1-866-833-2741 Locations - Free Reformed Churches of North

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1-866-833-2741 Locations - Free Reformed Churches of North
The
Messenger
>>
VOLUME 57 NO.8
SEPTEMBER 2010 EDITION
INSIDE
2
3
5
9
10
12
16
20
23
Church News
No Other Gospel
Speaking God’s Truth Without Compromise
Gleanings from the Churches
Farewell & Installation Service for Rev. H. Bergsma
Dundas Free Reformed Church: 60 Years
Interview with the Pronks
News Notes and Comments
Announcements
>>
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE FREE REFORMED CHURCHES OF NORTH AMERICA
S E P T E M B E R 2010
I THE MESSENGER
1
CHURCH
NEWS
NEW CLERK - Chatham, Ontario
George Brink, 68 Hillcrest Ave.,
Chatham ON N7M 4E7;
Tel. 519-351-3018; Email:
[email protected]
NEW CLERK - London, Ontario
George Flanigan, 600 Saulsbury
Street, C-108, Strathroy, ON N7G
0A8; Tel. 519-246-1822; Email:
[email protected]
NEW ADDRESS –
Rev. H. Bergsma
202 Michael Drive, Welland,
Ontario, L3C 7B8; Home Tel. 905735-2195; pastor’s cell is 905-7146540; Email: [email protected]
NEW EMAIL ADDRESSES
Nico Kattenberg:
[email protected]
Lia Kattenberg:
[email protected]
15TH PURITAN REFORMED
THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
ANNIVERSARY
On August 9 PRTS commemorated
its 15h anniversary. The faculty and
staff wish to humbly acknowledge
the Lord’s goodness for His faithfulness to us in every area of the seminary operations. Please continue to
pray for us that God would get great
glory through our seminary and its
alumni and that they and we would
remain faithful to His precious truths
of sovereign grace. “Hitherto hath
the LORD helped us” (1 Sam.7:12).
J.R. Beeke.
LACOMBE, Alberta
The Free Reformed Church of Lacombe meets in the Trinity Lutheran
Church, 5227 C & E Trail, Lacombe,
AB. Worship services are held at
9.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.
NEW MAILING ADDRESS –
LACOMBE, AB
P.O. Box 5574, Station Main,
Lacombe, AB T4L 1X2
2 THE MESSENGER
CANDIDATE DEREK BAARS
Synod 2010 notifies the churches
that as of December 10, 2009,
brother Derek Baars has been
declared to be a candidate for
the ministry in the Free Reformed
Churches. May the Lord graciously
lead the churches in prayerful
consideration of his candidacy so
that the heartfelt desire of brother
Baars to serve the Lord in the
ordained Ministry of the Word
may be confirmed and realized.
Candidate Baars may be contacted
at: 2012 Power Line Road West,
R.R.#2, Lynden, ON L0R 1T0, Tel.
905-304-9773.
MINISTERIAL CALLS
Candidate Timothy Bergsma
received a call to be pastor from
the Free Reformed Church of
Chilliwack, B.C. and from the Free
Reformed Church of Chatham,
Ontario. He accepted the call from
the Chatham congregation.
CALGARY, Alberta
Worship Services are held every
Lord’s Day at 9.30 a.m. and 4.00
p.m. and are conducted by Rev.
Hans Overduin, the pastor. Sunday
school, Catechism and Adult
Sunday school classes are held
after the morning service. Location: 6167 6th Street SE, Calgary
AB T2H 1L9 (northwest corner of
Blackfoot and Glenmore Trails). For
information contact:
Rev. Hans Overduin,
Tel. 403 474-5385;
email: [email protected]
TORONTO, Ontario
The Free Reformed Church of Toronto meets at 1130 Finch Avenue
West, North York, Ontario. Worship
services are at 10.00 a.m. and
5.30 p.m. on the Lord’s Day. For
Bible study times or for more
information, please call Mr. Rick
Fintelman at 905 852-3754 or
email: [email protected]
I S E P T E M B E R 2010
2010
ORDINATION & INSTALLATION
SERVICE: Tim Bergsma
With thanks to our faithful Lord, the
consistory and congregation of the
Free Reformed Church of Chatham
invites everyone to attend the
ordination and installation of Mr. Tim
Bergsma. Plan to share this joyful
occasion with us.
CONDUCTED BY:
Rev. Henk A. Bergsma
TIME: Friday, October 1, 2010
at 7:30 p.m. D.V.
LOCATION: Free Reformed Church
159 Gregory Drive East
Chatham, Ontario
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for
He is good!For His mercy endures
forever. Psalm 107:1
LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA
Coming to Alberta? Stay in one of
our cozy cottages! Ernst and Louise
Sluijmers 403-329-8181
website: www.elbas.com
Open Windows
>>
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This Christian
bi-monthly fullcolour magazine
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An excellent tool for evangelism,
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Annual Subscription for 2010
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Send cheque with your order to:
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NIPISSING PREACHING STATION: Powassan (near North Bay), ON
New Meeting Place
As of May 16th services are held every Sunday at 395 Main Street, Powassan. Directions: Take the most southern exit from Highway 11 into Powassan,
turn left onto Main Street, and follow through town until you see a small
white church on the
corner. Service times are
11:00 AM and 2:30 PM
with a potluck fellowship
lunch in between. When
no ministers are scheduled
to preach, the worship
services of the Brantford
Free Reformed Church are
broadcast. Check online:
www.nipissingfrc.com for
the preaching schedule, detailed directions and other information. Additional
information is available by contacting: email [email protected] or from
John Janssen at 705 493-0259.
Radio Broadcast
The Banner of Truth Radio Broadcast can be heard every Sunday on 103.5
FM at 8.30 AM and covers a radius of about 40 to 50 kilometres around
North Bay.
The
Messenger
SEPTEMBER 2010
NO OTHER
EDITOR
Rev. C. Pronk
655 Park Road North, Unit 29
Brantford, ON N3R 0A2
Tel/Fax: 519 751-4470
Email: [email protected]
The Editor reports to the
Synodical Publications Committee
Assistant Editor
Dr. G. M. Bilkes
Email: [email protected]
Committee Members
Rev. G.R. Procee, Chairman
Rev. D. H. Kranendonk, Secretary
69 Albert Street
SS1, Mitchell, ON N0K 1N0
Tel/Fax: 519 348-0436
Email: [email protected]
Rev. C. Pronk
Dr. L.W. Bilkes
Rev. J. Koopman
Rev. J. Overduin
Mr. H. VanDoodewaard
Rev. J. Lewis
Mr. R. Roth
SUBSCRIPTION RATE
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The Messenger is published 11 times per year.
SUBSCRIPTIONS/REMITTANCES
Requests for subscriptions, all payments and inquiries regarding rates, invoices, and all remittances
should be addressed to:
THE MESSENGER
c/o Marianne Overduin, Administrator
P.O. Box 1094
Mitchell, ON N0K 1N0
Tel./Fax: 519 348-0020
Email: [email protected]
All notices for family announcements, obituaries,
anniversaries, and non-commercial advertisements
for the October 2010 issue should reach the copy
editor, Frederika Pronk, no later than Tuesday,
September 13, 2010 and should be sent to:
THE MESSENGER
655 Park Road North, Unit 29
Brantford, ON N3R 0A2 CANADA
Telephone/Fax: 519 751-4470
Email: [email protected]
or [email protected]
Free Reformed website: www.frcna.org
MEDITATION
GOSPEL>>
By Horatius Bonar
T
he thing that strikes us most in these verses is Paul’s jealousy for the purity and freeness of the gospel. He estimated everything in light of its
glad tidings. Of that gospel he was never
I marvel that ye are so soon
weary; and whatever interfered with its
good news he condemned. He needed that
removed from Him that called
gospel for himself; and he knew that the
you into the grace of Christ
world needed it. Men could do without the
unto, another gospel: which is
sun more easily than they could do with- not another; but there be some
out the gospel. In order to bring out the
that trouble you, and would
meaning of the whole passage, let us take pervert the gospel of Christ. But
up the following points:
though we, or an angel from
heaven, preach any other gospel
1. The one gospel. There never have been
unto you than that which we
two gospels. There is not an Old Testa- have preached unto you, let him
ment gospel and a New Testament gospel. be accursed. As we said before,
There is not one gospel for the Jew, and
so say I now again, If any man
another for the Gentile--one gospel for the
preach any other gospel unto
first century, and another for the twentyyou than that ye have received,
first. It is but one gospel, as there is but
let him be accursed.
one cross and one Saviour. There are many
G alat i ans 1 : 6 - 9
ages, but only one gospel; many sinners,
but one gospel; many prophets and apostles, but one gospel. As our earth has had but one sun, so it has had but one
gospel. There is no need for another gospel; the one we have is sufficient. The
message it brings to us concerning God’s free love in Christ Jesus His Son is
sufficient for all ages, and for all men, and for all nations.
2. Christ’s gospel. It is the gospel of Christ (verse 7), both because it contains
the divine good news concerning Him, and because He Himself has sent it out.
“Glad tidings” Christ came to preach to us. These He not only declared, but He
embodied them in His person, and in His great work upon the cross. He, who
brings a true report concerning Christ and His cross, tells the true gospel; and
he who, in his report, adds anything to or takes anything from what God has
testified concerning His Son, mars Christ’s gospel. And he, who simply believes
that true report, is saved by that which he believes; for the gospel is the gospel
of salvation (Eph. 1:13). Of this gospel Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the
SEPTEMBER 2010
I THE MESSENGER
3
MEDITATION
>>
CONTINUED...
beginning and the end, the circumference and the centre.
Apart from Him there is no gospel at all.
3. The gospel of the grace of Christ. It is especially to the “grace
of Christ” that the apostle refers (verse 6). The gospel, then,
is the good news of Christ’s free love: The grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ, who, though He was rich, for our sakes became
poor. From Bethlehem to Golgotha we see the same “grace,”
in word and deed, in all His dealings with the sons of men.
All riches of grace is deposited in Him, pouring themselves
out of His fullness upon this needy and sinful earth. The
fullness of grace in Christ Jesus--this is what we preach, and
this is what the sons of Adam need. It is large, wide, free,
manifold grace, according to the need and guilt of the millions of this sinful and sorrowful world.
4. Paul’s gospel. He speaks of it as “the gospel which I
preach,” “our gospel,” even ”my gospel,” identifying it
with himself. He is not claiming anything to himself in so
speaking; he is merely proclaiming his confidence in the
good news he preached, as alone divine. Paul’s gospel and
Christ’s gospel were one.
or pervert the gospel. He cannot be trusted with it for
an hour. He is always adding to it or taking from it, or
altering it. The natural heart abhors the simple and pure
gospel. Even the renewed heart is often misinterpreting
it, even sometimes questioning it. It is so utterly opposed
to all human goodness; it makes so much of God, and so
little of man.
This perversion is very easily done, and does not imply denial of Christ and His grace. These Galatians did not deny
Christ. They admitted all that the apostle said about Him.
They merely wished to add a little to the gospel. Believe in
Christ, they said, but add to this the keeping of the Mosaic
ordinances. A slight addition was all they wanted.
But the apostle saw the danger of this small addition. It
destroyed the whole gospel. “If ye be circumcised, Christ
shall profit you nothing.” In how many ways we neutralize the gospel, by adding something of our own in order
to make it more complete! Except ye feel as well as believe, ye cannot be saved! Except ye can produce certain
marks and evidences of regeneration, ye cannot be saved!
Thus men make void the cross. They slide from the rock.
They fall from grace (Gal. 5:4).
