30 Orange Grove Road, down Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore 258352
Mailing Address: 1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-35, Singapore 308899
Email: email@example.com; Website: http://www.truelifebpc.org.sg
(Ring Pastor Jeffrey Khoo 62561189 Anytime)
|“The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep SILENCE before him.”|
A new Bible-Presbyterian (BP) Presbytery, misnamed “The Bible-Presbyterian Church in Singapore” (BPCIS) organised without denominational consensus, published a mistitled book Heritage & Legacy (2018) to malign our BP founding fathers (especially the Rev Dr Timothy Tow and Dr SH Tow) and undermine BP theology. For a comprehensive discussion and critique of the above book, see the “Bible-Presbyterianism: History and Theology” lecture notes from the Daily Vacation Bible College (2019) of Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) which can be downloaded freely from the FEBC and True Life BPC websites (www.febc.edu.sg; or truelifebpc.org.sg, see under front page).
The Rev Dr Timothy Tow—founding father of the BP denomination—had spoken openly in 1987 concerning the doctrinal issues plaguing the denomination in those days which eventually led to its split in 1988. As such, it is not so easy for detracting BPers or writers to misinform or misguide. The history, doctrines and practices of the BP Church are well articulated and documented from the start. Our founding pastor himself with hindsight and foresight penned the article below for posterity, “that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” (Josh 3:4).
Open Door and Open Window Church
By Pastor Timothy Tow, Life B-P Weekly, 25 October 1987
We are an open door church, literally, to welcome any weary passer-by to come into His sanctuary to rest and pray, and also an open window church. As an open window church, we have nothing to hide. We have practised “glasnost” long before this Russian word has come into the English language.
We tell our members openly both good news and bad news, the truth and nothing but the truth. Jesus says, “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.” (Matt 10:27). As to Paul being brought to trial before King Agrippa, he declared before the tribunal in regard to his ministry that “none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.” (Acts 26:26).
From Life B-P Weekly to Lively Stones
In my Sept 13 Pastoral Chat, I reported difficulties experienced on Cameron Highlands at the Pastors’ Conference respecting the question of TONGUES and the charismatic movement. Why we could not come to an unanimous agreement was due to the fact that certain pastors are of a different school of theology. This fact is made clear to readers of Lively Stones whose Editor for quite some time has had his conscience deeply exercised. As he felt he must reveal the truth in the Spirit of our Lord, he wrote: “After 37 years of contending for the Faith, a new generation of pastors and leaders have arisen in our B-P Church movement. Among them are some dissenting leaders who are taking a ‘liberal’ approach in the doctrine of biblical separation. These leaders are trained in new-evangelical colleges and seminaries that do not believe in biblical separation. They are blurring and compromising our Church’s separatist position through their ties and alliances with those in the new-evangelical camps. Our Bible-Presbyterian Church, indeed, has been infiltrated with men who do not share our doctrines and practices. Hence, on this 37th Anniversary of our Church’s founding, the editor calls on the Synod of the B-P Church to check and root out the ‘B-P’ pastors and leaders who are not of our B-P persuasions. Our desire for the Bible-Presbyterian Church is that its leaders and members will remain truly committed to the inerrant and infallible Word of God. God forbid that the Bible-Presbyterian Church movement which was founded in the bold and courageous spirit of the Reformers should, in less than one generation, grind to a halt because of our own default in allowing ‘a little leaven’ to leaven ‘the whole lump’ (I Cor 5:6).”
What the Lively Stones and I have said are now substantiated by Dr Tow Siang Hwa in the Calvary B-P Church Weekly today. It reads:
“1. Nehemiah lesson relearnt
Thank God for sending Dr Jack Murray to speak at our Leaders’ Conference last September. He imparted valuable lessons from God’s Word. The final lesson which is deeply imprinted in my mind was the peril from the enemy within the camp. A camp united can withstand even overwhelming odds from without. But the enemy within can cause the defences to crumble and undermine years of resistance. I can still hear the voice of God’s servant thundering, ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of survival!’ The same lesson applies well to our Church situation. The hard work, sowing, nurturing, watering and building up of 38 years can be swiftly destroyed by enemies within the camp. The Apostle Paul warned of this danger: ‘Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears’ (Acts 20:30, 31).
2. Tongues issue for more debate
Amazing struggle over this one issue! We spent three mornings in Cameron Highlands, about six hours in two committee meetings, and at last evening’s Synod meeting, it was still unresolved. Forces striving to undermine our clearcut stand of ‘tongues have ceased’ have emerged. One voice maintains that genuine tongues have not ceased, its proper use cannot be excluded and we should not condemn it. So our 37 year-old B-P stand is eroded, not by any outside assailant, but from within. Did not the Apostle warn us? ‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables’ (2 Tim 4:3, 4). ‘The time will come’ says the Apostle. Time will tell! It may take 37 years before a man’s heart is revealed, and sound doctrine is abandoned for fables—God’s Word is forsaken for men’s ideas. Paul foretold it. We experience it: the time has come!”
Not Peace but a Sword
Now to have controversy in the Church out of selfish reasons is to commit the sin of schism. But to maintain peace in the Church at the expense of truth and the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ is peace accursed. Jesus says, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt 10:33–37).
Nor is he or she that loveth son more than me worthy of me. Zech 13:2–3 says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.” As a spiritual father I have guarded the faith of our Church and Bible College, with sweat and tears, for the last 37 and 25 years. I have given no face to several among our younger leaders who have spoken against truth and the Person of our Lord Jesus. I shall sit tight here as long as the Lord has appointed me, till He comes. Pray for the Church and for me. –Yours obediently, T.T.
THE WAY TO HEAVEN
Many of us know missionary and evangelist Thelma Alfsen and her colourful tract “The Way to Heaven” which has been translated into many languages (some of our FEBC students had helped in the translation) and distributed far and wide. She has just gone home to be with the Lord, 21 March 2019, age 92. More on Miss Alfsen by our founding pastor—the Rev Dr Timothy Tow—in his book Forty Years on the Road to Church Growth, published in 1993, pp151–2:
“Talking about geniuses in writing Gospel tracts, here is one from Miss Thelma Alfsen, whose father I had known since the sixties, a former Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary to China. He shifted to Malaysia after Mao’s takeover. Being a separatist we became mutual friends.
“Miss Alfsen continued in her father’s footsteps and served not only in Malaysia but also Indonesia, and is now in Macau.
What is her genius? She got published a little booklet called ‘The Way to Heaven’ written by her Chinese colleague Irene Yang. This booklet is now translated into many East European languages and printed by the hundreds of thousands to show the way of salvation to hungry souls of the former Communist world. A genius is that idea that works and multiplies and keeps growing and ever growing to the glory of God. Do you have a genius for the Lord? Here comes the famous couplet by William Carey, father of modern missions, “Expect great things from God; Attempt great things for God.”
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