These questions and answers apply equally to UK Apologetics, My Christian World, Museltof Countercult and Apologetics and Witness to the Word.
E MAIL QUESTIONS/ENQUIRIES HERE
1. What religious organisation lies
We are non-denominational, independent and non profit-making. No 'religious organisation' lies behind us. Museltof christian ministries had a 'loose' founding as a local Sunday School, place of Christian counselling (with access to hundreds of Christian/theological books) and as a supplier of Bible-believing preachers in 1997, but was launched as an internet ministry in 2001; the first part of our work having been mostly concluded. As a purely local ministry, we probably influenced fewer than 100 people per year, as an internet ministry based on 8 websites, we receive 12,000 plus visitors per year -2003 figures. (UPDATE:In summer, 2008, we were receiving around 80,000 'hits' PER MONTH! In 2008 our website system is also simplified, most of it based on UK Apologetics). The ministry was originally founded by preacher and writer Robin A. Brace B.D. hons., who remains Director and Chief Editor. We make no money out of the internet and our only interest is to preach the gospel. We feel an especially strong mission to warn of those who make 'merchandise' out of the gospel, being quite prepared to pervert biblical teaching if it will gain them a following. From January-March, 2005, we dropped the old title museltof christian ministries and have taken the dual names Museltof Countercult and Apologetics UK and UK Apologetics.
2. But we heard that your organizer works for the Baptist Church?
As has been pointed out, there is no such thing as 'The Baptist Church' only Baptist churches! Each congregation is completely independent. Although Mr Brace often preaches in Baptist churches (as well as Free churches) this site is not dependent on the support of any of them.
3. Where do UK Apologetics stand within the evangelical spectrum?
First of all, all of these theological labels seem to us to be a pity. We consider ourselves simply Bible-believing Christians who are opposed to heresy and to the perversion of clear Scriptures. However, since some want more clarification than that, we always say that we stand just to the left of the reformed movement (too staid, too 'closed,' too exclusivist, too much tendency to consider Calvinism as sacred), but perhaps, a fair way to the right of much of the charismatic movement (often too emotional, too biblically-ungrounded and too 'open' to heresy). But we seek to reach out to Christians from all traditions, as well as reaching out to those who do not know Christ. Thus we are genuinely evangelical. Traditionally, evangelicals focused on preaching the gospel and on bringing individuals into a close personal walk with Christ; other matters were seen as less important.
4. You are listed in quite a few Christian directories and you are usually noted for your outreach to the cults, especially to those affected by Armstrongism. Whats that?
Herbert W. Armstrong founded the 'Radio Church of God' (later to be known as 'The Worldwide Church of God') in 1933 in Oregon, USA. Robin and his wife were members of this group from 1981-1994, so he knows quite a bit about the group! The group held some fairly heretical beliefs which the current WCG, in fairness, now reject, yet these beliefs have had a long-term effect on many who are out there and very confused, in fact a number of them have even turned to atheism! Because of our experience, we offer help to these people. We have indeed helped a number - by and through the grace of God - but the process is much harder with some others.
5. Will you name those whom you have helped?
Absolutely not! We operate a strong confidentiality code.
6. Can you confirm that some of those you have helped were WCG ministers?
We operate a strict confidentiality code, but, yes, Mr Brace has certainly had several long e mail conversations with both former and present WCG ministers, some of whom have held high WCG positions. Later, he received several personal letters of thanks from some of these people. But we do not name them.
7. Why are some of your site articles numbered and some not so?
The numbered ones are written by Robin Brace (former internet name: 'Museltof') and they amount to being 'articles' (rather than a few comments). Articles contributed by others are not numbered. Please note that articles are only numbered on museltof on msn. If you want permission to 'co-host' any of our articles, we need the article name, but not necessarily the number. Articles not written by Robin, or 'Museltof,' are not numbered under our msn system, and we probably won't be able to give you permission to put these articles on your site, but check anyway. But we may bring our msn numbered system to an end. (UPDATE : Numbered article system ended January, 2004, and our use of 'MSN Communities' web space long since finished).
