Already many combined consistory meetings have been held (similar to the combined consistory meetings which were part of the early history of our Protestant Reformed Churches - in the 1920s). The meetings are usually held at our home, and usually on public holidays so that all the members of both consistories are able to attend. At the request of the two churches involved, Rev. Kleyn serves as chairman and Rev. Smit as clerk of the combined consistories.
The Combined Consistories Meeting Around Our Kitchen Table
A significant decision that the combined consistories recently made concerns Article 67 of the Church Order (regarding special worship services). The following announcement, which was made in both churches on January 6, summarizes the decision.
ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE COMBINED CONSISTORIES
OF THE BEREAN PROTESTANT REFORMED CHURCH
AND THE FIRST REFORMED CHURCH OF BULACAN
In a combined meeting on Monday, 24 December 2012, the consistories of the Berean Protestant Reformed Church and the First Reformed Church of Bulacan adopted the following change to Article 67 of the Church Order in our congregations, and in our future federation, the Lord willing.
"Article 67. The churches shall observe Sunday alone, and shall observe the truth of Christ’s birth, His passion and death, His resurrection, His ascension to heaven, and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, on the Sunday preceding the day, or on the Sundays, these events are commonly observed."
Believing that this change remains in harmony with the Scriptures, our Reformed Confessions, and our Church Order, the consistories adopted it because, first of all, it fits the particular needs of our congregations, and our future federation of churches, in our culture in the Philippines. For that reason, some of the days originally referred to in Article 67 of our Church Order have been removed, and the time of the remembrance of the events in Christ’s humiliation and exaltation have been moved from weekdays to the Lord’s Day.
Secondly, the consistories believe that this change to the regulation of Article 67 will serve the spiritual good of our churches. The revised regulation, which still requires that the pure Gospel be preached about these events in the life and work of Christ, is necessary to guard our churches against the heretical and erroneous views that often are taught and emphasized in the church world around us when these events are commonly observed.
In addition to that, the consistories believe that this regulation will continue to guide the churches in a life of antithetical godliness and thanksgiving over against the common and wicked celebrations of those around us in connection with most of these events in the life and work of Christ.
It is planned that a footnote, giving a reference to this decision, will be included with Article 67 in future printed editions of the Church Order of our new federation, after it is established, the Lord willing.
May this revision serve the advancement of the Gospel of Christ, the edification of our churches, and the glory of the King of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Having A Late Lunch Before Heading Home Again
Another matter that the combined consistories are discussing is whether or not to accept Roman Catholic baptisms. We pray the Lord gives the men the necessary wisdom to come to a mutual decision on this matter. It will be the subject of further discussion at the next meeting in February, the Lord willing.
May God bless this work and, according to His sovereign will, enable a federation of churches to be formed here in the near future.