(This article was first published in Una Sancta 65-06, 21 April 2018.) What makes a great leader? We all may have memories of great political leaders from the past. We will remember some important leaders from church history. And many of us will probably have someone in the past who was important for him (or… Continue reading Called to be godly leaders
We live in a day and age when truth is at a premium. People misrepresent the facts, twist the truth, and jump to false conclusions. This flippancy about the truth reflects a transition from modernism to postmodernism. Although modernism rejected the Bible as the Truth, it still acknowledged that there was truth, although it could… Continue reading The Lie is the Work of the Devil.
I expect that every one, after having done all he can in the way of robbing and murdering, will be so tired as to wish for the peace which he had formerly but did not value. All this we have deserved through our sins. For we are up to our heads in pride and ambition,… Continue reading Pride & Prejudice: Antwerp 1567
When reading or listening to the news, one cannot help but notice a certain bias. This is not only true for the mainstream news but pretty well anything one listens to. Even though the news is meant to be and generally is presented as objective, it appears an impossible goal. One needs only look at… Continue reading A Look at the Ninth Commandment
Have you followed online news stories about the recent election in the United States? Consider the following headings of articles from a news feed based on the search term “US Election” and obtained approximately 4 weeks after the election: Trump lays out election-fraud case in online video: ‘Bad things happened’ Democrats seek disciplinary investigation for… Continue reading Reading the media: to judge or not to judge
The ninth commandment requires that I must love the truth, the whole truth and speak it honestly. I must not give false testimony, twist no one’s words, not gossip or slander, and avoid deceit. The purpose of this commandment is to regulate our minds and lives so that we reflect God’s image, by honoring God… Continue reading Coping in a Post-fact Age
‘What is truth?’ These words from Pontius Pilate, quoted in the Bible in John 18:38, are the summary of what this article is about. However, the words of Pilate can be interpreted and used in different ways. Pilate used it to express his skepticism. Jesus Christ, standing before Pontius Pilate, his judge, responded to a… Continue reading The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
This week is the second Family Week. For information about what Family Week is, see my previous article last month. This is an initiative from and for the Free Reformed Church of Kelmscott, but I invite others to participate as well, if they want. This is the material for this week: 1. For Sunday or… Continue reading Family Week 2 – 8 August
From Sabbath to Sunday? Is the Sunday the Sabbath day of the New Testament? This is a question that is being discussed widely among Christians. Even among those who claim to stand in the reformed tradition[i], there are those who believe that keeping the Sunday as a day of rest is not a biblical command.… Continue reading The Synod of Dort on the fourth commandment
“The Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS) released a study last month demonstrating that religious people live longer.” That is what Fox News reported recently. Researchers found that religiously affiliated people lived between 5.64 and 9.45 years longer than those who were not religiously affiliated. However, there is no reason yet for Christians… Continue reading Religious people live longer
Last week, the ABC ran an article about the Community Development Programme (DCP) of the Australian government. In that article it reported that many people who received funds under this program were slugged with fines for not completing all the jobs and activities required for which they received funding. Around 35,000 people are supported by… Continue reading How to help those in need
What makes the church grow? In the New Testament we read that in the first days and years after Pentecost the church grew rapidly. The first days it was about thousands who were added to the Christian congregation in Jerusalem. When through persecution the church was scattered over the surrounding areas, those who fled, took… Continue reading Why Christianity doesn’t grow in Western countries
You have just received an account from a small business for a job well done. How soon will you pay it? What is your usual strategy: same day pay or many days delay? In an article that should prick everyone’s conscience Bernard Salt fires an arrow about paying your bills on time to small business.… Continue reading When will you pay that bill?
Political correctness can reduce public debate to very limp and shallow discussion. Whilst many journalists in the West are often afraid to call a spade a spade, some in Asia are not such nervous Nellies. Take for example Surya Deva (an associate professor at the school of law of City University of Hong Kong) who… Continue reading Feminine beauty
Matthew 14:6 records a birthday celebration in honour of King Herod. John Calvin in his commentary on this verse makes some very thoughtful comments about birthday celebrations in general. He first writes about the preparations for Herod’s feast: “It is scarcely possible that such magnificent preparations should not draw luxury, pride, unbridled merriment, and other… Continue reading Celebrating a birthday?
Several newspapers will mention something about Christmas, even if it is only by writing about the nativity scene, or others by giving advice how to spend time with family and friends, or how to cook your Christmas dinner. Some heads of state, presidents, queens or kings, will have a special Christmas message. Most of the… Continue reading Merry Christmas: What Jesus, descendant of David, promises mankind
There is a phrase in the Address to the Parents, in our Form for the Baptism of Infants, that we may have overlooked a bit, even though we hear it every time when a child is being baptized. That are the words ‘as soon as he (she) is able to understand‘. What does that mean?… Continue reading As soon as they are able to understand
Lots of stories go around on the internet, on Facebook and other social media, or are being forwarded by email, preferably to all the contacts in your address book. Those articles, which speak about dreadful things government authorities and other organisations are doing, whether it is in the USA or in our own country or… Continue reading Outraged all the time: why Christians can’t be
It is a year ago now that Mr. Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States. A lot has happened in one year. We notice that, still, the mass media are out in full force to vilify Mr. Trump. They do whatever they can to show him as the worst president ever. One… Continue reading The Devil’s Ministry of Propaganda
A recent discussion around the Consistory table revealed that the elders in Smithville are concerned about the ease with which our Young People (and some not so young) strike up a romantic relationship with a person outside the church. As a result of that discussion, the elders have encouraged me to republish a Bit to… Continue reading Dating – who?