8. How do you use the word 'evangelical'?
When we say we are 'evangelical' we are thinking about the classical use of the word. Unfortunately today some think that you mean 'charismatic'. We do not. An evangelical has a very 'high' view of Scripture, believes that we should focus on preaching the gospel (which is, after all, the commission given to each of us) and, in this classical use of the word, it also means that we are Protestant. God's grace is also emphasised and the word has also come to mean that one will work with other evangelicals from other denominations as long as liberalism is rejected. We go along with this definition.
9. Why the word 'museltof'?
It is from the Hebrew 'mazeltov', tov meaning good and mazel meaning stars (in origin) but today mazeltof means congratulations or best wishes.
10. In E Mail Us, you are quite firm in saying that you will not open E Mail attachments - why is this?
Because when a lot of E Mails are being sent to one, one just cannot take any risks with viruses being transmitted through attachments. We simply say, Please E Mail us, but no attachments please because we won't open them.
11. You have a calendar on one of your sites, why don't you make use of it?
At the moment we are just presenting the calendar as a calendar to check which day of the week any particular month days fall. From 2002 we will put Christian holidays such as Easter on there and the possibility of putting Museltof's speaking engagements on there is under consideration. If,however, we state where and when Museltof will be speaking in a format in which - in theory - everybody in the world can see, we have to take account of the feelings of the particular congregations involved! (This calendar information only applied pre-2003).
12. Since you are 'non-profit making' should you not quote your charity registration number?
The Charity Commission of England and Wales will simply not register charities which have less than £1,000 per year donated to them, so we are unregistered. However, it should be borne in mind that we make no public appeals for funds whatsoever! (UPDATE: From July, 2004 we are reconsidering our charitable status and looking into the use of internet affiliate programmes so that we may at least cover our expenses. However, this would still not make us 'profit-making'). (UPDATE 2: From 2005 we no longer claim to be a charity and, in fact, would question the practice of Christian-claiming groups claiming charitable status. Frankly, most of them - excepting groups like the Salvation Army - are not and claim this status for taxation reasons. Yet we remain strictly non profit making. Our use of affiliate programmes did not work and we now rely entirely on the Lord to meet our expenses. There is not a single place on any of our sites that we make public appeals for funds).
13. What fee does your director/organizer charge for coming out and giving a talk about his work?
Mr Brace does not live in a world of "fees." We are a Christian non-profit making organisation. All he would ask for is travelling expenses and a months notice (southern UK). Sorry, but for health reasons Robin no longer travels to preach during the winter months (it should also be borne in mind that Mr Brace writes 60-70 articles per year as well as spending many hours every month answering biblical questions and he made a decision to decrease his 'load' following his 2002 slight heart attack).
14. Your msn site calendar quotes Catholic Feast Days - Why?
Because we wanted, for 2002, to introduce Christian holidays to our calendar but we are dependent on the system of others; this means that all feast days are included including some which most evangelicals would not keep. (The foregoing information only applies pre-2004).
15. Your site contains a few articles which are links to other web sites, could your readers not have found these articles for themselves?
I always wanted to bring some really good, sound biblical teaching under one umbrella for our visitors to have available to them. Sure I know where to find such stuff on the web, but others do not. I feel some sense of responsibility for those who come to look at our features. We know, for instance, that some of our regular visitors have had cult/sect associations but are slowly - through the grace of God - coming to a good biblical understanding. We want to help them.
16. Do you agree with everything on sites which you link with, or with sites on which you recommend articles?
No!! That must be the short answer! Despite all being evangelical Christians we do not always see 'eye to eye' on the specifics! It should not be assumed that we would explain all points of doctrine or teaching the same way as other Christian Sites. Even when we provide a link to a specific article on another site because we feel this article may deepen the understanding of our visitors, that would not mean we would go along with ALL the teaching on that site. We would like that to be understood!
17. I noticed that you quoted a Catholic theologian in one place. Why would a Protestant evangelical do that?
We would not quote a Catholic theologian if we were discussing something like justification since that would be an area of vital difference between Catholicism and Protestantism; but some Catholic writers could still be experts in various areas of biblical understanding, and, in fact, a few of them are.
