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Hopewell Church Covenant Family School

Hopewell Church Picture (4)Welcome to Hopewell Church Covenant Family School’s website!

Our school seeks to provide a quality education, grounded in the Reformed Christian faith.

The vision of Hopewell Church Covenant Family School (HCCFS) is to provide a church-related school (CRS) that will promote the training and education of our children and provide opportunities for cooperative learning. “And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” [Luke 1:17]. Integral to this is God’s direction to the fathers for the instruction, nurture and admonition of the children in the Word. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” [Ephesians 6:4].

To provide a model that other local church bodies, be they large or small, may emulate as the Lord convicts them of the need to support their members in the education of their children within the parameters of family life as set forth in Scripture.

To provide Hopewell Church Covenant Families with a Biblical means of sharing His Grace within our extended families and community, both believing and unbelieving.

 

The Word, Sacraments Are the Heart and Soul of Worship

By Charles W. Bradley

Hopewell Presbyterian Church

Preaching and the Sacraments are the gold standard for public worship.

Addressing the management team of a large hospital, a consultant said that if some kind of disaster were to occur destroying the complex of buildings occupied by that organization, he was certain that its people would be in the street doing medicine. It was his way of saying that the hospital’s identity was not tied to its buildings or programs. Identity was found in the hearts of people who were passionate about their primary task.

This should be said of the church. If our buildings were destroyed and our lives disrupted, could we-would we-continue public worship? Would we be found passionately carrying on with preaching and the Sacraments? The optimistic answer is “yes.” The history of the church is replete with examples of believers who did exactly that in the face of adversity of all kinds.

The Word and Sacraments are essential to worship. Why? God’s people honor Him by these means and express their love and gratitude to Him for His works of creation, redemption and providence. As God reveals himself to His people by Word and Sacraments, He works through them to accomplish His purposes. It goes without saying that the church does these things at His command. Therefore, it is best not to trifle about them and better to passionately pursue them.

Preaching and Sacraments Are Influential

 

Aside from biblical injunctions to preach and to observe the Sacraments, why are they important? Consider what is at stake. There are two outcomes to worship that relate directly to preaching and Sacraments. On one hand, it is through these things that elect sinners come to salvation. This occurs initially as the Gospel is explained, resulting in the faith and repentance that lead to justification.

Salvation continues during the lifelong process of sanctification where believers continually receive grace, enabling them to overcome sin and establish new habits of obedience as the cycle of faith-repentance is repeated. Instruction in the Word and motivation through the Sacraments is crucial to sanctification. The stark alternative to this cycle of growth and discipleship is the death spiral of an ever hardening heart.

Individuals, who participate in worship but do not profit by the Sacraments and preaching, inevitably become increasingly insensitive until hunger for God no longer exists. At best, Word and Sacraments for such persons can only represent a kind of mechanical performance where technique and performance get the lion’s share of interest and energy. The performance may be a well-oiled presentation, with the whir and purr of sights and sounds and many things in motion, but it is without the blossom of Aaron’s rod or the gold of a refined faith. Sounding gong and tinkling cymbal can not sustain the soul, no matter how heroic the effort. At worst, worship becomes something to be endured or avoided. Heartless ritual’s cold breath makes spiritual perception elusive until desire is gone. When God’s Word no longer reaches the heart, it spells disaster.

Today’s Church under Pressure

One cannot take the ministry of preaching and Sacraments for granted. The church is under a great deal of pressure from several directions to dilute the importance of the preaching and Sacraments. Post-Modern influence comes to the church with the denial of the truth and contempt for Christian tradition. This can affect our thinking until the quest for relevance becomes the focal point of worship. This new man-centered standard for success aims no higher than “meeting needs.” In it, church members with needs do not need someone proclaiming God’s word to them, but a successful and charismatic someone to help them discover what works for the moment. The authoritative, Trinitarian God becomes a relic on a shelf in the fundamentalist boutique.

At the personal level, people are individualistic and self-focused by nature. In an age of consumerism this blossoms into a customer-is-king mindset. Personal expectations are brought into worship as easily as the mall. The church becomes a service provider.

Wants and preferences dictate a powerful influence on preaching and in the Sacraments. For the consumer-as-worshipper, preaching and Sacraments are intolerable unless repackaged with audio and visual enhancements, entertaining stories and confined to the same twenty minute duration of a sit-com. And if the church’s music is good, there will always be the temptation to reduce the time and effort given to Word and Sacraments in exchange for the pleasure of entertainment.

The biblical concept of a Christ-centered heart in a God-centered existence is far too confining, once attention has turned away from preaching and Sacraments. The resulting loss of fellowship and integrity in congregational life can only mean inevitable conflict for the church unless there is repentance.

Christian essay writer A.W. Tozer pointed to the danger and a remedy when he said, “One of the world’s worst tragedies is that we allow our hearts to shrink until there is room in them for little beside ourselves… Restricted sympathies make us unlike God, and the bravest thing we can do is admit it” (The Root of the Righteous, p.113). Indeed, where preaching and the Sacraments are in first place, hearts won’t shrink and individual tastes cannot reign unchallenged. We simply must give preaching and Sacraments our full attention and our best effort-or face the inevitable consequences.

Be Instructed: What’s Going on Here?

Preaching and the Sacraments both fall under the category of revelation. In short, God communicates to His people through these means. He speaks to the church through the preacher who proclaims the message of God from the authority of Holy Scripture. He does this on the basis of thorough exegesis, making careful application of biblical principles. The Sacraments serve to confirm and attest to this message.

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper serve as signs and seals of a reality that would be impossible to grasp without revelation from God. Water in baptism is a sign of the Gospel’s promise of cleansing. Wine and bread on the communion table are signs of Jesus’ provision. These will receive fuller explanation in another emphasis article. Suffice it to say that the Sacraments are tangible and tactile reminders of God’s work, provision and care.

Be Prepared: What Are My Responsibilities?

When you approach Word and sacrament, you must do so by faith. A powerful lesson in this vein is found in Hebrews 12:18-24. There, the author sets Israel’s experience of God over against that of the church in the New Testament. Israel experienced God directly-they saw smoke and fire; they heard and felt God’s presence and they were absolutely terrified. Wanting no more of this experience, they begged to be excused. By contrast, the New Testament church possesses realities that it cannot see or experience in the way that Israel did.

