Loveland Welcomes New Pastor
It is with joy that we herewith express our gratitude to our covenant God in the blessed truth that He is ever the faithful one.
In November of 1961 it pleased our God to suddenly call out of our midst our beloved pastor, the Rev. H.H. Kuiper; and leave us without an undershepherd. It was during the next well-nigh two years that we were to be left without a pastor of our own, and as a congregation we went through a period of calling a new minister.
Time and again there were consistory meetings, new trios, congregational meetings, call letters and declines, until it pleased our new pastor, Rev. D. Engelsma, to heed our call to “come over and help us,” and thus become our new pastor.
Looking back over this period of time, we are indeed grateful to our God, Who so abundantly provided for us. In time of “hope” and in time of “discouragement” He always provided for the needs of the congregation.
Time and again we received preaching, guidance, and understanding from ministers appointed here 1rom both Classis West and Classis East, as well as extra help and efforts on our behalf from all our ministers.
We wish to express our sincere Thank-you to our moderator, Rev. J. Kortering, for his sincere help and guidance during our vacancy.
It was in August of this year that then Candidate D. Engelsma announced to the congregation that it is his firm conviction that it is the good pleasure and will of the King of the Church that he accept the call extended to him by us. After being examined by Classis West in September, he was ordained as Minister of the Gospel; and Loveland received new fruit of our Seminary.
Now Rev. and Mrs. Engelsma having been welcomed at a reception, and the Reverend having preached his inaugural sermon, we are busily engaged as pastor and congregation in the activities of the church of our God.
Being thankful to, God for sending us this youthful servant, whom He has seen fit to call and ordain in our Protestant Reformed Churches to labor now in our midst, we look forward and backward, confident that our God is good, and herewith want to share with the readers of The Standard Bearer this joy and blessed experience.
The Consistory of the Loveland Protestant Reformed Church
—Wm. A. Griess, Sec’y
Report of the Eastern Ladies’ League Meeting
The Fall meeting of our Eastern Ladies’ League was held Thursday evening October 24, 1963 at the South East Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids.
Mrs. B. Maring played an organ prelude. We opened our meeting by singing Psalter No. 374 and the Holland Psalm No. 42, verse 1. Mrs. J. Kalsbeek, our Vice President, read Ephesians, chapter 4. Rev. H. Veldman offered prayer.
A sextet from our Hope Protestant Ref. Church sang numbers 25 and 220 from the Psalter. Rev. H. Veldman then spoke to us on the subject, “The Merger of Churches, a Sign of the Times.”
The Merger of Churches, a Sign of the Times
This is a broad subject, but we can draw some general lines that are of interest to us. First, look, at the Sign, second, the Significance of the Sign and, in conclusion, the Failure of the Sign of the merger of churches.
Let us look at this Sign in its historical background. Prior to the Reformation, the church world witnessed a tremendous phenomenon, for until 1054 there was only one church of God in the world. There were heretical movements during these centuries, but the church remained as one. In 1054 a great schism took place. There was a split between the East and the West, between the Greeks. and the Latin, between Constantinople and Rome. The church was split in two. Four hundred and sixty-three years later the Reformation took place.
On October 31, 1517, the fearless German reformer, Martin Luther, who was monk, priest, doctor of divinity, set the whole church world ablaze when he nailed his ninety-five theses on the door of the church of Wittenberg. The movement of the Reformation was the greatest movement in the church since the apostles, for it brought back the doctrine that man is saved by faith alone and not by works, that a believer did not need any one to intercede for him but that he could pray directly to God, and third, the return of the Word of God in the hands of the people.
Since the Reformation the Roman Catholic church has been intact but the Protestant church has been split into many churches. We cannot blame the Reformation for this, but the human heart and mind are to blame. For, to have man interpret Scripture gives the Devil the opportunity to cause splits in the churches.
What is going on today in the church world? The late Pope John XXIII convened the Roman Catholic Council and he invited many Protestants as observers. He referred to them as erring Protestant brethren. His successor, Paul VI, has decided to walk in the footsteps of his predecessor. We do not look for Rome to regain its former glory or power, but we do look for Rome to join forces with the Anti-Christ.
As to the merger of the Protestant churches, we could go on in detail, but in general we will give a few statistics. In Canada in 1925, thee large churches combined into one. They were the Methodist, the Presbyterian and the Congregationalist. They formed the United Church of Canada. In the United States in 1935, several of the larger Protestant bodies united to form the National Council of Churches. In 1950 the World Council of Churches was formed. However, three large groups did not join the World Council. They are the Russian Orthodox, the Roman Catholic and the Southern Baptist.
There are several passages of Scripture that refer to the church in the latter days, such as Rev. 13 which speaks of the two beasts meaning the Anti-Christ. II Tim. 4 tells us that the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. In spite of all this, our comfort is in Lord’s Day XXI which teaches: “That the Son of God from the beginning to the end of the world, gathers, defends, and preserves to himself by His Spirit and Word, out of the whole human race, a church chosen to everlasting life, agreeing in true faith; and that I am and for ever shall remain, a living member thereof.”
Christ, the Son of God, represents the living God in the church. In His atoning suffering and death He vindicates the living God over against the sinner. God must be maintained and His righteousness must be satisfied. Because Christ represents the living God, the world crucified Him, but God the Father raised Him from the dead. A merger is sinful when it means a sacrifice of the truth. The true church is called and gathered through God’s irresistible grace. In a merger there is a place for the Son of God in a humanitarian sense but not as the Son of God incarnate. They do not confess sin or guilt and therefore they do not need a Saviour. They deny His cross. Modern mergers do not speak of irresistible grace, nor of a God whose kingdom is not of this world. They are earthly and sinful, therefore must fail. Growth and expansion are not signs of the true church.
We are small but we have a wonderful gospel. We need not concern ourselves about size but we should concern ourselves about our faithfulness to the truth which God has revealed to us. “When the Son of Man returns, shall He find faithfulness on the earth?” Mergers must fail for who can stop the work of the Son of God? Remember that the cause of the Son of God always has the victory and it will be revealed that through the church in the world God was gathering glory and praise to His everlasting name.
We sang Psalter No. 261 while a collection was taken for The Standard Bearer.
Next, we were favored by a book review by Mrs. D. Jonker, on “The Gallant Warrior,” by Helen R. Mann.
The minutes of the Spring League Meeting were read, Roll Call was taken and the treasurer gave a report.
The old and new Board Members were asked to come to the front and sing Psalter No. 203. They were accompanied by Miss Sybil Engelsma.
Mrs. Kalsbeek thanked all who had taken part in the program, also the host society.
Our closing song was No. 17 and Mrs. G. Lanting, our new Vice President, closed the meeting with prayer.
The ladies gathered in the basement for a social hour and refreshments were served by the ladies of our South East Church.
—Mrs. Thomas Newhof, Reporter