History of Scottish and Dutch admission to communion

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by PeterR, May 3, 2018.

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  1. PeterR

    PeterR Puritan Board Freshman

    My impression of the situation with regard to people entering communicant membership at present is:

    1) Conservative Scottish Presbyterian churches expect a private interview with elders and/or minister regarding a personal profession of saving faith and may discuss conversion experience. There is no catechism class and no public profession.

    2) Dutch churches in Holland and North America all have near universal teenage catechisation followed by public profession of faith. In some all who do this go to the Lord's Table. In others very few who do this go to the Lord's Table because they or their elders don't believe they are truly converted.

    Are there any Dutch or Dutch-American Reformed churches who do not do the near universal catechisation/profession but practice something closer to the Scottish system?

    Was there any history of anything similar to the Dutch system in the early Scottish Reformed Church?

    How did the two diverge so dramatically given the common influence of Geneva?
     
  2. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    I think your impression is correct. In my church (which is fairly representative of other Free Reformed Churches in Australia & Canadian Reformed Churches), our young people do six years of catechism instruction (Grades 7-12). They then take a preconfession class (sometimes simultaneously with their last year of catechism). Towards the end of that class, they meet with me and their ward elder to discuss their experience of faith and the fruits of faith in their lives. If that goes well, they then meet with the consistory to be interviewed more with regard to their knowledge of essential Christian doctrine. If the elders are satisfied with the outcome, the young person makes profession of faith and becomes a communicant member.
     
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