But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept’ (1 Corinthians 15:19–20).

Knowledge of the resurrection was not new to the Jewish Christians. We know the Sadducees denied it (Matthew 22:23) while Martha affirmed it (John 11:24). A brief survey of the Old Testament helps to show is just how frequently this glorious truth is presented, both in types, examples, and prophecies.

 

Resurrection types

The clearest type of the resurrection is the sacrifice and restoration of Isaac on Mount Moriah. The account is given in Genesis 22. The important points to note are these; Abraham was commanded to go and offer his son as a burnt offering, v.2, and he told his servants that, after they had sacrificed, he and the lad would come again to them, v.5. Abraham therefore expected his son to be restored to him. That he did not expect him to be spared being offered as a sacrifice is shown by the urgency with which the angel of the Lord called to him, v.11; Abraham was just about to strike the killing blow.

If we ask why Abraham believed his son would be restored to him, we note that this son was the child of promise, the son both of Abraham and Sarah. ‘In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed’, v.18, which could not be true if the first proof of the promised line perished on an altar. Abraham trusted the Lord to keep his covenant with him, and so his son must be restored. This restoration is a type of the resurrection.

Another type is the reunion of Joseph with his aged father, Jacob. That reunion is recorded in Genesis 46:28–30. Jacob had believed the deceit of his other sons, and accepted that the bloodied and torn clothing presented to him proved that Joseph was dead, 37:29–35. When Jacob laid eyes on his son and threw his arms around him, he knew that Joseph was alive after all. The one who had been dead was in fact alive. If we add the saving benefits Joseph provided for his family—saving of the body from famine, that is, rather than a spiritual salvation—we can see that this too is a type of the resurrection.

 

Resurrection examples

The two obvious examples are the son of the widow of Zarephath, and the son of the Shunamite. The first of these is found in 1 Kings 17:8–24. The conclusion to the account is that the raising up of the dead child convinced the mother that Elijah truly was a man of God, in whose mouth the true word of the Lord was to be found.

The second is found in 2 Kings 4:8–37. The woman who provided hospitality for the prophet Elisha appeared to have one regret. ‘She hath no child, and her husband is old’ (v.14). Elisha told her she would have a son, and, in the fulness of time, she did. Some years later the child fell ill and died, and the mother took the matter to the prophet directly. The intervention of the prophet saw the child fully restored. 

Leaving aside much that could be said about the significance of these resurrections, it is enough for our purpose to note the fact of the resurrections. God has the power to raise the dead to life, and he is able to use his servants the prophets as instruments to effect this wonderful evidence of his love and power. Those who deny the resurrection must also deny all other resurrections. In the New Testament we read of several, such as the son of the widow of Nain, Jairus’s daughter, Dorcas, Eutychus, and Lazarus. To accept any of these but deny the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ points to a far deeper spiritual problem than mere inability to accept a miracle; it points to a fundamental problem in rightly receiving Christ. To deny both these resurrections and that of the Lord Jesus Christ speaks to a very wrong view of Scripture, that we cannot trust the word of God but must subject it to our own opinions. This was, at bottom, Eve’s grievous sin in listening to the serpent.

 

Resurrection prophecies

One resurrection prophecy stands out clearly, since it is quoted in the New Testament. This is Psalm 16:10, ‘Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.’ It is quoted in Acts 2:27, when Peter preached to the assembled Jews and proselytes of the diaspora. It is quoted in Acts 13:35–37, when Paul preached to the Jews in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch. On both cases the words are applied by the apostles to the Lord Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Their point is that the Jews have no excuse to deny a resurrected Messiah because of what David said. The words are clearly not applicable to David, who is ‘both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us into this day’ (Acts 2:29). Rather, they were spoken by a prophet concerning the seed whom God had sworn to raise up in David, which seed is Christ, vv.30–31.

When our heavenly Father is moved to reveal a matter to his servants the prophets, we are to take careful note of it. Our God does not reveal frivolities, nor does he issue hard and dark sayings that cannot be understood. Rather, the plain meaning of the words is to be taken as their true meaning. As the two apostles show, these words teach that the Lord Jesus Christ should be raised from the dead.

It would seem strange, therefore, if our Lord Jesus did not also prophesy his own resurrection. He did, and on several occasions. To take just one Gospel, that of Luke, we find this to be true. When Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, our Lord taught the disciples that ‘The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day’ (Luke 9:22). The same truth is taught in 18:31–33. Then, after his resurrection, the Lord Jesus taught two disciples the same truth on the Emmaeus road, 24:7, and he taught the disciples it in the upper room, 24:46.