The new heavenly realities are portrayed and communicated now through preaching and Sacraments. They will not be experienced directly until the new heaven and new earth. Until then, they are to be reckoned as true by faith. Each person in worship must reckon the commands and promises of God that are communicated through preaching and confirmed by the Sacraments as true. Only then can one partake of their benefits. Everyone involved in worship has a responsibility here. This kind of worship transcends taste, preference and “felt need.”

Ministers are to thoroughly prepare for preaching the Word. The task of preaching goes beyond merely filling the air with words as John Calvin reminds us: “Let those who would discharge aright the ministry of the Gospel learn not merely to speak or to declaim, but to penetrate the consciences of men, and make them see Christ crucified, and feel the shedding of His blood.” (Calvin’s Commentaries: Galatians 3:1; 202-3). That being true, the preacher cannot be casual, haphazard, preoccupied, indifferent, or ill-equipped. He must always remember that preaching is his primary task and be able to prove it by his appointment book, where prayer, exegesis, and wide ranging study are the order of the day.

Church members are to prepare for preaching by regularly reading the Bible for themselves and by praying for the pastor and for the public worship service of the church. They prepare for the Sacraments by self examination, whether anticipating the meal in the Lord’s Supper or by remembering their own baptism when another is to be baptized.

To come to preaching and Sacraments by way of preparation is the task of faith. We never know when, where or how God may choose to bless His church and those involved, but we can remember this: He will honor faith. Members thus prepared will anticipate public worship and the potential for meeting with God and hearing Him speak with a degree of excitement.

Preaching and the Sacraments are not things to be trifled with. They are not things to be endured. They are not entertainment. They are the heart and soul of the church’s worship. Every believer should be able to easily recount times when preaching brought the presence of God into the church or into an individual life. Likewise, it should not be difficult to remember sacramental seasons where water, wine and bread gave cause to count anew and afresh how much God has done and how much he cares. It is no embarrassment to count such experiences among life’s very best.

Parental Discipline

The Hopewell Presbyterian Church Position Paper on Parental Discipline

We recognize and affirm that God’s law pertains to family relations and claims our first and best obedience.

WLC 123 Which is the fifth commandment?

A. The fifth commandment is, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.(1)

(1)Exod. 20:12

We affirm that God expressly encourages obedience to this law..

WLC 133 What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment, the more to enforce it?

A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, in these words, That thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,(1) is an express promise of long life and prosperity, as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good, to all such as keep this commandment.(2)

(1)Exod. 20:12 (2)Deut. 5:16; 1 Kings 8:25; Eph. 6:2,3

We affirm that parents, under God have a special duty to love and nurture their children.

WLC 125 Why are superiors stiled Father and Mother?

A. Superiors are stiled Father and Mother, both to teach them in all duties towards their inferiors, like natural parents, to express love and tenderness to them, according to their several relations;(1) and to work inferiors to a greater willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors, as to their parents.(2)

(1)Eph. 6:4; 2 Cor. 12:14; 1 Thess. 2:7,8,11; Numb. 11:11,12 (2)1 Cor. 4:14,15,16; 2 Kings 5:13

We affirm that inherent in this duty to love and nurture is the work of instruction and discipline.

WLC 129 What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?

A. It is required of superiors according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love,(1) pray for,(2) and bless their inferiors,(3) to instruct,(4) counsel, and admonish them;(5) countenancing,(6) commending,(7) and rewarding such as do well;(8) and discountenancing,(9) reproving, and chastising such as do ill;(10) protecting,(11) and providing for them all things necessary for soul(12) and body:(13) and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God,(14) honour to themselves,(15) and so to preserve that authority which God hath put upon them.(16)

(1)Col. 3:19; Tit. 2:4 (2)1 Sam. 12:23; Job 1:5 (3)1 Kings 8:55,56; Heb. 7:7; Gen. 49:28 (4)Deut. 6:6,7 (5)Eph. 6:4 (6)1 Pet. 3:7 (7)1 Pet. 2:14; Rom. 13:3 (8)Esth. 6:3 (9)Rom. 13:3,4 (10)Prov. 29:15; 1 Pet. 2:14 (11)Job 29:12-17; Isa. 1:10,17 (12)Eph. 6:4 (13)1 Tim. 5:8 (14)1 Tim. 4:12; Tit. 2:3-5 (15)1 Kings 3:28 (16)Tit. 2:15

We affirm the parental responsibliity to use corporal punishment in love as a necessary part of the process of instruction and discipline required under gods law.

KJV Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

KJV Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

KJV Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.

KJV Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.


Adopted by resolution of the Session of the Hopewell Presbyterian Church, 8th day of February, 2001.

Attest:

Jim Patterson, Clerk of Session Charles W. Bradley, Moderator

Hopewell Presbyterian Church

Position Paper on Parental Discipline

 

Simple Financial Pactices From Biblical Principles

Principle: I must be a Christian

I know that life is not going to function right in any area until I am in line with, right with, walking obediently with the Sovereign God and his will for my life. This will happen only when I am rescued, saved from the lostness of the condemnation of my sin(s). My relationship with the Lord God will have been restored when by his grace the holy spirit enables me to deeply, unashamedly repent of sin and trust myself to God, through His Son – Jesus Christ – as Savior and Lord of all my life. Trusting him to cleanse and forgive me of my sin, he will put his righteousness on my account before God, the Father. By his promise that he never breaks, he will give me life eternal and abundant. (John 3:16. John 6:37-40. John 10:7-10, I John 5:10-13, Acts 16:31)

Prayer

Knowing this is my greatest need, in faith in you I so surrender my life to you, Jesus, as Lord and Savior right here, right now! Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner and forgive my iniquity. Create in me a clean heart and direct my steps in the way that is pleasing to you. Amen.

Principle: I am a steward of God in all of life.

I know the Bible says that almighty God puts everything in my life for me to develop as a steward, an overseer to his honor and glory: my time, ability, job, mind, heart, soul, body, money, possessions, goals, plans, future, everything. When in trust and love of him this is willingly done, he will always work things together for my good and fulfillment. (Mark 10:17-31, Matthew 25:17-30, Philippians 4:4-7, Romans 8:28-39)

Prayer

I yield all these to you, sovereign God, to enable me to wisely serve as a steward of everything you bring to me. Direct me by your spirit and eternal truth, your word, the Bible, amen and amen!

