See Articles below:
1) “When you meet reformed evangelical friends and acquaintances to have coffee or exchange emails over the internet, what questions do you ask in fellowship with each other about the congregations each one attends?”
2) Westminster Confession, An Explanation From the Word of God, Chapter IV, Of Creation, Section I
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When you meet reformed evangelical friends and acquaintances to have coffee or exchange emails over the internet, what questions do you ask in fellowship with each other about the congregations each one attends? *
Do you often speak of church attendance, size of congregation, and church growth programs? Or do you favour speaking of sermons preached, growth in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, someone young in the faith (basic adherent) gaining assurance of Salvation, inviting people to public worship with faithful preaching of the Word, and works of reformation? The first set of questions may be echoed from neo-reformed congregations and naively picked up and used in reformed evangelical fellowship; but it is not drawn from biblical fellowship, not encouraging, and against works of reformation (see e.g., Acts 16:4-5; Rom. 1:8; Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 1:3-4, 9-10 KJB). The first set of questions is daunting, intimidating, rather divisive, and in the long run discouraging to advancement of the Protestant evangelical faith (namely, the reformed evangelical faith). If these set of questions is what some readers are tempted to bring up when having fellowship, then they need to change their terminology and fellowship questions to encourage one another in reformed evangelical fellowship.
Regarding church attendance or size of congregation, is this question helpful to works of reformation or advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the world? No, in fact it is not agreeable to Scripture; it is not drawn from scriptural examples. As the questions are intended, it is based on a false interpretation of fruit bearing and even a false interpretation of Acts 16:4-5, bringing into question whether or not someone believes in and/or understands reformed evangelical effectual calling (see LCQA 67; SCQA 31). Do any readers think that this question would have been helpful in the context of Acts 16:1-10, 12-40, wherein a new preaching station-mission congregation was, Lord willing, going to be started in Philippi? Should Lydia have asked the question, what is the church attendance going to be in this new mission-preaching station, considering leaving the synagogue-congregation that was believing in the wrong Messiah, wrong Christ (from the Greek), or prone to perhaps become a justification by faith plus works congregation (see Acts 15:5)? Reformed mission congregations were begun in the regional area, with no mention of concern over church growth anywhere in the New Testament, even in the Epistle to the Philippians. In one to three years, should the question have been asked by holiday travellers from another congregation in the Roman Empire Protestant evangelical church, what is the church attendance numbers like at the Philippi mission congregation? Or should the holiday travellers just visit and encourage the core group church members, which was on the denominational congregational-mission list with endorsement. Let us consider a congregation within the Presbytery of Galatia; perhaps it was re-established, had lost members over the schism or was a new mission congregation in the Presbytery of Galatia (or regional set of congregations; see Gal. 1:1-2; I Cor. 16:1), after the schismatic debate over heretical justification by faith plus works including Antinomian false repentance (see Gal. 2:15-3:10; 5:19-21 KJB). In one to three years, would it have been proper to press to know, what is the church attendance numbers? Consider a congregation which had been re-established after a schism, or was a new mission congregation, in the Presbytery of Corinth (more than one congregation in the region, see I Cor. 14:34). Remembering that one or more congregations in that Presbytery had a Lord’s Supper worthy of scathing condemnation and was warned concerning another gospel (I Cor. 11:17-20; II Cor. 11:3-4 KJB). In one to three years, would it be proper to press to know about church attendance numbers? Every mature reformed evangelical knows the answers.
