All Articles For Gritters, Barry

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In the past five years, our churches have struggled mightily to combat and root out error that gave to good works a place “out of harmony with the Reformed confessions.” In the process of that struggle, some have warned against antinomianism as an error that must also be avoided. My editorial about the “two thieves” showed that there is always error on both sides of the gospel of the cross, both on the left and on the right. The error of giving credit to good works is an error, perhaps referred to as error on the ‘left.’ But there is...

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Five editorials have appeared, thus far, on the unrighteous and painful schism in the PRCA. The first editorial simply lamented. Next, we recognized that the schism is a great threat to us and our children. The reality of this threat has been confirmed by more recent actions and writings. The horror of this threat is evidenced in broken marriages, parents divided from their still-athome children, and young people leaving the spectacle in disgust. One man described it as “ripping the entire denomination apart in every way—congregations, mission fields, colleagues, friends, families, parents, children, and marriages, causing destruction and unspeakable grief.”...

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God willing, the Synod of the PRCA 2021 will hold its sessions beginning on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Many synods of other denominations, just as last year, are canceled because of the pandemic. In God’s good providence the PRCA delegates can assemble to do the work of the churches in common, that is, Christ’s work that belongs not to individual congregations alone, but to the whole denomination. Synod begins with the presynodical worship service on Monday evening, June 7. If you are able, please join us, either in person or online as the delegates and congregation call on God for...

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In recent months, a new discussion of an old question is taking place among some in the Protestant Reformed Churches. The fundamental doctrine of total depravity is the issue, and alleged error regarding this doctrine becomes another source of contention. In the present atmosphere of suspicion, an alleged denial of total depravity becomes further “evidence of apostasy” in the PRCA and another reason for division. But rather than allowing the discussion to bring forth that fruit, let it produce the fruit of new commitment to study Scripture and the confessions and be strengthened in our faith. This “affliction” can be...

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Question on Witsius Dear Editors, Is there not a major contradiction between Witsius (Standard Bearer—“Still relevant”—Dec. 15, 2020, p. 127) and what we confess as Protestant Reformed believers? Witsius’ writings are put forward by Rev. Koole as a relevant solution to our doctrinal struggle. I do not think so. Among many of Witsius’ problem statements, one stands out in summary: “Whence it is, that by how much one is more holy, by so much he is the more acceptable to God.” In direct contrast, we believe and confess that we are acceptable to God not on account of our own...

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The recent schism in one of our congregations, which has had repercussions throughout the denomination, is a grief for everyone involved. The church of Christ has been rent. Families and friends are divided. Before God we lament, cry for mercy, and submit to His chastening hand (March 1 editorial). The schism is also a threat to the denomination, since those who have departed are calling us and our children to leave the alleged apostatizing PRCA and join them. So serious is the PRCA’s departure that for them not to “come out from among” us and be separate would be sinful...

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The two most recent editorials have lamented the schism in the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC) and warned of the continued threat to these churches. Hearts are heavy for brothers and sisters we love, who have not only left the fellowship of the PRC but charged her with the most serious evils. For them the PRC have so apostatized that it would be grossest sin not to come out from them and be separate. Their “Act of Separation” declares the PRC to have lost the marks of the true church (see the editorial of March 15). Now, those who wrote the...

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The last editorial (March 1) was a lament for the schism in the PRCA. Our hearts, grieving for the division, look to God for mercy and long for the good of the Protestant Reformed Churches and all her members whom we love. This love motivates this editorial, explaining why membership in the PRCA is membership in the true church. In January of this year, many members of our Byron Center PRC in Michigan separated from the Protestant Reformed Churches. Two elders and three deacons led them out. These five officebearers called all the members of the congregation to come out...

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How does the PRC grieve, Father! For almost 100 years Thy grace and mercy have kept these churches. In great weakness, but in the unity of the truth and the bond of peace, we have labored in the name of Jesus Christ. Now, we sit in distress. Distress deeper than most of us have known before. Brothers and sisters have gone out from us. Lovers have departed. Friendships are wounded. Families broken. Churches damaged. What has been so precious to us and which we have taken too for granted—unity and fellowship in the truth of our Lord Jesus—has been fractured....

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Last time I emphasized that good catechism teachers will teach with covenant goals in view. A good catechism curriculum is one thing, and the PRCA have a very good curriculum. But using it properly is quite another thing, and the effort required for that is greater than one might think. Using the curriculum without covenant goals may result in merely filling the heads of the church’s children with biblical knowledge. Important as knowledge is (Hosea 4:6), imparting biblical knowledge without covenant goals promotes ‘historical faith,’ the kind of false faith even the devil has. Knowing about God and knowing God...

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