Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Alliance Adopts Westminster Confession

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
Meeting November 15 to 17 in Lynwood, Illinois, the Alliance of Reformed Churches adopted the Westminster Standards as appropriate congregational statements of the Reformed faith which could be substituted for the Three Forms of Unity by member congregations. Alliance churches must agree with one of the two sets, but may object to items in the other set at the local level. Underlying the debate among 138 representatives from 62 churches from four different Reformed traditions was the question of the future direction for the Alliance; will the Alliance become a denomination or will it merge into a larger ecumenical Reformed body? The 82 to 23 vote to include the Westminster standards may have been influenced by the testimony of veteran churchman, G.I. Williamson, who remarked, "If the Alliance wants to just be another denomination, I've lost interest. There has to be an ecumenical gathering of Reformed Christians in North America. I'm not willing to talk further if I am already second class." The Lynwood meeting also declined to continue sponsorship of the Confessional Conferences for Reformed Unity. In 1994 only 65 participants registered, down nearly one-third from 1993. However, at least one other Reformed body has offered to pick up the projected conference topic--ecclesiology--and sponsor a meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Following the meeting, 30 of the 70 Alliance churches held a meeting with a former moderator, Elder Peter Moen, and laid plans for a formal meeting to federate. Elder Jim Swets of the Lynwood Church indicated a proposal to issue the call for federation would be on the agenda at his next consistory meeting (Reformed Believers Press Service) Note: Rev. P. VanderMeyden and Rev. H. Overduin attended the Alliance meeting on behalf of the External Relations Committee of the Free Reformed Churches.
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