Brookfield Christian Reformed Church

The Church

Christian Reformed people regard the church very highly. That’s because of the way the Bible describes the church.

The church is the bride of Christ, the bride he loves.

The church is the branches growing from Christ, the vine; his life flows in and through the church.

The church is the body of Christ. He is the Head; we are his hands, feet, voice, and heart to do his work in the world.

The Christian Reformed Church Order translates into practical life our thinking about the church. The first section is about The Offices of the Church. Christ is the chief officer of the church. He rules it by his Word and Spirit. Although every believer holds the office of “Christian,” we believe that Christ has instituted four special offices for the good ordering of his church: ministers to care for spiritual needs, elders to exercise supervision, deacons to help the poor, and evangelists to call unbelievers to the Christian faith.

The second section of the Church Order is about The Assemblies of the Church. Under our so-called Presbyterian system, the primary governing body of the church is the consistory (or council) in the local church. Representatives from consistories meet at an area classis, and representatives from various classes at an annual synod.

The third section of the Church Order deals with The Task and Activities of the Church. The most obvious activity is worship. We can’t demonstrate that it’s a scriptural requirement, but we have agreed to worship at least twice each Sunday. That's one of our distinguishing features.

A second task and activity is welcoming new members—infant children of believing parents through baptism, older children into communicant membership through public profession of faith, believers from other churches through transfer of membership, and new Christians through adult baptism.

Further tasks and activities include a church school program, pastoral care, and evangelism.

The last section of the Church Order gives guidelines for The Admonition and Discipline of the Church. When a member of the church is openly sinful or grows indifferent to Christ and his church, the elders may restrict certain membership privileges, ask for special prayers, or even remove such a person from membership. Discipline with patience, prayer, and penitence can help us all walk more faithfully in the way of the Lord.

Since the church is Christ’s body in the world, our love for Christ is reflected in our love for the church. But our loyalty to Christ must always exceed our loyalty to the church.


 

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