Protestant Reformed Church
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 24 January, 2010
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and
things wherewith one may edify another" (Rom. 14:19)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
The Outrage at Gibeah (1)
What Sort of a Man Is This Levite?
Scripture Reading: Judges 19:1-21
Text: Judges 19:1-21
I. What About His Marriage?
II. What About His Eating and Drinking?
III. What About His Lodging Place?
Psalms: 99:1-7; 49:1-9; 114:1-8; 72:1-8
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Christian Sacraments [download]
Scripture Reading: Romans 4
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 25
I. What Are They?
II. What Is Their Purpose?
Psalms: 125:1-5; 49:10-15; 27:9-14; 103:1-7
Contact Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons
and DVDs of the worship services.
CPRC YouTube Site:
Quotes to Consider:
Homer C. Hoeksema: "So tragic and so sordid is
this history [of Judges 19-21], from the point of view of all who were
involved in it, that the entire incident became proverbial in Israel’s
history, so that it is still referred to in the latter prophets,
particularly in the prophecy of Hosea [9:9; 10:9]."
Matthew Henry on Judges 19:5-8: "A good man’s
heart is where his business is; for as a bird that wanders from her nest
so is the man that wanders from his place [Prov. 27:8]. It is a sign a
man has either little to do at home, or little heart to do what he has
to do, when he can take pleasure in being long abroad where he has
nothing to do."
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
Monday, 7 PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea Campbell at the manse
Tuesday, 7 PM - Jacob & Nathan at the Buchanans
Tuesday, 8 PM - Mark & Lauren at the Hamills
Wednesday, 1 PM - Beginners OT Class at the manse
Midweek Bible study meets this Wednesday at 7:45
PM at the manse. We will continue our study with I Peter 3:21-22 on Noah
"saved by water."
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "May God’s Kingdom Come!"
(Luke 11:2) by Rev. R. Kleyn.
The Council meets next week Monday, 1
February, at 7:30 PM at the manse.
Ladies Bible study meets next week Thursday, 4
February, at 10:30 AM at the Murrays to study the second half of Lesson
3 of Keeping God’s Covenant.
Upcoming Lectures in Limerick: Friday, 12
February - "Preaching: The Voice of Christ" Friday, 12 March - "The Real
Offerings: General Fund: £610.66. Donations:
£20 (CR News), £50 (CR News), £15.75 (Limerick).
Church Building Update: All the slates have been
laid on the roof and porch. The upstairs rooms and much of the
downstairs have been plastered. The building has been hooked up to the
electricity grid. New photos are on our website (http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/building.htm)
Website Additions: 1 German, 1 Portuguese and 1
Italian translations were added. An article by Francesco entitled "The
Unbreakable Bond of Marriage" was also put on-line.
PRC News: Rev. Spriensma is considering the call
from Bethel PRC. Rev. Koole is considering the call from First PRC of
Holland. Rev. Key is considering the call from Loveland PRC. Rev. J.
Laning (Hope) is considering the call from Cornerstone PRC. Trinity PRC
has a new trio of Revs. Haak, Key, and A. Lanning.
Luther’s Letter in Behalf of
Christian Schools (I)
Mr. Brian Dykstra, teacher at Hope PR Christian
We’ve just concluded our consideration of Martin
Luther’s "Open Letter." Luther dealt with a wide range of topics in this
lengthy letter. Only a small portion of it dealt with the education of
the church’s youth and young people. The next of Luther’s works which we
will treat deals exclusively with Christian schools. Luther wrote his
"Letter to the Mayors and Aldermen of All the Cities of Germany in
Behalf of Christian Schools" in 1524, a mere seven years after the
beginning of the Reformation. Luther saw the critical importance of
Christian schools for the cause of God’s church as God gave her a new
life in the Reformation.
As you will see from the quotations below, Luther
writes forcefully. When he believes his position is backed by Scripture,
Luther states his case in strong terms. Luther sees the importance of
Christian education for the children of the kingdom of God. Luther is
also very much aware that he is coming to grips with Satan’s desire to
maintain his kingdom on this earth.
The quotations which follow come from Franklin V. N.
Painter’s book Luther on Education, published by The Lutheran
Publication Society in 1889. The last two chapters of Painter’s book are
translations of Luther’s two important works on education, his letter to
Germany’s mayors, and Luther’s "Sermon on the Duty of Sending Children
Near the beginning of his letter to mayors, Luther
points out how the universities in Germany are deteriorating because the
light of God’s Word has shown how deficient in scriptural truth they
were. Furthermore, he is deeply troubled by the attitude he saw in
Christian parents toward education.
The universities are becoming weak, the
monasteries are declining, and, as Isaiah says, "The grass
withereth, the flower fadeth, because the spirit of the Lord bloweth
upon it," through the Gospel. For through the work of God the
unchristian and sensual character of these institutions is becoming
known. And because selfish parents see that they can no longer place
their children upon the bounty of monasteries and cathedrals, they
refuse to educate them. "Why should we educate our children," they
say, "if they are not to become priests, monks, and nuns, and thus
earn a support?"
