Reaction or prescription : balancing the church's order and need

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Tom De Vries


"Do you want to be made well?" This was the question of Jesus in John 5:6. It was a question to a lame man lying by the pool of Bethesda, a question to a man who had no ability to bec

"Do you want to be made well?" is also a question that can be asked to a number of denominations in North America today, and even specifically of congregations within the Reformed Church in America. Churches on the sidelines. Churches not at full strength. Churches longing to be healthy, making a difference for Jesus Christ in their communities.

The response of the lame man was solution-based: "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me" (v. 7). He knew what needed to happen. He knew what needed to change. He had thirty-eight years of watching how healing took place and desperately wanting it. Needing it. Praying for it. But never able to get it.

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How to Cite
De Vries, T. (2003). Reaction or prescription : balancing the church’s order and need. Reformed Review, 56(3), 213-224. Retrieved from
Reformed Church orders; Reformed Church in America -- Clergy; Reformed Church -- Clergy; Church officers; Clergy -- Training of; Clergy -- Appointment, call, and election; Church work; Pastoral theology