The introduction, given by Dr. Monsma, raised several questions con­cerning moral action movements and the problem which they create for Christians. First, there often are no Biblical bases for their defense. Second, can achievements be the same whether performed by a Christian or not? And third, can we, as Christians, join and/or support moral action groups?

Biblical examples of a Christian’s responsibility in the world were then given, e.g.: Jonah in Ninevah, Joseph in Egypt, Abraham in Sodom, Christ in Jerusalem, and Paul in Rome. The difference of the Old and New Testa­ments’ effect on moral movements was brought up. The point was made that the Old Testament dealt exclusively with the government and nation of Israel, whereas the New Testament involved Christians throughout the world. Christ also was involved in a “moral action” when he replied to the Pharisees “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matt. 22:21) It was empha­sized that discussion focus on Art. 36 of the Netherlands Confession.

Our discussion group began by giving a few examples of moral problems (e.g. abortion, nuclear war, drugs, alcohol). We then discussed what our responsibilities to these problems were: We have an obligation to let our light shine; therefore, we should take a stand and show our light.

The problem of our monetary respon­sibilities as it related to the support of moral problems such as abortion and nuclear arms through taxes was debat­ed. We have an obligation to pay taxes, and the use of it is beyond our control. But, it is our money, given us by God, and our responsibility: therefore, be­cause we obey God, not man, we cannot pay taxes. However, we look to Paul who wrote in Rom. 13:6 “For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers. . .” Our respon­sibility is to answer to God what we, as stewards, have dealt with the govern­ment, our neighbor. Paul tells the Romans to pay taxes, money from which supported the evils of the Empire and persecution of Christians! The government, too, must answer to God. However, as Christians, we can combat and balance moral abuses by letting our light shine, and working to oppose such activities.

The discussion then led to what, and how much we should do. We agreed that involvement should strictly be by the individual, not by the Church as a group. We discussed why the world organizes and concluded that some were for evil purposes (e.g. Unions) whereas others had sound moral goals (e.g. Right to Life). But, can we join just because we agree with their goals, and not necessarily their reasons? We decided that we can agree, but only because we believe in the Bible; and that is the difference between them and us.

We cannot have an indifferent attitude: We must do something, for it is our responsibility to speak the Word. This must be a personal, individual activity, not necessarily in big things nor in protest against the law, but fulfillment individually through oursel­ves, our children, and in our action towards friends and neighbors. We must understand the times and the world we live in and act accordingly as the Bible and Holy Spirit guide us. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Hea­ven.” Matt. 5:16.

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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