5. A complete gospel. These verses declare this most emphatically. It is complete, not needing additions or subtractions; perfect in all respects; requiring nothing at the Let us take the gospel as it is. Let us receive the “report”
hands of man; so complete and perfect that Paul himself in all its simplicity. Let us admit God’s free love in all its
would not utter it in the enticing words of man’s wisdom, abundance. Let us rest on the grace of Christ.
lest he should be adding anything to it, or presenting it
in a form which might suggest that without such orna- This meditation is by Horatius Bonar (1808-1880),
ments and recommendations it would be imperfect. How whose writings continue to be reprinted and whose
many since then have, by their additions of argument, hymns, such as “Not What My Hands Have Done,” coneloquence and glittering words, seemed to assume the tinue to be favourites today.
imperfection of the bare gospel? The
FALL 2010 SYNODICAL COMMITTEE MEETING SCHEDULE
gospel, they think, needs adorning,
OCTOBER 25
OCTOBER 26
OCTOBER 27
else it wilt not find its way into human
Time
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
9.00 a.m.
Theological Education 11
Publications 12
Interchurch Relations 13
hearts! The cross is too bare and hard;
Lunch
11
Lunch
12
Lunch
13
it needs to be beautified, and softened,
1.00 p.m.
Theological Education 11
Publications 12
Interchurch Relations 13
and carved, and decked with flowers,
4.00 - 6:00 p.m. Theological Education 11 Publications 12
else it will not attract! This, says Paul,
Supper
0
Supper
0
Supper
0
6 p.m. Youth & Ed.
9
7.00 - 10:00 p.m. Theological Education 4 p.m. Home Missions*11
is to make it void; and terrible are the
Historical Centre
words he uses here to condemn these
Committee Membership:
corrupters or perverters of the gospel:
Theological Ed.
12
Evangelism
5
Home Missions
7
“Let them be accursed.”
Theol Student Sup
4
Interchurch Relations 13
Foreign Missions
10
God’s Grace Alone Saves
Man has always set himself to subvert
4 THE MESSENGER
I SEPTEMBER 2010
Finance
6
Publications
10
Youth & Ed.
9
Please direct requests for insertions/changes to: Hans Van Doodewaard • [email protected]; Tel. 905.701.5275
* Home Missions to include Banner of Truth
SPEAKING GOD’S TRUTH
WITHOUT COMPROMISE
>>
EDITORIAL
M
artin Luther once said: If I witness for every portion of the truth, except the one little portion that
the devil is attacking at the moment, I am not confessing
Christ, however loudly I may be professing Him. Where
the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.
It is easy for a minister of the Gospel to defend doctrines
no one is attacking. If Luther had spent his life defending the doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ, no one
would have bothered him, because no one in the Church
at the time questioned this doctrine.
Why did Luther get into trouble with “Mother Church?”
Because he boldly proclaimed the doctrine of justification
by faith alone. By going against the “salvation by works”
teaching of his day he brought upon himself the wrath
and displeasure of Christendom. A true prophet is a man
who must often swim against the tide. He does not solicit
the praise of man, but seeks the approval of God. Therefore he will often be misunderstood, misrepresented, and
mistreated.
vah. He insists that Ahab summon Micaiah, the one remaining prophet of the Lord in Samaria. Reluctantly,
Ahab bows to his friend’s wishes and sends for Micaiah,
who is in prison.
Micaiah Is Offered Unsolicited Advice
When the messenger has informed Micaiah why Ahab
wants to see him, he gives him a few hints as to what he
should tell the king. Since his colleagues have given Ahab
a positive message he is urged to do the same. He must
not embarrass the king in front of Jehoshaphet! This man
probably thought he was doing Micaiah a favour. He assumes that Micaiah too, will appreciate hearing in advance
in what direction the wind is blowing, so he can set his sails
accordingly.
Many modern prophets are like that too. They wait to see
what is “in” at a certain time, and then they gear their message to whatever people like to hear. In the sixties when
the civil rights movement was in full swing, all “with it”
clergymen jumped on the bandwagon. In the eighties it was
feminism, in the nineties gay rights and today it is global
The Prophet Micaiah
In I Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 18 we meet such a true warming that provides fodder for our politically correct
prophet. His name is Micaiah the son of Imlah. Ahab, the prophets.
king of Israel, has invited Jehoshaphat, king of Judah,
to help him take back the city of Ramoth-Gilead from Ahab’s four hundred prophets understood, that to stay popthe Syrians. Before accepting this proposal, however, Je- ular and even alive, they had to tell Ahab what he wanted to
hoshaphat insists that Ahab first seek counsel with the hear. Micaiah therefore is put under tremendous pressure
Lord. Ahab agrees. He calls in his four hundred prophets. to adopt this same survival technique.
In response to Ahab’s question as to whether he should go
to war or not, the four hundred prophets answer unani- Micaiah’s Resolve
What will Micaiah do? Cave in? No, he won’t. Micaiah is
mously that God approves of the planned action.
a true prophet of the Lord. As difficult as it is for him to
Jehoshaphat is not convinced, however. He suspects go against the prevailing mood, he knows he has to speak
these men have not received their message from Jeho- the truth. His reply is unequivocal: “As the Lord liveth,
S E P T E M B E R 2010
I THE MESSENGER
5
EDITORIAL
continued
what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak.” However, when Ahab asks him what he should do, go to war or
not, the prophet’s answer is surprising: “Go up and prosper, and the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”
This is not what Ahab had expected to hear from Micaiah.
Has the prophet changed his mind? No! Micaiah is being sarcastic. For a moment he assumes the role of one of
Ahab’s false prophets. You ask me whether you should go
up against Ramoth-Gilead? Go right ahead. That is what
you expect me to say, so I’ll cooperate and tell you exactly
what you want to hear.
>>
lusion (cf. 2 Thess.2:11). I believe we are living in those
days already. Isn’t our world full of false prophets and
don’t the masses follow them? Who still wants to hear
pure Gospel preaching today? Yes, there are still churches
where the truth is preached, thank God. But the trend is
away from clear and faithful Biblical preaching whereby
sinners are warned to flee from the wrath to come and
called to “repentance toward God and faith toward our
Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
Sound Doctrine Is Hated
Why is this so? Let the apostle Paul explain the reason.
Ahab recognizes the sarcasm behind Micaiah’s words and In 2 Timothy 4:3 he says: “For the time will come when
insists that the prophet will speak only the truth in the they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own
name of the Lord. How hypocritical this is! But Michaiah lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itchtakes him at his word. He will give him the
ing ears. And they shall turn away their
According to the apostle
truth and nothing but the truth.
ears from the truth.” So the fault lies with
Paul, there will come a
both preachers and hearers. The four huntime
when
the
world
The Mystery Of A Lying Spirit
dred prophets would not have been invited
will be full of such false
Micaiah has seen a vision. In this vision all
to Ahab’s court if the king had listened to
Israel lies scattered on the hills as sheep
the truth proclaimed by Elijah and Micaprophets, and many will
without a shepherd and the voice of the
iah. But Ahab’s ears had become itchy and
believe them.
Lord says: “These have no master, let them
he couldn’t stand the truth any more. “Hast
return every man to his house in peace.” The meaning is thou found me, O mine enemy,” he spits out when Elijah
clear. If you, Ahab, go to battle, you will pay for it with comes to rebuke him for his sins. His complaint about
your life--you will be killed. Ahab doesn’t like this mes- Micaiah is that he only prophesied unpleasant things to
sage either. Leaning over to Jehoshaphat, he says: See, I him.
told you so; that man can only prophesy evil to me.
Yet, both Elijah and Micaiah meant well. Both sought afBut Micaiah goes on to explain where these four hundred ter Ahab’s conversion, not his destruction. But Ahab will
prophets get their message and who inspired them. God not listen. Ahab wants to go on sinning and he tries to
has sent a lying spirit into these men. How must we in- comfort himself with the messages of his false prophets.
terpret this? Did these prophets become false because of How sad! These prophets are keeping the truth from him.
this spirit of deception, or were they false to begin with? This is God’s judgment upon Ahab and this is still God’s
The latter, no doubt. The prophets of Ahab’s court are judgment on sinners today who turn away from the truth.
evil men. They claim to be prophets of the Lord, while in God lets them go. He allows them to be deceived by relireality they speak only from their own heart. Now God, gious leaders who speak in the name of the Lord, but in
by way of judgment, sends them an evil spirit to deceive reality they are led by the spirit of deception.
them, so that they cannot do anything but prophesy lies.
How terrible this is! Not only for these prophets them- Micaiah, the true prophet of the Lord, delivers an unwelselves, but also for those who listen to them and believe come message to king Ahab and his guest, Jehoshaphat.
them.
The false prophets promise that Ahab’s war effort will be
a smashing success, but Micaiah warns him that it will
According to the apostle Paul, there will come a time when be a colossal failure. Unpopular as this prediction makes
the world will be full of such false prophets, and many him, Michaiah is resolved to speak the truth and only the
will believe them. Yes, the whole world will follow them! truth: “As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me,
Why? Because God shall send them a spirit of strong de- that will I speak.” Here we see loyalty to divine truth in
6 THE MESSENGER
I S E P T E M B E R 2010
>>
the face of tremendous pressure. The pressure he faces is
three-fold.
warning that God’s blessing does no rest upon the
venture.
The Pressure Of Majority Opinion
The Pressure Of Humanism
There is, first of all, the pressure of humanism. To Ahab, Micaiah also has to resist the pressure of majority
religion is something he uses for his own advantage. Like opinion. He is faced with the demand to bring his mesPilate later, he is not interested in truth. Ahab is a man of sage in line with that of his colleagues. Ahab’s prophthe world. Since religion is a fact of life, he will use it to ets claim to speak for Jehovah. Actually, they are inspired by a lying spirit and they utter lies
promote his own interests. The four hunin the name of the Lord. The most subtle
dred prophets he retains at his court proOur society, to the extent
danger of Ahab’s day was not the golden
vide the official sanction of religion to his
that it still sees a role
calves set up by Jeroboam, but the men
autocratic policies.
for religion, allows it to
who claimed to speak for the true God
perform only social
and had become so blinded that they
Our society, to the extent that it still sees a
functions.
It
totally
rejects
could not discern truth from error.
role for religion, allows it to perform only
the vertical, but still
social functions. It totally rejects the verrecognizes the horizontal
Also in our time there are blind leaders
tical, but still recognizes the horizontal
dimension
of
faith.
of the blind who speak for the Lord, but
dimension of faith. The church may prothey were never sent by Him. Denying
vide material relief to the poor and needy
but she should not impose biblical norms and values on even the possibility of objective and absolute truth,
people. Not God, but man must decide what is good and they teach that truth is relative, depending on the individual and his needs and that of society’s needs. We
bad, right and wrong.
are being told from every side that the Bible is not the
Micaiah knows that he is expected to dance to Ahab’s hu- only source of truth and that there are many ways to
manistic tune, but by God’s grace, he resists this pressure. God.
