What We Believe

The Life and Death of Aleksandr Menn

Two months before Aleksandr Menn (also spelled Men or Men') was felled by an ax, he was asked in a radio interview that was broadcast across Russia, "Does one need to be a Christian, and if one does, then why?" "The question is totally different when it is put this way," Menn replied: "Why Christianity? Is it because of the sacred Scriptures? No, every religion has sacred scriptures. "Then why Christianity? Morality? Certainly. I am happy that in our society the high moral values of Christianity are accepted, but it would be totally erroneous to maintain that there are no moral values outside Christianity.... "Then why Christianity? Should we embrace pluralism of religion; or should we embrace a position that God is revealed and therefore can be found in any kind of religion? No, because then the uniqueness and absolute character of Christianity will disappear. "I think that nothing will prove the uniqueness of Christianity except one thing-Jesus Christ himself.... "It is a historical myth that ... Read more

To Give Your Life for Christ

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church currently has more than forty career and short-term foreign missionaries laboring in nine countries around the world. Did you ever wonder how they prepared for service to their King in lands distant from their own and in cultures unfamiliar to them? Did you ever stop to think of the kind of commitment they were making when they responded to God's call to serve him so far away? Some of their preparation might be similar to our own experience: acquiring an education and credentials; learning a skill or job; studying a foreign language. Some preparation might be more specific to being a missionary: learning about a different culture; adjusting to a different climate and difficult living conditions; saying farewell to family and friends for extended periods of time. But their preparation for and commitment to their calling must go further. Throughout history, those heeding God's call to serve him have put aside personal comfort and security. Missionaries have often lived and ... Read more

Persecution Around the World

From recent news reports we have gathered several examples of how, in the last year, Christians have been persecuted and killed for the sake of the gospel in various places. The secular press generally turns a blind eye to the sufferings of persecuted Christians, but Christian sources are increasingly getting the news out. Still, only God knows how many thousands of Christians each year are severely persecuted and even called upon to seal their testimony with their blood. Iraq In the Kurdish-controlled village of Dohuk in northern Iraq, evangelicals were attacked in September. The church in Dohuk and the home of its pastor, Yusif Matti, were overrun by a Muslim mob, according to Servant Group International, a Nashville-based mission organization. Mr. Matti and his family, sleeping in ground-floor living quarters in the nearly completed church, escaped, but not before armed Muslims issued death threats against them unless they left Kurdistan. The attack followed the April murder of Christian ... Read more

Intolerance? Or Honest Conviction?

"As long as our faith is rooted in Scripture, all faiths are not the same. All religions do not lead to God." Those words by the Rev. Craig Bensen ("In Religion," Dec. 3) struck a nerve in many readers and generated a lot of hot ink in response. Epithets such as "religious intolerance," "extremist," "sectarian," "divisive," and "implicit violence" flew liberally toward this representative of the "religious right." One critic, a former state senator, even charged that such fundamentalism is "hazardous to the health of communities, nations and our world." Too bad we didn't see Bensen's photo, so we could observe the hollow, glazed eyes of this dangerous religious fanatic. Come on, folks. Lighten up! The man has a point to make, and we ought to consider it rationally. Ultimately, all this flap centers upon one watershed issue—divine revelation. Has God revealed himself clearly in the Bible and in the person of Jesus Christ, such that it is actually possible to know the Truth? Or, is God ... Read more

Lessons from Genevan Presbyterianism

In 1542, John Calvin wrote concerning the church in Geneva: "We at length possess a Presbyterial Court ... and a form of discipline" ( Letters of John Calvin, vol. 1, p. 316). Calvin believed that the establishment of Presbyterianism in Geneva was nothing less than the implementation of biblical church government. He affirmed in the Ecclesiastical Ordinances that it was "the kind which our Lord demonstrated and instituted by His Word" ( The Register of the Company of Pastors of Geneva in the Time of Calvin, translated by Philip E. Hughes, p. 35). Calvin rejected Episcopalianism (which places authority in a higher clergy, the bishops) and Congregationalism (which gives governing authority to the local congregation, where decisions are made democratically by the laity). The church in Geneva was ruled by an assembly called the Consistoire (essentially, a presbytery), which was made up of pastors and elders. They had ecclesiastical authority over the several congregations in the republic of Geneva. The ... Read more


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