Group announces plans for new synod, ‘radical reformation’ of DRC ‘back to Word of God’

File picture of a meeting of the Goudland Synod, which is meeting in the near future and is one of four regional synods of the Dutch Reformed Church which is considering leaving the general synod to unite as a new synod (PHOTO: Kerkbode — archive photo)

The Kairos Network (KN) — an association of Dutch Reformed Church members and groups who believe the General Synod no longer upholds the Word of God — has announced a plan of action aimed at “radically” reforming the denomination from within rather than breaking away.

Dr Anton Knoetze chairman of KN told Gateway News that four regional synods meeting soon and in the coming months will be giving priority attention to a clause in the church’s constitution (Church Order Article 37) which they hope will open the door for like-minded groups to separate themselves from the general synod and unite as a new, independent synod.

Meanwhile, he said, at a central task group meeting last week, KN decided to forge ahead with a plan to create a “family grouping” that will bring together members, congregations, rings and synods who uphold Scripture. A team charged with leading this initiative will present recommendations on how it will work before the end of March – and it will be up and running by July, he said.

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Knoetze said at last week’s meeting they also resolved to come up with recommendations on alternative theological training and mentoring programmes as it was clear that unbiblical theological training in the DRC — specifically at the University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University — has become  a serious problem. 

In a press release last week KN said it was in discussion with the faculty of theology of the North-West University, the Afrikaans Protestant Academy, Veritas College and Mukhanyo as part of its search for training alternatives.

He said the general synod and certain lecturers had sold out to an extreme human rights-centred culture which resulted in man and not God being the central focus of the DRC.

“We believe that we need to submit to Scripture, not Scripture submit to us. And we are trusting God to give us a way ahead,” he said.  

He said the general synod is not serious about addressing the growing crisis in the DRC and is reluctant to enter into discussions with KN.

In last week’s press release KN said it invites all congregations who identify with an urgent call to put the Word of God back at the centre to become involved with them in a discipleship and church planting drive.

KN also said it will intervene pastorally and in prayer for radical reformation, as well as for leaders who are so caught up in being part of the spirit of the times that they have lost their zeal for pursuing the glory of God and the true Gospel of the Bible.

Currently about 120 congregations throughout South Africa are officially grieving over decisions of the general synod.

According to an article in the DRC newspaper Kerkbode this week, the leadership of the DRC have declined to comment on KN’s latest media statements.

But Kerbode quotes the following response from Gustav Claassen general secretary of the DRC: “The general synod affords more than one space and opportunity for discussion. Talks with synods, over the 2019 decisions [to allow for the optional solemnisation of same-sex unions in DRC congregations] are underway with those who objected. More talks are envisaged and are in process.

“So far, these conversations have been constructive and a learning experience for everyone involved. However, invitations for discussion by the general synod with, for example, the general board of trustees have not yet been received by objectors.”

Prof Nelus Niemandt, rector of Huguenot College in Wellington, said he suspects KN’s plan to bring like-minded people together will lead to church splitting, reports Kerkbode.

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  1. Johann Engelbrecht

    Wonderful progress has been made to cleanse the DRC from huministic dogma which is totally alien to the God-inspired Scriptures as we have come to know it through the ages.

  2. I heartily subscribe to the news that the stodgy DRC has at last realised its shortcomings over a lengthy period of time. I commend the Kairos Network for daring to step up and to preach and follow God’s unadulterated Word. Having been a member of DRC congregations for almost my whole life and serving as a deacon and elder in quite a few congregations, my heart feels light once I heard the latest news concerning a purification movement at last. May God truly bless your efforts so that so many souls may be saved.

  3. Thanks for reporting on our progress André, it is sincerely appreciated.