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PRC Weekly Congregational and Mission News - May 14, 2017 (*Updated)

 AWPink brook blesserOn this May 14, 2017 Sunday the following news and information from PRC congregations and mission fields may be noted:

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. C. Haak is considering the call from First PRC, Holland MI (received April 30). He plans to answer on May 21.
  • Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC) is considering the call from Zion PRC (received April 23).*UPDATE: This morning he announced his DECLINE of this call.
  • On May 7 Rev. C. Griess (Calvary PRC, Hull, IA) DECLINED THE call from Southwest PRC. The Council has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor: 

    Rev. A. Brummel (Heritage PRC, Sioux Falls, SD), Rev. N. Decker (Trinity PRC, Hudsonville), and Rev. J. Mahtani (Cornerstone, Dyer, IN).  A special congregational meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, May 21, immediately following the evening worship service.

  • From several PRC bulletins we may give this update on Rev. Ron Hanko, pastor of Lynden, WA PRC (this is quoted from Loveland's bulletin):
    • Rev. Ron Hanko (Lynden, WA) had extensive surgery Tuesday that lasted more than 8 hours. The surgeon gave a good report with a positive prognosis, although they still await the pathology results. His recovery time is expected to be about 2 weeks of hospitalization followed by another 12 weeks or so, barring any complications. May our heavenly Father continue to sustain the Hanko family, as well as Lynden’s congregation in this trial. “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it” (I Cor. 12:26).

MISSION NEWS:

  • Last Sunday (May 7) the congregation of Byron Center PRC  voted to call Rev. C. Haak to serve as a home missionary. He plans to answer by May 28.
  • The Council of Doon PRC has formed a new trio for calling a third missionary to the Philippines: Rev. Garry Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rev. Clay Spronk (Faith PRC), and Rev. Heath Bleyenberg (Providence PRC). Doon PRC will have a congregational meeting on TODAY to call one of these men. *UPDATE: Rev. H. Bleyenberg received this call.
  • From the Provident Christian Church bulletin for today we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Rev. Kleyn will preach in the first service today and Rev. Holstege in the second. The first sermon will look forward to the start of a new season of catechism classes for the children. The second sermon will teach us about “the benevolence fund.”
    • The Wednesday night Bible study is scheduled to meet this week, May 17. Rev. Holstege will discuss Canons of Dordt, Head 2, Rejection of Errors.
    • Catechism Classes for the children will begin this Saturday, May 20 at 9:00 a.m., the Lord willing. All the children are asked to meet briefly with Rev. Kleyn after our second worship service today to collect their catechism materials.
    • Rev. & Sharon Kleyn will be traveling to Southern Negros Occidental this week for classes in Dogmatics and the Church Order with the group of pastors there.
  • The delegation of Rev. Jim Laning and elder John Van Baren (along with their wives) have now completed their visits and labors in Myanmar and will be in Singapore today before coming home early this week. If you missed the daily reports of elder Van Baren, you can still read them on the prca.org bulletins page. Select “Mission Stations” and click on “Myanmar Memoirs” for the updates. Look for the picture links too (below is another of one of the many seminars held).

 2017 seminar 3

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Report of Classis East - May 10, 2017

byroncentrePRC

Below is the public report on the meeting of Classis East at Byron Center PRC this week Wednesday, provided by Mr. Gary Boverhof, the Stated Clerk.

May 10, 2017

Byron Center PRC

Classis East met in regular session on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The churches were each represented by two delegates. Rev. Wm. Langerak was the chairman for this session.

Rev. K. Koole was appointed as the new moderator of Southwest PRC. He replaces Rev. A. denHartog who has been on the west coast assisting our Lynden Church during the illness of Rev. Ron Hanko. Holland PRC, Southwest PRC, and Zion PRC were granted Classical pulpit supply for evening services from June through September, should they be needed.