Questions of weekly church attendance are daunting and unhelpful to reformed evangelical young mission congregations, newly split congregations, and the foreign mission. Consider having fellowship with communicant members of a small independent congregation wherein the pastor and elders did not protest with all clarity upon departure from a neo-reformed denomination (see “A Call to Reformation and to Unify in the Reformed Evangelical Faith”, Part II). They have continued with a type of hurried session controlled communion, as before, and making mistake after mistake with church membership. That congregation is very likely struggling in church attendance. What is better to do in fellowship, ask the discouraging question about church attendance, or encourage them in making their protest better known including the following: (1) proper Protestant evangelical Bible (KJB, Geneva Bible) over against a sectarian Bible (RSV, NIV, ESV, proven in “A Call to Reformation and to Unify in the Reformed Evangelical Faith”); (2) the first mark of the church, biblical separation from a false gospel; (3) and the distinctives of a reformed evangelical congregation with a dedicated God-fearing core group of members (Psa. 119:63; Acts 2:42, 47 KJB); (4) Purifying the Lord’s supper per I Corinthians 11:17-20. Also encourage them to search out and correspond with a faithful reformed evangelical denomination, with a view to organic union, to eventually enjoy fuller blessings of Acts 16:4-5. Moreover, can knowledgeable readers imagine such questions directed at foreign missionaries reporting at home to the national church, prior to the mid-20th century. If every time Protestant evangelical missionaries had to entertain such questions of church attendance, when they were at home reporting of their foreign mission work, in the far east, in Africa, or in South America, it would have been most intimidating, displaying lack of understanding of how hard the foreign mission is, and displaying the ignorance and the immaturity of those asking the question.
Is it appropriate to ask about church growth programs, which has its origin and history in the mid-20th century from the teaching on missions by Professor Donald McGavran (1897-1990) at the ‘Unitarian Modernist’, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, or from Bill Bright’s neo-reformed Arminian Pelagian sectarian para-church ministry (see Part II, “A Call to Reformation and to Unify in the Reformed Evangelical Faith”; Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru)? No, this is sectarian “church growth” and it has nothing to do with advancement of the Protestant evangelical faith; but instead it fulfills the prophecy and advancement of sectarians and their sectarian gospel (see II Tim. 3:1-7; 4:3-4). It also in the long run makes the heathen and anti-Christians speak evil of the way of truth (see II Pet. 2:1-3). These false “lay evangelism” programs promote another gospel. What about D. James Kennedy, Evangelism Explosion. We refer the reader to Part II of “A Call to Reformation and to Unify in the Reformed Evangelical Faith”. Put simply, Evangelism Explosion is little better than the Four Spiritual Laws with both being the ‘simple faith false gospel’; and “lay evangelism” in comparison to reformed evangelical ministerial preaching, and God’s people implementing Proverbs 15:28, I Peter 2:12, 3:15, does not advance the Protestant evangelical faith (see “A Call to Reformation and to Unify in the Reformed Evangelical Faith”, Conclusion).
After forty years of having to advance the reformed evangelical faith in the midst of neo-reformed churches**, who have been proclaiming a sectarian gospel and promoting sectarian Bibles, it certainly needs to be explained how a reformed evangelical church can eventually increase in numbers, Lord willing, in accordance with Acts 16:4-5. Whilst we must reject the false teaching of fruit bearing taught by the sectarian neo-reformed preachers, we must be able to answer inquirers, how can a reformed evangelical church gradually increase in numbers as stated in Acts 16:4-5? Acts 16:5 does teach something significant regarding advancement of the Protestant evangelical faith. It says that the churches were established in the faith, as a result of the denominational synodical decrees clarifying and setting forth the gospel body of divinity; and the congregations in the denomination would be required to keep them faithfully in pulpit preaching in accordance with I Corinthians 1:10 and Galatians 1:6-9 as well as fence the Lord’s table in accordance with I Corinthians 11:18-19 (KJB). There would be the requirement of remedial training of ministers and elders infected with the false gospel doctrines, or forced secession of these unfaithful church officers (Tit. 3:10-11 KJB). Then it says that the congregations of the denomination increased in numbers daily. The associated Protestant evangelical congregations, who protested another gospel, in the Roman Empire Church, had a general synod and before too long had at least nine regional areas or presbyteries (Classis): seven presbyteries mentioned in the Book of Revelation plus at least Antioch, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Jerusalem, Judah, and the mission in Italia (see Westminster Form of Presbyterian Church Government, Of Classical Assemblies). In other words, it was a whole denomination that increased in numbers daily; and we should remember that many of the epistles are written to regional churches or Presbyteries (Dutch reformed-Classis), with likely two or more congregations in each region, plus preaching station-mission congregations (see I Cor. 14:34; 16:1-2).
