Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

News from the PRC and Sister-Churches for the Week of June 16, 2019 *Updated

Ps 147 5 6On this twenty-fourth Lord's Day of 2019, June 16, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be mentioned.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • The Council of Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) has published a new trio from which to call her next pastor: Revs. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace, Spokane, WA), D. Lee (Bethel, IL), and J. Mahtani (Cornerstone, IN). The congregation plans to vote TODAY. *Update: Rev. R. Kleyn has received this call.

  • From Grandville PRC's bulletin today: "The Council presents the following trio for MOL to Singapore: Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville), Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA), Rev. B. Huizinga (Redlands, CA). The congregational meeting to call one of these ministers will be July 11 after the evening service."

  • Rev. S. Regnerus (Lynden, WA PRC) is leading the worship services and preaching for Immanuel PRC's (Lacombe, AB) today and next Sunday.

  • From Calvary PRC's (Hull, IA) bulletin today: "We welcome our home missionary, Rev Spriensma, to our pulpit today and pray God's blessing on the Word preached. Pastor Brummel is preaching for Bethel PRC today.
    The congregation is encouraged to stay after the second service this evening for Rev. Spriensma's presentation entitled “Our Home Missions: Reaching the Nones and the Dones.” Refreshments will be served afterward."

  • From a recent bulletin of Limerick Reformed Fellowship: "Pastor [Rev. M. McGeown] and Larisa leave tomorrow (Monday 27 May) for the USA. They will visit Loveland, CO; Hull, IA; and Grand Rapids, MI (and Pastor will preach in Loveland, Hull, Doon, and Holland PR churches). Pastor will also attend the PRC Synod in Grand Rapids, MI, which begins on Tuesday 11 June. Pastor and Larisa plan to arrive back in Ireland on Friday 21 June. While they are in the USA, Rev. Justin Smidstra (Holland, MI) and Rev. Angus Stewart will supply the pulpit here."
  • Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) is currently worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, while she looks for a new location for the congregation. Today, Prof. B. Gritters and Rev. C. Spronk are preaching for her. Her bulletin today also includes this interesting note: "The long range planning committee continues to look for church buildings in our target area and following up on leads. They are also working to find a house in the area to serve as a parsonage."

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Senior Retreat: Registration for the Senior Retreat is open. The dates are Sept 17-20 at Gull Lake Ministries (MI). The theme is ‘God’s Care For Us.’ Forms are available at Zion PRC's website. Click on Senior Retreat.

synod fri 2
Synod's delegates meeting in First PRC's lower level this past week

PRC Synod 2019:

  • Synod met this past week in First PR Church of Grand Rapids, MI.  The daily reports with pictures may be found here.
  • Some of the highlights are these:
    • With much humble gratitude to God the 2019 Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America announces that two senior seminarians, Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman, sustained their synodical examinations and declared them candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments. The synod declared them eligible for a call on or after July 13, 2019. Upon receipt of a call they are to have six weeks to consider that call.
    • Synod called Rev. Brian Huizinga to replace Prof. Cammenga as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament. Rev. Cory Griess was chosen to be the alternate. May the Lord guide Rev. Huizinga that he may know God's will regarding this call. Let us remember him in our prayers.
    • Delegates from our sister churches were given an opportunity to address synod on behalf of their churches. Deacon Lee Meng Hsien spoke on behalf of the CERCS, Rev. McGeown spoke on behalf of Covenant PRC in Northern Ireland. and Rev. John Flores spoke on behalf of the PRC in the Philippines. These delegates spoke of the work that God was doing in their churches and expressed thanks to God for our sister church relationship. The chairman of synod responded by express to these delegates our thanks to God for them and for the fellowship that we have them.
      Synod expressed to the PRCP and CERCS that the PRCA has no objections to their entering into a sister-church relationship with each other, and expressed to our sister churches our joy and our thankfulness to God for opening the way for this manifestation of the unity and catholicity of the church and our prayer for God’s richest blessings upon this relationship.
  • Synod will reconvene Monday morning at 10 a.m.to take up some of the remaining protests and appeals.

student approval thurs 1
*Rev. G. Eriks, president of synod, informs the students and their wives and visitors of Sems. M.Kortus and J. Maatman's approval to be candidates for the ministry.

