Group 3 2012-2013 Church History What’s the Difference? Canadian Reformed Churches in relation to the Christian Reformed Church Read: I Timothy 3 Sing: Hy. 52:1,3 Purpose of this lesson The purpose of this lesson is to teach the difference between the Christian Reformed Church and the Canadian Reformed Churches. By the end of this lesson you will know Why the Canadian Reformed Churches were established When the Canadian Reformed Churches were established About the growing gap with the Christian Reformed Churches About the growing unity with the United Reformed Churches Summary of Background 1618/19: Synod Dort firmly established Reformed Churches in the Netherlands Reformed Doctrine (in Three Forms of Unity) Reformed church government (Church Order of Dort) – church free from the government 1816: Undid 1618 Doctrine: Three Forms of Unity no longer functioned as confessional basis Church government: Government took over rule of the church Two Reformation and a Union 19th Century saw two reformations, return to the Reformed Confessions and Reformed church government 1834 Secession (= separation) led by Rev. H. de Cock People from the Secession churches immigrated to the US, which became the beginning of the Christian Reformed Church 1886 Doleantie (=mourning – the sad situation in the church) – led by Rev. Abraham Kuyper Most of the churches from these two groups united in 1892 – known as Union of 1892 Developments in the 20th century The Churches that United in 1892 initially flourished Tensions began to arise in the 1930s especially over the doctrine of infant baptism Key figure: Dr. K. Schilder The issue: On what basis do we baptize the children of believers? Synods of 1942/43 Concerned Reformed People Baptism is a sign and seal of regeneration/faith. We baptize children presuming they are regenerated Baptism is a sign and seal of God’s covenant promises Baptism is based on the command and promise of God All children receive the same promise, and are called to faith. Presumptive regeneration If they grow up not to believe, their baptism was not real Synods held in 1942 and 1943 Demanded that all ministers and members accept the view of presumptive regeneration as basis for baptism Deposed ministers and elders who did not accept it This led to many churches liberating (freeing) themselves from the judgments of the Synods and form a new church federation. Known as “Liberated Reformed Churches” This took place in 1944: Hence, the Liberation of 1944. Summary of key issues: Doctrine: unscriptural doctrine of baptism was forced on people Church government: synods took it upon themselves to depose ministers and elders – only consistories have that authority. Reformed Church scene in the Netherlands around 1945 Those who obeyed the Synod: approx. 900,000 people Called “Synodical” Those who Liberated: approx. 100,000 people Called “Liberated” From the Netherlands to Canada After Second World War (WW II), many people immigrated to Canada, including people from the Synodical and Liberated churches Canada had about 14 Christian Reformed Churches (CRC) There were also some Protestant Reformed Churches, which had separated from the CRC in 1926. Liberated immigrants tried to join these churches Protestant Reformed Churches demanded people basically accept view of baptism they had argued over in the Netherlands. CRC’s informed Liberated people that they could join CRC, but they should not talk about Dutch Church problems When the CRC had to decide which side they were on, Synodical or Liberated, they sided with the Synodical side. Institution of Canadian Reformed Churches Liberated Dutch immigrants could not in good conscience join any of the existing Reformed churches and so instituted new churches First in Western Canada: 1950 April 16: Coaldale First in Eastern Canada 1950 August 13: Orangeville. Location of Churches: Southern Ontario; Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia (with some in US) Growth of Churches From initial group of about 3000 immigrants, has grown to about 18,000 members over 55 congregations. Relation to Christian Reformed Church today Issue of baptism has faded into the background CRC has drifted away from the Scriptures. This is evident in Tolerating views that deny Genesis 1 is actual. Compromise with evolution Have opened all the offices to women Key point to note: Distance between Canadian Reformed and Christian Reformed is bigger now than when we first split. CRC has compromised on the authority of the Word of God. United Reformed Churches The deformation in the CRC is the reason many people left the CRC in the 1990s and formed the United Reformed Churches Over 100 congregations, about one third in Canada Closest: Listowel, Nobleton, Orillia Currently, we are moving towards unity with URC Cf. Secession of 1834, Doleantie of 1886, and Union of 1892. For next week Test: Review notes for this lesson and know Why the Canadian Reformed Churches were established When the Canadian Reformed Churches were established About the growing gap with the Christian Reformed Churches About the growing unity with the United Reformed Churches Read this website for review: http://canrc.org/?page=15 Newsletter!