Now we must make further application of Acts 16:5: “And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily”. Denominational increase occurs across a whole unified church with uniformity in the gospel body of divinity and church ordinances, making sure the body of divinity gospel doctrines, the moral law, and church ordinances are known, published, preached throughout a denomination, and the sects and heretics are marked out and refuted (KJB Rom. 16:17-18; Gal. 1:6-9; Eph. 4:11-14). If a denomination is large enough, perhaps as large as the Church of Holland (1618-19), the Church of England (1647-1661), the Church of Scotland (1560-1661) including a few foreign missions, it can be expected that ordinarily there would be regular increase somewhere in the denomination, but not in every congregation or mission. Whilst the numbers of Baptized basic adherents and then communicant members in time should be recorded at individual Session meetings, Presbytery meetings, and Synod meetings, it should not be emphasised, however, so to discourage areas of the denomination where the Holy Spirit is not moving in effectual calling at certain times.
Furthermore, in accordance with Acts 16:4-5, when there has been a disruption with schism, and then synodical decrees to establish or re-establish a reformed evangelical Presbyterian denomination, there can even be a “bumper crop” (‘farmer illustration’) with temporary significant increase in congregational attendance in various parts of the denomination for the next ten years or so. Galatians 5:15 is never good for the long haul in a congregation or a denomination; in fact, it is debilitating to a reformed evangelical congregation to be associated with it. The way to stop ‘the biting and devouring of one another’ is not by appeasement, gospel and church ordinance compromises. In order to stop the infighting, there must be published protest, marking out the heresies, Protestant evangelical preaching, and biblical schism when necessary. The potential new attendees (e.g., reformed evangelicals, basic adherent Christians, visitors, and inquirers) have to know that there is a definite answer and solution to ‘biting and devouring’ one another and national moral decline. The answer and solution is not a buffet or smorgasbord of broadly ‘reformed” or broadly “evangelical” gospels (plural) claiming to be unified in a denomination or ecumenical association (https://www.icrconline.com; http://www.naparc.org), when they are not at all unified in the gospel of free grace.
Let us take note; there is no mention or concern over size of the presbyteries or congregations in the epistles or in the Book of Revelation. The concerns were always over gospel doctrines, morality, church ordinances, and peacemaking in terms of the gospel doctrines of the true Christian faith and pursuit of holiness. This is very important and even crucial. Galatians 15:5 cannot be interpreted as stopping the contention by simply saying the words “I ask you for forgiveness” or just make a truce, which can be broken by the sectarians any time they deem helpful to their sectarian gospel cause (II Tim. 3:3). The only way to stop the contention in the Presbytery of Galatia was by proclaiming the Protestant evangelical doctrines, including obedience to the moral law of God (Gal. 5:19-21 KJB), and by following Romans 12:18, with the teachable professing Christians; but there can be no peace making with the trouble making false teachers (Gal. 5:12), as they will not follow Romans 12:18. Being proven to be in the flesh, the nominal Christian unregenerate cannot savingly accept the Protestant evangelical faith, without effectual calling by the work of the Holy Spirit (see Rom. 8:1-10). The exhortation and warning in Galatians 5:15 is to be understood in terms of preaching the truth of the gospel of free grace, effectual calling, clarity and unity in the Protestant evangelical faith, purifying the Lord’s Supper, biblical peacemaking, disciplining sectarian church officers, and forcing or casting out the schismatics and scorners (Prov. 22:10; Rom. 16:17; Tit. 3:10 KJB).
