August 2007 New Horizons

The 74th General Assembly

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The Seventy-fourth General Assembly

The General Assembly is the highest governing body of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Consisting of commissioners (ministers and ruling elders) from the sixteen presbyteries of the OPC, the Assembly represents in one body all the particular churches of the OPC. It must meet at least once a year to deal with matters that concern the entire church. Each Assembly brings the previous year in the church to a conclusion and sets the direction and tone for the upcoming year. The Seventy-fourth General Assembly of the OPC convened on Wednesday, June 13, on the campus of Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. At the forefront of the Assembly was consideration of the revision of the Directory for the Public Worship of God. Another weighty matter was a study report on the propriety of receiving illegal aliens into church membership. But the major theme of the Assembly, woven from the reports of the program committees, the devotionals, and the sermons, was one of unity with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and with ... Read more

My New Heart: Spiritual Lessons

I want to thank the many readers of this magazine who have prayed for me during the last two years. The Lord has answered those prayers by giving me a new lease on life. But before we get to that story, let me tell you a little about myself. I was born and raised in Virginia. I first made public profession of faith in Christ when I was a teenager in our local Baptist church. I am grateful to God for the godly people there who taught me by word and by example. I am grateful also for my parents, who are both believers in Christ (my father is deceased). While attending King College in Tennessee, I sensed a call to the gospel ministry. After graduation, I married the former Carolyn Goad, for whom I am ever thankful to God. We went to Texas, where I studied for the Master of Divinity degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I began ministry in the pastorate in 1972 and have continued in that calling ever since then. While we were serving in Maryland, the Lord gave us two sons, David (who lives in ... Read more

The Church and Politics

I was shocked when news came that the Rev. Jerry Falwell had died. He professed and proclaimed Jesus Christ as Savior; he is surely enjoying the bliss of heaven. We should be thankful for the many positive ways that God used him during his life. At the same time, he was a sinner like the rest of us, and we can learn from his mistakes. Cal Thomas once worked for Mr. Falwell in the Moral Majority. Mr. Thomas observes: The Jerry Falwell I knew was torn between the two kingdoms he represented: one not of this world and the other very much of this world; one with tactics and tools that could change lives and the other with tactics and tools that changed little.... It makes one wonder why he put so much time, effort, and money into political organizing when with his other role as preacher he shared a message about a King and a Kingdom that was better able to change people for the better than either political party could ever hope to do. (Syndicated column, May 15, 2007) We do well to wonder that very ... Read more

Helps for Worship #21: Prayer after the Offering

"... in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Phil. 4:6). "What? You pray again after the offering? Why are there so many prayers during your worship service?" That's what visitors (and perhaps some regular attenders!) may think during the morning worship service. We have silent prayer before worship; then we have prayer at the beginning of worship; then there is a prayer of confession of sin. Now, after the offering, there's another prayer. Why are there so many prayers during a worship service? Part of the answer is that Jesus says that his house—that is, the place where he is worshiped—will be called a house of prayer (Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46). If there is not an emphasis on prayer in Christian worship, then something is amiss. Another reason why prayer occurs throughout a service is to preserve the "dialogue" pattern of worship. Remember that, in corporate worship, God speaks and we respond as a ... Read more


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