Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 23 April, 2017

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind ...” (Rom. 12:2)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

God’s Dead Shall Live!  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 26
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 22

I. The Resurrection
II. The Power
III. The Song
Psalms: 145:1-8; 35:15-20; 17:8-15; 16:6-11

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Conclusion to Christ’s Farewell Discourse (5)
Two Little Whiles  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: John 16:12-28
Text: John 16:16-22

I. The Meaning of Christ’s Intriguing Saying
II. The Illustration of the Disciples’ Emotional Responses
III. The Application of This Scripture to Us
Psalms: 24:1-6; 35:21-28; 30:1-7a; 63:1-8

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider

Herman Hoeksema on Lord’s Day 22: “When we consider what becomes of our bodies in physical death, how completely they are disintegrated and dissolved into their elements, how literally they return unto the dust whence they were taken, so that their substances become part of other bodies; if we contemplate how many bodies of the believers were never buried but were drowned in the depths of the sea, cut to pieces, or burned at the stake and their ashes blown to the four winds of heaven, the resurrection becomes utterly inconceivable. It seems easier to think of it as a new creation. Yet God will unite all those bodies with their proper souls. He is the one who calls the things that were not as if they were and quickens the dead. He is God, and he becomes known as God exactly in his performing wondrous things. Always his way is in the sea, and the things that are impossible with man are possible with him. He who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit who dwells in us” (Abundant Mercy, p. 112).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

The April Covenant Reformed News is available on the back table.

The Tuesday Bible Study meets at 11 AM to consider living in the promised land according to Deuteronomy.

The Belgic Confession Class meets on Wednesday at 7:45 PM to conclude our study of church authority (article 32) on composing ecclesiastical laws and administering discipline. This will be the last class of the season.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846 MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. R. Kleyn is “Obedience From the Heart” (Ex. 20:17).

Men’s Bible Study will meet on Friday, 5 May, at 10:30 AM at the church (coinciding with Ladies’ Bible Study) to discuss chapter 1 of Paul Tripp’s War of Words.

Rev. McGeown will be preaching for us on 7 May, while Rev. Stewart is in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship. There will be tea after the evening service that Sunday (Group C on the tea rota).

The Council meets on Monday, 8 May at 7:30 PM at church.

Plan now to attend a CPRC lecture by Rev. Stewart on “Are All Men in the Image of God?” on Friday, 12 May, at 7:30 PM.

Family visitation will begin in mid-May.

Offerings: General Fund: £651.30.

Translations: 1 Hungarian, 1 Czech and 1 Portuguese.

PRC News: Southwest PRC called Rev. Griess (Calvary, IA). Byron Center PRC will call a domestic missionary from a trio of Revs. Haak, Key and Spronk. Rev. Huizinga declined the call to be missionary to the Philippines. Zion PRC’s new trio is Revs. Decker, Eriks and R. Kleyn. Rev. Key declined the call from First Holland PRC. Their new trio is Revs. Haak, R. Kleyn and Kuiper.

Family Values: Is Education Among Them?

Brian D. Dykstra


“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Col. 3:23).

An article written by William Raspberry appeared in the Grand Rapids Press (11 September, 2004). He titled his article, “The foundation of any child’s school success—a good home.” Mr. Raspberry begins,

Show me a home where education and learning are central values, and where the parents are reasonably competent at the business of child-rearing, and I’ll show you the home of a good student.
The correlation ... isn’t perfect ... But the correlation between good homes and good students stands. Further, the clearest identifying characteristic of what we call a good school is a critical mass of children from good homes.
If this is so, why do our public policies pay so little attention? Listen to our school leaders and you’d think the difference between school success and school failure lies in the quality of the superintendent, the size of the school budgets or the academic backgrounds and skill levels of the teachers.

After mentioning vouchers, charter schools and other programs, Mr. Raspberry continues,

I don’t mean to suggest that the things that schools and school districts do don’t matter. Of course it matters to have qualified teachers, principals who can provide safety and support, budgets that furnish the tools of learning and competent staff to bring all these things together.
But it matters more what parents do—and believe.
My point is not to let the schools off the hook, but to offer an explanation of why a torrent of school reforms over the past few decades has brought the merest trickle of improvement. We’ve not paid enough attention to improving the homes our children come from.

For Mr. Raspberry, however, what parents “believe” has nothing to do with God’s truth, biblical faith or the keeping of baptismal vows. Mr. Raspberry is speaking only of what parents believe about the power of education. “How can they tell their children of the wonders education will open up for them? Well, they can’t—unless they believe it. And they won’t believe it unless those of us who know the truth take the trouble to teach them.”

From this point, Mr. Raspberry speaks about government programs such as Head Start, Parents As Teachers and a program he began and funds in his Mississippi hometown called Baby Steps. Mr. Raspberry writes, “We tell them that the best help they can give is to make their children know how much they value learning.”

Mr. Raspberry is right as far as he goes, and it is clear that his concern is limited to public education. The family is a fundamental institution created by God. The overall condition of families determines the condition of schools, churches, denominations and even society on a national level. While I was taking graduate classes at Michigan State University as part of a group of thirty teachers, only three of whom taught at Christian schools, the topic of families was discussed often. Single parent and “blended” families are now the norm. A fellow student in the class mentioned that the decline of American family life could even be seen in the school directory. There were multiple entries for most of the students because their weekend address was different from their school day address. Grandparents were sometimes listed because there were times when the single parent was temporarily unfit to provide care. It was awful just to listen to what some of these children had to endure.

I was usually allowed to keep a low profile in these classes because the solutions I had offered in other discussions were quite out of fashion, as you can imagine. I still remember, however, the reaction of the class when the professor turned to me and asked about the condition of the families which used our school. There was disbelief when I reported that out of the nearly ninety families which used our school at that time, there were no blended families, no broken homes, all of the couples were on their first marriage and there was only one single-parent family because it had pleased God to take a mother in death. They wondered how that was even possible. I simply told them that God’s commandments are to be taken seriously and that there are consequences for sin. The discussion moved on.

Yet, Mr. Raspberry’s article causes us to ask how much we as parents value education. Are our schools just a haven from the world and false doctrine, and whatever they learn is just a bonus? Are we satisfied when our children do less than their best or do sloppy, careless work? Do we let them say they hate school or act as though they have no interest in learning anything? As a teacher, I do try to make lessons interesting, but I cannot make students care.

Do our children see us read anything other than the newspaper? Do we show interest in the subjects they study? Do we strive to have our children miss as little school time as possible because of vacations or appointments?

God has blessed us for many years through our schools. The churches of our denomination grow where we have our own schools. Our children have a wonderful opportunity to learn about God’s creation and the unfolding of His council in time. We must make good, diligent use of our schools while we still have them. We sometimes speak of the day our schools close as being the day when our government forces us to do so. How remote is the possibility that we close our schools ourselves because of a lack of interest or not valuing Christian education enough to make the sacrifices our schools require?