 

Conclusion

There is much else that could be said about the use made of this truth in the preaching of the apostles. When we read the various Epistles we see how central the resurrection is to the doctrine of our faith. Paul’s lengthy treatment of the subject in 1 Corinthians 15 is worthy of careful reading and study.

In short, how can any who call themselves Christian, deny the resurrection? It is, in a small way, like someone who claims to be a racing driver but who denies there is any point in crossing the finishing line. What sort of racer are they? Not one worthy of the name.

It is highly improbable that any reader of Protestant Truth denies the resurrection, for any who do are of all men most miserable. We are not miserable Protestants, are we? Our joy is in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is even now at the right hand of the Father, who raised him from the dead. Is he your Saviour? I pray so.

Message from the PTS Chairman on the archbishops’ statement

I note the statement published on January 17th, 2017 by Archbishops Welby and Sentamu of the CofE on the issue of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. What they have said deeply saddened me, and is a further sign of the movement that the CofE is making away from the true gospel. There is too much of note in the statement to cover it all here, but I present this one thought as a marker of how far from true Biblical Christianity the CofE has now sunk.

At left: Archbishop Welby with the Roman Pope in 2016

In their statement the archbishops note ‘Many will also remember the lasting damage done five centuries ago to the unity of the Church, in defiance of the clear command of Jesus Christ to unity in love.’ Unity must not be maintained if compromise of our faith is what it takes to do so – for Christian unity can only be found between faithful followers of Christ, and through faithful obedience to God’s Word as revealed in Scripture. Man cannot create, or seek, such unity. We are united in Christ’s truth, or we are not united in anything that matters (John 17).

It should be noted that In 2 Corinthians 6.17 it reads ‘Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…’ Clearly this is what the reformers had in mind when the Church they left was unwilling, if not able, to reform. The separation was not unfortunate but necessary and therefore perfectly justifiable. Christ said he would divide. He did, and does. Christ criticizes the Church of Thyatira for tolerating Jezebel. Therefore, either you eject Jezebel; or, if it is Jezebel that holds the levers of power, it is necessary for you to remove yourself from her influence. There is nothing to repent of in leaving the Church of Rome to its errors, nor in pointing out those errors and thereby seeking to lead people to the truth and light that is to be found in Christ alone, and in the Scriptures alone.

Please pray for these men, that God’s Spirit will invade their hearts with his transforming power. Please pray for the Church of England, that it will be restored to the Protestant body that it once was. Please pray for our nation, that it will have spiritual leadership that will lead it to Christ, and who will encourage us all to trust in God’s Word as the sole rule for our faith and practice.

Rev. Dominic Stockford

Britain bans persecuted Archbishops but welcomes persecutors

syriac_gospelAs reported by the Daily Express on December 4, 2016 the Archbishop of Mosul, the Archbishop of St Matthew’s covering the Nineveh valley, and the Archbishop of Homs and Hama in Syria were refused entry to Britain to attend the consecration of the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in London, to which the Queen and the Prime Minister sent personal messages of support, and though they were invited by the Prince of Wales, who spoke at the service against the persecution of Christians in their countries.

Dr Martin Parsons, head of research at the Barnabas Fund, which helps Christians escape persecution, said that it was unbelievable to deny entry to ‘persecuted Christians who come from the cradle of Christianity…when the UK is offering a welcome to Islamists who persecute Christians.’ Dr Parsons pointed out that Britain grants visas to Islamic leaders who demand the execution of Christians accused of blasphemy against the Islamic faith, and it routinely grants asylum to senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood despite the fact that they repeatedly incite violence against the Egyptian Coptic Christian community. 

Dominic Stockford, Chairman of the PTS, remarked

Although we have fundamental disagreements over the theology held by the Syrian Bishops, we still believe that the Home Office decision to bar them from entry into the UK is a disgrace. When we set this decision next to the Home Office guidance to presume that senior members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood should not merely be permitted entry, but be granted asylum in the UK, it seems that there is less than balance, but in fact bias against those who profess Christianity, in making these decisions.

Peace with Rome?

no_peace_with_romeThe Daily Telegraph (October 5, 2016) reported that at a service to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Archbishop Michael Ramsey’s visit to Pope Paul IV, ‘Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury have publicly pledged to press on towards the full reunification of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches’.

Only a couple of obstacles remain. Once overcome, the way would be open for the Church of England to come back under the Pope’s authority.

