From the Board of Elders
Dear Members in Christ,
“Here am I; send me.”
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:8
Many Seminaries, Bible Colleges and Churches that were founded on firm foundation defending the Word of God have since gone astray or turned apostate e.g. Faith, Bob Jones, Harvard University, Princeton, Fuller, Grace Theological Seminaries; and the trending of the conservative Baptists, Presbyterian movements, and others, towards “liberalism and modernism” are further evidence of the end time signs of falling away from the faith that was once delivered unto the saints.
The Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC) was not spared either. We thank God that God has His remnants who stood firm and fought valiantly for His Word. Indeed, the battle is of the Lord. Today, FEBC continues to be steadfast, unmoveable and abounding in the work of the Lord. FEBC is still the beacon of light for fundamental faith in this part of the world, and among the few globally.
How was FEBC threatened then? There were deceptive teachers who crept in unaware to deny the preservation of the Bible. Thanks to the wisdom of her founding Principal, the late Rev (Dr) Timothy Tow introduced the Dean Burgon Oath very much earlier to the College. The Board of Directors and Faculty members of the College have to affirm their allegiance to the Word of God by taking the Oath at every annual Convocation. If they are unwilling to take the Oath, they are not to teach.
Their unwillingness to swear by the Oath exposed their denial to (1) The Omnipotent power of God, that God is able to preserve His Word (2) the Bible is the very Word of God - all of it - even to the jot and tittle. There is NO mistake in the Bible (3) the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible which is kept pure through all ages by God’s singular care and providence. Nothing is lost from God’s original Word in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus, the Autograph, which are source texts of the King James Bible (KJB). Basically they deny the Doctrine of the Verbal Plenary Preservation (VPP) of the Bible.
The 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”
Today, the FEBC stands firmly on solid ground. Grounded firmly and established in the Word of God. Those deceptive teachers who had denied the Word of God and the preservation of the Bible had since left the fellowship and fraternity of the original Bible-Presbyterian movement founded by the late Rev (Dr) Timothy Tow. It is with great disappointment and sadness that these churches still call themselves the “BP” Churches … wolves in sheep’s clothing? They still call themselves the “BP” churches in order to hide their “non-VPP” belief. Thus, those who know must warn others in order not to fall prey to the deception. Thus, beware dear brethren.
Moving forward, all Session members and ministry leaders of Calvary Jaya BP Fellowship (CJBPF) will be required to take the Dean Burgon Oath annually to affirm their belief in the Bible. The Bible is the very Word of God. We must believe in the omnipotent attribute of God who inspires and preserves His Word for our learning for many more generations to come.
CJBPF, by the grace of God, was founded in 1984. By September, 2021 CJBPF will be 37 years old. Over the years, there were many trials and temptations that came her way. The fight for the VPP of the Bible in the Singapore BP Churches also affected CJBPF in the early 2000’s. We thank God that the Session then, other than the then Chairman, stood steadfast and unmoveable for the Doctrine of the VPP. The Chairman then left with a small group of worshippers.
There are spiritual scars from the spiritual battles from time past. From each battle, we grow in faith, knowledge and wiser in the work of the Lord. We become more spiritually discerned and confident, courageous and healthier as well. CJBPF’s battles are of the Lord. God gave us the victory. Our comfort and strength are in the Lord, not our arms of flesh. “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” Jeremiah 17:5. We remember, and call upon the name of the Lord our God.
Will there be more spiritual battles to fight? Definitely. Satan is an adversary to all true believers in Christ through the centuries. Satan knows our every weakness and temptation. He is scheming, deceptive, deceitful, smart, evil and wicked. He will never rest until his mission to disrupt and destroy God’s people and God’s churches are accomplished. The Bible instructs true believers to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8.
Thus, the leadership and congregation of CJBPF must know and be anchored in the Truth. CJBPF must be faithful in teaching, preaching, defending, building, living in God’s Word. My dear brethren, when the Lord calls you to lead and do His work in the ministries of the Church please respond with “Here am I, send me”. Whom the Lord calls, He will also enable with talents and gifts of services “… unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Ephesians 4:7.
We shall now address specifically the CJBPF leadership. The present generation of Session leaders are mainly in their late 50’s or older. There is a need for younger godly believers to take over the mantle of leadership. There are examples in the Bible e.g. Joshua succeeded Moses, Elisha continued the work of Elijah and the Apostle Paul raised up leaders in all the churches he founded. In Paul’s pastoral letters to both Timothy and Titus, he taught and encouraged them to continue the work of the Lord. Both Timothy and Titus were to build up the leadership of the churches to preach, teach and defend the faith.
I believe that the Lord prepares some of you for the leadership in the Session. In His timing, when He calls, by God’s grace, I pray and believe that you will respond with “Here am I; send me”.
The Congregation must pray, ensure and support godly leaders to rise up to lead, serve, protect and defend the Fellowship from going astray into apostasy with another strange doctrine. Satan will ceaselessly attempt to corrupt the purity of the Church if the leadership is slothful and not watchful in guarding the Pulpit with spiritual vigour and fervency. The leaders and congregation have godly responsibility to preserve the Fellowship for the generations that will come after us.
Thus, leaders must not be elected based on secular qualifications like having many secular degrees from universities, worldly wisdom, intelligence and behaviour, popularity, wealth and sociability etc. They must be elected based on spiritual maturity according to the qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 for Elders and 1 Timothy 3: 8-13 for Deacons and Deaconess.
For whom the Lord calls, He will enable. May the Lord bless CJBPF. To God be the glory.
Eld. Choe Tong Seng