“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb 13:7, 8).
Thank God for a successful Annual Congregational Meeting (ACM) held on 30 August 2020. Since we are not allowed to meet in person due to Covid-19, we must not only hold our worship services online but also our ACM. Since we have not done this before, we had to wrap our heads around how this could be done and had to manoeuvre through certain difficulties before we could confidently proceed. Thank God for providing the Session with wisdom to get through this and for all members who cooperated by submitting their proxy forms on time for the ACM to convene with the required quorum. Now that the resolutions have been passed, we can fulfil our legal obligations of submitting our annual reports and audited accounts to the Registrar of Societies and Commissioner of Charities.
At this juncture, it is good for us to look back at how we came to be True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church (BPC) and know why we are True Lifers, lest we forget.
The founding of True Life BPC was a result of the battle for the Bible. The battle was a doctrinal and spiritual one. It had to do with the question of whether the Bible we have today is 100% perfect without any mistake or not. This was in response to a number of books published by Baptist fundamentalists in the USA who deny the verbal and plenary preservation (VPP) of the Scriptures (Matt 5:18 notwithstanding), and that the KJV is not such a superior version of the Bible after all (note that the KJV was held up by the BPC to be the very Word of God since its founding in 1950). Anti-preservationist and anti-KJV books like From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man (1999) and One Bible Only? (2001) written by men from Bob Jones University and Central Baptist Seminary (Plymouth, MN) respectively started to disturb and confuse our people here, and it did not help when certain leaders in the BPCpromoted those books to undermine the KJV and promote the modern versions.
In the face of such attacks and undermining of our good old Bible, our founding pastor—the late Rev Dr Timothy Tow—in 2002 took an uncompromising stand “for the Word of God, and for the Testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:9). “Holding forth the Word of Life” (Phil 2:16) and “holding fast the Faithful Word” (Tit 1:9). He taught and defended the Verbal Plenary Inspiration (VPI) and the VPP of the Holy Scriptures—that the Bible is totally infallible and inerrant not only in the Autographs, but also in the Apographs, namely, the Hebrew and Greek texts underlying the Authorised, King James Bible. He was faithful and true to the Bible of the BPC since its founding which was the KJV, and the doctrinal resolutions on the superiority of the KJV over against the corrupt modern versions, and the inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus as adopted by the International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC) in Amsterdam in 1998 and in Jerusalem in 2000 under the leadership of Dr Carl McIntire.
The Rev Dr Timothy Tow was the pastor of Life BPC since its founding in 1950. He had two assistant pastors who served with him, who also taught at the Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC)—the Bible College of the BPC. Sadly, his two assistant pastors did not hold to his view on how the Scripture is perfectly preserved. On 29 October 2002, in the faculty meeting of FEBC, they declared that they could no longer take the Dean Burgon Oath. It was their view that the Bible was perfect in the beginning, but not so perfect today because it contains some mistakes—these mistakes to them are insignificant and do not affect doctrine. They said the Bible is only 99.9% perfect, not 100%. Those who did not share their convictions but believed in a Bible that is 100% perfect without any mistake were maliciously ridiculed and denounced as foolish, schismatic, divisive, deviant, heretics, extremists, terrorists etc. But we who believe in the jot and tittle preservation of the Bible (Matt 5:18) are comforted by the words of our Saviour, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matt 5:11, 12). “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” (2 Cor 13:8).
It is important to know that the Rev Dr Timothy Tow in his capacity as Founder and Principal of FEBC (1962) instituted the Dean Burgon Oath way back in the ’70s. All Board and Faculty members were required to take the oath yearly at the annual convocation of FEBC, swearing upon the Bible that it is “none other than the voice of Him that sitteth upon the Throne! Every Book of it, every chapter of it, every verse of it, every word of it, every syllable of it, every letter of it, is the direct utterance of the Most High! The Bible is none other than the Word of God: not some part of it more, some part of it less; but all alike, the utterance of Him who sitteth upon the Throne; faultless, unerring, supreme!” This is now required of all Session members of True Life BPC.
The majority of the Session of Life BPC together with the assistant pastors went against their founding pastor. The Rev Dr Timothy Tow had to resign. True to his calling as a pastor, the Rev Tow founded True Life BPC after he resigned from Life BPC. He saw the sheep scattered without a shepherd, and wanted to gather them back together for pastoral care (Matt 9:36). True Life BPC thus began on 5 October 2003 as the “FEBC Lord’s Day Service”. The Lord provided the pioneer congregation with the Regional Language Centre (RELC) at Orange Grove Road and we have been meeting at RELC ever since. It has been 17 years already. “Hitherto hath the LORD helped us” (1 Sam 7:12). We have been blessed with freedom of worship, and the Lord has graciously provided for all our needs. By God’s grace, not a few have come to a saving knowledge of Christ through our Bible-centred ministries. Although we have been worshipping online for the past five months, we look forward to returning to RELC once the Covid-19 suspension of churches is lifted.
We thank God for the faith and freedom we have to believe in the good old Bible and to serve the Lord peacefully without hindrance. May we continue to hold firmly to the Written Word—the forever infallible and inerrant Scripture, and to the Living Word—the Lord Jesus Christ—until the day He returns, which is nearer than we think!
The Annual Congregational Meeting (ACM) of True Life BPC was convened online on 30 August 2020. A total of 479 communicant members were eligible to vote. Since this is election year, the quorum required is a simple majority (ie 240). Quorum was met with a total of 366 members who returned their proxy forms for the chairman to cast their votes (Form A: 366, Form B: 360).
At the ACM, all resolutions as set out in the ACM notice dated 9 August 2020 were approved. The proxy votes lodged in respect of the resolutions were as follows:
[NB: One member did not vote for any of the resolutions.]
We thank Mr Bernard Tee for his service as Internal Auditor for the year 2019 and welcome Mr Foo Chee Yong our new Internal Auditor for this year.
According to Article 18.9 of the Church Constitution and the advice of the Elections Commissioner, all 8 candidates were elected to their respective offices based on the votes cast.
[NB: One member only voted for 4 members; this accounts for the other 4 members having one vote less. The % is computed based upon the total of 366 members deemed present.]
We thank Elder Wee Chin Kam for his service as Elections Commissioner.
May the Lord bless us as we go forth and serve Him together as a Church in these trying times. JK
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