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For full reports and exact statements of the CRCNA position on a particular issue, see references provided below.

우리의 입장

교회는 그리스도 안에서 영적으로 이미 하나된 것과 그리스도 안에서 육적으로도 하나되어야 함을 드러내도록 부르심을 받았습니다. 그러므로 교회의 연합은 선물이면서 동시에 목표입니다. 지역교회와 전세계의 교회들은 하나의 몸된 교회이며 아직 이루지 못한 연합을 위해 애써야 합니다. 교회가 연합의 과업을 실천해야 하는 이유는 그리스도의 몸의 분열이 그리스도의 뜻에 반하기 때문입니다. 하지만 통일이 교회 연합의 필수적인 것은 아닙니다. 다양한 지역, 지방, 국가의 교회들은 역사, 전통, 관습, 언어, 삶의 방식, 사고 방식에 있어 상당한 차이가 있습니다. 교회의 연합은 예배, 고백의 형식, 교회 헌법에 있어 다양성을 허용합니다.

연합을 성취하는 방식에서, 성경 진리의 인식에서 주요한 차이는 토의를 거쳐서 (가능하면) 정리될 필요가 있습니다. 교회 연합 담론에 참여하는 모든 사람들에게 하나님은 믿음의 대상으로 여겨지며, 그 여부에 의거해 우리를 공통된 하나님의 진리로 연합하게 할 것입니다. 연합을 추구할 때, 우리는 성경적 메시지를 타협해서는 안되며, 동시에 그 충만한 진리를 전부 다 이해한 것처럼 추정하려는 것도 조심해야 합니다.  교단은 가장 유사한 입장을 가진 교단들과의 차이를 극복하는 것부터 시작하여 과거의 상처를 치유하도록 해야 합니다. 북미주 개혁교회는 다른 개혁교단들과의 관계에 최우선순위를 부여하지만, 개혁교회가 아닌 다른 개신교 교단, 로마 가톨릭 교회, 동방정교회와 같은 다른 전통의 교회들과도 연계하길 바랍니다. 2006년과 2010년 총회에서 행해진 북미주 개혁교회의 연합 선언문의 수정은 교단간 관계에서 이런 다른 수준을 대비하게 하고, 전세계적인 그리스도의 몸의 일부로서 북미주 개혁교회의 현재 교회일치에 대한 입장을 반영합니다. 또한 교단의 교회일치와 타종교 위원회 (Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee)는 ‘다원화된 세상을 살아가며 다른 신앙을 가진 사람들을 더 잘 이해하기 위해’ 종교간 대화에 참여합니다 (2010 총회안건집, 448p).


In 1944 the CRC synod adopted twelve propositions on ecumenicity. Forty years later the Interchurch Relations Committee (IRC) addressed the need for a new ecumenical charter through an ad hoc committee that reported to Synod 1985. After the proposed ecumenical charter was sent to the churches for response, Synod 1987 amended and adopted it. This ecumenical charter contained in detail the principles that are summarized in the position stated above. In 1996 the IRC reported that it was again reviewing the ecumenical charter. In 1997 an overture from Classis Grand Rapids East asking for a new strategy for ecumenical work was referred by synod to the IRC. Synod adopted a new ecumenical charter in 2000 and revisions in 2006 and 2010.

In light of revisions approved by Synod 2010 to the ecumenical charter of the CRC, revisions to Church Order Articles 49 and 50 were also adopted by Synod 2010. That year synod also approved additions to the EIRC mandate "to reflect the responsibility for interfaith dialogue" (Acts of Synod 2010, pp. 827-28).

In 2009 synod agreed with a proposal by the IRC to change its name to the Ecumenical Relations Committee. In 2010 synod agreed with a further recommendation that the committee would be more accurately named the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee (EIRC). Also, in response to a request from the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa to Reformed churches throughout the world, Synod 2009 voted to introduce and promote study of the Belhar Confession (which calls for faithfulness in unity, justice, and reconciliation) in preparation for consideration of a proposal to Synod 2012 to adopt the Belhar as a fourth confession of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. In 2012 synod adopted the Belhar as an Ecumenical Faith Declaration and recommended it to the churches “for study and for incorporation of its themes into their discipling and liturgical ministries” (Acts of Synod 2012, p. 767). In 2017, after extensive inquiry and discussion for several years into the viability of the category of Ecumenical Faith Declaration, synod discontinued use of the Ecumenical Faith Declaration category and recategorized the Belhar Confession as a contemporary testimony in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. In prior action, Synod 2017 also adopted a definition for the category of contemporary testimony (as proposed by the EIRC) and affirmed Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony as within the newly defined category (see Acts of Synod 2017, pp. 699-700, 707-708).

