Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Catechism Anti-Catholic Statement Offend Some CRC's

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
Should the Christian Reformed Church delete a statement in its doctrinal standards declaring that the Roman Catholic mass "is basically nothing but a denial of the one sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ and a condemnable idolatry"? The answer seemed obvious to Classis Lake Erie, which with little debate, unanimously adopted an overture asking the Christian Reformed synod to delete that language from the Heidelberg Catechism. Such a similar request came to the CRC synod in 1975 as well. Then it was decided, after a denominational study committee looked at it, "a historical creed must not be altered without weighty reasons," and that the "statements of the Roman Catholic Council of Trent, which answer 80 rejections, have not been repudiated by the Roman Catholic Church."

Classis Lake Erie wants to challenge that decision of some 25 years ago for the following reasons É"due to our increasing association with our brothers and sisters of the Roman Catholic Church É Members of the Christian Reformed Church marrying people from other denominations, and in particular the Roman Catholic faith, is increasing as is our association with Roman Catholics generally É When prospective members coming to the Christian Reformed Church from Roman Catholic background are instructed in the Christian Reformed Church doctrines, they are offended and puzzled by the strong language used in QA 80." (From United Reformed News Service)

What a pitiful and sad reason from Classis Lake Erie! What has happened to the Scriptural teaching of 2 Corinthians 6:14? Is that not taught by them anymore? And if a former Roman Catholic would want to become member of a Reformed church, should such a person then not be willing to subscribe to the Three Forms of Unity? Why be offended and puzzled by strong language? The Roman Catholic Council of Trent uses equally strong language expressing its side of the same issue. In its seventh session and Canon IV it states: "If any one saith that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification; though all the sacraments are not indeed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema." Strong language!

In its thirteenth session, Canon I it states "If any one denieth that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema." Again, strong language! And a terrible heresy! The CRC synod had better leave our Heidelberg Catechism intact.

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