Classis was informed that a brother intends to appeal to Synod a decision that Classis made during the January 2017 meeting. This decision was regarding admitting non-Protestant Reformed believers to the communion table.

                The new Stated Clerk of Classis East was instructed to send a letter of thanks to Jon Huisken for his 40 plus years of faithful service to Classis East. Further, to place a notice of thanks in the bulletins of Classis East as well as the Standard Bearer.

                Most the day was spent on a protest by a sister protesting the content of various sermons of her pastor. This was appointed to pre-advice committee for recommendations. After thorough deliberations, Classis declared that this protest was illegally before Classis on the basis that her work was not finished with her consistory. Classis appointed the church visitors of Classis East to assist the Consistory and appellant with advice and guidance in their work.

A committee was appointed to digitize the minutes and supplements of Classis East. Due to the scope of this work, the committee is to report to Classis annually with their progress.

Classis approved the expenses for its meeting of $1,268.80. The next meeting of Classis East will be at Grandville PRC on September 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM, Lord willing.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gary Boverhof, Stated Clerk

 

*UPDATE: On May 16, 2017 the Stated Clerk sent out this special note of thanks concerning the labors of Mr. Jon Huisken, previous Stated Clerk of Classis East:

At the May 10, 2017 meeting of Classis East it was decided to charge the Stated Clerk to send a letter of thanks to Mr. Jon Huisken and a bulletin announcement for his 40 plus years of faithful service as Stated Clerk of Classis East. This is a daunting task to express our thanks for such a monumental gift he has given the churches of Classis East.

Saying thank you for giving of yourself as a selfless laborer to the churches for so many years seams insufficient. Please know that your work has been deeply appreciated as the labor of love that it was for you.

Psalm 90: 17 “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”

 

In His service,

Gary Boverhof, Stated Clerk Classis East

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The PRC Weekly Congregational and Mission News - May 7, 2017 (*Updated)

Is40 31

On this first Sunday in May 2017, the following news and information from PRC congregations and mission fields may be reported:

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Last Sunday, April 30, First PRC, Holland MI voted to extend a call to Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC).
  • Rev. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC) is considering the call from Zion PRC (received April 23).
  • Rev. C. Griess (Calvary PRC, Hull, IA) is considering the call from Southwest PRC (received on April 16). *UPDATE: It was announced yesterday that Rev. C. Griess had declined this call.
  • From several PRC bulletins we learn about this matter of prayer concerning Rev. Ron Hanko, pastor of Lynden, WA PRC:
    • Rev. Ron Hanko (Lynden, WA) is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday in Seattle, WA, to remove a tumor from his appendix. The surgery is expected to be lengthy (several hours), as is the recovery from the operation (several weeks). Remember the Hankos and the Lynden congregation in your prayers during this difficult time for them.

MISSION NEWS:

  • The congregation of Byron Center PRC will vote TODAY from a new trio of ministers from which to call a home missionary: Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC), Rev. S. Key (Loveland PRC), and Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC). *UPDATE: Rev. C. Haak received this call.
  • The Council of Doon PRC has formed a new trio for calling a third missionary to the Philippines: Rev. Garry Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rev. Clay Spronk (Faith PRC), and Rev. Heath Bleyenberg (Providence PRC). Doon PRC will have a congregational meeting on May 14 to call one of these men.
  • From the Provident Christian Church bulletin for today we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today andin this coming week:
    • Rev. Holstege will preach both times today at PCC.The second sermon will teach us about giving, focusing on what is called “the general fund.” Rev.Kleyn will preach at Maranatha PRC today.
    • Today at 1:30, Rev. Holstege will lead the Youth Fellowship and Bible Study. We will discuss thesubject of the first sermon: honoring father andmother. All the youth are welcome to attend.
  • From Hope PRC's Council: The delegation of Rev. Jim Laning, elder John Van Baren, and their wives arrived safely in Myanmar this past week for two weeks of labor, giving instruction and encouragement to the saints there. Several new updates have been given. You can follow their activity on the prca.org bulletins page. Select “Mission Stations” and click on “Myanmar Memoirs” for the updates. Remember our Myanmar people and the delegation in your prayers. Below are a couple of pictures of the seminar held in Yangon, led by Rev. J. Laning.