Principle: I should not be anxious over finances.

I find that God has a great deal to say in his word about money, wealth, possessions and their use. He warns against loving them, and to do so is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6:6-10) Instead we are to first seek his kingdom and godliness and be content with what God brings to our life as his children. He promises he will supply our basic needs. (Matthew 6:19-34) It is difficult for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God because they grow to trust and love it instead of God, the source of our supply (Matthew 19:16-26, James 1:9- 11) I find there are two ways to be wealthy. One is to make a lot more money. The second is to make the decision and reduce your wants. The first brings discontent, worry and longing for more. (Luke 12:13-21) The second brings thanksgiving, contentedness, satisfaction and availability to God. (Luke 12:22-34)

Prayer

Oh God, I do not want to be foolish or self-centered. Please help me to provide for my family and me properly, without becoming drawn to and committed to money and what it will buy. I want you and your will above everything, Lord and Savior, Amen!

Principle: God calls me to work.

I have discovered that the way I am to make enough for my family and my needs is to work. From the beginning of the creation in Adam, men made their living by work. (Genesis 1:26-30) After sin came, work became harder. (Genesis 3:17-19) Nevertheless, God’s promise of his presence and provision are his forever. (Psalm 8:1-9, Ephesians 1,2) A job is a gift from God and the Bible teaches the job he has given me is as important as the job of any other person: doctor, lawyer, clerk, farmer, maid, manager, cook. Any honorable vocation is as sacred as any other. My vocation is my calling from God and through my job, he supplies my family’s every need; he opens the way for my fulfillment; enables my family to be a part of world evangelization. I realize my obligation to witness to his truth and glory to those around me by the quality of my work and the words of his gospel; and that through applying what I know about God to what I do in my vocation I participate in the advancement of his kingdom’s control in the world. (Romans 12:1-21)

Prayer

Sovereign Lord of the universe and personal Lord of my life, guide me in my job to demonstrate and tell your truth and glory in every way, as you did, Lord Jesus. Amen!

Principle: I should tithe from my income.

In the specific area of money, possessions, things, I will begin tithing (returning 10% of my income to the Lord in gratitude and thanksgiving for the uncountable blessings he has brought to me). His blessing is more important than anything I am inclined to want to hold on to and steal from God. (Genesis 14:17-24; Malachi 3:8-10. Luke 6:38, Luke 11:43)

Prayer

Yes, Lord of all my life, I acknowledge that all that I own belongs to you and is given to my hand that I might provide for my own and serve you in faithful stewardship. Thank you for enabling me to return this tithe of thanksgiving gladly with my sincere love and appreciation . Amen!

Principle: I should save for emergencies.

I have discovered that the Bible is silent on how much I should put in savings each time I receive money, but it speaks loudly that I should save for emergencies, solid needs and plans for the future. Also this teaches me the discipline self-control, [a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:23)], over my impulses to throw money away at whatever may attract me. Wisdom says that it should be a reasonable amount (many counselors say a minimum of 10% of my gross income). It should be invested where it will be safe and bring a good return of interest. I will need some knowledge and wise counsel to do this. (Proverbs 19:20) I will need grace not to be enamored by the increase you provide. (Matthew 6:19-20)

Prayer

Living Lord, I am in need of your wisdom to know how much to begin to invest in savings each time I receive money; and I need your strengthened will to do it consistently. Please protect me and enable me to do it. In your name who works in me to will and to do your good pleasure. Amen!

Principle: I should live within my means.

The Bible is clear on certain guidelines for spending. Aside from major purchases like a house, I should not buy anything that I cannot immediately pay for. My rule for shopping is “If I cannot pay cash right now, do not buy it.” Further, in recognition that the Bible says “Owe no man anything,” (Romans 13:8) I will endeavor to pay my bills on time. I recognize that God gives me this simple truth for my protection, to keep me out of bondage. If I am caught in an emergency not of my own making and must make a loan, I should pay it back as soon as I possibly can. (Proverbs 3:27-28) Also, I am to spend frugally, thriftily, carefully, not just because I see, I want it, I have money in my pocket and can buy it. This requires a major shift in my thinking. Particularly when I am working myself out of a hole financially, I will want to have a realistic budget and stick by it regardless. My joy and reward will come when debts are paid and I have financial freedom.

Prayer

God, I can hardly think of not having debts and being financially free and able to do the things I know you want me to do. Grant me the resolve to make a real budget and stick to it. Give me the wisdom and the will for this new way of thinking and acting. Save me from myself that I may be wholly yours, living savior. Amen!

Principle: I should spend according to a plan.

I find a simple outline of spending after my tithe and savings is that:I will pay my regular bills or special emergency bills, e.g., rent or house payment, utilities, old bills, car payments, etc. I cannot expect others to handle my expense, beg, panhandle, or steal, so I will save to have enough to pay them.I will plan well to be able to pay future taxes, insurance, repairs, etc.Then comes shopping carefully for food, clothing, etc., comparing prices, buying in volume to save cost, buying good used when I can find it, etc. Frugal, thrifty, modest but adequate are key words here.

Prayer

Holy spirit, enable me with knowledge and wisdom, free me from foolish pride to think I deserve the most expensive, and lead me to where I can get the best for less, so much I need your enlightening presence. Thank you. Amen!

Principle: I should be generous with others.

As I have read his word, I am made aware that there are times when I should give special offerings: to the Lord’s work, to those in need, to say thank you in times of deep gratefulness, to do a special service that needs to be done, to meet a need for something in the church of the Lord Jesus of which I am a part. I know true Bible-believing churches will not always be trying to get my money from me, but as opportunities are presented I will want to be a glad and generous giver as God directs me. (Proverbs 11:24-18; Matthew 6:1-4; 11 Corinthians 8-9)

Prayer

Lord, I open my mind and heart to you for you to guide my special offerings of love and appreciation. Make me as generous as I should be. Protect me from my ignorance and my being guided by my emotions and from those who are not trustworthy. To your honor, Lord Jesus.

Principle: I should be gradually getting ahead.

