I have asked Mr. H. Kuiper to prove some of his statements made in his Editorial in Beacon Lights, entitled, “The Need for Protestant Reformed High Schools”. Brother Kuiper answers me in “Open Forum” in the Beacon Lights of April 1964. I want to say first of all, that Mr. Kuiper in his answer to me multiplies words, but does not cover up the fact that he is evading the issue. The issue is not, Does Christ bless the heresies of a church, but whether God blesses the efforts of these churches when they do preach Reformed and teach Reformed truth. Now, Mr. Kuiper writes that he does not believe that the Lord blesses the Christian Reformed church as institute any more.
And a little farther in his writings he states, (and that in bold letters) that as institute they deny the Christ in all their confessions and thus cannot know Him. I cannot let this go unchallenged. Maybe I do not understand the English language, but to me, when you say “in all their confessions they do not know him”, that is exactly what it means. You wrote me that my difficulty is with the structure of the English language. But I believe that the trouble is not with the English language, but with Mr. Kuiper who makes no distinctions that can hold. And maybe it would be a good thing if you could discuss in your men’s society the question, “What do we mean when we say that as institute they deny the Christ in all their confessions and thus cannot know Him”. That would be interesting. Now your men’s society will tell you that the task of preaching must be fulfilled by the church, considered as an institute. The person of the minister has the commission to preach, but the church has, as institute, and therefore, it is this calling by the church that is the all-important factor in the determination of one’s being sent by Christ to preach the Gospel. “How shall they preach except they be sent?” Now this preaching of the Word is indispensable to faith in Christ, it is the work of Christ through the Church as an institute. That is what you men’s society will tell you. But if it is true what you say, that as institute they deny the Christ in all their confessions and thus cannot know Him, you have no church left but as Mary Beth Lubbers correctly interprets then the Christian Reformed church as an institute is the false church, and members that belong to that church do not hear the voice of Christ and have not the preaching of the Gospel. That’s exactly what it means when you say that as institute they deny the Christ in all their confessions. Now you say you don’t believe that the Christian Reformed church is the false church, well, brother you will have to retract this statement that is sure, that as institute they deny the Christ in all their confessions.
Now let me say, for I wish to instruct the young people in Beacon Lights, that a church adopts a heresy, that does not mean (as is plain from the churches in Asia) that this church throws away all the truth. If I have cancer, does that mean that my whole body is corrupt already? Does it mean that I am dead already? The C. R. church has cancer. I will never deny that. But I maintain that they also have the truth in some of its parts. For how can there still be elect children of God who for forty years were fed by that which denies Christ and does not know Him, and still did not starve to death? I would like you to explain to me and to the young people how there can be a single believer left after forty years when all that time he has been fed nothing but poison. Are all the efforts in the school and C. R. church based on heresy? If so, why did we ever try to have conferences with such? Why do we send our children to their schools when we have not our own? And help support them? Now, Mr. Kuiper, the churches of Asia Minor have false doctrine, too. See Rev. 2:15 and 2:24. Yet, Jesus has kind words for them and blessing and he prays for them. And what about the church at Corinth with its corruption? The Holy Communion and denial of the resurrection was false doctrine, far worse than common grace. For then we are yet in our sins and we have believed in vain. See I Corinthians 15:14-18. What an awful doctrine! Did that make the whole church institutionally corrupt and so that confessionally it did not know Christ? And what about the Protestant Reformed church; pure, Holy, without blemish? And I would ask you also whether the official stand of the Kings of the Kingdom of Judah, when they embraced idolatry—which is false doctrine, did not result in the whole church and the whole Kingdom being in such a position that confessionally they did not know Christ. Then for a time there simply was no true church on earth for the whole institute was corrupt and did not know Christ. The ten tribes did not, the two tribes did not; and so during the reign of Ahaz (II Chronicles 28:2 etc.) there simply was not a church on earth that knew Christ, only a few individuals here and there in the institute. What kind of confusion do we get? And therefore I want to say again, that the trouble is not with the English language but with Brother H. Kuiper who makes no distinctions that can hold.