The hollow piety and selfish aims of such persons
are sufficiently evident from their own confession. For if they
sought anything more than the temporal welfare of their children in
monasteries and the priesthood, if they were deeply in earnest to
secure the salvation and blessedness of their children, they would
not lose interest in education and say, "if the priestly office is
abolished, we will not send our children to school." But they would
speak after this manner: "if it is true, as the Gospel teaches, that
such a calling is dangerous to our children, teach us another way in
which they may be pleasing to God and become truly blessed; for we
wish to provide not alone for the bodies of our children, but also
for their souls." Such would be the language of faithful Christian
Next Luther addresses what he sees as Satan’s hand in
the education of Christian children. Luther credits Satan’s wisdom as
the devil changed tactics in recognition of the fact that the spiritual
battlefield in education had been altered.
It is no wonder that the devil meddles in the
matter and influences groveling hearts to neglect the children and
the youth of the country. Who can blame him for it? He is the prince
and god of this world, and with extreme displeasure sees the Gospel
destroy his nurseries of vice, the monasteries and priesthood, in
which he corrupts the youth beyond measure, a work upon which his
mind is especially bent. How could he consent to a proper training
of the young? Truly he would be a fool if he permitted such a thing
in his kingdom, and thus consented to its overthrow: which indeed
would happen, if the young should escape him, and be brought up to
the service of God.
Hence he acted wisely at the time when Christians
were educating and bringing up their children in a Christian way.
Inasmuch as the youth of the land would have thus escaped him, and
inflicted an irreparable injury upon his kingdom, he went to work
and spread his nets, established such monasteries, schools, and
orders, that it was not possible for a boy to escape him without the
miraculous intervention of God. But now that he sees his snares
exposed through the Word of God, he takes an opposite course, and
dissuades men from all education whatever ... For any fatal wound to
his cause must come through the young, who, brought up in the
knowledge of God, spread abroad the truth and instruct others.
Satan has been interested in education since Genesis
3 when he "educated" Eve about the "real" reason why God forbade her and
Adam to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When the
devices of Satan are exposed by godly men, Satan will not slink away
with his satchel of schemes tucked under his arm and sulk in a corner.
He tries a new tactic. Education at every level in western society is
dominated by ungodliness. What place is left for God in any government
operated school? In addition, Satan effectively uses the productions of
Hollywood to educate our society in his curriculum. Satan desires to
instruct us too.
After writing about how the citizens of Germany
expended large sums of money to defend themselves against the threat of
the Turks which they could see, Luther asks why money is not spent to
combat ignorance, a spiritual enemy they could not see.
Therefore I beg you all, in the name of God and
of our neglected youth, not to think of this subject lightly, as
many do who see not what the prince of this world intends. For the
right instruction of youth is a matter in which Christ and all the
world are concerned. Thereby are we all aided. And consider that
great Christian zeal is needed to overcome the silent, secret, and
artful machinations of the devil. If we must annually expend large
sums on muskets, roads, bridges, dams, and the like, in order that
the city may have temporal peace and comfort, why should we not
apply as much to our poor, neglected youth, in order that we may
have a skillful school-master or two?
Luther then shifts to giving three reasons "that
should move every citizen, with devout gratitude to God, to contribute a
part of his means to the support of schools ..." Initially Luther states
that money had become available since the Germans were no longer subject
to the "exactions and robbery" of the Roman Catholic Church so they
could now fight "against the devil, the most artful and dangerous enemy
of men" by establishing their own schools. Next Luther indicates that
God has provided men who "could be of great service as teachers," so
they had better not miss this opportunity. Luther warns,
If we let the gracious season pass without
gratitude and improvement, it is to be feared that we shall suffer
still more terrible darkness and distress. My dear countrymen, buy
while the market is at your door; gather the harvest while the sun
shines and the weather is fair: use the grace and Word of God while
they are near. For know this, that the Word and grace of God are
like a passing shower, which does not return where it has once been.
The Divine favour once rested upon the Jews, but it has departed.
Paul brought the Gospel into Greece; but now they have the Turks.
Rome and Italy once enjoyed its blessings; but now they have the
Pope. And the German people should not think that they will always
have it; for ingratitude and neglect will banish it. Therefore seize
it and hold it fast, whoever can; idle hands will have an evil year.
Finally, Luther asserts the highest reason of all to
establish Christian schools, "namely, God’s command, which through Moses
so often urges and enjoins that parents instruct their children ..." He
concludes this section:
It is indeed a sin and shame that we must be
aroused and incited to the duty of educating our children and of
considering their highest interests, whereas nature itself should
move us thereto, and the example of the heathen affords us varied
instruction ... In my judgment there is no other outward offense
that in the sight of God so heavily burdens the world, and deserves
such heavy chastisement, as the neglect to educate children.
May Luther’s admonitions and warnings encourage us to maintain our
Christian schools, a blessed heritage of the Reformation.