Volume. XIX, No. 5
Sunday, 01 August 2004

From the Pastors Heart: A Renewed Mind and Thought

I am sitting in Narita Airport in Japan. I am looking at people reading books, newspapers, and watching the moving airplanes. Though I do not know where they are going, they are busily moving. I wonder whether they know their final destiny after death. Digesting what I have seen and heard during the conference, I am so thankful for what God has done in my personal life and in Japan. Not too many Christians are in Japan, but their faith is strong and firm. I am so touched and moved by the faith demonstrated by Japanese believers. The church that has held this conference is not a big church. Its regular attendance is about 80 people. However, they were able to build their own church, and there were a couple of buildings they owned around the main worship place. They have reserved about 50,000 dollars for this conference. They were hospitable and very kind. From 12 countries people came to this conference. I must say that I am greatly encouraged by what I have seen here. From this small church, not a small number of missionaries have been sent out to Senegal, West Africa, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. Besides, there are many other associated missionaries. One of the missionaries is an ENT specialist. When I introduced myself to them, they naturally asked me about my ministry and church. They did not forget to ask me how many people were coming to the regular worship services. When I told them that it was about 80 to 90 people, they were so impressed that Hope church was such a mega church!

Prominent leaders within the fundamental church circles gave their very frank and sincere talks. There was a talk on Christian music as well. I feel sorry that I was not able to be in all the sessions due to my next preaching engagements in Korea. Dr. Tim Fisher was a key speaker on this topic. He began his session with a brief survey on music history. Then, he assured the audience that he was not coming to bring American culture to Asian countries. Instead, he wanted to apologize for the bad music that American churches had produced and influenced on the minds of Asian believers. He wept. He is a strong believer, of course. As a musician himself and a music and church history student, he gave an excellent talk about the danger of modern day Christian music. He said that there was no era in church history that music defined worship. He gave us an example from terms such as contemporary and traditional worship services. We are all familiar with these terms in Australia. By contemporary service, worship means to be full of contemporary music. Traditional service means to be a service with traditional hymns. It is true that music defines our worship today. It shows us about the importance of good Christian music. Some worshippers at Hope church are often tuned to secular rock music and heavy beat Christian rock music. They may argue that it does not hurt them to listen to such music. However, what they hear will eventually affect their minds and values. If they think that music is amoral, they are too naïve. The music they hear will determine their worship. Therefore, we all must be aware of the danger of contemporary music. Dr. Fisher said that Amy Grant hit the billboard chart with her songs in early 1990. She was chosen to be a performer of the year both by Christian and secular radio stations. How can it be possible? Is it because the world finally came near to worship God, or she changed her music to be attracted by the world? How could unbelievers be attracted by music praising the Lord, who is the giver of the Law? Isn’t it true that sin has separated God from them? Strangely, contemporary Christian music has attracted both believers and unbelievers alike.

Dr. David Innes, another featured speaker, is a man of God, pastoring a church in San Francisco, for a number of years. He has been a well known pastor and preacher. He has led many protests against homosexuality in the heartland of alternative lifestyle, which has drawn much hatred from liberal society to himself. His messages echoed something that I had been thinking about for a long time. He talks about multi-generational ministry. In other words, our ministry should not be focused on today’s success. How many great preachers came and achieved great things in the eyes of the world? However, what they left behind are either cold and dead churches or liberal and humanistic churches that do not preach the unchanged Gospel any more? He emphasized on the danger of gradualism. A Bible believing church does not become a liberal church over night. It takes time. It may be ten or twenty years, but one sure thing is that it changes. There are lots of controversies over the ways of worship, church music, kinds of messages preached in churches. What we need to remind ourselves is that what we are doing today will affect our churches in the future. Our children will reap the harvest from the seeds that we have sown in our generation. Biblical separation is another issue we need to carefully think about. Being separated from other churches is a painful experience, though our separation is doctrinally and biblically oriented. There is no one who practices this doctrine for his pleasure. However, we have seen the consequences of our former generations’ compromises on Biblical teachings. Look at all those famous schools such as Yale, Harvard, and Princeton University. All of them had godly purposes and philosophies of their establishments at the times of their beginnings. But they have gone far away that no return is possible. Again all of these changes have taken place not over night, but over many years and decades.

This conference has reminded me of my responsibilities as a minister of the Word, and the responsibilities of our church for our future generations. As we are going to form a new session, let us be determined to be faithful for the cause of Jesus Christ in order to give a best possible church to our next generation!

Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question No. 60: How is the sabbath to be sanctified? The sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the [public] and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

Please continue to pray for Sis. Myung Ki, Rev. Peter Clements, Bro. Surish Dharmalingam, Sis Susan Varadi, Sis. Aranka Rejtoe. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

Thank God for granting journey mercies to Pastor Ki (Japan), Mr. Shane Teo (Malaysia, New Zealand), Dn. Terence Lee, Sisters Gillian Ong, Marion Chan and Sui Ling Chong (Adelaide), Rev. Errol Stone and his team from Cambodia back to Perth.

Please pray for journey mercies for Pastor Ki (South Korea, Singapore).

Greetings to all Hopefuls from Mr & Mrs Kok Wah Ng and family (Singapore), Sis. Angie Chen (Korea), Bro. David Chua (KL), Bro. Greg Duke (Alice Springs).

Rev. Timothy Tow (FEBC) thanks Hopefuls for their monetary gifts to the Bible College.

Please pray that the Lord will provide $10,000 before 31 Dec 2004 for our interest free loan payments.

Warm Welcome to Dn. Terence Lee from Faith Presbyterian Church - Perth.

Seminar on Prayer given by guest speaker Dr. Tow on Saturday, 14 August at the Stone Mansion. Invites are on the literature table. Please invite your friends.

Ordination day for Elder and Deacons on Sunday 15 August 2004.

Looking Ahead: YAF Evangelism Video Night on Friday, 20 August 2004. Please invite friends and all are welcome to come.

Looking Ahead: Hope BPC Christmas Concert will be held on Saturday, 11 December 2004. Please keep the date free.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041