Reformed

New Hope belongs to the Reformed branch of the Protestant family tree. These churches first appeared in Switzerland but quickly spread across Europe to Germany, France, and Poland, before finding their greatest success in the Netherlands, England, and Scotland. It was from these last three countries that the Reformed Churches first migrated to North America.

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While agreeing with the basic beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, the Reformed churches differed with some of their Protestant brothers and sisters on two key questions:

How do the Old and New Testaments of the Bible relate to each other?

Some Protestants believed that the New Testament effectively replaced the Old Testament, and that the latter was no longer useful. The Reformed churches believed that the New Testament fulfilled the Old Testament, and that the latter – properly understood – was still useful for the faith and life of Christians.

What should we do when we gather for public worship?

Some Protestants believed that anything not expressly forbidden by God could be included as part of public worship. In practice, this has meant retaining many of the elaborate features, customs, vestments, and rites of Roman Catholic worship. The Reformed churches believed that only those things which God, in Scripture, commanded us to do ought to be included in public worship. In practice, this has meant simpler worship services less centered on clergy.