Evangelical ministers as well as conscientious church
members often find themselves faced with similar pres- But the Bible says there is only one way of salvation,
sures. Those who dare to condemn public sins in the name namely through Christ and Him crucified and risen. Miof God and His revealed truth are being charged with hate caiah resisted the pressure of Ahab’s humanism. He resisted the pressure of Jehoshaphat’s compromising. He
crimes and prosecuted as violators of man-made laws.
resisted the pressure of four hundred false prophets to
tone down unpleasant and embarrassing truth. He sufThe Pressure Of Compromise
Another pressure that was brought to bear on Micaiah fered persecution and his only reward for being loyal to
was that of compromise. We see this spirit of compromise God’s truth was that Ahab threw him back into prison
at work in king Jehoshaphat. Just as Ahab is the father of and put him on starvation rations.
all who want to hear nothing but smooth things, so Jehoshaphat is the type of believer who compromises with It would have been so easy for Micaiah to avoid all this. If
the truth. At heart, Jehoshaphat is a good man. He is de- he had only given in a little and tweaked his message just
scribed as a God-fearing king. Yet he reveals himself as a a bit, he might have been set free. He could have said, I
man prepared to sacrifice principle for the sake of good need to use some tact here, then I may go out and preach
again and win souls for the Lord. But Micaiah said nothrelations with Ahab
ing of the sort. Instead, he said: “As the Lord liveth, what
How often we are like that too! We don’t want to be the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak.” Micaiah was
different from the world. We don’t dare say no to the willing to suffer persecution for God’s sake and for the
Ahabs of the world and we resent it when God’s faith- truth’s sake. Are we prepared to do this? Are we willing
ful servants rebuke us for this sin. Jehoshaphat fol- to stand up and be counted today when the masses are
lows Ahab to Ramoth-Gilead despite Micaiah’s clear departing from the truth?
S E P T E M B E R 2010
I THE MESSENGER
7
>>
EDITORIAL
continued
Faithfulness Is Vindicated
The Elijahs and Micaiahs, the Peters, Pauls and Calvins
and Luthers, and all God’s faithful people go through
many afflictions in this life. But their end is peace. Micaiah was ultimately vindicated. His prophecy came
true. Ahab was killed and Jehoshaphat had a narrow
escape. God’s Word never lies. What it says always
comes to pass. That is true of His warnings as well as
His promises.
As we begin another season of regular church activities after our summer vacation, we need to keep all
these things in mind. May we as ministers and others
who are involved in teaching Sunday school, catechism
classes, Bible studies and evangelistic outreach, follow
Micaiah’s example and speak only what the Lord says
to us, while practicing what we preach and teach, by
the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. Let us never
forget what our exalted Lord said to the church of
Ephesus: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give
thee a crown of life.”
ORGAN & PANFLUTE
Tour
ANDRE KNEVEL and LISELOTTE ROKYTA
October 2
Time: 8:00 pm.
Bethel Christian Reformed Church
345 Elizabeth Street East, Listowel ON
With the Mattaniah Christian Male Choir,
Director H. den Hollander. For information call: 519-455-8569
October 4
Time: 7:30 pm
Glenridge Bible Church
1 Lakeshore Road, St. Catharines, ON
For information call: 905-937-1326
October 5
Time: 7:30 pm.
Forward Baptist Church
455 Myers Road, Cambridge, ON
With the Hosanna Mixed Choir, Director H. den Hollander
For information call: 905-628-1211
October 6
Time: 8:00 pm.
Covenant Canadian Reformed Church
480 Woolverton Road, Grassie, ON
For information call: 905-957-3529
October 7
Time: 8:00 pm.
Immanuel Orthodox Reformed Church
2900 Fourth Ave., Jordan, ON
With the Mattaniah Christian Male Choir,
Director, H. den Hollander
For information call: 905-309-0853
October 8
Time: 7:30 pm.
Hebron Christian Reformed Church
With the Mattaniah Christian Male Choir,
Director H. den Hollander
4240 Anderson Street, Whitby, ON
For information, call: 905-628-1211
October 9
Time: 7:30 pm.
Hope Christian Reformed Church
1315 Crawford Ave. (at Francis Street), Thunder Bay, ON
For information call: 807-577-7697
1-866-833-2741
October 13
Time: 8:00 pm.
First Christian Reformed Church
33 Shirley Ave., Barrie, ON
For information call: 905-775-3708
Locations
October 14
Time: 7:30 pm. First Christian Reformed Church
Corner of Murphy Rd. and Exmouth Streets, Sarnia, ON
For information call: 519-344-9407
October 15
Time: 7:45 pm. First United Methodist Church
227 E Fulton Street, Grand Rapids, Michigan
With the Mattaniah Christian Male Choir,
Director H. den Hollander
For information call: 616-698-2006
Mailing Address
October 16
Time: 8:00 pm.
Rehoboth United Reformed Church
Glancaster Road, Ancaster, ON
For information call: 905-765-6124
7038 Longwoods Road
P.O. Box 503, Lambeth Station
London, ON N6P 1R1
November 5
Time: 8:00 pm.
Roy Thompson Hall (Concert Hall)
With O.C.M.A. Director Leendert Kooy
Special guest, Liselotte Rokyta, Panflute
For information call: 416-636-9779
www.ChristianCounsellingCentre.ca
Individual, Marriage, and Family Counselling
Toll Free Telephone:
Burlington
London
(905) 632-2317
(519) 652-2770
3425 Harvester Road
Units 20 & 21
Burlington, ON
7038 Longwoods Rd.
(corner of Hwy 2 & 4)
Lambeth, ON
“Bringing Glory to God by Caring for Each Other”
8 THE MESSENGER
I S E P T E M B E R 2010
Gleanings
FROM THE CHURCHES
St. George Building Plans Continue to Move Forward
A recent bulletin note in St. George announced that “the property [for
a new church building] is owned by Providence FRC as of July 15,
2010!” The lot is located just on the edge of the village of St. George,
on St. George Road, next to the cemetery. Pastor Jack Schoeman wrote
me in an email: “It is a beautiful lot - 4 acres surrounded on all sides by
mature trees and rolling countryside. Best of all, it is right on the edge
of town - within walking distance of two large subdivisions which,
hopefully, will mean opportunities for outreach.” A sign for the property should be coming soon. Meanwhile, drawings are nearing completion and will be ready for tendering. The same bulletin note observed:
“We truly see how God is blessing our congregation and we ask you to
continue in your prayers and financial support.” Indeed, we pray God’s
further blessing upon these plans and that soon the congregation may
enjoy a home of her own in which to worship the Lord and to increase
her witness in the community of St. George and beyond.
Evangelism Efforts in Hamilton and Langley
A note in the Hamilton bulletin this summer tells about expanded efforts to contact the local community in anticipation of a week of a Vacation Bible School: “This year about 5000 flyers have been distributed
in ad bags in the neighbourhood and 1900 were handed out on foot…
VBS is intended to be primarily an outreach to unchurched children, so
we ask that if church families plan to attend they bring along a neighbour friend if possible…” By the time we read this, VBS will be over,
but we pray that God will bless the seed of His Word as it is sown in
the minds, and we hope also in the hearts, of many children, not only
in Hamilton but in every one of the communities where our churches
could conduct a week of Vacation Bible School.
One example of the ‘success’ of VBS was reported in the Langley
bulletin: “We are very grateful to God for the great blessing shown to
our VBS last week. The attendance of 36 children was beyond our expectation. Over half of these were from the community. Unfortunately
we had to refuse another 15 children because we had no capacity. The
appreciation expressed by the children and their parents was overwhelming.” In terms of follow up, the church invited everyone attending VBS to come with their families to the annual church picnic.
Meanwhile, the evangelism committee in Langley has put together
1000 little packets including a bookmark and two CDs. The bookmark
advertises church service times and contact information, etc, while the
CD contains two audio sermons by Pastor Aicken (one sermon entitled
“Without hope and Without God” and the other “How can I be right
with God?”). These packets were distributed by members of the congregation in two different communities near the Langley congregation. It is a small and relatively easy way to spread the Word of the
Lord, and who knows what the fruit of that spreading and sowing
might be? The Langley congregation is prayerfully hoping that through
their efforts visitors might come to their Lord’s Day services. In order
to prepare for that possibility, the Adult Sunday School class of the
congregation is planning to spend time talking about how to meet
and greet newcomers to the church as well as how to mobilize the
congregation to conduct effective outreach. May the Lord through His
Holy Spirit richly bless these efforts to reach the outside world with
the gospel and to bring many sinners to salvation in the Lord Jesus
Christ, in and around Langley and wherever our congregations meet
throughout North America.
50th Anniversary – van Essens
About two hundred Free Reformed members gathered in Mitchell’s
sanctuary on July 2 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Rev. van
Essen as a minister of the gospel. The evening included some special
speeches and presentations by the van Essens and representatives of
the Chatham, Fenwick, and Mitchell FRCs. Recognizing the uniqueness of this event, the Mitchell consistory, in cooperation with Puritan
Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS) initiated the start of a special
book fund, “The Rev. & Mrs. van Essen Book Scholarship Fund,” an
investment fund meant to help with the book needs of overseas students who come to study at PRTS. All of the churches were contacted
and invited to participate, and the result is that already $13,000.00
has been committed to this fund. If individuals are interested in contributing, please contact the Mitchell consistory. The idea is that the
interest collected through this investment will help foreign students.
The focus of the evening was to give praise and thanks to the Lord for
His blessings to the church through the ministry of Rev. van Essen, and
to express that thanks through providing for the next generation. It
was good to be together, to bring praise and thanks to the Lord and to
enjoy fellowship. We pray the blessing of the Lord to rest further upon
Rev. and Mrs. van Essen.
Rev. Joel Overduin is the pastor of the Free Reformed Church
of Mitchell, Ontario.
S E P T E M B E R 2010
I THE MESSENGER
9
Rev. H. Bergsma:
FAREWELL, LONDON FREE REFORMED CHURCH
by P eter V ander E lst
>>
Pastor Bergsma preached his farewell sermon to the congregation of London in the afternoon service of September 13th.
A number of guests and former members were also present.
The Scripture text was Philippians 4:19.20, reminding us that
though our pastor would be leaving, God doesn’t leave. He is
our great Shepherd who will be our Pastor.
where the ladies’ group served strawberry shortcake because
this is the pastor’s favourite dessert. A good time of fellowship
and singing was had by all; along with a few tears. Elder Peter VanderElst presented the pastor and his wife, Gerda, with
an enlarged picture of the congregation taken at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the church. In the outer frame
each person belonging to the congregation was able to write
Before the benediction elder Ray Koopman came to the pulpit their signature. A monetary gift was also presented to them
on behalf of the consistory and spoke to pastor Bergsma, com- (donated by the congregation) to help with the transition in
mending him for almost 14 years of preaching, pastoral care, moving. Elder VanderElst addressed words of commendation
catechism instruction, Bible study, and leading the “Best Years to the pastor as he begins his ministry in Fenwick.
Fellowship” group. Pastor Bergsma was not spared difficulty,
he took his calling seriously, and he will be missed. The time Elder Peter VanderElst,
has now come for his transition to the Fenwick congregation. Corresponding Secretary
Elder Koopman thanked Pastor Bergsma for his labours in Lon- Free Reformed Church of London, Ontario
don and encouraged him to go on in the strength of the Lord,
looking to Him for guidance. He concluded with the words,
“Ebenezer, hitherto the Lord has helped us.”
Pastor
Henk Bergsma.
A time of fellowship followed in the downstairs fellowship
room
INSTALLATION IN FENWICK FREE REFORMED CHURCH
by J E F F C O O L E N
On July 9th, 2010 Rev. Henk Bergsma was installed as the second pastor in the history of the Zion Free Reformed Church
in Fenwick, Ontario. The service was officiated by Rev. Henry
VanEssen. Ironically, the roles were reversed when Rev. VanEssen was installed as a minister in the Free Reformed churches.
The Scripture readings were from Proverbs 14: 15-25 and Acts
1:1-8. Pastor VanEssen’s sermon was based on Proverbs 14:25,
“A true witness delivers souls, but a deceitful witness speaks
lies.” The sermon was delivered under the theme, “A Preacher is
a Witness at God’s Preliminary Trial.” He is a witness first of all
to the post-condition of his hearers and secondly to the way to
be set free of this condition.
>>
be reconciled to God.” He preached on the theme, “A Preacher
is God’s Mouthpiece to Reconciliation. His points were 1) the
preachers, 2) the approach, 3) the preaching.
