Past ministry of David Holden
After service in the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) from 1969 to 1974, David Holden completed two years of formal
theological training at the Sydney Missionary and Bible College.
After initially going back to secular work, David served as pastor of the West Rockhampton Baptist Church in Queensland Australia.
He has also served in interim pastoral ministry.
He has given numerous radio talks.
Spoken at Church camps.
Taught Religious Instruction in schools.
After initially planning to serve overseas as a missionary, he came to realise (with the encouragement of several friends) that his missionary service is in the form of writing. With the help of the Internet, the teaching material is quickly going out to several countries from the home base in Australia
If you find this material helpful, don't keep it to yourself, tell a friend. Please pray for this work.
For a good understanding of Christianity, it is best to read the papers on this web site in the following order:
After mastering the above, read:
- "Just A Few Accidents" or "The Beginning of Everything". Those who want to go a little deeper in this area of study should read, "Can The Theory of Evolution Survive The Attack of Science?" also "The Mathematical Impossibility of the Theory of Evolution" for those who like maths.
- "The Objective Evidence For The Christian Faith"
- "God's Method Of Saving Sinners"
- "The Witness of Prophecy"
- "God's Covenant With Abraham"
- "The Kingdom of God"
- "Sanctification: How should I live?"
- "The Hand of God"
- My conversion to Christ Go
- Almost hit by friendly fire Go
- A Dangerous Climb Go
- The beginnings of my writing ministry Go
My main emphasis has been on providing good teaching material through my web site with little thought toward saying anything about myself.
Because there has been a lot of growth in the size of the site and in the number of people visiting the page for information, I now feel that more needs to be said about myself, particularly my conversion to Christ.
My conversion to Christ
If I walked to the Methodist Church in Alford Street (cnr. Youngman St.) Kingaroy in my childhood years, it was usually with one of my younger brothers. Most of the time, Dad drove the whole family to Church in the car (a Humber Hawk). On one occasion, in about January 1962, I walked to the Church by myself because of sickness in the family.
I sat myself down about four rows back on the left hand side of the Church. The regular preacher was away. When the replacement lay preacher stood behind the pulpit, I thought to myself, “We’re not going to get much out of this bloke.” I had the impression he was a farmer. He was a slim unimpressive looking chap who lacked polish in the delivery of his message. I must confess that there was a slight element of my despising the man. Little did I realise at the start, what a great work God was going to do that morning through the simple message of that man.
About five minutes into the sermon he waved his hand across the other side of the church and said, “We are all sinners in the sight of God. There is no one righteous in his sight.” At that point I felt very guilty even though he had not looked at me. I became very fearful that he might look at me, so I ducked down slightly in my pew and fixed my gaze on him. The feeling of guilt was so strong that I knew it was not the normal feelings of guilt a person might have from time to time after doing something wrong. This feeling of guilt was supernatural; it was from God. This point was so clear in my mind that I said to myself, “The cat’s out of the bag now, I’m on my way to Hell”.
My personal situation was like that of a rabbit near a lion trying desperately not to gain the attention of the lion. I had such a terrible fear of the preacher looking at me that I said a quick prayer, “Don’t let him look at me; don’t let him look at me’. I wanted to get out of the church as soon as possible. When the last hymn was being sung, I counted down the verses. Four verses to go, three verses etc. When the congregation started to file out of the church at the end of the service, I was keen to avoid eye contact with the lay preacher who was positioned at the exit. Actually there was an exit to the left and to the right at the end of the church. The preacher was positioned toward the east side exit. When I noticed a group of people moving down the isle, I decided to position myself toward the middle of the group. When we got to the end of the church isle, I ducked out of the west side exit.
I didn’t talk to anyone. I walked quickly to the edge of the road and was very careful to look both ways to make sure there was no traffic coming because I was scared a car would hit me and I would instantly go to Hell! The road was clear and I quickly made my way to the other side. When I got to the other side, I felt relaxed and consoled myself with the though that God will only punish me according to what my sins deserve. At least now, I knew where I was heading. There was no point in any further effort on my part in trying to get myself saved.
