Difficult Decisions

Current developments in the Christian Reformed Churches are rapidly driving those of us who are members of it toward having to make some difficult decisions. In last month‘s OUTLOOK Rev. Henry Vanden Heuvel reported at length especially on the way in which the June Synod handled the matter of women‘s eligibility for church offices. From that account the reader may learn how the Synod majority ignored the plain teachings of the Scripture about who may hold governing offices in the church (I Tim. 2, 3; I Cor. 14:32–38) and its Confession of Faith (Article XXX on “The Government of the Church and its Offices”) and proceeded to change the Church Order in defiance of Article 47 of that Church Order which states, “No substantial alterations shall be effected by Synod in these matters unless the churches have had prior opportunity to consider the advisability of the proposed changes.”

Recent Banner editorials have also called attention to such irregularities in the Synod actions. When the Synod disregards the Bible, the Creeds and the Church Order, we must realize that it is destroying the bonds which tie us together as a denomination. According to that Church Order which binds our churches (and their consistories who alone have “original authority,” Article 35) together, “The decisions of the assemblies shall be considered settled and binding, unless it is proved that they conflict with the Word of God or the Church Order(Article 29). When assemblies ignore that condition and their decisions violate the Word of God and the Church Order they forfeit the right to “bind” any Reformed church or Christian. Such decisions compel us who are conscience-bound before God to maintain the biblical faith and life to consider more immediately than we ever have before what course we have to choose.

Must we (1) for the present remain in the denomination to fight more uncompromisingly and militantly for the Reformed faith and against anti-biblical and antiReformed decisions and policies we see coming out of our Synod and church institutions? Must we  (2) leave our denomination to seek fellowship with some other denomination or denominations which are trying to maintain and promote the Reformed faith and life? Or must we (3) move toward a secession and union of Christian Reformed churches who are determined, by the grace of God, to maintain the historic Reformed faith and practice?

As we are being driven, as other Christians have been, to decide between such courses, let us unitedly, prayerfully and studiously seek the guidance of the Lord’s Word and Spirit to make the proper decisions.