All Articles For Gritters, Barry

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To the King who enriches His subjects with great wealth, the people bring gifts. Celebrating the birth of the King, whose birth itself brings richest gifts for the people under His reign, is appropriate. To celebrate the birth byworshiping the King (with gifts) is obligatory. Our brethren of Presbyterian background in Northern Ireland, Australia, and elsewhere, do not celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25. They commemorate His birth, but not with a special worship service on a special day. The history of Presbyterianism excludes worship on special days. These brethren will not think ill of us if we take time to...

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I have been a long-time supporter of the Protestant Reformed Churches in general, and of the Standard Bearer in particular. Through the PRC I grew in the truth of sovereign particular grace. I have greatly benefited from their careful study of theology and from the multitude of solid, Reformed titles that godly PRC men have penned. Most recently, I have been intrigued by the brief series of articles in the Standard Bearer concerning the churches’ need for preachers. One does not have to look very far to find a congregation that is waiting for the Lord to provide a pastor, or has suffered from...

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This article is the text of the address given for the graduation exercises of the PRC seminary for Seminarians Dennis Lee and John Marcus on June 20, 2005 in Byron Center PRC. The speech was based on Revelation 4, and is given here much as it was actually delivered, thus retaining the spoken style. (In the first part of this speech [Standard Bearer, August 2005, p. 436], I explained the truth that the worship of God results from the redeemed church seeing God; and that they see God only when the preacher preaches God. The calling of the minister is...

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Previous article in this series: September 1, 2008, p. 460. “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.  Jeremiah 6:16 We gratefully acknowledge that, for almost 85 years, the Protestant Reformed Churches have asked for the old path of catechism: the church instructing her youth. God be praised for preserving the PRC on that path, giving rest to our (and our children’s!) souls. Catechism was God’s way...

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* This article is the text of the address given for the graduation exercises of the PRC seminary for Seminarians Dennis Lee and John Marcus on June 20, 2005 in Byron Center PRC. The speech was based on Revelation 4, and is given here much as it was actually delivered, thus retaining the spoken style. The graduation tonight brings the PRC to the conclusion (and a celebration of that conclusion!) of the training of Mr. Dennis Lee and Mr. John Marcus—two men who feel deeply that they are called to preach. The Protestant Reformed seminary (the churches, really) is interested...

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September 1, 2008 The new school year was scheduled to begin on Monday, August 25, with an opening “orientation” and chapel speech by the rector. This is normal for the day before regular classes. The students receive assignments and reading lists, purchase the required books at the seminary bookstore, and receive their “practice preaching” text assignments. The rector makes important announcements, reminds the students what to expect, and opens with a devotional exposition of Scripture and prayer. The new students feel their way around. The older students take a deep breath. Ten students will grace our halls in the year...

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“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.  Jeremiah 6:16 Profound gratitude is the proper response when Protestant Reformed members realize what they have in the practice of catechism—the church’s instruction of covenant youth. They may be as grateful for catechism instruction and for faithful pastors who teach, as they are for air to breathe and food for their families. And more so. This gratitude, if it...

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On Tuesday evening, June 21, 2005, the synod of the PRC adjourned, after having worked carefully and hard for seven days. The ten delegates from each classis joined Byron Center congregation in prayer and worship on Monday evening, where Rev. Kenneth Koole preached a fine sermon on John the Baptist’s declaration, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Each day, the delegates joined in prayer and worship before the Lord, seeking His wisdom and blessing for the work they recognize as His. Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma capably led the synod’s sessions as president, assisted by the vice-president, Rev. Ronald VanOverloop. The...

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Every now and again a synod is remembered for one particular issue. The 1981 Synod in Holland, MI, is known to many as the “Baptism on the Mission Field Synod.” The 1987 Synod in Hudsonville, MI, is remembered as the “Marriage Synod.” There have been others. The unusually thick Acts of Synod taking more than its share of space on one’s shelf will bring back memories of other synods where one issue overshadowed the others. Synod 2008 of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America, held in Hope PRC, Walker, MI, was another such synod. To many, Synod 2008 will be...

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Previous article in this series: May 1, 2008, p. 316. Whether Moab’s King Balak or the prophet Balaam was more culpable for tempting Israel with fornication, both of them had a hand in bringing God’s people into great evil. The motivation was Balak’s: “Destroy this people!” Balaam had the cunning: “Since God has prevented me from cursing them, let us send our women among them to cause them to sin sexually. This will bring them under their God’s judgment.” Today, Balaam’s and Balak’s strategy is revived with a vengeance. Thus, the title:Balak Redivivus—”Balak, given new life.” Satan, arch-enemy of the church,...

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