Frequently Asked Questions
What do people of the Chicago Invitation want?
- We want conversation, as a family of faith within the family of faith.
- We want the Reformed Church in America to be more truly the Church of Jesus Christ.
- We want a growing awareness of the gifts inherent in the Reformed way of being the church, and a celebration of those gifts.
- We want elders, deacons, and ministers to embrace their roles as office bearers.
- We want accountability and transparency in how we govern the church.
What we don’t want…
We don’t want the acquisition of political power driven by resentment, jealousy, uncertainty, or fear.
We don’t want to be an advocacy group for hot-button issues.
We seek none of these things.
Rather, we “seek those things that make for unity, purity, and peace.”
Don’t you want the church to grow?
Of course. But not at all costs. When we ask the church to adopt methods that pretend that we ourselves grow the church, then the cost is too high. Church growth must happen out of the nature of the church, as established by Christ, who is the one head of the church.
Why the focus on the creeds and confessions? Isn’t this a form of creedalism?
Quite to the contrary. Being informed by the creeds and confessions enables one to reject the imposition of voguish statements that have been used as marching orders.
Precisely as Reformed, we do not insist on a positivistic approach to or slavish adoption of the Standards. We find them to be a source of strength, even in those places where their outlook clearly belongs to another time.
Why do you have these “rejection of errors”? Isn’t this too negative?
It’s a reality that by affirming anything of substance, you are also negating something. Negations greatly help to focus discussions.
Clarity demands that we articulate not only what we affirm, but also what we correspondingly deny. Our current situation in the RCA also demands this. Most confessions, older and newer ones, contain rejections of errors. Even the Declaration of Independence lists at length the things to which it objects.
Why this focus on office?
We believe that one of the gifts of the RCA to the larger church is precisely our understanding of office. This understanding offers a balance between individualism and community, and powers of authority and participation. We also believe that many of our current problems have come about because we have neglected the offices and have denied, or abrogated, their responsibilities by looking elsewhere for models of governance.
Aren’t there more pressing matters for the church to address?
There certainly are many important issues for the church to address. However, some of those problems have arisen precisely because the church has ignored its heritage. The church offers far more than situational ethics or politics.
Furthermore, we are ill prepared to meet the current and any future challenges if we fail to take seriously the nature of the church as Christ himself has raised it up as a first fruit of God’s Kingship.
Who may join the Chicago Invitation?
Contact the website and add your name to the list of signatories of the public statement, if you like!
Who are members of the Chicago Invitation?
The Chicago Invitation does not really have formal members, but rather it has a number of people who have opted to affiliate with the Chicago Invitation by adding their names to the list of signatories. Meetings of the group (typically two or three times a year, in various places) include those signatories who are able to attend. These meetings are open to all, even those who have not signed the Chicago Invitation.
I’m interested. How do I find out more?