For the past three years the Standard Bearer has come to our address. Invariably, unlike the many other periodicals received, it is read from cover to cover. Why is that? Perhaps the first reason is that its writers take the Bible as truly being the Word of God, avoiding all the theological gobbledygook too often found in Reformed circles which severely qualifies the Word. Because we live in serious times, as the series of articles, “Signs of the Times,” in the Standard Bearerdisclose, the articles are serious. Well they should, for the Christian life and one’s eternal destiny are not matters of light import.
Then, too, I appreciate the fact that the Standard Bearer makes a clear defense for the Reformed faith and confessions as we both, whether Protestant Reformed or Christian Reformed, were taught in yesteryear. As a member of the Christian Reformed Church, I see my denomination being torn at the seams. It is sad to see leaders questioning the doctrines of election and reprobation within the Reformed fold. It hurts to see pastors pushing for women in the threefold offices of the church. One wonders what might occur to our denomination when there are ministers that question the historicity of Adam. The seeds of doubt and questioning are being sown now, but what will their sprouts of unrest and dispute bode later for the church?
It is good to see that the Standard Bearer stands for the antithetical stance of the Christian. There is a place for that in the Christian walk of life, though one realizes that it should avoid the tangles of legalisms that can so easily slip in. The tension is ever present for the Christian to avoid the extremes of self-righteous Pharisaism on one hand and of worldliness on the other. I was not impressed when my own Synod spent too many hours on the matters of pleasure (dancing) we Christians should enjoy. The time of a major body should be spent on things of more serious consideration.
The series of articles entitled “Signs of the Times” in the Standard Bearer reassures me there is a branch of the Reformed Church that takes eschatology seriously. I neither read nor hear much about the second coming of our Lord in my own denomination. Has our enriched affluent life style made us too comfortable in this world of sin?
Perhaps what hurts most is that I know there are so many ministers my age or older (I am sixty) in the denomination who are solidly grounded in the Reformed faith who, cling to the convenience of silence rather than make a bold stand for the faith of our fathers. Retirement should not atrophy into prudential silence.
So, may the Standard Bearer continue to do what it does so well now. You are not only a blessing to your own membership but to others as well.
John H. Sietsema