Dutch Reformed Church

Article

October 17, 2021

Since 1816, the Dutch Reformed Church was the name for the Nederduits(ch)e Gereformeerde Kerk, which had become the official church of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands during the Eighty Years' War. Before 1816, the full name of this denomination was the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk. In 1816 the name of this organization officially became the Dutch Reformed Church and afterwards (with a new spelling) the Dutch Reformed Church. On May 1, 2004, the denomination with the Reformed Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church merged into the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN).

History

After the liberation from French rule, HRH William I became king of the Netherlands. First only from the Northern Netherlands, later with the southern area enlarged to the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. King William I also dealt with ecclesiastical issues. He had a church order designed for the Dutch Reformed Church. On January 7, 1816, the General Regulations for the administration of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands were approved by Royal Decree. The church was given the official name of the Dutch Reformed Church. This was seen by many church members as an unwanted interference by the king in church affairs. There was (liberal) opposition to this, especially from the University of Leiden. Conservative opposition to these developments led in 1834 to the deposition of Hendrik de Cock, who was a minister in Ulrum. The movement that arose from this is called the Afscheid and in several places in the Netherlands pastors were removed from office or even detained by the civil authorities. In 1867 a new administrative regulation was introduced, which gave ordinary church members the right to vote for the consistory. Indirectly, this also gave them influence on the synod and on the appointment of ministers, which often led to the calling of more conservative office holders. In 1870, for example, Amsterdam appealed to the pastor Abraham Kuyper, an influential anti-revolutionary politician and journalist. Under his leadership, a new secession took place in 1886 during the Doleantie. The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands arose in 1892 from the merger of the wandering churches and the churches that arose from the Secession of 1834. In 2004 the Dutch Reformed Church ceased to exist. The vast majority of members have transferred to the new Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN). Other reformers, about 55,000, have united in the subsequently formed Hersteld Hervormde Kerk (HHK).

Modalities

The Dutch Reformed Church has always been characterized by a great mutual division. In the 1830s, the Groningen Theologians were an influential pro-renewal group within the church. Fearing the influence of this group too great, 69 pastors, 50 elders and some members gathered in Utrecht on October 12, 1864 to found an association "to provide help and guidance to congregations and individuals in the Dutch Reformed Church, who are in distress for the sake of faith." The name of this movement became the Confessional Association, which - in a slimmed-down form - still exists within the PKN. In 1906 the so-called Reformed Bond in the Dutch Reformed Church arose from this, a conservative movement that was vehemently opposed to any split-off (the Bond strongly condemned the Doleantie) and liberal-reformed movements. Many founders and members were first members of the Confessional association. In 1913 the liberal reformers decided to join forces in their own modality, the Association of Freethinking Reformed. It still exists today in the PKN under the name of the Association of Freethinking Protestants. Around 1920, the Ethical Association arose between the liberals and the confessionals. After its dissolution in the 1930s, its place after World War II was taken by the Middle Orthodoxy. Since the years

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