Fruit bearing in Scripture has everything to do with walking in the truth, walking in the commandments; and it has nothing to do with size of congregation or size of the mission in church attendance. In fact, instead of reading “church growth” into Matthew 7:15-20 which is no where in the verses or the context, and reading it into Romans 1:13, we must follow the principle of the clearer passages on the same subject to interpret the not so clear passages (see WCF 1:9). With that in mind, the following passages make it clear that fruit in the Christian life is personal fruit of saving faith displayed in doctrine and morality in the life of those born again, with initial sanctification and progressive sanctification in the truth: Psalm 1:1-6; 92:12-14; Luke 3:3-14; John 14:15; 15:1-10; Col. 1:9-10. What happens when a false view of fruit bearing is forced into Matthew 7:15-20 and Romans 1:13? The answer is that the former false prophets and on-going false teachers, which caused the truth to be evil spoken of (see II Pet. 2:1-3), can remain in their pulpits even with moral corruption, until the minister perhaps in the end severely violates the 7th commandment. In the meantime, the sectarian minister, with no biblical fruit, has done much damage to the cause of the gospel of free grace with corruption and the promotion of another gospel.
Therefore, Protestant evangelical readers who are coming out of neo-reformed sectarian controlled denominations should learn to make their manner of communications and fellowship consistent with the reformed evangelical faith. Reformed evangelicals need to change their expectations in works of reformation and learn how to be encouraging to one another in accordance with the Scriptures. When Protestant evangelicals communicate by phone, by email, by text, social media, and at coffee houses to have reformed evangelical fellowship, we should be having fellowship over biblical works of reformation including faithful preaching of the Word, whole counsel of God preaching, biblical church ordinances, including recent fruit bearing in the life of a Christian adherent who gained biblical assurance in saving faith. We should not be anxious with questions, or forcing conversations, over church attendance with reference to any foreign missions, preaching stations, home mission congregations, and newly split established congregations. It is very intimidating to have discussions with these questions. Such discussions have nothing to do with the spiritual well being of a denomination, a given established congregation, preaching station, or mission congregation. Instead, the well being of a reformed evangelical church may be first to downsize and then prepare to have increase in church numbers by faithful preaching and the proper application of Matthew 5:16, II Timothy 4:1-2, I Peter 2:12 and 3:15; and with reference to questions from neo-reformed Moderate Calvinist activists or antagonists ***, do not entertain their irreverence and their displayed rejection of biblical effectual calling. An example of a biblical answer to the irreverent question of church attendance from an antagonist is the following: (1) every Lord’s Day we have the church attendance God has foreordained for public worship including the preaching of the Word; (2) we have dedicated reformed evangelical church members who we thank the Lord for; (3) they are performing moral good works before heathen, unbelievers, and sectarians, inviting acquaintances to the preaching of the Protestant evangelical faith; which is a blessing every Lord’s Day. Moreover, reformed evangelical congregations deliberately do not have “church growth programs”; but God-fearing repentant believers do give a reason for the hope which is within them before inquirers and invite them to the preaching of the Word (Prov. 15:28; I Pet. 2:12; 3:15 KJB).
* Some or many readers may not even attend a reformed evangelical congregation. The congregations they attend may be neo-reformed sectarian, using sectarian Bibles, and the pulpit ministry is preaching another gospel (e.g., simple faith false gospel or justification by faith plus works, see Part II: “A Call to Reformation and to Unify in the Reformed Evangelical Faith”).
** Sectarian neo-reformed preachers – These are the dedicated sectarian preachers who many promote sectarian Bibles, having almost eradicated the word ‘heresy’, heretics, and the label ‘sect’ in the sectarian translations; and they preach a sectarian gospel: simple faith false gospel or justification by faith plus works and other noted departures from the gospel body of divinity (see Introduction, Part I and Part II: “A Call to Reformation and to Unify in the Reformed Evangelical Faith”).
