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All Articles For Gritters, Barry

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Rev. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. Dear Christian parents and young people, This section of the Standard Bearer has always been written for the Young People. The Title “The Strength of Youth” emphasizes the unique strength that young people have in their teens and later. Although there is a unique strength that young people have, in their lives there are many difficult questions to face and answer. My purpose in this rubric is to address some of those questions and try to give guidelines for answering them, so that their strengths may be...

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. The following or similar events could happen in your church. Because a man of the church falls into the sin of drunkenness, drives while intoxicated, and finally slams into a parked car, he is arrested, put in jail, and the story appears in the next day’s daily paper. The elders visit the man and find that he is sincerely penitent. He even appears before the consistory out of the desire to show the elders that his repentance is sincere. But the consistory makes a public announcement...

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. Our children need to be disciplined when they sin. As children of God and members of the church, we need in our life the discipline of Christ directly with His chastening rod and heavy hand, making us repent from our deviant ways and return to the right relation with Him and our fellow believers. But He also gives the church the responsibility to discipline its members. That is, Christ uses at least two methods to bring us to our senses when we are pursuing an unhindered...

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. Catechism instruction is part of the official ministry of the Church of Christ. That means that catechism is different from the instruction of children in Sunday School or Young People’s Societies, which are part of the organic lifeof the church. Sunday School and Young People’s I Society are not official functions of the church. That is, they are not aspects of the ministry of the church directly under the consistory. Parents decide whether or not they want to have a Sunday School for their children; the young people decide...

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. (In the past 2 articles we have seen the Confessional and Biblical basis for church discipline of unrepentant sinners. The step of silent censure and the first two public announcements have been treated. Now we proceed to the third.) The Third Announcement. After the second announcement of discipline has been made to the congregation, the elders continue to work with the unrepentant sinner. It is difficult to continue labor when there is no positive fruit, but the call is still to work with the sinner. The...

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. The relation between believers in the church and the elders is often incorrectly viewed as similar to that between citizens of the United States and their State or Congressional Representatives. Ours (USA) is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” in which (according to our constitution) the power rests in the people who are governed. That is, the power rests in the people themselves. Because this kind of representative government is part of our country’s heritage, some get the notion that...

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. Correspondence Dear Rev. Gritters, I enjoyed your article in the Standard Bearer relating to “Catechism: Official Ministry of the Church” in the February 15, 1987 issue. However, I have a question which I wish you would address in a future article. You state,” 1. Teaching catechism is the work of the minister or elders in the local congregation.” Then in the paragraph following “If, for some reason, the minister cannot teach, it is the duty of no one else but the elders to take over.” Again in the...

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Barrett L. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Byron Center, Michigan. Dear Readers, In the special issue of March 15, 1986, I wrote an article entitled “We and Our Elders,” in which I gave an analysis of one difference between the Reformed and the Presbyterian systems of church government. I will quote the opening pertinent paragraphs. The relation between believers in the church and the elders is often incorrectly viewed as similar to that between citizens of the United States and their State or Congressional Representatives. Ours (USA) is a government “of the people, by the people,...

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If we even think very much about the Spirit and our salvation, we usually have a fairly cold view of His work. I say cold because we think in terms of the Spirit merely handing to us, or pumping into us the blessings of salvation from a reservoir in heaven. And though this might be a nice figure to teach us how the Spirit works, it sometimes leads to an abstract and cold perception of the Spirit. 

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It probably will not strike us that we treat Sunday worship like watching a sporting event. But we do come, sometimes, to be entertained, rather than to worship; to see what we can get out of it, rather than to bring offerings of praise. And if we are not sufficiently entertained, we would almost be bold enough to complain as some would for a refund or a rain-delay check. Instead of being the active participants in the worship, we sit back and wait for a good show. When we worship, though, we are neither spectators nor are we sporting. On...

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