Even though I had given up all effort to save myself, I was unaware that God was still determined to bring me to Himself. In April 1962, Lois, my aunt, paid for myself and my younger brother Jonathan (Jon) to go to a WEC (Worldwide Evangelistic Crusade) Easter camp for children up on Mt Tamborine in South East Queensland. At the camp, the leaders informed us that all sins are completely forgiven when faith is placed in Jesus Christ who paid the penalty for sins by his death on the cross. As I considered the message, I was critical of the idea that something that someone did 2,000 years ago could possibly save me from the position I was in. I was on my way to Hell; so how could that situation be changed by the work of just one man? On the last day of the camp, which was Easter Monday 23rd April, the leaders invited us to make a confession of faith by standing up and declaring, “I place my faith in Jesus Christ to be my saviour!” I sat and listened to several of the children state their declaration of faith.
As I considered my own position, a battle raged in my mind. One thought was saying, “The situation is hopeless, the work of one man 2,000 years ago can’t possibly save you”. Another thought was, “Jesus is your only hope, you need to place your trust in him”. The situation for me was becoming critical, in a few moments they were going to close the meeting. I began to think to myself, “If I reject this opportunity to place my faith in Christ, I might continue to do so for the rest of my life and end up in Hell”. The leader said, “This is your last chance”, with that statement, I knew I had to act fast. I forced myself up and said, “I trust in Jesus Christ to be my saviour”. As soon as the words left my lips, I felt an incredible peace with God, I knew I was forgiven and would spend eternity with the Lord.
It was an incredible experience. It was like a light inside was switched on; a spiritual light. I was previously like a man wandering about in the dark, and now I can see. The Bible describes the experience as being ‘born again’ (John 3:7).
In Easter 2012 I returned to the WEC section of the Mt Tamborine Easter Convention to celebrate fifty years of walk with my Lord and saviour. I am thankful that I was saved as a child. Some Christians are saved much later after falling into temptations which are very destructive to their life.
The Christian life is not one which is free of troubles, we all have to struggle with work and calamities, however; for the Christian, there is an inner peace which those of this world do not know about (John 16:33).
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).
Photo (taken in April 2013) of inside the Uniting Church in Kingaroy. It was formerly the Methodist Church. I was sitting about four rows back on the right hand side from the view of the preacher (West side) when I came under conviction of sin in about January 1962.
I made a hasty exit out the west side door of the Church. Go
The old WEC building in which I placed my faith in Christ in 1962 has been replaced with this more modern structure. Go
Photo of view looking West from Mt Tamborine in SE Queensland Australia. The mountain on which I was converted. Go
uploaded on 01 May 2013
Almost hit by friendly fire
In 1969 I faced the possibility of being called up to fight in Vietnam. Because of my interest in aircraft, I decided to join the Air Force. One of the attractions of military service in Australia in those days was that a person under the age of twenty-one was paid an adult wage. In civillian life, those under twenty-one were paid a junior wage. Later, in the early 1970s, the legal age of maturity was lowered to eighteen.
After initial training at the RAAF Base at Edinburgh in South Australia, I was transferred to Richmond near Sydney. I shared a room with three other men, one of whom was from England. This chap, myself and another Englishman who was located in another room in the building, often went to various places together because of our close friendship. I have forgotten their names, however, the Englishman in my room purchased a Gevarn (French manufacture) semi-automatic .22 calibre rifle (private ownership of semi-automatic rifles was banned in 1996). It had an unusual action in that the bolt remained toward the back of the breach until fired. The rim of the cartridge was hit in two places which reduced the chance of a miss-fire.
One afternoon I was on my bed leaning against the wall with a pillow acting as a cushion - a common practice because the cramped conditions did not allow for tables and chairs. I was reading a book while my friend demonstrated the unusual action of his new rifle to a couple of friends. I looked over the top of my book to find the rifle was pointed in my direction with everyones' interest engrosed in the mechanics of the rifle. I was not overly concerned because I did not think there was a round in the chamber; however, I decided to tell my friend he should point the rifle in another direction. I was about to speak when there was a loud bang with the rifle pointed directly at my chest! To my amazement, I didn't feel anything, however, I was so sure the bullet should have struck me in the chest that I reached my hand to my chest to feel for a bullet wound - but nothing! I then noticed the smell of cement, and there was something in my hair. It was a few small chips of cement. The bullet had struck the wall one or two inches above my head. The big mystery was, how could a bullet do a turn in mid air and land so high? After a couple of minutes, one of the men noticed a grouve in the metal bar at the foot of my bed. The bullet had struck the bar and deflected to hit the wall just above my head. Thankfully, it was not the tall chap sharing my room who was in my position, otherwise he would have been killed. One surprise was the small size of the hole in the cement made by a bullet which is much bigger.
