All Articles For Gritters, Barry

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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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Rev. Gritters is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan. In other words, the ruling elders should encourage, advise, and give constructive criticism to the pastor in his role as chief teaching elder for the congregation. The pulpit can be a lonely place. The pastor who stands there from week to week without such support from his fellow elders is called to bear a burden too heavy for one pair of shoulders. (Lawrence Eyres, in The Elders of the Church)One great encouragement in my ministry is that there always has been at least one elder in the consistory...

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Members of the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC) may be very thankful for denominational unity. They may be grateful for the denomination. That other denominations may have become hierarchical in their synods is no reason for members of the PRC to reject denominational structure. Cautious of the misuse of authority, the PRC work in these broader gatherings in obedience to Jesus Christ, who calls churches to labor together in the cause of the gospel. On June 13, 2005, in Byron Center, and at the invitation of Byron Center PRC, the PRC synod will take up her agenda for the sake of...

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Previous article in this series: April 15, 2005, p. 316. Lack of preachers in the church world, felt also in the PRC, motivates God’s people to pray more fervently: “Lord of the harvest, thrust out (see previous editorial) laborers into the harvest…. Graciously move men to prepare for the gospel ministry…. Provide us pastors after Thine Own heart (Jer. 3:15)…. Ride forth, victorious White Horse of the gospel!!” Especially vacant churches feel this lack. Some feel it more keenly than others. Churches with regular preaching from retired ministers or the seminary do not experience the lack as a great hardship....

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The Protestant Reformed Churches need (indeed, all churches need) preachers. They need preachers soon. The need is till the end of time. For the pulpits in the congregations—one-fifth of them now vacant—and the mission fields, the churches pray to the Lord Christ, “Send pastors!” In the previous editorial (April 1, 2005), I explained why the church places such high value on the gift of faithful preachers. By ministers who are faithful, God perfects saints, performs essential ministry, edifies the body of Christ. This institution of Christ must be preserved among us by God if we are to continue as churches....

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