Prof. Decker is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary.
According to the Children’s Defense Fund, the following happens every day in the United States:
* 7,742 teenagers become sexually active
* 623 teenagers get syphilis or gonorrhea
* 2,795 teen girls get pregnant
* 372 teens miscarry
* 1,106 teens have abortions
* 1,295 teens give birth
* 2,556 children are born out of wedlock
* 135,000 children bring a gun to school
* 10 children are killed by guns
* 6 teenagers commit suicide
* 211 children are arrested for drug abuse
* 437 children are arrested for drinking or drunken driving
* 1,512 teenagers drop out of school
* 3,288 children run away from home
* 2,989 children see their parents divorce
Shocking statistics! Frightening! Tragic! But this is what happens when God’s will for marriage and the covenant family and home is so openly and flagrantly disobeyed. Evidence these statistics are of the fact that God is pouring out His judgments on our country. Sooner or later, probably sooner and certainly inevitably, the United States, the world’s wealthiest and most powerful nation, will fall just as did the Roman Empire. God is not mocked.
But, let us be warned by all this! As covenant parents let us prayerfully bring up our children in the fear of the Lord. Let us show our children by the words we speak and the deeds we perform how they are to live in obedience to the Word of God. Let us as husbands and wives never entertain the thought of separating or getting a divorce. Rather let us love our wives as Christ loved the church and submit to our own husbands as the church submits to Christ. Let pastors and elders in their preaching and teaching and ruling cease not day and night to warn and instruct the people of God concerning the truth of God’s Word as it applies to marriage, divorce, and the covenant family.
Statistics quoted by
The Church Herald
Last November the Church of England decided to allow women priests. In reaction to this decision St. Matthew’s, one of the largest Anglican congregations in London, has voted unanimously to convert as a group to Roman Catholicism. This decision was announced after England’s Roman Catholic bishops agreed that they would accept Anglican congregations en bloc along with their priests.
Converting Anglican congregations will be allowed to retain temporarily some Anglican practices during transition. Guidelines adopted by the Roman Catholic bishops emphasize, however, that eventually all Catholic beliefs and practices will have to be accepted. Cardinal Basil Hume offered no compromise to disaffected Anglican ministers and others who may be seeking to join the Roman Catholic Church. Hume made clear that, “The aim for those who seek to enter into full communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church must be their total integration into the life of the (Roman) Catholic community. There is no question of a Uniate Church or a personal prelature…. There is no question, too, of becoming Catholics by accepting the teaching a la carte. You have to take the menu – or go to another restaurant.” The bishops official statement said, “Those entering into full communion with the (Roman) Catholic Church are required to accept the teaching authority of the church in matters of faith and morals, as exercised by the Pope as successor to St. Peter, and by the college of bishops in full communion with him.”
St. Matthews is one of ten traditionalist congregations that are expected to join the Roman Catholic Church.
The Church Herald
The Evangelical Times
* Knox Theological Seminary, founded by D. James Kennedy who is its chancellor, and located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will open a second campus in September in Colorado Springs. “With the growing number of Christian ministries moving to the Rockies, Colorado Springs has become a center of Christian ministry that needs its own seminary,” said Kennedy.
* A showdown over Free masonry’s incompatibility with Christianity is coming at next month’s Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). At last year’s convention, delegates approved an SBC Home Missions Board study on this issue. In March, however, the Home Missions Board issued another report which says, “many tenets and teachings of Freemasonry are not compatible with Christianity,” yet, because of the SBC’s “deep convictions regarding the priesthood of the believer and the autonomy of the local church, membership in a Masonic order should be a matter of personal conscience.” Those opposed to Freemasonry believe the SBC’s leaders are afraid of a financial fallout if last year’s decision is retained. Well they might! Of the nation’s 3.5 million Masons, 1.3 million are Southern Baptists, according to Associated Baptist Press. In addition, 14% of SBC pastors and 18% of deacon board chairs are Masons.
* Declaring that the faith and practice of the largest worldwide ecumenical and Reformed bodies “are in apparent contradiction to the faith embodied in the historic Reformed confessions,” eighty church leaders from ten nations, fifteen denominations, and eighteen seminaries met in Pasadena in late February to organize an alternative body. By unanimous resolution on February 20, those present at the Pasadena meeting voted to organize a new group and named it the “International Reformed Fellowship” (IRF). Co-presidents of the new body will be the Rev. Sam Sung Lee, moderator of the General Assembly of the Hapdong Presbyterian Church in Korea, Dr. John E. Kim, senior pastor of Los Angeles Korean Christian Reformed Church and president of International Theological Seminary, and Dr. Luder Whitlock Jr., president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. The IRF General Secretary will be Dr. Ananda Perera, professor at International Theological Seminary. Dr. Perera will be assisted by Recording Secretary Dr. W. Robert Godfrey, president elect of Westminster Theological Seminary in California. Much of the groundwork for the new organization was laid by Dr. Kim, an elder statesman among Koreans in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). Kim has been a pastor in the CRC since 1976. His congregation numbers 14,409 members, making it the second largest congregation in the CRC. The formation of the IRF could mean serious consequences for the CRC. The debates in the CRC over ordaining women ministers and elders have infuriated many in the Korean minority and produced open calls for secession if the CRC allows women to serve in all offices of the church. A major Korean secession could triple the number of churches pulling out of the CRC. According to an IRF press release, the new fellowship “seeks to bring together churches, seminaries, and mission organizations committed to the inerrancy of Scripture and the sovereignty of God as taught by the Reformed confessions.” Will the Protestant Reformed Churches be invited to participate in the International Reformed Fellowship?
Reformed Believers Press Service