As is usually the case, the Federation Board has been very busy this fall. Its biggest concern was to plan new rubrics and appoint new editors for these rubrics in Beacon Lights. The Board appointed Miss Agatha Lubbers to edit a, as yet unnamed rubric, one especially for the young people pointing out the problems facing young people today. The Board appointed Rev. R. Veldman to edit a meditation which will be known to us as “From the Pastor’s Study”. It also appointed Rev. Harbach to edit “Truth vs. Error” from which Rev. Vanden Berg was recently released. And last, but not least, Rev. H. Hoeksema has given us his outlines on Revelation to aid the Young People’s Study on this book.
There have also been a few new appearances on the Beacon Lights Staff. Roger Harbin was appointed on Public Relation Staff in the place of Jim Jonker; Nancy Heenstra was appointed Proof Reader to assist Jim Jonker; (How much assistance will that be?) Lam Lubbers was appointed on Photo and Art in the place of Seymour Beiboer who has served the young people for many years; and Mary Pastoor was appointed Assistanat Clerk in the place of the undersigned. Our greatest task was to appoint an editor of Beacon Lights to replace our former editor, Charles Westra. For this, Dave Engelsma, our Federation Board President, was appointed.
The Board also planned a Young Peoples’ Mass Meeting for the people in and about Grand Rapids. It was held at Hudsonville Church on November 3. We began by singing a few Psalter numbers after which Dave Engelsma, our President, read a few verses from I Corinthians 1. Mrs. Anne Ezinga rendered a vocal solo accompanied by Nancy Ezinga. The important part of the program was a speech by Rev. B. Woudenberg entitled: “What is Implied by the Inspiration of Scripture?” In his introduction, Rev. Woudenberg pointed out that the Infallibility question was already discussed at the time of the Protestant Reformation. Already in Luther’s time, this question was debated. He went on to say that inspiration is found only twice in Scripture; the one in Job which is irrelevant to the matter at hand and in II Timothy where it states that all Scripture is inspired or God-breathed. The authors were not mechanically inspired; it was a much greater inspiration than that. God, in the first place, prepared men for this task already on this earth. Secondly, God implanted His word in the hearts of His men so that I might be a living reality. And thirdly, God moved them to write so that every word written was accurately written. How do we then know that the Bible was inspired? The words of other Scriptures were quoted by Jesus and others with great power and authority. Rev. Woudenberg said in his conclusion that there is no other evidence than Scripture, neither is it necessary for us to have any other evidence. God swears by His name for there is no greater name to swear by. We know that the world won’t accept these arguments, because their reason must be satisfied. They can’t accept it in faith as we can.
As Rev. Woudenberg sat down, the audience sat motionless realizing that what they had heard, truly was the Word of God. We were then favored by an organ solo played by Mrs. Ruth Lubbers on Hudsonville’s new organ. The tone of the organ and of the piece she played was beautiful.
After a brief recess, we heard a very interesting debate on: “Resolved that Protestant Reformed Churches should sing Hymns in their Church services. Wayne Lanning and Roger Harbin were on the affirmative; Dave Ondersma and Jerry Kuiper on the negative. The affirmative pointed out that the Church has always been a singing church from the beginning of time and there is no proof that they sung only Psalms during that time; we know certainly that they couldn’t have, because the Psalms were not written until David’s time. The Psalms are only a paraphrase of Scripture and then only of the Old Testament. Also, the birth, suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ are told from an Old Testament view only. The New Testament is completely omitted. They also pointed out that there are Arminian errors in the Psalms as well as in the Hymns; specific numbers were given as proof. The negative also gave some sound arguments. However, since the negative could not overthrow the affirmative’s arguments, it was ruled that the affirmative won the debate. Our President thanked the debaters for their contribution and asked Rev. M. Schipper to close with prayer. It was felt by all that the evening was very worthwhile and profitable to all, ministers and young people alike.
In closing, there are just a few items. The Board has investigated somewhat in staring a Scholarship Fund for all prospective ministers and teachers in our churches. At this writing there is nothing we can report. The Board also decided to discontinue the society visiting schedule for the young people in the Grand Rapids area because so often it is not convenient for the societies to visit on the date scheduled for them. However the Board does not want to discourage our societies from meeting with one another. We suggest that the Societies take it upon themselves to meet with the other societies.
Will the societies that have not done so, please send the name and address of their President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and the list of all their society members to Karlene Oomkes, 1312 Rosewood, S.E., Grand Rapids, Mich.
Originally Published in:
Vol. 19 No. 9 January 1960