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Fellow Members of the Body of Christ

Although I am a member of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC), I find your magazine to be a wonderful source of biblical truth and doctrine. But I wanted to comment on your editorial “A Temptation of the PRC” (Standard Bearer, March 1, 2002). I am a young man of only 24, so I have not fully researched the history of the common grace/particular grace controversy between the CRC and the PRC. But I want to point out that there are still Christian Reformed churches today that are true to the Word of God and that profess the Canons of Dort. Not all Christian Reformed churches view “the biblical, confessional doctrines of predestination, limited atonement, and irresistible grace” as a dead letter. To make such broad statements is not only foolish, but unbiblical, especially when there is sufficient proof otherwise. I love the doctrines set forth in the Bible, and because of that I will stay in the CRC to “fight the good fight.” If this is spineless in the eyes of the PRC, so be it. I view the members of the PRC as fellow members of the body of Christ. It would be a blessing if the PRC did the same.

Micah VanMaanen

Member, Calvin CRC

Rock Valley, IA

Response:

The question is not whether members of the PRC regard members of the CRC like yourself as members of the body of Christ. We do. The issue is the true church as clearly distinguished by the three marks, according to Article 29 of the Belgic Confession.

Specifically, is the CRC as a denomination of churches more and more displaying the marks of a false church in spite of the urgent and not un-loving warning of her concerned, but despised, daughter, the PRC? Does the CRC as a denomination of churches reject the authority of Holy Scripture, e.g., concerning the real, historical days of Genesis 1 and 2 and concerning the exclusion of females from office in the church (I Tim. 2, 3)? Has the CRC as a denomination of churches committed herself to a gospel-message of universal, ineffectual grace? Does the CRC as a denomination of churches corrupt the sacraments, both Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, by allowing the openly unbelieving and ungodly to use them, e.g., men and women living impenitently in unbiblical divorce and remarriage, that is, adultery? Does the CRC as a denomination of churches refuse to discipline renowned heretics and others living in public sin, although she refuses to repent of her sin of wickedly deposing and excommunicating men whose offense was that they defended the truth of sovereign, particular grace, namely, the founders of the PRC? The answer to all of these questions is yes.

I gently remind you that it was not the PRC who cast out the members of the CRC as unworthy to be members with them of the body of Christ.

I confess that I do not see Christian Reformed churches defending the Canons of Dordt against the attacks in the CRC on the doctrines of the Canons. Where are the writings? Where are the protests? Where are the “here-we-stand” battles of the Lord on the floor of classis and synod?

You remain in the CRC to “fight the good fight.” Your zeal is commendable. The editorial to which you respond brings to your attention the necessity of your first battle. An ordained minister in the CRC wrote publicly in the official magazine of the CRC, the Banner, denying the fundamental article of the Canons of Dordt: election as the eternal, sovereign, particular decree of God. He wrote in flagrant violation of his subscription vow never “publicly nor privately [to] propose, teach, or defend the same [disagreement with the Canons], either by preaching or writing.”

What will you do about it?

— Ed.