Binding aan kerklike besluite : 'n gereformeerd kerkregtelike studie
Howell, Jacobus Hercules
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According to the tradition of the Reformed church polity, believers commit themselves on grounds of their common faith and confession to certain matters. The critical question which has to be answered in this study, is: To what extent do believers commit themselves to the decisions of the church and what are the implications of such a commitment? The central theoretical argument of this study is: The mutual agreement between believers to commit themselves to decisions of the church is 'n voluntary commitment, because believers consider themselves as devouted to the Scriptures, confession and church order on which grounds decisions of the church are taken. Chapter 2 investigates the origin and leading thought of the binding and commitment to decisions of the church. Then there is a short historical overview on the shaping of the concept "binding and commitment to decisions of the church". Subsequently the scope of this binding agreement to decisions of the church as well as the role of fundamental and indifferent matters are explored. Chapter 3 focuses on the way in which believers commit themselves to the confession and also on the conflict surrounding the binding agreement to the confession. Furthermore the importance of church denomination and the negative consequences when the binding agreement to decisions of the church are ignored, are examined. In the last instance, the way in which churches should bind themselves to the church order and the positive results of such a binding, are investigated. Chapter 4 highlights the main problems which lead to a misconception in the understanding of the binding agreement to decisions of the church. Then the history of deviation from the binding agreement to the decisions of the church, is reviewed. Furthermore the conflict in South-Africa about the binding to the decisions of the church, especially within the Reformed Churches in South-Africa, is looked at. In chapter 5 the misconceptions about binding to the decisions of the church are pointed out. Next, the distinctive character of the binding to the decisions of the church is dealt with. Subsequently the demands and commitments which arise from the binding to the decisions of the church are explored, as well as the positive results obtained when maintaining the binding agreement to the decisions of the church. The final part emphasizes the responsibility to extend and to bring to the attention of believers the concept of binding to the decisions of the church.
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