What the Reformed Faith Must Mean for Canada

The Membership Roster of Reformed Fellowship, Inc. lists the names and addresses also of the members of the Reformed Fellowship in Canada. In this year of America’s Bicentennial and the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the publication of THE OUTLOOK (formerly Torch and Trumpet) attention has been given to What the Reformed Faith Must Mean for the U.S. Rev. Cecil W. Tuininga’s willingness to comply with our request that he write on this same topic as it applies to Canada is appreciated. Rev. Tuininga is pastor of the Grand Praire—La Glace Christian Reformed Church, Alberta, Canada.

One of the basic tenets of the Reformed faith is that man‘s chief end is to glorify God. As Reformed believers we have always maintained that not one iota of life is neutral. All of life, belongs to God, and all of it must serve Him. That means that for man life must be a total service to God unto His glory.

A massive sellout – In our midwestern Canadian society this great truth of glorifying God is almost entirely lost. The profound influences of materialism, rationalism, humanism, and communism have so molded the thinking of our society that hardly a trace of true Christianity can be found in it. By and large our society and its leaders reject the Bible as God‘s Word.

Openly and publicly it is being reiterated that the Scriptures have lived out their usefulness. The Bible is a book of the past. It has no message for modern man, and offers no solutions to his problems. Rather, men today are being saved from their every danger or peril by the skills of science and the common humanitarian goodness inherent in all of us. This massive sellout of these “isms” is ripening our society for the Communist takeover, and laying the foundation for the kingdom of the Antichrist.

It is in this kind of a society in which the Reformed believer finds himself. Here he finds his calling and challenge. How shall he meet it? How can he let his influence be felt? There is only one way. We must face this godless society with the very Word of God which men are rejecting. We must speak powerfully by our Christian life-style, but we must also lift our voice orally and in writing. Like the prophets of old, we have a message to a decadent society whether they will listen or not.

The Church as resource center – In order for the Reformed faith to have such an impact on society it will have to live out of the rich resources it has, the great heritage handed down from the fathers. In order to live out of these resources the Church must be what it is called to be, the teacher and proclaimer of God’s Word. If God’s Word is going to be the moving power in God’s people, so that they in turn may be a power within society, the Church, must make earnest with its calling, to be the resource center for believers. It must furnish the soldiers of the cross with the parts of God’s armor available to all out of the true arsenal of God’s weaponry, the Scriptures.

It is important at this point to stress the centrality of the Church‘s worship services. As long as the Church continues to call its members to corporate worship, and so orders that worship that the members come to revere, adore, and give glory to God, no one need fear the deep impact the church will have in this world. But if the church becomes careless and thoughtless in ordering that worship, and begins to cater to the whims and wishes of its members, it will soon lose its impact in the world, and fail to be a leavening influence in it. This is all important! We must.begin again to focus all our attention and concern on this central aspect of man’s worship that readies and equips him for worship in the world.

The King is coming! – Along with this, we must also be concerned about the direction of life to which we seek to call our society. Our fathers used to say that a nation that has lost its vision soon loses its right to exist. They were referring to a nation’s observance, or lack of observance, of the Lord’s Day.

If the Reformed faith is to be a moving force in society it must call men to an awareness of the coming of the Kingdom of God. It must proclaim the message: The King is coming! In order to do so, it must live in that glorious expectation; and, as men that wait for their Lord, they must be busy in the Lord’s work. The Bible shows how central the Lord’s Day is to our constant preparing for the coming of Christ. It calls all men to be diligent in coming to God’s House on God’s Day, and to be the more diligent as we see the day of Christ approaching (Heb. 10:25). A church that no longer gets excited about the coming of Christ is no longer able to be of influence in a society that has completely lost its vision.

We must reiterate this basic truth. The greatest service we can render to our decadent society so bent on destruction is to let it feel the force, the influence, and the blessedness of a life that is wholly turned to the coming of Christ. The Church must show that it is on a glorious victory march to eternal glory. A church that lives out of that vision never need fear concerning its impact in this world. I fear that we in Western Canada fail at this crucial point. We are not really excited about the return of the King, and therefore have no message to our society. The Bride is not as excited about the coming wedding feast with the Bridegroom as she should be and in falling asleep has lost her impact on a sleeping world.


Power of the resurrection – If the Reformed faith is to be of service to our Western society it must live out of its renewal in Christ. We must follow the example of our forefathers who lived out of the power of the resurrection. That is why they were, and could be, such a moving force among men.

That to me, is our real problem today. Few seem to really get excited about what the resurrection of Christ means to them, and what power the Spirit of God gives to God’s people. There seems to be a backing away from, and an avoidance from living out of these divine resources. Evidently the influence of our affluence and the control of modern culture over our lives have largely dimmed our vision and extinguished the light and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are drinking too much poison and not enough at the fountain of life.

Facing up to persecution – Let no one think that for the Reformed faith to be a power in society for the Lord is a simple matter. We are living in perilous days. We are living in the very last days, in the time of falling away, of false Christs and false prophets, of the readying of the kingdom of the Antichrist.

It is sheer folly to dose our eyes to this clearly-revealed-in-Scripture fact. This does not mean that we must despair of being a salt or leaven or light, Le., a renewing influence in society. It does not mean that we should give up because it’s no use anyway. It does mean that we must not live in a dream world that today we will turn the world upside down as the apostles did. Rather we must be ready for more opposition, more persecution, more disappointment concerning support from those who claim to be God’s people. It does mean that we have to work harder and live more deeply in the Lord, to be able to contend for His cause here on earth.

Living in a society where all of life is interrelated and integrated, we have to dare to speak out of, and live out of, our commitment to the Lord who is coming, and who today is still building His kingdom. No believer may be content to just run along. He may not allow the world. to suppress his life and dictate the terms of his worship. He may not and cannot see life as neutral. He must speak out by word and deed. And that means that he will indeed get into real trouble. The world tolerates no opposition. It demands cooperation. Indeed, persecution today often comes to men and women where it hurts most, in the area where they make a livelihood. And hence to be a meaningful witness and power in our western world today demands that the Reformed faith must be more of a living and vibrant power in the life of every member. Let’s take courage that today the conscience of our society may be still pricked by the life of God’s people.

The heart of the issues – In conclusion, I fear we are in danger of losing our influence by spending time in so many organizations and meetings that really don’t get at the heart of the issues. We must first call men to a renewed life in Christ. For unless the army of the Lord is ready to march, being fitly furnished with every part of God’s armor, it cannot march and be victorious.

We must get on with the proclamation of the Gospel, and with a living out of its power unto salvation. vVe must first conquer through that proclamation, for there is no other way to conquer. And having conquered, we can then organize for labor, politics, education, etc. We must by all means get on with the former, and by no means leave the other undone. But let’s not pretend to be able to do the latter when the former has not been done. I fear we fail to see our failure today, because we fail to obey Christ’s command, “Go make disciples” by proclaiming the Word. As I see it, we often try to make a building with stones that are not available. Let the Reformed faith march on with the power of the Word and build the walls of Zion as a mighty fortress in a decadent world.