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Free Reformed Churches of North America

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Free Reformed Churches of North America

Free Reformed Churches of North America
Classification Protestant
Orientation Dutch Reformed
Polity Presbyterian
Associations North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council
Origin 1950's
Branched from Christian Reformed Churches of the Netherlands CGKN
Congregations 19 (2012) and 2 church plants [1][2]
Members 4689 (2012)[3]

The Free Reformed Churches of North America (FRCNA) is a theologically conservative federation of churches in the Dutch Calvinist tradition with congregations in the United States and Canada. It officially adopted its current name in 1974.[4]

These churches together confess the Bible to be the Word of God and believe it is faithfully summarized by the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort. This denomination adheres to the five points of Calvinism. It is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerken - CGKN).

The Free Reformed Churches of North America should not be confused (although named quite similarly) with the Free Reformed Churches of Australia or Free Reformed Churches of South Africa.

Basic beliefs and doctrines

Calvinism
John Calvin
 Calvinism portal

Church

The Free Reformed Churches see the church as a community of people who believe in Jesus Christ.[5] They believe that the church is a divine institution, for three reasons:[5]

  1. It is made up of God's people.[6]
  2. It is the body of Christ.[7]
  3. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit and is guided by its teaching.[8]

Its members believe the true Church is recognized by the "pure preaching of God's Word."[9] This preaching is the proclamation of the whole Word of God (the Bible), the attributes of God the Creator, the sin which humanity has fallen into, the redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit in both bringing sinners to salvation and sanctifying them in this life.

Baptism

The Free Reformed Churches hold to both adult and infant baptism, believing that the Bible teaches that children born of believing parents are set apart by God and therefore members of His Covenant of Grace.[10] However, being in the Covenant still carries with it the necessity for every person to be born again, which is a promise given that needs to be prayed for, and asked fulfillment of, from God.[11]

Pastoral education

The FRCNA is served by the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The seminary opened in 1995 and offers master's degrees in divinity or religion.[12] PRTS has an enrollment of 65-70 students (2008 figure).[13]

Creeds

Three Forms of Unity

The FRCNA fully subscribe to the Three Forms of Unity, believing that while these three historic Reformed creeds are not inspired by God, they do agree with, and are a faithful summary of the Word of God in all respects:

Early Christian Church creeds

The FRCNA also fully subscribe to the three creeds of the early Christian church:

Publications

Free Reformed Publications publishes and prints various books, magazines, and articles on behalf of the FRCNA. These include:

The Free Reformed Church of Bornholm, Ontario.

Magazines and articles

  • The Messenger (the official monthly publication of the denomination)
  • The Youth Messenger
  • Open Windows (a Christian children's magazine)
  • Banner of Truth Messages (evangelistic outreach messages)

Books

  • Cornelis (Neil) Pronk, Expository Sermons on the Canons of Dort, 1999.
  • Cornelis (Neil) Pronk, Faith of Our Fathers: Studies in the Doctrines of Grace.
  • David H. Kranendonk, ed., Voices From Our Heritage, 2005.
  • Gerald R. Procee, Holy Baptism: The Scriptural Setting, Significance and Scope of Infant Baptism, 1998.
  • Andrew Van Der Veer, Bible Lessons for Juniors, 4 vols., 2007. (co-published with Reformation Heritage Books)
  • Their Lives & Your Life: Children's Devotions on Bible Characters, 2007. (co-published with Reformation Heritage Books)

See also

References

  1. ^ "2012 Yearbook of the Free Reformed Churches of North America."
  2. ^ http://www.frcna.org/congregations
  3. ^ "2012 Yearbook of the Free Reformed Churches of North America."
  4. ^ For a short history of the formation of this federation of churches, going all the way back to 1834 in the Netherlands, see:Our History (accessed: Dec. 12, 2013).
  5. ^ a b Introducing the Free Reformed Churches of North America, (St. Thomas, ON: Free Reformed Publications, 1996), p. 5.
  6. ^ 1 Peter 2:10
  7. ^ Ephesians 4:11-12
  8. ^ Ephesians 2:22
  9. ^ Introducing the Free Reformed Churches of North America, (St. Thomas, ON: Free Reformed Publications, 1996), p. 8
  10. ^ Introducing the Free Reformed Churches of North America, (St. Thomas, ON: Free Reformed Publications, 1996), p. 6.
  11. ^ Introducing the Free Reformed Churches of North America, (St. Thomas, ON: Free Reformed Publications, 1996), p. 7
  12. ^ "Seminary expansion blazes future 'path'", Gary W. Morrison. The Grand Rapids Press, Dec 25, 2004. B4
  13. ^ "PRTS Update," Vol. 5, No. 1, (March 2008), p. 2. Accessed from [1], April 6, 2008.

External links

  • Official website
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