Kundan Lall Nasir was a highly gifted person, a great preacher, teacher, scholar and leader, was called to Glory at 9:25 PM on 7th May 1996. Born is a Christian Clergy family on 8th January 1918, he was dedicated for LordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s service by his parents Rev and Mrs. Butta Mall when he was born. He was born at Jandialla Sheer Khan District Sheikhopura. (Jandialla Sheer Khan is the place where famous Punjabi poet Ã¢â‚¬Å“Waris ShahÃ¢â‚¬Â was born and wrote famous love story Ã¢â‚¬Å“Heer Waris ShahÃ¢â‚¬Â. Kundan lall Nasir who is known as K. L. Nasir completed his education from Government High School Chakwal, Murray College Sialkot and Gordon College Rawalpindi and after his graduation in 1938 from the Punjab University, he joined United Presbyterian Theological Seminary Gujranwala (Now Gujranwala Theological Seminary Gujranwala) in 1951 he earned the degree of Master of Systematic Theological Seminary from Biblical Theological Seminary New York, and Master or Arts degree with Honor from San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, California. He was awarded a number of Honorary degrees of Doctorate from all over the world. He had complete command on Old and New Testament, Theology, Church History, Biblical Archaeology, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin, Arabic and other ancient languages. He was the only Christian scholar in Pakistan on Biblical Archaeology and he established the only Biblical Museum in Faith Theological Seminary Gujranwala, the Lois Nasir Memorial Biblical Museum. He served as pastor in various villages in Punjab and his last Pastoral service was in far flung city of Kohat then in Tribal area of United India. He was appointed Professor in Gujranwala Theological Seminary in April 1947 and was appointed Ã¢â‚¬Å“Principal of Gujranwala Theological Seminary Gujranwala in 1958. He held various portfolios in the Punjab Synod of the United Presbyterian Church of North America latter Synod of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. He held the Office of Moderator of both Synods in 1949/1950, 1952/1953, 1956/1957, 1961 to 1963, 1967 to 1971, 1976/1977, and 1979 to 1996. He held the Office of the Secretary of Punjab Synod of the United Presbyterian Church of North America from 1945 to 1948. He also held important portfolios in World Council of Churches and Present Presbyterian Church USA.
Dr. K. L Nasir was an undisputed scholar and undisputed preacher in Pakistan. Once Dr. James D. Brown former Principal of Gujranwala Theological Seminary said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“K. L. Nasir is nor Billy Graham of Pakistan, rather Dr. Billy Graham is the K. L. Nasir of United StatesÃ¢â‚¬Â. He was a gifted preacher, whose name was enough to attract multitudes to attend Christian Conventions all over Pakistan. His son Rt. Rev. Dr. Major (Retired) Timotheus Nasir narrates an incidence at Karachi in January 1976.According to him, Ã¢â‚¬Å“My Unite had moved to Malir Karachi in last week of December 1975 and arrived there on First January 1976. According to military traditions, the Corps Commander Karachi Lieutenant General Jahanziab Arbab visited the newly arrived Unite to welcome it in its new formation and first met the Officers of the Unite. When he came to (Then) Captain Timotheus Nasir, he read his Ã¢â‚¬Å“Name PlateÃ¢â‚¬Â and told him, Ã¢â‚¬Å“your name is too difficult, what is your Sir name? Nasir he replied! By the way do you know Padri K. L. Nasir, said the General. Captain Timotheus Nasir replied, Sir, I have the honor to be his son. The Corps Commander shook his hands again and turned to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Brigade Commander, the Commanding Officer and other officers and said, you know gentlemen, his father is a great man and even great preacher. I have always kept a track of him and when ever he came to preach in Lahore, Sialkot or Karachi, I made sure to attend that meeting. You must listen while Padri K. L. Nasir is preaching, he almost made me a Christian. When (then) Captain Timotheus Nasir asked the Corps Commander, if Padri K. L. Nasir knew him? He said no but I know him well. Please convey my regards and greetings to your fatherÃ¢â‚¬Â.
