The Rev. Baker is of the opinion that the Christian Reformed Churches still believe and teach that the Christian should live a life of spiritual separation from the world. Fact is, however, that they do not practice it, and they never will, as long as they do not go back to the Scriptures, and discard the doctrine of common grace.
The writer of the little pamphlet also makes the statement that the Christian Reformed Church teaches that the education of the children is the task of the parents, and that it is proper to organize Christian Elementary and High Schools for the purpose of assisting them in bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Of course we fully agree with that, but remember, also in this respect the present Christian Schools wean away from the Reformed truth, and they lose their Reformed distinctiveness ;and therefore as Protestant Reformed Churches we must have our own schools.
Christian Education is most essential; and in this intoxicating free-will church-world of today we must have sound Reformed Education given by thoroughly Reformed educators. Education which must be God- centered and not man-made; for let us remember that covenant children are a heritage of the Lord. Christian Education should be a true connecting link in our Reformed thinking.
If our children shall grow up as sturdy Reformed men and women then they must not only have a conception of truth in general, but in particular a distinctive Protestant Reformed teaching.
Schools must be thoroughly fundamental in their teaching. The Public Schools help produce the greatest reign of crime that American history knows. That is why parents in our own midst should not send their children there. They must bring them up in the fear of the Lord. That was their promise at baptism.
We must have schools of our own, which systematically teach our Protestant Reformed principles. Protestant Reformed parents teach their children in the home in accordance with our thoroughly Reformed truth (do they not?), and therefore as we plan to have a school of our own in the future, let it be our aim to help in this noble cause, and let not one of us minimize the importance of this worthy movement.
What would you think of Roman Catholic parents sending their children to a Lutheran school, or an Adventist who entrusts his child to a Reformed school, or Lutheran parents who send their children to a Roman Catholic school? You say, that is inconceivable, and you are right. And I assure you that a Christian Reformed parent will not send his child to a Protestant Reformed school. No one can blame us that we like to have a school of our own in the which our principles are taught.
Let us never forget, the Christian Reformed Church made a breach through their common grace doctrine; and they have used it, and still use it, as a bridge to meet the world, and enjoy mutual friendship together, but that bridge is not constructed for a true believer.
You may say: The present school has been good enough so far, but is this true? There was no other way, and of course the Public school,—that is out of the question. You may think there is nothing the matter with the present teaching, but have you investigated? This is everybody’s duty. You also may claim that it is not the time for it. How do you know?
Of course, those who are of the opinion that this movement is wrong, that we are not in the Lord’s way, that He frowns upon us, must refrain from supporting this noble cause. However, I have not heard one so bold in his speech. Let us put all our own petty notions away, and as one man steer in this one direction, namely, to have a school of our own; and then it does not make a particle of difference if we are married or single, if we have children or no children. “This is a common cause, and it means you!”
Furthermore, let us not grudge, but rejoice that we are deemed worthy to be co-workers with God, to bring up our children, which are His, in the fear of His name and in our Protestant Reformed principles; and let us show that we have not lost our distinctiveness.
Can we as Christians perform Sunday labor in our defense industries during the present National Emergency?
That was the topic of the lecture delivered by Rev. P. De Boer in the Fuller Ave. Church; April 9, which was very interesting and worth-while listening to, although it was discouraging that so few were present.
The speaker commenced by saying, that this question is not new. It refers not only to soldiers but also to civilians, especially in our own day. This question is often approached, not in the first place on a doctrinal basis but more on the basis as the need of the hour. But first of all we are interested in the Scriptural principle of it. May we perform labor on the Sabbath? and is it in accordance with Scripture, and if not, we must refrain from doing so.
Now, as Protestant Reformed people we interpret Scripture in its own light. We cannot take the fourth commandment strictly literally: Thou shalt not do any manner of work. The Jews knew this too, for on the Sabbath they did work. They killed their animals, as a sacrifice for their sins, by the thousands. Jesus also worked on the Sabbath day. He healed many sick, and He told the Pharisees and Scribes to free their ox and ass out of the pit on the Sabbath.
The fourth commandment has also meaning for us in the New Dispensation, although there are elements in it only for Israel of old. We have a freedom but not in sin, for we must use it to the glory of God. It is a positive and not a negative teaching.
The Synod of 1618 decided that work of mercy might be performed on Sunday, and also our Heidelberg Catechism speaks in this manner. The Rev. De Boer makes it clear, that work on the Sabbath cannot be placed in the same category with other commandments, for instance, you necessarily cannot kill, or steal, or commit adultery. The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. God brings necessary work to us on the Sabbath, and in this modern world we can hardly escape doing it.
In conclusion the speaker said: that the Government may require necessary work of the soldiers, and that holds also for the civilian. However, the true Christian will not say quickly, that Sunday labor is necessary. He knows the commandment, six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but on the seventh day thou shalt rest, and thus have a foretaste of the heavenly Sabbath above.