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First Protestant Reformed Church Splits In his rubric “Other Churches in the News”, the Rev. Peter Van Tuinen gave the readers of the Banner of July 31 a rather distorted and biased picture of the history that has been made recently in the First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids when he wrote under the above caption.
The last time we were discussing the first part of the fourth article of our church order. We wrote about some of the methods that are employed in nominating and calling a minister of the gospel. It was observed that our churches do not follow the letter of the church order in this matter. The latter, because of historical circumstances, advocates that the candidate be chosen by the consistory and deacons and then submitted to the members of the church for approbation.
This is indeed a most interesting subject. We can distinguish, as far as the government of the Church is concerned, between the episcopal and Presbyterian forms of church government. Incidentally, we have the Presbyterian form of church government. It is surely worthy of note that the episcopal form of church government characterized the life of the church of God until the Reformation. What do we mean by these two forms of church government? The Presbyterian form of church government is characterized by the rule of or by the elders, the consistory.
Hence, the Canons came into existence alongside our other two standards in a natural way, occasioned by an attack against the truth contained in those standards. And the position which the Canons occupy as a confession must be considered in this light. Their confessional authority and rank is, of course, the same, so that together the three creeds constitute our Three Forms of Unity. But as far as their content is concerned, the Three Forms are not at all coordinate.
Oh, No! How could one ever be afraid of the gospel? Why should we ever be afraid of it? Even Webster tells us that the word gospel means good news, glad tidings. How right he is, for the word used by the Scriptures and translated in our English by the word gospel literally means good news, glad tidings.
In our former article on I Peter 1:13 we noticed that the Apostle exhorts the pilgrim strangers unto hoping perfectly for the grace to be brought unto us in the revelation of Jesus Christ, that is, in the day when Christ shall be revealed fully to be the Son of God in power and glory.
The undersigned intends for a while to discontinue his expositions of the second book of Samuel with which he has been occupied in these articles and take up the treatment of the four great and the twelve minor prophets. However what will now be appearing under this rubric, “The Days of Shadows”, is not to be regarded as a commentary in the accepted sense of this term. The purpose is rather to give the thread of the argument of the prophet and to supply brief explanations as frequently as this may be necessary for the understanding of the argument.
The elect are betrothed to Christ from everlasting, in the covenant of the grace; they are actually married to Him, and join hands with Him, in coversion; but they are not taken home to the Bridegroom’s house until death dismisses them from the body. All God’s children are stillborn. They come spiritually dead into the world. And dead they continue till they are born again of the Holy Ghost. All the promises of man to man, ought to be conditional. It is only for God to make absolute promises; for He alone is unchangeable and omnipotent.
The question is not at all whether anyone, whether the natural man, can swear an oath, or whether the natural man can place someone under oath. It is true, of course, that this is frequently done because the law of the land demands it. An ungodly and unbelieving magistrate, therefore, is frequently required to put someone under oath, although he does not know and believe in the name of God as He has revealed Himself in Christ Jesus our Lord.
At this juncture it seems advisable and, indeed, necessary to interrupt my exposition of the heresy preached by the Rev. De Wolf in order to call the attention of our readers to the second issue of a paper that calls itself the Reformed Guardian and which is purported to be published in the interest of truth and justice. The paper, however, is neither Reformed nor a guardian of truth and justice.