Is The Christian Reformed Church a Liberal Church?

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  1. Henry says:

    Thank you for a great read, one with a great deal of “food” to munch on and discuss. Soli Deo Gloria. We have a role to play, and a part to fill. We have the “play book”. We need to know it, and our place, well so that we can be the light we need to be in this dark world.
    I only wish I could do, and be, more.

    • Thank you Henry, for the kind words. We have the play book and we all play a part – and that stage we are on is not simply for our own people – but for all people. Let’s play our parts as the Lord directs. And don’t just wish you could be more…pray. Pray that God would use you, we are all tools in His hands and there is a lot of kingdom work to do. Be fervent in prayer.

  2. Jared says:

    Your comments on my church are correct and I hate that. I hate that you wrote about it. Liberal theology is seeping in and becoming the norm, predicated on the worldview of our leftist society. I hold out hope for the future, but must admit that my moving on may be in my not too distant future. I am one of the `crumbling conservatives`and I am losing. I hate this post. But thank you for this post.

    • I hate that you hate that 🙂 Again, I would say, stay put for now. But only if you are not backsliding. Stay and be the light, pray fervently, nail your 95 thesis on Wittenberg’s door. Stand unafraid before the assembly and stand on the truth and in the strength that God provides. I will pray for you, that the peace and comfort and strength only He can provide would be upon you.

  3. Rob Schouten says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I appreciate what you’ve written here. Imagine that you are married but your marriage partner is reserving the option to leave the marriage if things don’t go the way he or she hoped. A marriage with that kind of opt-out clause is not likely to survive any serious challenges. Similarly, when church members reserve the right to leave their local church should they become unhappy with one or the other aspect of congregational life, they are not likely to be actively engaged for the ongoing reformation and improvement of the church to which they belong. Much, much more could be said but you’ve made some really good points. Thanks!

    • Thanks Rev. Schouten,

      I appreciate your comment, it means a lot. Those are both very good points you make and I can certainly attest to the point about reserving the right to leave – since I had taken that frame of mind (even if I never verbalized it) and not surprisingly I was not really a contributing member of the church.

  4. Hi Ryan. I just discovered your blog and enjoyed what I have, so far, read — also this post. Just in the pursuit of accuracy, your second main paragraph above contains an error: The CRCNA did not have ties with the GKV. The GKV was formed when, in 1944, the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland kicked Schilder, etc., out of the church and the CanRC are the product of immigrant GKV-ers. (“Vrijgemaakt” means “liberated.”) The group with which the CRCNA historically had ties is sometimes called “GKN (Synodical)” whereas the CanRC have a sister church relationship with the GKV.

  5. eloleddie says:

    The CRC may not yet be liberal as the GKV is or as broader evangelicalism is… but it is undeniably on that route. I suppose, also here you mean the GKN (Synodical) – actually now part of the PKN – a union of the GKn (Synodical), Reformed Church (the State church) and some Lutherans.

    I very much enjoyed the last part of your blog.

    Thanks for writing it

  6. Bill DeVries says:

    I am glad people are discussing this. Unfortanately, there aren’t always alot of Reformed churches within driving distance for all of us. As a former Baptist (closet reformed), it was one awkward moment after another. The second they find out you don’t believe in the rapture or something they want to argue about it. So now I switched to a CRC thinking I would find the theology found in the 3 forms of unity. It is disturbing to hear these things. People like me are called “church hoppers.” The fact is, it is HARD to find a good church. Do the 3 forms of unity still mean anything in this denomination? I’m still figuring all this out.

  7. Bill DeVries says:

    Come to think of it, I remember not too long ago that I mentioned the word “arminianism” in a class and no one seemed to know what I was talking about. Then when I explained it, it seemed like someone wanted to correct me for holding a Calvinist view. Then it was the other way around when the views they expressed sounded totally charasmatic. I don’t know if this was just that particular class or what. (Maybe I should stop reading church history and play dumb.) Is this what I have to look forward to in this denomination?

    • Hi Bill, thanks for your comments. There is a wide spectrum in the CRC from the very liberal, like the Frist CRC in Toronto that is attempting to permit homosexual officebearers, then there is the CRC in Sumas, Washington who recently just permitted women to vote in congregational meetings. If you are looking for a denomination that is ‘orthodox’ reformed both in doctrine and practice, try looking up the URC or CanRC. I will pray for you in your search for a good congregation to worship and serve with. If you let me know where you are from, I may be able to forward you to someone in that area who could help you out.

  8. Bill DeVries says:

    Thank you for responding and especially for your prayers. I live in the Belding / Greenville area. I just can’t drive much further that I am right now. (That’s life….) Maybe this is the best I can do. The one I found is not outragious. I have an abiding interest in church history and stuff like this is very intriguing to me. To contact me:

  9. rabkca says:

    I know everyone’s agreeing with you here but I’d like to put a different spin on it. I’m someone who’s been well educated in the URC and in the past few years I’ve been attending an Evangelical Missionary church (while still attending a second service in the URC). We didn’t want to make any drastic decisions without being diligent to test what is being done at both places. We’ve taken all things Reformed and tested them through Scripture and have found some extremely troubling results. It is too much to get into now but feel free to email me for more if you’re willing to test it for yourself. It is for this reason that I balk at statements you make such as “broadly evangelical” as if this is something we should all stay well away from. We have tried to bring our findings to our local council and they have shut the door emphatically. I’m not in a marriage to the church. I’m searching for truth as the Bible reveals it and found it in the last place I thought I’d find it: an evangelical church. I am certainly not speaking for all evangelical churches but I know in this one, there is absolutely solid, doctrinally correct, sound preaching. To be honest, when I’m sitting in the reformed church, I feel like I’m starving compared to the nourishment I’m finding there. And I’ve never been studying the Word as I have been these past few years. So am I going to leave the reformed church? Yes. It’s not for a feeling or for the music or for anything else along those lines. It’s for Biblical truth that I now know I’m missing at my local URC.