Student society: Virtute Dei
As students of The Reformed Churches in The Netherlands (restored), we have formed a student society. This society officially came into being on the 29th of June, 2007. Prior to this, students were already meeting to discuss a variety of topics in the light of God's Word. That came about as follows:
Most of the students at that time were members of the Reformed Churches (liberated). These churches were in a steady process of straying away from the true Word of God. This resulted in a call to reformation, with the purpose of returning to the pure preaching of God's Word. Unfortunately, the Reformed Churches (liberated) did not respond to this call and it became necessary to liberate. This (in short) led to The Reformed Churches in The Netherlands(restored). The students who were already having meetings at that stage, had already liberated themselves or were in the process of doing so. These students wanted to discuss topics more deeply with each other, as brothers and sisters and in this way form a reformed opinion. They realized that, in these troublesome times that students face, it is important to be able to support each other.
Other existing student societies within the Reformed Churches (liberated) were often not an option. Mostly because of the moral decline that had taken place within their circles, or, sometimes, because of the closed (religious) character of the society. Because of the church liberation there were many matters that became difficult to discuss and that also resulted in awkward social contacts with students of the Reformed Churches (liberated) One of the most important reasons was, that we could not truly discuss important matters of faith with each other on the same basis.
The first time that we as students came together was on November 11, 2005. This was of course the early beginnings of setting up our student society. We had to find out from each other what the wishes, the aim, the target group, the frequency and the topics for discussion would be of our society. As students, we felt that there was definitely a need to support each other, to share issues we were faced with concerning our faith, our studies and student life. For this reason the students continued to get together, initially at the homes of the students and later at a fixed location in Utrecht. Already at the second meeting a draft was made up as to concerning what the target group would be. This target group was especially the students of The Reformed Churches (restored) attending colleges and universities. But of course exceptions could be made. For instance, those who had just completed their studies could continue to attend the meetings.
Before every meeting we have a meal together. At each meeting, plans for the following meeting are made. As time went on it became evident that it would be more efficient and more consistent for the meetings to have statutes and to choose a board. The board could then deal with the organizational matters and this would not have to be done during the actual meetings. Three volunteers got together to draw up a draft statute, so that the members could vote on it. On the 29th June 2007 AD the student society was officially formed by the acceptance of the statutes and the election of a board.
Since then there have been a variety of meetings. The frequency of the meetings increased to once every three weeks. The society was also given a name: Virtute Dei, which means: through God´s strength. This name is at the same time a confession of it´s members, namely, that we live by the strength of God. We have discussed many topics such as, the relationship between faith and science, the limitations of science, science and the Bible, fundamentalism, education and faith, choice of career/profession, the task of the government, faith and experiences, empirical findings, psychology, views on Scripture, the wrath of God, evangelical ideas and other topics. We also regularly discuss parts of church history.
Virtute Dei issues an annual magazine for its members. Once a year it also organizes a social weekend where a lot of emphasis is on the social contacts, but it is also combined with Bible study. Last year and this year we invited a guest speaker to give a speech on a certain topic. Last year we had a speech about empirical findings and this year about stewardship. Of course there is also the "birthday" of our society on the 29th of June when we have a celebration. In this way we, as students, try to be constructive and we try and help each other with our studies and student life. In this way we may put into practice the aim of our student society as worded in the statutes: the society has the aim to help her members to give an interpretation to their student life in a way that is favorable to God, by seeking our knowledge in the Bible and by studying all kinds of relevant topics.
We certainly see all this as a privilege that the Lord gives to us and we pray that with His blessing we may continue in this manner in the time to come.
On behalf of the board, Corneel Koster
Reformed Continua vol. 3, Student society: Virtute Dei, www.reformedcontinua.nl/article/23
Student society: Virtute Dei