Our attention was drawn to a headline on the church page of the “Grand Rapids Press” last month which boldly proclaimed the following: “Membership in Christian Reformed Church passes 200,000 mark.” The article in connection with this headline noted that the Christian Reformed Church, which hopes to celebrate its centennial next year, has grown very rapidly in the last nine years, for its membership has increased in these years by fifty-two percent over the total reached in their first 90 years of existence. The entire membership for the 481 congregations of the denomination is now 204,621. “These are significant gains,” said Dr. John Kromminga, denominational centennial chairman, “in view of the fact that the Christian Reformed Church has never attempted to recruit members at the expense of departing from its historic Christian beliefs.”
This last statement makes us wonder. If it is true, one thing must necessarily follow. That is, that the Christian Reformed Church has never, in its existence of nearly a century, had or proclaimed the truth, since, according to Dr. Kromminga’s testimony, its beliefs today are the same as they always were. But has he forgotten 1924 and the Three Points of Common Grace? And does he not realize the modernistic trend in that denomination, especially of late, as the result of the adoption of this heresy? For these points, definitely contrary to Scripture, greatly elevate the position of the world over against the church. The worldly-mindedness that resulted from this paved the way for many other evils.
Take a look at their stand today on the union question. Or rather, take a look at the lack of their stand on this issue. They have left it an open question. Why? Because they don’t have the courage to make any decisions that might result in a decrease in membership. They can’t have a division in their church. No! Trouble must be avoided at all costs. The world, which according to their common grace theory, is not so bad after all, is rapidly making inroads into their church.
Another evidence of this is the increasing show attendance by members of that church. Notice for example the students of Grand Rapids Christian High School. The movies are no longer a hush-hush thing, but are the subject of open conversation. The students do not try to hide the fact of their attendance but openly reveal it. And many, if not the majority of them, go with parental approval. Today, at this school, those that do not go are few and far between and have become the exception, not the rule.
That their doctrine is impure and corrupt is also very evident. One has but to listen to the “Back to God Hour” on Sundays or read the editorials in “The Banner” to realize how far the Christian Reformed Church has departed from the Word of God. For they boldly teach that God’s promises are conditional and that faith is a condition to salvation.
Need we mention other signs of their spiritual weakness? The fact that they defend our modern-day evangelists like Billy Graham; the fact that woman suffrage in the church is allowed in their denomination; the fact that many polluted Arminian hymns are sung in their churches and schools? They speak for themselves.
Yes, the Christian Reformed Church is growing. And their pattern for success is very simple. Merely lower the denominational walls; don’t worry about being distinctive; above all, don’t be “narrow-minded.” A few more union members, divorcees, or Arminians won’t hurt the church a bit. (And it will increase its size!)
The Protestant Reformed Church is not growing. It always was small, and since 1953 has become still smaller. But do numbers count? Is our size lamentable? By no means! For, although we are not growing in numbers, we are growing spiritually in the truth and knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. And we earnestly pray that we may never grow in size, yea, rather become still smaller, if such a growth would cause us to depart one iota from the truth, which we now proclaim. We pray God that by His grace we may ever keep our denominational walls high; that we may ever strive, at all costs, not to avoid trouble, but to keep our distinctiveness; that we may always be kept “narrow-minded,” knowing that “wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” May God ever give us courage to fight for the truth, holding fast that which we have, knowing the victory is ours through Christ Who loved us and gave Himself for us.