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Christian Reformed Church Beliefs and Practices

Distinctive CRC Church Beliefs

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The Christian Reformed Church in North America, follows the teachings of early church reformer John Calvin. The church's beliefs hold much in common with other Christian denominations. Today, this Reformed Church places strong emphasis on missionary work, social justice, race relations, and worldwide relief efforts.

Christian Reformed Church Beliefs

Baptism - Christ's blood and spirit wash away sins in baptism. According to the Heidelberg Catechism, infants as well as adults may be baptized and received into the church.

Bible - The Bible is the "inspired and infallible Word of God." While Scripture reflects the personalities and cultures of the individual writers, it infallibly conveys God's revelation. Over the decades, the Christian Reformed Church has authorized several translations of the Bible to be used in worship services.

Clergy - Women may be ordained to all ecclesiastical offices in the Christian Reformed Church. Synods have debated this issue since 1970, and not all local churches agree with this position.

Communion - The Lord's Supper is offered as a remembrance of Jesus Christ's "once-for-all" sacrificial death for the forgiveness of sins.

Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit is the comforter promised by Jesus before his ascension into heaven. The Holy Spirit is God with us in the here and now, empowering and guiding both the church and individuals.

Jesus Christ - Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the center of human history. Christ fulfilled Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, and his life, death and resurrection are historical facts. Christ returned to heaven following his resurrection and will come again to make all things new.

Race Relations - The Christian Reformed Church believes so strongly in racial and ethnic equality that it has established an Office of Race Relations. It conducts ongoing work to raise minorities to positions of leadership within the church and has developed an antiracism curriculum for use globally.

Redemption - God the Father refused to let sin conquer humanity. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem the world through his sacrificial death. Further, God raised Jesus from the dead to show that Christ has overcome sin and death.

Sabbath - From the time of the early church, Christians have celebrated the Sabbath on Sunday. Sunday should be a day of rest from work, except by necessity, and recreation should not interfere with church worship.

Sin - The Fall introduced the "sin virus" into the world, which contaminates everything, from people to creatures to institutions. Sin can result in alienation from God but cannot blot out a person's longing for God and wholeness.

Trinity - God is One, in three persons, as revealed by the Bible. God is a "perfect community of love" as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Christian Reformed Church Practices

Sacraments - The Christian Reformed Church practices two sacraments: baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is performed by a minister or ministry associate, by sprinkling water on the forehead but may also be done by immersion. Adults who are baptized are called to make a public confession of faith.

The Lord's Supper is offered as bread and the cup. According to the Heidelberg Catechism, the bread and wine are not changed into the body and blood of Christ but are a certain sign that participants receive full pardon for their sins through communion.

Worship Service - Christian Reformed Church worship services include meeting in church as a covenant community, Scripture readings and a sermon that proclaim the Word of God, celebrating the Lord's Supper, and dismissal with a command to serve in the outside world. An authentic worship service has an "intrinsically sacramental character."

To learn more about Christian Reformed Church beliefs, visit the official Christian Reformed Church in North America Website.

(Sources: crcna.org and the Heidelberg Catechism.)

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