May 2017 seminar 1
Men gathered for seminar on the Reformed doctrine of the church.

May 2017 seminar 2
Rev. J. Laning giving presentation on the Reformed doctrine of the church.

 Also, in CLASSIS NEWS, Classis East is due to meet this Wednesday, May 10, at Byron Center PRC. An officebearers' conference is scheduled for Tuesday night (7 PM) at the church, with Prof. D. Engelsma speaking on "Pastoral Treatment of Spousal (Wife) Abuse in the PRC". Past, present and prospective office bearers are urged to attend this timely speech.

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Reformed Book Outlet - May 2017 Newsletter & Specials

ReformedBookOutlet

The Reformed Book Outlet, operated by the Bible study societies of Hudsonville PRC (MI), has published their newsletter for May 2017.

This is one of their 25% off months, so you will want to check out the specials listed below.

On the flyer below you will also find the store location and hours. Support this local bookstore and obtain good music and books at good prices!

The newsletter is also attached here in pdf form.

RBO Newsletter May 2017 Page 1

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Reformed Witness Hour Messages for May 2017

haak smallFirst PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for May 2017 on the RWH radio program.

Rev. Carl Haak, pastor of Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI will begin his four-service for the RWH program, with special messages for Mother's Day and Ascension Day this month.

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 76th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Below are the messages scheduled for this month, also in flyer form (attached in pdf).

May 7, 2017 - To God, My Exceeding Joy, I will Go, Psalm 43

May 14, 2017 - A Joyful Mother of Children, Psalm 113:9

May 21, 2017 - Except Ye Be Converted, Matthew 18:1-5

May 28, 2017 - My Soul is Anchored in Heaven, Hebrews 6:20,21

May flyer 2017 CH Page 1

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Reformed News Asia - April 2017

 
Issue 39 - April 2017
Pamphlets
We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEW Pamphlet!
Spiritual Growth
By Rev Carl Haak

"Are you growing spiritually?  Are you growing in the use of your tongue?  Are you growing in resisting besetting sins?  Are you growing in hope and patience and trust in God?  Are you growing in love for God and for His people?  Are you growing in new and holy desires?  Or are you remaining a child?  Are you remaining fickle, gullible?  Or are you maturing spiritually?  If you are not growing, why not?  Are you allowing the impediments of sin to restrict that growth?  Are you living in bitterness or anger?  Do you live in a lust for the world?  Or is it due simply to negligence — you do not give yourself to spiritual things?"

Penetrating questions. The Christian life is not static. Where there is life, there must be growth! Read to find out more of the growth of a Christian who has been given a new life in Christ Jesus!


Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.

 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
Corrupting the Word of God
by Herman Hanko & Mark H. Hoeksema

From the RFPA website:

"Does the eternal, unchangeable, all-powerful, and sovereign God really have a temporal, changeable and weak desire to save those whom he has unconditionally reprobated (Rom. 9:22), for whom the Son did not die (John 12:31) and whom the Holy Spirit will not regenerate, sanctify or glorify (John 3:8)?

Pelagianism, semi-Pelagianism, Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism, Anabaptism, Arminianism, Amyraldism, and Marrowism say yes to the well-meant offer of the gospel. The biblical, Augustinian, Reformed, and creedal position is no!

Emeritus professor of church history, Herman Hanko, guides us through fascinating doctrinal controversies in the early, Reformation and modern eras of the church, taking us to North Africa, Switzerland, France, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, and America, and emphasizing the teaching of the great theologians, such as Augustine and John Calvin, on God’s particular grace, which is always irresistible and never fails or is frustrated.