REPLY TO MR. THYS FEENSTRA
Dear Brother Feenstra:
Again I extend Christian greeting in the Lord. Your letter centers on the affirmation made, not in my editorial originally, but in my answer to your 1st letter. Our readers will recall that the original editorial carried “…I am not speaking head for head, but confessionally they deny Him…” Concerning this, you interpreted that they must then have no confession except that which denies Him. And I pointed out to you that grammatically this simply was not in the editorial.
However, in that same letter, I go beyond the editorial’s stand to affirm that the conclusion which you erroneously take from it is, nonetheless, true. I now purpose to show the reason for having taken the stand that I have on this matter.
Remembering that we are speaking of the official confession of an institute, whether this is ever preached or not, I will ask myself a few questions here, answer them and invite you to do the same in your own mind and soul.
(1) Since we are all bound to the instruction of the Infallible and Holy Scriptures, do I believe that the official addenda to the doctrines of the Christian Reformed in 1924, namely the now infamous Three Points, are, before God and all men who encounter them, confessions of The Only God and the Only Christ of those Scriptures? I certainly do not! Rather, I believe that they are premeditated assertion, based on a lie against His Holiness, namely that God, in the final instance, is not God at all!
(2) What consequence does this have for me, logically, in assessing their doctrine? I affirm that the Christian Reformed therefore must either/or
(a) maintain a double concept of God, i.e. one from the Scriptures as held and interpreted for us in the Reformed confessions and the other as advanced and confessed in the Three Points.
(b) maintain a single concept of God, which in this case would necessarily have to be the “god” of the Three Points.
The former is impossible. God is not mocked! Even though man claims such abomination, God simply does not give them the desire to serve Him who willfully serve and confess the gods of their imagination. Scripture’s God was hurled out the window in 1924, not just men.
(3) Therefore, it must needs follow that officially the “god” of their heretical innovation is superimposed upon all the beautiful Three Forms of Unity, as well as over the whole of the Word of God. Read the candid exposure of this very thing as we find it currently in the editorials of the Standard Bearer. There it is shown that the latter is explicitly correct. Their leaders who have imbibed this heresy and support it in their souls are not concerned with denying our allegations as to what sort of God we say they must necessarily have and confess in the maintenance of heresy. Of course they don’t! And I can read all that and say that it is not a denial of God? I cannot.
And when they superimpose that “god” on the Forms and Scripture, the Word, which is Christ, is denied. That is my basic reason, brother, for my stand. For some reason, you ask if the Protestant Reformed Church is “pure, holy, without blemish”. Let me answer the first. No, we are not! We all know that God Himself continues to develop His truth throughout all the ages; but I believe we are in principle perfect, doctrinally. Of course, I believe that! Dare I say that for the Christian Reformed church? To do so would be to repudiate the Word of God itself. And because you ask that question, I want to say to our youth, that it simply is not true that the church must be perfect in order for it to instruct its youth against the satanical craftiness of those that willfully walk in apostasy. Show us the error of our doctrines and will we not by His grace repent and teach against that very evil? The question is not whether we are perfect. The question is whether we willfully walk confessionally in a way which is shown to be contrary to the Word of God!
And let us not forget, either, that the God-dishonoring and God-denying heresies of the Christian Reformed from 1924 and following years are exactly the affirmations which are in the hearts of us all as we are by nature and apart from His grace. Let us not be ashamed to engage in the conflict to which it has pleased Him to call us. And let us in all of our life show the beauty of that grace. And let us in humility and joy strive to teach it to our children in all their ways. And we, I repeat, shall not be put to shame!
Brother Feenstra, forgive me for “multiplying words”. Categorically I deny your friendly allegation that I try to or do evade the issue. For some of your remarks, with respect to the “false church”, I refer you and our readers to Art. XXIX of the Confession of Faith. Take a long hard look at that once. Is it all wrong?
May peace and unity in the truth reign in Zion!
H. W. Kuiper