Over time, the Christian Reformed Church has stated its position on a variety of contemporary topics. The following are summaries of the denomination's doctrinal and ethical positions as stated over the years by synod.
This material is meant to offer clear and concise descriptions of the positions of the CRCNA. For full reports and exact statements of the denomination's position on a particular issue, the reader should look to the references provided. The material is updated after each annual synod.
Synod 1973 appointed the Committee on Synodical Decisions and the Confessions. Its mandate involved two tasks: (1) to compile materials for a publication containing pertinent synodical decisions on doctrinal and ethical matters and (2) to present a clear statement as to how such synodical decisions are related to the confessions. The committee reported to Synod 1975, which approved the original version of the material in this section and adopted the following recommendations of the study committee regarding the relationship of synodical decisions to the confessions:
- The Reformed confessions are subordinate to Scripture, are accepted as a true interpretation of this Word, and are binding on all officebearers and confessing members of the church.
- Synodical pronouncements on doctrinal and ethical matters are subordinate to the confessions and are "considered settled and binding, unless it is proved that they conflict with the Word of God or the Church Order" (Art. 29). All officebearers and members are expected to abide by these decisions.
- The confessions and synodical pronouncements differ in their extent of jurisdiction, in their nature of authority, in their distinction of purposes, in the measure of agreement expected, and in their use and function.
- The use and function of the synodical decisions (i.e., interpretation of the confessions, pronouncements beyond the confessions, adjudication of a particular issue, testimony, guidelines for further study or action, or pastoral advice) are explicitly or implicitly indicated by the wording of the particular decision itself.
For the full report of the 1975 committee and synod's response to it, see Acts of Synod 1975, pages 44-45 and 595-604.