All Articles For Bruinsma, Wilbur G

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The minutes of the Mission Committee (MC) from 1947 through 1949 do not reveal the unrest that was developing in the Protestant Reformed Churches at that time. But there it was. There were various reasons for this unrest, but in the late 1940s much of it centered in a Dutch theologian by the name of Dr. Klaas Schilder. We took note in a previous article that Dr. Schilder made a visit to the United States in 1939. Already then he had become well known to the pastors and members of the PRC and the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). He gave...

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The scene is familiar. A toddler lets out a loud wail because mom or dad poked him for being naughty in church. The more they try to quiet him, the louder he wails. Children of other families are turning around to see the fuss. Older saints are looking on in disgust. The preacher seems to have lost the attention of a large share of people around them. Suddenly, an embarrassed mother or father stands up with the crying child and walks out of the sanctuary. Teaching our children proper behavior in church can be a frustrating task—not only for parents,...

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A loved one has died. The spouse left behind is overwhelmed with grief. Parents who have lost a child or children who have lost a parent are crushed beneath the heavy burden of their loss. Death has left them dazed, disconcerted, and numb. It is all like a bad dream. But death does not allow them time to remain inactive in their grief. The body must be buried. A funeral service must be planned. Unless the family has had opportunity to plan the funeral before their loved one dies, the family can be so overwhelmed it is hard even to...

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Previous article in this series: September 1, 2019, p. 473. There are various legitimate means evangelism committees and mission committees use to spread the gospel. One such means already faithfully used by the PRC Mission Committee was that of the printed page. During the years that war was being waged in Europe and the south Pacific, various churches, especially First PRC in Grand Rapids, published pamphlets addressing diverse doctrinal and practical issues—many of them written by Rev. Herman Hoeksema. In the twenty-fifth anniversary booklet of the Protestant Reformed Churches the author writes: There are the pamphlets of the Sunday School...

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Previous article in this series: April 1, 2019, p. 306. The Synod of 1946 was pivotal. Its decisions could change entirely the direction of mission work in the Protestant Reformed Churches. First, should our churches engage in foreign mission work and, if so, should that work be done in China as the eastern branch of the Mission Committee was recommending? Second, should the structure of the Mission Committee be altered? Should synod appoint a mission committee made up of men from Classis West to pursue church extension work in the West while retaining the present Mission Committee with the men...

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Previous article in this series: November 15, 2018, p. 91. We concluded our last article stating that a rift had developed between the eastern and western branches of the Mission Committee. The synod of the PRC had decided that in order to keep the western churches of our denomination actively involved in the life and work of the churches the Mission Committee be divided into two branches, the majority branch from the East and a secondary one from the West. Tension between these two divisions existed from the start but came to a head when the eastern branch decided to...

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During the first half of the decade of the 1940s, the Protestant Reformed Churches began the work of organizing its synodical committees under constitutions. In 1940 the Emeritus Committee presented its Constitution to the synod for approval. The Synod of 1941 adopted the Constitution of the Theological School Committee. The Synodical Committee’s Constitution was approved at the 1942 Synod. It was time for the Mission Committee to draw up and adopt its own constitution as well. This task was also brought to its completion by the Synod of 1942. For the interested reader, this original Constitution of the Mission Committee...

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Previous article in this series: September 15, 2017, p. 488. The consistory of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church in Illinois was frustrated. This church was working in the Roseland, Chicago area with little results. This frustration was voiced at the June 1935 meeting of Classis: our outreach lacks personal labor. Much more must be done than merely hosting lectures. For this reason, this consistory recommended to Classis calling a missionary to labor in the Roseland area. Other congregations had expressed the same complaint in their outreach. For example, in 1933 the small Los Angeles congregation expressed to Classis that there...

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Previous article in this series: December 15, 2016, p. 136. The June 1932 meeting of Classis was filled with matters of missions. Not only had the special study committee defined the task of the Home Classical Committee as presented in our last article, but a couple of other matters were brought to the Classis’ attention as well. First of all, the Mission Committee announced the organization of Creston Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, MI, consisting of 19 families. Further, Rev. H. Hoeksema reported of his visit to Redlands, CA, where he helped organize a church with 44 families. It...

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Previous article in this series: September 1, 2016, p. 473. As promised in our last article, we now print in full the study committee’s report on defining the task of the Classical Home Mission Committee, presented to and adopted by the June 1, 1932 meeting of Classis (slightly edited). “Beloved Brethren in the Lord, Your committee had the mandate to present a definite delineation of the actual task of the Classical Home Mission Committee and to advise classis in regard to this matter. More than once complaints were raised about the labors of the existing committee. Yet the reason this...

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