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has now entered its spring/summer break. Besides their work at the PRC Synod in June, the faculty will be busy with various trips and speaking engagements.  With the construction project and library renovation continuing, there is still plenty of activity at the seminary (see note below). In addition faculty and staff continue their end-of-semester work and preparing for the new semester in the Fall. The seminary is open daily (M-F) during the summer (except for holidays) and staff is available to assist with any needs.

  • *Our two senior seminarians, Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman, sustained their synodical examinations this past week at the PRC 2019 Synod and were declared them candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC. They are eligible for a call on or after July 13, 2019. Seminary commencement was held this past Thursday night in First PRC.
  • Synod called Rev. Brian Huizinga to replace Prof. Cammenga as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament. Rev. Cory Griess was chosen to be the alternate. May the Lord guide Rev. Huizinga that he may know God's will regarding this call. Let us remember him in our prayers.

  • If you missed the speeches at the seminary's Dordt400 conference, or want to refresh your mind, now's your chance to listen to them! The audio files of the speeches and historical presentations from the conference are now available on Trinity PRC's Sermonaudio channel (the host of the conference). The videos are also now available on the seminary YouTube channel. *If you are interested in CD's or DVD's of the recent Dordt 400 Conference, please send your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • The Spring issue of the PR Theological Journal is at the printer and should be ready in the next few weeks. For back issues, visit the seminary journal page. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, contact the seminary's secretary.
  • If you have not yet done so, visit the new PRC seminary website! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.
  • Work continues on the seminary addition project, both inside and out (new archives and offices). This past week drywall was hung in the new addition and ceiling demo work was done in the library. Visit the seminary news section for pics and more information.

PRCP Organization Banner 4 9 2014
*A new member joins the PRC in the Philippines (see note below)

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife are currently serving the congregation on behalf of the PRC Contact Committee.
    • From Grandville PRC's bulletin today: "The Council presents the following trio for MOL to Singapore: Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville), Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA), Rev. B. Huizinga (Redlands, CA). The congregational meeting to call one of these ministers will be July 11 after the evening service."
    • Her latest newsletter (April 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
    • The last issue of the young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers (April 2019) may be found on this page. 
  • Concerning our newest sister, the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC and Maranatha PRC:
  • Berean PRC:
    • Rev. V. Ibe, her pastor, leads in worship today.
    • Today, the saints in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will worship with us via phone patch. We pray for God’s continued blessings as they hear and receive the proclamation of His Word!

    • *Classis of the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines approved the request of membership of Provident Christian Church (A Reformed church) last Wednesday. May God richly bless us as we manifest the unity we enjoy and cherish in the Lord Jesus Christ! Also, Classis approved the brother Jeremiah Pascual in his entrance to the Seminary of the PRCP which will begin in August 2019 the Lord willing.

    • Rev. Daniel and Sis. Sharon Kleyn plan to return to the Philippines with Rev. J. Flores this Wednesday, June 19, D.V."

  • Maranatha PRC:
    • "Rev. L. Trinidad will lead us in both services.
    • Let us also remember Rev. D. Kleyn and Sharon as they return home on July 19, 2019 from their six months furlough and studies."
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • From her bulletin this week: "We welcome Rev. Justin & Kelly Smidstra from First Holland PRC to our worship services today. Rev. & Mary Stewart are in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship."
    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted (May 2019).
    • Read the newest issue of Covenant Reformed News! That issue (May 2019) can be found here.
    • Upcoming: S. Wales Lecture: Rev. Stewart will speak on “The Burnt Offering” on Thursday, 6 June at 7:15 PM in Margam Community Centre.
  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.
    • Plans are being made for a Dordt400 conference involving EPC and PRC men this summer (July).
    • The EPCA has this special notice, especially for our young people and young adults: The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia would love to invite any young people and young adults aged 13 and up to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane from the 28th of December 2019 - 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker. This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a flyer or for additional information.

belgconf comm DJE 2018
Have you heard about the release of Volume 2 of Prof. D. Engelsma's commentary on the Belgic Confession? Visit the RFPA website for more information.

With the publication of volume two is completed a Reformed, full-scale, commentary on the Belgic Confession, of which there are only a few in English today. This book is not a summary of the Confession, nor a compilation of sermons loosely based on the Confession, but a commentary. It explains the Confession, article by article, doctrine by doctrine.

Volume two begins with the Confession’s opening article on the doctrine of salvation, continues with the Confession’s lengthy treatment of the doctrine of the church, and concludes with the Confession’s explanation of the doctrine of the last things—eschatology.

Volume two covers Articles 22-37 of the Belgic Confession and includes indexes for both volumes.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Would you like to read good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons read by Elijah Roberts. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday (on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are)!
    • Today Rev. C. Griess (pastor of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI) begins a three-month commitment to the program with a special series on the Five Points of Calvinism under the theme "Religion Defended" (which you may listen to at this link).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee: Have you checked out our newsletters? If you would like to receive them digitally in your emailbox, please sign up for our bimonthly newsletter here: ehttp://epurl.com/gikNsL.

    • A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Look for new messages each week - and help spread the word!

 Lynden PRC YP retreat 2019
*Looking for a rewarding time of spiritual growth and fellowship in beautiful NW Washington? Sign up to attend the Lynden PRC YA Retreat!

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • NEWS about the 2019 PRYP's Convention:
    • Southwest & Providence PRCs are hosting the 2019 PRC Young People's Convention on August 12-16, the Lord willing.  The convention will be held at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.
    • Chaperone registration is now closed! Thank you for the overwhelming response to our request for chaperones.   The chaperone committee will contact each applicant in the next few weeks. What a wonderful testament of your desire to spend time with our covenant young people!
    • Young Peoples Convention Update: You can still register on line and have paperwork received by May 31 to avoid a late fee. Any paperwork received after May 31 please include a late fee of $25.00 with your payment. Registration should be done as soon as possible so committees can proceed with their work. Looking forward to seeing you all at the convention in August!

  • Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates:

*Registration for our 2019 retreat is open. Thank you to all that have registered already.  Come join us July 1-5, for a week filled with spiritual encouragement, white water rafting, campfires, hiking and other fun activities with like-minded believers! Check out our website (https://lyndenprcya.wixsite.com/mysite) to register and for more details. We also have a Facebook page (Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019). Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions you may have. We look forward to hosting all of you in Washington!

  • The EPCA has this special notice, especially for our young people and young adults: The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia would love to invite any young people and young adults aged 13 and up to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane from the 28th of December 2019 - 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker. This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a flyer or for additional information.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (April 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

ProvCC officebearers 2018
*The officebearers of
Provident Christian Church, Marikina, the Philippines (with missionary-pastor D. Holstege in the middle).
An important decision concerning this congregation was made at the PRCP Classis this week (see note below)
.

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church.
    • In that connection, BC-PRC's bulletin had this note in it today: "Missionary Spriensma is leading three worship services today at Calvary PRC and Hull PRC and also giving a mission presentation for the churches in Iowa. Next Sunday he will be preaching at Cornerstone PRC."
    • And that presentation in Calvary PRC next Sunday is noted in her bulletin today: "Calvary PRC, in connection with the Domestic Mission Committee of the PRCA, invites you to attend a special mission presentation by our home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma, in our sanctuary on Sunday, June 16, at 7:45 p.m. The title of his presentation is: “Our Home Missions: Reaching the Nones and the Dones.” Refreshments will follow the presentation."
    • The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, June 20 at 7:30 PM. Our discussion will begin at John 6:38. Join us there with your friends and neighbors to study God's Word.

