“Our Name is Reformed” – Prof.B.Gritters

SB-Feb15-2015Such is the wording of a line taken from the February 15, 2015 issue of the Standard Bearer. Specifically, this brief sentence is pulled from Prof. Barry Gritters’ editorial, in which he begins he series on “What It Means to Be Reformed.”

He does so in connection with the ninetieth anniversary of the forming of the Protestant Reformed Churches in 1925. This initial article is introductory, and part of that introduction includes explaining the name “Reformed” in this denomination’s name.

Here is a glimpse into what Prof. Gritters includes in his explanation of what it means to be “Reformed”:

For us, to be Reformed is to be biblical. It is simply to be Christian. Identifying as Reformed is not an attempt to be something other than what Christ calls His church to be. But since hundreds of groups, unfaithful to Jesus Christ and His Scripture, call themselves Christian, it is necessary to distinguish ourselves from them by our name.

…In the past, when a distinctive confession of faith was valued, churches understood the need for a distinctive name – a kind of flag they hoisted on their ship.  Thus Baptists, Pentecostals, Episcopalians, Methodists, and all the other church groups were plainly identified in their faith and life by their name. Our name is Reformed.

Holding convictions and announcing them in a name is not smug arrogance. It is not sectarianism. Holding convictions about faith and life and announcing them in a name is a desire to be faithful to God and His Word, and transparent to those who may want to join our churches. It’s also a recognition that the ecclesiastical landscape is strewn with churches that are not true churches any longer, because in their history they lost a conviction that Christ is truth, lost the boldness to broadcast their faith, lost a sense of who they were historically, and lost the realization that churches are destroyed under the judgment of God for lack of knowledge. …Here the point needs to be made that convictions and transparency about those convictions are vital.

Not to hold convictions and publicize them in a name may well indicate the sentiment that one form of Christianity is as good as any other. And that’s one step away from becoming a false church.

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