Various letters from congregations were publicly acknowledged
by the consistory. Rev. VandeMeyden addressed Rev. Bergsma
on behalf of Vineland, the closest neighbouring church, and
also on behalf of the Free Reformed federation of churches. The
chairman of consistory addressed Rev. Bergsma on behalf of
the Zion Free Reformed congregation. A gift was presented to
the Bergsmas of a picture album along with an accompanying
profile of the members of the congregation.
The evening ended with fellowship. As a congregation we are
After reading the Form of Installation, Rev. Bergsma read 2 Cor- thankful for God’s provision in supplying us with another pasinthians 5:18-21 from Scripture. The text was based on verse tor.
20: “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God
were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, Jeff Coolen, Elder Zion Free Reformed Church.
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BOOKS TO FEED
YOUR MIND AND SOUL
For Catechism Material, Bible Study Guides, Daily Devotions for Adults and
Children, Children’s Bible Lessons, and much more,
request an Order Form or visit: www.frcna.org (click on RESOURCES)
NEW TEACHER’S GUIDE
Handbook for Teaching the Bible to
Children and Youth
Joint Publication of Free Reformed
Sunday School Association & Free
Reformed Publications
Order from
FREE REFORMED PUBLICATIONS
P.O. Box 1094, Mitchell,
ON N0K 1N0 Canada
Email: [email protected];
see also www.frcna.org
“Books to Feed Your Mind and Soul”
FREE REFORMED PUBLICATIONS
P.O. Box 1094
Mitchell, ON
N0K 1N0 CANADA
Email: [email protected];
Tel./Fax: 519 348-0020
http://www.frcna.org
Churches and bookstores can
be invoiced at reduced prices for
bulk quantities of 10 or more.
REFORMED SINGLES FELLOWSHIP CONFERENCE
Date:
Time:
Place:
Speaker:
Topic:
Conference Fee:
Saturday, October 9, 2010
8:45 a.m. Registration
Jordan Christian School, 4171 15th St., Jordan Station, ON
Rev. G. R. Procee
The Position of the early Christians in their Culture
$50.00 (Canadian and U.S.)
Cost: $7.50
The material in this booklet was previously
part of the Teacher’s Commentary, a resource
for teaching the Bible to children and youth.
This handbook for teachers is now published
as a separate spiral-bound booklet. It has
been revised and supplemented with a historical survey of church education and four
treatises by Free Reformed ministers that set
forth the biblical, theological foundations
for teaching children and youth.
Singles 30 years and over are invited to come and join us for our next Reformed Singles Fellowship Conference. Pastor Procee from Hamilton Free Reformed Church will present his interesting and timely topic during the morning session followed by discussions and fellowship.
Afternoon activities include a visit to the indoor and outdoor gardens of the Royal Botanical
Gardens (RBG) in Hamilton with an opportunity to enjoy the fall colours (weather permitting)
on the nearby hiking trails. Morning coffee, lunch and supper are included in the conference
fee, but admission to the RBG (approx $12.00) will be extra.
For further information, call 905-892-2048 or e-mail [email protected]
------------------------------------
To register please complete and send in the form below along with your payment by
September 15, 2010 to RSF, P.O. Box 225, Fonthill, Ontario, Canada L0S 1E0.
October 2010 CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FORM
Name _________________________________________________________________________
Address _______________________________________________________________________
City____________________________________________State/Prov._______________________
Postal/Zip Code ____________________Phone No. _____________________________________
Email Address ___________________________________________________________________
S E P T E M B E R 2010
I THE MESSENGER
11
DUNDAS
FREE REFORMED CHURCH:
60
YEARS
(1950-2010)
CHURCH HISTORY
E
arlier this year, the congregation of Dundas commemorated
its 60th anniversary, thereby marking that it is the oldest
Canadian congregation of our federation of churches. This article
is about Dundas; yet the efforts and struggles of our parents and
grandparents to establish a church life that reflected the biblical and reformed experiential tradition of the churches they left
when they emigrated from the Netherlands were similar in all our
early Free Reformed churches. Editor.
Roots
The majority of the members of our Dundas congregation
have their roots in the Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken
(CGK) and other Reformed churches in the Netherlands.
Some of the first members arrived in Canada as early as
1947. At the time of their arrival they could not find food
for their souls in the established churches of Dutch origin in
the area. They felt that on the whole, the preaching in these
churches was not fully biblical. It failed to address the seriousness of man’s lost condition and it failed to deal in depth
with the biblical way of salvation and the way that salvation
is personally applied to sinners. Therefore, sermons were often read by the head (father) of the family in their homes on
the Lord’s Day; on some occasions two or three families came
together for worship services. As more Dutch immigrant
families arrived in the Hamilton-Dundas area, the need for
a place to gather for public worship where the truths of the
Word of God were preached in an experiential way became
more urgent. Many petitions were sent to the throne of grace
for guidance and direction and that prayer was answered in
a marvelous way.
Institution of Dundas Church
Early in 1950, Mr. Jetse Hamstra, who had immigrated to
Canada with his family in 1948 and had been an exhorting
elder in the CGK in the Netherlands, was examined by the
consistory of the Old Christian Reformed Church in Grand
12 T H E M E S S E N G E R
I S E P T E M B E R 2010
>>
Rapids, under the direction of their pastor, Rev. G.A. Zijderveld, regarding his suitability to continue as an exhorting
elder in Canada. The result of the examination was favourable and Mr. Hamstra was installed as a teaching elder of the
“Old Christian Reformed Church of Grand Rapids” with the
special assignment of labouring among the immigrants in
Ontario.
The first public worship service was held on February 12,
1950, when approximately twenty people gathered in the
Presbyterian Church at Christies Corner on Hwy. 5, West
Flamborough. Elder Jetse Hamstra spoke on Psalm 119:54,
“Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.”
Following that first service, morning and afternoon services
were held in the same location each Lord’s Day. As the number
of people attending the services steadily increased, the need
became evident for the founding of a congregation. On April
24th, 1950, ten men gathered at elder Hamstra’s residence,
under the leadership of Rev. Zijderveld, with the purpose of
forming a congregation. They were: Mr. Albert Brunsveld, Mr.
Antoon Brunsveld, Mr. M. DeGraaf, Mr. Gerald Hamstra, Mr.
Jacob Hamstra, Elder Jetse Hamstra, Mr. M. Leegstra, Mr.
G. Neven, Mr. F. Smid and Mr. S. Vander Veen. The outcome
of this meeting was the formation of the “Old Christian Reformed Church of Hamilton and Environs,” the name by which
the Dundas congregation was known at that time.
That evening the election of office bearers also took place and
exhorter Mr. Jetse Hamstra and Mr. S. Vander Veen became
our first elders and Mr. Albert Brunsveld became our first
deacon. These men were installed in their respective offices
the following evening, April 25, in a public worship service
led by Rev. Zijderveld. By God’s grace and due to His sparing mercies, three people who were present at that original
meeting are still members of our congregation today, they
are: Mr. Antoon Brunsveld, Rev. Gerald Hamstra, and Mr.
>>
Jacob Hamstra.
Ordination of Mr. Jetse Hamstra
At a Classis meeting held in Dundas on July 28, 1954, Elder
J. Hamstra was examined and declared a candidate eligible
for call to the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments according to Article 8 of the Church Order. An official call was extended to him by the Dundas congregation and he could accept this call with liberty. On November 18, 1954, Candidate
Jetse Hamstra was ordained as Minister of the Word and installed as our pastor by Rev. C. Smits. Rev. Smits chose as his
text Isaiah 51:16, “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I
have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant
the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto
Zion, Thou art my people.” Rev. J. Hamstra then addressed
the congregation as our official minister and preached his
inaugural sermon on the words of 2 Corinthians 13:9b, “and
this also we wish, even your perfection.” His desire was for the
congregation to be perfect in Christ.
First Church Building
In 1952, while the congregation was steadily growing, the
consistory began making plans to have its own church building. On February 15, 1955 a lot was purchased on Highway
8 in West Flamborough. Rev. Hamstra laid the first stone
for the new building on June 18, 1955 with the words from
1 Samuel 7:12, “Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between
Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying,
Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.”
On Sunday afternoon, March 31, 1957, the last service was
held in the Presbyterian Church at Christies Corners. Rev.
Hamstra chose as text for this sermon, Psalm 137:5, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.” The
dedication of the “new church” took place on April 4, 1957.
It had taken seven years, but at last the congregation had its
own church building. In August 1963, a lot was purchased
on Highway 8 near the church and the parsonage was built
the following year.
Rev. Gerald Hamstra
On May 1st, 1972 honourable retirement was granted to
Rev. J. Hamstra. He had served our congregation for more
than 22 years – four years as teaching elder and eighteen
years as pastor. He preached his farewell sermon on June
2, 1972 using as his text, 2 Samuel 7:18b, “Who am I, O Lord
God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?”
After Rev. J. Hamstra retired, the Lord graciously provided
another servant. Rev. G. Hamstra, son of Rev. J. Hamstra
and pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Toronto,
who accepted the call extended to him by our congregation.
After only one month of vacancy he was installed as our pastor on August 11, 1972 by Rev. J. Keuning with the words of
Isaiah 40:9,“Behold your God!” In his inauguration service Rev.
G. Hamstra spoke from the same chapter of Isaiah, verse 11,
“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs
with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead
those that are with young.”
Changes
At Synod 1974 the delegates voted in favour of adopting the
name, “Free Reformed Church of North America” for our denomination. In September the Dundas congregation voted
in favour of accepting this name, so that the new name now
is “Ebenezer” Free Reformed Church of Dundas.
On February 10, 1976, Rev. J. Hamstra passed away. He had
fought the good fight of faith and finished his course. The
funeral service was conducted on February 13th by Rev. G.
Hamstra with words from 1 Thessalonians 4: 13 & 14, “But I
would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them
which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have
no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so
them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
In 1977, Rev. G. Hamstra received a call from Alphen aan de
Rijn (CGK) in the Netherlands, which he accepted. After serving two more congregations in Canada he retired in 1999,
and he and his wife settled not far from the Dundas FRC.
Rehoboth Christian School
The establishing of Rehoboth Christian School is also a very
memorable and important part of the history of the Dundas congregation. On April 2, 1976, the Rehoboth Christian
School Society was formed by members of the Hamilton and
Dundas congregations with the aim of building a Christian
school for our children to attend. In June of the same year,
ten acres of land were purchased on Inksetter Road in Copetown. Construction of a six-room school began in the spring
of 1978 and was completed in the late summer. On September 5, 1978, students in grades 1 through 8 were welcomed
to the school by four teachers. Rev. P. Den Butter, pastor of
the Hamilton Free Reformed Church at that time, opened
the school year with students, teachers, parents and grandparents with words of exhortation, praise and thankfulness
to the Lord for the many blessings bestowed on our school
society. The Lord had truly made room for us.
S E P T E M B E R 2010
I THE MESSENGER
13
CHURCH HISTORY
continued
Period of Vacancy and Ministers
During the next four years that Dundas was vacant, many
pastors from the Free Reformed denomination, as well as
visiting ministers from the Netherlands preached for the
congregation. Some stayed for a number of weeks and they
included Rev. Baars, Rev. Van de Weerd and Rev. Van Heteren from the Netherlands, as well as Rev. T. Joannides. We
are especially thankful for the many labours extended by
Rev. P. Den Butter, pastor of the Hamilton FRC who was the
counselor during the years 1979 to 1981. He preached many
Lord’s Day afternoons in Dundas, taught catechism classes,
conducted funerals, performed marriages and visited the
sick and people with other special needs.