The incident put my nerves on edge for a few weeks when it came to the matter of rifles. One afternoon on a weekend, I was riding my motorbike along one of the main roads in Sydney when I noticed a boy in the car in front of me. He was turned round and squating down on the back seat with his toy rifle pointed at me. His action set my heart racing, so I checked that the highway was clear, dropped back a gear, and opened the throttle. I passed the car and watched it in the rear vision mirror vanish in the distance, then looked at my speedo to discover I was doing 60 MPH (100 KPH) in what I think was a 35 MPH zone (road signs were converted to metric just a few years later). It was a surprise for me to learn that subconsciously at least, my nerves were so much on edge.
It is partly with my own experience in mind that I have been fully supportive of the decision by the Australian Government since 1996 to have firearms registered and locked away in a secure cabinet. Since the banning of semi-automatic rifles in 1996, there has not been one incident of a mass shooting in Australia. The terrible shooting at Port Arthur in 1996 was the last. For more on that story and the conspiracy stories that followed, search for Port Arthur on the main page.
A couple of weeks after my narrow escape, I repositioned the pillow against the wall and took this photo with my cheap camera. The photo has a few slight blemishes because of age. - Go
Unfortunatley, I did not take a photo of the grouve in the bar at the foot of my bed - film was expensive (in 1970, give or take a year).
I did not serve in Vietnam. All of my Air Force service was in mainland Australia, however, that did not mean my life was free from danger. The above incident is just one of three in which my life came under threat, however, through it all, I have had the peace and assurance that the Lord is watching over me to complete the tasks which he has set for me to do (Acts 20:24)
uploaded on 01 October 2013
A Dangerous Climb
In 1966 I climbed Mount Tibrogargan (Photo) with the Senior Scouts, led by Mr. Muir, a high school teacher who taught my brother Jon. We all crammed tightly into Mr Muir's car (no seat belts in those days) and journeyed about 150 kilometres to a police station near our destination and reported our intentions so a search party could be sent out if we did not report back on time. I'm at least 90% sure the station was at Woodford because we hiked at a fast pace for several hours to reach the base of the mountain. When we reached the base, we had a discussion over whether or not we should proceed up the mountain because the sun was quite low. We were keen to get to the top, so we took the risk and proceeded to climb.
On the way up, I had to save Peter Smith who found himself clinging to the face of a cliff with no means of progressing up or down. He yelled out, ‘I need to be rescued, I can’t hang on much longer’. Peter was at the front of the group in the climb, and I was immediately behind him, so it was up to me to rescue him. I climbed to the left side of Peter where I found I needed to proceed to a position just ahead, and then throw a rope down to him. However, a barrier to that idea was I needed more rope than the short length I was carrying. Peter also had rope, and thankfully it was hooked onto his belt on his left side. Unfortunately, I could not move into a position next to him without putting myself in the very predicament Peter was in. I considered putting my right foot out onto a small rock and then stretch out for his rope, but immediately rejected that idea as being too dangerous. My next thought was, ‘leaning out is the only option left, if I don’t reach out, Peter will certainly fall and most probably be killed’.
With that thought in the back of my mind, I reached out and said to myself, ‘We are in this together, either we both live or we both die’. I reached my right foot out to a very narrow rock jutting out from the cliff face, and placed most of my weight on the right foot, while reaching out with a trembling hand and pounding heart, I grabbed his rope. I then climbed ahead of him. Just one arm’s length ahead of where he was clinging to the cliff face, the slope was quite manageable. I tied the two ropes together, then one end around the trunk of one of the many bushes on the mountain slope. I threw the other end of the rope down to Peter and held firmly to my end as he grabbed hold of the rope. As he initially held the rope, he dropped backward with an alarmed look on his face. I was quite shocked myself. I thought my very hastily tied knot joining the ropes had come undone, and he was dropping to his death! However, the knot held firm, and there was no further drop after the slack in the rope was taken up.
