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).