Rev. Baars
In 1981 Rev. A. Baars (CGK) was led by the Lord to accept
the call extended to him. He arrived in Canada in September and was installed as our pastor on September 18th in a
service led by Rev. P. Den Butter, with the words from Acts
10:33b, “Now therefore are we all here present before God, to
hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” Rev. Baars’
inaugural address was from the same chapter, the verses
42 and 43, “And he commanded us to preach unto the people,
and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the
Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness,
that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive
remission of sins.”
During the years of Rev. Baars’ ministry, the congregation
grew steadily and we were outgrowing our church building. A property was purchased on Weirs Lane, and on November 1985 the first stone was laid by Rev. Baars at the
site of our present church building. Rev. Baars spoke on
1 Samuel 7:12 just as Rev. Hamstra had, 30 years before
at the laying of the first stone at our first church building
on Highway #8. In the afternoon of June 15, 1986, the
last service was held in the church building on Highway 8.
For this last sermon, Rev. Baars chose as text, Exodus 33:
14 & 15, “And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I
will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go
not with me, carry us not up hence.” Just before the Bible
was closed on the pulpit of the “Old Church,” Rev. Baars
read the words from 1 Peter 1:24 & 25, “For all flesh is as
grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass
withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word
of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the
gospel is preached unto you.”
14 T H E M E S S E N G E R
I SEPTEMBER 2
2010
010
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Second Church Building
On Friday, June 20th the dedication service was held for the
new church. Rev. Baars opened the Bible on the pulpit and
read 2 Peter 12:19, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that
shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star
arise in your hearts.” The sermon for this special occasion
was again taken from 1 Samuel 7:12 – reminding us of God’s
faithfulness.
In 1988 construction commenced on a parsonage on the
property beside the church. In 1988, after serving our congregation for seven years, Rev. Baars accepted a call to Middelharnis, the Netherlands. He preached his farewell sermon
on September 26th with the text, Acts 20:32, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which
is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all
them which are sanctified.”
More Vacancies and Ministers
During the next two years, various pastors of the Free Reformed denomination assisted by leading the worship services on the Lord’s Days. In 1989, after his installation as
pastor of the Hamilton FRC, Rev. G.R. Procee led the afternoon worship services most Lord’s Days.
Rev. K. Hoefnagel
In 1990, Rev. K. Hoefnagel from Nieuwpoort (CGK), the
Netherlands, accepted the call to become our minister.
He was installed on July 5, 1990, by Rev. G.R. Procee,
with the text from Isaiah 55:5, “Behold, thou shalt call a
nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not
thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and
for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.” Rev.
Hoefnagel’s inaugural sermon was from the same chapter, verse 11, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of
my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing
whereto I sent it.”
In January 1997, Rev. Hoefnagel received and accepted a call
from the congregation of Katwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands.
He preached his farewell sermon on April 25, 1997, with the
text, 2 Peter 1:19, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that
shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise
in your hearts:”
>>
Rev. L. J. Bilkes
Once again Dundas was a vacant congregation, and again Rev.
Procee filled the void. He laboured tirelessly in our congregation. As well as teaching weekly catechism classes, conducting monthly adult Bible classes and leading the “Hollandse
Middag” for seniors each month (which he still does), he
preached many Lord’s Day afternoons in the Dundas church,
conducted funerals, performed marriages and visited the sick
and people with other special needs. We are truly thankful
for all his labours.
After a period of more than six years, the Lord inclined the
heart of our present pastor, then Candidate L.J. Bilkes, to
accept a call extended to him. He was ordained as Minister
of the Word and installed as pastor of our congregation on
October 3, 2003, by his father, Dr. L. W. Bilkes, who chose
as his text, Ezekiel 33:7, “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee
a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear
the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.” A minister is
called to be God’s watchman and to fulfill this call, he must
hear the Word at the mouth of the Lord, warn the congregation from the Lord and give an account of his ministry to the
Lord. Rev. L. J. Bilkes chose for his inaugural sermon, Ezekiel
33:11, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no
pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from
his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will
ye die, O house of Israel?” The theme of the sermon was “God’s
Call to Repentance” which was divided into three points: a
sincere reassurance behind this call, an earnest command in
this call and a powerful motive attached to this call.
Rev. L. J. Bilkes with his wife Ellen came to Dundas as a
newly married couple. The Lord has blessed them with three
healthy sons, Malachi, Justus and Ezra. We are thankful for
the labours extended by our pastor and his family and pray
that the Lord would richly bless the preaching of His Word to
the salvation of sinners and the edification of His people, but
above all to the glory of His Holy Name.
Congregational Activities
Over the past sixty years various ministries and societies have
been established. Some of them, including Sunday school, Ladies’ Society, Men’s Society and Senior Young People’s Society,
were formed almost sixty years ago; Vacation Bible School and
Junior Young People’s Society were established approximately
fifty years ago. Presently, the Junior Young People meet as
two separate groups, a boys’ group and a girls’ group. Within
the last few years a second Ladies’ Society was established – a
morning and an evening group. The Hosanna Choir was organized in 1983 for the purpose of singing praises to God and
spreading His Word through song. The Young Adults meet
once a month at the parsonage for an evening of study. In
2007 the “Helping Hands Committee” was formed with its
main objective to collect items from the congregation to provide for the needy in our community and abroad.
The past sixty years speak of the goodness and mercy of the
Lord. May He graciously bless us and go with us into the
future also.
O God, to us show mercy
And bless us in Thy grace;
Cause Thou to shine upon us
The brightness of Thy face.
Psalter 176
Mr. Gilbert Noorduyn, clerk of the Dundas Free Reformed
Church, submitted this article. The information was
compiled by Jerry Hamstra and his wife, Trudy. Jerry
is a deacon in the Dundas Free Reformed church and the
grandson of Rev. Jetse Hamstra, the first minister of the
Dundas congregation.
[email protected]
nrbc.ca
September 24 & 25, 2010
NRBC
A YEARLY CONFERENCE
Is
Evangelism
Dead?
Immanuel ORC, Jordan, Ontario
Vol. 6
Speaker: Dr. J.R. Beeke
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15
15
INTERVIEW WITH
THE PRONKS
By Rev. JOEL Overduin
The Publications Committee asked me to interview our retired
ministers and to publish those interviews in the Messenger. The
first is with Rev. and Mrs. Pronk. The Pronks visited me in my
study on July 2 and we worked through these questions together.
Interviews with our other three emeritus ministers will follow in
subsequent issues, D.V. We hope these interviews will be interesting to read, helpful too and most of all glorifying to the Saviour.
1. To start us off, Rev. and Mrs. Pronk, can you tell us
a bit about your life now as a retired minister and
minister’s wife? Tell us a little about your daily/
weekly schedule. What do you do with all your ‘free’
time?
cant congregations during the fall, D.V. I’m still very active
with The Messenger and Ricky continues to help with putting
it together. I write the editorials, do the final edit and we
do several proof-readings before it goes to print. In addition,
I am preparing lectures for Puritan Reformed Theological
Seminary. In September I am scheduled to teach there for
two weeks. There are also other things. I continue to be on
the board of Word and Deed. So I don’t have all kinds of ‘free’
time. The freedom, however, consists mainly in not having
to bear the burden of a congregation and her many cares, attending consistory meetings, etc.
Rev. Pronk: All right, let me clarify that while I began my
retirement about four years ago (September 2006), it was
not until November of last year that I fully retired from pastoral ministry. Very soon after my retirement in 2006, I took
up the duties of a teaching elder in the congregation of St.
George, near Brantford, Ontario. I did that for three years, at
which time we felt it was time to retire more officially, in the
sense that we would not be responsible to minister in one
congregation any longer. That happened in November 2009, 2. This next question has to do with preaching. Rev.
when my three-year term was up.
Pronk, after all these years of reading and preaching the Bible, do you still love to do it, and why?
Since that time a new phase in our lives has taken place. It
was something like when the people of Israel crossed the Jor- Rev. Pronk: The call to the ministry is for life unless somedan. Joshua said to them, “You will be going where you have thing unforeseen happens that forces you to quit. But if
not been before.” We also have entered a new period in our you’re healthy, retirement is there for you but doesn’t mean
life – one that we had heard of and seen in others, but are the end of the ministry. You are restructuring your ministry.
now experiencing ourselves. We are still in that transition Just as when the Lord called me and I obeyed that call and
period. The congregation of St. George now has a full-time loved the ministry, I still have a great love for the ministry,
pastor and teacher, Rev. Schoeman, which means a chang- but now more limited to preaching. I don’t have to do this,
ing of the guard. He is now “in charge,” and we are simply but I am glad for the opportunity to be able to continue.
members of the congregation. This is a new experience, of Preaching is the last thing that a retiring minister will let go.
course, and we are feeling our way. As far as being busy, we That stands to reason. God gave me a burden to preach His
are still busy in that I preach almost every Sunday. It takes Word, to bring to sinners the unsearchable riches of Christ.
work to make new or old sermons fresh. We are in Powassan It is the greatest thing in the world. How can I give that up,
for the summer, and I am scheduled to preach in several va- while I am able?
16 T H E M E S S E N G E R
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3. A question we often ask our young people when they go to the theological committee and present myself to become to confess their faith is: “Who is the Lord Je- come a student for the ministry.
sus to you, and why?” Can both of you tell us how
you would answer that question today?
Getting back to the original question, it is the love and grace
and mercy of the Lord that I have been preaching for all these
Rev. Pronk: I have to go back not only to God’s call to the years. I think it is very important that our young people can
ministry, but to God’s call to me into the state of grace. When see and hear from the older members what it means to serve
I was a young man, and Ricky’s life was quite parallel here, the Lord. It’s not something you have to do or else, but you
we were fairly decent and interested church members. Yet, it want to serve Him.
wasn’t until later in our teens and early twenties that we realized there was something wrong in our lives. We both made 4. Rev. Pronk, we know that your wife has been a treconfession of faith – but I’m afraid that for us it was more a
mendous asset to you in your ministry. Can you sumconfession of the truth than of personal faith. It wasn’t until
marize what your wife has meant to you and how she
both of us came under the ministry of Rev. Laman that we
has blessed you and helped you in your life?
realized we were not in the right relationship with the Lord.
Both of us came to the Lord’s Supper for the first time under Rev. Pronk: When I first mentioned to Ricky that I felt the
the preaching of Rev. Laman. Looking back, we see the Lord Lord was calling me to the ministry, she was immediately
was working in both of us at that time.
supportive, although we had never spoken about it before.
At this point, Mrs. Pronk interjects: It’s a shame to admit this,
Mrs. Pronk: Both of us were raised in Christian homes. but had Neil mentioned this to me before we were married,
When I look back, there never was a time in my life that I I don’t think I would have married him! But the Lord really
didn’t feel the claim of the Lord that I must serve Him. But I changed my heart on this too. Back to Rev. Pronk: It was very
was a very independent person. I wanted to find things out encouraging to have her support and for a number of reafor myself. In that sense, I was also rebellious. The Lord re- sons. For instance, with her work as office manager, Ricky
ally had to bend my heart. I think – what really broke my fully supported us through school for six years (she could
heart was the realization that the Lord had richly privileged work full-time because the Lord withheld children from us).
me with a Christian upbringing, being baptized and taught She also very helpfully encouraged me when I was down. One
from my youth. But I had turned my back on the Lord. My time, after presenting my first sermon to the committee, it
heart and will were changed and I learned to submit to Him was shot down. I came home and said to Ricky: “That’s it, I
and to trust in Christ alone for my salvation.
can’t preach.” She said: “What do you mean? Did they fire
you?” Well, they hadn’t fired me, I replied. Then keep going,
Rev. Pronk: When we were married, we wanted to do well she said. Ricky has always been actively involved.
in life. We owned our own house. Even before marriage I was
going to night school to get my Grade 13. It had always been Mrs. Pronk: But I never touched his sermons. When he
my desire to become a teacher, which was interrupted by im- preaches, it’s almost always new to me.
migration and I had to help my parents. I now see that the
Lord was already steering me in the direction of ministry. I Rev. Pronk: I sometimes say to people that the only work I
didn’t know that at the time. Then the consistory of Hamil- do all by myself is to prepare and preach sermons!
ton nominated me to the office of deacon – which came like
a thunderclap on a clear day. I did not think I was ready for 5. Mrs. Pronk, one thing about a minister’s wife is the
that. But when the vote happened, I saw it as a call from the
fact that she hears the same preacher all her life.