Everyone tells me that if I have some left over, this is the time to make gains by putting it in savings. That way I am ahead from the beginning of the month not catching up. I should have a savings account so I will not carry it around and be tempted to blow it on an impulse or lose it or have it stolen. I need to be getting ahead and not dragging behind!

Prayer

My king, show your stumbling child how to take these steps with faith and confidence in you. Take away my old way of depending on myself and failing. I love you. Amen!

Principle: I should continue to grow.

I surrender, Lord! I am aware that I have got to study these truths for clear understanding. I pray that God will work these things in my mind, heart, soul: All my life. I cannot do this for myself. I want to surrender my life in faith to the sovereign Lord to change these things in me . . . . And I do, now.

Prayer

Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, I surrender everything I have and do, Lord, to you. Amen


This article appeared in The Christian Observer magazine several years ago and has been slightly edited for use here

Consider the Choir

There are few topics of discussion that are as fervently debated as those pertaining to music in worship. When the time arrives to build a sanctuary there are NO topics as misunderstood as where to locate the choir. It is estimated that as many as 80% of all churches in America array the musical forces across the front of the sanctuary. Could all of those building committees have been wrong? In a word, yes, especially if those churches were at all concerned about the real traditions to which the theology of the Reformation gave birth.

It must be stated that this is a very involved topic, which is given only a brief overview below. Thus wrote Donald Bruggink and Carl Droppers in “Christ and Architecture” (Eerdmans Publishing, 1965), one of the most significant books on worship in the Reformed tradition and how it relates to church design. We can surmise from the book of Exodus that this is a subject of importance because of the way that the arrangement of the tabernacle is actually part of the message about God to His people.

I will narrow this discussion to the question of whether having music in the front (the “east” end) or rear (the “west” end) of the sanctuary is indeed a matter of preference or theology.

First, we should be able to agree that in the Reformed tradition, Christ communicates with His people through Word and Sacrament. This is in stark contrast to the centuries of Roman doctrine wherein the answer is “through the Mass.” The Roman view says that the altar is “Christ’s throne on earth”, and is therefore the pre-eminent architectural feature in Roman Catholic architecture. Hence, we should avoid any visual confusion on these points. Any arrangement that harkens back to the separation of the clergy and the people should also be avoided, as the Reformers affirmed the priesthood of all believers and the centrality of the Scriptures. On this last point our tradition affirms the central pulpit (the Word), rather than a divided arrangement. Not merely a legacy of the Reformation, this can be seen in the basilicas of the third century. There are good acoustic reasons for a central placement as well. The side placement appeared in later centuries. The communion table and baptismal font should likewise be prominent and visible upon entering the sanctuary. After agreeing upon the most important visual elements, let us consider the following questions:

  1. Is the choir part of the clergy?
  2. Is the choir an independent unit whose participation is special?
  3. Is the choir part of the congregation and therefore most logically placed with this element?

The divided chancel arrangement is not the most ancient or proper method of seating the choir, as it dates only from 1130 at Canterbury. Prior to this the choir (usually monks) were seated in the eastern nave (not the chancel). The church was divided into the chancel (for the officiating clergy) and the nave. In the divided chancel arrangement the choir (now part of the clergy and not laymen) and the officiating priests were separated from the people in the nave. The congregation in the nave watched as the Mass was celebrated by the clergy. This separation was reinforced by the practice of only allowing the people to commune once a year while observing daily the priests partaking of the ele- ments. Moving the pulpit to one side aided the people’s view of the celebration of the Mass.

At the time of the Reformation the idea of a separate area for priests and choir was rejected entirely, and it did not reappear until the Cambridge movement of the early 19th century in England. This movement, following on the heels of Rationalism, called for mystery, feeling, and experience rather than reason in worship. Its methods found resonance in an age of Romanticism through pseudo-Romanist decoration and mysticism. And what of churches that were of genuinely Gothic or Medieval origin? The Reformers used the choir stall and chancel area for corporately celebrating the Lord’s Supper, and the pulpit was relocated to the side of the nave where the people could be gathered around to hear the word preached. There was no longer a need to have both pulpit and lectern.

The uniquely American practice of reuniting the divided chancel and arraying the choir and organ across the front of the chancel (behind the the clergy and altar/communion table) is only a century old. This was a compromise between the desire of a truly Protestant communion table rather than an alter/reredos against the rear eastern wall and the desire to be entertained by both choir and clergy in the age of Dwight L. Moody and, later, Billy Sunday. The Romanesque revival embodied in Trinity Church of Boston (1874) resulted in a veritable plague of mediocre imitations all over America. The colorful Biblical scenes depicted in the windows, woodwork of golden oak, and highly decorated organ facade, walls, and ceiling promoted the sense of awe and supernatural mystery sought by the Tractarians of the Cambridge movement in their journey towards Medieval Gothic. Neither, however, is a suitable framework upon which to worship the God that is described in the Scriptures and the Westminster standards.

Through the eyes of the Reformed faith the choir is NEVER seen as part of the clergy. Throughout almost the entire history of Christendom, lay choirs have sung the praises of God and aided their congregations from a position of humility and service rather than in full view. The chancel location is a stumbling block to choir member and congregant alike. To the chorister, it both builds the ego to be seen as one “performs,” and it literally separates one from the congregation one should be supporting. It visually distracts from the preaching of the Word, and it tempts the congregants to critique the appearance of the choir and especially any extra musicians that have been shoehorned into the “choirloft” for special occasions.

