As Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) leaders concerned about a growing liberal influence in the denomination prepare to attend a national summit in Pretoria next week, the Goudland Synod (consisting of 150 congregations in North West and parts of Gauteng) have decided to withhold their financial contribution to the general synod, reports Afrikaans weekly newspaper Rapport.
Disgruntled congregations across the country are putting pressure on their regional synods to hold extraordinary synod sessions to reflect on the way forward, and a leading conservative and former actuarius of the Highveld Synod, Rev Theo Danzfuss, has said that the DRC has already split over the issue of gay marriage, says the newspaper in a report published last Saturday.
The reports says that the Eastern Synod, consisting of 84 congregations in Pretoria and Mpumalanga, is expected to follow Goudland’s example — and to consider breaking ties with the DRC — at an extraordinary synod session in April.
Congregations in the Free State and the Northern Cape have reportedly called on their regional synods to hold extraordinary sessions. The Free State Synod consists of 154 congregations and the Northern Cape out of 81. The issue is also on the agenda of Namibia’s Synod meeting in May.
Eleven congregations from across the country expressed their dissatisfaction in October and November and some of them are withholding financial contributions to their regional synods.
The special national summit at Moreletapark Congregation in Pretoria East next Tuesday will provide a forum to openly discuss concerns about a liberal agenda that many feel is being pushed on them by a minority group within the denomination.
Some of the issues that will be discussed are:
– why the liberal agenda is pushed so strongly on various forums,
– why the Bible gets watered down to fit the narrative of the liberal agenda,
– the relevance of the Bible in these times and how the interpretation of it will affect the theology that is taught, and the confusion this new agenda will cause among Bible-believing Christians attending the church.