In dealing with the historical perspective of God's absolutely sovereign grace versus the well-meant offer, this book fills a gap in the literature, and does so in a way that is warm and easily understood."

 
Audio Recordings
On 2nd April, we rejoiced in yet another Infant Baptism in CERC.

Click to listen to the sermon preached on this joyous ocassion.

 
Upcoming Events!
 
Church Camp 2017

Registration closes 7 May! Sign up soon!

Dates: 12-15 June 2017
Location: Awana, Genting Highlands (Malaysia)
Speaker: Rev Andy Lanning
Theme: Zion founded on the Mountains

For more information, please contact Boaz Leong at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Straight off the website: "At Awana, comfort is rivalled only by the view. Indulge in five-star luxury while enjoying the breathtaking view of a majestic mountain range, and make full use of our 18-hole golf course, heated swimming pool, and other sports facilities."

http://www.rwgenting.com/hotel/awana-hotel/

 
CKCKS Retreat 2017

Venue: Changi Cottage
Date: 22 June (Thu) to 24 June (Sat) 
Speaker: Rev Lanning
Theme: The God of Zion's Youth ( Psalms 48:14)

Registration is open till the 21st of May!

For more information, please contact Lim Yang Zhi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
Past Events...
 
Infant Baptism of Isaiah Chua
Early this April, CERC rejoiced with Lee Yang and Joanna as we witnesed the Infant Baptism of Isaiah. Praying the Lord's blessings upon them as they bring up this covenant child in the fear of His name.
 
CK vs CKS Inaugural Sports Championship
For our CKCKS outing in April, we had our first ever CK (13-16 years old) vs CKS (17 years old and up) sports face-off! After singing and exhortation, we commenced with the all-time fav, Captain's ball! It was a close match but CKS emergered victors with a one point lead. After a short break, we resumed with Ultimate Frisbee. CK started off sluggishly, only picking up speed only towards the end of the game but it was too late! And so the 2017 championship title goes to CKS! Till next year!
Exhausted but happy young people
 
Visitors from USA (and UK)!
More friends have come to visit from abroad! Following in the footsteps of the Lentings, Bodbyls, Poortingas, Jeff Kotman and Jim Van Overloop were these visitors:
The Drenks come to visit family! Mrs Drenk (Michelle), is Mrs Lanning's sister. Here are pictures of them visiting some of the sites in Singapore.
After Rev and Mrs Stewart, Dr Julian and Mariana Kennedy are the second set of visitors from our sister church in Northern Ireland. The church members enjoyed spending some time getting to know them.
Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.
 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord’s Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm • 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 • Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  • www.cerc.org.sg 
 

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The PRC Weekly Congregational and Mission News - April 30, 2017 (Updated)

Ps32 8 mountainsThe following is the latest news and information from PRC congregations and mission fields for this Lord's Day of April 30, 2017.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Last Sunday, April 23, Zion PRC (Hudsonville/Jenison, MI) voted to extend a call to Rev. G. Eriks to become her first pastor.
  • The Council of First PRC, Holland MI announces a new trio from which to call a pastor: Rev. Carl Haak (Georgetown), Rev. Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace, Spokane, WA) and Rev. Doug Kuiper (Edgerton, MN). UPDATE: The congregation voted to extend a call to Rev. C. Haak at its meeting today.
  • Rev. C. Griess (Calvary PRC, Hull, IA) is considering the call from Southwest PRC (received on April 16).

