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“Holding forth the Word of Life” Philippians 2:16
“Holding fast the Faithful Word” Titus 1:9
A so-called “Truth” website has launched an incredible offensive against the Far Eastern Bible College with this allegation:
The Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) has abandoned the historic reformed faith for KJV-onlyism and the verbal plenary preservation (VPP) of scripture. They teach that the Greek and Hebrew texts were miraculously restored by the KJV translators in 1611 to be word-for-word identical with the original manuscripts (autographa). Consequently, the FEBC has inadvertently joined the Charismatic movement in promoting progressive revelation and post-canonical inspiration.
As FEBC’s academic dean, let me rebut this highly ingenious and craftily-worded statement aimed at maligning not just FEBC, but also the Biblical and reformed doctrine of VPP and the faithful defence of the Reformation Bible (the KJV and its underlying inspired words in the original languages) over against the many neo-evangelical and ecumenical modern English versions that are based on the corrupt Westcott-Hort text (with its many missing verses and words).
God forbid that FEBC should abandon the Biblical Reformed Faith. Rather we reaffirm and call for a return to the Biblical Reformed Faith of Sola Scriptura in this 21st century of rampant unbelief and compromise not just in the evangelical but also the fundamentalist world.
FEBC reaffirms the Biblical Reformed Faith by believing that our faith must be based solely and squarely on the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone. Our faith and beliefs are not based on church traditions, human opinions, or personal experiences but only on the forever infallible and inerrant Word of God. In Article 4 of the FEBC Constitution, we declare in no uncertain terms, “The Statement of Faith of the College shall be in accordance with that system commonly called ‘the Reformed Faith’ as expressed in the Confession of Faith as set forth by the historic Westminster Assembly together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.” As regards the Doctrine of Scripture, “We believe in the divine, Verbal Plenary Inspiration (Autographs) and Verbal Plenary Preservation (Apographs) of the Scriptures in the original languages, their consequent inerrancy and infallibility, and as the perfect Word of God, the supreme and final authority in faith and life (2 Tim 3:16, 2 Pet 1:20–21, Ps 12:6–7, Matt 5:18, 24:35).”
This is our restatement and reaffirmation of the Westminster Confession of Faith (I:8) which declares, “The Old Testament in Hebrew … and the New Testament in Greek … being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them.” The Reformed Faith believes in the absolute sovereignty and faithfulness of God in keeping His Word to His people, that He is in complete control of the events of history and world affairs, and that He can intervene miraculously at any point in time to fulfil His prophecies and His promises.
It is clear in our writings that when we speak of the special and supernatural preservation of the Scriptures, we are speaking of it in terms of God’s work—not man’s. This is in line with the Westminster Confession of Faith which states that the preservation of the Scriptures is by “His singular care and providence.” It is therefore utterly misleading to say that we “teach that the Greek and Hebrew texts were miraculously restored by the KJV translators in 1611.” If the inspired Greek and Hebrew texts were restored miraculously it was not by the King James translators but by the singular care and providence of God and God alone during the special period of divine intervention in the Great Protestant Reformation. God has preserved His words pure throughout the ages and is preserving His words pure today, but there was a high point in His Biblical preservation work in the days of the Reformation. It is God who does miracles, not man, and He still works miracles today according to His sovereign will and time. According to Church historian Philip Schaff, “The Reformation of the 16th Century, is next to the introduction of Christianity, the greatest event in history.” Just as the Lord Jesus Christ came miraculously in “the fulness of the time” (Gal 4:4), so did the Reformation. In light of Biblical precedents and Divine providence (providentia extraordinaria), the Protestant Reformation was a “miracle event” from God.
