Irish Presbyterians Firmly Committed to Union with Rome:

The General Assembly of the Irish Presbyterian Church has come and gone. It was to be the Assembly where the Church was to leave the World Council of Churches and turn again to the Faith of its own professed Confession of Faith (i.e The Westminster Confession of Faith).

Nothing of the sort happened as this paper forecast. The ecumenists are firmly in control and they achieved their majority by those professed evangelicals (emphasis on the jelly) who have already "sold the pass" and are now ecumenical "fellow travellers."

The debate was a repeat of many a previous similar debate in the Assembly. The amazing thing however, was the fact that the charges we have been making for twenty five years against the World Council of Churches were repeated on the floor of the Assembly. Those very charges, coming from the Free Presbyterian separatists, and labelled by Irish Presbyterian evangelicals and modernists alike as falsehoods and lies, have now been repeated on the floor of the supreme court of the Irish Presbyterian Church as the sober truth. Such is the mysterious way in which God vindicates those who [2] are faithful to His truth. Our enemies themselves become our best witnesses.

It has been truly said that the debate took place underneath the shadow of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. The years of faithful witness culminating in imprisonment were bearing fruit. The issue of the World Council of Churches which the Assembly sought to ignore over the past twenty five years the Free Presbyterians saw to it would not be put away. Up and down the land the Free Presbyterian Church has led a crusade against, "the ecumenical mongrel." They have blown the trumpet on the walls of Zion and have refused to stop their Crusade of Truth in spite of imprisonments, vilifications, intimidations and the vilest of persecutions. Their trumpet blasts reverberated through the Assembly to the great embarrassment of ministers and elders alike. The issue would never have been brought up again but for the untiring campaign of the separatists against the apostasy and blasphemy of the World Council of Churches.

On the opening night of the Assembly the Free Presbyterian ministers picketed the Apostasy. Two banners were carried one at the front and one at the back of the picket line. These exposed the compromise and surrender involved in WCC membership.

It was exactly ten years before that the Free Presbyterian protesters were attacked by the Roman Catholics at Cromac Square and the three ministers, Revs. Ian Paisley, John Wylie and Ivan Foster were imprisoned by Capt. Terence O'Neill in cohoots with Dr. Alfie Martin of "dancing in rage" fame.

Times have changed but Rev. Donald Frazer hadn't realised that. He wanted the Protesters at the Assembly to be arrested and spoke harsh words to an RUC Inspector. He was put in his proper place by the Inspector who told him, "These men are acting within the law." The Grand Inquisitor Frazer beat a hasty retreat into the Church House. The scripture was literally fulfilled, "The wicked fleeth when no man pursueth."

The debate was reported as follows:-

Arguments against membership were led by the Rev. William Craig of First Portadown.

He had three main objections:

  1. The WCC's special fund to Combat Racism often supported groups advocating violence;
  2. The trend within the WCC was away from evangelism and towards liberation, and
  3. There was a confusion of doctrine within the World Council.

Referring to the Fund Against Racism, Mr. Craig said attempts to have the grants confined to non-violent groups had been heavily defeated recently. [3]

"We do, not want to have anything, even remotely, to do with those who give, encouragement to violence," he said, "and we do not wish to be associated with a Council which has a trend from evangelism towards evangelism."

The Rev. Robert Dickinson, minister of Tobermore and Draperstown, claimed such a move would not be "sectarian isolation" but spiritual liberation.

Mr. Dickinson said the WCC was scripturally unsound in doctrine and practice; was internationally dangerous in its political and religious influence, and was spiritually deadening and divisive in its effect upon the local life and witness of the Presbyterian Church.

But student minister, Mr. George Purce, who recently attended the WCC conference in Nairobi, strongly attacked conventional attitudes.

Supporting continued membership, he told the Assembly of the extreme hardships facing those in the Third World.

"We have got to go into the world and feed the hungry and help in every way we can," he said. "For some people in East Africa Communism is preferable to the capitalism they have known. That is your fault and mine."

He said it was futile their arguing year after year about something which did not matter in the world as a whole.

The people in the Third World were not worried about doctrinal niceties, they were more worried about their children dying of starvation before they were five.

The Rev. Donald Gillies, who favoured continued membership, said: "The matter before us is not to be decided by policies and attitudes of the WCC with which we may disagree - for example, concerning Romanism, Communism and Racism.