*** Neo-reformed Moderate Calvinist activist – Rather than mere basic adherents, these are dedicated followers of the neo-reformed sectarian congregations who often promote the sectarian Bibles. They are committed to neo-reformed simple faith false gospel, or justification by faith plus works, and other noted departures from the gospel body of divinity (see Part II: “A Call to Reformation and to Unify in the Reformed Evangelical Faith”).
Westminster Confession, An Explanation From the Word of God
Chapter IV.–Of Creation.
I. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.
The Trinitarian Godhead created all things of nothing in the beginning to display His own eternal and Almighty power, wisdom, and goodness in creation. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, the three persons of the trinity, were all directly involved in creation (Gen. 1:2, 26; Jn 1:3 KJB). God displayed His power by creating simply by the word of His power. He spoke and out of nothing God created and brought things visible and invisible into being (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24; Jn 1:3 KJB). There is no notion of plants, fish, animals, or man evolving from lower beings. This is definitely contrary to the natural interpretation of Genesis chapter 1. Any form of theistic evolution is completely out of accord with Scripture. Divine creation is also confirmed to be part of the light of nature in man. Unregenerates, including some nominal Christians, who advocate evolution are going against what they know to be true within themselves (Rom. 1:19-20; 2:14-15 KJB). By the light of nature, man knows that he was created by God, and that he is the same man from the beginning in creation. He is the same man referenced in Psalm 100 to be sung in public and private worship: “Know ye the Lord that he is God; not we, but he us made: We are his people, and the sheep within his pasture fed.” (1650 Scottish Metrical Version of the Psalms: 2nd version of 100:3).
By nature, all unregenerates including the heathen suppress the truth concerning creation. They hold and hold down, or suppress, the truth of creation by the Trinitarian Godhead (Rom. 1:18-21 KJB). The Greek word translated ‘hold’ (vs. 18) has both meanings: ‘hold’ and ‘suppress’; it is best translated ‘hold’ to emphasise and remind repentant believers that all mankind know this truth in their inner being, yet suppressed (see II Tim. 4:1-2; I Pet. 3:15 KJB). Unregenerates know within themselves that they are created and owned by Almighty God, even though they may speak publicly of not knowing about biblical creation or openly speaking of opposition to creation in favour of evolution or theistic evolution. Evolutionists do their studies vigorously but poorly, trying to prove what their inner being says is simply not true. Evolution may be accepted and promoted by many in the world, who want to believe in something that takes a lot of worldly blind faith; but according to the Word of God, they know better and suppress the truth of God’s Sovereign creation, creation of themselves, and Providential control of all things in heaven and earth.
The Confession teaches that creation was performed by God “in the space of six days”. The Larger Catechism states that creation was done “within the space of six days” (LCQA 15). The Shorter Catechism also says that the work of creation was performed “in the space of six days” (SCQA 9). Now certainly, Almighty God could have created in one day or instantly, instead of six days. As the same clear teaching is in all three documents, and the fact that it is included in the Shorter Catechism, this teaching concerning six day creationism is believed to be part of the gospel body of divinity for church unity and uniformity (Rom. 12:16; I Cor. 1:10; Phil. 1:27 KJB). It is a fundamental of the faith, required to be confessed among other doctrines for partaking at the Lord’s Supper. Consider the difference between a six day creationist partaking at Communion in comparison to a theistic evolutionist, who denies the plain meaning of Scripture and God’s Sovereignty over him or her. According to the Westminster Standards, it is sectarian to teach otherwise; and those who do oppose it should not even be allowed at the Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 11:18-19; Tit. 3:10-11 KJB). They may become baptized members, but should not be communicant members (see ch. 28:4; 29:7; LCQA 166, 171, 177). The implication is that those who reject the natural and plain teaching of Genesis 1:1-2:3 as well as Exodus 20:8-11 are rejecting the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the only rule of faith and obedience.1
It is dangerous in many ways to reject the plain and obvious meaning of Genesis 1:1-2:3 as well as Exodus 20:11. Rejecting the natural meaning of creation is inherently dangerous and has caused other departures in doctrine and life, including a confusion in the important work week, necessary day of rest, and public worship of God.2 It encourages followers to depart on creation ordinances, the creation of mankind to be distinctly male and female, the role of men and women, the institution of the Christian Sabbath, marriage between a man and a woman, to be fruitful and multiply, and the role of women in learning in the church as non-church officers (I Cor. 7:1-6; 14:34-35; I Tim. 2:11-15 KJB).
