Vol 89 Issue 02

Results 1 to 8 of 8

The Underlying (Doctrinal) Reasons for Separation

At bottom, the Reformation of 1857 that gave birth to the Christian Reformed Church was doctrinal. The reason our spiritual fathers formed a new denomination rather than remaining in the Reformed Church of America was doctrine: the truth of God’s Word, theology. Separation for non-doctrinal reasons is hardly justifiable, to understate the matter. The unity of the body of Christ is too important. Denial of the truth of God and of God’s Word—that justifies secession and re-formation of the church. To say that the separation of 1857 was on account of doctrine is a somewhat bold claim because it is...

Confessions and Catechism Preaching in the Reformation of 1857

Semper Reformanda! Always reforming! Just as the life of the believer is one of progres­sive sanctification, so the life of the church should be one of continual reformation. The opposite for the believer is spiritual deterioration. The opposite for the church is apostasy. Was the formation of the Christian Reformed Church (CRCNA) in 1857 a legitimate reformation/reforming of the church? This is not just a question for historians in the CRCNA, but an important question for us in the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRCA) who were formed out of the CRCNA in 1924, and who thus share the history of 1857...

The Lodge—“This Foreign Plant upon Holy Soil”

Unsettling Reports Among the issues that prompted a number of the churches of the Holland Classis of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) to withdraw and establish what would become the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) was the issue of lodge membership, particularly the lodge of the Freemasons. The Freemasons is the oldest and best known of the lodges. This fraternal organization had its origins, as best as can be determined, in the early 1700s. Likely the organization sprang up among the members of the masons’ guilds, which had existed for centuries, and which had built many of the cathedrals and...

The Sacraments Matter…

How precious are the sacraments to the people of God! We confess in Lord’s Day 25 of the Heidelberg Catechism that the sacraments are holy, visible signs and seals used by God to declare and seal unto us the promise of the gospel—the free remission of sin and life eternal—for the sake of the one sacrifice of Christ. Does your heart wax warm when you meditate upon the forgiveness of all your sins and the life that awaits you in heaven? Then your heart will wax warm as you meditate upon the sacraments. So precious are they to God’s people....

The Secession of 1857: A Return to Psalm-Singing

The summer of 1847 was a nightmare for Albertus VanRaalte, leader of the Dutch immigrants who had recently founded the colony now known as Holland, Michigan. The colo­nists had never seen rain like they saw that summer. So many people were dying they could not build coffins fast enough, and when they did have coffins available, many of the people were too weak to bury their dead. However, if you happened to be visiting this little settlement on Sunday, you would have heard a distinct sound. Rather than the wailing of despair you would have heard a congregation singing Psalms....

From Secession to Union to Secession: The Birth of the Christian Reformed Church

Rev. Koenraad van den Bosch was not pleased. The church scene in America that greeted this immigrant from the Netherlands was intolerable, and he intended to do something about it. The result of his actions was the formation of a new denomination of churches. The year was 1857. The setting was western Michigan. The new denomination was the Christian Reformed Church. In order to see how this story unfolded, we must back up a few years to 1847 and take up our position at the mouth of the Black River in what would become Holland, Michigan. It was here that...

Reformation and Apostasy—A Sad History

Withdrawing from a church is no small matter. Every mem­ber of a congregation is part of a living body—a manifestation of the body of Christ. Paul instructs the church of Corinth (I Cor. 12) that the Spirit equips each member for the place and function that God determines for him in the body of the church. Each one is necessary (v. 22). And there must “be no schism in the body,” but the mem­bers must “have the same care one for another” (25). Departure from one church to begin another is a serious matter in­deed. A member must be convinced...

The Reformation of 1857

Church reformation is God’s work. The church is God’s, and when it deforms, He raises up the nec­essary leaders; but God reforms His church. Reforma­tion involves a rejection of errors present in the church and a return to biblical teaching and practice as sum­marized in the confessions of the church. Reformation almost always results in the church being re-formed, i.e., a new institute forms, because an apostatizing church rarely returns to the biblical pattern. A reformation occurred in 1857. Four small church­es seceded from the Reformed Church of America (their current name, then the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church). The seceders...

10/15/2012