It was on Independence Day, July 4, 1976, forty-eight years ago, that the first services of Toronto Free Presbyterian Church were held.   The rented church on Cosburn Avenue in East York was a fair age, and had seating for about one hundred people in the auditorium, and it also had a basement.

     As we gathered for that initial meeting it was with considerable trepidation, because of the serious opposition from the media and ecumenical clergymen.  They did not want the Free Church to get a foothold in Toronto or Canada.

     The church was well filled that day including the seventeen faithful people who made up the original congregation. In addition to them were a number of people interested in what the public furore was all about.  And there were quite a few media types there to report on anything extreme that might be said, so they could add to their opposing writings.  But they were disappointed.

     We put an ad in the Toronto Star, advertising the sermon title, “Our Message for Metro” which was purely a Gospel message based on the Bible text, “Behold the Lamb of God”

     Those initial services lasted only for four weeks.  The building was demolished on the order of East York at the end of July ostensibly to build a tennis court, but really to keep the Free Presbyterians out.  I filmed the demolition, and watched as they tore down the pulpit wall that had been the sounding board for the Christian Gospel for many years.

     The tennis court was built on another site and the church site is used as a car park.  It sits as a silent testimony to the bigotry and intolerance of the ecumenical movement.


     The ecumenical movement, spear-headed by the World Council of Churches, has been engaged in a search for unity among the various churches of Christendom.  They are trying to link all the denominations into a unified body, which is called syncretism.

     Syncretism is defined as the attempt to reconcile various philosophies and religious schools of thought and combine them into one world super church, not an easy task.

     The greatest obstacle to them is the Bible, the grand charter of Christianity.  In order to meet their objective they must ditch the clear teaching of God’s Word, which lays down very strict rules for fellowship.

     The common denominator for syncretism is a basic belief in a god.  Which god, or how you define the expression, is of no consequence.

     The Bible poses a pertinent question, “What agreement hath the temple of God with idols”  [2 Corinthians 6:16].  The answer is none and God commands, “Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate” [v17].  The Free Presbyterian Church has done this.


“And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s” [2 Samuel 17:47].

     Let this point be settled, that the battle is the Lord’s, and we may be quite sure of the victory, and of the victory in such a way as will best of all display the power of God.

     If we are indeed contending for truth and righteousness, let us not tarry till we have talent, or wealth, or any other form of visible power at our disposal; but with such stones as we find in the brook, and with our own usual sling, let us run, like David, to meet the enemy.

     If it were our battle we might not be confident; but if we are standing up for Jesus, and warring in His strength alone, who can withstand us?  Without hesitancy let us face the Philistines; for the Lord of Hosts is with us, and who can be against us?  [C. H. Spurgeon].