In my pack, I had a sleeping bag which I took out to give myself more manoeuverability. It was placed against a tuft of grass just below me. When the rope tightened, it nudged the side of the sleeping bag and it came tumbling down to Peter. He grabbed the bag with one hand and held onto the rope with the other. I said, ‘forget the bag, just chuck it’. So it went tumbling down the side of the mountain, but I was able to haul Peter up.
We continued our climb up the mountain with considerable anxiety that someone could possibly get himself into a dangerous position and not survive. As we climbed, I had some flashback thoughts to the moment I stepped out onto a very precarious foothold with a large drop beneath me. That resulted in energy being drained from my body. I suspected I was suffering from a mild dose of shock.
Peter was just ahead of me in the climb, and I was not confident he would not get into trouble again, and the big question for me was, would I have the mental and physical strength to perform another rescue? I concluded I was not in a fit state to repeat the effort, so I made a conscious decision to move to second last position in the climb. From memory, there were six Senior Scouts on the climb, plus the Scout Leader, Mr Muir.
As we continued the climb, the sun set and we encountered very light misty rain. Someone in the group had a torch, and we were further helped by a full, or at least near-full moon. We were very anxious as to whether we would reach the top safely after the earlier drama, and the worsening conditions we were facing. Many of the rocks are slippery when wet.
The climb has a series of steep and very steep gradients, this resulted in our thinking we were near the top when we viewed the top of a very steep section, only to find when we reached the top of the section, we discovered more mountain ahead of us. Finally, the climb levelled to a gentle slope, and we knew we were near the top - just a few metres to go. We would need to wait till the morning before we could enjoy the view from the 364 metre (1,194 feet) summit. But we could breath easy now, we had made it!
We pitched the tent and snacked on food we had brought up. The tent brought welcome relief from the cool wind and misty rain. We climbed into our sleeping bags and settled in for an early night’s sleep. That’s everyone except me. My sleeping bag was somewhere down the side of the mountain with little prospect of my being on the inside of it ever again.
I had a cold restless sleep, but was satisfied I had made the right decision in telling Peter to ditch my bag. His holding on to the bag would have placed the rescue mission in jeopardy.
In the morning, we took in the view. As it turned out, the view lacked sparkle because the weather was still overcast. Our stay on the top was short, we had breakfast, then slowly made our way down the mountain. Going down was just as dangerous as going up. There was one advantage though, we could draw on the experience of just a few hours before.
During the descent, one of the scouts spotted my sleeping bag held in place against a bush. He moved across and retrieved it. After reaching the base, we hiked back to the car and drove to the police station where we were able to report that everyone had returned safely.
Back home at Kingaroy in South Eastern Queensland, the Scout Leader filed a report for the South Burnett Times newspaper. The heading to the report read, “Wind and rain made it hard”. Nothing was mentioned of my needing to rescue Peter Smith. Not wanting to alarm my parents, I didn’t mention anything of the danger of the climb, nor did my younger brother Jon (Jonathan) who was with me on the climb. I was sure that if I said something, we would be removed from the Scouts and further exciting adventures.
The following year, I did labouring work for a few months at the peanut silos. My mother worked at the same silos with other ladies at a conveyor belt removing rubbish from the good nuts which came by. At the belt and in the tea room, the ladies talked.
One lunch time, my mother confronted me with, “I believe you had to rescue Peter Smith the day you climbed Mount Tibrogargan” (my parents knew his parents). The news was out, so I revealed to Mum all the details of what had happened. Mum told me it was one of the ladies working at the silos who revealed the news.
A few months after climbing Mount Tibrogargan at great risk, the Senior Scout leader put a proposal to us Scouts that we climb Mount Beerwah. At this news, the mood was gloomy to say the least. We were not keen on putting our lives in danger so soon after the previous climb. However, our Scout leader made the point that Mount Beerwah is slightly higher with a more manageable slope. Very soon, our sense of adventure outweighed fears, so we decided to go on the climb. This time, the ascent went well, and in the sunny conditions, we were able to enjoy a beautiful view with a small aircraft flying below us out in the distance. However, it is the climb up Mount Tibrogargan a few months previously that sticks in my mind the most.
