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2007 Issue 2

How many times have you heard someone say when it comes to a discussion about differences in churches and denominations, “Why can’t we all just be Christians?” I would like to ask, “Why can’t we all just be Calvinists?”

R. B. Kuiper, 1886-1966, Christian Reformed and Orthodox Presbyterian pastor, professor, and author, was a proclaimer and defender of the Reformed Faith. He wrote several books, one of which is still widely used today, The Glorious Body of Christ, on the Church. Two other helpful books he wrote, which are out of print, are, As To Being Reformed (1926) and To Be or Not to Be Reformed (1959). As To Being Reformed was “an appeal to the members of the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church to continue soundly Reformed or to become more so.” He was concerned about the imminent peril in which the American Calvinists were and are of losing our “precious Reformed heritage, and the supreme importance of holding it fast.” To Be or Not to Be Reformed, written much later, was a second plea to maintain the Reformed heritage.

Several years ago, Faith Popcorn, America’s foremost trend expert, hailed by the New York Times as the “trend oracle” and as the “Nostradamus of marketing” by Fortune magazine, declared, “Porn is norm.” She was not endorsing pornography, but predicting that media technology would push the limits of what is acceptable and would facilitate a culture of instant gratification; thus porn would be the norm. True to her prediction, pornography has moved out of the back allies of the urban scene and onto the main streets of America.

While most Internet businesses were going bankrupt, the porn industry was raking in huge profits, making it perhaps the most profitable business on the Internet. In the past, one had to travel to sleazy backstreets to find porn; now, it’s only a click away on the computer and on the remote control of the cable/satellite TV. Easy, private and nobody knows … except God. At home or in the hotel, porn is private, available and acceptable. Some estimate that as much as 70% of in-room hotel profits come from porn and that over 50% of hotel patrons participate. As people consume it in private, porn becomes the norm and goes public.

In 1892, the famous German Church Historian Rev. Professor Dr.J.H. Kurtz1 called King Alfred the greatest and noblest of all the monarchs England has ever had. King Alfred ruled from 871 to 901 A.D. He applied all the energy of his mind to the difficult problems of government; to the emancipation of his Christian country by driving out the Pagan Danish invaders and robbers; and then to improving the internal condition of the land.

Alfred is perhaps best of all remembered for his famous Law Code. According to the celebrated former British Statesman and Historian Sir Winston Churchill, the roots of King Alfred’s Book of Laws or “Dooms” (his “deemings,” = “to come to think or judge”) came forth from the (as then already long-established) laws of Kent, Mercia and Wessex. All these attempted to blend the Mosaic Code with the Christian principles of Celto-Brythonic Law and old Germanic customs. Churchill adds that the laws of Alfred, continually amplified by his successors, grew into that body of Customary Law which was administered [as the ‘Common Law’] by the Shire and the Hundred Courts. Cf. Exodus 18:21ff. That, under the name of the ‘Laws of St. Edward’ [the ‘Confessor’] -- as the A.D. 1042f last Anglo-Saxon Christian King of England -- the Norman kings undertook to respect, after their 1066f invasion and conquest of England and domination over Britain. Out of that, with much dexterity by feudal lawyers, the Common Law emerged (which was re-confirmed by Magna Carta in 1215).

When I was a boy my father took me from a smaller school where I was, and sent me to a fine large school. (It is the finest school in England. I am sure all the old boys, who wear the same “old school tie” as I do, think the same!) It was all very exciting, and I can remember still the new “togs” (that means clothes) I had. How proud I was to be wearing the new cap with the red-and-white badge and the blue stripes. In the school term in which I started, there were about forty other new boys. We were sorted out for our various “houses” or dorms, and had all kinds of “mysteries” about school explained to us, were told about the school tuck-shop, and a hundred and one other things. Then we were all filed off by a prefect (a student monitor) to a room where there was a piano and one of the masters. The truth then came out. We would all have to sing, “Doh, ray, me, fah, soh...”, and the singing master would listen to see if he could find any recruits for the school choir. My voice was at the cracked stage then, and so I was soon dismissed. Since I have become a man I have often wished I had gone into the choir; but when I was at school, and saw all the “chumps” who belonged to the choir having to stay late for practices, it seemed much better fun to go out and play rugger (Rugby-English football). But there were days when the choir had its own back, because at the School Concerts and on Speech Day they used to do jolly well. But this is a talk about the Bible. It seems as if I am forgetting that. Can you guess which part of the Bible comes into our talk today?

Many of the people reading this article are child abusers. That would be the view of some secular child-raising “experts,” anyway. They believe that spanking a child is “abuse,” or at least inevitably leads to abuse, and that corporal punishment should be outlawed. A large number of contemporary social problems cannot be solved as long as parents spank disobedient children, in their view.

This kind of thinking prevailed in Sweden by the late 1970s, and that country passed a law to prohibit spanking in 1979. That was more than 25 years ago, and somehow Sweden still has its share of social problems. The utopia has not arrived. Perhaps they need more time. More likely, the supposedly beneficial outcome of a ban on spanking is just another left-wing fantasy. Reality has a way of pouring cold water on the overheated theories of the social Left.

Joey Morecraft, son of Rev. and Mrs. Joseph Morecraft III, was honored by having the 2006 Dominion Christian High School Yearbook dedicated to him. Joey, a graduate of 1997 King College, Bristol, Tn., has taught at Dominion Christian High School in Marietta, Ga. for eight years.

Principal, Dr. Rod Kirby, wrote, "I’m sure there is a great multitude of students who would wish that I had steered him away from teaching -- his high standards have caused much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth! But the Lord has truly blessed his ministry with students, both in the classroom and outside of it. Joey regularly engages students in discussions about their life -- not just carrying on superficial chit-chat, but challenging them to live their lives in whole-hearted service to the Lord. His impact on students is incalculable, both in their academic work and, more importantly, in their walk with Jesus. May the Lord continue to bless Joey Morecraft as he ministers to young men and women in the name of Christ.”