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Aug 22, 2023·edited Aug 22, 2023

History has proven the course defended in this article is detrimental to the church in the long run, and scholarship has demonstrated that it is contrary to the principles of Dutch Reformed polity. This matter was hotly debated in 1926 in the Netherlands (the Geelkerken case) and and again in the 1940's and beyond (the mass depositions of consistories, ministers, and professors resulting in the "liberated" churches). The terrible risk of this route is that it ends the ability of the local consistory to guard over the flock under its care when the majority of the denoimination goes the wrong way and leads to the unreformed practice of treating the local church but a "chapter" in an organization rather than a church of Jesus Christ in its own right. In other words if you are biblical church and the denomination goes liberal, the denomination can swoop in and depose your office bearers for not complying. (In the 1990's the question arose over what to do about churches leaving over women in office: there were voices to depose consistories leading their church out). That route destroys the genius of Dutch Reformed polity. Dutch reformed polity is not to swoop in and depose office bearers but to disclpline the congregation itself, letting them know that failure to live in the commonly agreed covenant means being disfellowshipped. That is the route if you wish to follow the principles underlying the order of Dordt. ( If I locate the author of this article's email address, I will forward a detailed history of the debate on this matter.)

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The Belgic Confession in Article 29 states "The marks, by which the true Church is known, are these: if the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein; if she maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ; if church discipline is exercised in punishing of sin: " It seems to me that the CRC as well as many other denominations have, for the most part, abandoned one of these three marks of the true church; that being discipline. How can we call or think of ourselves as the true church when discipline is absent regarding Neland and Grand Rapids East?

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deletedAug 22, 2023·edited Aug 22, 2023
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