In response to recommendations by the EIRC, based on dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, Synod 2011 approved a “Common Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Baptism,” encouraged CRC congregations to use the language of a common “Certificate of Baptism” in all future baptismal certificates, and received “These Living Waters” and “This Bread of Life” as ecumenical documents on baptism and the Lord’s Supper, respectively, recommending them “to the churches for further study and reflection” (Acts of Synod 2011, p. 822). In addition, Synod 2011 requested its publishing agency, Faith Alive Christian Resources, to “explore with the educational and publishing agencies of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Church of Christ the possibility of jointly preparing educational materials on the documents produced by the U.S. Roman Catholic-Reformed dialogue on the sacraments” (p. 823). In 2017 the EIRC noted that the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) had prepared a statement providing a Reformed perspective in response to the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” (adopted in 1999 by the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church), and in July 2017 the WCRC General Council adopted that prepared statement (see Agenda for Synod 2017, pp. 334, 351-58). Citing Church Order Article 50-c, the EIRC also noted that this action of the WCRC has no binding impact on the CRCNA.

In other action, Synod 2011 adopted a combined CRC/RCA translation of the three Reformed standards (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Canons of Dort) for use in both the CRC and the Reformed Church in America (Acts of Synod 2011, pp. 853-54). In addition, Synod 2011 met in a joint session with General Synod 2011 of the RCA, in which representatives of both denominations described collaborative work in ministry in the CRC and RCA and affirmed a “Resolution for the Common Translation of the Three Reformed Standards” (pp. 882-83). In 2014 the synods of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America met simultaneously in Pella, Iowa, and held joint sessions at which they celebrated their collaborative efforts in ministry in recent years and adopted a joint resolution of cooperation and fellowship to formally recognize their cooperative ventures.

In response to relationships developed over the past few decades in which the educational institutions, agencies, and ministries of the CRCNA have interacted with Korean institutions of higher learning, organizations, and churches, synod called for an ad hoc committee “to investigate potential areas of collaborative partnership in ministry with Koreans in Korea” (Acts of Synod 2016, p. 839). An ad hoc group, convened by the executive director, followed up on this mandate and reported in 2017 to the EIRC, which in turn reported to Synod 2017 that it would make use of informal and formal networks to continue developing collaborative partnerships with Korean churches and educational institutions, and might recommend in the future that synod approve entering into formal partnership with such entities if such occasions should arise (see Agenda for Synod 2017, pp. 336-37; Acts of Synod 2017, pp. 576-78, 684).

In 2018 synod approved the formation of a joint RCA/CRC committee focused on interreligious/interfaith work (Acts of Synod 2018, pp. 482-83).

References to Agendas and Acts of Synod

Acts of Synod 1944, pp. 83-85, 330-67
Acts of Synod 1985, pp. 201, 237-41, 728-29
Agenda for Synod 1986, p. 194
Acts of Synod 1986, p. 613
Agenda for Synod 1987, pp. 156-57, 170-75, 451-52
Acts of Synod 1987, pp. 587-90
Acts of Synod 1996, pp. 387
Agenda for Synod 1997, pp. 232, 479-80
Acts of Synod 1997, p. 637
Agenda for Synod 1998, p. 181
Acts of Synod 1998, p. 377
Agenda for Synod 2000, pp. 202, 245-53
Acts of Synod 2000, pp. 670-71
Agenda for Synod 2006, pp. 290-304
Acts of Synod 2006, p. 714
Agenda for Synod 2009, pp. 242, 248-52, 269-313
Acts of Synod 2009, pp. 577, 589, 604-607
Agenda for Synod 2010, pp. 421-23, 429-50
Acts of Synod 2010, pp. 826-28
Agenda for Synod 2011, pp. 27-28, 179-298, 344-46, 350-510
Acts of Synod 2011, pp. 822-23, 848-54, 882-83
Agenda for Synod 2012, pp. 232-56
Acts of Synod 2012, pp. 765-67
Agenda for Synod 2013, pp. 223-28
Agenda for Synod 2014, pp. 261-67, 269-75, 278-86
Acts of Synod 2014, pp. 502-505, 564-65
Acts of Synod 2015, pp. 543, 545, 636
Agenda for Synod 2016, pp. 33, 70-75, 324-25
Acts of Synod 2016, pp. 837-39, 912-13
Agenda for Synod 2017, pp. 334-39, 351-64
Acts of Synod 2017, pp. 576-78, 684, 699-700, 707-708
Acts of Synod 2018, pp. 482-83
Acts of Synod 2019, pp. 771-74