OPC and GKV
Just noted this on the Orthodox Presbyterian Church website:
On recommendation #5, the General Assembly declined to enter into a relationship of Ecclesiastical Fellowship with the the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (vrijgemaakt), in view of concerns regarding its full commitment to a Reformed understanding of the sufficiency, interpretation and authority of Scripture. (h.t. GvP on Refnet)
That could put the OPC into an interesting situation at the ICRC, sitting at an ecumenical conference with a federation with whom they have refused ecclesiastical fellowship. I hope that we’ll be hearing more from the OPC on their concerns. After all, the purpose of the ICRC includes this:
Article III – Purpose
The purpose of the Conference shall be:
1. to express and promote the unity of faith that the member churches have in Christ;
2. to encourage the fullest ecclesiastical fellowship among the member churches;
If I remember correctly, the OPC objected to continuing membership of the CRC in NAPARC, so there is a precedent.
Yes, interesting indeed. I had heard about it before. It puts us in an interesting situation in Germany as well, as we have been pursuing (inofficial) relations with the GKN(v) for the work in Heidelberg AND are expected to receive an OPC missionary to work with us long-time next year, d.v.
Could it be the hermeneutics of the role of women in the GKN(v)? I don’t know…
Here’s the full text of the recommendation as adopted:
5. That the Assembly express its thankfulness to the Lord for the gracious
invitation of the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (vrijgemaakt) (GKNv) to
enter into an official sister church relationship (i.e., Ecclesiastical
Fellowship) and the Assembly’s ongoing desire (without presuming on our GKNv
brothers) to work towards the day when it will be able to accept their
invitation without reservation. However, the Assembly believes that, given the
serious nature of the obligations undertaken in the sister church relationship,
such relationships should not be entered into in situations where the Assembly
finds itself unable to affirm, without reservation, that the other church is
indeed Reformed in its confessional standards, church order, or life. It is our
prayer that the Lord would be merciful to our GKNv brothers and grant them grace
to work through the weighty issues facing them, particularly those touching
upon the sufficiency (WCF 1.6), interpretation (WCF 1.9), and authority (WCF 1.10) of
Scripture, that seem to be currently troubling the GKN, in a manner that is in
full obedience to and accord with Scripture (Article VII of the Belgic
Confession). Accordingly, the Assembly determines to continue the relationship
of Corresponding Relations with the GKNv, and to request its Committee on
Ecumenicity and Interchurch Relations to persevere in addressing matters of
mutual concern with the appropriate deputies of the GKNv, with a view towards
taking up the matter of entering into full Ecclesiastical Fellowship with the
GKNv at a future assembly.
Wes, this doesn’t put the OPC into a new position. They already declined such an invitation for ecclesiastical fellowship from the GKNv at a previous General Assembly, with similar grounds relating to hermeneutical concerns.
Thanks for adding that information. I wasn’t aware of that. Of course, that then raises questions like: did the GKV think that either they or the OPC had changed enough to warrant a different decision at the most recent GA?
Hello, this is my first time at this so bear with me. I am no great learned man so my views may be simplistic but so be it.
I was wondering if the Canadian Reformed Church was not a sister church of the GKVv because of history, what would the response be of the CanRC to an invite? This is speculation of course but an interesting thought none the less.