What are those obstacles? Rome’s denial of the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone? Rome’s attitude towards the Word of God, that it is but one part of the repository of truth, along with tradition and the Church’s magisterium? The vaunted claim of the Bishop of Rome to be Christ’s Vicar on earth? The doctrine that the Pope, speaking ex cathedra, is infallible? The assertion that there is no salvation outside of the Roman church? The blasphemous worship of our Lord’s mother? The pagan veneration and intercession of the saints? The lying ‘miracle’ of transubstantiation? The placing of intermediaries, in the form of priests, between God and man?

No. The only obstacles are the introduction of female ordination in the Church of England, and the present attitude towards same-sex relationships—an attitude which has yet to be formalized, as the parties concerned within the C of E are far from a consensus on the matter. The implication is that once a way forward has been established, no further obstacles to reunion remain.

Bishop Joseph Hall (1575–1656) wrote a treatise entitled ‘No peace with Rome’ in which he set out the fundamental differences between the Church of England and the Church of Rome. He concluded that it is not possible to have peace with Rome. Unless Rome were to change fundamentally, there could be no agreement between the reformed and the unreformed. Were Rome to change in the required matters, she would cease to be Rome.

It is perfectly obvious to all observers that Rome has not changed. Yes, she has learned to speak in a way that appears to embrace other interpretations, and she has ceased to be openly hostile to ‘different traditions’. Yes, liberal theology has worked its harm in Rome’s system as much as it has in Protestantism. Yes, there are calls from some within Roman Catholicism to introduce female ordination. Rome is not the monolith she would have us believe. But neither is she a trustworthy guide in spiritual matters. If the Church of England reunifies with Rome, Protestants of other denominations beware; all will suffer as a consequence. Let us pray against this deserved judgment of God upon us.

Our beloved brother Paul

paulAlmost every one of Paul’s Epistles begins with much the same form of wording—‘Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ’. Exceptions are those epistles which came not only from him but also from his fellow labourers, as that to the Philippians, or the Epistle to Philemon, where he calls himself ‘a prisoner’. Why did Paul draw so much attention to his apostleship? Did he have a justifiable reason for so doing?

It is worth noting that there is a considerable and important distinction between Paul defending his apostleship, and defending himself. The kind of comments we have concerning himself are 1 Timothy 1:15, ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.’ He has defined his status as the chief of sinners by saying that he had once been ‘a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious’ (v.13). His own view of himself is never anything less than honest, and he is not afraid to see himself in his true colours. Why, then, does he defend his apostleship with such vigour?

 

Paul was called to be an apostle

An apostle, as no doubt we all know, is one who is an eye-witness of the resurrection. So Acts 1:22. It is clear from the crucifixion accounts that there were many who were witnesses to Christ’s death, and it is clear from the subsequent narrative that there were many (although not as many) who were eye-witnesses to the resurrection. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that the Lord was seen alive ‘of above five hundred brethren at once.’ And yet there were only twelve apostles!

Apostleship is not merely the term to describe those who could say they had seen the Lord Jesus alive after the resurrection. Certainly it cannot mean that any were actually present when the stone rolled away from the tomb and the Lord came forth, since we know of none (apart from the angels, perhaps) who were present; the soldiers had fled in terror when the earthquake struck. Rather, apostleship is the effect of having been called to serve as an eye-witness by the Lord Jesus Christ, to testify to what they had seen. This is why the apostles prayed for the leading of the Holy Spirit in choosing Judas Iscariot’s replacement. They desired only to appoint the man whom the Lord had chosen.

Paul was chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ. As he journeyed towards Damascus he and his companions saw a very bright light. Saul (to give him his proper name) was the only one to hear the voice. He saw the glory, and perhaps no more than the glory, of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. He was also told that it was Jesus who spoke with him, and who had a purpose in showing himself to Saul in this way.

The effect of this revelation was that Saul was thrown into turmoil. All his previous prejudices concerning Israel and her God, and the true nature of Jesus of Nazareth and those foolish enough to believe he was the Messiah, were brought crashing down around him. He had to rethink his whole understanding of the purpose of the law, and of the promises to Israel. And when, through the grace of God, he came to a clear understanding of these things (one which coincided in every detail with the doctrine of the other apostles, as Galatians 2:1–10 shows) he knew he was sent to preach this truth far and wide. This was the message which came to him through Ananias, Acts 9:10–17. This was confirmed to him as he prayed on the ship in the midst of the storm, Acts 27:24.

Therefore Paul could allow no opposition to his apostleship. To resist this was to resist the one from whom he had his charge, Jesus Christ. To refuse his witness was to make him a liar, and he knew what he said was true.

