1887

n In die Skriflig - Calvin's views on church governance

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-6441
  • E-ISSN: 2305-0853

Abstract

This article investigates whether the church was seen by Calvin as a mere human community based on laws, an association functioning on the basis of a constitution, or as a dynamic domain of the governance of Jesus Christ which functions on the basis of the Word through his Spirit.


According to Calvin the church is a new order ordained by Christ in which He never delegated his authority to his officers. He Himself, as the Head, remains the sole bearer of authority. Nevertheless, they receive full power, as representatives of Christ, to minister his Word and to administer the sacraments in his church. As such the church received the power to teach ("potestas docenda"), to govern ("potestas gubernatio") and to make laws ("potestas regiminis"). This competence ("potestas") is, however, exercised particularly as a ministry ("ministerium") because it rests on God's Word and is only ministered in conjunction with it. In the procedure of church governance Calvin considered faith and love as two key concepts.
In order to give a practical foundation to a spiritual mode of governance in the church as God's new order in the world, a church order is needed which is founded in the Word. This church order must aim at the protection of the governance of the Spirit in the church.
For Calvin church government is, therefore, primarily a process of governing the heart - the hearts of those among whom God's new order in the world exists.


In hierdie artikel word nagegaan of Calvyn die kerk bloot as 'n menslike regsgemeenskap gesien het, 'n samekoms wat op 'n konstitusie gegrondves is, óf as die dinamiese regeringsdomein van Jesus Christus wat op die grondslag van sy Woord deur sy Gees funksioneer.
Dit is vasgestel dat Calvyn die kerk as 'n nuwe orde gesien het wat deur Christus verordineer is, waarin Hy nooit sy gesag aan sy dienaars gedelegeer het nie. Hyself, as die Hoof, bly die enigste heerskappyvoerder. Tog het sy dienaars volle gesag as sy verteenwoordigers ontvang om sy Woord en die sakramente in die kerk te bedien. As sodanig het die kerk die gesag ontvang om te onderrig ("potestas docenda"), om te regeer ("potestas gubernatio") en om bepalings te maak ("potestas regiminis"). Hierdie bevoegdheid ("potestas"), word egter as 'n bediening uitgevoer ("ministerium"), omdat dit in God se Woord rus en slegs in ooreenstemming daarmee bedien word. In die proses van kerkregering ag Calvyn geloof en liefde as sleutelbegrippe.
Om 'n praktiese fundering vir 'n geestelike wyse van regering in die kerk as God se nuwe orde in die wêreld te gee, is 'n kerkorde nodig wat op die Woord gebaseer is. Hierdie kerkorde moet die doel hê om die regering van die Gees in die kerk te beskerm. Daarom is kerkregering vir Calvyn primêr 'n proses van hartsregering - 'n regering oor die harte van dié uit wie God se nuwe orde in die wêreld bestaan.

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/content/skrif/44/1/EJC108525
2010-01-01
2019-10-23

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