ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, August 18   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Will Graham
 

Defending the Truth Dutch Style

Remembering the Dutch reformer, Hendrik de Cock.

FRESH BREEZE AUTHOR Will Graham 20 JANUARY 2018 10:00 h GMT+1
bike, netherlands Photo: Pixabay (CC)

Standing up for Scripture has never been popular. The blessed Word of God is often crushed underfoot in a godless age.



The real tragedy, however, of ecclesiastical history is when Scripture is cast aside by the visible church of God. It was such a departure that led Luther to come out from Rome; Spurgeon to leave his beloved Baptist Union; Gresham Machen to abandon the Northern Presbyterian Church; and David Randall to forsake the once powerful Church of Scotland. In each case, fidelity to the Bible meant separation from apostasy.



One lesser-known example of such a division comes to us from the annals of the Dutch Reformed Church (1571), namely, the Act of Secession or Return (1834) which was promulgated more than half a century before Abraham Kuyper’s famous departure from the same State Church in 1886.



The Act of Secession had to do with one man, the preacher Hendrik de Cock (1801-42). Born into the Dutch Reformed Church, de Cock entered into the ministry after graduating from the liberal theological faculty at Groningen.



His conversion to orthodox Protestantism took place somewhere around 1829 thanks to three key factors:



- His discovery of Calvin’s Institutes (definitive edition, 1559).



- A copy of the Canons of Dort (1618-19).



- Material published by various writers associated with the awakening (Revéil) that took place in Geneva around 1810.



 



Hendrik de Cock (1801-42) / Wikimedia Commons (CC)

As can be imagined, de Cock’s embrace of a robust evangelical Christianity sparked a wholesale revolution in his preaching. His tone turned prophetic. News ran abroad of the minister’s newfound faith in the apostolic Gospel and the thousands flocked to hear him share the Word of God.



Nevertheless, such popularity was soon to land the pastor in hot water. Members of neighbouring Reformed churches began to bring their babies to be baptized under de Cock’s blessing as they were dissatisfied with the liberal tendencies within their own congregations.



What was the man of God to do? To baptize or not to baptize! Ultimately, de Cock obliged, much to the pleasure of the parents but much also to the displeasure of the ordained State Church ministers.



De Cock’s denomination stepped towards the end of 1833 in and the thirty-two-year-old reverend was kicked out of his Ulrum-based pulpit.



The Act of Secession would take some ten months to materialize. Conservative church members were infuriated when the Dutch Reformed Church forbade de Cock’s fellow evangelical cleric Hendrik Scholte (1806-68) from preaching the Word of God. They suspected the State Church was attempting to win back the congregation to the cause of liberalism.



Appealing to articles 28 and 29 of the Belgic Confession (1561), 137 church members were to sign the Act of Secession which read, “The congregation was living in peace and quiet. However, this peace and quiet was disturbed by the extremely unjust and ungodly suspension of our Pastor and Teacher who was loved and respected everywhere”.



Why was de Cock suspended? They reply, “This was because of his public testimony against false doctrine and polluted public worship services”.



By casting out de Cock, “this Church Board of the Netherlands has made itself like the Papal Church which was rejected by our fathers; not only is the aforementioned corruption being noticed, but, on top of that, God’s Word is being rejected and rendered powerless through ecclesiastical laws and decisions, and she persecutes those who want to live godly in Christ Jesus according to his own prescriptions recorded in his Word, and the conscience of the people is bound”.



The Act of Secession drew two conclusions:



- The church at Ulrum would depart from the rationalistic State Church of the Netherlands in order to be faithful to the Word and the three Forms of Unity (Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession and Canons of Dort).



- They would also “continue to recognize our unjustly suspended Preacher as our lawfully called and ordained Pastor and Teacher”.



Thus de Cock was reinstated and a mass exodus from the apostate State Church ensued.



In spite of his premature death at the tender age of forty-one, De Cock’s name continues to serve as a shining light in the dark history of ecclesiastical infidelity. Like so many saints before him, he took his stand for the truth of the Gospel –enduring hardships as a good soldier of Jesus Christ- and received his eternal reward on 14th November 1842.



May the Lord raise up a multitude more like de Cock in our days!


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Defending the Truth Dutch Style
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one' Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one'

Christians from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and North America, from different ethnic backgronds, came together to pray for unity as the body of Christ.

 
How have global missions changed over the last century? How have global missions changed over the last century?

The centre of gravity of Christianity has shifted from Europe to Africa, says Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, Director of the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation initiative.

 
Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister

Representatives of the National Day of Prayer, the Evangelical Alliance and CARE express the need for churches to pray for the new leadership of a country divided by Brexit and other issues.

 
Practical ways to direct our hearts toward spiritual growth Practical ways to direct our hearts toward spiritual growth

“It is not our initiative, it is not working for ourselves, it is gazing to Jesus and responding to Him. It is the language of inclining the heart that we see in Psalms”, said  Peter Mead, Director of Cor Deo.

 
Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa

A short video summary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World Assembly, July 3-10.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.