Kerklidmaatskap : 'n kerkregtelike studie

Spies, Johannes Hendrik (1996)

Thesis (DTh)-- Stellenbosch University, 1996.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Questions and problems concerning church membership are plenty and surface regularly in church . meetings. The way in which the church operates reflects a particular concept of the church. The· ideal is that way the church functi~ns according to the church law must express the essence of the church. Therefore it is important to ask questions on church membership in the light of the scriptures and the confession. This study shows that there is tension between the concept of the church which comes forwardin the Scriptures and the confession on the one hand and that which is reflected in the practical handling of membership issues on the other hand. An investigation into certain historic backgrounds, the conventions of a variety of churches on the issue of membership as well as the views of church members from· the Presbytery of the Dutch Reformed Church in Pietermaritzburg was necessary to acquire insight into the present situation. These investigations have shown that there are several customs and views on membership issues that do not have a sound theological basis. On what membership means and how it must be handled in practice there is also a wide variety of opinions. From the Old and New Testaments it becomes evident that a complete definition of the church is not possible. The Bible speaks in different ways about thechurch. God's presence and initiative in the church as his people of the covenant is that which makes the faith community the church. Faith, the relation with Jahwe in the Old Testament and with Jesus Christ iri the New Testament, is that which distinguishes the members of the faith community from those who do not belong to it. The handling of membership developed in such a way that membership issues constitutes the delimitation of churches amongst each other. That hampers the visible unity of the church. In the last chapter an attempt was made to formulate guidelines for the handling of membership in such a way that the unity of the church is emphasized while the confessional base of the church is protected at the same time. In this process a distinction is made between the delimitation of the church against the world on the one hand and the delimitation of churches amongst each other on the other hand. An attempt is made to unite the soteriological and the canonical meaning of the baptism in the membership practice. Baptism, as the sacrament of incorporation .into the church of Jesus Christ is fundamental in the acknowledgment of membership and membership privileges in the congregation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Vrae oor lidmaatskap en die probleme wat daarmee verband hou, is volop en korn dikwels na vore • tydens kerkvergaderings. Die manier waarop die kerk funksioneer, gee uitdrukkirig aan 'n bepaalde · kerkbegrip. Die ideaal is dat die kerkordelike inrigting van die kerk uitdrukking gee aan die wese van die kerk. Daarom is dit belangrik om die vrae oor kerklidmaatskap te vra vanuit dit wat die . . Skrif en belydenisskrifte oor die kerk leer. Hierdie studie toon aan dat daar ;n spanning bestaan tussen die kerkbegrip, soos wat dit in die Skrifen belydenisskrifte geleer word,. rum dieeen kant en die kerkbegrip wat · deur die praktyk van kerklidmaatskap gereflekteer word aan die ander kant · Om begrip vir die huidige situasie te kry, word daarook gekyk na bepaalde.historiese agtergronde · vir huidige gebruike. Gebruike in 'n verskeidenheid van kerke word ondersoek en die siening van 'n groep lidmate van die Ned Geref Kerk in d.ie Ring van Pietermaritzburg bepaal. Hierdie onder- - soeke het aangedui dat daar 'n verskeidenheid van gebruike en opvattings is ten opsigte van lidmaatskap wat nie 'n gesonde teologiese basis het nie. Daar is ook 'n wye verskeidenheid opvattings oor wat lidmaatskap behels en hoe dit hanteer moet word in die kerklike praktyk. U it die Ou en Nu we Testament blyk dit dat afgehandelde definisie van wat kerk is, nie moontlik is nie. Die Bybel praat op wye verskeidenheid maniere oor die kerk; God se teenwoordigheid en inisiatief in die gemeente as verbondsvolk maak van die geloofsgemeenskap kerk. Geloof, verbondenheid aan Jahwe in dieOu Testament en Jesus Christus in die Nuwe Testament onderskei lede van die geloofsgemeenskap van diegene wat nie daaraan behoort nie. Die bantering van lidmaatskapreelings het so ontwikkel dat dit dikwels 'n afgrensing van kerke teenoor mekaar behels en so die sigbare eenheid van die kerk belemmer. In die laaste hoofstuk word· 'n poging aangewend om riglyne daar te stel waarvolgens lidmaatskap so hanteer kan word dat die eenheid van die kerk daarin sigbaar word terwyl die belydenisgrondslag van die kerk beskerm word. In hierdie proses word onderskeid gemaak tussen lidmaatskap as die kerk se afgrensing teenoor die wereld aan die een kant en die afgrensing van kerke teenoor mekaar aan die ander kant. 'n Poging word aangewend om die soteriologiese en kerkregtelike betekenis van die doop byeen te bring in die praktyk. Die doop, as sakrament van inlywing in die kerk van Jesus Christus, word fundamenteel in die erkertning van lidmaatskap en lidmaatvoorregte in die gemeente.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/55152
This item appears in the following collections: