Redlands PRC

Article 29: The marks of the true church, and wherein she differs from the false church

As for the false church, she ascribes more power and authority to herself and her ordinances than to the Word of God, and will not submit herself to the yoke of Christ. Neither does she administer the sacraments as appointed by Christ in His Word, but adds to and takes from them as she thinks proper; she relieth more upon men than upon Christ; and persecutes those who live holily according to the Word of God, and rebuke her for her errors, covetousness, and idolatry.

These two Churches are easily known and distinguished from each other.

A public lecture is planned for Friday, December 10, 2021, in Yucaipa, CA.

The theme of the lecture is “Come Out of Her, My People.” The speaker will be Rev. Andrew Lanning. More information can be found here.

In response to this lecture, the consistory of Redlands Protestant Reformed Church has distributed a letter to its congregation.

The elders of Redlands PRC, like so many PR elders before them, have abdicated their office. They are not men who understand the times.

Where has the consistory of Redlands PRC ever specifically and publicly condemned the lie that has infected their denomination?

Where have they ever defended their flock against the error that has infected the PRC?

It is striking that in this letter the elders of Redlands PRC could not find it within themselves to offer a defense for their denomination

But they finally did find a sword.

And they used it against the former members of their congregation who have had the courage to follow Christ.

With the sharpest language possible, the elders accuse these faithful members of doing “the devil’s work to tear apart the body of Jesus Christ.”

The church is appropriately named Hope PRC. Such cruelty mirrors that of her sister in Grand Rapids.

These men ought to tremble.

The Holy Spirit is at work and they condemn such as the work of the devil.

They call for objectivity.

I too call for objectivity.

What have these former members done that makes them worthy of such a grievous attack?

The true and the false churches are easily known and distinguished from each other.

These members have witnessed the rising tide of false doctrine within their denomination and the corruption of the first mark. They have witnessed Christian discipline administered only against the upright, which represents a corruption of the second mark. By virtue of the false doctrine and the wicked misuse of the keys of the kingdom, members have been prevented from their use of the sacraments, which represents a corruption of the third mark.

These members have no doubt labored diligently with their consistory and when it became clear that the consistory would plant their flag with a denomination and not with Christ, these members have, in obedience to their Lord, come out of that church.

John 14:6 teaches that Jesus is the way to the Father.

The PRC continues to teach that man’s obedience is the way to the Father. It is that simple.

Can anyone say that what is taught today is any different than what was taught prior to that synod?

Nothing has changed.

I imagine that if history is any type of guide, the consistory will have scared enough of their members so that very few will have the courage to show up at a public lecture and follow the biblical mandate to try the spirits to see whether they be of God.

Who wants to be on the receiving end of such cruelty?

As for the faithful former (and current) members of Redlands PRC who now find themselves being slandered by their consistory and yet clearly see their calling?

Those members should take heart.

They have heard Christ.

Having heard him, they now follow him.

God will build his church and even the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18).

Do not fear man.

The joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh. 8:10).

20 thoughts on “Redlands PRC

    1. “In fact, the more faithful the saints are to God’s law in the grace of Jesus Christ, the more they prosper in the great blessings of the covenant. They prosper in their marriages, in their family life, and in their church life. Above all, they prosper in the enjoyment of God’s covenant fellowship” (Rev. Slopsema, SB, 10/15/20)

      1. I don’t understand,

        Are you suggesting that teaching the blessedness of covenant faithfulness and the gracious reward of good works is somehow making works the way unto the Father?

        “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:25)

        “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Ps. 19:11)

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      2. I am saying that PR ministers should read their own Acts of Synod. “Obedience never gains us or obtains anything in the covenant of God” (2018 Acts, 73). And they should stop corrupting the gospel by inserting the obedience of man. Good works are fruit and are done out of gratitude. Not to earn something by them.

        I’m not sure how to make it more clear than Jesus did.

        “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

        What’s the PR message?

        This: “That’s our hope. It’s based upon the blood. But it’s also in the way of this repentance and casting oneself upon the mercy of Jehovah God” (Koole, 10/23/21, The Years the Locusts Have Eaten).

        PR’s can’t just confess “It’s based upon the blood.” They have to add, “But, also.”

        They can have it.

        I’ll take Christ and Christ alone.

    1. No one need scour SermonAudio to determine if Rev. Kortus or Redlands consistory has condemned the lie. If they had, rather than condemn this lecture as the work of the devil, they would be asking to sponsor it.

      1. In response to your comment to me above….

        /// “What’s the PR message?
        This: “That’s our hope. It’s based upon the blood. But it’s also in the way of this repentance and casting oneself upon the mercy of Jehovah God” (Koole, 10/23/21, The Years the Locusts Have Eaten).
        PR’s can’t just confess “It’s based upon the blood.” They have to add, “But, also.”
        They can have it.
        I’ll take Christ and Christ alone.” ///

        I’m curious as to why you object to Koole’s language in that quote …

        Do you really think repentance and true faith can be separated? Rev. Koole says “but it’s also in the way of…” (using language officially adopted by Synod 2018, mind you), not to add something else to Christ, but to rebuke those who dare to take something away!

        It seems you are suggesting that our hope based on the blood of Christ is *not* in the way of repentance. As if Christ’s blood gives us hope but does not also give us repentance. As if the impenitent may boast of having hope in Christ’s blood.

        No, says Scripture:

        “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” (I Cor. 1:30)

        “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:17-18)

        The PRC, by insisting that we have this hope *in the way of repentance* has the complete Christ with a complete salvation by the power of the Spirit, implanting in us new life (regeneration), turning our hearts (repentance), and giving us hope in Christ alone (faith), in whom we have and receive all these blessings, now a small beginning, and later the full inheritance and gracious reward.

        Regards,

        David Hutchings

      2. Why do I object to Rev. Koole’s statement?

        You say that Rev. Koole’s statement gives the PRC a “complete Christ.”

        I say Rev. Koole and the rest of the PRC continues to displace Christ.

        If someone comes to me and says, “Dewey, tell me about the hope that you have within you” my answer is not, “My hope is Christ, but also my repentance.” My answer is simple, “Christ. That is my hope. That alone is my hope.” There is no “but also” after I answer someone as to the hope that I have.

        Your response to that question, apparently, would be this: “My hope is Christ. But it’s also my repentance.”

        That is no comfort for the child of God.

        Why rely and rest upon the obedience of Christ crucified alone?

        “And verily, if we should appear before God, relying on ourselves or on any other creature, though ever so little, we should, alas! be consumed” (BC 23).

        And I know that Synod 2018 used that phrase. At the time I was happy with it. In fact, I defended it in the Beacon Lights when a question came in objecting to it. I wonder now if I was dead wrong to defend it, and if the letter writer was way ahead of me in seeing the danger and wrongness of the phrase. Look at the false doctrine that is now being spread around in the PRC, as so much dung, by the wrong use of the phrase.

        And since you refer back to Synod 2018, so will I. “With this defense, Hope’s consistory reveals that it has a misunderstanding of the “necessary way of the covenant” and the proper use of the phrase “in the way of.” And, “…the phrase ‘in the way of’ should not be used as Hope’s Consistory used it.” Remember? Hope’s consistory and the entire denomination had been using the phrase wrongly.

        It is now clear Hope’s consistory has learned nothing from this controversy, and that goes for the entire denomination as well. What has changed in how the phrase “in the way of” was used before 2018 and after 2018? In a word: Nothing.

        If you can’t give a one-word answer to the question, “Upon what is your hope based?” then I want nothing to do with your theology.

  1. Just curious what you say or think when you see texts such as were mentioned by David. James 1:25, and Psalm 19:11? We all know there are many other texts that could be added. I see you have texts to throw out as well, but we also all know that scripture is infallible. So what do you do with such texts? And how can you condemn people for trying to interpret scripture as a whole? I feel like it’s all explained quite well in the PRC. I ask this sincerely. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for the question. My answer would be that I in no way see those texts as supporting the position that by our works we obtain something with God. The proper explanation of the texts cannot teach that by our works we obtain with God because that would contradict other texts in Scripture that clearly teach that it is by Christ, and Christ alone, that we obtain with God. So, yes, I believe in interpreting Scripture as a whole, and that informs my interpretations of the texts quoted by David.

      I do have a question for you, however. You say, “I feel like it’s all explained quite well in the PRC.” Since you are anonymous to me, and the readers, perhaps you can be especially candid. You do realize that Synod 2018 pointed out that the way the PRC explained all this displaced Christ, and compromised justification by faith alone and the truth of the unconditional covenant? Do you believe that? Or do you disagree with the assessment that synod made? Or, do you think the teaching in the PRC radically changed after Synod 2018 so that whereas before that synod things were not well in how the PRC explained them, now things are different and things have changed enough so that now its all explained quite well in the PRC.

      I have no doubt you asked your question sincerely and I follow your lead and ask my question sincerely as well.

  2. I highly recommend the BEMA podcast and Walking the Text website. We’ve only had a sliver of truth in both the PRC and RPC. These two tools actually take you back to context (not proof texting) and the Greek/Hebrew language. I share on here because I care for all those still in the PRC and RPC.

    1. Hello Annise, since you recommended it I did listen to one of the BEMA podcasts.

      I will try to listen to more to have a better understanding of what they are trying to do, but the one I listened to (having to do with Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac), the guys doing the podcast referenced two interpretations from a Jewish midrash. The two interpretations given as to why the Bible does not explicitly refer to Isaac coming down from the mountain are first, that Isaac was actually sacrificed and then arose three days later, and the other is that Isaac was so traumatized by the event that he stayed on the mountain for an additional amount of time. They then interacted with these as if either, or both, were the truth.

      This is the first time that I have heard Jewish interpretations (midrash) recommended as something that a N.T, Reformed believer should turn to for truth. Given the extra-scriptural nature of these Jewish speculations, I wonder if there is something I am missing in your recommending it to our readers?

      (I say this recognizing that in only listening to one I may not have the best vantage point, however, I notice that many of their podcasts make reference to “Midrash.” And since it may be a little while until I listen to more, I wanted to respond to give a caution to those listening to them.)

      2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

      1. Hi Dewey,
        I’m trusting that the Holy Spirit is at work and that anyone choosing to listen to those tools will be able to read and listen with discernment and wisdom. The purpose in sharing them is to demonstrate that no church, people group, or denomination has a monopoly on the truth. I am not saying everything one will find in these tools will be truth or accurate- to assume so would be presumptuous. But as Jai Mahtani so aptly said “If God can speak through a donkey, He can speak to me through anything”. 🙂 I actually shy away from identifying myself as a Reformed believer, even more so after everything I’ve seen and experienced the last few years. I like to think of myself as a Jesus following, Bible believing, Christian 🙂

      2. I don’t know anyone that has said they have a monopoly on the truth, but I find that saying to be a bit of a distraction. Truth is found in God’s word and God’s truth is knowable. Therefore, if a group says something that is contrary to scripture, then they are wrong, and they should repent of teaching error. But if a group looks elsewhere for truth than God’s word alone, then I have no interest in reading or listening to that group. They point my attention away from God’s word and to something else. That is not helpful, in fact, it is quite dangerous.

        And just because God spoke through a donkey, doesn’t mean we should listen to every jackass (synonym for donkey, of course) that has an opinion.

        As a friend, I would ask and encourage you to reconsider your separating yourself from the Reformed faith. It is a faithful exposition of God’s word and leads God’s people to Christ, which is life to the believer, now and for eternity.

  3. Whenever Christ is compromised for the sake of the Church or for the sake of “the truth”, we should all stand back and see what lies behind this.

    Christ has been hidden in the PRC —and clouded behind the insistence of “perfectionism in doctrine.” The RPC feeds off leaving the PRC and with venom spews more derision—not leaving some of the toxic ways of relating behind.

    There is such richness and grace in knowing Christ, and not criticizing others, forcing a one-track way to relate to Christianity. If only we can see the richness in the diversity of the Church of Christ, realizing projecting our own insecurities on others pushes them away from the gospel. What a patchwork quilt we are (all over the world)—-and let us not stigmatize those who worship differently.

    1. Venom is never acceptable and neither is stigmatizing anyone. Neither must we spew derision. There is a richness in diversity within the church of Jesus Christ. But there is not diversity in His truth. The command regarding this truth comes to the church in 1 Timothy 1:13. “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou has heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

      1. How do you know the version of Calvinism you hold to is the only form of Christianity acceptable? Any extra brownie points for all this effort? Where does charity fit into all of this? Dividing up churches, dividing up schools and families? That shows Christ??

        Chasing perfectionism is idolatry. Christ is minimized when chasing doctrine. I’m sure Christ is thrilled. 🙄

      2. Let’s listen to Christ, shall we?

        “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:34-37

        “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisterss, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” Luke 14:26.

        If given the choice between Lisa’s emoji’s and earthly wisdom and my Savior’s words, I will follow Christ.

  4. Thank you for your reply to my question, and just a follow up before I try to answer your questions.
    Are you content in interpreting such verses as what they can not mean? Do we not have a responsibility to be able to understand such verses and why they were included in the infallible word of God?

    I am aware of Synod 2018 and their assessment. Yes I do agree that the perfect work of Christ was displaced. Yes I do believe that the PRC has changed since then. I do not know that I would say a radical change has taken place, nor do I believe a radical change was needed to take place. But yes a change has taken place and I do think things are explained quite well. I see this in the lectures given, especially by Prof. Huizinga, and the lecture given by Rev. Kortus. I do admit however, that I do not see everything, nor do I listen to every sermon by every PR minister. I do believe that things can be said a certain way and interpreted by different people differently. However, my opinion is that if you asked any PRC member, where in lies your hope? You would get the one word answer that you yourself would give, that of course being “Christ!” And I believe that you could ask any PRC member, do our good works merit with God? You would get a “NO” across the board. I truly believe that.
    Again, sincerely and respectfully

    Thank you

    1. First, to answer your questions:
      “Are you content in interpreting such verses as what they can not mean?” Answer: No, I am not content with that. That would be eisegesis and I would reject it.
      “Do we not have a responsibility …” Yes, we do. That is our solemn calling before God. I am firmly in favor of that approach.

      Can you show me where specifically and explicitly where the perfect work of Christ was displaced? So that you don’t think this is a trap, I will give you my reason for asking. When you point out the quotes where Christ was displaced and justification by faith alone compromised, then I plan on responding specifically and explicitly where that theology continues to be taught to this day.

      You say a change has taken place, and I see the PRC doubling down on their man-centered theology. Prof. Cammenga, Rev. Koole, and many others continue to displace Christ and the people continue to not care.

      I am thankful to hear the answer you would give to the question where your hope lies. But it is my firm conviction that what you need to see, is that that answer is not the answer of your denomination.

      (I would also disagree with your answer as to the response of the denomination. You do not believe a radical change needed to take place. Really? Justification by faith and works was taught, tolerated, and defended by the majority of members of the denomination and a radical change does not need to take place? I don’t know what the New Testament version of sackcloth and ashes looks like, but that is the only possible response.)

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