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For the news column of this issue of the Standard Bearer, the mailman was hardly cooperative. During the past two weeks he brought not one single church bulletin. Bulletins have been slow in coming on occasion in the past, but this is the first time I’ve hadnone. None that are new, that is. Without my little box, I would be in bad trouble. Just imagining the predicament in which I could otherwise find myself, is enough to give me gray hair—which, come to think of it, would be a vast improvement, on a head as smooth as mine.
Previously three articles appeared dealing generally, and for the most part, with the mode of baptism. The first, Various Baptisms, appeared in TSB, Vol. 47, No. 1l;Mar. 1, 1971, p. 261; the second followed in Various Baptisms Exemplifying One Baptism, Vol. 47, No. 20, Sept. 1, 1971, p. 477; and the third was The Mode of the One Baptism, Vol. 48, No. 8, Jan. 15, 1972, p. 181. The first proved there were many baptisms in the Old Testament, and all, every one of them, were by sprinkling and pouring. None were by immersion.
Defending Calvinism is simply a matter of defending the gospel. Therefore, we do not defend it apologetically, or defensively, or even as if its fortunes were doubtful, dependent on our defense. As the truth of God, Calvinism stands and will stand—victoriously and gloriously. God Himself maintains it and God Himself sends it forth on an irresistible course of conquest throughout the world. Calvinism is the gospel for every age. It is the truth for which and by which the Reformation of the Church of Jesus Christ took place in the 16th century.
Many of our readers will recall that there is also pending before the GKN the case of Dr. H. Wiersinga. The latter, in a doctoral dissertation approved by the Theological Faculty of the Free University, openly and blatantly contradicted the Reformed view of the atonement and of reconciliation. A preliminary decision in that case: was reached early in 1972. On this we reported in Vol. 48, pp. 338-341. We characterized that decision as a Laodicean decision. It was another one of those delay-and-dialogue decisions.
Apparently this is the end of the Kuitert matter as far as the Synod of the Gereformeerde Kerken is concerned. True, there will be on-going talks. But these will take place “within the framework of the normal discussions between the commission and the faculty.” And this means that there is no more Kuitert case as such.
As we stated in the beginning of the previous editorial, this matter has been pending for a long time. And to understand this most recent decision it is necessary to view it against the background of previous developments.
Our readers will recall that ever since the Synod of Sneek, 1969-’70, the matter of the views of Dr. Harry Kuitert has been pending in the Gereformeerde Kerken of the Netherlands. There has been discussion between him and a committee, with no final decision until now. Now, apparently, the discussion has been ended, and a decision has been reached.
Even as Adam and Eve brought forth a Cain as well as an Abel, so Seth and his sons brought forth unbelievers as well as they, those whom God was pleased to make believers. We always bring forth unbelievers. We give to our children a depraved nature and cannot give them anything else. When they have spiritual life, it is not because they had spiritual parents, but because God caused them to be born again. Spiritual life never comes to us by any physical connection we have with our parents, but by a spiritual union with Christ by His Spirit.
In this article we will pay close attention to the argument put forth by those who believe that the Bible allows for divorce and remarriage. Our emphasis is upon their Biblical reasoning. We will not deal with many of the emotional arguments involved in divorce and the sad consequence it brings upon an individual who has to either live alone or raise the family alone. These are indeed difficult experiences and we will have something to say about this later. For now our interest is in what the Word of God teaches.