MISSION NEWS:

  • The Council of Byron Center PRC has announced a new trio of ministers from which to call a home missionary: Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC), Rev. S. Key (Loveland PRC), and Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC). The congregation will vote to extend a call at the congregational meeting on May 22 (the date of her annual meeting).
  • From Hope PRC's Council: A delegation of Rev. Jim Laning, elder John Van Baren, and their wives will depart Tuesday May 2 for Myanmar for 2 weeks to give instruction and encouragement to the saints there. You can follow their activity on the prca.org bulletins page. Select “Mission Stations” and click on “Myanmar Memoirs” for daily updates. Remember our Myanmar people and the delegation in your prayers.
  • From the Provident Christian Church bulletin for today we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors:
    • Rev. Kleyn will preach for both worship services here in PCC today. Rev. Holstege and his family are in the PRC in Bulacan today where Rev. Holstege is preaching for both of their worship services.
    • Rev. Holstege is scheduled to lead both of our worship services next Sunday.
    • The Wednesday night Bible study will meet this week, May 3, at 7:30 p.m., the Lord willing. Rev.Holstege will continue leading us in a study of the Canons of Dordt. This week we will study Head II, Articles 8-9.
    • The Youth Fellowship and Bible Study will meet again next Sunday, May 7, at 1:30 p.m., the Lord willing. Discussion will be about the sermon that Rev. Holstege plans to preach on the 5th Commandment (“Honor thy father and thy mother”). All the young people are welcome and encouraged to attend.

 SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

From this week's bulletin of Covenant ERC in Singapore we find this summary note of the recent delegation to Kolkata, India:

There will probably be a more formal presentation of the work in Kolkata coming later, but let’s consider just a few highlights today in the Pastoral Voice. First, our main work in Kolkata this time was attending and speaking at the CERC (Fellowship) Kolkata Church Camp, from Friday through Sunday. This was the first time that CERCK has had a church camp, and it went very well, by all accounts. The group already voiced their opinion that they would like this to be an annual event, and they are already looking forward to their second annual church camp in 2018! There were 37 people in attendance, with only three people who were unable to attend. About 85% of those at the church camp are regular attendees at the worship services on Sunday. The balance were newcomers who have attended a service or two, or who are currently attending the Friday Bible Study but not the Sunday worship yet.

The instruction at the camp included five speeches, three QA sessions, and one sermon at the worship service on Sunday. The theme of the camp was the doctrine of the church, with the theme verse being I Timothy 3:15 – “[T]hou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” This theme was chosen because CERCK is at an important crossroads in her life. She has been meeting under Rev. Singh’s instruction for several years and has more and more come to embrace the Reformed faith. In our judgment, we are getting nearer to the time when we should consider organizing CERCK as an instituted church. Although Session has not adopted a timeline for exactly when organization should take place, Session has already taken note that this is the next big step in our work in Kolkata, and that all of our work from now on will be geared toward that goal. Therefore, we used our time at the church camp in Kolkata to instruct the members of the fellowship in what it means to be a church, the importance of membership in the church, the calling and role of officebearers in the church, and the great callings that a church has in this world to worship God and preach His truth. The instruction was well received, and the members
indicated that they desire to be organized in due time. When Session meets again, it will begin laying out a more specific timeline for organization, with certain benchmarks to be met. Session will keep the congregation updated as these decisions are made.

Rev. Singh and Sonali are both doing well. They are obviously well received by the members of the Fellowship, and Rev. Singh gives good instruction to the group. Both Rev. Singh and Sonali send their warm Christian greetings to CERC Singapore. They are eagerly looking forward to fellowship with the saints in Singapore again. Although Session has not yet set a firm date, the Singhs will probably come to Singapore around the time of RDC again, in October or November. In the meantime, they earnestly desire our prayers for themselves and for the saints in Kolkata.

We thank God for gathering His church in Kolkata, and we thank Him for a successful church camp. Pray that God will continue to build His church, both in our midst and abroad, until our Lord returns to receive His completed bride to Himself.

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Covenant Reformed News - April 2017

CPRC News Header

Covenant Reformed News

April 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 12


Our Identity in Christ (1)

One’s identity refers to who one is. There are two issues here. First, what is it to be human in general? Second, who am I personally? Human identity and personal identity are probably bigger issues in our world today than ever before.

