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Report July 20, 1961 of Classis East meeting, July 5, at Hudsonville, Mich.: Rev. R. Veldman led in the opening devotions, and declared Classis properly constituted after the credentials of the delegates had been accepted. All the churches of Classis East were represented by two delegates except Creston, which had only one.
The summer months are the days for ecclesiastical, assemblies. Synods, Conventions, Conferences, or whatever they may be called, have met throughout the country, have adopted their resolutions for good or for bad, and have gone home. Reading over the countless reports of all these ecclesiastical assemblies, one is struck by the fact that the main topic of discussion and resolution throughout practically all of them was the topic of church merger. There have been several important developments.
According to our Church Order, one of the requirements for admission to the table of the Lord is that a confession of the Reformed religion be made by the applicant. This means that in Reformed Churches the principle of “closed communion” is maintained. Only those who are believers in confession and life have the right to the sacraments.
It stands to reason, therefore, in the light of what we have said previously (confer May 15 issue) concerning this attribute of God’s eternity, that it is ultimately impossible to produce a definition in the true sense of the word. This is in a way true concerning all God’s attributes, but especially applies to those attributes which we sometimes call “incommunicable.” The truth of God’s simplicity, together with the divine incomprehensibility, precludes this. God in His eternity is the Incomprehensible One.
The main principles of the Reformation, we have noted in previous articles, are usually considered to be two: the formal and the material. According to the formal principle, the Reformation acknowledged only one source of authority, the Holy Scriptures. With this principle they stood opposed to Roman Catholicism, False Mysticism (Quakers, Anabaptists, etc.), and to Rationalism. The Roman Catholic Church acknowledged, besides the Word of God, also Tradition as a source of authority; Protestantism recognized only the sixty-six canonical books.
Many of us are acquainted with this passage from the pen of Paul, written by the Apostle as he was driven by the Holy Spirit, in which he enjoins Timothy to teach the church at Ephesus that prayers be made for all men.
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord . . . Exodus 15:3
We have seen that the new creation and the new Jerusalem are united in Christ. Christ is the head of the church not only, but also the head of the new creation. And because Christ is the head of all, therefore the new Jerusalem and the new creation are very glorious. In fact, they are so glorious that we cannot even conceive of the glory that shall be. We can only imagine and speak of that glory in earthly terms, as also Scripture does. But sure it is that the new creation will be exceedingly glorious, far more glorious even...
Of interest to our readers will be the following correspondence concerning Sunday military training. Through the courtesy of our Stated Clerk, the Rev. G. VandenBerg, we have received copies of various replies to letters sent by our Synod of 1961 concerning this matter. Upon overture from our Creston Consistory and from Classis East, the Synod decided to send the following letter to Major General Donald W. McGowan, Chief, National Guard; Chief of Reserve Affairs, Department of the Army (Navy, Marines, Air Corps); and Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense.
We were discussing the hymn question as it was before our last Synod. Those that argued against the motion to adopt hymns to be sung in our churches objected that there was no need of hymns for the simple reason that there is sufficient material in our present psalter for almost every occasion. It was granted that this is not the case with respect to the resurrection of Christ and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as He was poured out on the day of Pentecost. As to the latter, the Psalter has a few references to the truth concerning...