Could God have restored for His Church all of His inspired and preserved words in the days of the Reformation? As the all-powerful God, He certainly could, and by faith we believe He surely did. Just as He restored the Old Covenant words of His Decalogue through His servant Moses (Exod 19:16–21:26, 31:18–32:28, 34:1–4; Deut 5:1–29, 9:20–21, 10:1–5), and all His words in the scroll which Jehoiakim cut up and burned (Jer 36:1–32), so we believe the Lord has similarly done for His New Testament words which have been kept pure in the Traditional and Majority manuscripts and are now found in the Printed Text of the Protestant Reformation—the time-tested and time-honoured Textus Receptus underlying the KJV. FEBC simply does not see the need for any kind of textual critical work today. As far as we are concerned, we have not only a fixed and firm Canon (books) but also a fixed and firm Text (words) we can call “the very Word of God,” infallible, inerrant, authentical, and absolutely authoritative. We believe that such a position is most necessary if we are to weather and survive the onslaughts of postmodernism, pop-modernism, open theism, and neo-deism that threaten the church today.
(It is absurd for anti-KJV/VPPists to suggest that FEBC has “joined the Charismatic movement in promoting progressive revelation and post-canonical inspiration,” whether advertently or inadvertently. Again, this is another attempt to caricature our position. We are quite aware of the hermeneutical and theological fallacies of Charismatism. See my book Charismatism Q&A.)
FEBC reaffirms the Biblical Reformed Faith by promoting and defending the Reformed doctrine of the Special Providential Preservation (also known as the Verbal Plenary Preservation) of the Scriptures, and the Reformation Text on which the Authorised King James Bible is based. As a College founded by the Rev Dr Timothy Tow, father of the Bible-Presbyterian (B-P) movement in Southeast Asia, FEBC is committed to defending the King James Bible which has been the official and only English Bible of the B-P denomination in Singapore since its founding in 1950.
While a small number of B-P churches have replaced the KJV with the NIV or the NKJV, a good number still hold firmly onto the good old KJV and welcome no attempts to replace it with the newer and modern versions. Although FEBC had in the past used the Westcott/Hort-based United Bible Societies’ corrupt and critical Greek text, it is now using the traditional and preserved Greek New Testament underlying the KJV (Scrivener’s Textus Receptus) as published by the Dean Burgon Society and the Trinitarian Bible Society. This switch from the Westcott-Hort Text to the Textus Receptus was a result of an intensive and systematic study of the writings of J W Burgon (Anglican), E F Hills (Presbyterian), D A Waite (Baptist), and the Trinitarian Bible Society since 1992. We were saved from ignorance, and are now fully committed to the Biblical doctrine of the divine, verbal and plenary preservation of the God-breathed Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words of Scripture underlying the Reformation Bibles best represented by the KJV. Articles 126.96.36.199, 2, and 3 of the FEBC Constitution state:
We believe the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament underlying the Authorised (King James) Version to be the very Word of God, infallible and inerrant.
We uphold the Authorised (King James) Version to be the Word of God—the best, most faithful, most accurate, most beautiful translation of the Bible in the English language, and do employ it alone as our primary scriptural text in the public reading, preaching, and teaching of the English Bible. [Note that although we use only the KJV, we are not “KJV-only” in the Ruckmanite sense, which is clearly seen in our writings.]
The Board of Directors and Faculty shall affirm their allegiance to the Word of God by taking the Dean Burgon Oath at every annual convocation: “I swear in the Name of the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit that I believe ‘the Bible 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 that sitteth upon the throne, faultless, unerring, supreme.’”
FEBC reaffirms the Biblical Reformed Faith by encouraging the accurate translation of foreign language Bibles according to the Reformation Text underlying the KJV. Although FEBC, as an English-speaking school, believes that the KJV is the only Bible it should use in the public preaching and teaching of the English Bible, it does not despise nor prohibit the use of Bibles in other languages. At FEBC, we have students from 16 countries, and we do not at all discourage them from reading their Bibles in their own native tongues. We only advise them to use the best, most accurate, most reliable version they have in their native language, and to go back to the inspired and preserved original language Scriptures which we identify to be those behind the faithful KJV and not the corrupt modern versions to check for accuracy and fulness of meaning. As far as English Bibles go, we believe the KJV to be the best English version of the Bible today, and for very good reasons.