The Reformed model of worship is one of dialogue between God and man; God (in the office of pastor) speaks, and the people (congregation and choir) respond. From the time of the Reformation until the 19th century the preferred placement of the choir and organ was in a western (rear) gallery. This was the plan adopted by Sir Christopher Wren in his churches following the great London fire; it was the normal placement on the Continent, and it was typical of the churches built in America during the Colonial period. The responsive aspect mentioned above is reinforced when the choir speaks with the congregation rather than at them. This relationship is more apparent when the choir speaks on (Consider the Choir, cont. from p. 2) behalf of the people, such as when offering an anthem of praise to God, rather than to an audience. Further, the director has the freedom to lead the singers without distracting the congregation, the seating can be movable to accommodate special needs, and the choir is afforded the same view of the pastor’s face as the other worshipers are. Acoustically the rear position is preferable. The organist is best able to accurately judge the balance between organ and choir or congregation (a virtual impossibility in a divided chancel). Any good organ builder will prefer a gallery position, and voices resonate best from this position, hence most effectively aiding the corporate singing and praises. The maintenance on an organ in chambers in the front will be higher than one enclosed in casework in the rear due to temperature and humidity differences, plus the fact that a roof leak on pipework and windchests can go undetected until much expensive damage has been incurred. I am aware that there are those whose desire for “tradition” is pure, but the message of Holy Scripture is that Christ communicates Himself to us in Word and sacrament. For the choir to take an equal position with these elements confuses matters of architecture with the means of grace and furthermore enables it to abdicate its only proper role, which is to lead the people of God in their sung response of gratitude to Almighty God.

Rich Mays is a professional choirmaster and organist

A Pastoral Perspective on Paedo-Communion

By Charles W. Bradley

Hopewell Presbyterian Church

Introduction

The question of the practice of paedo-communion comes up in Reformed circles from time to time. Our fellowship is no exception. The people that raise the question often are very serious, both about their faith and about being consistent in living it out in practice. Answering the position papers that support admitting infants and children to the Lord’s table is not frivolous.

I must admit a natural reluctance to enter this arena for several reasons. Perhaps I should begin by confessing that in my first pastorate, affiliated with another denomination, I practiced paedo communion myself and did it wholeheartedly. It seemed incongruous to me at the time to withhold the sacrament from the family members of believers. As I make this known it occurs to me that at least now that the secret is out, no one can accuse me of being unsympathetic to parents who want every blessing for their children. I am one. I was one. However, my views on this, like my views on many other things formerly held, have changed. After restudying the question, I must now state that I more convinced than ever that participants in the Lord’s supper need to be capable of the full use of the mental powers that come only with the onset of maturity.

I am hesitant to enter into this arena, too, because the older I get the less I think of my own powers in the field of theology. Certainly there are better minds in the church and brighter lights. I wish that there were as many web-sites supporting the confessional position as there are that promote the paedo view. That seems not to be the case, and since people in our flock have asked, I find myself in to position of having to make an attempt at defending the historic creeds on this point.

I am an unwilling participant in the discussion also because it is one that, in my observation, is divisive. Some people holding the paedo view are so passionate for it that, unwittingly perhaps, it becomes a test of fellowship to them. This seems odd to me in a confessional church because we usually view the confessions as the basis of our common bond. To make something extra-confessional a litmus test of orthodoxy or of one’s ability to have fellowship seems like quite a distortion.

What I have decided to do, given my reservations, is not write a comprehensive paper, exhaustively answering the points raised by the paedo brethren in their many writings on the subject. The reason for this is not because I think that their arguments are not worthy of attention or merit. Some of them are quite good, so good that it would take someone of my limited ability and library a long time to deal with them seriatim. I sense that the issue is important to those raising it, and on that basis I want to get something into their hands without further delay and also commit some of the fruit of my own work in the area while it is still fresh in my mind.

What I am going to do then is this: operate on the assumption that the burden of proof rests upon those taking the non-confessional view, and not upon those supporting the standards. Those of us who hold the confessional position need only demonstrate that the arguments and practices of the paedo brethren are not conclusive. This I propose to do by raising objections that to my knowledge are not answered by the paedo men and would need to be thoroughly answered before those of us who hold the confessional view would consider revising our position.

The Problem with Submission to Constituted Authority 

Submission, the more important issue

The theologically minded readers of this paper will immediately object to this first heading as being extraneous to the argument and I would normally quickly agree. However, I put it first for this reason: it is more important than the question of paedo communion itself to those families who are members of a confessional church already because of the possible affect the way the subject is handled in home in front of the children. I think that submission to constituted authority in a humble, God fearing way will have a much greater spiritual impact upon the development of a child than even letting him partake of the supper. I base this upon the principle evident in the confession of the centurion (Mat 8:8-10). This man recognized that Jesus had authority because he saw the marks of submission to a higher authority present in his life. This principle he was already familiar with since it was key to his own leadership as an officer. He had authority to the degree that he walked in submission himself. The same is true of parents. They represent God to their kids to the extent that they themselves walk in obedience.

Let me illustrate how this relates to paedo communion. John and Mary Jones have been reading pro-paedo magazine articles, looking up the references and praying. They come to the conclusion that the paedo communion position is reasonable so they embrace it. Having done so, they talk to an elder or two in their local church and explain their new conviction. For the sake of illustration let’s say that the elders do not see the paedo position as convincing and so are not willing to follow the constitutional method to change the standards of the church. Consequently, they communicate to John and Mary their duty to hold the congregation to the confessional standard, the result of which will be that the Jones children, who are not communicants, will not be allowed to partake of the supper. In response, John gathers his family around the dinner table the next night and explains to his family what he believes as the head of the household, and how that this belief does not touch on a core confessional doctrine, and that he is resolved to see his family defer in their practice to those who are over them in the Lord in humble submission. The result of John’s action will be that even though his children know that dad thinks they ought to sit at the table, they also see dad’s willingness to walk in submission to authority. At each communion season they are reminded (even as older children who have since become communicants) that their dad knows how to submit to authority just like he asks them to submit to him in other matters. These kids have in their dad an object lesson in Christian living. Now consider another hypothetical couple, Marvin and Melissa Mumford. They are persuaded that the paedo position is the way to go from conversations with the Jones’s. However, Marvin is not content at all with the response of the elder’s response. He considers it a cop-out for them to appeal to the book of church order and the confessions. He fumes about their seeming arbitrary use of church power, and does so in front of the family each time they drive to and from worship, especially during the communion season. He raises the issue in most of the conversations he has with the people of the church. He is not happy. Eventually, he starts taking his family to the communion service across town where the toddlers are allowed to partake. Marvin has succeeded in getting the wine and bread into his kid’s bellies, but he has also succeeded in showing his kids that when they don’t like or agree with something, obedience is not necessary. I have exaggerated Marvin’s example, but only to make the underlying principle clear, not because I think anyone would actually go this far.

