March 15 Standard Bearer preview article

How could any Protestant go ‘home’ to Rome?

One year ago, I reported that many Protestants are ready to “cross the Tiber” into Roman Catholicism. The expression “crossing the Tiber” refers to fording the river that runs alongside Rome, symbolic of the barrier between Rome and Protestants. With grief, I had to report that even leaders in our mother church are talking about making the crossing.1 Some church leaders are sending not-so-subtle messages to members: It is permissible, and probably time, to unite with the Catholic Church. One Calvin Seminary faculty member wrote that Protestants and Catholics are “pilgrims on the same journey, serving one Lord with one faith” who “will come nearer to their goal if they walk together than if they walk separately.” If I had not read his words with my own eyes, I would have been disbelieving of such a report.

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Training Elders in History

Some elders may have sensed that an important aspect of elders’ qualifications has not been mentioned—that is, intimate knowledge of the people. While knowledge of scripture, church government, and counseling are essential, they will not make a man a good elder if he does not also know the flock. The good shepherd knows his sheep.

A good elder will be like a good doctor. Before he treats his patient, a doctor will get an “H&P”—a history and physical. He will assess my present condition via a thorough physical examination and learn my history by asking me to fill out an extensive questionnaire. The history will be valuable for his treatment of me. Is there heart disease in my family, or glaucoma? Did any of my relatives have cancer? More important than my family’s history is my own—my childhood diseases, past surgeries or injuries. Is there a history of substance abuse or depression? Even my social history may be helpful—am I married, single, or divorced. And every doctor must know my present condition—allergies, medications, tobacco use, etc.—before he is ready to treat me most beneficially. Not knowing these things may expose him to making serious errors of judgment in my treatment.

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Gathering at the river

“Crossing the Tiber” is an old expression describing what a Protestant does when he leaves the Reformation faith for the Roman Catholic fold. The Tiber River ran alongside old Rome; to get to Rome, one crossed it. Thus, “crossing the Tiber” refers to entering the Roman Catholic enclave. Today, descendants of our Reformed fathers gather on the banks of the Tiber River, preparing to cross.
 
Such a strong movement toward Rome is astounding, but should not be surprising. The simple reason so many are able to anticipate “crossing the Tiber” is that the doctrine in many Protestant, even Reformed and Presbyterian, churches has so warped and deformed that it is more like Roman Catholic dogma than Reformation truth (deformation in liturgy and ethics is close behind). Combine this doctrinal deformation with the doctrinal illiteracy of the common member—sound catechism instruction of the youth has long disappeared in most denominations—and the heavy traffic on the roads to Rome is not at all surprising.
 
—Read more in the upcoming editorial by Prof. Gritters entitled Gathering at the river in the upcoming March 1, 2018 issue of the Standard Bearer.

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Perversion, Praise, and Promises: Sneak Peak at the Next Issue of the Standard Bearer

Looking forward to receiving the September 1 issue of the Standard Bearer? Here's a taste of what's to come in the next issue of our Reformed magazine:

Editorial | The Persistent Sanctioning of Sexual Sins by Reformed Churches

"Our stand on sexual intimacy and marital faithfulness has direct bearing on our view of the church's relationship to Christ, and of his relationship to us."

O Come Let Us Worship | Praising the Lord in the Congregation:The Element of Singing

 

 

 

“The worship service is a dialog between God and his people. God our friend-sovereign speaks in his word, and we his friend-servants respond in singing and prayer. “ 

 

Special Article | Christ Reveals the Name of God

 

 

 

"John calls Christ the 'eternal life.' Not only does Christ proclaim eternal life. Not only does he work eternal life. No, he is himself eternal life.”

 

Read these articles and more in the upcoming September 1 issue of the Standard Bearer. Not a subscriber? Purchase an eSubscription or a hardcopy subscription today!

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Save the Date!

RFPA Annual Meeting

September 27, 2012  |  Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church  |  7:30 p.m.

Save the date for the RFPA Annual Meeting! This year's keynote address will be given by book author and co-editor of the Standard Bearer Prof. Barry Gritters, professor of practical theology and New Testament studies at the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Gritters will present

Church Membership in a Postmodern Era

in connection with a conference on postmodernism given by Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church this past winter and in connection with two of our recent publications by David J. Engelsma: Bound to Join and A Defense of the Church Institute.

Stick around after the speech to hear more about the work of the RFPA and enjoy refreshments and fellowship with our Association members, authors, and fellow readers!

Join us at Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church on September 27 at 7:30 p.m.! Bring your family and friends!

Listen to the meeting via live stream! Click on the "Listen Live" button on the upper right-hand side of the Hudsonville PRC homepage.

At the start of the meeting click on the "Listen Live" button in the upper right-hand side of the Hudsonville PRC homepage

Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church
5101 Beechtree Ave
Hudsonville MI 49426

 


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