We believe, as the Westminster divines did, that the Holy Scriptures “are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.” Divinity and theology students of FEBC are required to study the original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) so that they might be faithful and careful expositors and translators of the whole counsel of God. A number of our degree graduates have completed their thesis projects involving work on their native language Bibles so as to make them closer and more accurate to the Reformation Text. Thus far, work has been done on the following foreign language Bibles by our students: Chinese, Falam Chin (Myanmar), Bahasa Indonesia, Kiswahili (Kenya), Kalenjin (Kenya), and Vietnamese.
FEBC is aware that there are certain VPP and KJV defenders who differ with FEBC over the absolute certainty as regards the underlying texts or words. But as long as they (1) maintain VPP in the lineage of Byzantine/Majority manuscripts and the Textus Receptus, and (2) reject the corrupt Alexandrian/Minority manuscripts or Westcott-Hort Text, and (3) deny that there are scribal errors in places where there are absolutely none in the verbally preserved texts/words in the original languages, these slight differences of opinion over the verbally preserved texts/words among KJV defenders should remain as non-issues as we focus on our common goal to promote the best Text and the best Version for the Church today based on the Biblical doctrine of the special providential preservation of Scripture (or VPP).
Using FEBC and its location as an analogy, all VPP and KJV defenders would say that FEBC exists (ie, we have an infallible and inerrant Bible in the original languages today). But if the question is asked, “Where is FEBC?” We at FEBC would answer, “FEBC is at 9A Gilstead Road” (ie, the infallible and inerrant Scripture is in the KJV edition of the Textus Receptus). Others might answer, “FEBC is in the Newton area” (ie, in the Byzantine/Majority/Received family of texts). If such be the case, then I believe there should be mutual respect and cooperation between the two slightly differing but agreeable positions.
Another unfortunate statement cleverly phrased to put the doctrine of VPP, and the defence of the KJV and its underlying texts in a bad light, is one produced by a group of eleven Bible-Presbyterian (B-P) pastors as published in the Life B-P Church Weekly on September 25, 2005, which states,
We, the undersigned Bible-Presbyterian ministers, wholeheartedly believe and affirm that the inspired Word of God has absolutely no error in the Original Autographs. However, we reject the theory of Verbal Plenary Preservation propounded by some, who dogmatically claim that the Greek and Hebrew copies immediately underlying the King James Version are an exact replica of the Original Autographs. This insistent promotion of this theory has resulted in schism among brethren.
If the above statement is true that only the Autographs are absolutely without error, would it then be correct to say that the eleven pastors do not believe that they do have in their possession a 100% infallible and inerrant Bible today without any mistake, seeing that they believe only the non-existent and intangible “Original Autographs” to be the absolutely inerrant Word of God? If this be so, may we ask them, by what existing infallible and inerrant authority do they base their faith and practice, when they reject and do not embrace our belief in an existing infallible Scripture that is without any mistake?
It must be added that the words used by our detractors like “theory,” “dogmatically,” “exact replica,” and “schism” are attempts to give a distorted perception of VPP and its adherents. Without the context, and the necessary qualifications and clarifications, the above words make those who believe in VPP, who are committed to the Hebrew Masoretic Text and Greek Textus Receptus and the preserved Hebrew and Greek words underlying the KJV, look like extreme and unreasonable people. It must be underscored that we at FEBC have no issue with those who affirm the present infallibility and inerrancy of the Scriptures in the family of uncorrupted Traditional, Byzantine, Majority, and Received Hebrew and Greek apographs God has providentially and specially preserved, but, without denying inerrancy, are uncertain about some of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words immediately underlying the KJV.
A minister in the group of eleven who resigned from the FEBC was in fact asked on September 23, 2003, in the presence of Rev Dr Timothy Tow and certain elders at the Parsonage, to confirm or harmonise his belief in a Perfect Bible existing within the family of uncorrupted texts by denying that scribal errors exist in certain passages of the KJV, as all extant Hebrew manuscripts—and not only the Hebrew manuscripts/texts “immediately” underlying the KJV—point to the KJV translators translating the original language texts in 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2 correctly. Pointing to attempts at emending what he regards as scribal errors to be contrary to all Hebrew manuscript evidence and to be positing that God has failed to preserve all of His inspired, inerrant and infallible words within the family of texts, the minister kept mum. I had invited him back to the FEBC faculty if he would agree to change his view and affirm the present perfection of Scripture. It was no surprise that he did not take to my offer as he had joined others in attacking the use of key Scripture verses such as Matthew 5:18, 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33 and Psalm 12:6–7 cited by VPPists to support special providential preservation or VPP.