Mount Tibrogargan is an unforgiving mountain which has brought death to three climbers in a four year climbing period between 2008 and 2018. It was closed for six years (2009-2015) because of safety concerns. The mountain had claimed two lives before our climb in 1966. My thoughts and paryers are with the family and friends of a young man who died on Saturday afternoon of 01 September 2018 after a fall while attempting to ascend the mountain. His female companion was trapped on a ledge for several hours before being rescued.
From memory, those on the climb back in 1966 were, Mr Muir, David Holden, Jonathan Holden, Peter Whitnell (Son of an industrial science teacher), Peter Smith who came from a farm east of Kingaroy, Lloyd Stumer and a chap who had begun an apprenticeship in house painting (Ted?). Regarding Lloyd Stumer, I happened to come across Lloyd while walking down a street in the central business district of Brisbane back in the late 1970s. We hadn’t seen each other since our time in the Scouts, so our thoughts quickly went back to our time on Mount Tibrogargan. He asked me if I was scared during the climb. I answered, “I was scared I was not going to make it back to the bottom in one piece”. He smiled, knowing exactly what I meant.
My photo of Mount Tibrogargan (GPS: 26 deg 56' S x 152 deg. 57' E) is of the eastern side. We climbed the western side because the slope is much more managable. Obtaining a good photo of the western side is not easy because of the many trees near the mountain blocking the view. I climbed part of the way up Mount Tibrogargan on Friday 13 July 2018 and took a photo of one of the danger signs (GPS: -26.9267 x 152.9426 E). (Photo)
A plaque in honour of an expedition by Matthew Flinders to the area in 1799 (Photo)
uploaded on 08 September 2018
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The beginnings of my writing ministry
The first article I wrote which had a wide circulation is titled, God's Method of Saving Sinners. That paper is still arguably the most important paper on the web site. Christians without a good grasp of the subject of salvation are in the danger of falling into various errors, and sometimes become the victims of cults which are very damaging.
Another paper which generated wide interest is titled, God's Covenant With King David. It started out as two foolscap pages in June 1984, which was later developed into a larger article. It was produced on a typewriter which basically punched the letters onto a special sheet which, upon completion of the article, was transferred to a 'Roneo' machine. The machine forced ink through the punched letters onto paper. The result was a little rough by today's standards, but it was quite readable. A lot of people gained their first taste of typology by reading that basic (1984) outline on King David. The revised and expanded article became chapter twelve in my book, God's Witness To Himself. The article on King David is now available on the web site and continues to gain a lot of interest.
See photo of original article on King David (foolscap size). Go. Page two Go.
Photo of a 'Roneo' sheet. These sheets are a museum piece these days. Go.
Reaching out to the world is not limited to the web site. I have personally placed thousands on one page articles challenging the atheistic theory of evolution story into letter boxes. Many more have gone out through the volunteer effort of others. See photo of one of the pamphlets - Go.
God's Witness To Himself
I produced the book titled God's Witness To Himself in 1990. A computer I purchased back in 1985 provided some help in the task. It was an Amstrad model CPC6128. The speed of the processor was just 4.7 MHz.
It was so slow that if you typed quickly, it sounded a few beeps to give a warning to slow down because it was struggling to keep up with the inflow of data! Also with quick typing, words would appear on the monitor a second or two after being typed. Most of the time, it was not a problem for me because I am not a fast typist. A further problem was the spell checker. It was so slow and inaccurate that I decided not to bother with it, that resulted in some typos in my book.
Regarding the success of the book, a reasonable number went out across Australia with a few into the UK, the US and Canada. The numbers wern't large, but that is not surprising given that I was an unknown author at the time - my first book. It was successful however, in bringing many into a deeper understanding of the Christian faith. So on that level, I am pleased that God guided me to produce the book.
Photo of book cover - Go.
uploaded on 01 June 2013
The web site
For most people, reading a book provides greater pleasure than reading a computer screen or tablet. However, the time and cost of distributing books is quite significant, so I decided to place much of the material from my book onto a web site where it could be accessed quickly from around the world. Today more than fifty countries from around the world log onto defenceofthefaith.org each month to gain information on the Christian faith.
Web sites like this one are becoming increasingly important in today’s world where people are facing distracting forces; the pleasures of the world along with God denying and God distorting doctrines. If you find this web site helpful, don’t keep it to yourself, tell a friend.
Thank you for visiting defenceofthefaith.org
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