Article 26 — False doctrine
To ward off false doctrines and errors the ministers and elders shall use the means of instruction, of refutation, of warning and of admonition, in the ministry of the Word as well as in Christian teaching and family visiting.
In its early days the Church Order included here an article on a form of ‘book censure’: No religious publications were allowed without the permission of the ministers in the classis, the province, or the professors of theology, the classis being informed. The Reformed churches, however, — unlike the Church of Rome — could not maintain this stand.
Meanwhile it is of great significance that the churches are protected against false doctrine and errors. Therefore it is expressly emphasized by means of this article that this is a special task for the ministers and elders.
Consequently they must keep themselves well informed. Which means that a minister’s honorarium must allow him to purchase the necessary books and to subscribe to various magazines. The churches themselves would be well advised to establish a ‘church library’, and by this means enable all office-bearers and other members to remain up-to-date in the affairs of the churches.
They must all be able to teach and warn the congregational members against heresies and errors in the preaching, at catechism-classes, and during the home visits.