In humility, Christians can simply acknowledge this, and proceed...to share our own unique perspectives, inviting others to consider them and the faith that gives them meaning.". In 2005 the RCA and CRC voted to allow for the exchange of ministers. To fully understand Reformed theology, we recommend reading the confessions themselves. God preserves the seed of our faith in times of doubt. We consider these creeds to be faithful summaries of the Word of God. No matter how hard we try to do the right thing, “sin constantly boils forth as though from a contaminated spring” (Belgic Confession, Article 15). The Christ who refused to endorse the stoning of the woman taken in adultery would have us speak to the world of compassion, not vengeance. God longs for humans to “truly know God their creator, love him with all their heart, and live with him in eternal happiness for his praise and glory” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 6). They believe that the church is a divine institution, for three reasons: It is made up of God's people. Reformation became necessary as the Catholic Church spawned corruption and failed to respond to its parishioners. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, true faith in Jesus reshapes our hearts to better match the heart of Jesus. We baptize both infants and adults because both are part of “God’s covenant and are his people” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 74). Statements of belief called creeds and confessions also shape our faith and root us in Reformed theology.  However, in 2015, the General Synod approved a process for studying a way "to address the questions of human sexuality". Some members owned slaves, the most famous of the slaves being Sojourner Truth, and the church did not support abolitionism. There they created numerous German-speaking Lutheran and Reformed churches, such as those at Fort Herkimer and German Flatts. To fully understand Reformed theology, we recommend. However, abortion should never be chosen as a matter of "individual convenience". , Since 1978 the General Synod has made a number of statements on homosexuality. This continual process of being made more holy is called sanctification. Reformed Christians sometimes say the Bible is “the only rule of faith and life.”. But homosexuals are not to be blamed for their condition. Homosexualism: explicit and overt homosexual practice. Faith in Christ isn’t a gift God will take away from you.  By 1980 the General Synod of the RCA amended the Book of Church Order (BCO) to clarify their position on women's ordination, including amending the language of Part I, Article 1, Section 3 of the BCO from "persons" to "men and women". We know God through the world God created, including our own selves: “The universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder … God’s eternal power and divinity” (Belgic Confession, Article 2). The church must affirm civil rights for homosexuals while it condemns homosexual behavior (1978). During the American Revolution, a bitter internal struggle broke out in the Dutch Reformed church, with lines of division following ecclesiastical battles that had gone on for twenty years between the "coetus" and "conferentie" factions. One source indicates that defections may have occurred as early as 1737.  Several of those congregations, including congregations dually affiliated with the RCA and United Church of Christ, perform same-sex marriages. We believe in one God who eternally exists in three equally divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA AND HOMOSEXUALITY. Homosexuality and Ordination of Gay Clergy: Unlike most denominations that consider themselves theologically conservative, the RCA began allowing homosexuals and lesbians to … After 1945 the RCA expanded into Canada, which was the destination of a large group of Dutch emigrants. We know God through the world God created, including our own selves: “The universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder … God’s eternal power and divinity” (Belgic Confession, Article 2). Written as a response to Arminianism, the Canons of Dort clarify the Reformed teaching of salvation and God’s grace. We seek to be "Reformed and always reforming," earnestly seeking to know Christ as we strive to be faithful in a changing, complex, and often troubled world. ", http://churches.rca.org/fairviewreformed/History.html#1837, "General Synod Statements: Physician-Assisted Suicide - Reformed Church in America", "General Synod Statements: Capital Punishment - Reformed Church in America", "General Synod Statements: Contemporary Topics - Reformed Church in America", "General Synod Statements: Homosexuality - Reformed Church in America", "General Synod Asks for Definition of Marriage | Reformed Church in America", "3 Christian schools shift their policies on homosexuality", "Schenectady Classis Bylaws (Article 1, Section 4)", "Roster of Affirming Congregations in the RCA – Room for All", "RCA takes strides toward more inclusion of homosexuals", "Reformed Churches' new UCC affiliation expands ministry in New York", "Synod Affirms Man/Woman Marriage, Calls for Respect for LGBT People", "Synod Looks to Standards to Define Marriage | Reformed Church in America", "After nine-year journey the Reformed Church in America ordains the "first" openly gay man", "Reformed Church Removes 'Conscience' Exemption for Women's Ordination", https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=9404, "Reformed Church to Discuss Response to Homosexuality on Monday", Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America, Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, Covenanting Association of Reformed and Presbyterian Churches, Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America, ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, Evangelical Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in America, Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches, Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals, Free Presbyterian Church of North America, National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, Reformed Presbyterian Church – Hanover Presbytery, Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States, Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, United Reformed Churches in North America, Westminster Presbyterian Church in the United States, Congregational Christian Churches in Canada, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Reformed_Church_in_America&oldid=992804729, Members of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, Reformed denominations in the United States, Religious organizations established in 1754, Protestant denominations established in the 18th century, Members of the National Council of Churches, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the Encyclopedia Americana with a Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 1628 (first Dutch Reformed congregation organized in, 138,438 communicants (2016), 194,064 total (2019). After all, we aren’t talking about an empty faith. God gives us the faith to accept salvation as an act of undeserved grace (Canons of Dort, Main Point 1, Article 7). It was a charter member of the Presbyterian Alliance, the Federal Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches. Capital punishment ignores the entire concept of rehabilitation. Capital punishment is a method open to irremediable mistakes.  Hope College and Western Theological Seminary were founded in Holland, Michigan, Central College in Pella, Iowa, and Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. We do this because we believe humans are broken. Following the American Civil War, in 1867 it formally adopted the name "Reformed Church in America". What we learn of God through Scripture is sufficient to provide us with what “we need in this life, for God’s glory and for our salvation” (Belgic Confession, Article 2). Finally, God will judge evil for what it is, bringing an end to the power of sin and death. The PCA is Reformed in theology, presbyterian in government, and active in missions. Along with other denominations we trace out heritage back to Martin Luther and John Calvin. In 1819, it incorporated as the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church. A spirit of amnesty made possible the church's survival after the war. All Christians, regardless of theological stripe, belong to the same body. We trust the words of the Bible “above all because the Holy Spirit testifies in our hearts that they are from God” (Belgic Confession, Article 5). While calling for compassion, patience, and loving support toward those who struggle with same-sex desires, the 2012 General Synod determined that it is a "disciplinable offense" to advocate for homosexual behavior or provide leadership for a service of a same-sex marriage. , In 1980 the RCA added a conscience clause to the BCO stating, "If individual members of the classis find that their consciences, as illuminated by Scripture, would not permit them to participate in the licensure, ordination or installation of women as ministers of the Word, they shall not be required to participate in decisions or actions contrary to their consciences, but may not obstruct the classis in fulfilling its responsibility to arrange for the care, ordination, and installation of women candidates and ministers by means mutually agreed on by such women and the classis" (Part II, Article 2, Section 7). These options, General Synod meets annually and is the highest authority on our own a. 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