Humanizing Church Order and Family Devotions

Faith Alive Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Christian Reformed Church and publishing partner of the Reformed Church in America, has released two new resources: a highly readable, accessible book on Church Order and a game-in-a-box to make family devotions more enjoyable.

In the Christian Reformed Church Order Commentary, Henry De Moor breathes life into a complex subject, talking about each of the 86 articles in the CRC’s Church Order and including examples of frequently asked questions.

Here’s a sample: “Give me a straight answer that’s brief and clear: May a consistory ever ask a member to resign, especially in cases where he or she is simply not responsive to its admonitions and further pastoral actions are judged to be fruitless?”

The former Calvin Theological Seminary professor responds clearly: “No.”

De Moor explains how and why the CRC works and addresses the offices of the church, the assemblies of the church, the task and activities of the church, and the admonition and discipline of the church.

God’s Big Story cards are designed for families. This game-in-a-box is also a component of Faith Alive’s recently released Dwell Sunday school curriculum.

Your family devotions could look like this: David picks a card. Dad reads the Scripture passage on the card—the story of God creating night and day (Gen. 1:1-5). Then Abby rolls the color-coded dice and lands on “purple.” David reads the “purple” activity on the card: “How many seven-word sentences can you put together to retell this story?” (For example: “There was only God and nothing else.”)

God’s Big Story activities are geared for kids ages 5 through fifth grade, but can be adapted for all ages. The story cards can also be used by homeschoolers, Christian day schools, and in other intergenerational settings.

For more information or to order, visit FaithAliveResources.org or call 1-800-333-8300.

About the Author

Sandy Swartzentruber serves as the resource coordinator for Faith Formation Ministries and is a member of Sherman Street CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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Comments

Belgic Confession Article #29 of which I doubt this denomination subscribes to or teaches its dwindling membership is clear. Alignitself with unfaithful denominations proves this to. Sad, very sad.

We believe that we ought to discern diligently and very carefully from the Word of God what is the true church, for all sects which are in the world today claim for themselves the name of church.1 We are not speaking here of the hypocrites, who are mixed in the church along with the good and yet are not part of the church, although they are outwardly in it.2 We are speaking of the body and the communion of the true church which must be distinguished from all sects that call themselves the church.

The true church is to be recognized by the following marks:

It practices the pure preaching of the gospel.3 It maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as Christ instituted them.4 It exercises church discipline for correcting and punishing sins.5 In short, it governs itself according to the pure Word of God,6 rejecting all things contrary to it7 and regarding Jesus Christ as the only Head.8 Hereby the true church can certainly be known and no one has the right to separate from it.

Those who are of the church may be recognized by the marks of Christians. They believe in Jesus Christ the only Saviour,9 flee from sin and pursue righteousness,10 love the true God and their neighbour11 without turning to the right or left, and crucify their flesh and its works.12 Although great weakness remains in them, they fight against it by the Spirit all the days of their life.13 They appeal constantly to the blood, suffering, death, and obedience of Jesus Christ, in whom they have forgiveness of their sins through faith in Him.14

The false church assigns more authority to itself and its ordinances than to the Word of God. It does not want to submit itself to the yoke of Christ.15 It does not administer the sacraments as Christ commanded in His Word, but adds to them and subtracts from them as it pleases. It bases itself more on men than on Jesus Christ. It persecutes those who live holy lives according to the Word of God and who rebuke the false church for its sins, greed, and idolatries.16

These two churches are easily recognized and distinguished from each other.
1Rev 2:9.
2Rom 9:6.
3Gal 1:8; 1 Tim 3:15.
4Acts 19:3-5;1 Cor 11:20-29.
5Mt 18:15-17; 1 Cor 5:4, 5, 13; 2 Thess 3:6, 14; Tit 3:10.
6Jn 8:47; Jn 17:20; Acts 17:11; Eph 2:20; Col 1:23; 1 Tim 6:3.
71 Thess 5:21; 1 Tim 6:20; Rev 2:6.
8Jn 10:14; Eph 5:23; Col 1:18.
9Jn 1:12; 1 Jn 4:2.
10Rom 6:2; Phil 3:12.
11Jn 4:19-21.
12Gal 5:24.
13Rom 7:15; Gal 5:17.
14Rom 7:24, 25; 1 Jn 1:7-9.
15Acts 4:17, 18; 2 Tim 4:3, 4; 2 Jn 9.
16Jn 16:2.

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