The opinions of the rank and file of Protestant Reformed youth is seldom expressed in our paper. Therefore, Beacon Lights has asked three of our young people to express themselves on the question, “Why am I Protestant Reformed?” from their respective viewpoints. Miss Jannet Hauck, a member of the Ebenezer Reformed Church of Forbes, North Dakota, expresses her desire to become Protestant Reformed from this church’s very unique position in relation to our church. From Loveland, Colorado, we hear from Miss Ileen Griess as she relates her church’s reasons for becoming Protestant Reformed. Finally, Don Feenstra from Redlands, California tells why he is, and why he wishes to remain Protestant Reformed.
WHY WE WANT TO BECOME PROTESTANT REFORMED
I am very happy to have the opportunity of expressing my thoughts on this subject and am sure this applies to the young people of Isabel as well.
We want to join the Protestant Reformed Churches, not for the sake of having the name, but because we find the purest preaching of the Word of God in said churches.
Having this instruction is of much value to us, the young people, because hearing the truth preached when we are young, discerning and understanding it, gives us the foundation for our spiritual and everyday lives. It teaches us how to conduct ourselves among our Christian friends and also in the world. Since it is our calling before God to live in the world but not of the world, we cannot live any other way.
Before the year 1955 we were not under the Protestant Reformed teaching. Through the efforts of one of the Protestant Reformed ministers, we received said teaching, and were instructed for two years, during which time we were forced to leave the church at Leola for the truth’s sake. Since that time we have organized our own church and have been served by the protestant Reformed home missionary.
We have attended the Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention for the past two years and have been able to have true fellowship with most of the young people. We have also taken to heart the speeches given there and encouraged our other young people to attend these conventions.
We realize that we have only a small beginning of the new obedience, but through the grace of God and His promise we rejoice in His Word. It is our every prayer and hope that we might join the P.R. Churches for these very reasons. D.V. Jannet Hauck
WHY WE BECAME PROTESTANT REFORMED
In 1943, Mr. Henry Schwarz, on his deathbed, realized that his family needed words filled with hope since they had been forced to leave the church because of the Truth which they professed. The words, “God will make a way”, were full of hope.
These words were not forgotten over the years as we struggled and longed for the Truth. When we were literally locked out of the Hope Reformed Church of Loveland we were ready to believe that there was no church which taught the Sovereignty of God. It seemed that there was no way of getting the Truth preached to us. Yet God makes the impossible possible for he chose to bring us the Word first in the form of missionary work and later through our own minister. A promise made by God through a man’s lips had come true, which is naturally always the case, yet we glory in is each time it occurs.
However, we did not become Protestant Reformed just to be permitted to call a minister. That too, but it presupposes there was a reason why we wanted to call a minister from this particular denomination. The reason really is because we believe that the Protestant Reformed Church teaches the truth and is the Church of God. Because we are the children of God, we longed to have the same name as the Church of God.
When you look into it even deeper you realize that we became Protestant Reformed because God loved us first for if God had not given it to us to long to be affiliated with this Church and made it possible we would not carry this name even now. Therefore, all glory is to God and we are assured through experience that “god will make a way”. Ileen Griess
WHY I AM, AND WANT TO REMAIN PROTESTANT REFORMED
Why am I Protestant Reformed? I was, of course, Protestant Reformed because I was, by the Grace of God, born and brought up in the Protestant Reformed Churches. All of us are very fortunate to have this undoubted privilege, to be brought up in, and taught from childhood the joys and comforts of the Word of God.
The Protestant Reformed Churches of America have the distinction of being the only denomination in the world that teaches the total inability of natural man to do any good before God. We also believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, a point which many churches, either do not believe or fail to stress. We place God in the fore, in His true positions. We have a Church that is God’s Church, and no man’s church
The reasons for my remaining in the Protestant Reformed Churches are obvious. One must go to the church he believes is teaching the purest manifestation of the Word of God. This is evident for several good reasons. First, it is a sin to go to any churches except those which one believes are the purest. To be a member of any church you must confess its doctrine. Just think of going to a church that you know is wrong, and not being able to partake of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Or, worse yet, the sin of doing so with the knowledge that it will most certainly be to your damnation. Secondly, if you are married, your children will no doubt be baptized. You most certainly violate this sacrament by promising to do the utmost in your power to bring up your children in the most Christian manner possible, and failing to do so. Suppose you know enough to separate the good from the bad. Your children most certainly will not. It would be very weary some, and certainly not very edifying to go to church with the knowledge that you must continually be on your guard against all, or part of what the minister is saying.
It must follow then, that I must go to the Protestant Reformed Churches. I believe they come closer to the truth than any other churches in existence. I can go to church with the knowledge that what I hear will be the truth. I can believe what I hear instead of asking myself the question, “Am I hearing the truth?”
Another reason for remaining in our Churches is the matter of Christian discipline. In most churches of this country, and of every country in the world, discipline is very lax. In many churches people attend, not for things spiritual, but for a social hour – a place to meet ‘nice’ people, and find out what is happening around town. As there is no discipline, sinful members go unchecked. Not only this, but a church in this condition drifts farther and farther away from the truth, and eventually becomes completely false.
Believing these things, I can come to only one conclusion. That is, I am going to the church where I belong, the place where I intend to stay. Donald Feenstra
Originally Published in:
Vol. 19 No. 7 October-November 1959