Article 80 — No lording over others
No church shall in any way lord it over other churches, no office-bearer over other office-bearers.
We may briefly repeat from the Introduction that in earlier days the present Article 80 used to be Article 1.
The Reformed character of our churches is expressed here: They are living under the one and only universal Bishop and the only Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ. Under Him no congregation is of greater importance than the other, no office-bearer is a higher authority than the other.
Even when the churches have agreed to do certain things in common or in the same way, and when they submit themselves to the supervision of the sister-churches, and have created a certain form of jurisdiction in the bond of churches, this was a voluntary act of free churches in accordance with what holy Scripture teaches us concerning the unity of the Spirit that must be maintained.