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.

About Wes Bredenhof

Pastor of the Free Reformed Church, Launceston, Tasmania. View all posts by Wes Bredenhof

5 responses to “OPC and GKV

  • Sebastian Heck

    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…

    • Wes Bredenhof

      Here’s the full text of the recommendation as adopted:

      RECOMMENDATION 5
      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.

  • Richard Pot

    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.

    • Wes Bredenhof

      Richard,

      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?

  • Henry Moesker

    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.

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