United Kingdom:

  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • This special notice appeared in a recent bulletin: "Pastor and Larisa leave tomorrow (Monday 27 May) for the USA. They will visit Loveland, CO; Hull, IA; and Grand Rapids, MI (and Pastor will preach in Loveland, Hull, Doon, and Holland PR churches). Pastor will also attend the PRC Synod in Grand Rapids, MI, which begins on Tuesday 11 June. Pastor and Larisa plan to arrive back in Ireland on Friday 21 June. While they are in the USA, Rev. Justin Smidstra (Holland, MI) and Rev. Angus Stewart will supply the pulpit here."
  • The March 2019 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station was received and posted recently.

Philippine Missions:

  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted back in January 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.

  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

  • From this Sunday's bulletin of Provident Christian Church in Marikina we find the following notes concerning her pastor as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • "Rev. Smit will lead both of our  worship  services today. Rev. Holstege will teach and preach for the Bearers of Light Community Church in Guiguinto, Bulacan today. Next Sunday, he will preach both times for Provident, D.V. Rev. John Flores, is in the States for the PRCA Synod.
    • *Last Wednesday, the PRCP Classis approved our request for membership in the PRCP! We rejoice and thank God for His goodness in guiding us to manifest the oneness of the church by joining the communion of Protestant Reformed Churches with their sister churches throughout the world. May the Lord richly bless us as we dwell together in brotherhood from this time forward with the saints of the PRCP.

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

Covenant Reformed News - June 2019

Covenant Reformed News


June 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 14



Jeremiah’s Prophecy of the “Branch”

Apart from the 150 Psalms, Jeremiah is the longest book in the Scriptures. Yes, Isaiah has 66 chapters and Jeremiah has only 52 chapters, but the latter contain more verses and words. In the second longest book of the Bible, this is the most glorious prediction and the greatest messianic prophecy: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:5-6).

There are three prominent characteristics of the One prophesied in this text. First, there is His genealogical descent. He is the offspring of David: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch” (5). The ancestors of David include Jesse, Boaz, Judah, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Shem, Noah, Seth and Adam. The “Branch” predicted by Jeremiah will be a descendant of David.

Second, we are told His office. The “Branch” will be a king. Not all the descendants of David were monarchs. In fact, only twenty of them in the Old Testament were. But the One spoken of in our text will be a king: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign” (5).

Third, besides His descent and office, Jeremiah informs us of the character of the coming One. The “Branch” will be righteous. Not all the kings of the line of David were righteous. Most of them were not, such as the last three mentioned in Jeremiah 22: Jehoahaz (Shallum), Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin (Coniah). The righteousness of the prophesied Davidic king is mentioned three times in our text: He is “a righteous Branch” who “shall execute … justice [i.e., righteousness]” and who is called “The Lord Our Righteousness” (23:5-6). The other two descriptions of His piety serve His righteousness: He shall “prosper” or act wisely (5) and “execute judgment” or justice (5).

Nobility is one word that sums up what we have seen so far regarding the predicted Saviour. The “Branch” is noble in birth, in office and in piety. Our text is a prophecy of the righteous, Davidic king.

Now let us observe a couple of points about the way the “Branch” is introduced in our text. First, the passage begins with the word “Behold” (5). This is the word order in both Hebrew and English. “Behold,” that is, pay attention to this highly significant Word of God about the “Branch”: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper” (5).

Second, the next few words speak of the time of His coming. From the perspective of Jeremiah, when he wrote these words by divine inspiration, he was not referring to a figure in the past or in the present but in the future: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness” (5-6).

In short, the introductory words of our text indicate that this righteous, Davidic king is highly significant (“Behold,” this great figure!) and coming in a time that is future to Jeremiah (“Behold, the days come”). Clearly, we are dealing with a very important predictive prophecy concerning the “Branch.”

So what about the identity of the One predicted in Jeremiah 23:5-6? Is He Josiah? Josiah was a righteous, Davidic king. But Josiah did not belong to Jeremiah’s future, nor even his present, but his past (22:10-11).

What about the Davidic kings who came after Josiah: Jehoahaz (Shallum), Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin (Coniah), the three other monarchs mentioned in Jeremiah 22? What about Zedekiah who succeeded them? None of these four was righteous; all were wicked.

Josiah was Judah’s last godly king and Zedekiah was Judah’s last king. Some 2,600 years have passed since Jeremiah’s prophecy. God has confounded the unbelieving Jews! Many of their leading theologians even acknowledge that Jeremiah 23:5-6 is a messianic prophecy. In his commentary on these verses, John Gill mentions nine Jewish authorities who hold this view. But does anyone even know who the physical descendants of King David are today?

The mocking words of Pontius Pilate above our Saviour’s cross are literally true: “Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews” (John 19:19). Our Lord Jesus is the King of the Jews, the real, true, spiritual Jews (Rom. 2:28-29).

Christ reigns wisely, justly and righteously at God’s right hand in heaven, as He executes Jehovah’s eternal decree (Jer. 23:5). Jesus is the son of David (Matt. 1:1), who sits on David’s throne in glory (Acts 2:30). In these New Testament days, we enjoy full messianic salvation by faith alone and “dwell safely” with Him in covenant fellowship through the Holy Spirit (Jer. 23:6).

So many things can be said here by way of application but here we will focus on just three. First, we observe the fulfilment of prophecy. Jeremiah predicts the coming, righteous, Davidic king; 600 years later He came as promised (Gal. 4:4-5)!

Second, we see here the prominence of Christ in the Old Testament. The Messiah is even central in Jeremiah, the Bible’s second longest book which is filled with so many judgments. Yet, even here, in the midst of man’s sin and God’s wrath, the coming “Branch” is presented as the only hope!

Third, in all this, we behold the glory of the Triune God, for, in this prediction of Christ and its fulfilment, Jehovah proclaims that He is all-powerful, infinitely wise and absolutely faithful in bringing this to pass. Let us believe, enjoy God’s rich salvation and praise Him in Jesus Christ! Rev. A. Stewart

 

Abhor Evil!

“Abhor” is a very strong word. The Scriptures command us not only to abstain from evil and avoid evil, but to abhor evil: “Abhor that which is evil” (Rom. 12:9)!

The word means to dislike utterly, detest, abominate and hate; it includes a strong feeling of horror. The Greek verb translated “abhor” in Romans 12:9 is only found here in all the New Testament. Its prefix means “away from” and the idea is that of shrinking back from something out of loathing. The child of God is to identify evil according to the Holy Scriptures. His calling is then not to do it or like it but detest it.

This teaches us that Christian ethics or gospel living, the subject of the whole of Romans 12, includes not only our thoughts and words and deeds, but also our affections, which involve a proper sense of revulsion or disgust at iniquity. We are not speaking here about a delicate person who is revolted at poverty or physical ugliness. We are dealing with detestation and abhorrence at moral evil or sin. The world does not like this!

At some level, practically everyone understands that ethics involves revulsion and detestation. Just about all are disgusted if, say, a young man throws an old woman to the ground and kicks her. Romans 12:9 deals with this sort of thing and, indeed, all that God’s Word identifies as “evil.”

So what is included in the evil that the Triune God calls all His children to abhor? In one word, sin! Sin is especially defined by the Ten Commandments written on two tables of stone at Mount Sinai (Ex. 20:1-17) and on the “fleshy tables” of our hearts in regeneration (II Cor. 3:3).

In the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods besides me” (Ex. 20:3), we are called to detest and abhor all idolatry, the worship of anything other than the Triune God, revealed in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and taught in sacred Scripture. Thus Paul’s spirit was “stirred” or provoked when he saw Athens full of idols (Acts 17:16).

Whereas the world says that we are to celebrate the plethora of gods, the Christian abhors the dishonouring of the true God who is the Creator, Governor, Judge and Saviour: the Father in election, the Son in redemption and the Spirit in sanctification.

This is the Christian attitude to every idol: “Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing” (Deut. 7:26).

The second commandment, which forbids false worship, gives this warning: “for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Ex. 20:5). No wonder Moses zealously detested the golden calf!

The regulative principle of worship, enshrined in the second commandment, forbids the statues and pictures of Rome, and the idolatrous icons of Eastern Orthodoxy: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them” (4-5). The idolatry of salvation by man’s own free will is also to be abhorred, for “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:16).

Oath breaking is condemned in the third commandment: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Ex. 20:7). This includes the sins of husbands and wives who commit adultery (after swearing to be faithful to one another “till death us do part”) or divorce for any other reason than fornication (Matt. 5:32; 19:9); church office-bearers who break their solemn vows by preaching and/or defending false doctrines or deserting their office; witnesses who perjure themselves in a court of law; and parents who baptize their children in the name of the Triune God (28:19) and swear to bring them up in the truth of the Reformed faith, yet who huff over some trivial matter, and take themselves and their children from a faithful church.

In the world, taking the name of Christ or God in vain is seen as normal, natural, genuine, forceful and/or funny. However, in Old Testament days, blasphemers were stoned to death (Lev. 24:10-23). God abhors the profaning of His name and we must too!

Sabbath breaking is forbidden in the fourth commandment. Yet look at the wretched condition of our land today. Even many professing Christians openly disregard the Lord’s day and do not “keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). Sadly, many churches allow this. We need more of Nehemiah’s holy abhorrence of Sabbath breaking (Neh. 13:15-22)!

The fifth commandment condemns dishonouring our parents. Listen to this vivid, and even gory, proverb: “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it” (Prov. 30:17). Christian children must abhor the disrespect of parents.

The sixth commandment forbids murder (Ex. 20:13), and sinful wounding, injuring, hating and taking vengeance on others. The world calls abortion, the killing of unborn babies, good. According to the ungodly, it is good for women to murder the babies in their womb! Abortion is a major feature in the world’s ethics, something which must be exported and promoted all around the world, which just shows the rottenness of its whole moral system and values. The Triune God declares, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20).

Abhorring evil means that we must detest adultery, stealing, lying and covetousness—all sins against the seventh to the tenth commandments. Many of the sins against the second table of the law are listed in Proverbs 6:16-19: “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” So we must hate these sins too. The believer’s heart must be like that of the Psalmist: “I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love” (119:163). This is crucial, for the abhorrence of evil arises out of the love for that which the holy God proclaims to be truly good! Rev. A. Stewart


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
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Lord's Day Services and Lecture 
 by Rev. Stewart
in the USA
in June and July

 

Evening Worship Service
Sunday, 23 June (6 PM)
Loveland PRC, CO (
www.lovelandprc.org)
 

Lecture: "Are Unbeliever's in God's Image?" 
Saturday, 29 June (6 PM)
Loveland PRC, CO (
www.lovelandprc.org)
 

Worship Services
Sunday, 30 June (9:30 AM) 
Sunday, 30 June (6 PM)
Loveland PRC, CO (
www.lovelandprc.org)
 

Worship Services
Sunday, 7 July (9:30 PM)
Hull PRC, IA (
www.hullprc.org)
Sunday, 7 July (5 PM)
Edgerton PRC, MN (
www.edgertonprc.org)
 

Worship Services
Sunday, 14 July (9:30 PM)
Southwest PRC, MI (
www.southwestprc.org
Sunday, 14 July (5:30 PM)
Hudsonville PRC, MI (
www.hudsonvilleprc.org)

The Royal Sufferer
Herman Hoeksema 
(96 pp., hardback) 


Christ is and was the king …

… whose kingdom is not of this world and who rejected all the glory that this world offers
… who refused to allow the Jews to crown Him king, though He was the King of the Jews
… who fought alone, without an army
… who was arrested by His own people and mocked by the representatives of the Roman Empire, the great earthly kingdom of that day
… who was crucified because He was King and remained King when He died
… who, being risen and ascended, is the King of kings and Lord of lords
 

To this divinely anointed King, this book is witness. Behold your King and worship Him! (The 8 chapters of this book were originally published as part of Herman Hoeksema’s longer work, When I Survey.)

