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(Ring Pastor Jeffrey Khoo 62561189 Anytime)
|“The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep SILENCE before him.”|
The Lord gave me a burden to speak on “Preparing for Marriage” in the Young People’s Fellowship (YPF) camp last year. At the end of the camp, during testimony time, the young people shared how much they enjoyed the camp and learned from the messages. I then thought it good to publish a synopsis of my messages in the Church Weekly. For this, I got the help of sister Emily Tan—an SMU law student—to type out the notes she had penned down in her camp handbook. She produced an excellent transcript of my messages. This made it easier for me to edit them for publication. They were eventually published in our Weekly in three parts. Some church members suggested that they be published in the form of a booklet for a wider distribution and readership.
As many of you know, I am not in favour of the “premarital counselling” popularised today by so-called “Christian counsellors” which is a modern fad with a whole lot of psychoanalysis (Dr Martin Bobgan calls it “psychoheresy”). The popular MA in Christian Counselling found in most seminaries today is a one-year programme that is full of Freudianism (Freud was a fraud). The degree can be earned without having a comprehensive biblical and theological foundation as a prerequisite. I would think those who wish or are called to counsel should go through at least three years of biblical and theological training involving the study of the original languages and the original language texts (i.e. the correct and not corrupt ones). Even then, it does not make the person qualified. The Christian who is called to counsel must be equipped with that spiritual gift of counselling (exhortation or admonishing) that comes from the Holy Spirit so that he might expound and apply the Holy Scriptures carefully and wisely—counselling not from the fraudulent Freud, but from God Himself who created man in His own image. I agree with Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones that counselling is best done through the pulpit.
My counsel to young people preparing for marriage is to have a close walk with the Lord—be regular and faithful in the Lord’s Day worship, attend FEBC’s night classes, Sunday school, fellowship and prayer meetings—be more spiritually minded and grow in your faith in the Lord through His Word. “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” (Ps 119:9). This should not stop at marriage but continue on even after it. This is biblical marital counselling—pre and post. This is lifelong counselling since marriage is for life. Young couples ought to cultivate this essential habit of walking closely with the Lord if they want a blessed wedding and more importantly a successful marriage.
I am thus pleased to announce that my three-part article with further editing is finally out in the form of a 32-page booklet with the title Premarital Counsel from the Bible. I have brother Samuel Goh to thank for typesetting it. The cover photo is a beautiful red rose from the Holy Land taken by Dr Winston Chew (Truth BPC) during FEBC’s pilgrimage last year. The booklet is now available for free download and distribution at our church website: truelifebpc.org.sg (see under “Resources”). No copyright!
This booklet is not only useful for young people but also young parents. Premarital counselling begins at home. Parents must know how to bring up their children to think biblically on moral and marital matters. If we do not want our children to get a “culture shock” when they reach puberty, we need to prepare them to relate to the opposite sex in a biblical and godly way from young. One of our deacons has suggested a booklet on godly parenting. There needs to be more instruction on how Christian parents can raise up godly children. This is post-marital counselling. I think this is also necessary. Please pray for me as I prepare for such a series on godly parenting to raise a godly heritage. Perhaps this could be the theme for our next church camp.
May God protect our young people and keep them chaste and also preserve our families from the seductive and destructive philosophies of today’s modern and liberal society. JK
THE GOOD OLD DOCTRINE OF PERFECT BIBLE PRESERVATION
Has the Bible been kept pure? The Westminster Confession of Faith and the providential preservation of Scripture by Dr Garnet Howard Milne (PhD, Otago University, NZ) published in 2017 is a superb scholarly and historical presentation of the doctrine of the perfect preservation of the Holy Scriptures by extraordinary providence as forged in the crucible of the great 16th Century Protestant Reformation. It is Sola Scriptura redivivus. It bears reminding that for the Scriptures to be the sole, supreme and final authority of faith and practice, it must be perfectly preserved. The author laments that this is not the faith of many today. He documents the many attempts today to deform the Reformation Bible and the Reformed Faith by sceptical clerics and critics in both liberal and evangelical circles.
Dr Milne was absolutely right to say that “The canon was not something decided upon by the elite of the church and then commended to the ordinary folk in the pews. It was something confirmed and received individually throughout the centuries ever since God had first dictated those Scriptures for the church, a church which consisted of the whole multitude of believers. This means that the common or received Greek text of the New Testament and the Masoretic text of the Old were considered by [the Reformers] to have been the authentic text.” This is the case because Scripture is self-authenticating (autopiston) and the Spirit-indwelt saints are able to recognise the inspired words that God has promised to preserve to the last letter and syllable (Matt 5:18). Although it is acknowledged that the extant manuscripts contain copying mistakes that must be corrected, Dr Milne was correct to conclude that this work of correction “was adequately completed in the time of the Protestant Reformation.” Modern-day textual criticism is eschewed. Such a view is in keeping with the Verbal Plenary Preservation (VPP) of the Holy Scriptures (Ps 12:6–7). The Scriptures are forever infallible and inerrant. The Author of the Scriptures Himself made sure of it “by His singular care and providence”. Soli Deo Gloria!
Dr Milne is also the author of The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Cessation of Special Revelation (2007). His books can be previewed and purchased from Amazon.com. JK
DR CARL MCINTIRE ON THE BIBLE
(Excerpts from McIntire’s Maxims)
“The wonder of the Word is that it assures us that the past will be covered, the present may be used, and the future belongs to God.”
“No fundamentalist needs to apologize for the Bible or to be ashamed of anything in it. It has stood the test of the centuries. It is God’s holy and infallible Word.”
“We shall resist all change that would remove the Bible as the infallible and the inerrant Word of God.”
“Never before in our history have the theories of the higher critics in their attack upon the Bible been brought down to the people in the pews as is being done at this present time.”
“The attacks upon the Bible expected from infidels outside the church are heard from respected pulpits.”
“Men who love the Bible are not going to permit themselves to be a part of a body that compromises and denies God’s holy Word.”
The Rev Dr Timothy Tow commented: “This leads us to the doctrine of God’s special providential care of the text of Scripture. This is affirmed by the Westminster Confession. It states that the Scripture is ‘kept pure in all ages.’ This is doubly attested by David in Psalm 12:6–7, ‘The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.’ The doctrine of the special providential care of the text of Scripture, however, is denied by even some fundamentalist scholars. Dr. Carl McIntire has this commentary to make: ‘What is interesting about all this is that, in talking about the mighty acts of God and trying to make out of our God a great and powerful God, they have produced for us a God who is unable to give us a record that is true! They believe in the infallibility and inerrancy only in the autographs, but not in the subsequent copies.’
“We believe the Textus Receptus (Received Text) upon which the KJV is based, is preserved intact for the church so that we can say we have the Word of God in our hands…. God has preserved for us a pure Bible as He preserved the Ten Commandments for us to this day. Let me say it again, it is the Textus Receptus on which the KJV is based.”
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