The FRCSA are Reformed Churches. This means that in all respects we desire to live according to Holy Scripture, accepting it as the reliable and authoritative Word of God. We endeavour to cherish both Christian doctrine and lifestyle and therefore accept the summary of the Holy Scripture found in the Creeds of the old Christian Church:
In addition the FRCSA accept the Reformed standards dating from the 16th century. At that time the Reformed Churches in Europe returned to the Word of God and its doctrine as summarized in the following documents:
When professing their faith publicly, members express their agreement with the doctrine of Holy Scripture as taught in the Christian Church and promise to adhere to this doctrine for the rest of their life.
All office bearers in the FRCSA are obliged to express their agreement with the confessional standards by signing a subscription form. With this they promise to teach only what is in accordance with the Reformed foundation of the churches. They also promise, should they develop a deviant view, that they will not propagate it, but first submit it to the consistory for evaluation. Breaking of this promise will lead to church discipline.
The FRCSA organise their cooperation according to the church order originally adopted by the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands at the National Synod of Dort (Dordrecht) in 1618/19.
This Church Order is based on the premise that the local church is not merely a branch of a national church, but is self governing with no other authority above them than the King of the church, Jesus Christ. At the same time this bond with Christ also binds the separate churches together, obliging them to maintaining a bond with one another. This federation is founded on the unity of the same faith. Churches bound together in a federation encourage and protect one another so that the bond with Christ and his Holy Word is not threatened. The mutual agreements of the federation are laid down in the Church Order.
The liturgy used in the worship services of the FRCSA stands in the tradition of the Calvinist Reformation.
The churches make use of the Afrikaans Psalms as compiled by Totius, as well as 50 Scriptural hymns found in the same hymnal. This book of praise also contains the liturgical forms (e.g. for the administration of baptism, celebration of the Lord’s Supper, solemnisation of marriage, etc.) Other songs of praise, in English and Sotho, will also be heard in the bond of churches.
Worship is ascribing worth or solemn respect to someone or something. But true worship is also a matter of the heart, it must be felt. It cannot be ritualistic or just a going through the motions. True worship is a heartfelt expression of love, adoration, admiration, fascination, wonder and celebration. Worship is central to our life together – it is the heartbeat of the church. It is more than just the preaching – it is the visible family of God, the body of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, coming together in unity to meet with God. In worship we look upward, and we see the glory, holiness and love of God. We look inward and see our own brokenness and need for God, and it results in a response outwardly as we bring the kingdom of God into the world.
The worship of God is to be founded upon specific directions of Scripture. In the FRCSA we only do what is commanded in Scripture and that is; Reading (1 Tim. 4:13), Preaching (2 Tim.4:2), Singing (Eph. 5:19), Praying (Matt.21:13), baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt.28:19, Acts 2:38-39, 1 Cor.11: 23 – 26)
Our worship services are a covenant conversation between God and His people. God speaks and his people respond in song and prayer.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is a meal instituted by our Lord (Luke 22:18-20). It is His table, not our table. He invites all those who believe in him to come and eat. Since it is a fellowship meal in communion with Jesus we require all who partake, and have come from another church, to come with an attestation or have someone in the church testify that they are indeed believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. The elders carry the responsibility to keep the table pure.
Baptism is required for membership in the church of Jesus Christ. It is the symbol of the dying of the old sinful self and the coming to life of a new life in Christ. God is the god of the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and he works through families, remaining faithful to his covenant promises which are extended to the children of all believers. Therefore, children of believing parents should be baptized.
For details of worship service times please refer to the ‘Churches’ heading on the website.
Elders: We believe that God has given elders to his church to govern and shepherd the flock of God and to equip the saints for ministry. In order to facilitate this the congregation is divided into wards, or mini families. (1 Peter 5:1-4)
Deacons: We believe that God has appointed deacons to ensure that needs are met (financially, emotionally, mentally or physically). They encourage the members to use and develop their gifts in service to our King and to the welfare of the neighbour. The deacons are the hands and feet to the elders’ teaching.(Acts 6:1-7)
Wards/Home visits: The elders and deacons are appointed to shepherd the members within the ward allotted to him. At least once a year the ward elder will visit to encourage you in your walk of faith. At least every two years the deacon will visit you to ask if there are any needs and to encourage you to use your gifts for the benefit of Christ. In this we follow the example of the early church (Acts 20:20). Wards serve to build community with each other and provide the opportunity to specifically help each other.
Discipline: We believe the Bible teaches clearly that the Church of Christ is holy, and it is the elder’s responsibility to keep the church pure. If wilful and unrepentant sin is evident and there is an unwillingness to repent, the elders of the church have the solemn responsibility to put the member outside the community, till he/she repents and turns to Christ for forgiveness (Matt. 16:19; 18:15-20, 1 Cor 5).