Only £8.80 (inc. P&P)

Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!

BRF Conference CDs or DVDs 

Buy 1 conference box set and get the 2nd half price! 

Choose from the following 
British Reformed Fellowship Conferences


The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God (2018)
9 lectures and 2 sermons on topics such as singleness, marriage, divorce, child-rearing, childlessness and Christian education.

Behold I Come Quickly: The Reformed, Biblical Truth of the End (2016)
9 lectures and 2 sermons covering important aspects of eschatology, such as the great apostasy, dispensationalism, antichrist and the final judgment. 

Ye Shall Be My Witnesses (2012)
7 lectures and 2 sermons dealing with all aspects of witnessing—the calling, the content and the manner of the church’s and the individual’s witness. This set also includes a bonus disk with two author interviews.

just £10/box set
(inc. P&P)
or 2 sets for £15
(inc. P&P)


Listen free on-line or
order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
Read more...

PRC Synod 2019: Day 4 - Friday, June 14 *Updated with Report

sem grads 1a
The PRC Seminary graduates are introduced by Prof. B. Gritters, rector of the seminary.

sem graduation 2019 1

After a wonderful seminary commencement program Thursday night in First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI), (see pics above)

sem grad cake

the PRC Synod 2019 returned to its regular business at 8 am Friday morning.

synod fri 2

Much of the work was based on the report of Committee 3 dealing with the protests concerning Psalter revision and Contact Committee work.

synod fri 1

That included addresses from the three foreign men representing our sister churches:

JFlores address fri
Rev. John Flores from the PRC in the Philippines

LeeM Hsien CEREC address fri
Deacon Lee Meng Hsien from Covenant ERC, Singapore

MMcgeown address fri
and Rev. M. McGeown representing Covenant PRC, N. Ireland (he is her missionary-pastor in Limerick, Ireland)

*The summary report on today's decisions has now been attached to this news post. Included in that are these words:

Delegates from our sister churches were given an opportunity to address synod on behalf of their churches. Deacon Lee Meng Hsien spoke on behalf of the CERCS, Rev. McGeown spoke on behalf of Covenant PRC in Northern Ireland. and Rev. John Flores spoke on behalf of the PRC in the Philippines. These delegates spoke of the work that God was doing in their churches and expressed thanks to God for our sister church relationship. The chairman of synod responded by express to these delegates our thanks to God for them and for the fellowship that we have them.
Synod expressed to the PRCP and CERCS that the PRCA has no objections to their entering into a sister-church relationship with each other, and expressed to our sister churches our joy and our thankfulness to God for opening the way for this manifestation of the unity and catholicity of the church and our prayer for God’s richest blessings upon this relationship.

Synod plans to reconvene at 10 am Monday morning.

PRC Synod 2019: Day 3 - Thursday, June 13 *Updated with Report

rdykstra exam 1
Prof. R. Dykstra examining the seminarians in church history (early church focus).

This morning synod returns to the oral examination of Sems. M. Kortus and J. Maatman. The seniors will be examined in O.T. History, N.T. History, Church History, Church Polity, and Practica (a practical exam). These portions of the exam will also be live-streamed on First PRC's Sermonaudio channel.

bgritters exam polity
Prof. B. Gritters examining the men in Reformed Church Polity (government) and OT history.

