All Articles For Gritters, Barry

Results 71 to 80 of 215

If there are questions about de­nominational unity in worship (see the last two editorials), there are as many questions and difficulties regarding the denomina­tion’s unity in missions. Two divergent views of missions and their relationship to the de­nomination exist in the Protestant Reformed Churches, views that reflect two minds that existed even before the formation of the PRC. One of these views is right, the other wrong. The question is: Whose is the work of missions? Is it the local congregation’s, or is it the denomi­nation’s? To focus the question: may a local congregation ever do mission work without the...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: September 15, 2014, p. 484. The Protestant Reformed Churches are united. In confession (doctrine). In discipline (church government). And, for the most part, we are united in worship (liturgy). It is the latter, unity in worship, that is the focus of our attention here. There is no question regarding how tight our unity is in doctrine—the confessions we hold spell that out very precisely. Nor is there question about our unity in church government—every PRC holds the Church Order as regulative and binding for her life. But how united are we in the mat­ter of...

Continue reading

When the seminary professors first license students to speak a word of edification in the churches, we make sure they understand what is required of them to lead a congregation in worship. We talk about things like how early to ar­rive at the consistory room, where to shake hands with the elders after the service, how to announce songs, what to do with announcements the consistory asks to be made, etc. The professors have a little “Manual” that gives advice for the students. Included in the manual is the head­ing: “Determine the liturgical de­tails.” That is, be aware of the...

Continue reading

When God delivers over to sexual sin, He inflicts a terrible judgment. God sometimes judges individuals by giving them over to sexual sin. Other times His judg­ment falls on churches. Today God is giving over churches—some of our ecclesiastical relatives—to ter­rible sexual sins. The readers of the Standard Bearer ought to know about these horrible developments and respond to them in a biblical way, including the loving warning of family or friends in these churches to flee like Lot from the judgments that are falling, lest they and their children also fall under them. The June 2013 issue of the...

Continue reading

This is the second part of the graduation speech—slightly modified for publication—given on Thursday evening, June 13, 2013, at Hudsonville PRC, in the presence of synod, the church, and the family and friends of Mr. Erik Guichelaar. First installment can be found in the July 2013 issue, p. 418. A Defense of Being Creedal Being creedal is not contradictory to the Protestant rejection of Roman Catholic tradition. Some might suppose that, as heirs of the reformation that rejected Roman Catholicism, we must trumpet: “Tradition OR Scripture,” “Man-made documents OR God’s Word,” “Church tradition OR the supremacy of Scripture.” Not so!...

Continue reading

This is the graduation speech—slightly modified for publication—given on Thursday evening, June 13, 2013, at Hudsonville PRC, in the presence of Synod, the church, and the family and friends of Mr. Erik Guichelaar.   Mr. Guichelaar, on this momentous evening for you we call you to be a confessional minister. A “confessional” or “creedal” minister is a minister who knows, loves, and uses the creeds, whose ministry is governed by the creeds. The churches call you to be a creedal minister. The Protestant Reformed Churches are a confessional denomination: as churches, we know, love, and use the creeds; as churches, our lives...

Continue reading

Rev. Steven Key, pastor of our Loveland, CO, PRC, set the right tone at Monday evening’s pre-synodical worship service at Hudsonville, MI, PRC when he preached an edifying sermon on the familiar Psalm 133. While the sermon called the delegates to unity of mind and activity, it also pointed out the great blessedness of unity, one of the great themes of Psalm 133. We experienced that blessedness for the duration of the short week that synod took to do its work. Rev. VanOverloop, synod’s experienced president, promoted unity by his good leadership, and the delegates (10 from Classis East and...

Continue reading

At bottom, the Reformation of 1857 that gave birth to the Christian Reformed Church was doctrinal. The reason our spiritual fathers formed a new denomination rather than remaining in the Reformed Church of America was doctrine: the truth of God’s Word, theology. Separation for non-doctrinal reasons is hardly justifiable, to understate the matter. The unity of the body of Christ is too important. Denial of the truth of God and of God’s Word—that justifies secession and re-formation of the church. To say that the separation of 1857 was on account of doctrine is a somewhat bold claim because it is...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: September 1, 2012, p. 461. Polemics will bring results. Both proper and improper, biblical and unspiritual, polemics, by the power of God, will have effects. Those who have lived in the church very long have wit­nessed this. Godly polemics will have good (that’s not to say “pleas­ant”) effect, because polemics is the use of God’s Word to battle error, and God’s Word never returns to Him “void” (Is. 55:11). Unbiblical polemics will also have consequenc­es. The effect, according to the sovereign judgments of God, will be damage to the very cause the battle purports to protect—the...

Continue reading

[facetwp pager='true']