Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Visiting the CPRC!

The weekend before last, my friends and I visited the church that is currently working with the fellowship I attend to plant a church in my area. I have never been so thoroughly convinced of the truth of the Belgic Confession when it says that the true and false churches may be easily distinguished! You might get the occasional poisoned scrap in one and a drop of gone-off milk, but in the true church the sheep actually get fed with pure healthy milk by the gallon and strengthened by bucketloads of good solid food!

It was an amazing weekend. Along with the other saints, I met a man, Francesco, again (he remembered me from the very first public lecture by this church that I had been to (17th August 2007)!), and we had some great and encouraging discussions. He was also able to recommend about half the bookstore, so my friends and I got a lot of books, and we've all been doing a lot of reading.

We've had to, because first, we had to be utterly convinced from Scripture that the CPRC's dogmatics were correct. There were various things that we had big questions about to begin with, as the minister can testify to. We gave him some pretty thorough grillings (and that was after we had read loads on the website)! Infant baptism and covenant children and mode of baptism, the nature of the Lord's supper, brethren-style church "order", some aspects of charismaticism, the regulative principle, exclusive psalmody, KJV and other Bible versions, observance of the Lord's Day/Christian sabbath, the use of creeds, the Three Forms of Unity (3FU), etc. There was a lot! But all these issues seem so clear to me now! And I could very easily prove every one from Scripture, because not only did I have to have these proven to me before I would accept them, but secondly, I have now had to prove them to others and defend the teaching of the CPRC as the 3FU tell me biblically that I should.

Thirdly, I have had to read loads, because the more I understand these things, the more I love and adore these great truths and all the teaching of the CPRC, and so have felt compelled to read more, not just for my own sake, but for the sake of those around me here, and so that I would be further conformed to the image of Christ and always be ready to give an answer for the hope that I have! It really encouraged me to hear also about how God brought Francesco into contact with the CPRC and out of such falsehood.

Many of our college friends have not taken very well however to our stance on many issues. At the heart of which, of course, as always, is Calvinism and most particularly, the five points thereof. The lie that man is involved in salvation is always where the heart of the battle rages. It is because salvation is the centrepiece of God's glory, and to say that man is in anyway responsible is the very pinnacle of human pride. But God will not share His glory with another, so may we never give an inch to the falsehoods that abound in this country.

I look forward to more such well fed weekends, and I cannot contain my excitement about this work here where I live. Our fellowship has begun to have morning meetings as well now. May God graciously allow this to continue, and build His church, and may we be thankful always, rejoicing in what He has done for us.

- Sam W.

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