[2]
WHERE SHADOWS FALL - By T. Allan Dunlop (A Review by Rhonda Paisley)

Some books have to be chewed considerably before they can be digested. All 54 pages of Where Shadows Fall by T. Allan Dunlop certainly offer plenty in the way of jaw exercise! But - I hasten to add the drag of chew, chew, chewing is more than compensated for in the nourishment provided concerning the "history, chemistry, industry, and legacy of alcohol".

Introducing his work, Rev. Dunlop states three main objectives. He wishes to present (1) Scriptures for consideration; (2) an assemblance of facts; and (3) a marshalling of arguments against alcohol. Are these objectives he has set fulfilled? In the first, an unequivocal yes is the answer. The Scriptures are made clear to the reader, not only is their complete authority asserted but it is faithfully adhered to throughout the writ. In the second, that of the assemblance of facts, yes, the facts are assembled but they become cumbersome to wade through as "readable" material. Unless an inherent interest already grasps the reader prior to purchase, it would be easy to set the work aside. However, it is unfair to offer criticism without balancing it by suggestion. Presentation of the facts by form of case histories, situational acts, or simply by updating their setting to that which today's society can relate to may make lighter reading. My "quip" is not with the authenticity of the facts, rather it is with their presentation. The advertising media cannot afford to use redundant examples from the eighteen hundreds to woo its audience of potential alcoholics. How much less then ought those concerned with preventing alcohol's enslavement rely on archaic examples.

Rev. Dunlop's third objective is the marshalling of arguments to assist in the battle against alcohol. This objective also is fulfilled. The arguments are gathered and woven through the four categories of the work, i.e., history, chemistry, industry and legacy.

In conclusion one must ask "does Allan Dunlop's book meet a need in today's market?" It would be impossible to argue convincingly that a need does not exist! If Where Shadows Fall fails to arouse concern followed by compassion in the believer, then the vacuum existing in today's market will go unmet through no fault of its author.

Rev. Dunlop has taken up an awesome challenge and no doubt would admit that he has merely "scratched its surface". The need is not so much for large market sales (although Rev. Dunlop is wished every success therein) but more importantly it is for buyers whose hearts will be aroused, whose minds will be alerted and whose hands will become active that they might be used to dispel the deepening shadows which alcohol unrelentlessly casts upon those around us. [3]

NEWTOWNABBEY INDEPENDENT CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
A Vision Realized By Rev. Reggie Cranston

Newtownabbey Independent Christian School opened its doors at 9 a.m. on Monday 5th September 1983. This was the result of years of much prayer and careful planning.

It was in June 1981 that our Church Committee took the decision to open a Christian School in Newtownabbey. We fully realized the magnitude of the task before us, if such a school was to open and operate successfully.

A meeting was then held for the benefit of parents interested in sending their children to the school. An encouraging number turned out to hear Rev. Ivan Foster, founder of Kilskeery Independent Christian School, preach on the need of Christian education. After that meeting a number of parents expressed an interest and indicated that if a Christian school was opened in September 1983, they would be prepared to send their children. This was an encouraging start, so we made it a great matter of prayer, that if God wanted us to open in September 1983, then He would have to supply a teacher.

During a week of prayer in our Church, at the beginning of this year, we sought God definitely about a teacher, realizing 1983 had now come upon us with no sign of this post being filled. Rather than advertise for a teacher within the Free Presbyterian Church, we wanted God to touch the heart of the person He would want to come to Newtownabbey.

In March of this year another parents meeting was held, and this time Rev. Foster brought a number of children from the Kilskeery School with him at our request. Two teachers accompanied the children, one of which was Miss Hazel Shier, who had been teaching in the Kilskeery School for three years. We did not know then, but the Lord had been speaking to Miss Shier for a number of months about the work in Newtownabbey. Her visit to us that night only increased her burden, and a few days later we received word from Miss Shier that the Lord had confirmed to her through the Scriptures that she should go to Newtownabbey. This was for us a great answer to prayer and confirmed too that we were in the centre of His will regarding the school venture.

This meant that our preparations for opening in September had to move into top gear. There were text books to buy, pencils, rubbers and a host of other items, not to mention getting the classroom ready for the first pupils to arrive. After months of hard work the classroom in our new Sabbath School was ready. A few weeks before the opening day of the school term we only had four children who were definitely coming. But though our beginnings were small our latter end did increase, for on that historic first school morning thirteen children took up their places at their desks in preparation for morning devotions. What a joy it was to see them [5] in their new school uniforms with faces all aglow. Quite a number of photographers had turned up also, amateur as well as professional, to record that historic day. We were delighted when Dr. Paisley arrived on Wednesday morning to conduct morning devotions and the children all enjoyed his talk to them.

As we look back on the last 2 1/2 years, it is most blessed to see how God has led and guided us and been pleased to meet all our needs. To Him we give all glory and say, "This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes."

Please pray for our school here in Newtownabbey, not forgetting the other works in Kilskeery and Ballymoney. Pray also that soon other schools will open in our Churches throughout the land.

May I give an invitation to the Official Opening of our School and Sabbath School Complex, on Sunday 22nd October at 3.30 p.m., with Dr. Paisley officiating and Rev. William McCrea singing and other ministers taking part. It promises to be a great day.