The real issue seems to lie with detractors who claim to be preserving godly paths when they do not even believe in all the inspired words of God being verbally and plenarily preserved, either within the family of Traditional and Preserved Texts or in the Hebrew OT and Greek NT words immediately underlying the KJV. Even worse, such detractors appear to be vacillating or changing in their beliefs so that VPPists are unsure where they actually stand on the issues.
Anti-VPPists say that VPP is a “theory.” How is it a “theory” if it is taught explicitly in the Scriptures? A theory has no biblical basis, but the VPP of Scripture is hardly a “theory,” for it is clearly taught in the following biblical passages:
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.
Psalm 33:11—The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Psalm 78:1–7—Give ear, O my people, [to] my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide [them] from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know [them, even] the children [which] should be born; [who] should arise and declare [them] to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
Psalm 100:5—For the LORD [is] good; his mercy [is] everlasting; and his truth [endureth] to all generations.
Psalm 105:8—He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations.
Psalm 111:7–8—The works of his hands [are] verity and judgment; all his commandments [are] sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, [and are] done in truth and uprightness.
Psalm 117:2—For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD [endureth] for ever. Praise ye the LORD.
Psalm 119:89—For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Psalm 119:152—Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
Psalm 119:160—Thy word [is] true [from] the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments [endureth] for ever.
Isaiah 40:8—The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Isaiah 59:21—As for me, this [is] my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that [is] upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.
Matthew 4:4—But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 5:17–18—Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Matthew 24:35—Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
John 10:35—If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
1 Peter 1:23–25—Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Is not VPP a biblical doctrine? Surely it is! Every believer—young or old, man or woman, rich or poor, unlearned or educated, Jew or Gentile—by simple, childlike faith in God’s forever infallible and inerrant words written above—can say “Amen” to the truth that God has indeed preserved His inspired words, and every one of them to the last iota!
Now if we have all of God’s inspired words preserved for us today, then the question is where precisely? The logic of faith based on the Biblical doctrine of VPP would lead us to the inspired Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words that God has specially and providentially preserved in the traditional and majority manuscripts, and in the printed received texts underlying the Reformation Bibles which God has continuously and supernaturally kept pure throughout the ages without any loss of any of the inspired words and always available to His people even up till the present, which are today fully represented by the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures underlying the KJV which we have in our hands today.
Are these Hebrew and Greek Scriptures underlying the KJV an “exact replica” of the autographs? If by “exact replica” is meant the miraculous reproduction of the exact tablets of stone of the Ten Commandments, or the very first or original papyri or parchments the prophets and apostles wrote on, the answer would of course be no. It is absurd and ridiculous to even suggest this. The original autographs have perished, but the inspired words of God remain and continue to exist. VPP is speaking of the preservation of the words that God had originally breathed out and inscripturated in the Biblical Canon, and not the preservation of the materials—the clay tables, or papyri, or parchments. As I had explained in my first paper, A Plea for a Perfect Bible, “The paper may be different, but the contents [or words] are the same.” These inspired words are preserved in all ages, and not only from 1611. Let me remind VPP detractors that my book is entitled Kept Pure in All Ages, and not Kept Pure Since 1611.
We do believe that the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words “immediately” underlying the KJV are the fully inspired and fully preserved words of God. As such we do not believe there is a need for any kind of textual criticism today. The so-called “science” of textual criticism is intrinsically subjective and speculative (since the autographs which no true evangelical or fundamentalist doubts are “absolute and perfect in every way” have long perished and are no longer existing). As such, we feel that modern textual criticism that employs rationalistic rules of human intellect and imagination feeds on the pride and vanity of sinful beings who wish to place themselves above the almighty and infinite God and His infallible and inerrant promises, who presumptuously arrogate themselves as critics and correctors of His Word or words, and by their “conjectural emendations” are conceited enough to think they are doing God and His Church a service.
