Bits and Pieces is a random collection of news and views compiled by Dr. Frank McClelland for Toronto F.P.C.
WHERE HAS TIME GONE?
It seems amazing that today marks the 26th issue of “Bits & Pieces.” The first one went out on March 8th, and already we have issued half a year’s supply. We are happy to hear from a number of people who say that they are a blessing. The objective has been to bring a random collection of brief articles that will strengthen God’s people and help them keep in touch.
The Toronto church plans to be open for both services on Sunday, September 6. At the morning service new members will be received into fellowship. Also God’s people will be delighted to meet around the Lord’s Table, something they have not been able to do for several months due to the Covid19 pandemic.
Finally the installation of the Rev. Paul Backhurst as minister of Calgary Free Presbyterian Church will take place on Friday, September 18. The service was planned for March but Covid19 put an end to that. Unfortunately, due to the Canada/US border being closed for all but essential travel, the US ministers will not be able to attend. The Moderator, the Rev. Ian Goligher, Cloverdale B.C. will lead the meeting and Dr. Larry Saunders, Toronto, will fill in as clerk of presbytery to administer the appropriate questions. Toronto elders, James Fraser and George Robinson will attend, as will the Rev. Andrew Simpson, Prince George, B.C. On that weekend, the church will also celebrate its Fortieth Anniversary.
Election fever is building up in Canada and the United States. In Canada the Federal Conservative Party has just elected a new leader, Erin O’Toole, and there is a distinct possibility of a snap election to try and unseat the Federal Liberals who are in a minority situation. The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is embroiled in his third political scandal, with the other parties snapping at his heels.
The United States presidential election is due on November 3 with the Republicans and Democrats at each other’s throats. Alongside the major candidates for office there are in both countries many who are positioning themselves for a run at office and are crying out “vote for me.” Brings to mind the wise saying of C.H. Spurgeon, “Better to be the elect of God than the elect of a whole nation.” [Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith. August 27]
When it comes time to vote for a new leader, Christians should exercise their right to vote. As has been said, “evil men take over when good men do nothing.” Believers should also remember that they are not voting for a new pastor for their church, but a new leader for their country. National leaders must represent their whole country and therefore must sometimes do things that would not be acceptable in a pastor. The Christian should be looking for a leader who, while not necessarily a born-again believer, still respects the law of God, and will incorporate it into his policies.
“HOW GOOD AND HOW PLEASANT IT IS.”
The short Psalm 133 contains as its opening statement these words, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” This is not referring to the present drive for corporate church unity pursued by the ungodly ecumenical movement, but to the relationship that exists between genuine followers of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
The whole body of believers is divided into denominations, and oft times there is little unity between them. Should this be so?
Let us remember that each born-again believer has been chosen by God unto salvation and therefore is a child of God. That means they are our brothers and sisters in the Lord. As in a natural family sometimes there are long running disputes and this is to be regretted. Life is too short to be embroiled in such family disputes. How happy is the family of whom it can be said, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren (and sisters) to dwell together in unity.” We pray, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Is there a reader today who has an ongoing dispute with a family member? Have you tried to be reconciled? Of course, there are those who resist the best efforts at reconciliation. The believer at least can know that he tried.
We may not always agree with those of “like precious faith” [2 Peter 1:1] but let us show Christian love to them – after all the Lord who saved us saved them too, and therefore we are all members of the same family.
A HOLY LIFE
If we are to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit, then we must keep the seedbed clean. [Rev. Timothy Nelson, Eagles’ Wings].