Lord and I was able to accept the office. By the further work
That can be challenging at times, but also a blessof the Spirit the Lord brought me to Himself and enabled me
ing. Can you summarize what you have learned and
to attend the Lord’s Supper. It was at that first Lord’s Supappreciated through the preaching of your husband
per that I really made confession of faith. Shortly thereafter,
through the many years you have sat under his minRev. Laman suddenly passed away. His death made a deep
istry?
impression on me and I saw the great need of ministers in
our fledgling denomination. The Lord bound it on my heart Mrs. Pronk: I usually did receive blessings from his ministhat I should enter the ministry. I could do nothing else but try, sometimes more than others. I never said anything in
SSEEPPTTEEM
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I THE MESSENGER
17
terms of critique beforehand, but I did sometimes say something afterwards.
Rev. Pronk: She was careful not to cut me to pieces. She
often had remarks. Quite often I would think about what she
had to say, and agreed that she had a point.
Mrs. Pronk: The Lord has fed me through my husbands’
preaching, and I always get something out of it. That’s because the Word of the Lord is so rich.
6. The Publications Committee has asked you to write a
book about the Free Reformed Churches – our history, beliefs, etc. Where are you at with this book, and
why do you think it’s important that it be written?
Rev. Pronk: Not only the Publications Committee asked
me to write this, but also my colleagues have been at me for
some time already. At this point, I’m still in the reading stage.
I read widely around and about the subject. Part of the preparation includes my lectures at Puritan Reformed Theological
Seminary. I should be able to do something fairly soon. But
I want it be quite thorough, and I want to write it in a way
that the average person can follow. It’s important because we
need to know where we came from – not just the names and
dates - but the principles. It will be a challenge to present it
in such a way that people will enjoy reading it. I don’t want to
say that we have all the wisdom. But what prompted our Free
Reformed fathers to start this denomination? Were they just
playing church? No, I’m convinced that’s not true. They had
something that needed to be made known and shared. Not
that we are a perfect church or that we are the only church.
We have many faults, to be sure, but the core motivation for
being Free Reformed needs to be handed down to the next
generations. We have something to contribute. In essence,
it’s the balanced biblical preaching that we stand for: law and
gospel, sin and grace, the necessity of the new birth, justification - not just as doctrines out there somewhere, but experienced in our heart. We also need an understanding of the
covenant. In terms of a publication date, I have nothing firm
in mind, but hopefully in the next few years.
7. Apart from the Scriptures, what three books have
most influenced your life?
Rev. Pronk: That’s a hard question. I am a man of many
books. The first book that really impressed me in a fundamental, saving way, when I was about sixteen years old, was
18 T H E M E S S E N G E R
I SEPTEMBER 2
2010
010
J.C. Ryle’s Practical Religion. Shortly thereafter, I read Spurgeon’s All-Round Ministry, and some of his sermons. I’ve always been a life-long admirer of Spurgeon. In addition, I’ve
enjoyed the Presbyterian experiential theologians, for example, Ralph and Ebenezer Erskine. I had a period in my life
that I read a lot of the Marrow men. I could also mention
John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and The Holy War. Kohlbrugge also had my interest.
Mrs. Pronk: I have always loved to read. I read all my parents’ books by the time I was ten years old. I would listen to
preaching, and I would think, is this right? I started reading
Calvin’s Institutes, in Dutch, when I felt troubled as a teenager. While I did not understand it much, the presentation
of the Christian religion appealed to me.
I would also like to say that the Bible is a book. When the
Lord opened my eyes, I saw how wonderful the Bible is – how
it all fits together, how God’s revelation progresses from beginning to end, and how Christ is there already at the beginning. I discovered so many wonders and I wanted to know
more. I feel so blessed that I was able to study theology, attending Bible College and even Seminary after our children
were in school.
One other book that was helpful to me is called The Pious
Communicant by Peter Immens. This is the book that the
Lord used to help bring me to His holy table.
8. Rev. Pronk, what are three lessons you’d like to pass
on to a new generation of ministers?
Rev. Pronk: One, try to be reformed in the classic sense of
the word. That means we need to study the Reformers but
also the leaders of the Second Reformation, both in Holland
and in England. Two, keep up with the times. Don’t regurgitate the old writings in the old style. Translate, update. Be
relevant. Know your culture. We have a tendency to assume
that our people know how it all relates. Bring it in a fresh
language. Three; look at the ministry as a calling from the
Lord that requires sacrifice and self-denial. I’m afraid the
temptation is there to want to be catered to too much – that
we think as ministers we deserve a good living. This is relatively true, but we should show that we are willing to suffer
if necessary – and we are wholly devoted to the cause of the
Lord. We must remember that the Lord’s church is more important than its ministers. We are servants and not greater
than our Master.
9. While we know that the Lord Jesus builds His church
and the gates of hell cannot destroy her, we may still
have our concerns about the church and the churches. Can you highlight what are some of your concerns
as you look over the churches? What would be your
counsel to consistories and congregations?
enough about the bliss, the perfect happiness that will never
disappoint. We will have an endless future of increasing in
the knowledge and joy of the Lord. As we talk about this, I
think, maybe I haven’t preached about heaven enough. At
the same time, I feel a little bit like Paul, being in a “strait
betwixt two,” longing for heaven but at the same time hoping that the Lord will give me some more years to serve Him
Rev. Pronk: We should be concerned that Christianity is in and His people here.
retreat in the west. Yes, Christ has conquered and His church
will prevail. But that brings with it certain obligations and re- Rev. Joel Overduin is the pastor of the Free Reformed
quirements. We need to live as a Christians and show that we Church of Mitchell, Ontario.
are different from the world. The churches that are still growing are the ones that believe the Bible and are living by it. We
should have no tolerance for heresies. We should stay with
the Bible and accept its authority in all matters of doctrine
and life. It’s a matter of life and death. We must prepare our
people for the coming tribulation – we should realize that
Coram Deo International Aid (CDIA)
and
we might end up in jail for our views on Scripture. Many are
Word
&
Deed
Ministries
beginning to feel that subtle pressure already.
announce their intention to merge
Mrs. Pronk: Our people need encouragement too, because
they live and work in this hostile world. Many are self-employed because it is hard and competitive in the workplace.
Therefore, the church should be a place where people can find
support and help. We have to be a caring church. We also
have to know what we believe so we can teach our children
and others outside the church.
10. Do you find yourself looking forward to heaven?
Rev. Pronk: There are times when I’m weary of myself and of
sin, and then heaven beckons as the place, the environment
where there is no longer any more sin and where I can serve
the Lord without any weakness, brokenness and fears. We
still have fears at times. I remember reading that when Billy
Graham was asked, “Do you ever have any doubts whether
you will go to heaven?” he replied: “Yes, there are times when
I think how a sinner like me can go to that holy heaven.” I
think we all have those moments. But there are also times
when something clicks, and you think, what a wonderful
thing to be there, as it was for Adam and Eve in the Garden
of Eden, in the unhindered presence of God. Something else
to think about: Here we are still tempted. What a blessing
to reach retirement age intact. But there is always the potential of falling. The New Testament is very clear: We have
to watch and pray that we fall not into temptation. But all
that will be finished once we cross that threshold. There is
much about heaven that we don’t know. But the Bible tells us
At the initiative of Coram Deo International Aid (CDIA)
and with thanksgiving to the Lord, the respective boards of
CDIA and Word & Deed Ministries announce our intent to
merge subject to approval by the CDIA membership. Given
the similarity of our mission and mandate, the overlap of our
respective supporters, the need of CDIA for administrative
services given her growth over the past few years and the
16 years of experience Word & Deed has to date, the intent
to merge is believed to reflect both practical wisdom and an
encouraging degree of unity among our supporting churches
and denominations as we together, in a diaconal capacity, strive
to extend the Kingdom of God in the developing world.
Our intent to merge has resulted from several meetings
between ad-hoc committees representing each board over the
past year and the hope is that final approval for the merger will
be given by each board and their respective memberships by
the end of 2010 with CDIA fully merged into Word & Deed
Ministries by the end of 2011. CDIA would cease to exist as
a separate charity and continue on as the Adoration Project
Team overseeing Adoration Christian Centre in Haiti as part
of Word & Deed Ministries. Adoration Christian Centre, will
continue to be managed by our field workers, Randy & Karen
Lodder and Kim Gringhuis.
Both boards wish to emphasize that the merger will not
reduce the involvement of current CDIA volunteers and
supporters. Both organizations have developed a culture of
enthusiastic involvement and support and the success of the
merger depends on this continuing under the indispensable
blessing of the Lord. May we together be instruments in His
hands to the salvation of sinners and the strengthening of His
church both in Haiti and in the many other countries Word &
Deed has the privilege of working.
Inquiries can be directed to CDIA at [email protected]
or Word & Deed at [email protected]
SSEEPPTTEEM
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I THE MESSENGER
19
news notes & comments
By Rev. H. A. Bergsma
THE HOME DEPOT FIRES PATRIOTIC
CHRISTIAN, APPROVES HOMOSEXUALS:
The Home Depot fired an employee for refusing to
remove a “One nation under God” patriotic button
from his work apron. Trevor Keezor, a Christian, said
he wore the button to support his country and his
27-year-old brother, who serves in the military in
Iraq. Dozens of homosexual employees participated
in Home Depot-sponsored gay pride parades and festivals. Many employees wore numerous buttons on
their aprons promoting homosexuality. The Home Depot defended them by saying homosexual employees
will not be prohibited “in any way” when it comes
to what they do and wear. So...if you wear a “One
Nation Under God” button, you will be fired. If you
wear a “gay” button, you get company praise. (From
American Family Association)
Apparently the gay lobby is rich and with its wealth
is able to influence many companies, so I am told.