In the mid-19th century, the gap theory came into being and started to become popular among some Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptist, Methodists, Charismatic-Pentecostals and Anabaptists groups. Robert Shaw (19th century Free Church of Scotland, minister) wrote, The Reformed Faith, an explanation of the Westminster Confession, and advanced this gap theory in the chapter on creation. It certainly might be considered to be ‘evangelical’; this is basically true, as it fully allows for and supports continuance of creation ordinances. Yet, the gap theory is not the legislative intent meaning of the Westminster Standards on creation. With definite unreliable dating methods, sought to be beyond the biblical dating of roughly 6000 years and expanding to 10,000 to 15,000, the gap theory became popular. The idea was to place a possible gap in Genesis 1:1-2 lasting 4,000 or more years. The new position was that perhaps there was meant to be a gap from the earth first being created by God and then the six days of creation, beginning with Genesis 1:3. The problem with this position was that there is no reason at all given in Scripture for a gap of 5,000 to 10,000 years for the sole purpose of giving the appearance that the earth is older than the genealogies, which favour the 6,000 years of age. It is not the natural interpretation of Genesis 1:1-2:3 and Exodus 20:11; and this concern to fit in with some 19th century dating methods was soon destined to be stretched even further, when the evolutionists later chose to extend their own theory that the earth might be more like 100,000 years old and then millions of years old; and it did not end there. In the mid-20th century, the evolutionists decided to guess that the earth was perhaps five billion years old. Many so-called conservative Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists, then invented the ‘Day Age Theory’ and the ‘Framework Hypothesis’ for creation to fit in with “theistic” evolution, but denying the plain meaning of Genesis 1:1-2:3 and Exodus 20:11.
Neo-reformed Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists invented the ‘Day Age Theory’ of creation to fit in with the latest expanding dating theories of the evolutionists. The idea is that the days are not definite, not at all meant to be seven normal length days. They had abandoned the Bible’s own teaching of a young earth, created with apparent age from the beginning. Also some of these same imagined “scholars” and pastors began to argue that it was more likely that the flood was localised and not worldwide, even surmising that the Hebrew word should be translated ‘land’ rather than ‘earth’; but it does not fit the context at all of the scriptural chapters on the flood (see Gen. 6:5-8, 20; 7:1-6, 10, 12, 17-24; 8:4-12; 9:1-17 KJB).