Finally, through this article I want to thank all who have helped and supported us in this great venture. Thanks to Rev. and Mrs. Foster, my Session, Committee and Congregation, and all the many friends who have given us practical and prayerful support.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." [6]

BALLYMONEY INDEPENDENT SCHOOL

The new Independent School in Ballymoney opened its doors for the first time on Thursday 1st September at 9.00 a.m. Nine pupils sat down to lessons under the tuition of Miss May Keys who comes from our Clogher Valley congregation. The pupils are drawn from families in the Ballymoney congregation, but it is hoped that others will be in attendance - from local congregations and non Free Presbyterians.


Thoughts about such a school were in the pipeline as far back as January 1982 when a meeting was held to ascertain what interest existed amongst parents. The meeting was well attended, with Mrs. Foster, Principal Kilskeery Independent Christian School, being the guest speaker. Some interest was forthcoming, with the number of questions put to Mrs. Foster being an indicator.

At subsequent meetings in '82 and '83 firm interest was expressed and a decision subsequently taken to commence (D.V.) in September 1983. Application was made to the Education Board of the Presbytery for authorization of such a proposed step. Ratification was forthcoming in May of this year and plans were then rapidly set in motion.

The prayer room in the church at Dervock Road is being used as a classroom and both pupils and teacher are settling in well to a hard year's work. Please pray for the school, its pupils and teacher, seeking God's blessing upon its academic work and spiritual good. [7]

BILLY GRAHAM AND THE W.C.C.

Report on the relationship between Billy Graham and the World Council of Churches as revealed at the sixth Assembly of the W.C.C. held at Vancouver, 24th July to 10th August 1983.

By Brian Wenham (Editor of Inner Witness)

We have been aware for almost thirty years that the Billy Graham Crusades are the classic form of ecumenical evangelism. When believers join hands, not only with unbelievers, but with Bible-denying enemies of the Gospel in order to reach the lost, the result cannot be blessed of God.

Because of Billy Graham's willingness, even keenness, to work with these ecumenical types we are aware that the ecumenical movement is using Billy Graham to put a veneer of life on to something that is spiritually dead.

But what is Billy Graham's actual relationship with the World Council of Churches?

INVITATION

The General Secretary of the W.C.C., Dr. Philip Potter, wrote a special letter of invitation for Dr. Graham to speak at this Sixth Assembly of the Council. Philip and Billy are obviously on Christian name terms and no doubt get along well together.

During a press conference Dr. Potter made it clear that he believed Dr. Graham's attitude and fellowship to be of the spirit of the W.C.C.

GRAHAM'S RESPONSE

When I was made aware that Dr. Graham had communicated back to Dr. Potter I made it my business to obtain a copy if at all possible. The transcript was not made generally available to the press through the Ecumenical press service, but by making special representation I was able to obtain what I wanted.

TEXT OF TELEGRAM

The text of Dr. Graham's telegram reply to Dr. Potter's invitation needs no explanation; it is clear, concise and condemning. There are many questions which arise out of what Dr. Graham says - I personally find it very disturbing!

"Dear Philip,

Your gracious and generous invitation to speak twice in Vancouver was deeply appreciated. Thank you for seeing my representatives Dr. Smyth and Dr. Haraszti. They impressed me with the importance of the opportunities which you offered me, and also conveyed your personal [8] greetings. I have tried to juggle my schedule but it is just too heavy at this late date for me to make the drastic changes that would be necessary for me to be in Vancouver. This will be only the second general assembly of the W. C. C. that I have had to miss. I will certainly miss seeing you and many other old friends and fellowshipping with those from all over the world. We have 4000 delegates coming to Amsterdam and have had to turn away 2000 applications. There seems to be a growing grass roots desire for renewal within the church and emphasis on evangelism and service. It is my prayer that Vancouver and Amsterdam will both experience Pentecostal blessings that could possibly bring about the extension of the Kingdom of God in a world so filled with danger. May God grant you personally His wisdom as you lead this sixth assembly.

Billy Graham"

[9]
VANCOUVER AND ROME

Report on the relationship between the Church of Rome and the World Council of Churches as observed in the W.C.C. Sixth Assembly held in Vancouver, Canada, July 24 to August 10, 1983.

By Dr. Brian Wenham (Editor of Inner Witness)

"ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME"

In 1965, as a young Methodist Minister, I participated in some of the debate surrounding the adoption of the Proposed Basis of Union. I was at pains to point out the sacramental and Romanistic language of The theology embodied in that basis and I was firmly accused (and written off) as "seeing a Roman Catholic behind every bush".

SOON VERIFIED

Less than a year later a paper appeared under the name of Norman H. Snaith, an evangelical Methodist in England, which was printed in The Methodist, the weekly produced by the N.S.W. Conference of the Methodist Church. The headline for the article was "All Roads Lead to Rome". He was faithfully nailing his ecumenical enemies.

Within two weeks a reply from a young, radical minister by the name of Tom Pardey was printed in the same journal: "All Roads Lead to Rome - So What!" I was certainly vindicated.

Things had moved rapidly in that twelve month period and they have been accelerating since.

POPE ULTIMATE HEAD

In the 1960's those two "prophets" of the ecumenical movement, James Pike and Eugene Carson Blake, were saying: "We believe that the logical and ultimate head of the W.C.C. will be the Pope himself."

These sentiments are echoed subliminally and sometimes voiced in my ears as I walk among the traitors here at Vancouver. One would think that Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox and so many other faithful men of truth had been expunged from history.

EUCHARIST

As I open a booklet entitled "Assembling for Worship", apart from being offended once more by the cartoon figures from the Good News Bible, the thing that stands out is: "The Feast Of Life" - The Celebration of the Eucharist.

