Tuesday, June 27, 2006

OPC GA: Justification Issue

Saturday and Tuesday the GA passed the following summarized recommendations:

1. That the presbyteries include similar topics listed below in the examination of candidates:
Nature of the Bible
Covenant of Works
Covenant of Grace
Definition of righteousness with respect to justification
Nature of union with Christ
Definition of faith
Difference between faith and works
Definition of justification
Instrument of justification
Ground of justification
Imputed active and passive obedience of Christ
Distinction between justification and sanctification
Nature of the sacraments as signs and seals

2. "That the General Assembly recommend that presbyteries, sessions, and pastors be proactive..." in addressing such teaching like New Perspectives on Paul, Federal Vision and like teachings that "compromise the purity of the gospel."

3. That the Committee on Christian Education:
a) distribute the report to seminaries in contact with OPC
b) post on the OPC website
c) consider publication of the report
"thereby [given the above] commending the report for study."
d) that the Committee write a prefatory statement to explain:
the context surrounding the report, including last GA's resolution
the explanation of what commending a report means.
e) and to seek article critiquing said views in the New Horizons.

4. That the Stated Clerk send the report with the prefatory statement to sister churches.

Thus, the 73rd GA of the OPC commends the Report of the Committee To Study the Doctrine of Justification for study.

In light of the recommendation to proactively address these issue, Providence OPC has already brought the issue to the fore through the last two Spring Conferences informing people of NPP and FV. Further articles will be posted on that church website.

This is a serious issue. Illuminating information about this important issue, especially Federal Vision, will be forthcoming. What it all means is that the GA commends this report on Federal Vision to the presbyteries and to help the presbyteries focus their ministerial exams on the proper questions dealing with the significance of justification by faith. The committee was called to "critique" these view and they have.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

OPC GA: Summary of God's Work

We at the OPC are indeed greatly blessed by our covenant God. This is seen not only at the local and regional levels of the church but also at the larger General Assembly level:

He has given us dynamic Christian education opportunities not only on the internet but in translation as well: there is desire from out of country to translate some GCP material into Greek, Spanish and Portuguese.

He has given us more churches as people seek out the OPC, even from various ethnic groups such as Indonesians. Already, a first in our history, we have about 15 church works with four more in the wings. In fact, a Columbia presbytery wishes to join us!

He has given us great opportunities overseas in Asia, Africa and Europe. We are over the whole world spreading the Gospel and creating indigenous churches.

God is good and great, deigning to bring blessing upon our feeble church.

Praise God!


OPC GA: Sabbath Fellowship

This Sabbath day I was blessed to attend a sister church for morning worship. I met new people. I meet with old friends. I sung new songs. I heard a new sermon. We worshipped. We prayed. We sang. Afterwards, we ate and fellowshipped on this our Lord’s Day.

This Sabbath day I was blessed along with my roommate. We talked. We compared ideas. We relaxed. I napped (too much talking after hours the other nights!).

This Sabbath day I was blessed to attend evening worship. We had the Lord’s Supper. We had a strong sermon exhorting us toward good churchmanship (1 Tim. 3:15). We had songs. We had blessings.

This Sabbath day I was blessed with sweet fellowship in the evening. A few fellow presbyters gathered and talked of things of God and His creation. We encouraged and challenged one another. We were blessed.

I was blessed that Sabbath day because of God. It is His day and He has given it for us. If we honor Him, we will be blessed with peace of mind and spiritual growth.

This Sabbath day I was blessed with godly fellowship from the broader church.
Thanks be to God.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

OPC GA: It Has Begun

The discussion on the committee's report on Justification and Federal Vision has begun.

Keep us in fervent prayer.

Friday, June 23, 2006

OPC GA: Relevant Data

OPC daily updates.
White Noise updates.

And of course, my blog. Different content same event.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

OPC GA: Meanderings of a Tired Presbyter

Well, by God's mercy, here I am in south Chicago as a commissioner of the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

For some info on this days events, see White Noise.

For my part: the advisory committee that takes up any issues from the denomination committee (Home Missions) is finished (or should be as the final papers are being read).

Thus, I was able to enjoy fellowship the remainder of the afternoon until supper. We enjoyed the hospitality of the kitchen staff at Trinity which served us a plethera of various and sundry "tastes of chicago": mexican, polish, italian, etc.

Being myself--to whit, not too creative with my palate--i stuck with the italian (although I do like mexican): the chicago-style pizza was good. The cheesecake was better!

Now, being a semi-native Coloradoan, I'm not really into humidity. And it's humid here. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the greenery.
But I especially appreciate the fellow brothers in the Lord willing to take time out to accomplish His kingdom-work. I get to meet those far away, hearing their exciting work in our small part of the body of Christ (someone commented on the OPC being the "pinky").

We are small indeed, as the world counts, but as I have seen these last four GA, we large in our passion to follow the Word of Christ, no matter where it takes us. Even if it means being "small".

I pray we continue down this path by the Spirit's power. And that many would come to the Lord.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

666: Superstitious Christians

Today is the day! It's Armageddon. Satan's DAy. 6/6/06

The Omen started today. LaHaye's The Rapture came out as well.

Recently, a Reformed friend informed me that her Christian friend, for fear of offending someone, would not write the date, 6/6/06. Another friend's mother--a Christian--would not let her daughter start work on that dreadful day, 6/6/06. I recently heard over the radio (so it must be true!) that some churches were calling for a world-wide day of prayer to stop the work of Satan on the diabolical day, 6/6/06. Just now, on Fox 31 news, the superstitous views of many American Roman Catholics was summarized.

What more can I say? Looks like the Roman Catholic church still has a lot of influence...


While crawling out of the confusion of Charismatic Dispensationalism, I ran across this verse:

The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was 666 talents of gold 1 Kings 10:14

Given the Dispensational hermeneutic, what are the implications of this verse?
--is Solomon a precursor of the Beast
--is gold evil?
--is weight evil? Perhaps talents?

Give this to your friends next time and watch them chew on this.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Biblical Literacy?

At one time, while in friendly discussion about God's soveriegnty, I quoted Matthew 10:29 by memory:

"...And not one of them [sparrows] falls to the ground apart from your Father's will."

She replied in disbelief--she had never heard of such. So, I looked the verse up and read it to her. (Naturally, knowing human nature, she was not immediately convinced of God's soveriegnty).

At another time, I pointed out (rather nicely, I hope) to a listener that all men know God but "suppress this truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18)--again, blantant disbelief was projected right at me!

Well, at times I've wondered whether or not I'm just an odd-ball or maybe I don't have a large enough sample size....? Provedentially, while reading over the Christian Examiner, I noticed this article:

"Every semester at Westmont College, a Christian liberal arts collegein Santa Barbara, Calif., Dr. Tremper Longman [a Reformed professor],an Old Testament professor, hands out a pre-test on Bible basics toassess where his students are.

" 'It's (the test) pretty empty when it comes back," the professor said. "They are pretty illiterate about it, especially theOld Testament. The church is not doing a particularly good job of it,either.' "

This is sad! What more can I say? I will simply quote from memory that oft ignored portion of the bible--the Old Testament: "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge...they have forgotton the law and they will be forgotten."

God punishes ignorance.

It is easy to blame all the problems in America on those bad old Pagans. I submit to you that the problem primarily began in the church. And began with ignorance.

Don't believe me...? Here I'll look it up for you:

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." Hos. 4:6

Or better yet, please look it up yourself.