The obvious objection that will come from the paedo camp will take this form: Rebellion to church authority is warranted when the church deviates from Scripture. Parents may cite the higher authority of Christ in murmuring against the established position. And I do not essentially disagree with the principle. However, be very careful in application! When it comes to doctrinal issues, one has to be careful where one draws the line. For myself, I could not appeal to the higher authority of Christ on something that was not either an explicit command or inference in the moral law or not a doctrinal issue covered in the apostle’s creed. We need to be careful about the kind of issues that we pull the trigger of appealing to Christ on. I think the paedo argument has a certain logical appeal on the ground of covenantal theology, but it seems greatly lacking in exegetical warrant. In essence, it appears quite backward for an issue that would end in an appeal to Christ’s higher authority.

Paedo-Communion: Often a test of fellowship.

Sometimes the paedo question becomes a secondary test of fellowship by those who embrace it. For them, it is not enough for a church to be orthodox in confessional matters and consistent in application of them. If indulgences are not made, then they cry that their children have been wrongly excommunicated while they search for a fellowship that will accommodate them, going even so far sometimes as to serve the sacraments as home. In solving one problem –getting the sacrament to their kids – they create another one -discounting the visible church and negating its ministry. The cost of serving up the sacramental meal when it becomes the test of fellowship can be higher than originally expected. Again, caution is advised.

The Problem with Passover Equivalency.

Proponents of paedo communion see a general equivalency and expansion between Passover and the Lord’s Supper.

We now turn to the more objective issues relating to paedo communion. A lot of the argument for the paedo position rests on the assumption that there is a direct transfer of the covenantal aspects of the Passover to the Lord’s supper. It seems so logical on this basis that if the whole household partook of the former then the whole household ought to be included in the latter. Proponents bring the relation between circumcision and baptism into the argument to augment their point, reasoning that if we baptize infants on the basis of eight day circumcision, then we ought also to include all of our kids at the Lord’s table. This seems reasonable enough, especially when the expansion that takes place under the new covenant is seen in baptism. (By expansion, Steven Schlei, for instance, argues correctly that not just males are to be baptized, but also females). If expansion occurs between the old and new covenants, then surely all kids should be welcome at the table. These arguments a both lucid and logical. The problem is that they are not exegetically demonstrable.

The link between Passover and the Lord’s Supper is not that close.

I think there is enough evidence in Scripture to at least call into question the fundamental assumption of the proponents of the paedo position: that there is a general equivalency (and expansion) between the Passover and the Lord’s supper. Let me say immediately that they are indeed related. The language of Passover abounds in the synoptic record of the first supper. No question about it. However, what does this language signify? General equivalence? Hardly.

For one thing, Christ did not institute the Lord’s Supper on the actual Passover. How do we know? Well, we know logically that he couldn’t fulfill being the Passover Lamb and at the same time be with the disciples in the upper room partaking of the meal. He became the Passover sacrifice the day after he instituted the supper. He simply could not be in two places at once, eating the Passover and being the fulfillment of the Lamb. On this point note carefully that only bread and wine are mentioned as being present on the table during the supper. Now it is true that Jesus ordered his disciples to make ready the upper room for the Passover. This he had to do to meet the rigor of ceremonial law, but the meal he ate with the disciples could, at best, only have been a meal in preparation for the Passover which was to follow. Consider carefully what John, writing his gospel to augment the information contained in the antecedent synoptics says about the chronology of the supper and Christ’s death: Jesus died at the time the Passover lambs were being offered at the temple — John 13:1; 18:28; 19:14, 31, 42. The Passover and the Supper are not synonymous.

Further, there is debate as to how some of the references in the synoptics are to be understood. For instance, some scholars view Luke 22:15-16 as an unfulfilled wish on the part of Jesus, as the paraphrase by Burkitt demonstrates,

Near as this Passover is, and much as I have longed to celebrate it with you, it is not so to be; for I shall eat it; within the next twenty-four hours the enemy will have done his worst, and the next Passover I shall eat with you will be the Messianic feast. (Journal of Theological Studies, ix, 1908, pp.569; Worship in the Early Church, R. P. Martin, Eerdmans, 1964, p.112)

If the text is taken in the sense of this paraphrase, then the correlation of practice between the Passover and the supper is weakened significantly. At this point I am not ready to endorse this paraphrase, but only cite it to show that there is room for doubt that Passover equals supper.

That the meal was eaten as a preparation can be seen in two applications. First the Lord may have eaten this meal as a routine part of his minstiry in preparation for Sabbaths generally. Historical data suggests that it was a common practice at the time for a rabbi to gather his disciples around him for a meal in preparation for the Sabbath day. Bread and wine were on the table during these meals, which are referred to historically as the Kiddush. It is obvious that Jesus also uses the language of preparation during the meal, perhaps now with new force, as he attempts to get his disciples to realize that this was the last of their meals together. No doubt the Lord makes so many references to Passover during the last supper in order to at least get the disciples to see in retrospect that in his death, he himself fulfills the Passover. While the implications of this are many, one thing should be clear, that the broad assumption that Passover and the supper are the same thing only with slight covenantal amplifications should not be rushed into without careful study. I remain to be convinced that the pro paedo men have made this point sufficiently clear enough to warrant their conclusions.

Transference of essential unity.

At this point I would expect the pro paedo scholars to object that I have dealt only with practice and not with the significance behind the ritual of the Passover. This I will now attempt to do.

The Passover was instituted previous to a geographical move on the part of God’s people. All of those gathered around the table on the night were going to leave Egypt without exception. The bread on the table symbolized the unity of the household according to at least some commentators. They make this assertion because of Paul’s application in 1 Co 10:15,16. The essential unity that existed around the Passover table was that of family. No father was going to leave any of his children behind in Egypt, even if for some reason a child didn’t want to go. The family was to be together and remain together under the blood. They all would move together as a unit. So well did this work out that as Israel left Egypt to meet at the staging area at Succoth, they gave the appearance of being a well trained army. The unity in Passover is household. I hear the paedo adherents cheering at this point.!

