Oct. 18, 2020
THE REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA:
THE ROOT OF THE CONFLICT
2 Timothy 3:16-4:5
Introduction: On the surface the rift in the RCA is same-gender marriage. The conflict however goes deeper and center on “what is the Bible” and “how so we interpret it?”
Progressive – Liberal Mainline – Moderates/loyalists – Conservative/evangelical – Fundamentalist
- PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY AND THE BIBLE
- What Is “Progressive Christianity”?
- Jesus and the experience of the “Sacred”
- Jesus is one of many ways to experience the “Sacred”
- Inclusion of all
- Behavior reveals belief
- The value of questioning and no absolute truths
- Priority on seeking peace and justice
- Protect and restore the Earth
- Committed to lifelong learning and love
- Progressive Christianity and the Bible
- “Sacred Tradition” and a human book
- Inspirational wisdom
- Imagination for love, peace and justice
- Everything supernatural is a myth
- Need to understand it in relation to other religious texts
- Interpret like any other piece of literature
- Science, rationalism, culture are lenses of interpretation
- PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY AND JESUS OF NAZARETH
- Jesus is a Great Prophet but Not the Son of God
- Demythologize the Events of Jesus Life
- The cross is an example of divine love, not a substitutionary atonement
- The bodily resurrection is a myth and speaks to the resurrection of faith in the hearts of the disciples
- Jesus is A Model for Living Not an Object of Worship
- PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY DECONSTRUCTS THE HISTORIC, APOSTOLIC FAITH OF CHRISTIANITY AND RECONSTRUCTS IT INTO SOMETHING ELSE.
Conclusion: What is crucial for First Reformed Church, Rock Rapids is that you know what you believe and will stand on when it’s time to decide what your relationship with the Reformed Church will be.
Types of Groups in the Reformed Church in America
“Progressive Christianity:” Redefine the Christian faith into a different religion to conform with modern culture; feel morally superior in their position and refuse to follow the view of marriage as between only a man and a woman.
Liberal/Mainline: Focus on being ecumenical (in relationship with other denominations) and social action. Most allow for same-sex marriage.
Moderates/Loyalists: Their focus is to do whatever it takes to keep the denomination together; advocate living together as one denomination and allow for our differences.
Conservative/Evangelical: Hold strongly to the historic/Biblical expression of Christianity; are evangelistic and mission orientated; and have little to no tolerance for allowing same-gender marriage and other Progressive ideas.
Fundamentalist: Want to purify the denomination with a very literal and rigid view of Christian faith; are self-righteous in their position and separatistic from other denominations.
The vast majority of the nearly 900 RCA congregations probably fall in the Liberal-Moderate-to Conservative/evangelistic groups.