What is a person? Some 150 years ago, aboriginal people were viewed by some as subhuman, despite the fact that all of humanity has descended from our first parents, Adam and Eve (Acts 17:26). Similarly, 75 years ago, the Nazis wickedly classified certain people as Untermenschen, including the Jews, “of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever” (Rom. 9:5).

In much of the world, unborn babies are not viewed as persons. Therefore, they, like Aboriginals or Jews in the past, are disposable and can be killed. In certain places of the world, there is a drive to have some animals classified as persons possessing various legal “rights” (e.g., bonobos, chimpanzees, elephants, whales, dolphins and eagles).

The modern “culture of death” is spreading, with not only abortion (the murder of unborn babies) at one end of the human lifespan, but also euthanasia (the voluntary killing off of the elderly) at the other end. Moreover, consent can be problematic and there are reports of involuntary euthanasia too. Increasingly, there is a push to allow the consensual termination of the lives of people in the middle years of life as well, especially those with severe disabilities or experiencing great pain.

There are also issues of mental health, including depression, self-harm and suicide (the sixth commandment forbids the taking of one’s own life, as well as the lives of others). Radical Islamic suicide bombers have blown themselves up in order to murder others.

All these things raise questions. Who are we as human beings? What is our life?

Our bodies are also included in our identity. As Western societies revert to paganism, body piercing has seen a massive increase. It is not just the piercing of ears but also of noses, tongues, navels and other body parts. Men, as well as women, are doing it.

Along with body piercing, tattooing is becoming well-nigh ubiquitous—for women, as well as men. Some even use tattoos (and other means of body alteration) in order to look more like animals.

Others are pushing for greater acceptance of public nudity. If we are merely evolved animals, since animals do not wear clothes, why not go naked? Ideas have consequences; principles work through!

What views of a person’s self-identity and the meaning of life are expressed in drunkenness or drug abuse, when life’s “highs” are experienced by entering oblivion?

One’s sexuality is an aspect of one’s identity. We are continually hearing about homosexuality, bisexuality and more. Part of the defence of these lifestyles and behaviours is this: “This is our identity! You must respect our identity!” These things are being aggressively defended, encouraged, promoted and celebrated in many spheres, including legally, politically, culturally and educationally.

Others are practising and promoting bestiality (sexual intercourse with animals). Among their arguments are the following: “We are only animals like them. The other animals seem to enjoy it. No one is being hurt by our private actions.” In our secularist age, the main legal argument against bestiality is that from animal rights!

One’s marital status is an aspect of one’s identity. A few years ago, civil partnerships were introduced for sodomites and lesbians. Advocates said publicly that this was all that they were after. But the ink had hardly dried when they were clamouring for homosexual “marriage” as a basic human right! Those who maintained that marriage is between a man and a woman, as the Lord Jesus Christ taught (Matt. 19:4-6), are denounced as “bigots” and worse. Recently a man and a woman campaigned for heterosexual civil partnerships in the UK, as in some other countries, though they lost their case.

One’s gender is also part of one’s identity. These days we have not only the binary: male and female (Gen. 1:27); we have many more “options.” A recent form in Brighton gave as many as 25! Transgenderism is a new crusade to justify a man who thinks he is, or wants to be, a woman and vice versa. Someone transitions to the desired gender by taking hormones, undergoing surgical operations, wearing different clothes, taking a different name, etc. Debates have started regarding the correct personal pronoun. Instead of being either a “he” or a “she,” a person may choose gender-neutral options like “ze,” “e,” “xhe,” “they” or many others.

As well as transgenderism, we now have transracism. There was a recent case of an American political activist who modified her hair, skin colour, speech, etc., and claimed to be black. However, it came out that she was white. Her defence essentially was, “Everybody has to respect my self-identity! If I say I am black, then I am black!”

There is also transageism, whereby grown men (or women) act like little children and comfort themselves by playing with rattles and suchlike. If one’s gender, sexuality, race, etc., can be redefined without respect to objective reality, but on the basis merely of one’s subjective feelings or wishes, what is wrong with a 50-year-old man self-identifying as a 6-year-old boy or girl (or even as a cat or a dog)? 

