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vol.42 issue2Gnosticism, church unity and the Nicene CreedThe ecclesiastical authority of the assemblies in church as in the church order of the Dutch Reformed Church author indexsubject indexarticles search
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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441


SMIT, C.J.. Is the idea of a church order still relevant for the modern church?. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2008, vol.42, n.2, pp.225-238. ISSN 2305-0853.

The question is whetherchurch ordercould be of any significance for the church of our time. Should the church order be modernised to fit the church of a new millennium? Is the concept of a church order at all still feasible for the modern church? Where does the idea of a church order come from? This article shows that the concept of a church order originated from the Scriptures, the Old and the New Testaments. Throughout church history there was always the danger that where the church order became insignificant, the existence of the church itself came under threat. The real questions are what a church order ought not to be and what it ought to be. This article determined that the church order has no independent authority. The church order should not be rendered as a church law. In fact, the church order should be only the principle-bearing pointer to the Word of God. In itself the church order has no own authority. It is only a servant of the authority of the Word. As such a Scripture-bound church order is indispensable for the existence of the church, also the church of our time. The nature of such a church order is not to create the services of the church, nor the essence of church being, but to ensure the task of the church to proclaim the Word of God and to protect the solemn being of the church in its orderly existence as the people of God in this world.

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