In the March 1 Banner Mr. T. Stob, who is a member of the Christian Reformed Church (the Second Church of Englewood, Chicago) writes a few lines in connection with the Centennial of his Church; and he is not so very enthusiastic about it. He wonders whether instead of rejoicing he should not put up a doleful lamentation, when he considers the trend toward which his Church is moving. Says he: For the first time in 100 years many of our churches, have cancelled services which have been prescribed in our Church Order, referring to the Old Year’s services. And, his churches are getting bolder as the years pass by.
The writer laments that his Church compromised on the divorce and remarriage question. It can hardly be refuted that never before in the history of our Church have’ evidences of spiritual decline been so apparent as in recent years, so he writes. Satan is freely admitted into our homes, and on the Lord’s Day we satisfy our desire for entertainment by means of television; in some meetings Hollywood movies are replacing the study of God’s Word; the line of demarcation between the Christian and the world is fast disappearing. The spirit of jazz is taking hold, and materialism is gaining rapidly, so the writer laments.
However, around this dark picture he sees a bright lining.
The writer is grateful that in his Church there are leaders who have the conviction to warn and oppose such conditions which made inroads in his Church, and he is grateful to his God for the showers of blessings which He poured down upon them during the past 100 years.
But you must remembers, Mr. Stob, that blessings are not merely in things, but only if we receive them in God’s favor, and this also holds for the celebration of the Centennial of your Church. Do you remember 1924? I cannot forget, and am convinced in my mind that then and there your Church went wrong; that she put up three points of doctrine which are not found in your Confessions, neither in Scripture. There lies all your trouble, and if your Church does not confess its sin before God and men, then it is a hopeless case, and the blessings of our covenant God cannot rest upon your Church. Do you remember what your Church has done in the Kalamazoo Synod of ’24? She threw out ministers which were truly Reformed (according to your own records), because she did not want the truth anymore; but who am I that I should warn you? Men of more knowledge and ability have warned your Church time and again, but to no avail.
In the same Banner, on page 4, the Rev. Vander Ploeg writes in “Editorials” on “Enthusiastically Reformed,” and he comments by saying: Our Centennial will surely be a farce unless we as individuals and as a denomination are enthusiastically Reformed.
Now, then, I can inform you that it surely will be a farce, for your denomination is not Reformed, and so there is not any reason to be enthusiastic.
Today the Christian Reformed Church believes in the free offer of grace; in the free will of man; that God is gracious to all in the preaching of the Word; that God checks sin; and that the ungodly can perform good deeds in the sight of God. Now this is not Calvinism but Arminianism and Pelagianism.
Now, Rev. Vander Ploeg, your Church lost its distinctiveness and turned apostate, and the “Ecclesia reformata est reformanda” cannot be applied to your churches anymore.
It looks out of place that the pictures of Rev. A. Brummelkamp and Rev. H. De Cock are printed in your “Editorials,” who became professors at Kampen shortly after the Secession in 1834 from the Established Church in the Netherlands. The meaning is of course that your Church is just as pure as the Churches of the Secession were in lS34.
I would have pictured there the heads of Prof. Berkhof, the father of the three fatherless children, and Rev. Eldersveld, the radio preacher from coast to coast; and, remember, Rev. Eldersveld, your responsibility is great.’
Would to God that even now, while you celebrate the Centennial of your Church, you would follow in the footsteps of De Cock and Brummelkamp, who never preached a “Christ pro omnibus,” but a Christ for His elect people.