A Sure Knowledge and a Firm Confidence

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
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
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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 When the CRC had to decide which side they were on,
Synodical or Liberated, they sided with the Synodical
Institution of Canadian Reformed
 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

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