Where does it end? There are people who want to be disabled (and even those who have acted upon this desire by cutting off their limbs). This is transableism. In today’s politically-correct world, who wants to challenge their subjective feelings?

In 1979, Francis Schaeffer and Everett Koop wrote a famous book Whatever Happened to the Human Race? They would have a lot more to write about in 2017!

Our world, especially in the West, is hopelessly confused and lost regarding the meaning of life and self. Many are endlessly trying to “find themselves” or “reinvent themselves” or “re-identify themselves.” Many people do not know who they are or do not like who they are or are totally sick of being who they are. Some are looking to pagan or Eastern religions, or are looking within, or are looking to ever-changing public opinion, the secular state or politically-correct ideology to try to find some meaning in life. Many are crippled by the fear of man and concern about what others think of them.

Surely, there has to be a better way! What about the gospel of Jesus Christ and finding our true identity in Him and God’s saving love?   Rev. Angus Stewart

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The More-Loving-Than-God Argument (1)


A brother in Wales writes, “Though it has been formulated in various ways, one popular argument for common grace/well-meant offer (CG/WMO) is that God, after all, must love everybody, ‘otherwise He is outdone by His own creatures.’ I have named this ‘the more-loving-than-God argument’ for CG/WMO.”

The brother then lists six reasons why some people reckon it is necessary that God loves every man, woman and child that ever lived. I hope to treat these six individual points separately but, first of all, it is important to address the argument as a whole. It is interesting that these arguments continue to come up in the camp of the defenders of common grace. That this same argument, though in different forms, continues to appear becomes, at last, a sort of screech of desperation, because these arguments have been satisfactorily answered again and again. The fact is that they have been repeatedly refuted also by theologians outside the Protestant Reformed Churches. Nor can it be denied that this idea has been convincingly answered by the whole tradition of orthodox thought beginning with Augustine (354-430) and continuing through the theology of the Protestant Reformers and second-generation Reformers on into the mainstream of Reformed thinking throughout the world. 

Defenders of common grace, though they are theological dwarfs in comparison to the giant theologians of bygone centuries, think they know such great things that they can, with a wave of the hand, dismiss the whole tradition of Reformed thought.

If you question the fact that a denial of CG/WMO is indeed the tradition of all solid Reformed thought, I urge you to read my most recent book, Corrupting the Word of God: The History of the Well-Meant Offer (available from the CPRC Bookstore for £16.50, including P&P, with cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church”).

In this issue of the News, I will give a few reasons why the notion that God loves all men cannot be supported. In later issues of the News, I will answer the arguments of those people who defend a universal love of God.

1) No one has ever presented any proof from Scripture that God loves all men. It is true that some, who are “unlearned and unstable [and] wrest ... the ... scriptures, unto their own destruction” (II Pet. 3:16), appeal to various texts but they do not properly interpret them in the light of the whole of God’s Word. These “proof texts” have been repeatedly answered over the ages, beginning with the great N. African theologian, Augustine. Just read Augustine’s Enchiridion, chapters 94-107 (www.cprf.co.uk/articles/ augustineenchiridion.htm) to learn what this ancient church father believed.

2) If God loves all men, He loves the monsters of iniquity who have committed crimes so outrageous that our souls shudder even to read of them. Two modern examples are Hitler and Stalin. To say that God loves them when they never expressed one word of repentance for their heinous sins is preposterous. I have listened to one man who, in defence of his position, insisted God also loves Satan and all his demons.

3) It is a deadly travesty of God’s greatness to argue that He loves many whom He sends to hell at the end of their lives. If one wants to avoid such wicked notions, one can only conclude that all men without exception are finally saved. One wonders: all devils as well? Many, in defence of the heresy that God loves all men, have been forced into a universalistic theology.

