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All Articles For Vanden, Berg G

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By the above sub-caption we do not have in mind, first of all, the parts that constitute our formal worship. Concerning these we will have something to say after a bit; but before doing so we must mention an element of our worship that must be considered before we actually enter the house of God to participate in the songs, prayers, preaching, etc. We refer to the element of “togetherness”; unity with fellow-saints in the holy presence of God. Worship is not individualparticipation in the various steps of a prearranged program.

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In this issue of The Standard Bearer we want to share with our readers an article written in 1952 by Rev. J.G. Vos of the Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) Church. Rev. Vos is also Editor and Manager of Blue Banner Faith And Life, a quarterly publication that is devoted to “expounding, defending and applying the system of doctrine set forth in the Word of God and summarized in the Standards of this church.” Originally the article referred to appeared under the heading, “Wrong Tendencies In The Use of The Psalms” and was later republished under the caption, “Ashamed Of The Tents Of Shem?” We...

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Many and varied are the activities of the worshippers when they gather together in the house of God. Perhaps many of us are not even aware of all that transpires in the short span of ninety minutes spent in church. Much of what we do is done so routinely that we fail to be impressed with the significance of each step in the order of worship. Our mind and will is not always in that spiritual frame that is requisite for us to enter consciously into that exercise of “worshipping in spirit and in truth;” and, consequently, the elements of...

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We do not have in our churches a denominationally accepted Order of Worship. Each church is at liberty to arrange the elements of worship in an order that is most conducive to the edification of the particular church. However, although there may be some slight variations here and there, we believe that all of our churches follow an order similar to that found on the weekly bulletin of the First Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That order of worship is the following:  Organ prelude  *Doxology—”Praise God. . .”  *Votum and Benediction 

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With our readers we also will share the views of our own emeritus Professor G.M. Ophoff who in hisChurch Right writes on the 69th Article of the Church Order as follows: “1. The Psalms. In the Roman Catholic church the choir sings and the congregation was silent. Calvin also introduced singing by the congregation, and collected for it a bundle of Psalms of Clement Marot and Beza. He had the tunes composed by Louis Bourgois and Maitre Piere, and began teaching these tunes to some persons and school children. The example he set was followed by the Reformed churches generally. The...

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It has been claimed that the whole question of “hymnology” does not involve a matter of principle. The argument is that as long as the hymns are doctrinally sound so that they do not conflict in any way with the Word of God, they may be sung in the churches. To this point in our writings on this subject we have conceded this argument because it was our first aim to show that even though the introduction of hymns into the worship services of our churches violates no principle, there are many practicalconsiderations that prove this innovation undesirable. It must be admitted, however,...

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In our worship today the congregation is led by the minister of the Word, before the preaching of the sermon, in a rather comprehensive prayer that contains various elements. Then, immediately after the sermon, the minister leads in another prayer that is usually very brief. Now this order was not always followed in, Reformed Churches. From the collection of Christian Prayers handed down in our Dutch liturgy and translated into the English, we learn that some centuries ago prayers were used and designated for use after the preaching of the sermon.

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The eighty-second article of the church order treats the matter of the consistory issuing certificates or attestations of membership to those who remove from the congregation. We have already pointed out that in our churches there are two such certificates. One is a transfer certificate that is used when members, baptized and communicant, move from one church to another within the denomination. The other is a dismissal certificate that is issued to those who leave the churches. 

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