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In the middle of the last decade, at which time it had long since become apparent that the denominationally controlled theological seminaries of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (commonly referred to as the Southern Presbyterian Church) were irreversibly apostate, a group of conservative leaders in that denomination began to lay plans for the establishment of a seminary which would train men for the Gospel Ministry in the Biblical Faith. Those plans led to the founding of what is now known as the Reformed Theological Seminary, located in Jackson, Mississippi. 

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Now from this there was a spiritual awakening in the denomination and the fellowships and in several other places. Firstly, among the Baptists. Five Baptist pastors appeared to grasp the truth of the doctrines of grace. At least they all had varying degrees of this grasp. And what they knew they commenced to preach in their congregations. And when they preached it, it caused an upheaval in their congregations. I can remember preaching on the doctrine of election and on total depravity. Now I’ll never forget that.

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“We wish to stress that the work of preparation (for our fiftieth anniversary as churches) should not be postponed, but should begin immediately. A worthwhile celebration will depend to a large degree on very thorough planning and advance work. The occasion is a momentous one—not because of what we are and have done, but because of what our covenant God has wrought for, in, and through, us. Our aim should be to make the thankful commemoration of this anniversary commensurate with the momentous character of the occasion.”

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We have been reminded of the solemn calling and responsibilities of the office-bearer of the church of Christ as we have only a short time ago witnessed the installation of the elders and deacons. This is a good time, in the first place, further to reflect upon their position in the church as those who are lawfully called of God’s church and consequently of God Himself and, secondly, to consider our calling and responsibility with respect to them.

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Many are extremely concerned with developments in recent years within the Reformed community. We have reached such a sorry state that today, when one receives into his home a magazine as the Reformed Journal, a person is inclined to examine the magazine carefully before allowing it to lie around where his young children may read it. The movie reviews particularly in that magazine are oftentimes downright evil and a discredit to the name “Reformed” and “Christian.” Many are sincerely concerned about this and other evidences of worldliness in the church.

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(Editor’s Note. The following editorial from Volume IV of the Standard Bearer is dated, as will be evident from some of its references. But in its main thrust it is very much up-to-date, both for the young and the not-so-young. Why do I place it? I have in mind not only the amusement-craze in general, whose inroads have been all too large among us—if we will only examine ourselves.

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The nature of the work of the diaconate is oftentimes misunderstood in the Church of Christ. This misunderstanding is revealed frequently by the members of the church and by the deacons themselves. More than one well-meaning deacon, when seeking out the poor, has received a sharp rebuff from an unjustly irritated member of the church to whom the deacons had offered financial assistance in Christ’s name. You see, the unjustly irritated church member was insulted by the fact that these deacons had the audacity even to think that she or he might be poor!

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