Form of Subscription for Officebearers
During the Installation Service for our new Elders and Deacons (officebearers), they will sign the Form of Subscription below to affirm that they
heartily believe and are persuaded that all the articles and points of doctrine contained in the Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism of the Reformed Churches, [and the Canons of Dort], do fully agree with the Word of God.
In this Subscription they bind themselves to
teach and faithfully to defend the aforesaid doctrine, without either directly or indirectly contradicting the same by our public preaching, teaching, or writing.
In addition to teaching and defending our doctrine, Â and “reject[ing] all errors that militate against this doctrine,”Â they also promise
to refute and contradict these and to exert ourselves in keeping the Church free from such errors.
This is why our pastors, officebearers and members alike take it very seriously when others, even those who might call themselves “Calvinist” or “Reformed,” contradict or worse, attack, our doctrines. Unity is very important, but unity in doctrine is more important, and unity at all costs is most undesirable for us.
Moreover, one of the vows to be made by the elders and deacons in their installation is to
submit to the government of the church in all things pertaining to your office.
Form of Subscription
We, the undersigned, Elders and Deacons of _______________________________ in __________________, do hereby, sincerely and in good conscience before the Lord, declare by this our subscription that we heartily believe and are persuaded that all the articles and points of doctrine contained in the Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism of the Reformed Churches, together with the explanation of some points of the aforesaid doctrine made by the National Synod of Dordrecht, 1618-19, do fully agree with the Word of God.
We promise therefore diligently to teach and faithfully to defend the aforesaid doctrine, without either directly or indirectly contradicting the same by our public preaching, teaching, or writing.
We declare, moreover, that we not only reject all errors that militate against this doctrine and particularly those which were condemned by the above mentioned Synod, but that we are disposed to refute and contradict these and to exert ourselves in keeping the Church free from such errors. And if hereafter any difficulties or different sentiments respecting the aforesaid doctrines should arise in our minds, we promise that we will neither publicly nor privately propose or defend the same, either by preaching, teaching, or writing, until we have first revealed such sentiments to the Consistory, Classis, or Synod, that the same may there be examined, being ready always cheerfully to submit to the judgment of the Consistory, Classis, or Synod, under the penalty, in case of refusal, of being by that very fact suspended from our office.
And further, if at any time the Consistory, Classis, or Synod, upon sufficient grounds of suspicion and to preserve the uniformity and purity of doctrine, may deem it proper to require of us a further explanation of our sentiments respecting any particular article of the Confession of Faith, the Catechism, or the explanation of the National Synod, we do hereby promise to be always willing and ready to comply with such requisition, under the penalty above mentioned, reserving for ourselves, however, the right of appeal in case we should believe ourselves aggrieved by the sentence of the Consistory or the Classis; and until a decision is made upon such an appeal, we will acquiesce in the determination and judgment already passed.