IN AMERICA:
L TREATMENT
IA
EC
SP
S
ET
G
e Labour Day
ISLAM
ct that will replac
ra
nt
co
n
io
un
nt
a rece
multiculturalge advocate says
is an example of
t
ua
an
ng
pl
-la
g
ish
sin
gl
es
En
oc
An
when he
ods pr
was flabbergasted
liday at a Tyson Fo
he
ho
at
lim
th
s
us
re
M
a
ha
s
ith
st
w
Fir
see’s Tyson
Boulet of English
Shelbyville, Tennes
Jim
at
.
s
ok
ee
oy
am
pl
n
ru
em
n
ism
October 1
ic unio
t instead will have
at the non-Islam
bu
th
,
rt
ay
po
lid
re
ho
e
id
th
pa
ad
a
re
y as
company says
er have Labour Da
of Ramadan. The
ng
al
lo
iv
st
no
fe
ill
ic
w
t
am
an
Isl
pl
the
uslim, mostly
onds to the end of
e contract are M
sp
th
rre
by
co
ed
ch
ct
hi
fe
w
af
f,
s
of
gal or illegal,
ployee
nt to America, le
of the 1,000 em
ra
0
ig
25
m
t
im
ou
w
ab
ne
ly
a
on
in an Islamic
ntends
Christian or Jew
malia. Boulet co
So
“A
.
m
ns
fro
ize
es
cit
n
ge
fu
ica
re
Amer
even build a
ation. You can’t
s than taxpaying
od
m
m
co
ac
is
th
enjoys more right
se to
d Jews in the
t even receive clo
But Christians an
e.
gu
go
na
sy
a
e
country would no
t alon
uslim holiday,”
in Saudi Arabia, le
in honor of this M
ay
lid
ho
y
Da
r
Christian church
Labo
is going to hapt to give up their
ait and see what
W
.
ok
am
n
ru
United States ge
ss
ctne
ization.”
s is political corre
of creeping Islam
nd
Boulet adds. “Thi
ki
is
th
te
ra
le
if we to
pen to this country
TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN
MURDER TEN MEDICAL
MISSIONARIES:
Ten workers affiliated with
a Christian aid group were
mu
rde
red
tain
in the rugged mouns of Afghanistan after provid
CHRISTIANS CALLED TO PRAY FOR MUSLIMS
ing eye care to people in a rem
ote
Inte
area of the country.
rnational Assistance Mission,
DURING RAMADAN:
an openly Christian charity,
has operated in Afghanistan for 44 years, negotiating
with the Soviets, the mujah
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar during
edeen government and the
the Taliban for permission to
n
continue its work assisting
which Muslims observe the Fast of Ramadan. Dates for Rapeople in need of care. But
August 5, only one member
on
of a team survived an ambus
madan 2010 are August 11th through September 9th, and
h by several men wielding
guns. The Taliban claimed res
many Christian groups are calling for Christians to remember
ponsibility for the deaths of
six
Americans, one German,
one
Briton and two Afghans, tho
to pray for Muslims during this holiest month on the Islamic
ugh police have not ruled
out
A
an attack by thieves.
spo
kesman for the Southern Bap
calendar. An article by Voice of the Martyrs, encourages
tist International Mission Boa
IMB
rd
confirmed that no
personnel were involved. The
Christians to “please begin to pray for the Muslim world as
team, which included a 12t
h member, an Afghan,
who earlier left the group to
they begin their fasting and pray that the Lord Jesus would
return home on his own, had
set out for the remote Parun
Valley of Nurestan province
continue to draw Muslims to Himself, as He has been doing
in three Land Rovers and the
n left their vehicles to trek 100
in these last days.” Violent demonstrations against Chrismiles through the Hindu Kus
h mountains, The Washingt
tians commonly increase during Ramadan. “During this time
on Post reported. Once the
had completed their work, the
y
y were travelling back throug
of spiritual severity, however, many have miraculous visions
h snow and rain when they
were attacked. The survivor,
a driver named Saifullah, sai
of Jesus and put their trust in Him,” says Carl Moeller the
d the gunmen lined up the
team members and began to
execute them. Saifullah’s life
President of Open Doors USA. “This is why it is so urgent
was spared after he shouted
allegiance to Allah, The Pos
t said. “We are heartbroken
for Christians to be united in prayer throughout Ramadan.”
by the loss of these heroic
generous people,” Secretary
,
of State Hillary Rodham Clin
To equip Christians to pray for Muslims, Open Doors USA
ton
said. “We condemn in the
stro
ngest possible terms this sen
is offering the Ramadan Prayer Calendar. The calendar has
seless act. We also condemn
the Taliban’s transparent
attempt to justify the unjust
multiple prayer points so Christians can pray for Muslims
ifiable by making false acc
usa
tion
s about their activities
in
Afg
hanistan.” The Taliban said
around the world during the 30 days. (From Open Doors)
the medical team was handin
g out Bibles written in
Da
ri,
but Dirk Frans, executive dire
The Lord Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those
ctor of the aid organization,
denied the claim. “We’re
not here to proselytize, hand
who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray
out Bibles or whatever,” Fra
ns said. “Our witness is in dofor those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Mating this work under extrem
e conditions, for people wh
o otherwise have no chance
thew 5:44).
getting anything.” The Post
for
said IAM’s fifty foreign volunt
eers and five hundred Afghan
staff members operate in sev
en Afghan provinces with a
program budget of more tha
$3 million. Throughout four
n
decades of service, four foreig
n aid workers had been killed
and none of the Afghan sta
ff had been killed until the
recent massacre. The Christi
Science Monitor said the att
an
ack has highlighted the tre
nd of rising civilian casualties
in Afghanistan and raised con
cerns among international
aid workers that the Taliba
may try to prevent future reli
n
ef efforts. “Many [aid agenci
es] had until now assumed
tha
t
the
Conference
nor
’s
th
of
Afg
Deacon
han
&
ista
n was a comparatively safe
Combined Elders
area to work in,” The Independent newspaper in Britain
10:30
said. “Aid workers spoke yes
Saturday, October 23, 2010 @
terday of their worries that
the
att
ack signalled increased hos
tility towards foreign chariti
London Free Reformed Church
es and relief agencies.”
International Assistance Mis
sion said it will continue its
work in Afghanistan despite
the devastating loss of severa
l personnel.
Minister’s Retreat
ay October 22, 2010
Wednesday, October 20 - Frid
UPCOMING events
20 T H E M E S S E N G E R
I S E P T E M B E R 2010
2 0 10
WOMAN TALKS TO ROBBER ABOUT JESUS;
HE LEAVES PEACEFULLY:
Held up at gunpoint, a store clerk invoked her faith to turn the desperate thief into a repentant gunman. A store clerk’s mention of her
religion led to a robber’s change of heart. When a man tried to rob
a MetroPCS cell phone store at gunpoint in Pompano Beach, Fla.,
store manager Nayara Goncalves, 20, calmly talked to the man about
Jesus and her faith until he left without taking any money. Goncalves
said she doesn’t know why she began to talk to him about Jesus. “I
believe it was the Holy Spirit of God that really made me want to tell
him about Jesus,” Goncalves told ABCNews.com. “I would never be
able to do that myself. I would never think that God could use me the
way that he did,” she said. “[God] impressed me.” A store surveillance camera captured the whole exchange between Goncalves and
the would-be robber. The man entered the store and made small talk
about the rainy weather. He asked to see a phone, and then showed
Goncalves a gun and nervously asked for the money in the register.
“I really hate to do this,” the gunman told Goncalves. She slowly
walked towards the register and started to speak to the man, who
told her not to be afraid. “I’m not,” she said. “I’m just going to talk
to you about the Jesus I have.” “May God Bless you for that,” the
robber said in return. “Just know in mind that I absolutely hate doing this... I’m embarrassed I have to do this and I have no choice.”
Goncalves continued to talk to the man about God and it started
to work. Already nervous and reluctant, the man slumped onto the
counter and looked more and more defeated. “Jesus got something
way better for you,” Goncalves told him. “I don’t know what you
are going through, but all of us are going through a hard time right
now.” The man admitted that he is a Christian and told Goncalves
that he goes to church at Calvary Chapel. She had been there, too.
As it turned out, they both knew one of the ministers, “Pastor Bob.”
The man apologized over and over to Goncalves, who stayed positive
and calm throughout the ordeal. She even offered to help find him a
job, but the man said he already had one. “Then what are you doing
here?” she asked. “Cause I’m going to be evicted if I don’t come up
with $300,” the robber said. Though the man clearly felt guilty about
robbing the store, he hadn’t given up on his original goal. When Goncalves showed him the money in the register, he told her he had to
take all of it. Once she told him that it would come out of her pay
check, however, he backed down. “I don’t want to do that to you.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” he said. Before the man left, Goncalves pleaded
with him to think about what he had done and to get back in touch
with his faith. “Jesus helps you, he can change your life. Go back to
church. Find a job. Get real friends in church. Talk to a pastor, they can
pray for you. You don’t need to do this, Jesus is coming soon,” she
told him. Completely defeated, the man revealed that his weapon
was only a BB gun. He then complimented Goncalves. “You know
one thing?” the robber said. “Good will be coming your way for what
you did today.” “You have a good day and God bless you,” he said
as he left. Goncalves said she started to cry after he exited the store
because she was relieved and awed at what had just taken place. “I
realized what had just happened, what could have happened if God
wasn’t here with me,” she said. What Goncalves said appeared to
have greatly affected the man. “I believe I touched him with what I
said,” Goncalves told ABC News. “I really hope I planted a little seed
in his heart,” she said. (From Sermon Audio News)
This is an example of some brave “over the counter” evangelism.
May the seed that was planted stay alive and grow.
REBEL GOLFERS DESECRATE THE SABB
ATH ON
ISLE OF LEWIS:
A growing band of rebels is trying to take
control of a piece of land on one of the
most remote islands of Britain. They turn
out every Sunday, armed with clubs, and
defiantly challenge the island’s authoritie
s … by playing golf. Lewis, in the Outer
Hebrides, and neighbouring Harris, are uniqu
e in Britain today in that they are the
only places in the country where the cons
ervative Free Church of Scotland holds
sway and where, on a Sunday, you cann
ot indulge in a round of golf. It was only
last year, after a legal battle in the Euro
pean Court with the church and Lord’s
Day Observance Society, that ferries start
ed running on Sunday to Stornoway, the
administrative capital of the islands and,
with a population of 12,000, by far the
largest town. Now, members of the 120year-old Stornoway Golf Club want the
right to indulge in their pastime legally.
However, the trustees that control the
land on which the 5,252-yard course stand
s are refusing to budge, prompting the
rebellion that has seen all sorts of people
turn up on Sunday and play for free – and
quite illegally. It is one of two battles going
on in Lewis between the authorities
and recreation groups: users of the Isle
of Lewis Sports Centre in Stornoway are
preparing to take legal action against
the islands’ local authority over the fact
the centre is banned from opening on Sund
ays. Tourism is about the only industry
that is flourishing on the islands, located
off Scotland’s west coast, at a time when
many young people head for the mainland
for work as soon as they have finished
school. Leisure spokesmen say it is vital
that people are offered the opportunity
to enjoy themselves on Sundays. Matters
reached a head ten days ago when, for
the second time this year, the local council
rejected the golf club’s bid to open just
the clubhouse on a Sunday to sell drink
s and stage social events, as other food
and-drink outlets and hotels in Stornoway
are now allowed to do. Objecting to the
plan, Callum MacLean, the clerk to the
Free Church Presbytery, told the council:
“Our primary concern is the desecration
of the Sabbath Day, arising from a licence
permitting the sale of alcohol.” Murdo Murr
ay, who stood as an independent Christian candidate in the May general elect
ion and came third, told the council: “If
this licence is granted it will inevitably incre
ase the pressure for opening the golf
course on Sunday.” The club’s manageme
nt committee will meet on August 12 to
decide what to do next and legal action
has not been ruled out. (gleaned from The
National, and Presbyterians Week)
No doubt legal action will favour the club
and tourism money will weigh heavier
than keeping the Sabbath Day holy.
A DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR TEENS
Ages 12 to 15
This soon-to-be-published oneyear daily devotional targets
youth ages 12 to 15. Authored
by contemporary Reformed
ministers in the Netherlands
and now translated into English,
each day’s reading directs the
young reader to a particular
passage of Scripture and highlights one verse or phrase with
several brief paragraphs of
comment and concludes with a
question to provoke further personal reflection. Meant to convict, comfort and challenge, this devotional will, with God’s
blessing, be a help and guide for teens in our churches and
elsewhere. Available October 1, 2010. Pre-publication price
$15. For more information, contact [email protected]
S E P T E M B E R 2010
I THE MESSENGER
21
ReformedBookServices
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Softcover, 105 pages, Early Foundations
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The author helps us think through the
book of Ecclesiastes and demonstrates
how it finds its fulfillment in the crucified
and resurrected Messiah. Ecclesiastes addresses many of the troubling ambiguities
of life, revealing the futility of this world.