"It goes much deeper. It must be decided by our view of the Church and Christian fellowship."

Mr. Gillies said that the basis of fellowship in the WCC was the same as that of the Church.

"It does not require a feat of ecumenical acrobatism - with which I was credited on some of the placards carried outside on Monday night by the enemies of our Church - but a simple logical exercise to raise the question: How can we, as Presbyterians, consistently withdraw from the WCC when its basis of fellowship is the same as that of our own Church?"

Mr. Gillies said that all the WCC requires for fellowship is no more than profession of faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour.

"Therefore to withdraw would leave us open to three serious charges: 1. A breach of Christian love, because we would be refusing fellowship with those whom Christ Himself has received. 2. Sectarianism, because [4] we would be requiring more for fellowship than faith in Christ.

"And 3. Schism, because we would be withdrawing from believers in Christ, while in no way required to approve their errors. This in the words of Calvin was to be regarded with 'great and intense horror.' "

"Think again," he said to the objectors, "I had to."

The Rev. Robert Brown in supporting continued membership said they sought to recognise that some members had serious reservations, but he hoped they could be given an assurance that membership would not be unconditional.

"But, at the same time, we affirm that membership should be withdrawn only in the event of radical changes referred to," he said.

Although strongly critical of the role of the WCC, the Rev. David McKee, of Saintfield, said that continued membership was important.

"It can be a dangerous thing, but we cannot opt out," he said, "I therefore urge this house to have the courage, and the faith, for continuing membership in the conviction that we can best serve the Master and His Church in Ireland and in the world."

The position of Revs. Donald Gillies and David McKee should be carefully noted.

The voting was 481 to 381 a majority of 100 for the WCC membership.

At the end only a few recorded their dissent.

According to the minutes these were as follows:

R. J. Magee, Noel Ward, F. J. Kelly, P. McGonigle, M. A. Crooks, R. Blair, William H. Peden, T. Cuming, James Luke, Denis Bannerman, Samuel Hoey, T. G. Boyd, Samuel B. Moles, David 13iack, Daniel Boyle, Robert Dickinson, J. Suitters, George D. Simpson, William M. Lavery, William Fleming, James W. Neely, J. J. Rainey, G. S. Dickson, A. R. Scott, J. H. Morrell, D. Robb, George Johnston, John Cargill, George Wilson, R. S. Stewart, T. H. Mullin, R. J. Bennett, J. Holmes, G. A. McIntyre, G. G. S. McKeown, R. C. M. Craig, R. V. Russell, H. Adair, Trevor Coburn, J. C. Buick, Trevor Anderson, S. Robert McCann, W. R. Lindsay, James Scott, William Dickey, John W. Lockington, H. Uprichard, T. McMaster, George Rodgers, James Whittle, R. J. Black, W. H. Crooks, R. Doggart, Ernest A. Baird, Cecil McIlrath, Stanley G. Warnock, J. Ronald McLean.


The shorter Catechism defines sin as "any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God." The Word of God must be the final court of Appeal. To all who are caught up in the unholy Romanising fellowship of the World Council of Churches, the Word of God has plainly spoken. [5]

True Christians don't argue about the commandments of Scripture, they obey them. "For to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." The choice is clear. Either these men must continue to practise sin or be faithful and separate. The way of the cross is the path for the true servant of God.


The Word of God states clearly how we should act in this day of crisis. There is absolutely no uncertainty about its message. You do not need to be in doubt. The Scriptures of Truth are explicit in their teaching on this subject. Let us obey God rather than man. The Bible gives us five great exhortations how we should react to Rome and all Romanisers within the Church and to all who by their silence condone their pernicious plans.


"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4:1 ).

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Romans 15:17).

Having tested their teaching by the Scriptures and found them wanting, we have then to mark them or brand them for their apostasy. Failure to do so is sin, for it is wilful disobedience to God's Word.


"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself" (I Timothy 6:3-5).

We are not to associate with them. We are not to co-operate in evangelism with them. Out we must come. Christian, speak out. Get out and stay out! To disobey is sin, and all the preachers who say contrary are opposing the Word of God.


Of course, many would like to separate and leave the matter there. The Scriptures, however, tell us our duty after we have ceased to fellowship with apostasy.

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but [6] rather reprove them" (Ephesians 5: 11 ).

We must reprove at every turn the apostasy. Silence is sin.


"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not unto your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds" (II John 10-11).

We are not to throw our homes open to them. We are not to invite them to our church to address our young people. We are to receive them not. Christian, are you both receiving and supporting the apostasy? If so, you will be a partaker of her plagues. What saith the Scripture?

"And I hear another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities." (Rev. 18: 4-5).


"A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition, reject" (Titus 3:10).

The apostles and disciples of apostasy must be rejected. The way is clear to the true and faithful believer. The pathway for the Christian is as a shining light. There is no need for hesitancy. God has ordered, we must obey. Like the Reformers, it must be separation for us.

Those of you who are true believers, I have shown you your duty. Do it now for the honour of your great Redeemer. Those of you still unregenerate turn instantly to Christ, for "neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12). [6]

THE GOSPEL According to John the Baptist.

A Sermon preached by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley in Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church, and broadcast by the BBC Radio Ulster on Lord's Day, 30th May, 1976.

"Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." - John 1: 29.

The Gospel preacher's business is to uplift the Lord Jesus Christ. What man may think of the preacher is completely unimportant. He is only a voice, what he says, not what he is, is all important (he is only a signpost); not what he looks like (a signpost may only be a piece of knotty splintered wood), but where be points to is what really matters.

John was no miracle worker. The late Rev. W. P. Nicholson preached a sermon which he called "The Urgifted Worker" on the text "John did no miracle." The text does not finish there, however, listen, "but all John spake of this man was true."

My text is full, full of gospel truth, full of saving grace and full of life-giving power. We will start at the end of the verse. Firstly, "the sin of the world," that's the enormitv of man's guilt. Secondly, "the Lamb of God," the mystery of God's love. Thirdly, "that taketh away," that's the activity of God's Son. Fourthly, "behold," that's the simplicity of our salvation.

I. The Enormity of Man's Guilt. 'The Sin of the World'

"The sin of the world." What a topic to discuss! - what a subject to expound!

Notice carefully, it is not the sins of the world, but the sin of the world; not sins, acts of sin, but sin itself in its totality, character and nature. To know something of sin we must first look at -

Its Character

The Shorter Catechism gives a tremendous definition of sin: "Sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God."

That is really just an explanation of the word used in the Greek New Testament which is translated sin. It means, "missing the mark," failing to reach God's standards or, on the other hand, going beyond God's boundaries into forbidden territory.

Sin is Lawlessness. It is lawlessness against the Holy God. The law of God, like the God who gave it, is absolutely holy. What are you? You are a rebel, a lawless one in rebellion against the holy God of heaven.

Sin is Rebellion against the all-powerful God. Know ye not against Whom ye strive, the One Who inhabitest eternity, the One Who holds the four winds in his fist, the One who metest out the heavens as a mere span. Did ever any strive with such an One and prosper.

Sin is Blasphemy against the True God. Hear these solemn words from eternity, "He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record God gave of His Son." 1 John 5: 10.

This is the sin that lies in all our hearts. It has stained our lives; it has stained our hearts; it has stained our actions; it has stained our relationships and, if not [8] forgiven, it will put such a stain on our souls that we will be damned forever.

Secondly, we must look at -

Its History

We are starting at Eden's garden. God made man holy, but sin came in and turned that holy man into an unholy creature. Through sin man, instead of remaining the friend of God became the fiend of Satan. Sin ruled and reigned in Adam's heart. Yes, and the first man ever born by natural generation into this world was Cain and he became a murderer. Sin was working, wasn't it? Yes, and you can go on with its history - turn over six chapters in the Bible and sin which started to corrupt a family has now corrupted the whole earth. "All flesh had corrupted itself before God."

Oh, the dark, damnable, depraving, degrading history of sin.

Sin, it will rob you of life.

Sin, it will rob you of Jesus.

Sin, it will rob you of heaven's home.

Sin, it will damn you immeasurably deep in hell forever. Don't play with it, don't trifle with it, don't fool with it.

Thirdly, we must look at -

Its Immensity.

Not a creature ever born naturally is exempt from adding to this dreadful mountain of sin.

There's not a nation which doesn't work for its enlargement. There is not a creed that is not stained with it; not a family that is not scarred with it; nor a man or woman exempt from it. Think for a moment of the sins of but one day, add to these the sins of one week, and yet again to these the sins of one month, one year, aye, one lifetime. What a mountain is now formed. Pile them up, sinner: the sins of hands; the sins of head; the sins of heart; the sins of eye; the sins of ear; the sins of body; the sins of feet; the sins of soul; the sins of babyhood, childhood, youth, manhood, and old age. What a hideous, hellish, heinous multitude, and now to them the sins of this generation and of all past generations, and of all future generations, and you will get some glimpse of the immensity of sin.

II. The Mystery of God's Love. 'The Lamb of God.'

Over against the awful hideous story of man's sin I can present the wondrous story of the mystery of God's love.

Man Cannot Take Away Sin

Man has religious creeds which promise freedom from sin. They are doomed to failure; they cannot produce a truly pardoned soul. Did you ever meet a man whom his fellow man freed from sin? Never.

Angels Cannot Take Away Sin

Tell me, could the angels free us from sin? The angels are powerless in this matter. The greatest angel God ever created was defeated by sin. He was called Lucifer, "the son of the morning." Sin ruined him; created pure as the mid-noon of heaven, Sin cast him down to hell. Angelic strength cannot battle with sins.

The Lamb of God Can Take Away Sin

Is there someone who could save man from sin? Away in the bills of glory before the bills of our universe were laid; away [9] out on the untrodden tracks of a past eternity, there was One able to save men from sin: God's Son, the Lamb of God. What a title that is, "The Lamb of God"!

God revealed this in the twilight of the Old Testament. The prophetic scriptures revealed that men, sinful men, need a lamb.

We stand at Eden's gate. Two men, two brothers, Cain and Abel, have erected altars there. They have left their sacrifices on the altar tops. They need to be reconciled to God. Because of sin they are at enmity with Jehovah. They require "atonement," ATONEMENT.

Cain offers a sacrifice of works. There is no atonement. God refuses his offering. Cain is not reconciled to Jehovah. Abel offers the blood of a lamb, there is atonement. God accepts his offering. Abel is reconciled to Jehovah. Learn from this type. The Blood of the Lamb of God on the altar makes atonement for the sinner.

What you need, sinner, is the Blood of Atonement. What will take the frown from the face of an angry Deity? What will sheath the glittering sword of judgment? What shall transform the throne of judgment to a throne of mercy? - THE BLOOD OF ATONEMENT.

When the deluge of Noah's day had passed, Noah offered a lamb amongst his other sacrifices. When God saw the sacrifice He sail, "I will not again curse the ground." Wrath was past, assurance was Noah's, the BLOOD of the Lamb of God IS THE BLOOD OF ASSURANCE.

You can be absolutely sure of salvation.

Look further at the Old Testament types. Down in Egypt the judgment angel is hovering over the land. The blood of the Passover lamb is sprinkled on the door posts and lintels of the houses of the Israelites. When God sees the blood the first born is acceptable and no judgment can touch [9] him. What makes the sinner acceptable? It is the BLOOD of the Lamb.

This is exactly what I, a poor law-condemned, heaven-condemned, heart-condemned sinner needs: ATONEMENT, ASSURANCE, ACCEPTANCE, and the Lamb of God imparts them all.

Who gave this Lamb? God gave Him.

A world filled with rebels, a planet scarred by sin, generations lawless against the most high and shaking their fists in the face of a thrice holy God. What does God do? He loved the world, he looked on His Son, his wondrous Son, and He made Him the sacrificial lamb.

See the mystery of God's love, the Lamb of God. Now we come to -

III. The Activity of God's Son 'Taketh Away'

How did the Lamb of God take away sin?

Firstly, He bowed Himself to where it was

From the heights of everlasting glory to the depths of awful shame, my Saviour bowed Himself. He stooped to where sin was. The eternal Son whom created eyes had never seen was robed in the rags of our mortality and appeared upon this scene of time. He came to where sin was.

Secondly, He bore it in His body

What did Christ take a body for? In order that it might be a vehicle upon which God might place our sins. The devil hates the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. He hates it because it was the battle ground in which our Lord conquered sin and death and hell. Without taking our nature Jesus [10] could not atone for sin. So Satan attacks the precious body of our precious Lord.

The Lord permitted His body to be handled with evil hands. Why? Because He took our sin on His body and so He must endure all the shame of sin. Sin scars; Christ was scarred in Pilate's judgment hall. Sin strips you; Christ was stripped stark naked at Calvary. Sin plunges you into the depths of shame; Christ was plunged into the depths of shame on Golgotha's hill-crag. After His death no unholy hands ever handled the body of my Lord. God said, "So far, but no farther." When the atonement was made, it was the holy hands of a believing Joseph and Nicodemus took that precious body down from the tree. It was the holy bands of the women that clasped the feet of the risen Lord. It was to the disciples that He said, "Handle me and see. I'm glad they'll never abuse His body again. Why? Because on His body He bore away my sin forever.

Thirdly, He bled for them at Calvary

The price was demanded by justice and He paid in the invaluable coin of His precious blood. Every debt in the book of judgment against His people He settled; every charge He atoned for.

Fourthly, He breaks their power in our lives

Christ breaks the power of cancelled sin.
He sets the prisoner free.
His blood can make ten thousand clean,
His blood avails for me.

I must finish with a brief word on: -

IV. The Simplicity of our Salvation. 'Behold'

Here's the way of salvation - "Behold." I will say but three things about this word "Behold."

First, it is a word of Explanation

It explains the way of salvation. John didn't want any of his hearers to think that his baptism took away sin. He said that his work would soon be done. He would decrease, for after him was coming One who was preferred before him for He was before him. Then he cried, behold the Lamb of God. That is the only way of salvation. When you really behold a person you have got to get your eyes off every other person and every other thing. That is the way one is saved by grace. You've been looking at the church, you've been looking at yourself, you've been looking at other people. Get your eyes off yourself; just look to Jesus. Behold Him. Look and live.

Second, it is a word of Invitation

C. H. Spurgeon, the greatest of English preachers, as a young boy found Christ through the simple invitation to look. He says himself:-

"At last, one snowy day, I found an obscure street and turned down a court and there was a little chapel. I wanted to go somewhere, but I did not know the place. It was the Primitive Methodist's chapel. I had heard of these people from many, and how they sang so loudly that they made people's heads ache; but that did not matter. I wanted to know how I [11] might be saved, and if they made my head ache I did not care. So sitting down, the service went on, but no minister came. At last a very thin looking man came into the pulpit and opened his Bible and read these words, "Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth." just setting his eyes on me as if he knew my heart, he said, "Young man, you are in trouble." Well, I was, sure enough. Says he, "You will never get out of it unless you look to Christ." And then lifting up his hands lie cried out, as only I think a Primitive Methodist could do, "Look, look, look. It is only look," said he. I saw at once the way of salvation. O, how I did leap for joy at that moment. O, I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away, and in heaven I will look on still in my joy unutterable."

Third, it is a word of Exhortation

Yes, I must exhort you to look to Christ. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of Man must be lifted up. You remember the history of it, don't you. The bitten Israelites were just to look and live. The Israelite who did not look perished. Yes, and if you don't look to Christ you'll perish in hell forever. Can't you see Moses exhorting the bitten ones to look. Can't you bear some doubter arguing with him, "What's the use of looking," he exclaims. "Don't argue," the prophet replies, "Just look."

Friend, don't argue about Jesus. DON'T bring up all the time worn questions of the devil. Just look and you'll live. Do it now. Just where you are, whoever you are, in God's Name, sinner, look and live.

Listen to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. - Matthew chapter 7, verses 13 and 14.

Happy if worth my latest breath
I may but speak Christ's Name,
Preach Him in life and cry in death,
"Behold - Behold the Lamb." [12]

Billy Graham's Roman Catholic Interview

The big article in the US Catholic for March, 1976, was an interview of Edward Wakin with Dr. Billy Graham. A few of Dr. Graham's responses are lifted out:

Roman Catholic priests endorse his Crusades -

"The feeling between Protestants and Catholics has been broken down, so much so that when I go to a city for a crusade, Catholic priests urge the people to come and organise buses for them to come. Or the Bishop or the Cardinal speaks out in favour of a crusade. That wouldn't have happened 20 years ago."

Billy will preach at the Vatican -

Should the Pope invite him to give the sermon at St. Peter's in Rome: "I don't expect to get the invitation. First, if I did get the invitation, I would gladly and humbly accept it. I would study for about a year in preparing my address. I suppose I would talk on the subject of personal conversion and how it related to the Church. The Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Episcopal Church can relate to what I call personal conversion, in which I'm calling people to come forward to make commitments for Jesus Christ."

Must give more attention to Mary -

"I believe Protestants have given far too little attention to Mary; she was the most blessed of women. Many Catholics have given too much attention to Mary. But there's not as much difference between me and Catholics theologically as there is between me and some Protestants theologically."

Building up an Apostate Church -

"For example, we went to London in 1967 for a crusade, and they had on the platform 56 Anglican clergy who had been converted to Christ when I was there for a crusade in 1954. They had gone through their theological training and had become Anglican clergy in the London area. About a quarter of the theological students in the Anglican schools in England during the past 20 years have been converted in our crusades."

He believes in the gift of healing -

What about faith healing? "I believe that God heals according to his [13] will. I believe there are certain people that God heals by His own glory. I do not believe that God heals everybody. I believe God has given the gift of healing to some people. I do not believe He has given that gift to me."

On the social aspects of the Gospel -

"Let's take racism. I think that you won't find any criticism of me anywhere on that subject. Martin Luther King made the statement when he was in Brazil: 'If it had not been for the ministry of Billy Graham, I could never have done the work that I have done.' But my messages are so personal and so individualistic and so directed towards getting people to make commitments that people forget the asides that I have and the other things I say in my messages."

Billy defends Betty Ford on morals -

When asked about Mrs. Ford's remarks on pre-martial affairs: "I don't believe morality changes. I believe that morality in certain cultures changes, but I don't believe God's morality changes. We have no right to change it. I would tell my children that I totally disapprove, but I would love them even if they did. I think this is what Betty Ford really meant to say."

Billy's message directly to Roman Catholics -

"My message would be to study the theology of the Catholic Church, the statement of faith that came out of the great Council, study the Bible upon which they are based. If a Catholic does that in all sincerity, he will come to a strong faith in Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and personal Lord. So I would say to the Catholic as I would to the Protestant: 'Study the Bible for yourself. Have family prayers in your home. Put your confidence and your faith in Jesus Christ for the life here and now and the life hereafter'."

It is evident that Dr. Graham has won a great ally in the Roman Catholic Church. It is also evident that Dr. Graham wants to convey the thought, without giving any offence, that his doctrine and official Roman Catholic doctrine are practically the same. People get the impression that he is as anxious to build up the Roman Catholic Church as the Protestant Churches. He obviously rejects the necessity of complete separation from the Roman Catholic Church as a part of the will of God, such as Luther and the Reformers held. [14]

25th Anniversary Dinner


Twenty-five years have gone since a mere handful of people, meeting in a small mission hall in Crossgar, Co. Down, a property which was loaned to them, raised the Blue Banner of Presbyterianism - Free, in Ulster.

We celebrated to-night our Silver Jubilee as a Church. But the years have all been golden years as far as the Lord's blessing on the work is concerned. The beginnings of the Church were indeed small, but its latter end will be something of a mighty, ever-increasing increase.

In 1951 every attempt was made to stifle and destroy the distinctive Biblical and Evangelistic witness of the Church. Its strong Protestant stand was especially attacked, and the charges which the Church Made against Romanism and the World Council of Churches were treated with disdain and contempt. Now those charges are being repeated, not only outside the Ecumenical Movement, but by those inside it, who, alas, too late, have discovered the blight which has come upon their Church. Certain Irish Presbyterian ministers are now saying about the World Council of Churches what this Church said 25 years ago. But what this Church did 25 years ago they are not prepared to do. Therefore, their protest is doomed to fail before it really starts.

We were told that it was impossible to do what we said we would seek to do. We were told that the task could not be done. We were told that we had neither the courage, ability, or standing to even attempt such a task. We are glad completely to agree, so that, this night, all the glory may be given to the God of the impossible, and the God Who never can or never will fail His people.

The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster is a tangible proof in this sceptical, blaspheming age, that there is a God in heaven, and that that God hears the prayers of His people and answers them more abundantly than we ever can ask or even think.

Three ments for we really meant to do what has been done.


I want to say a word about the encouragements of the past 25 years. This must be said against the backcloth of intense opposition and fierce and cruel persecution. Let it be remembered that the one who speaks found himself behind prison bars, because the then Prime Minister, Captain Terence O'Neill, promised the Moderator of the General Assembly, Dr. Alfred Martin, that he would use his political power to destroy what he called Paisleyism." He announced when he had us safely locked away that Paisleyism was dead. [15]

Free Presbyterians have been ostracised in business because of their Church connections. Free Presbyterian children have been made the butt of attacks in the day schools because of their religious faith. At one time a whole group of newspapers refused to carry the name of Paisley in any church advert or in any other advert. The "Belfast Telegraph" itself refused to carry the Church adverts of my own Ravenhill congregation as long as we worshipped in the Ulster Hall.

Through good report and ill report we have had continually great encouragements. We have had great encouragements spiritually. Our Churches have become spiritual homes in the highest possible sense. "That man and that woman have been born there." What annals of testimonies have been written with the passing of these 25 years. Homes broken reunited through the love of Christ. Drunkards delivered from the curse of booze. Evil men transformed by the power of the Everlasting Gospel. Hundreds of men and women brought into the experience of the power of the Risen Christ.

And what shall we say of those who have been called to minister to the lost of the world? Our Churches have been the seed plot for ministers, missionaries and servants of Christ.

We take one example: A young boy converted in one of our churches. He became one of the youngest recruits for missionary work. He went to Brazil, saw the need of the lepers there, graduated in Medicine from a Brazilian University, and now helped forward by the government of Brazil is doing, a colossal task across that great land helping to heal the lepers, and above all bringing, the gospel of healing to their souls. We salute Dr. Bill Woods, a representative of the Free Presbyterian missionaries.

What of the work at home? With many Churches in every county of Northern Ireland, many preaching stations connected with those congregations, with a thriving Church in the Republic, and the open door in Toronto, which will be the gateway for Free Presbyterianism in the New World, who can say that this is the work of mere man?

Our critics gave us six months. Amidst the fiercest onslaught which ever befell any Church in the 20th Century, the Free Presbyterian Church has not only survived but has become a power in the land, loved by its friends and feared by its enemies.

We have had great encouragements materially.

The Church which started on borrowed property, has now millions of pounds worth of property in churches and manses across the whole country.

It has poured thousands upon thousands of pounds into its missionary work. One Missionary Society has testified that there is no other church in the world which gives so liberally to its missionary students.

Its Theological Hall, started with two students, has at the present time a student body of over twenty. Yes, and those who have come from its lecture rooms have proved themselves masters [16] in the art of soul winning and church in building. In other words, they have delivered the goods, and that is the supreme test of the training they receive. They are trained to do the job, and the results show that they can do it.

Its radio ministry is now truly international and the voices of its preachers circle the globe.

There is another encouragement and that is the encouragement of the ear which is now given to the voice of the Free Presbyterian Church. It has encouraged the defence and the proclamation of the gospel. Others are now walking the same road, called to follow in the trail blazed by the pioneers of Free Presbyterianism.


Now a word about the instruments. The instruments God has used in this great work have been ordinary men and women of Ulster who are wholly dedicated to the cause of Christ. This complete dedication is the secret, humanly speaking, of the whole work. The Free Presbyterians are not mere attendees at the Church, they are the Church. They live for it, they work for it, they earn money in order to support it, and every one of them would die for it.

We have recaptured the spirit of the Covenanters and Martyrs and that is a spirit that cannot be quenched.


I would close with a word about advancement.

The Church has had its beginnings. In 25 years it has consolidated its position and is now ready for a great forward movement. It must advance into the places where the Devil holds sway, and pull down the ramparts of Satan, and plant the Crimson Cross of Christ on the top of the fallen walls of the battlements of the enemy. We cannot parley with the foe. There can be no weakening of our stand. We dare not compromise or surrender one jot or title of our principles.

There have been those who joined us for a while, who advocated such a policy. The Church would have none of them, and today they are outside our ranks and have become our most bitter foes.

Our Church intends to carry the battle into the ranks of the Ecumenists and World Councillors who have played the traitor to Reformation Presbyterianism and have sold our glorious heritage.

The plight of Ulster at the present time is the direct result of their conduct. For only a strong, virile Protestantism can keep Ulster free from the domination of the Roman Catholic Oriented Republic.

We intend to advance on all fronts, and should another spate of persecution and unleashed government fury, similar to that which we suffered at the beginning, be our portion, then trusting in the God Who delivered us in the past, and firmly convinced of the righteousness of our cause and its final triumph, we shall be prepared to face such a spate and such an unleashing.

We face the next quarter of a century absolutely confident that those who live to see it through will have cause to recall even greater chapters of encouragements in the history of this Church.

The Bush burns but it will not be consumed! Christ for Ulster!