18. Why do you have so many websites? Wouldn't fewer sites be easier to maintain?
It should be borne in mind that we are completely non profit making; None of our sites earn a penny! Therefore we are wholly reliant on free website facilities. Some of these free facilities are brilliant, but others are less secure so our policy is to have material on several free sites. This means that if any particular site goes down (all websites go down occasionally, but free sites often have a greater problem), then we have our material 'backed-up' on another site. Also, sometimes these free sites just suddenly close down with little or no warning, so we try to cover ourselves for that eventuality too. (UPDATE: From March, 2005, we retain a few free sites but our main work is now on purchased quality web space at UK Apologetics.) (UPDATE 2: From late 2006 all our websites are on web space which we actually pay for and we have completely abandoned the use of free web space because of its chronic unreliability as well as its tendency to place unwanted 'ads' on its pages).
19. Can I put an article written by Museltof, or, Robin Brace, on my own website?
Yes, you can, but YOU ARE NOT allowed to alter the wording or excerpt the article in any way; it must be the full article and we would expect full care to be taken over punctuation etc. At the article ending, you should then put a LINK to the Museltof site where the article comes from, and remind your site visitors that the article is our copyright.
20. Can I put articles from your sites written by other writers on my site?
This is a much harder question to answer! Some writers are always non-copyright, like T. Austin-Sparks, other older writers are often in the public domain, like JC Ryle, but current writers should be contacted for permission. A very few websites freely allow use of their articles elsewhere, but most must be contacted.
21. Are you able to collect/send funds to overseas missions?
No! And we would like this to be understood. We are often contacted by overseas missions who ask us to send them funds, probably some of these are scams, but many are genuine. But this goes beyond what we are able to do, since we ourselves receive no income! What we have, we certainly freely give: hopefully, plenty of good solid biblical teaching! We receive real joy when we receive an e mail from a Christian, often in the unlikeliest of places, telling us how much he or she is learning through reading our articles!
22. What are your visitor numbers?
Since the very first Museltof site appeared - probably looking quite amateurish - on November 3rd, 2001, our visitor numbers have kept growing. We are very, very aware that many websites - yes, including Christian ones! - greatly exaggerate their visitor numbers, but we refuse to do that. Our total site visitors for January, 2003 were 1,150, so we get around 1,000 people per month visiting us; however, I have no doubt that even by 2004 these figures will be well out of date. (UPDATE: in January 2005 we made a fresh estimate of our annual 'hits' and the figure is now 25,000 plus, however, this does not even count those who regularly visit our New Prayers page). (UPDATE 2: From October, 2006 we have re-assessed our 'hits' and have come to realise that we have previously greatly under-estimated our annual 'hits.' It is now clear that we are receiving well over 100,000 annual 'hits,' and even this could be a serious under-estimation).
23. What advice would you give to those who e mail you?
Try to identify the fact that you have a genuine question/interest in the subject line of your e mail. E mailers who leave their subject line blank tend to be viewed with suspicion by webmasters! As of early Spring, 2003, we are receiving around 400 e mails per week, obviously a lot of this is junk e mail in which people are trying to sell us things which we don't want (lamentably, this includes pornography which the internet is currently flooded with), this stuff gets deleted; So it is essential that those who e mail us, use their 'subject line' to let us know that their enquiry is entirely genuine!
24. Why an internet ministry?
Because the Lord has led us in this direction.
25. Why are you so anti-tithing?
We have no problem with tithing where people voluntarily decide to tithe, realising that the practise is not mandatory under the New Covenant. Christians should be prepared to give where they are able to support the spreading of the Gospel. Our problem is where mandatory (required) tithing is taught from the pulpit/lectern. This whole approach shows quite a serious failure in understanding by the leadership of any such congregation. Mr Brace's tithing article is HERE.
26. Would you describe the site as 'fundamentalist'?
No. We are not fundamentalist, but conservative evangelical; there are differences. Mr Brace's article explaining the difference is HERE.
27. Why the links with various missionaries?
We don't know! It was never planned! But we have found that various Christian missions - several of them completely independent of any denomination - have found 'common cause' with our ministry and show real enthusiasm for it! These missions are mostly based in India, Pakistan and the Philippines and they are indigenous. One of these missions has told us that they now consider themselves a 'Museltof Mission' and we have sent them teaching material!