However, while Paul recognizes the essential unity that existed in the Passover as that of family: he applies it to the church. This he does without demolishing or denigrating the family. What he does do however, is point out that the familial unity of Passover is now applied to the spiritual unity of the Church. No longer can a father enforce the terms of Passover upon his children, making them all follow him to a new address. In the New Covenant, Dad can baptize his infants, raise his kids on Scripture and in the church, bathe them with prayer and meet all of his covenantal obligations as the head of the house before God. One thing he cannot do, however, is make his child regenerate. The essential unity in the New Covenant is no longer that of the home, although the home remains extremely important and retains many covenantal aspects. The essential unity is today to be found in the professing church. I assert that the Lord’s supper is the demonstration of this new unity and therefore only for professing Christians. Jesus himself pointed out that this new unity was to be expected:

KJV Mark 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

KJV Mark 13:12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.

Paul demonstrates its realization in the church. On this basis it is my contention that the profession of faith is the ground of the unity that was typical in the Passover and realized in the supper. Therefore, only communicants are to partake of the Lord’s table. Closer relationships exist in the fellowship of the Lord’s table than can be found around the family dinner table. (The case of a whole family being professing Christians and communicants excepted.)

The difference between baptism and the Lord’s supper.

By now paedo adherents are objecting, “But what about baptism?” Let me say first of all that baptism and circumcision are much more fully treated in Scripture, especially the New Testament than Passover. This is because a man carried his circumcision with him all the time. It was an easy mark to see and consequently, it became a point of contention and division. What the apostles concluded at the Jerusalem Council and during the following years is that circumcision and baptism correspond and that there were two aspects of both:1. The inward reality and, 2. The outer, visible ceremony. In addition they realized that the covenantal obligation for heads of households to circumcise their sons was retained in the New Covenant and transferred to the rite of baptism, and expanded to include daughters.

Is it right to assume the same thing for the supper? I don’t think so.

For one thing, there is a lot less biblical information to work with. For another thing, I think that the covenantal aspects not only do not correspond, between the two sacraments (Baptism and the Supper) but that they correlate in an opposite way. Let me explain: While there is perhaps a broadening of the scope in application from circumcision to baptism, as described above — baptism included girls — I would argue that the converse is true from Passover to communion, that the supper is more restricted than the Passover.

Visually the relationship would look like this:

  • Circumcision (male Hebrews only) < baptism (all infants of all believers)
  • Passover (the family) > communion (the professing church made up of parts of families).

Why? Because the Passover is primarily typical, pointing to Christ. More importantly there are not the biblical warrants present for expansion as there are for circumcision — baptism. As I have attempted to show, there IS biblical data for a constricted application from Passover to the supper based on the new unit of essential unity. We must remember that the Passover was done in typical ANTICIPATION while the communion is observed in APPLICATION of the realization of what was previously typified. Therefore, there is a correspondingly higher level of responsibility and accountability resident upon participants in the supper.

The Problem with the Words of Institution.

The words of institution used in the supper call for cognitive response that infants and young children are incapable of rendering.

When instituting the supper Jesus said, This, my body; this do in remembrance of me. (Luke 22:19; 1Co 11:24). The latter part of this verse and the repetitive nature of the Passover and supper mean different things to different people. The Passover to some the annual observance was meant to commemorate something that happened years before. The Passover in this sense was a sort of national holiday, like we would observe VE day to commemorate the allied victory in Europe. To others, the Passover was to be a full orbed re-creation of the scene of the original Passover, so as to re-live the drama of that singular night. Still, to others, the Passover was a pledge of future deliverance that would come as Messiah brought a return to political peace and prosperity to the political landscape. Similarly, the Lord’s supper is multifaceted in its meaning as it is observed. In one sense it is a memorial, in other sense an anticipation, in yet another, a covenantal meal and so on. The two share this similarity. No matter how you understand what happens in the supper, everyone must acknowledge that the language of institution that Jesus uses in the supper call forth a definite series of cognitive responses from participants. There is the recognition of the body, whether this means the body of Christ in the Church as Paul seems to indicate or the body in the bread it matters not. There is the remembrance of Christ and his passion that is to be evoked by the participant and finally the response of taking and eating in pledge and participation. This is not true of the law regulating Passover, where the implication is that all are to eat and then when the children come to years and have questions, they are to be instructed. The adherents of paedo communion have not sufficiently demonstrated how infants and small children obey the words of institution, or even that they are capable of doing so. Because the burden of proof falls upon them, they cannot remain silent on this point if they expect the church to revise its confession and adopt their position into practice.

It goes without saying that appeal to baptism does not remove the difficulty here. The cognitive issues in infant baptism do not fall to the infant until he comes to years and to faith. Reformed tradition teaches him at that point to improve his baptism through mental excercises upon its meaning and significance. However, at the time when the rite is applied, the active participants are the parents, the church and the minister. The infant is passive because of what baptism signifies: all that God does in the regeneration of the heart. Conversely, the supper calls for cognitive participation from the onset, because of what it signifies: not initiation, but continuation in the covenantal provisions made by Christ. This continuance calls for the mind of the participant to be fully engaged in what the elements represent.

The Problem of Efficacy.

The Paedo position would force us to embrace a Roman Catholic or Lutheran understanding of how the sacrament conveys grace.

One of the biggest problems that I have with the paedo communion position is in the area of how grace is conferred in the sacrament if we adopt their position. Admittedly, my reading among proponents of the paedo position is limited, but I have never seen anyone address the question of how grace is conferred in the paedo communion model. It seems to me that for anyone coming from the Reformed perspective this ought to be a paramount concern. After all, people were burned at the stake during the English Reformation for the Reformed view of the sacrament. The proponents of paedo communion simply MUST answer the question of how grace is conferred in their new system before they are entitled to full credibility. Why? Because to take cognition out of the sacramental picture necessitates a shift in understanding as to how the sacrament serves as a means of grace. At best they are left with the Lutheran view; at worst the Roman. Either grace has to be inherent to the physical element; OR we are left with a rite that confers no grace at all or that can be left off with no harm. All of these are an abhorrence to the Reformed understanding of grace in the sacraments.

Reformed theologians virtually all hold that the means of grace require faith and a knowledgeable response to the signs to be effeccacious. To give the sacrament to babies and small children is to deny this basic requirement. The physical elements portray the written and preached word to the senses. This requires the mind to be engaged by them and capable of understanding propositional truths represented in them. I don’t see how that the understanding of what happens in the sacrament in the paedo scheme can become any more than Lutheran — that the bread and wine serve as spiritual vitamin pills with something in them that is of benefit apart from understanding or, conversely, any less than Roman Catholic view where grace comes in the doing – ex opera operato.