 

Paul delighted in the gospel of Christ

Paul’s apostleship, his being an eyewitness, was not simply that he might inform people that there had been such a thing as the resurrection of the dead. There were a number who could do that, not only those whom he mentions in 1 Corinthians 15, but also those who were present at Nain when the widow’s son was raised, or who knew that Jairus’ daughter had died but was then alive, or those who were present at Bethany when Christ called Lazarus forth from the tomb. Paul’s apostleship went far beyond merely stating a fact. He was called to preach the doctrine of the resurrection.

That doctrine is nowhere more clearly summed up than in the Epistle to the Romans, where in chapter 3 he writes of our ‘being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus’ (vv.24–26).

Having spoken of the blessing that is ours through Christ’s atoning sacrifice (a sacrifice which is inextricably linked to the resurrection, Romans 4:24–25), he then asks, ‘Where is boasting then? It is excluded. Why what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.’

The problem with those who opposed Paul’s apostleship was that they all disagreed profoundly with this point. They were adamant that a man is justified within, not without, the deeds of the law. Christian men must submit to circumcision, they argued, else they cannot please God. So deep is the difference between our being justified by faith, and our being justified by the deeds of the law, that Paul dared to call anything other than the gospel of justification by faith ‘another gospel, which is not another.’ If any preach that alternative gospel, he said, ‘Let him be accursed’ (Galatians 1:6–8). Paul understood the terrible danger of turning the gospel from grace to works. He knew he was called to preach the gospel of justification by faith, and had been commissioned to the work by the risen Lord Jesus Christ. For the sake of those to whom he preached, therefore, he must defend his apostleship. To allow it to be attacked would be to allow Christians to think that it either did not matter whether we are saved by faith or by works, or that he was in fact wrong to preach justification by faith. Since the very salvation of sinners depends on this vital distinction, he cannot let the attacks go unanswered. The eternal security of men and women depended on the matter.

Attacks on Paul’s apostleship are rife today. Whether it is the feminist theologians who hate his so-called misogyny (hatred of women), or those who hate his alleged defence of slavery, or his apparent anti-Semitism (which would be funny were it not so sad, given that he was a Jew himself, who could wish himself accursed for his brethren’s sake), or his ‘culturally conditioned’ teaching on the need for men to pray with their heads uncovered and women to pray with theirs covered, the grounds of opposition seem almost endless.

If we ask why people go to such lengths to attack Paul, the answer must lie in the gospel he preached. At bottom, all attacks on Paul and his apostleship are of the same order as the murmurings and complaints against Moses when he led Israel in the wilderness. It is of the same order as the insistence by Israel that Samuel should make them a king. God said the Samuel, ‘They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me’ (1 Samuel 8:7). Those who oppose Paul’s apostleship, and the doctrine he preached, oppose the Lord who commissioned him.

It may seem very unlikely that readers  are among those who reject the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The plain truth is that we can pay lip service to doctrine but deny it in practice. While it is true that none shall be saved by holding to a form of doctrine, it is true that none shall be saved by holding that which is against the gospel. Under God, Paul’s apostleship has been the instrument for so much good in the world, since he, more than any, declared the whole counsel of God. Dare we deny this?■

Atrocity in Nice

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by events in Nice, not forgetting those affected by other similar recent atrocities. When Jesus was confronted with tales of tragedy and massacre happening in his day his reaction was not one of panic, of revenge, or of self-absorption. In fact he focused those who came to him with the tales on a fundamental truth – that our hope is to be found through Christ alone.

Dominic Stockford, Chairman

 

 

“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

Luke 13:1-5

Philip Tait

PhilipTaitThe Rev. Philip Tait, formerly Director of Ministry for the PTS, ceased employment with the Society during April. During his tenure he brought some helpful ideas to our work, and produced some thoughtful and challenging articles for the Protestant Truth magazine on a variety of subjects. He joined us at a significant time of change for the Society, as well as in society generally. His presence helped us to work through some of those changes, moving towards a stronger and more certain future. His gentle and good-humoured approach was much appreciated. We are most grateful for his time of service to us, and our prayers are with him and his wife. He continues to serve the Lord in a semi-retired capacity in the North-east of England, where his labours remain much appreciated.

The post of Director of Ministry will not be re-advertised.

EU Referendum Result

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The Council of the PTS gives heartfelt thanks to God that the British people have voted to leave the European Union.

We urge all our supporters and friends to thank God and to pray that our country would return to the Protestant Christian faith upon which our constitution is founded.

Soli Deo Gloria.

On behalf of all at the Protestant Truth Society I would like to thank those who have been praying for God’s will to be done regarding the outcome of the referendum, and encourage them to continue their prayer for our Government – that it may be guided to ‘do justly, and to love mercy’ in its subsequent workings.

Dominic Stockford, Chairman