If textual critics are so certain there is no perfect Bible today (and even castigate those that do), and are so sure of their ability and prowess to correct God’s words, then why cannot they produce one for us by now? Yea, we demand such a Bible from the high and mighty scholars of our modern age. Why cannot they produce it? We want to be absolutely certain about our Book on which we defend our faith and preach the good news of Jesus Christ. When can we have it? Are they conscientiously working towards the perfection of their Bible? Yet they castigate the saints who believe they already have a 100% infallible and inerrant Bible in their hands today, and call them “fools,” “schismatics,” even “heretics!”
Is the statement against the VPP of Scriptures produced by the group of eleven a fair representation of FEBC’s VPP position? By no means! Misrepresentation of the VPP position has been the consistent modus operandi of anti-VPP advocates. Instead of defending their non-VPP position from the Bible (until now, they have not quoted any scripture to support their position), they have resorted always to caricaturing, distorting and misrepresenting FEBC’s position in various ways, including saying or alluding to it as Ruckmanism, SDAism, and even Charismatism! It seems that they have to resort to such tactics in order to make their case against those who believe in the present perfection of the Bible. We do not know who among the group of eleven crafted or was instrumental in the crafting of the anti-VPP statement issued by the group. However, we know that one of the chief opponents of VPP had taught and published that a lie of necessity may be told in times of war.
If the group of eleven would rephrase their statement in the manner below, it would be a more accurate representation of what we believe and what they reject,
We, the undersigned Bible-Presbyterian ministers, wholeheartedly believe and affirm that the inspired Word of God has absolutely no error in the Original Autographs which the VPP fundamentalists also believe without equivocation. However, we reject their belief in the Verbal Plenary Preservation (as taught in Ps 12:6-7, Matt 5:18, 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33, 1 Pet 1:23-25), and that all the inspired Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words of the original apographs (ie, copies) underlying the King James Version are precisely the preserved words of the original autographs.
Now we do not consider as enemies those who might not hold to our position exactly as regards the words in the uncorrupted and preserved Traditional/Majority/Byzantine/Received family of manuscripts or texts but nevertheless deny any discrepancy, contradiction or mistake in the Bible, and are against Westcott and Hort and the modern versions. We are not as “dogmatic” as our detractors paint us out to be; there is definitely charity in our defence of the KJV and its underlying texts, not at the expense of truth but on the basis of truth. Charity was indeed displayed in a proposed but unpublished statement, “A Plea for a Perfect Bible Again so as to Preserve Our Godly Path,” that sought peace and reconciliation, but was spurned by the powers that be on April 16, 2003.
The group of eleven is a mixed group with differing views on the versions issue, who appear to see no need to defend the KJV or its underlying texts, or to warn against writers who deny the present infallibility and inerrancy of the original language Scriptures, who are decidedly anti-TR and anti-KJV, pro-Westcott/Hort and pro-modern-versions. They have been quick to find fault with FEBC’s defence of the KJV and its underlying texts, but not quick to refute the public attacks made by Bob Jones University (BJU) and Central Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS) against the biblical doctrine of the special providential preservation (or VPP) of Scripture, the KJV and its underlying texts.
In fact, they have been actively promoting those books and cultivating the friendship of such institutions, and quoting them against FEBC. Why? Does this not contradict the biblical injunction of 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 to separate from disobedient brethren? For enlightenment, see Charles Seet’s excellent paper on “The Principle of Secondary Separation,” in The Burning Bush (January 1996). The Rev Charles Seet, now the pastor of Life B-P Church, had also written an excellent expose of Westcott and Hort entitled, “The Inside Story of Westcott and Hort,” published in The Burning Bush (January 1998). Is the group of eleven B-P pastors now calling Westcott and Hort “friends,” and KJV/TR defenders “enemies?” Why are they attacking their very own school—FEBC—which stoutly defends the KJV and its underlying texts, and the doctrine of VPP which undergirds and safeguards the KJV and its underlying texts? Why are they taking sides with institutions like BJU and CBTS which promote Westcott and Hort and the modern perversions?
