One of the Marks of a True Church Is ...?

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One of the marks of a true church is _____________. 

If you answered this as:

  1. Being willing to accept and tolerate behaviors and attitudes deemed sinful by the Author of the single Word of God, under the rubric of the "love of Jesus" and justice.
  2. Being willing to turn a blind eye to the "yeast" within the lump of dough that will cause it to completely go rancid, under the name of "ensuring diverse opinions," "keeping the peace," or "love for the family of God."
  3. Being willing to accept teachers who promote revisionist views of Scripture because your church needs to be "with the times."

It is possible that you might have forgotten the three marks of a true church according to the Belgic Confession?

They are:

  • the preaching of the Word
  • the administration of the sacraments
  • church discipline

The Belgic Confession devotes a chapter (Article 29) to the "Marks of the True Church" and lists them as follows:

The true church can be recognized if it has the following marks: The church engages in the pure preaching of the gospel; it makes use of the pure administration of the sacraments as Christ instituted them; it practices church discipline for correcting faults. In short, it governs itself according to the pure Word of God, rejecting all things contrary to it and holding Jesus Christ as the only Head. By these marks one can be assured of recognizing the true church — and no one ought to be separated from it.

Questions:

1. If an individual is clearly and demonstrably "adulterating" the "pure Word of God", and by the behaviors they advocate holds themselves as an authority over "Jesus Christ as the only Head" of the church, then what should be done?

2. If a congregation allows for the "adulterating"  the "pure Word of God", and by the behaviors they allow or advocate,  hold themselves as an authority over "Jesus Christ as the only Head" of the church, then what should be done?

3. If a classis allows for the "adulterating" the "pure Word of God", and by the behaviors they advocate or allow,  holds itself as an authority over "Jesus Christ as the only Head" of the church, then what should be done?

4. If a person who has signed a form of subscription in the CRCNA is clearly and demonstrably "adulterating" the "pure Word of God" and by the behaviors they advocate or allow,  holds themselves as an authority over "Jesus Christ as the only Head" of the church, then what should be done?

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Good questions, John Span.