When I was reporting on the W.C.C. conference at Melbourne in May 1980 I was able to document my hearing of the announcement: "Mass will be celebrated at 7 a.m. each morning in the chapel." I did not see it in [10] writing. The term "eucharist" was used sometimes in the presentation of papers to the plenary sessions.

Here in Vancouver I read that two major celebrations of the Eucharist will be held, one according to the Orthodox tradition and the other basically Anglican with strong hints that Catholics would be welcome and at home. Dr. Robert Runcie is scheduled to lead.

Then there is a small paragraph: "In addition to these major celebrations there are daily celebrations of the Eucharist each morning before the Assembly begins at a number of chapels on the campus. Please consult the daily bulletin for information."

BROTHERS AND SISTERS


I was seated in the plenary hall on Monday morning, 25th July, when a man was invited to bring a greeting. He was introduced as President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Henri Legare, OMI. Imagine my inward reaction when he commenced "Brothers and sisters in Christ . . ." I knew he was not talking to me because I was in the press gallery, but he was talking to representatives of historic Christianity. Obviously they are no longer Protestants.

Legare went on to say that ecumenical collaboration is an everyday reality in Canada, particularly in the manner in which the churches approach human rights, native (Canadian Indians), social justice and peace issues through their inter-church coalitions of which the Catholic Church is a member.

He told the Assembly that Catholics throughout Canada had prayed on July 24 for the Assembly.

OPENING SPEAKER

Catholic membership of the W.C.C. is still a little way off but this assembly sees the biggest ever Catholic contingent. Some time after Vatican Council II the Catholic Church began to send observers to the W.C.C. assemblies and conferences. "The optimism of the 1960's," say W.C.C. voices, "has given way to the realism of the 1980's." My way of saying that is: "Rome has travelled in 15 years from the door to the platform."

The opening speaker of the assembly was Dr. Jean Vanier who spoke in both English and French. Dr. Vanier, a Roman Catholic, also a son of a former governor of Canada, is the founder of L'Arche homes for the mentally handicapped.

Since I was taking part in the demonstration outside I did not go inside but what I later heard on television showed very woolly theology. Unfortunately, however, Jean Vanier is a powerful communicator and most of the delegates would have responded as intended.

The disturbing feature is that Rome now has a platform foothold. [11]

A discerning Christian said to me today: "The Catholics are not officially members but they are in everything as though they were."

A WOMAN'S TESTIMONY

On Wednesday afternoon of the first week the assembly addressed the subject: "Life in Its Fullness". In addition to a woman main speaker there was a series of testimonies on the theme of: "The Holy Spirit in the experience of…" and five people were called upon to testify. Two were women, one of them being Maria Teresa Porcile, a Roman Catholic from Latin America. So this was the second Catholic to reach the platform.

This woman is very highly educated and extremely poetic. However, of all she said, nothing is worth quoting and the theology was woeful. She was introduced as a Roman Catholic theologian from Uruguay teacher/professor of philosophy and pedagogy and licentiate in theology; also a United Bible Societies inter-confessional consultant. Several other high-sounding things appear in her credentials but just see this one: "Staff member, Ecumenical Institute, Bossey, Geneva, on behalf of the Secretariat for promoting Christian Unity of the Vatican."

The W.C.C. does not bother with the little fish. I would say that this woman is right on the pulse of the magnificent intelligence system deployed by the Vatican.

THE BIG EXCITEMENT

On Monday morning 25th July it was shared amidst great excitement that today a message was to be presented from Pope John Paul II. That was in the press briefing session. In due course that message was given to the plenary session by Vancouver's Catholic Archbishop James Carney to the W.C.C. General Secretary Philip Potter, on the Monday afternoon. Here is the full text:

"To Dr. Philip Potter
General Secretary
World Council of Churches
From the Vatican, 12 July, 1983.

"The race of the Lord Jesus be with you (I Cor. 16:23). As the delegates and other participants of the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches gather in Vancouver, I wish to assure you of my deep pastoral interest and closeness in prayer.

I am pleased that, for this important meeting in the service of the ecumenical movement, you have decided that the central theme would be: 'Jesus Christ the life of the world'. In doing this, you have reached out to Christians everywhere, to all who confess faith in Jesus Christ believing that 'there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved' (Acts 4:12). [12] You have affirmed our common belief that Jesus is the crucified Saviour, the Redeemer of all, the Lord of life who was 'designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead' (Rom. 1:4), the Risen Christ whose oneness with us in all things but sin has firmly established the dignity and worth of every human being.

Ecumenical endeavours such as this bear witness to the ever increasing longing of Christians today that the prayer of Christ may be fulfilled: 'that they may be one' (Jn. 17:22). This urgent task, which still encounters many difficulties, is indeed challenging and multi-faceted. It requires obedience to the will of God and co-operation with his grace. It demands persevering faith and steadfast hope. Above all, it impels us to constant prayer and continual conversion.

As I have made pastoral visits to the Catholic Church in various parts of the world, it has been a special pleasure for me to have met with representatives of a number of the member-churches of the World Council. Many also have come to Rome to further our common efforts of dialogue and mutual understanding. Such contacts have advanced the cause of Christian unity, and I trust that the present gathering in Vancouver will bring about even further progress towards this goal for which we all long.

Upon all taking part in the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, I invoke the wisdom, light and peace of the Holy Spirit. With the words of Saint Paul I say: 'My love be with you all in Christ Jesus' (1 Cor. 16:24).

Joannes Paulus II."

ROME IS STRONGLY PERVASIVE

The flavour of Catholicism is strongly present. Even when there is no special Romish focus the flavour is there subliminally. All around we see the priestly figure and the nun's habit. Of course they may not all be of Rome because some Anglican orders and some Orthodox orders parade similar regalia. Nevertheless the Catholic presence is strong and becoming stronger.

Here is a list of official Roman Catholic "delegated observers" taken from the June 22 list of assembly participants:-

Africa

Kenya Fr. John Mutiso-Mbinda

Asia

New Zealand Msgr. Basil Meeking

Philippines Fr. Catalino Arevalo

Europe

Belgium Dom Emmanuel Lanne

FRG Most Rev. Paul-Werner Scheele

Italy Rev. Jan Schotte CICM ; Msgr. Pietro Rossano ; Dr. Guzman Carriquiry

UK Fr. John Redford

Latin America

Uruguay Miss Maria Teresa Porcile Santiso [13]

Middle East

Jerusalem Fr. Frans Bouwen

North America

Canada Magr. Dennis Murphy ; Magr. Archeveque Antoine Hacault ; Most Rev. James F. Carney

USA Fr. Thomas Stransky CSP ; Sister Mary Motte ; Rev. John F. Hotchkin

Pacific

Tonga Bishop Patelisio Finau

There was one additional and very important man. Introducing the Canadian Archbishop for the presentation of the Pope's message was Pierre Duprey, secretary of the Vatican Secretariat for promoting Christian Unity, and a guest of the Assembly.

Also not listed is the one who brought greeting, Archbishop Henri Legari, already mentioned, and the opening speaker Jean Vanier, also mentioned. You can see that the above list is but the tip of the iceberg.

EYE-WITNESS

It makes me very sad to see all this happening among the churches entrusted with the Gospel of redeeming grace but it gives me great satisfaction to document the wickedness in this first-hand report. [14]

W.C.C. WELCOMES HEATHENS

Report on the growing relationship between the World Council of Churches and the non-Christian religions as observed in the W.C.C. Sixth Assembly held in Vancouver, Canada, July 24 to August 10, 1983.

By Brian Wenham (Editor of Inner Witness)

Theoretically the World Council of Churches is open to those churches which acknowledge Jesus Christ as God and Saviour. If its doctrinal basis of fellowship were less (and it will become less) we could not take exception to many of the Council's activities.

ANYTHING GOES

However we are all aware that a doctrinal statement like that is merely a front to its member churches while, behind their backs, the Council extends warm hands to all kinds. Thus we have seen for a long time now the deepening relationship with the Church of Rome, a solidly established betrothal now, and, since the 1960's, a growing flirtation with the non-Christian religions.

OTHER LIVING FAITHS

This is the fancy name, given by the W.C.C., for what we used to call at Theological College "Non-Christian Religions". In those days we did not give them any house room, simply studied them in a comparative but distant setting.

Today they are honoured guests of the W.C.C. and were presenton the platform to contribute in a number of sessions at the sixth Assembly here in Vancouver. The delight of the delegates were undisguised whenever these honoured guests were mentioned.

LITTLE BY LITTLE

This is really a Jesuit term but the W.C.C. is a master of subtle operation. In 1965 there was a "Consultation" held in Ajaltoun in the Middle East to which a W.C.C. delegation was led by Australia's Alan Walker (now Rev. Dr. Sir Alan Walker). I remember being very alarmed at the time, in fact I learned this fact from the pages of Inner Witness fourteen years before I inherited the editorship. It is a vigilant paper.

Since that "Consultation" the representatives of these dead religions have now reached the platform. Along the way I remember seeing a photograph of Bishop John Reid of Sydney sitting opposite someone from one religion - both were cross-legged and the caption spoke of "dialogue". (As Dr. Paisley says: "It Sounds like a lot of 'dead wood' to me!") [15]

TWO BLATANT FLIRTATIONS

During this Sixth Assembly the heathens have been honoured guests from two directions. Four people made platform contributions to a plenary session under one of the major sub-themes: these represented East and Middle East religions. The other direction was that of the Canadian Indians, our Aboriginal counterparts. This is a similar spiritistic culture.

BUDDHIST


Invited to present a homily under the title "Life - A Gift From God" a Buddhist, Masuo Nezu, responded briefly. The god was not the one, true God we know and worship, it was the Dharma - ". . . peace and liberation are the right of all beings; they are equal before the dharma . . ."

The speaker gave a quote from the Buddhist scriptures, Lotus Sutra, mainly from chapter five. The word "joy" occurs frequently in the quotation but on looking closely we see that it is "the joy of nirvana". It speaks also of "the law" but we find it is "the law preached by the Buddha".

How's that for a "Christian" platform!

HINDU

The Hindu, whose name is Shri Shrivatsa Goswami, seemed to transpose his message into Christian jargon for he spoke of "God" and "the Lord" and "the Kingdom of God". However a different figure emerged when he said: "From time to time God compassionately appears among us. One such appearance was in the form of Chaitanya Maha Probhu in the fifteenth century". He then closes his message with a quote from this Chaitanya and the closing exhortation, greeting, benediction (who knows?) was: "Om shanti, shanti, shanti."

These heathens know no better; the culpable ones are the impostors who invite them to the platform. Ichabod! The glory has departed!

ISLAM

The Moslem leader, Shayk Yusuf Khan Shakirov, stood out in his white turban, there was nothing else quite like it, although some of the head-dresses are quite exquisite. His presentation was a little longer than the others so far in this particular exercise.

This man wasted no time - ". . . life in all its diversities and manifestations . . . is the creation of the almighty Allah." No doubt the ecumenicals would approve saying that he is our God by a different name but what about Jesus Christ? "Neither is their salvation in any other, for there is none other Name. . ." The Moslem soon makes reference to "our [16] Prophet Muhammed" and all along the way quotes freely from the "Holy Quran".

JUDAISM

The representative of this ancient religion was a man well known on the American continent, Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum.

The Rabbi made some winsome quotes about the Exodus and Sinai from the Hebrew Bible, which Christians recognise; he made some good quotes from Isaiah and Leviticus and he linked Jews with Christians in moral and ethical considerations. However he quoted "Rabbinic teaching", "Talmud Baba Batra", "Abot de Rabbi Nathan", "Mishnah Peah" and various other Jewish authorities quite freely and, no doubt to cement the links being established, quoted liberal Christian authors such as Gordon Allport and Erich Fromm.

UNDECLARED GOALS

In all this flirtation with the heathen and pagan religions the W.C.C. leaders do not seem to state their ultimate goals. Are they going to keep scaling down their doctrinal basis? Are they really planning to form up the world-wide confederation of religions of the end time? They would never say. That would give their member churches too much of a shock. They simply focus attention on the immediate goal of "holding dialogue".

MORE YET

As if not enough has been compromised or sold there is even more to tell. Very prominent in this Sixth Assembly has been flirtation with and exaltation of the Canadian Indians of several tribal streams.

These people are the Canadian counterparts of our Australian Aborigines and, in fact, there is strong propaganda in the air here for Indian land rights. As I write my eye falls on a paper headed: "Nishga Land Claims". It almost makes me feel at home.

INDIAN CULTURE, NATIVE HERITAGE

While I would speak of the W.C.C. promotion of a pagan and spiritistic religion the W.C.C. leaders use euphemisms such as "Indian Culture" or "Native Heritage". This is simply a smokescreen or decoy.

Superficially visitors would seethe erection of a 45 metre totem pole on campus, this totem pole to be later shipped to Geneva for erection on W.C.C. headquarters property. Visitors would see a native arbour (a circular grove 15 metres diameter, made from felled saplings) accompanied by a tent and what appears to be a campfire.

Program participants would have been very interested to hear an address on July 26 from Mr. Roderick A. Robinson Sr., hereditary Nishga [17] Chief and Executive Vice-President of the Nishga Tribal Council. He first publicly thanked another tribe, the Musqueam people, for permission to address the W.C.C. on their land and he went on to present a very scholarly treatise on Aboriginal Land Rights. Is that familiar?

PAGANISM AND IDOLATRY

In spite of the euphemistic names given by W.C.C. leaders there is no doubt in my mind as to the nature of the Indian involvement. It is simply another pagan religion.

The arbour described is an Indian spirit house (what spirit?), and the campfire is a sacred flame. One of the young Indian men told me, and I have recorded the interview, that it is an altar. An older Indian said that if someone wants to pray, he submits some food to the flame of the altar and goes into the spirit house to pray.

A member of our party was rebuked by an Indian for eating an apple between the altar and the spirit house. "Would you eat in Church?" he said.

Plainly this is an active and strict religion being exalted by the W.C.C. The totem pole, of course, is an idol or image - that will go well in Geneva.

Not only are these religions objects and scenarios available to be witnessed but participants (i.e. W.C.C. delegates and visitors) are being given opportunities to take part in Native purification rituals in a sweet lodge. I don't understand the full significance of this but as a Christian I would run a mile to avoid these abominations.

SPIRITUALLY ACCEPTABLE

Another Indian who made it to the platform was Native elder Art Solomon who was set up in a forum on Thursday 28 July with Islamic scholar Mohammed Talbi. The Indian said: "Just as the tide goes out it comes back in. Native North Americans once were taught they were savages; we were dismissed as pagans. Now it has turned around and some say we come from one of the great spiritual traditions."

ENOUGH!

I could bring out several more aspects of the W.C.C. exaltation of non-Christian, pagan and spiritistic religions. However I could add no more to the shock of the facts already shared. I am an eye-witness to the return of Babel and to the formation of end-time Babylon. The poor benighted souls in the W.C.C. are in a wilderness of their own making. The problem is they have been conducting a subtle but clever indoctrination programme and are leading precious souls captive back into Medieval darkness without Bible, without Gospel, without hope.

[18-24 MEDITATIONS FOR THE MONTH]

[24]
LIVERPOOL FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

The Protestant Reformers' Memorial Church, Netherfield Road North, Liverpool has just completed twelve months as a congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. It was on July23rd 1982 that the Rev. W. H. Fleming was installed as Minister of the first Free Presbyterian Church in England.

The occasion was celebrated by a splendid meal in the church hall provided by the ladies of the Church, at which they were assisted in serving by some of the young people. It was good to see the young people taking part in this manner.

The guest speaker at the anniversary was the Rev. Roy Stewart of Cookstown, who also preached at the morning and evening services on the following Sabbath.

The work in Liverpool is not easy and calls for prayerful encouragement. It was an act of faith by Mr. Fleming to accept the call but God has blessed his ministry with signs following; an increase in the numbers attending the Sunday services and the weekly prayer meeting. We have also had the joy of seeing young people publicly witnessing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In addition to the existing Tuesday and Thursday meetings Mr. Fleming has commenced a Young Peoples' Fellowship and Mrs. Fleming a Children's Meeting.

Our relationship with the Church in Ulster has been strengthened as a result of a party from Liverpool attending the Easter Convention at the Martyrs Memorial Church, where they enjoyed the hospitality of friends in Ulster. Conversely friends in Ulster have visited us in Liverpool, thus [25] cementing a bond of Christian fellowship. We thank God for these many blessings.

The need for the witness of the Protestant Reformers becomes very clear as we see the declension which has taken place in so many churches in Liverpool and throughout the land. Evidence of such apostasy was clearly demonstrated when Anglicans, Baptists, United Reformists, Methodists, Salvation Army, Romanists and Charismatics all joined together in a procession led by the Anglican and Roman Bishops of Liverpool between the two cathedrals in celebration of the Pope's visit last year. We thank God that the Protestant Reformers stand separated from such a combination.

As all ministers of the true Gospel, Mr. Fleming becomes the mark of the enmity both of men and devils. How they will watch for every halt or slip. Let us then uphold him before the Throne of Grace and pray that he may be filled with the Holy Spirit as he labours in our midst.

We also ask the prayers of God's people that God will mightily bless the Gospel Campaign which will be held (D.V.) between October 2nd and the 17th, when the Rev. S. Scott-Pearson of Bedford will be the evangelist. Liverpool is indeed missionary territory.

Mr. Fleming's work as minister of the Gospel here is solemnly momentous and the spiritual darkness almost overwhelming, but we have the assurance of God's Word:-

"Be strong, and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid . . . for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." (Deuteronomy 31:6).

R. F. Henderson.

A WARNING AGAINST SPIRITUALISM By Archibald G. Brown

"For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord" Deuteronomy 18:12.

I wish to give utterance to some thoughts that have for a long time found place in my own mind, and which have grown in force as I have delayed them expression. I purpose, as simply and plainly as I can, to deliver my own soul about what I believe to be a crying and increasing evil of the present day. I am perfectly aware that, by saying what I intend saying, I shall, in all probability, have to run the gauntlet of adverse and perhaps severe criticism, and that I shall be counted by not a few to have courted simple contempt by crying, "Wolf!" when, according to their estimation, no danger is night at hand.


But a true servant of God, if he would be faithful to his Master, must be superior to either of these two things. How can he be true to his Lord who fears the stripes of criticism, when remembering that, for his sake, his [26] Master was flogged in the hall of Pilate, as well as perpetually scourged by the tongue of the wicked? He who would be loyal to his Master must be willing to be counted even a fool for His sake; and he who is so thin-skinned that he is unable to bear the smile of contempt, or the scoff of ridicule, had better at once give up the work altogether; for those who mean to do their Lord's business faithfully, will, to a certainty, have to face plenty of both.

Even supposing that the watchman on the wall of the city be mistaken, and give a warning and rouse the city and, perhaps, disturb many slumberers in their sleep, when no foe is near - even if he is the cause of making turmoil in the town, and routing many out of their rest through a mere imagination of his own - yet better dare all this, than through fear of being laughed at, or through dread of being ridiculed, he should keep silent, when he only thinks a foe is near, until the gate is stormed and the city carried.

Foes that come by stealth are more formidable than those who come arrayed in simple brute strength. Now, I think I can see an enemy availing itself of every possible ambush, and gradually encircling the Church of God, and coming nearer day by day. It approaches under false pretences, and with such specious excuses, that one need not be surprised if even the very elect are deceived - a foe none the less dangerous because it sometimes clothes itself with a profession of Christianity.

Such words as witchcraft, sorcery, necromancy, are ugly words, and are so associated with the stern denunciations of Scripture, and bring so vividly to the remembrance of those who hear them the burning words that God has uttered against them, that they have been dropped, and a more polite one has been substituted. I take it however, that the old thing still remains, though called by a new name, and I want to drag off the polite mask, and show the hateful countenance of an old evil. I mean that the word "spiritualism" is simply a synonym for the witchcraft denounced and accursed of God from beginning to end of Scripture.

I can easily imagine that someone will be ready to reply, "Ah, but then there is nothing in it: it is mere chicanery." Supposing, for argument, that it is so: it in nowise affects the question, for, if it is not what it professes to be, it is a gigantic lie; and I, as a child of God, have no more right to have fellowship with a lie than I have with a wicked fact. I am not going into the question whether it is all that it professes to be, or whether it is just simply a popular delusion of the day. I have my own firm conviction that those who deal in it have direct communication with Satanic agency. But my point is this - that, whether false or true, every child of God should shun it as he would the very Devil himself.

We have desired to raise our warning voice because, as we have just said, it is not looked upon by many as a sin. But why? Because, perhaps, it has never been looked at through the medium of Scripture. This fiend comes like an angel of light, and the secret of its influence is that it appeals to the two greatest powers in human nature, namely, to the [27] affection of the heart and to the curiosity of the mind. It appeals to the affection of the heart by coming to the bereaved, sorrowing, and crushed widow, or to the helpless and fatherless, just when nature is at its weakest. To them it cunningly hints at something about continued communion with the departed. Through the very force of natural affection, there is an additional power given to the temptation. Or if it does not appeal to the affection of the heart, it solicits that which has greater power with some, namely, the curiosity of the mind.

Oh, to lift up the veil that God has dropped, and take a peep beneath! Oh, to know something about that world concerning which Scripture says so little. The very idea of gleaning, nay, thieving a secret out of God! A longing to take that which is prohibited becomes, if indulged, an overmastering passion. Now is it a wonder, when these two powers of man are appealed to - is it a wonder, I say, if many fall? It has worked its way far already, and, I am prepared to say, much further than many imagine. Like the plague of frogs in the days of old, it is finding its way into most unexpected places. Why, sirs, this church is not free of it! There are some now who, at this very moment, while I am speaking, know that they are condemned by every utterance that I make. One of the characteristics of this evil, is that, like dram-drinking, when first commenced, it is always done in secret. A sense of shame keeps the man from openly avowing that which is his practice. I am inclined to think that whilst there is much alarm about sins which appear more repulsive- the grosser sins of the flesh - we are letting an evil come nearer and nearer, with but little warning, an evil which is touching our members, and laying hold of multitudes of the young who are not yet decided.