The theistic evolutionists, including the ‘Day Age theorists’, then became quite exposed with other signs of rejecting the plain teaching of Scripture on the Sabbath Day and a weakened view of the moral law altogether. Some of the sectarian church leaders became influenced by the feminist and women’s suffrage movement in the late 19th century through to the mid-20th century.3 Contrary to the natural interpretation of I Timothy 2:11-15 (KJB), but fitting for the theistic evolutionists, women eventually came to be elected as deacons, then elders, with some even allowing women into the pastoral ministry. As made clear in chapter one, some “conservatives” and some modernists advocate that the original manuscripts are inerrant, the Scriptures are even authoritative, but the Scriptures for them are not the only rule of faith and practice.4
With the 1930s redemptive historical method of interpreting Scripture and preaching in Holland, the framework hypothesis theory of creation was invented to further advance the heretical teaching of theistic evolution. The notion was that Genesis 1:1-2:3 is a framework or model, but also a hypothesis. The term ‘hypothesis’ is a clever term intimating that the Genesis account is not accurate for study nor can be counted on for scientific study. Many of these unbelieving scholars actually say that the Bible may be reliable for doctrine, but not reliable for historical matters nor science, proving again that these “conservative”, neo-reformed, teachers do not believe the Scriptures to be the only rule of faith and practice. The advocates of framework hypothesis are not scholars at all; but heretics just as the “Day Age theorists”, rejecting the plain and obvious meaning of Genesis 1:1-2:3 and Exodus 20:11 and prone to further heresy. Rejecting six day creationism, creation ordinances, and God’s Providential control over creation, theistic evolutionary church officers have been providing grave unfaithful leadership in the name of Christianity. They have often displayed serious incompetent, poor counsel even in daily living, work, rest, marriage, farming, the raising of a family, education, illnesses, physicians, healthy eating, and a healthy lifestyle (see ch. 24:1-3; LCQA 28, 135-138).
In the beginning, before the fall of mankind into sin, creation was performed by God in six days, teaching man a six day work week and one day of rest for public and private worship of the one true God (Gen. 2:1-3 KJB). Each day has something mentioned having been performed by the Godhead in creation, and then the day ends with “And the evening and the morning were the first day”, then the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth days. This painstaking manner of writing indicates that each day was a normal length day. This is not some ancient way of marking a day, but normal length day even in sleep patterns. As God has designed, man goes to sleep at night, and during the night the day changes to the next day. Widespread use of clocks is a rather modern invention. Farmers, ranchers, fisherman, and outdoor tradesmen of various sorts can calculate their day by this means; and some even put domesticated animals on a schedule by solar time: which the animals tend to remember. There are knowledgeable gardeners and farmers who know when to plant original seed by the annual, or even monthly, pattern of the Moon, and its effects on the earth, for optimum conditions of growth. This is found to be true even in the far north and the far south of the earth wherein there are much shorter and longer sunlight days. Regardless, man can and does develop natural sleep patterns in various parts of the earth, including Moon and star time, called a ‘body clock’. This ‘body clock’ was obvious placed in man and ordained of God from very creation for man as created in the image of God; and it continues in God’s Providence over the whole earth: “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep” (Psa. 127:2).5
In the beginning, God’s creation was made all very good, including the creation ordinances (Gen. 1:31 KJB). Certainly the Godhead could have performed creation instantaneously, but the Lord God did it in six days as a perpetual example to man of a seven day week: six days of labour and one day of rest (Exo. 20:8-11 KJB). The Larger Catechism adds the creation institution of the Sabbath day (see LCQA 20). This is referring to the Fourth Commandment (Exo. 20:8-11; Deut. 5: KJB), and not the ceremonial Sabbaths added in the Mosaic ceremonial law and abolished in the New Testament (see ch. 19:3). The Fourth Commandment, the Sabbath day, is perpetual and continues into the New Testament, changing the day to the 1st day of the week (Matt. 5:16-20; Jn. 14:15; Acts 2:41-47; 20:7; I Cor. 16:1-2; Rev. 1:10 KJB). John Calvin wrote in the 16th century in defence of this creation ordinance: “So far as the Sabbath was a figure of this rest, I say, it was but for a season; but inasmuch as it was commanded to men from the beginning that they might employ themselves in the worship of God, it is right that it should continue to the end of the world.”6 Following on in the 17th century, Matthew Poole stated this in order to refute those opposed to the perpetual Sabbath day creation ordinance: “Some conceive that the sabbath was not actually blessed and sanctified at and from this time, but only in the days of Moses, which they pretend to be here related by way of anticipation. But this opinion hath no foundation in the text or context, but rather is confuted from them”.7
The Scriptures by natural interpretation would indicate that the earth was created mature ready to inhabit man with all manner of herbs. On the third day, God created all herbs, including fruits, grains, vegetables, medicinal and spice herbs. Man, created on the sixth day, began as herbivores in the biblical diet. God created each seed in a distinct manner. Whilst each individual seed can slightly modify, in God’s Providence, with the wind blowing to different parts of the earth, God has said that he would maintain the seed, ‘after his kind’ (Gen. 1:11-12 KJB). Any type of deliberate altering of the seed in a laboratory is not God created original seed; and it will not be blessed of God unto healthy nutrients for man or animals. Both genetically engineered and genetically modified organism, fruits, gains, and vegetables are against God’s creation ordinance. God-fearing Christians should expect such modification of food to be detrimental to health and to the soil itself (see LCQA 136). Man also has been designed to drink milk and quality water from the beginning (see LCQA 135). Mother’s breast milk for the child is designed for up to four years, as deduced from Scripture (see I Sam. 1:19-28); and goats milk is commended for drinking for all (Prov. 27:26-27 KJB).
