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1989 Issue 10

The best way I know to describe what took place on October 6, 1989 in Atlanta, Georgia at the General Assembly of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States is by quoting from two letters written to me after our meeting by a visitor in attendance.

"It is impossible for words to describe the impact of my visit to Atlanta last week. I have never imagined that people such as I met at Chalcedon Presbyterian Church for the General Assembly/Presbytery meeting even existed. I dreamed perhaps that there existed a group of people who are unified in their beliefs, and more importantly are unashamedly dogmatic, but until last week I had been fairly disillusioned. What a joy to be around ministers who stand for the whole counsel of God, who believe what I believe, and who are also very warm, kind and loving. I am nothing less than excited and full of anticipation concerning the prospects for the future. I have not a clue as to how it is going to happen; but I believe that I will be a member of the RPCUS sometime soon."

House Divided: The Break-Up of Dispensational Theology by Greg L. Bahnsen and Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. Published 1989 by the Institute for Christian Economics, Tyler, Texas. 38 pg. Publisher's Foreword, 6 pg. Authors' Preface, 411 pg. including appendices, annotated bibliography, scripture & general indices. Reviewed by Martin G. Selbrede, Thousand Oaks, California.

Election day in Namibia could bring chaos to the African nation as the communist-backed SW APO attempts to reduce the country to their one-party rule.

Namibia is about the size of Texas and has a population of just over a million people. The country borders on Angola and South Africa. Those borders were established in the late 1800's at the Congress of Berlin which doled Africa out among the colonial powers. Namibia (known as South West Africa until 1972) became a German colony. In 1920, the League of Nations awarded Namibia to South Africa as a "Class C" mandate. South Africa has administered Namibia from that time until April 1, 1989.

To have a world-and life-view or not to have a world-and life-view, that is not the question. World-views are inescapable. Everybody has one. You have one!

A world-and life-view is the way you look at life and the things, persons, and events of this world. It is that perspective and those basic assumptions you make about life which determine the way you think and live in this world.

In our world there are a variety of world-views, for example concerning the nature of man and of authority.

Intimately connected with the spirit of self-denial is supreme devotion to the honor and glory of God. From the formation of the first angel of light down to the period when the heavens shall pass away as a scroll, the Creator of the ends of the earth had His eye steadfastly fixed on the same grand object. As all things are of Him, so all will be to Him (Rom. 11:36). He who made all things for Himself cannot fail to pursue the end for which He made them, and to obtain it at last. When the proceedings of the last day shall have been closed, when the assembled worlds shall have entered upon the unvarying retributions of eternity, when the heavens and the earth shall have passed away and a new heaven and a new earth, the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, shall have come down from God out of heaven, He that sitteth upon the throne shall say "It is done; I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end!" In the winding up of the scene, it will appear that God Himself is the first and the last, not merely the efficient, but the final cause of all things. The vast plan which has for its object nothing less than the brightest manifestation of the Divine Glory has an unalienable right to the most unreserved devotedness of every intelligent being. To the advancement of this plan, God therefore requires every intelligent being to be voluntarily subservient.

I. The Westminster Assembly's Directory of Public Worship (1640's):

"There is no day commanded in Scripture to be kept holy under the Gospel but the Lord's Day, which is the Christian Sabbath. Festival days, vulgarly called 'Holy-days,' having no warrant in the Word of God, are not to be continued."

There is a new millennialism afoot today: Promillennialism. The term is not original with me. I am not even certain whether the fellow who coined the term meant what I mean by the term; that is irrelevant. I intend to appropriate the term for my own purposes in this article, and I think most of my readers will concur with my decision.

Promillennialism is not the same as panmillennialism. The panmillennialist believes that everything will pan out in the end. There is an apathetic streak in the soul of the panmillennialist. He doesn't care to discuss prophecy or eschatology because he simply wants to avoid controversy. Panmillennialism is the easy way out: but convictions not worth defending are not worth believing, either. Panmillennialism seeks peace between Christian brethren at too high a price in doctrinal flabbiness. Moreover, many panmillennialists are prone to low-salt content in their deeds as well as their profession.

How would you like to see your preacher get a raise next year? Perhaps the giving is down in the church, but he really deserves an increase in salary. As strange as it sounds, it may very well be possible to give him a raise without increasing his salary. Through proper tax planning by churches and pastors, some pastors may be able to retain a greater portion of their income by paying less tax. Less tax means more spendable income which amounts to a raise for your pastor.

I am often asked if the federal government requires ministers to pay income taxes on money they receive for preaching the gospel. The answer to that question is yes. Men who receive their living from the gospel are liable for taxes on income from that gospel. Some ministers have objected to such taxes citing the principle of separation of church and state, but to no avail. Whether you agree or not, it is interesting how the "separation" doctrine is devoutly used to restrict the freedoms of Christians, but when a reduction in revenue is perceived for Uncle Sam, "separationism" is conveniently overlooked.

One of the most distressing things in present-day churches is that whereas in the religious debates of earlier days they used to argue about what the Bible said, never for a moment doubting that what it said was true, groups within the various churches are now arguing as to whether or not the Bible is trustworthy. A short time ago the writer beard a sermon by a professor from a well-known theological institution in which he declared that the Bible contained historical, moral, and literary errors. This is a serious charge and if it could be proved it would certainly destroy the Christian doctrine of inspiration.

Jeremiah continually denounces false prophets: 2:8; 4:9; 5:31; 6:11-15; 14:13-16. And properly so because their preaching "parches" and "dries up" a nation, "the course they run is evil and their power is illegitimate."

The spiritually and morally adulterous condition of Judah, the idolatry and the moral depravity, were all encouraged by the preaching of the false prophets.

All the ecclesiastical leaders were "alienated from God" and were perpetrators of apostasy;

Therefore, God will bring disaster upon them swiftly and severely. Their own "slippery" and "dark" preaching and way of life will destroy them.