4) If God’s love for all men is expressed in a divine desire to save everybody, He is a very weak God, a failure in His purpose and helpless to attain that which He earnestly desires—unless one does really want such a Bible-denying position as universalism.

5) Some may argue that not all are saved but only those who reject Christ. But the so-called well-meant offer is, after all, a part of common grace. And common grace insists that God gives every man the grace to accept or reject the gospel offer. This is sheer Arminianism, leaving the final determination for salvation up to man’s free will. Such a position has been condemned by the church of Christ for many centuries. What profit is there in resurrecting old heresies that have never been accepted by the church of Christ?

6) Finally, the truth of God’s sovereignty is the heart of the truth of the gospel. CG/WMO denies God’s sovereignty. This is a denial of the very essence of God. If God is not sovereign, God is not God. God, by definition, does as He pleases and has no need of man (Ps. 115:3; 135:6). Nor does He leave anything at all, especially His most important work—salvation—to man’s arbitrary will and final decision. I want no deity like that. He cannot do what I need most. He cannot overcome my sinful will, decisive in the question of an eternal heaven or hell. He is but an idol, worse than those the heathen worship and serve, for He cannot save those whom He loves and wants to save. 

Because of my sin and depravity, I need a God who is absolutely sovereign. He has to overcome, with His powerful grace, all my resistance and make me willing, in the day of His power, to love Him. Then all glory belongs to Him and there is nothing else to do but praise and bless His holy name. I have come to know that there is not even 0.0001% of my salvation that I can do, and have to do, to be saved. Thank God, it is not so! Thank God that He does it all by the cross and Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Nor does God do it by pulling me to heaven as a child pulls a toy duck over the floor, for He works in me “both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). This is the wonder of God’s sovereign, transforming grace in Christ!  Prof. Herman Hanko

 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
 
 

Ballymena
Lecture


Are All Men in the Image of God?

Many people think that unbelievers are in God’s image. But is that true? What does Scripture actually say about the image and likeness of God? What is the testimony of the Reformed confessions? And why is the issue of the image of God so important in our day?

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart
 
Friday, 12 May, 2017 
at 7:30 PM

at the CPRC
(83 Clarence St.,Ballymena,
BT43 5DR)

All are welcome! 
www.cprc.co.uk

Unable to join us in Ballymena? The lecture will be streamed live at 
http://www.cprf.co.uk/live.html

South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 8 June, 2017
at 7:15 PM

NEW VENUE:
Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam,
Port Talbot, SA13 2AP

N. T. Wright, Justification and the Reformation

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart

All welcome!
www.cprc.co.uk

Called to Watch for
Christ’s Return


Rev. Martyn McGeown
(304 pp., softback)

A few days before Christ gave His life on the cross, His disciples asked, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3). Jesus responded with the Olivet Discourse, His detailed teaching on the doctrine of the last things. Called to Watch for Christ’s Return gives the sober, distinctly Reformed and amillennial exposition of our Lord’s teaching, avoiding the murky waters of both Postmillennial Preterism, which sees almost everything in these chapters as fulfilled in AD 70, and Premillennial Dispensationalism, which promises a future temple in a restored Jerusalem after a secret rapture of the church.
Written by Rev. Martyn McGeown (the missionary of the CPRC) who is serving as the pastor of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship.

£8.25 (inc. P&P)

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

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

Jacob, Joseph and Egypt

12 sermons on CD or DVD in an attractive box set
 
The fascinating history in the latter chapters of Genesis, involving Joseph’s coat of many colours, Judah’s harlotry and incest, Simeon’s imprisonment, Benjamin’s massive serving and the Egyptian wagons, is retold from the perspective of Jacob. These sermons include the aged patriarch’s vision at Beersheba, meeting with Pharoah, blessing of the twelve tribes and embalming in Egypt. Jacob’s grief and despair over his sons is turned into joy and triumphant faith through the providence and grace of our covenant God!

£12/box set (inc. P&P)

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

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

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