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). When differences arise, a splitting of ways may be inevitable. In a split, should one applaud the party who is more charitable? Or should one accuse one of the parties of schism when it takes two parties to disagree in order to split?
The statement by the group of eleven accuses VPP believers of causing schism. Can such an accusation be fair when these have chosen to follow our God-appointed, faithful and elderly pastor in the Rev Dr Timothy Tow who had given over to his detractors the very Life B-P Church the Lord had used him to found, build and pastor for over 50 years, to start a new church from scratch?
In the August 1, 2004 Weekly of True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church, the Rev Dr Timothy Tow wrote in his “Pastoral Chat” page:
The Truth How We Are Now Become True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church
In Vol. I No. 43 of our Weekly dated 25 July 2004 last week it was reported “The new name of our Church is gazetted True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church.” How have we now become True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church began like this.
At a Faculty Meeting [29 October 02] of Far Eastern Bible College Rev Colin Wong and Rev Charles Seet my two Assistant Pastors at Life B-P Church declared they could no longer take the Dean Burgon Oath of swearing allegiance to the Bible to be without mistake to the last syllable and letter. They said they had discovered some mistakes but these did not affect doctrine and were not serious.
Since this College has required absolute allegiance to the Bible since the seventies I gladly let them resign.
In order to protect the good name of FEBC I declared the Bible to be 100% perfect without any mistake.
As the Session of Life B-P Church took their side it turned out I had to resign from the Church to stand for a 100% Perfect Bible without mistake.
In the first week of October 03 the Lord provided us an Auditorium of RELC, situated near to Shangri-La Hotel, and under the name of FEBC we launched out as FEBC Lord’s Day Service at RELC. We took time to apply for registration as Word of Life or alternative True Life.
Since there is a Christian organisation already registered, the authorities let us use True Life and gazetted it as reported 25 July 04 last week.
Doctrine in the belief of a 100% Perfect Bible without any mistake and doctrine of belief in a Bible with some mistakes but not serious since they don’t touch doctrine resulted in our leaving Life B-P Church to start this service since first week of October 03. Now there are 300 worshipping at RELC and we have booked with RELC for another year.
This is the truth how it all started.
Dean Burgon Oath
I swear in the Name of the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit that I believe “the Bible 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 that sitteth upon the throne, faultless, unerring, supreme.” So help me God, AMEN.
Was not Jesus treated in the same way by His hometown Nazareth? “For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country” (John 4:44). Pastor Tow did not desert his flock as some maliciously accuse him of. On the contrary, it was his session that had rejected him in favour of his two assistant pastors who had resigned from FEBC because they could no longer take the Dean Burgon Oath. Humbly and meekly, in the face of many unjust accusations (see “Summary of Facts” in the Life B-P Church Weekly, September 24, 2003) hurled at him non-stop, he departed to found a new church to take a stand for the present infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture he was forbidden to take at the old church. As far as FEBC is concerned, we the current faculty and students do appreciate our principal and teacher—Timothy Tow—very much, and are thankful to God that he remains ever fervent and faithful to His Master even in such difficult and oppressive moments.
In the spirit of its founder—the Rev Dr Timothy Tow—we at FEBC want to train God’s people to become faithful saints and servants, not puffed-up scholars and usurpers. Why so? The infallible and inerrant words written by the Apostle Paul 2,000 years ago ring true even today,
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (1 Cor 1:25-31).
In his defence of VPP and the KJV, the Rev Dr Timothy Tow has always reminded us of this infallible principle of faith and ministry which is the glory of God, quoting the Lord’s forever infallible and inerrant words in Isaiah 42:8 and Jeremiah 9:23-24:
Isaiah 42:8—I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another.
Jeremiah 9:23-24—Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
We are quite happy to sing the words of Martin Luther,
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still—
His kingdom is forever.
Sola Scriptura! Soli Deo Gloria!
Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo is the Academic Dean of the Far Eastern Bible College, and an Elder of True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church.