Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 9 September, 2007


"Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth:

unite my heart to fear thy name" (Ps. 86:11)


Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Gideon, Mighty Man of Valour (1)

Israel’s Chastisement

Judges 6:1-10

I. In the Hand of the Midianites

II. Crying Out to the Lord

III. The Message of the Prophet

Psalms: 66:1-7; 102:1-8; 106:34-42; 83:1-8

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Messiah

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 12; Isaiah 42

I. His Office

II. His Work

III. His Praise

Psalms: 24:1-2, 7-10; 102:9-14; 2:1-8; 98:1-8


CPRC website:


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.

Catechism classes

Monday, 5:30 PM at the Murrays 

Monday, 7:00 PM with the Campbells at the manse 

Thursday, 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 the Saints."

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 debate 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 ( 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).

Reformation Day Lectures: "Lessons from the Reformation for Today" 

Friday, 26 October, 7:30 PM in Portadown Minor Town Hall 

Friday, 2 November, 8 PM in Ballymena Protestant Hall 

Friday, 9 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 (

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.



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 year.

Love and prayers,



Leaving the Word of God to Serve Parliamentary Tables

Martyn McGeown


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 states,

... The marks, by which the true church is known, are these: [1] if the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein; [2] if she maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ; [3] 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 (29).