Let me then try and lead your thoughts for a short time to this subject. Without going into the question of whether spiritualism is a reality or a sham, our theme is - the sin of seeking to obtain knowledge by unlawful methods.

WHAT IS THE WHOLE VERDICT OF SCRIPTURE ON THIS QUESTION?

If, as some say, there is nothing in it, then I ask, in return, "Why does God say so much about it?" Or, granting that there is nothing in it, and that there is no harm in dabbling with it, "Why does God continualy warn me of it throughout His Word?" If communication with familiar spirits be a mere myth, why so much warning against it? Is it God's wont by the Holy Ghost to warn men of myths? Is it God's custom to cry aloud when there is no danger near? I frankly confess that until I was led by stress of circumstances - for this subject was not merely brought before me, but by certain things, thrust upon me - to bring this matter to the test of Scripture, I had no idea that there was so much in the Word of God about it as I found. I now ask you to take your Bibles and follow with me the testimony of Scripture. [28]

LEVITICUS

If you look in Leviticus 19:31, you will read as follows: "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God." We would reiterate what we have said before that in bringing these passages before you we are not going into the question whether these men actually had communication with the familiar spirits, as they professed to have or not. We want to pin every one down to this one point, that whether it is a reality or sham - whether it is true or false - here is a thing denounced by God throughout the whole of inspired writ.

Turn now to Leviticus 20:6, and you will read, "And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people." Thus you see that no only was there a doom pronounced on the heads of those who had to do with the spirits, but also on those who went after them for consultation.

In the 27th verse of the same chapter you read, "A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them." If there were no great sin in it - if it were but a small peccadillo - is it likely that the God of infinite love would have given expression to such a tremendous denunciation as this? Whatever it might be in the estimate of man, the sin of having dealings with familiar spirits was, in God's account, one that could only be adequately punished by death.

DEUTERONOMY

In Deuteronomy 18:9, you will find, "When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations." Now, what, in God's eyes were the abominations? What were those things amongst the heathen which, when God looked down upon, His whole soul abhorred? You get the answer in the next verse. "Any one that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord."

SAUL AND MANASSEH

Well, but as time rolled on did the verdict of God against this sin tone down? Let us pass on to the days of Samuel; and in I Samuel 15:23, you will see the utterance of the prophet. Saul had grievously sinned. He had been commanded to spare none of the Amalekites, and instead of that he had spared Agag and the best of the cattle. Samuel comes and charges him with his sin. Saul had rebelled against God; he had run directly [29] counter to the mandate of Jehovah. Now, how does Samuel show the greatness of Saul's sin? In this verse he says, "For rebellion" - that is, rebellion against God - "is as the sin of witchcraft" - as if Samuel himself could think of no greater sin than that. "Oh, Saul," (he seems to say) "thou hast rebelled against thy God. Dost thou count it a small thing? I tell thee that the sin of rebellion is even as the sin of witchcraft." Certainly in those days, then, witchcraft must have been considered a damning sin when it is held up as the very personification of all that is evil.

If you pass on to 1 Samuel 28:8, you read, "And Saul disguised himself and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman" (that is, the witch of Endor) "by night; and he said, I pray thee divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me up him whom I shall name unto thee." You know the result, but if you look to the Chronicles, you will see what was God's estimate of Saul's sin. "So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit to enquire of it." Here, you see, was the crowning sin of Saul, and the Holy Ghost has put on record that Saul died for his transgression.

In 2 Kings 21:6, you find that once again this sin is singled out amongst all others. We there read of Manasseh, "And he made his sons pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards. He wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord to provoke Him to anger." Here, amongst all the other sins of Manasseh, who is generally held up as the very incarnation of sin and evil before he repented, the Holy Ghost selects this particular sin of dealing with those who had familiar spirits, as the most convincing proof of the outrageous depravity of his heart.

ISAIAH

We will now listen to the voice of the prophets who are in direct communication with God. Have they a less stern note against this sin? Far from it. Look to Isaiah 8:19, "And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter, should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?" That is, will you go to the dead in order to obtain information about the living? What is that but spiritualism? There you have the whole thing photographed right off. What is the chief feature of this present movement which is growing apace? Is it not, professedly, going to the dead in order to obtain information and guidance for the living? Thus, you see, Isaiah puts his stamp upon the sin.

THE PHILIPPIAN PYTHONESS

But, perhaps, someone may say, "You are dealing now with Old [30] Testament times. These things were all abolished in the new dispensation." If, at your leisure, you will turn to Acts 16:16, you will find that as Paul and Silas were going through the streets of Philippi there followed them a damsel who had a spirit of divination. And, mark you for it is a strong point - the spirit of divination which was within her told that which was correct.

What did this possessed damsel say as these two men passed along? "She cried, saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of salvation." There was never a truer word uttered on the earth than that which this medium spoke. There was never a truer sentence dropped from mortal lip than fell from the lip of this poor possessed one. What did Paul do? Although the testimony was for him although that declaration might have been used by him in carrying on his work in the city, if he had chosen to stoop so low as to do God's work with the devil's weapons - although that sentence might have availed him much - what do we read in the next verse? "But Paul being grieved" (for it positively pained him to receive an encomium that came from an impure source), "turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." Paul knew what the present devotees of the evil do not seem to know, that it is not a pure and holy spirit, but a very devil himself who is speaking. And when the devil came out of that girl she lost her power of divination. Paul detected that it was simply Satanic agency at work, although for once it served the Devil's purpose to tell the truth.

