Protestant Reformed Church
9 September, 2007
thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth:
heart to fear thy name"
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
Mighty Man of Valour (1)
I. In the
Hand of the Midianites
Out to the Lord
Message of the Prophet
Psalms: 66:1-7; 102:1-8; 106:34-42; 83:1-8
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Catechism, Lord’s Day 12; Isaiah 42
Psalms: 24:1-2, 7-10; 102:9-14; 2:1-8; 98:1-8
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
We welcome Nancy & Tim Hafer from
Southwest PRC to our worship services today.
Stephen Rushton was admitted to hospital
for a few days with chest pains. He is now awaiting results of tests.
Let us remember him in our prayers.
Tony Horne, known to many of us through BRF
Conferences, passed away on Thursday morning. The funeral is on
Wednesday in Aberdeen. Because Rev. Stewart plans to attend the
funeral, mid-week Bible study will start next week.
Women interested in meeting regularly for a
time of fellowship and Bible study, please meet in the cry room after
this evening’s service.
Membership Class: this week Tuesday at 8:30 PM
at the Hallidays.
5:30 PM at the Murrays
7:00 PM with the Campbells at the manse
7:00 PM at the Hamills
Rev. & Mary Stewart travel to Wales this week
Friday, where Rev. Stewart will give a lecture on "The Perseverance of
Midweek Bible Study starts next week
Wednesday, 19 September, at 7:45 PM at the manse. We will begin our
study of II Timothy with the opening verses.
Rev. Stewart has been asked to participate in a
on Revelation TV on Thursday, September 27, in London. The debate
topic is "The Charismatic Gifts and Cessationism." The debate can be
viewed on satellite TV and on the internet (www.revelationtv.com).
Remember this witness in your prayers.
The Lord’s Supper will be held on 30
September, with preparatory on 23 Sept.
Offerings: General Fund - £673.21, Building
Fund - £251.20. Donations: £50.
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day,
16 Sept. (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is entitled "God’s Design
for Marriage" (Gen. 2:24).
Day Lectures: "Lessons from the Reformation for Today"
October, 7:30 PM in Portadown Minor Town Hall
November, 8 PM in Ballymena Protestant Hall
November, 7:30 PM in Limerick School Project building
Website Additions: 1 Tagalog, 1 Dutch, and 4
Portuguese translations were added. We now have 95 different languages
and about 650 translated pieces. The top languages are Portuguese
(258), German (65), Italian (28), Russian (24), Spanish (22), Dutch
(18), French (17), Filipino (11), Ukrainian (10). Articles by Martyn
on D. L. Moody, Puritan Preparationism, and Calvin versus Sadolet are
now on-line (www.cprf.co.uk/articles.htm#churchhistory).
PRC News: Rev. R. Kleyn (Trinity, MI) declined
the call to Heritage PRF (Sioux Fall, SD). The new trio for Heritage
is Revs. A. Brummel (S. Holland, IL), Key (Hull, IA), and Van Overloop
(Byron Center, MI). Clay Spronk was examined and approved by Classis
West and was installed as the minister of Peace PRC this past Friday.
Classis West also granted the request of Hull PRC to form a daughter
congregation, Calvary PRC, consisting of about 50 families.
BACK OF THE BULLETIN
6 September, 2007
Dear saints in the CPRC,
I am now in my second year and second week of
Seminary training and it seems like I never left. I enjoyed my
all-to-brief time among you this past summer and I thank you for all
your kindness and hospitality, for the many tokens of goodwill and
Christian love, for the many remarks of encouragement, for the
interest you have shown in my work and the work in the Seminary, and
for your many prayers. I look forward to another good year with God’s
blessing and I am confident that you will remember me in your prayers
as I am mindful of you in mine.
This year we have 10 seminarians and that makes for
an interesting time: they are Nate Decker, Brian Huizenga, Vernon Ibe
(pronounced "eBay") and Jonathan Mahtani (1st year); David Torlach,
Dan Holstege and I (2nd year); Corey Griess and Nate Dykstra (3rd
year); and Heath Bleyenberg (4th year). All are godly young men and a
pleasure to know and work with. The Profs are very excited to have so
many students. The class sizes are now so big that we have to move
Church History into the main assembly room and in Dogmatics there is a
lot of jostling to get one’s lap-top plugged in. I am taking 6 courses
plus practice preaching. They are NT Exegesis and (Ancient) Church
History with Prof. Dykstra, Hebrew Reading and Dogmatics
(Ecclesiology) with Prof. Engelsma, and Poimenics and Catechetics with
Prof. Gritters. Sadly, I have no classes with Prof. Cammenga this
semester but he will be taking the Interim course (on "Modern Trends
in Roman Catholicism") after Christmas (DV).
Tonight (5th September) we had our official
convocation service for the Seminary "kick-off" although we officially
started last week. Prof. Cammenga gave a challenging address on "The
Minister as a Man of God" (I Tim. 6:11). Our only reaction must be:
"Who is sufficient for these things?" (II Cor. 2:16; see also II Cor.
3:5). It was good to see a lot of people at the Convocation: I met
Mary’s parents, and Susan Hall’s parents and many others. It was
encouraging to hear of their support of the seminary. Last Friday, we
also enjoyed our annual seminary picnic where I met all the wives and
families of the seminarians. All the new seminarians are married. When
Heath graduates at the end of this school year (DV) Dan Holstege and I
will be the only single guys left (unless something extraordinary
happens between now and then).
On the first day of Seminary we were given our
texts for practice preaching. I am due to hand in my sermon on Friday
5th October and preach it Monday 8th October (which is Rev. Stewart’s
birthday!), as is Dan. Of course, that will mean a lot of preparation
beforehand. Also, Prof. Gritters has organized for us to observe
catechism classes with local ministers and then teach two classes
under the minister’s supervision. I will be doing that with Rev. R.
Kleyn from Trinity PRC (DV). Therefore, on 1st and 8th October I will
be teaching OT history for Juniors; then after that I will have to do
it again with another minister (the second time Heidelberg
Catechism with teens). That should be rewarding work. It is one of
the great blessings of the PRC that they have sound Catechism
instruction for the youth. The fruit is obvious to anyone who visits
the PRC: large numbers of solidly Reformed, godly, young people who
love the Lord and His Church and are lively, faithful members,
marrying in the Lord and bringing forth a godly seed.
I look forward to hearing from you throughout the
Love and prayers,
Leaving the Word of God to Serve Parliamentary
A minister of the Word and sacraments is to give himself "wholly" or
"entirely" to the prayerful study and faithful preaching of the Holy
Scriptures (I Tim. 4:15; Acts 6:4). Thus he is to serve Christ as a
pastor or shepherd for the edification of his congregation.
Therefore, unless a church is unable to support a preacher
financially, he may not have a second job. This includes working in
politics. Yet Rev. Ian Paisley and Rev. William McCrea have been
working as preachers and politicians for decades.
The apostles refused to do the work of deacons alongside the
teaching labours of their office. They declared, "It is not reason
that we should leave the Word of God, and serve [dining] tables"
(Acts 6:2). But these Free Presbyterian ministers are leaving the
Word of God to serve parliamentary tables.
This has been allowed to go on in the Free Presbyterian Church for
many years, but now that some of its members object to the DUP's
power-sharing with Sinn Fein in the N. Ireland Assembly, many are
(rightly) questioning the lawfulness of having Christian ministers
in political office at all. It is not enough merely for Rev. Paisley
to stand down as Free Presbyterian moderator, after over half a
century in that position. A Christian pastor ought not also be a
politician at all, never mind First Minister!
Now it would appear that this sin against the first mark of a true
church (faithful preaching of the gospel) is leading to sin against
the third mark of a true church (faithful church discipline).
Magherafelt Free Presbyterian elder, Raymond Linton has been
"suspended" from his church office and is no longer able to receive
the Lord's Supper for opposing Rev. Paisley's political activities
(Newsletter, 18 July, 2007). This is basically excommunication, the
final stage of church discipline (Matt 18:15-17; I Cor. 5), which
may only be used in cases where members walk wilfully and
impenitently in sin, for example, adultery, sodomy, drunkenness or
the like (I Cor. 6:9-11). Disagreeing with the denomination's
moderator is not an excommunicable offence.
Sadly, many churches in N. Ireland are woefully lacking in any
discipline (allowing members to maintain heresies or lead wicked
lives), but now the Free Presbyterian Church appears to be using
discipline tyrannically. What structure exists in the Free
Presbyterian Church for appeal if the local session and the
presbytery are the only governing bodies? This is very serious
because along with pure preaching and the proper administration of
the sacraments, faithful church discipline is one of the three marks
of a true church.
Thus the Belgic Confession (1561), a Reformation creed
... The marks, by which the true church is known, are these: 
if the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein;  if
she maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as
instituted by Christ;  if church discipline is exercised in
punishing of sin: in short, if all things are managed according
to the pure Word of God, all things contrary thereto rejected,
and Jesus Christ acknowledged as the only Head of the church.
Hereby the true church may certainly be known, from which no man
has a right to separate himself. With respect to those, who are
members of the church, they may be known by the marks of
Christians: namely, by faith; and when they have received Jesus
Christ the only Saviour, they avoid sin, follow after
righteousness, love the true God and their neighbour, neither
turn aside to the right or left, and crucify the flesh with the
works thereof. But this is not to be understood, as if there did
not remain in them great infirmities; but they fight against
them through the Spirit, all the days of their life, continually
taking their refuge in the blood, death, passion and obedience
of our Lord Jesus Christ, 'in whom they have remission of sins,
through faith in him.' As for the false church, she ascribes
more power and authority to herself and her ordinances than to
the Word of God, and will not submit herself to the yoke of
Christ. Neither does she administer the sacraments as appointed
by Christ in his Word, but adds to and takes from them, as she
thinks proper; she relieth more upon men than upon Christ; and
persecutes those, who live holily according to the Word of God,
and rebuke her for her errors, covetousness, and idolatry. These
two churches are easily known and distinguished from each other