1618-1619 In 1618 the great Synod of Dort convened in the Netherlands. The Synod met for several months and was concluded in 2019. For a large part of the meetings, several foreign delegates were present and had an important part in the discussions. The Synod dealt with the errors of the Arminians and wrote in… Continue reading Synod of Dort reformed the Order of the Church
(This article was published in Una Sancta of 6 February 2021, Volume 68, no. 1. Seeing that much of it is still very much applicable and timely, I republish it here. It is not only about leadership outside the church but also inside the church. Sadly, also within the church we can see leaders abusing… Continue reading Good Leadership Needed
The church order of the Free Reformed Churches (article 53) stipulates that the elders shall see to it that the parents take their responsibility in providing their children education which is based on Scripture and Confession. It doesn’t speak about the elders sending children to Reformed Schools, or about parents having to do so. It only speaks about the… Continue reading Reformed Education and article 53 of the Church Order
Labour When we speak about ‘labour’ we often think about paid work. The Labour party is the party of the workers, which came up in the past to defend the rights of the labourers and make sure they got a fair pay. If Labour Day is used for more than just a day of, it… Continue reading Volunteer work as labour of love
The Free Reformed Churches of Australia Why are our churches called ‘The Free Reformed Churches of Australia’? Since 1955 the Free Reformed Churches of Australia have been using this name. Three churches, the churches in Albany, Armadale, and Launceston, formed this federation of churches in 1954 at the first synod in Armadale, and in 1955… Continue reading What is in a name?
(This article was first published in Una Sancta 65-06, 21 April 2018.) What makes a great leader? We all may have memories of great political leaders from the past. We will remember some important leaders from church history. And many of us will probably have someone in the past who was important for him (or… Continue reading Called to be godly leaders
Every Sunday afternoon, we go to church to listen to the Catechism preaching. During the week, the ministers are teaching the catechism classes. This is an old tradition, established by the Synod of Dort, 1618/1619. It has a biblical foundation. In Deuteronomy 6 the parents are told that they should take every opportunity to teach… Continue reading Synod of Dort on Catechism Teaching
Acts of the National Synod of Dort, 1618-1619 – English translation The Seventeenth session On the 30th November, Friday morning, Is read the decision of the Synod regarding the further catechetical instruction of young and old, as extracted and put together from the written advice of both the foreign and domestic delegates as follows. In… Continue reading Synod of Dort – from the Acts
On 13 November 1618, the synod of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands was convened in Dordrecht (in English often shortened to Dort). This did not go in the way we are used to in the Free Reformed Churches of Australia. It was called together by the ‘States’. In those days, the Netherlands officially was… Continue reading The importance of the Synod of Dort for us
From Sabbath to Sunday? Is the Sunday the Sabbath day of the New Testament? This is a question that is being discussed widely among Christians. Even among those who claim to stand in the reformed tradition[i], there are those who believe that keeping the Sunday as a day of rest is not a biblical command.… Continue reading The Synod of Dort on the fourth commandment
The Synod of Dort about Ecclesiastical Feast Days New Year’s Eve services On New Year’s Eve I was invited to preach in one of the churches in the federation. The attendance of that service was far less than usual on Sundays, certainly less than half. Six other churches in the Metro Perth area already anticipated… Continue reading Synod of Dort on ecclesiastical feast days
About a year ago the Synod of Dort (1618-1619) was remembered, with renewed attention and interest for decisions of this synod and the importance of these decisions. We’ve all learned about this synod in church history and about the decisions it made. I have heard the claim being made more than once that certain practices… Continue reading What did the Synod of Dort say?
In my first article with Synod Reflections, I already mentioned a few things about relationships with sister churches and contact churches. There I discussed the argument of geographical distance, which has been used in the past as a reason not to enter in a sister church relationship with church federations in other parts of the… Continue reading Synod Reflections (3): Inter Church Relations
Synod Bunbury 2018 had to deal with a number of appeals. Usually, appeals are being dealt with in closed session because the character of an appeal is, that it is about personal matters. Article 31 of the Church Order states: ‘If anyone complains that he has been wronged by the decision of a minor assembly… Continue reading Synod Reflections (2): Appeals
Synod Bunbury 2018 is history. Synod closed on Tuesday at around 8 PM. The delegates met for six days over the course of one week and one day, in the Southern River church building. Some say that this is a record. I don’t know about that. It for sure is since 2003, but I don’t… Continue reading Synod Bunbury 2018: Reflections