GALATIANS

In Galatians v. 20, we have a list of the works of the flesh, and Paul says emphatically, "They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." What are works of the flesh? He says, "The works of the flesh are evident, which are these," and amongst others he mentions idolatry and witchcraft. If there is no such thing as witchcraft, why am I warned against it? If there be no sin in it, why does the apostle take the trouble to put it down side by side with adultery and uncleanness?

REVELATION

Well, the book of inspiration is just finished, but, before the word "Finis" is added, there is to be one other word about this very thing; for if you look at Revelation 21:8, you will see what is to be the end of it. "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." Here, you see, are these particular men singled out from all the multitude. Out of all the sins that mortal man can commit there are not more than eight selected here as the vilest of them all, and sorcery is classed with murder and [31] whoremongery; and they who do these things, saith the Holy Ghost, shall be cast into the lake of fire. That is what Scripture says about a matter concerning which some seem to think so lightly.

I would rather that you should go to the Word of God and search the whole thing out for yourselves, than that you should simply take on faith anything that I may utter. And I have been the more careful to go to Scripture because this testimony will not be limited to the congregation now gathered, and I pray all the readers of this sermon to turn to the texts to which you have been referred.

I think you will agree with me that these Scriptures, if they prove anything, at least prove this - that dealing with spirits, either in reality or in pretence, is abhorrent to God, and is accounted by Him among the very grossest of sins. And what, after all, is this dealing with spirits? It is a deliberate attempt to cheat God. We are told that "secret things belong to God, but things which are revealed to us and to our children." Now if I, actuated and impelled by the lust of curiosity, seek to lay hold of that which God in His infinite mercy has put on one side - if I try out of mere curiosity to get a glimpse into a world over which God has caused a veil to fall - what am I doing but, in effect, seeking to pick the lock of heaven with a key from hell?

We would even go further, if possible. We would say that it is an attempt to obtain by underhand stealth from God that which, in His love, He has prohibited. If the child of God, in a moment of temptation, gives way to it, what is it that he is doing? He is simply a child asking a burglar to be kind enough to lend him his skeleton keys in order to open a cabinet which his father has locked up. Oh, as thou wouldst steer clear of the damning sin of trying to cheat God, avoid this evil, for it is an insult to the wisdom and to the love of God. It is an insult to His wisdom, because He has given us a revelation; and I am bound to believe that when a revelation comes from an all-wise God there is wisdom not only in that which is revealed, but also in that which is hidden. And when infinite love is linked with infinite wisdom, I am bound to believe that there is as much love in the veil that shrouds as there is in the window through which the light streams.

In conclusion, then, I would most earnestly pray, yea, I would even entreat every child of God to be on the alert against this foe, and not to be induced to parley with it by discussions as to its genuineness, or as to the amount of sham there is in it. Whichever way your discussion turns, or whatever you prove, you prove that it is a sin. Prove that it is a reality, and you prove that in intercourse with it you have had fellowship with that which is forbidden of God. Prove that it is false, and you prove that those who have ought to do with it are having fellowship with a lie. In either case your duty is clear, and that is to steer far from it.

Oh, shun a seance as you would shun sin. Avoid a medium as you would have avoided the demoniac of old amongst the tombs. Tear from this modern movement the polite mask which it wears, called "spiritualism", and you will see behind that mask the withered face of the [32] old hag of witchcraft, accursed of God, denounced in Scripture, scathed by the prophets, confronted by the apostles, and only waiting to be cast into the lake of fire. Do you ask me, "What is your own personal opinion of it?" I will tell you in one sentence. I am, personally, as persuaded as that I am standing-here, that it is, DEMONS PERSONATING THE DEPARTED, IN ORDER TO SEDUCE THE LIVING. Therefore come out from this evil. Have, no fellowship with the unclean thing.

May God add His blessing to this testimony, which we know to be needed, for His Name's sake! Amen.


THE MERCIES OF GOD By the Puritan Richard Sibbes

O Mercy of all mercies, that when we were once His, and gave away ourselves for nothing, and so became neither His nor our own, that then He would vouchsafe to become ours, and make us His by such a way as all the angels in Heaven stand wondering at; even His Son, not only taking our nature and miserable condition, but our sin upon Him that that being done away, we might through Christ have boldness with God as ours, Who is now in Heaven appearing there for us, until He brings us home to Himself and present us to His Father as His for ever!

Think not then that we are God's and He ours, but from what love and by what glorious means this was brought to pass. What can possibly disable His claim, when God for this end hath founded a covenant of peace so strongly in Christ that sin itself cannot disannul it? Christ was therefore manifest, "that He might destroy this greatest work of the Devil," (I John 3:5-8). Forgiveness of sins now is one chief part of our portion in God. It is good therefore not to pore and plod so much upon sin, and vileness by it, as to know that mercy rejoiceth over judgment. If we once be God's, though we "drink this deadly poison, it shall not hurt us," (Mark 16:18). God will make a medicine, an antidote of it; and for all other evils the fruit of them is, by God sanctifying the same, the taking away sin out of our natures; so that lesser evils are sent to take away the greater. If God could not overrule evils to His own ends, He would never suffer them.