K. L. Nasir started his practical life as a recognized leader during his student life. In February 1941 he spoke in a huge gathering from all over India at Lahore and blasted the newly imposed controversial Ã¢â‚¬Å“Christian Personal LawsÃ¢â‚¬Â by the Colonial British Rulers. It was Saturday the First day of February 1941. K. L. Nasir had become a symbol of an autonomous United Presbyterian Church of Pakistani after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. He was able to get the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Memorial of the Gujranwala Presbytery adopted on 30th March 1960 with the aim of getting an autonomous states of the U. P. Church of Pakistan from the Presbyterian Church USA (As it is called today). On 11th April 1961 the Synod of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan became an autonomous church with the approval of the General Assembly of the PC (USA). The First Moderator was Rev. K. L. Nasir.
There were other important issues that were to be addressed too. The intended introduction of the Book Titled Ã¢â‚¬Å“Revised Standard VersionÃ¢â‚¬Â as the Holy Bible and its Urdu translation. (One can still find Ã¢â‚¬Å“bracketsÃ¢â‚¬Â around the verse number that was intended to be deleted from Urdu Bible that K. L. Nasir was able to stop. Please see Matthew 23 Verse 14 which has been deleted in RSV) and still controversial Ã¢â‚¬Å“1967 Confession of FaithÃ¢â‚¬Â adopted by the Presbyterian Church USA. The Ã¢â‚¬Å“National LeadershipÃ¢â‚¬Â of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan had rejected both yet the leadership supported by the Missionaries had accepted the verdict of Presbyterian Church USA. K. L. Nasir and the National Leadership also turned down the request from Dr. Bleak the then President of World Council of Churches to accept the RSV and Ã¢â‚¬Å“1967 Confession of FaithÃ¢â‚¬Â. Failing to convince K. L. Nasir to compromise his faith, the Presbyterian Church USA decided to punish K. L. Nasir. They allocated all their funds to impose their will on local church but failed. They used the heads of the Presbyterian Church USAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Institutions to buy the pastors and congregations but failed. Thereafter they decided to remove K. L. Nasir from the Office of Principal of Gujranwala Theological Seminary Gujranwala. The allegation framed against K. L. Nasir was that he has Ã¢â‚¬Å“PoliticizedÃ¢â‚¬Â the church and the Office of the Principal of Gujranwala Theological Seminary has become Ã¢â‚¬Å“Center of Church PoliticsÃ¢â‚¬Â. (It must be known to all that the Office of Principal of Gujranwala Theological Seminary had always been center of the administration of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. The history is witness to the fact that Gujranwala Theological Seminary has always been the Center or Administration of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. James D. Brown, K. L. Nasir, W. C. Christy, Iqbal Nisar and now Arthur James, all used and are using the office of the seminary as the Headquarters of United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan/Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. (Mr. Maqsood Kamil the Secretary of Presbyterian Church of Pakistan keeps his office and operates both for Seminary and the church from Gujranwala Theological Seminary Gujranwala). J. D. Brown, W. C. Christy, Iqbal Nisar and Arthur James have never been accused for using the Office of the Seminary as Ã¢â‚¬Å“Church Politics CenterÃ¢â‚¬Â. Thus the allegation against K. L. Nasir was fabricated and baseless. The First attempt was made in November 1967 to remove K. L. Nasir from the Seminary. When they failed the Missionaries and their supporters with the collaboration of Presbyterian Church USA started to talk of reconciliation with National Leadership and an agreement was signed in January 1968 and it was decided to ask the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA to accept the demands of the National Leadership of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. For a month or so it looked as if the Presbyterian Church USA was sincere in Ã¢â‚¬Å“reconciliationÃ¢â‚¬Â with the National Leadership, but in February 1968 it started all over again. The World Council of Churches that had derailed from Christianity and the Presbyterian Church USA started mounting the pressure on the National Leadership to withdraw all their demands. K. L. Nasir and the rest of the National Leadership decided to pull out of Presbyterian Church USA and the World Council of Churches. K. L. Nasir or his fellow leaders had heard of Dr. Carl McIntire and International Council of Christian Churches, therefore a letter was written to a common friend in New Jersey who forwarded the letter to the Headquarters of