The Word of God indicates that the worldwide flood did make some change to the earth in climate patterns, the continents and massive erosion of certain areas. Furthermore, the flood slightly changed the nutrients of fruits, vegetables, and grains, preparing for meat eating. Nevertheless, God continued to providentially control the original seeds. After the flood, man was instructed to add quality meat eating to his biblical diet, killing wild animals, fishing, and domesticating some animals for production of meat, but promoting grass-fed animals (Gen. 34:5; Deut. 11:15; Psa. 50:10; 104:14 KJB). Professing Christians rejecting six day creationism and the worldwide flood have had much trouble making the transition back from trusting evolutionists, without repentance and accepting the Scriptures as the only rule of faith and obedience. The teaching of the Westminster Confession on six day creationism, together with the church ordinances, should indeed be viewed as an evangelical, fundamental of the Christian faith.
1 Being a rather early reformation catechism (1563), the writers and signers of the Heidelberg Catechism likely inadvertently left this doctrine out. Therefore, in the late 20th century and the 21st century, reformed evangelical denominations serious about total subscription to the Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dordt) added the Westminster Confession as a church standard.
2 The 16th century reformed evangelical minister, John Calvin, taught that creation was in the space of six days. See John Calvin, Commentary on the Bible, on Genesis 2:1-2.
3 Beginning in the late 19th century and by the mid-20th century, in accordance with their theistic evolution heresy, the following churches eventually accepted women in church office: for example, Church of Scotland, Church of England, Nazarene Church, Pentecostal-Charismatic churches, Christian Reformed Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church of North America, Presbyterian Church of Ireland, Presbyterian Church in the United States, United Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church of Australia, Presbyterian Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church of England, Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, Reformed Church of America, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Church.
4 The heretical affects of rejecting six day creationism and certain creation ordinances continued into the mid-20th centuries and was tolerated in the following “conservative” churches: Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church, Free Church of Scotland, Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia, Presbyterian Church of America, Presbyterian Church of Australia, and Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and the United Reformed Church.
5 “Day light saving” time was initially brought in by German evolutionists or theistic evolutionists and used in World War I and II; and other countries have done so at various times. Yet, some countries or province-states have repealed them, being harmful to the natural ‘body clock’ and sleep patterns. Bible believing Christians should oppose “Day light saving”. The idea was to take advantage of more sun light in the summer months and less in winter months, by moving clocks ahead one hour in the Spring and back one hour in the Autumn. Some people have developed sleep disorders for various reasons, but aggravated by the “Day light saving” clock changing. It is also disruptive to farming and ranching, because the domesticated animals by instinct develop a ‘body clock’; but man’s body clock, having dominion, is by innate knowledge being in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-28).
6 John Calvin’s, Commentary on the Bible, see Genesis 2:3.
7 Matthew Poole’s Commentaries, see Genesis 2:3.