28. Why are you so opposed to 'Word-faith' and the 'health, wealth & prosperity gospel'??
We are opposed to all teachings which effectively mask/confuse/pervert the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! The problem with so-called 'Word-faith' is that it changes the message of the Gospel into a different message which is all about happiness, success and prosperity in the present life! It also takes the biblical teaching of faith and subtley changes it into a different message which means that if we do, or say, certain things, God must react in a certain way, acquiescing with all of our physical desires! So faith becomes entirely cut loose from its biblical conception which firmly ties it in to God's will, sovereignty and choice, and becomes something we can use to manipulate God! The Sovereign God is not just standing around in heaven waiting to see if we have enough "faith" to demand certain things; rather, we have to walk with God through the various trials and tribulations which He always allows His people to suffer! Much within Word-faith comes from New Age influences (which had originally come from occultic beliefs).
29. Have you been able to help some 'Word-faith' folks see their error?
By and through the grace of God, yes, we have! And, more generally, we have helped some really sincere people to see that there are real biblical objections to the prosperity message.
30. Are you cessationist?
No. ('Cessationists' believe that all the more spectacular gifts of the Spirit have ceased with the completion of the Bible canon, and have not reappeared). Whilst we share many of the concerns of the cessationists with regard to certain extremes in some areas of the charismatic movement, we find that cessationism is too extreme a position to adopt; in actual practise, cessationists even appear to be suspicious of many dramatic answers to prayer which many of us have experienced. But at the other end of this pole is the 'faith is all' position towards the spectacular gifts which is often even more in error! We recommend a third position on this topic; Mr Brace expounds it HERE. It might also be helpful to read What are the 'Signs of an Apostle'?
31. Do you have a system for just telling your visitors when new things are added to your websites?
Yes we do. Since we operate so many sites and we may decide to put a new article in one of several places, we have developed our E Letter system to tell people where new articles can be found. We send out just ONE E Letter per month (something we are quite strict about since people are always looking for ways to cut down their incoming e mail), and this ONE E Letter announces our articles for the new month. This is the only way visitors can become aware of our new articles. Just E Mail us to join our E Letter list. We give an absolute assurance that we never pass these e mail addresses on to others. Go HERE to join our E Letter list. Please MAKE IT PLAIN that you want to join our list and make your own e mail address clear.
32. I notice that some writers appear on your sites a lot. Do they work for you?
We are very honoured that some outstanding modern Christian writers contribute articles to us, often on a regular basis. But this does not really mean that they work for us; they are completely independent of us, although friends of ours and agreeing with our overall approach. Some of these writers have their own websites and we always tell our readers where these sites are. (Update: In 2006, we felt quite honoured that Professor Alister McGrath of Oxford University, Britain's premier evangelical theologian who has written many books, has made some very positive comments to us about our ministry and has allowed us to jointly host one of his articles. The article is Here.).
33. Do you recommend/endorse the ads which appear at the top of your pages on certain of your sites?
There is only one answer we can give here: NO, NO, NO, NO!! Those ads are not put there by us! They are the price we have to pay for using free site facilities (UPDATE: From March 2005 only the ads on our OurChurch site (Museltof Countercult and Apologetics) are not sanctioned by us and we now use the occasional banner ourselves to advertise our own sites on UK Apologetics and My Christian World ). (UPDATE 2: From 2007 Museltof Countercult and Apologetics also appears on ad-free web space Here. This means we now only occasionally carry our own 'ads' which point to certain of our own pages).
34. Do you still take over ailing Christian sites from elsewhere, update and re-organize them?
No. That did not really work out; we were only offered one such site, but the site's problems were so many that it was easier just to delete the site and start again. We were less experienced in using the internet and in formatting html when we offered to do that, but we are still prepared to offer advice where we are able.
35. How is it possible to print out your articles when you use so many different backgrounds many of which are not 'printer friendly'?
The only successful way to print out our articles is to use the 'copy and paste' procedure. In other words, highlight the whole article, copy it and open Word Pad (or similar) and paste it there with a white background, saving you ink! It might also be necessary to highlight the article again in Word Pad to take it out of 'bold' in order to save ink. A fuller explanation of 'copy and paste' can be found HERE.
Here are links to return/take you to our various sites:
(Now our Major Site which grows by about 20 articles per month)
Museltof Countercult and Apologetics
(The site which originally started to make us well-known is now on new web space and is no longer subject to other people's choice of 'ads')
Witness to the Word
(We have now "rescued" our old 'Witness' site from the chronic unreliability of free web hosts!)