International Council of Christian Churches in Collingswood New Jersey. The ICCC responded immediately and Dr. Carl McIntire visited Pakistan and met the National Leadership of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan in March 1968. The United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan announced its separation from Presbyterian Church USA and the World Council of Churches in first week of April 1968. The entire leadership of International Council of Christian Churches along with Dr. Carl McIntire came to Pakistan and on the historic day of 24th April 1968, the entire international leadership of ICCC and United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan gathered at Swift Memorial Church Civil Lines Gujranwala, where the Eighty Percent pastors and representatives of the congregations of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan joined Bible Presbyterian Church USA and International Council of Christian Churches in presence of World Press. This broke the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Back BoneÃ¢â‚¬Â of Missionary supported Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fringe GroupÃ¢â‚¬Â of United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. Despite Court orders, Hayat Smith a Methodist Missionary in collaboration with Mr. Lotz and Mr. McBain of Christian Technical Training Center changed all locks of Gujranwala Theological Seminary overnight. However K. L. Nasir did not break the locks as ordered by the court and the Seminary went wrong hands. Thereafter a series of sanctions were imposed on Majority of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. All school, colleges and hospitals closed their doors on the members of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. Special punishment was given to the family of K. L. Nasir. The Principal of Gordon College, who became Principal with the help of K. L. Nasir, sent back the application for admission in Gordon College Rawalpindi was sent back with shameful remarks written by the Principal himself, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We can not give admission to the son of K. L. NasirÃ¢â‚¬Â. There are hundreds of stories of heinous crimes of Missionaries and their supporters against the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. K. L. Nasir was banned from Lahore Convention and Sialkot Convention yet Lord God opened many doors throughout Pakistan for K. L. Nasir and as long as he could preach, no Ã¢â‚¬Å“CrusaderÃ¢â‚¬Â or False Teacher came to Pakistan. Enormous attempts were made by Presbyterian Church USA and World Council of Churches to convince K. L. Nasir to compromise on his faith but every time it failed. Bishop Volmer the Bishop of Lahore Diocese offered his own Diocese to K. L. Nasir but he politely refused. During the year 1969, Church Mission Society CMS Mission, The Methodist Church, the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church joined International Council of Christian Churches.
Over the years the Presbyterian Church USA and the World Council of Churches were able to regain some respect but failed to turn the tide up to this day. Dr. K. L. Nasir was the greatest scholar of Twentieth Century and still remains the greatest scholar in Twenty First Century. Christians of Pakistan have since failed to produce a leader a scholar or a theologian of the caliber of K. L. Nasir. For last Fifty Five years no so-called scholar has been able to silence Muslim critics of Christianity except K. L. Nasir and stop the Modern Cults that are engulfing the Pakistani Church.
Today Kundan Lall Nasir is not with us but we thank that his legacy has is in strong hands of his son Rt. Rev. Dr. Major (Retired) Timotheus Nasir, who is not only fighting the Ã¢â‚¬Å“apostasies and HeresiesÃ¢â‚¬Â from with in the church but also deals swiftly and sternly with Muslim scholars who criticize any part of Christian faith. The United Presbyterian Church is one of the strongest church in Pakistan with no internal rift, Faith Theological Seminary is functioning smoothly. The Monthly Kalam-E-Haq that was started by Dr. K. L. Nasir has become an authority on all theological, Biblical, social and national issues. A seed that K. L. Nasir planted has become a lush green tree with abundance of fruit and shade. Where as all other churches are fighting amongst them selves for small gains.
We remember Dr. K. L. Nasir as an anointed man of Lord. Who served Him throughout his life and surely he is with the Lord Jesus Christ at this very moment. We thank and praise the Lord for Dr. K. L. Nasir who has taught us to stay firm in Faith on Lord Jesus Christ and we shall be blessed.
May the Lord Jesus Christ bless all readers.
Compiled by Rev Shabaz Bhatti
Christian News International Gujranwala.