But as we reflect on life under the sun, we
can rejoice knowing that redemption and
life in Christ bring more meaning to our
existence than the vanity of things around
us. Softcover, 160 pages, Reformation
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The following have discussion questions.
• Let’s Study Series by Banner of Truth –
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Everyday Talk: Talking Freely
and Natually About God With
Your Children
By John A. Younts
In Deuteronomy 6, the Lord instructs
parents to talk to their children every day
about God and His ways. Learn how to
use ordinary conversations to show your
kids the goodness and wisdom of God.
Softcover, 151 pages, Shepherd Press
• Reformed Fellowship Inc. – Old and New Testament studies
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• Opening Up Series by Day One – Old and New Testament studies
In this beautifully illustrated glossy cover
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Keeping in mind the kinds of questions
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Softcover, 39 pages, Early Foundations
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Our Price $4.50
• Many others by well-known authors – see website
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I S E P T E M B E R 2010
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FAMILY ANNOUNCEMENTS
ANNIVERSARY
1965
September 25
ANNIVERSARY
1950 September 14 2010
2010
“LORD, that Thy eyes may
be open day and night
over this house.”
2 Chronicles 6:20
With thankfulness to the Lord
we hope to celebrate the
45th Wedding Anniversary
of our parents, grandparents
and great-grandparents
ART & MAGGIE VAN VLIET
We pray that the Lord will
continue to bless you, and give
you many more years together.
Will & Gesine Van Vliet
Lois, Esther, Naomi, Julia, Seth
Jackie & Henry VanderVeen
Samantha & Adrian (Payton),
Alexandra, Lee, Colin
Andy & Laurie Van Vliet
Courtney, Taylor, Madisson,
Mitchell, Abigail, Owen
Marlene & Gord Sinke
Kirsten, Katie, Trevor, Sean
Christine & Alfred Otten
Cassie & Justin, Nick, Tawnya,
Calvin, Shanyn, Deanna
John & Karen Van Vliet
Evan, Olivia, Karlyn, Leah
Charlene & Bill
Nieuwenhuyzen
Tori, Hannah, Landon, Paige,
Claire
Pete & Cherie Van Vliet
Hayden, Haylie
Home Address:
861 Highway 20, Fenwick, ON
L0S 1C0
God does not ask us to feel
that everything is for the
best, but He does ask us
to believe it.
Andrew A. Bonar.
1960
ANNIVERSARY
August 19
2010
“I will instruct thee and teach
thee in the way that thou shalt
go.” Psalm 32:8
“O magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name
together.” Psalm 34:3
It is with joy and thanksgiving
to the Lord, that we wish to
announce the
60th Wedding Anniversary
of our dear parents,
grandparents
and great grandparents.
With thanksgiving to God
we celebrated the
50th Wedding Anniversary
of our parents & grandparents
HARRY & LINDA SLUYS
(nee Koopman)
ANNIVERSARY
August 23, 1985 - 2010
Wedding text: Genesis 12:8
“And he removed from thence
unto a mountain on the east
of Bethel, and pitched his tent,
having Bethel on the west, and
Haion on the east; and there he
builded an altar unto the Lord,
and called upon the name of
the Lord.”
With joy and thankfulness to
God, we celebrate the 25th
wedding anniversary of our
dear parents,
RALPH & JEANETTE HAALSTRA
(nee Hamstra)
We praise God for his faithfulness and pray for His continued
blessing in your lives.
We pray that the Lord will
continue to richly bless them.
Bonnie & Brad Tinklenberg
Hope and Sara
JIM & CAROLYN JONKMAN
Their loving children,
grand-children & great
grandchildren:
Debbie and Stuart Brink
Amber and Pete, Ashley,
Brittany and Zackary
Arlene & Dave Carpenter
Brad & Rebecca Carpenter
Ayden
Leah & Klaas Baan
Kathryn
Bill and Debbi Sluys
Samuel, Leah, Hannah and
Reuben
We pray that the Lord will
continue to bless you
With love,
Melissa Jonkman
Sherri and Dave Vanderhorst
Nicole Jonkman
Matthew Jonkman
Jeremy Jonkman
Steven Jonkman
Theo & Jackie Haalstra
Yvonne & Pete Schuurman
Victoria, Ashley
Trevor & Jessica Haalstra
Jayne, Katelyn
Evelyn & Craig Brydges
Bob Sluys
Felicia - Cheyenne, Kyleigh,
Dakota, Kadense
Nathan, Cody and Jesse
Charlene Sluys
Stacey and Henry Noordam
Tanner, Riley, Logan and Reeve
Marg Haalstra-Koke & Ken
Koke
Myles, Madison
Joshua Sluys
An Open House will be
held on Saturday, August 21
from 2-4 pm in the
Chatham Free Reformed
Church Fellowship Hall
Home Address:
261 Stonechurch Rd. E., #134
Hamilton, Ontario L9B 2X3
Home Address:
424 Gregory Drive East
RR#7, Chatham, ON N7M 5J7
Jeff & Cindy Haalstra
Rachel, Michelle, Shane
THANK YOU
Pastor and Mrs. van Essen hereby give thanks to all who have
joined us in giving thanks to the LORD our God for enabling us to serve
fifty years in the ordained Gospel ministry. We are especially thankful
for the many friends whom we have been privileged to come to know
among the people of God during the last fourteen years. We have received many meaningful cards and letters from friends and consistories
at this occasion. The special evening of thanksgiving to the LORD organized by the Mitchell Free Reformed consistory was made all the more
wonderful by the attendance of so many of our friends from far and
near. And we are moved by the gesture of the special Book Fund for
needy overseas Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary students as an
ongoing recognition of the provision of the Lord for His servants and
their families. Soli Deo Gloria.
(PENNINGS)
Home address:
30 Kingston Street
Harrisburg, ON N3L 3E1
BIRTH
With thanks to our
Covenant God, we praise
Him for the birth of,
Mercedes Magdalena
vanDrongelen
Born on August 8, 2010,
weighing in at 8 lbs 3 oz.
A new sister for Jacob, Leah,
Anna, Josiah, & Seth
“Behold, children are a
heritage from the LORD, the
fruit of the womb is a reward.”
Ps. 127:3
Adrian & Leanne
vanDrongelen
Another grandchild for
Adriaan & Hilda vanDrongelen
and Dick & Joanne Pennings
Home Address:
2065 Hwy. 5, R.R.#1, Troy, ON
L0R 2B0
S E P T E M B E R 2010
I THE MESSENGER
23
OBITUARY
“Blessed are the dead which
die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit,
that they may rest from their
labours; and their works do
follow them.” Rev. 14:13
The Lord has peacefully taken
home to Himself our dear wife,
mother and grandmother:
JOANNE CATHARINE OTTEN
(nee Kroesbergen)
on July 8, 2010 in her 71st year.
She is lovingly remembered by:
her husband of 48 years, Chris
her children
Alice and Frank Fousert
(Wellandport, ON)
John and Connie Otten
(St. Thomas, ON)
Martin and Angie Otten
(Smithville, ON)
Joan and Jerry Ridderbos
(Middleville, MI)
Marianne and Jeff Coolen
(Wellandport, ON)
Cynthia and Jeff King
(Beamsville, ON)
Doreen and Dave Groen
(Fenwick, ON)
35 grandchildren
1 great grandchild
The funeral service was held
July 13, 2010 at Zion Free Reformed Church, Fenwick, ON
with Pastor Henk Bergsma
officiating.
Home address:
866 Regional Road #27,
Wellandport, ON L0R 2J0
BIRTH
With gratitude to the Lord we
announce the birth of our dear
son and brother:
Thomas David
Born on July 23, 2010.
Rev. David & Elly
Kranendonk
Simon, Ruth, Elnathan, & Leah
O satisfy us early with thy
mercy; that we may rejoice and
be glad all our days.”
- Psalm 90:14
24 T H E M E S S E N G E R
1960
ANNIVERSARY
September 10
2010
And his windows being opened
in his chamber towards Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees
three times a day, and prayed,
and gave thanks before his
God, as he did before.
Daniel 6:11b
With gratitude and praise to
our Lord we hope to celebrate
the 50th Wedding
Anniversary of our parents
and grandparents
BILL & BETTY LAMAN
(Van Schubert)
Our prayer is that the Lord may
continue to bless you in the
years ahead as He has in the
years past, and that you may
continue to be an inspiration to
us. Congratulations from us all:
William & Brenda Laman
William, Matthew, Ashley,
Brittany, Caitlin
Rob & Maryanne Laman
Gavin, Cameron, Ethan,
Sebastian, Olivia, Gillian
Mike & Yvonne Laman
Jonathan, Austin, Alexa
Home Address:
700 Upper Kenilworth Rd.,
Apt. 1012
Hamilton, ON L8T 4Y8
TRAINING YOUR CHILDREN TO
USE TECHNOLOGY
Dr. David Murray of Puritan
Theological Reformed Seminary
has produced a 40-minute film,
entitled, “Teaching our children
to use technology to God’s glory.”
Dr. Murray presents a Christian
response to the digital revolution.
After laying the foundation of four
biblical principles, he makes the
case for disciplined discernment
in our use of technology. He then
presents a practical seven-step
training program to develop disciplined discernment in our children,
and he concludes by showing
how to apply these seven steps to
Facebook use.
A High Definition (HD) copy may
downloaded for $5.99 or a DVD
may be purchased for $9.99 online:
http://www.headhearthand.org
I S E P T E M B E R 2010
from the Free Reformed Student Society
Young People in the workforce, college, and university
are invited to three speaker evenings this fall
On Saturday September 25, 2010, Rev. J. Schoeman plans to speak on
Young Calvinism: Is there a problem?
Rev. J. Schoeman is pastor of the St. George Free Reformed Church
On Saturday October 23, 2010, Rev. D. Lipsy plans to speak on
The Biblical Way to Marriage
Rev. D. Lipsy is pastor of Grace Reformed Christian Church in Harrison
Arkansas, part of the Heritage Reformed Denomination
On Saturday November 27, 2010, Dr. D. Murray plans to speak on
Glorifying God with our Dollars
Dr. D. Murray is Professor of Old Testament & Pastoral Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
TIME: 8:00 p.m. of dates listed above
PLACE: Dundas Free Reformed Church Meeting Room
253 Weirs Lane, R.R.#1, Dundas, ON L9H 5E1
Hosted by the Free Reformed Student Society.
A collection to defray the costs of the meeting will be taken
Seminary Day
2 N D
A N N U A L
Location: Dundas Free Reformed Church
253 Weirs Lane, R.R.#1, Dundas, Ontario
Date & Times:
Saturday, September 18, 2010
9.45 a.m. Coffee Time
10.30 a.m. Morning Session
1.30 p.m. Afternoon Session
Speakers
• Rev. K. Gangar, pastor, Langley Free Reformed Church
• Rev. P. Vander Meyden, pastor Vineland Free Reformed Church
• Two pastors from Malawi who are enrolled at Puritan
Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Hosts: Providence Free Reformed Church of St. George, Ontario
Other Activities:
Nursery, Youth Activities and Musical Contributions
Check forthcoming church bulletins for more details.
Providence FRC of St. George is the organizing church for arranging activities for our youth and musical contributions. Two ministers from Malawi
who are currently enrolled at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in
Grand Rapids also hope to be present and will give brief addresses.
It is a great pleasure on behalf of Synod to extend a warm invitation to
all our church members and everyone who is interested to attend our
Annual Free Reformed Seminary Day. We hope to have a blessed and
upbuilding day in which love may be fostered among us for our churches
and the theological training of our seminary students at PRTS in Grand
Rapids, Michigan.
Rev. G.R. Procee, Secretary
Theological Education Committee