Let it be known that my denomination, the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA), and those churches and denominations with whom we are associated, have no ecclesiastical fellowship whatsoever with the newly emerging World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC). We both have the word “Reformed” in our names, but that’s about all we have in common.
The two largest Reformed church bodies in the world, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC), have agreed to formalize their merger in June 2010 and be known as the WCRC. After the merger, the WCRC intends to invite Reformed movements, agencies and theological institutions to affiliate with the group.
Though these two groups claim to be descendants of the 16th century Protestant Reformation, only tiny vestiges of Reformed doctrine, worship and practice remain in their churches. Reading their new website, one would find all the codewords of liberalism, seemingly lofty ideals of:
- transformation of the world, economic and ecological justice, eradication of poverty
- gender equality in church leadership
Some of the well-known bastions of liberalism are at the forefront of the WCRC: PCUSA, RCA, CRCNA, and Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In the Philippines, one of the most liberal Presbyterian denominations, the United Churches of Christ in the Philippines, is a member of WARC.
Just as Paul condemned proud, unbelieving Jews in saying, “For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel” (Rom 9:6), not all who call themselves “Reformed” are true descendants of the Protestant Reformation.
So if you hear about the WCRC, or worse â€“ if you get invited to affiliate with them â€“ caveat emptor! Instead of Luther, Calvin and Knox, you will get Kant, Schleiermacher and Bultmann.
There’s an alternative though: North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC).