Posted on Monday, May 7, 2012 at 9:31AM
From Jessica Bratt
I want to add some observations to the conversation Jeff and others have raised: why shouldn’t the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America merge?
- We’ve asked ‘why shouldn’t they merge.’ We also need to ask, 'why should they merge?' Shared roots, doctrinal and theological similarities do not necessitate a merger. Let’s think creatively about other ways that the two bodies can effectively work together on shared commitments, and also bear witness to unity (and reconciliation) in Christ. Is structural merger going to be the best way to do that? Yes, heaven might rejoice if the RCA and CRC come together, but what will earth think? Who will care, and whose lives will be transformed in positive and meaningful ways? If the people who will care the most are the people who are already ‘insiders’ and leaders of the two bodies, then there is a strong obligation, I believe, to gauge whether a merger will primarily be something that ‘insiders’ will be proud of, a source of ecclesiastical back-patting, if you will, or whether it will truly be a step towards more effectively, cooperatively living out our shared callings in the world.
- Bigger questions of 'what are denominations for?' are at stake. It would be naive to proceed further with attempts at merger without taking a hard look at the state of denominations.