RC NT exam Thurs 1
Prof. R. Cammenga examining in NT history.

exam audience thurs
Audience observing the examination in First PRC sanctuary

Following the exam, synod will make a decision to approve these men and declare them candidates for the ministry of the Word in the PRCA.

*Update: That decision has now been made. Both M. Kortus and J. Maatman have been unanimously approved and declared to be candidates for the ministry of the Word in the PRC, eligible for a call beginning July 13. We rejoice with these brothers and their wives and families, and thank God for the gift of two more eligible pastor-teachers for the churches.

student approval thurs 1
Rev. G. Eriks, president of Synod 2019, informs the students and their wives and the audience of synod's decision.

synod congrats 1
synod congrats 2
Following the singing of the doxology and prayer, the students received the congratulations of the professors, delegates, family, and friends.

This afternoon synod will return to its regular work, considering the advice of its various committees.

First church

Seminary graduation will take place this evening in First PRC, at 7:30 P.M.  Prof. R. Dykstra will give the address from 1 Timothy 4:16, "Take Heed to Thyself and to the Doctrine." The choir of First PRC, Holland, MI will provide the special music. All are welcome to join us in celebrating the goodness of God in providing two graduates this year.

PRC Synod 2019: Day 2 - Wednesday, June 12 - *Updated with Report

CGriess devotions
Rev. C. Griess (pastor of First PRC, the host church) with opening devotions, Wednesday, June 12

Following synod's approval of the sermons of Sems. M. Kortus and J. Maatman yesterday, synod is proceeding with their oral examination today. First is Prof. R. Cammenga, who is examining them in all branches of theology. The exam is being live-streamed through First PRC's Sermonaudio channel.

Exam Dogm 2
Prof. R. Cammenga examining Sems. Matt K. and Jacob M. in dogmatics

Students exam 2
The two men completed their exam in dogmatics this afternoon, then synod reconvened to treat material from its committees that was ready. *The report of the actions taken is attached in pdf form.

One of the more significant decisions was this: "Synod called Rev. Brian Huizinga to replace Prof. Cammenga as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament. Rev. Cory Griess was chosen to be the alternate. May the Lord guide Rev. Huizinga that he may know God’s will regarding this call. Let us remember him in our prayers."

On Thursday the seniors will be examined in O.T. History, N.T. History, Church History, Church Polity, and Practica (a practical exam). This portion of the exam will also be live-streamed.

synod sessions 1

Missionary-pastor D. Kleyn addressed synod on the ongoing work of the PRC's three missionaries in the Philippines (photo below).

DKleyn address Wed 2

The following are pictures taken today of the committees of synod - and one at work yesterday (more to come!).

Comm 1 1
Committee 1 - Prof. B. Gritters, Elders G. Lanning, H. Goosen, Rev. S. Key, Rev. G. Eriks

Comm 2 1
Committee 2 - Revs. C. Haak, J. Laning, Elders A. Meuer, K. Van Overloop, Prof. R. Cammenga

Comm 3 1
Committee 3 - Rev. R. Kleyn, Elder M. Bosveld, Rev. R. Van Overloop, Elder D. Terpstra, Prof. R. Dykstra

Comm 4 1
Committee 4 - Elder P. VanDer Schaaf, Prof. D. Kuiper, Rev. B. Huizinga, Elder B. Wories, Rev. C. Griess

Comm 5 1
Committee 5 - Revs. C. Spronk, A. Brummerl, Elders R. Gritters, B. Gritters

Foreign delegates
The special foreign delegates - Rev. J. Flores (PRC, the Philippines), Rev. M. McGeown (Covenant PRC, N. Ireland), Deacon Lee Meng Hsien (Covensnt ERC, Singapore)

Comm1 work 2
Committee 1 at work

Comm 2 work 2
Committee 2 at work

Comm3 Tues 2
Committee 3 at work

Comm 5 work 2
Committee 5 at work

And the group pictures taken today, one in front of First PRC, the other down below.

group front 1

group below 1

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