The paedo men, again, cannot cite infant baptism as a precedent because the correlation between the supper and baptism are not close enough. Baptism is the rite of initiation and entrance into the church. It is never repeated. It serves as a seal to mark the what God does in regeneration and also marks out the covenant child’s place in the covenant community that exists on the basis of the parent’s faith. The supper is the rite of continuance, oft repeated, that calls for full cognitive participation on the basis of the biblical directives for its administration.

Conclusion

The burden of proof for the paedo position rests on those seeking to advance it.

I have attempted to show that the issue is not settled. It cannot be until all of the questions have been satisfactorily answered. I think that, given what I have read so far, that paedo communion appeals to logic within the covenantal framework, but still has to answer theological and exegetical questions that have been unaddressed or unanswered. As when any deviation in the framework of our theology and pratice, caution is advised until the difficulties are cleared away. I am skeptical that they can be on any grounds, particularly on the important exegetical ones.

This little paper will certainly not be the last word, but I hope it will serve at least to show some of the reasons why I remain unconvinced that babies and small children belong as participants at the Lord’s table, Messrs. Wilkins and Schlei notwithstanding.

Charles W. Bradley

Hopewell Presbyterian Church

Culleoka, TN

14 June 2000

® 2000 Hopewell Presbyterian Church

This paper may not be reproduced without permission of the author.

 

Abortion

Hopewell Presbyterian Church Position Paper on Abortion

We affirm the resolution of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church General Synod on abortion:

We believe that the Scriptures clearly and plainly testifies to the infinite worth of human life by virtue of man having been created in the image and likeness of God, and that decisions about life and death are God’s prerogatives and not man’s, and that even in the case of rare exceptions such as judgments by medical personnel about highly technical medical problems, human judgment should always stand in submission to the divine judgment and wisdom of God.

We also believe the Scriptures point up a unique relationship between God and Creator and the unborn child. And, therefore, regarding the divine mysteries of the conception and development of human life, we dare make no other inference than the conclusion that it is not for men basically to be the determiners of life and death, even for the unborn child. Therefore, in all instances, one should seek to preserve the life of the unborn child.

(Minutes of the General Synod, 1981, p. 402 & 403)

We affirm the duty of our members to protect and defend innocent life as a requirement of God’s moral law:

WLC 135 What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?

A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavours, to preserve the life of ourselves(1) and others(2) by resisting all thoughts and purposes,(3) subduing all passions,(4) and avoiding all occasions,(5) temptations,(6) and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any;(7) by just defence thereof against violence,(8) patient bearing of the hand of God,(9) quietness of mind,(10) cheerfulness of spirit;(11) a sober use of meat,(12) drink,(13) physick,(14) sleep,(15) labour,(16) and recreations;(17) by charitable thoughts,(18) love,(19) compassion,(20) meekness, gentleness,(21) kindness; peaceable,(22) mild and courteous speeches and behaviour;(23) forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil;(24) comforting and succouring the distressed, and protecting and defending the innocent.(25)

(1)Eph. 5:28,29 (2)1 Kings 18:4 (3)Jer. 26:15,16; Acts 23:12,16,17,21,27 (4)Eph. 4:26,27 (5)2 Sam. 2:22; Deut 22:8 (6)Matt. 4:6,7; Prov. 1:10,11,15,16 (7)1 Sam. 24:12; 1 Sam. 26:9-11; Gen. 37:21,22 (8)Ps. 82:4; Prov. 24:11,12; 1 Sam. 14:45 (9)James 5:7-11; Heb. 12:9 (10)1 Thess. 4:11; 1 Pet. 3:3,4; Ps. 37:8-11 (11)Prov. 17:22 (12)Prov. 25:16,27 (13)1 Tim. 5:23 (14)Isa. 38:21 (15)Ps. 127:2 (16)Eccl. 5:12; 2 Thess. 3:10,12; Prov. 16:26 (17)Eccl. 3:4,11 (18)1 Sam. 19:4,5; 1 Sam. 22:13,14 (19)Rom. 13:10 (20)Luke 10:33,34 (21)Col. 3:12,13 (22)James 3:17 (23)1 Pet. 3:8-11; Prov. 15:1; Judges 8:1-3 (24)Matt. 5:24; Eph. 4:2,32; Rom. 12:17,20,21 (25)1 Thess. 5:14; Job 31:19,20; Matt. 25:35,36; Prov. 31:8,9

We affirm that God’s law forbids our members from destroying life, or assisting in any way the taking of life, except in cases clearly provided for in Scripture and noted in the catechism:

WLC 136 What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves,(1) or of others,(2) except in case of publick justice,(3) lawful war,(4) or necessary defence;(5) the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life;(6) sinful anger,(7) hatred,(8) envy,(9) desire of revenge;(10) all excessive passions,(11) distracting cares;(12) immoderate use of meat, drink,(13) labour,(14) and recreations;(15) provoking words,(16) oppression,(17) quarrelling,(18) striking, wounding ,(19) and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.(20)

(1)Acts 16:28 (2)Gen. 9:6 (3)Numb. 35:31,33 (4)Jer. 48:10; Deut. 20 throughout; (5)Exod. 22:2,3 (6)Matt. 25:42,43; James 2:15,16; Eccl. 6:1,2 (7)Matt. 5:22 (8)1 John 3:15; Lev. 19:17 (9)Prov. 14:30 (10)Rom. 12:19 (11)Eph. 4:31 (12)Matt. 6:31,34 (13)Luke 21:34; Rom. 13:13 (14)Eccl. 12:12; Eccl. 2:22,23 (15)Isa. 5:12 (16)Prov. 15:1; Prov. 12:18 (17)Ezek. 18:18; Exod. 1:14 (18)Gal. 5:15; Prov. 23:29 (19)Numb.35:16,17,18,21 (20)Exod. 21:18 to end


Adopted by resolution of the Session of the Hopewell Presbyterian Church, 8th day of February, 2001.

Attest:

Jim Patterson, Clerk of Session — Charles W. Bradley, Moderator