News from Canada

Dear Reformed Fellowship friends:

We have heard much praise in Canada about the latest issues of THE OUTLOOK. So many additional copies were ordered that the entire stock was depleted.

At a recent Board meeting in Grand Rapids (February 28) the Business Committee reported that 5,000 copies of the March issue were being printed due to order from the United States and Canada. One person in Canada gave more than fifty gift subscriptions.

We may be grateful to the Lord that he has given THE OUTLOOK an editor with so much experience and know-how, Rev. Vander Ploeg.

But people appreciate especially Rev. Vander Ploeg’s conviction and wise guidance in these momentous times.

We have received several requests for bulk reprints of Rev. Peter De Jong’s latest series, and this will be considered at the next Board meeting of the Reformed Fellowship of Canada.

Today (March 1) we received a telephone call on how one article in THE OUTLOOK had caused an entire consistory to send an overture to classis, how it had convinced a whole classis so that now the overture will go to Synod.

Reader, what have you done lately to influence your consistory for orthodoxy? You will bless your church if you do what you can.

Do not delay, but pick up the telephone right now, phone your minister and ask him whether he subscribes to THE OUTLOOK. If not, offer him a free gift-subscription, which will cost you only $3.50.

One brother wrote liS that he had done so for all consistory members of his church. Do not underestimate the power of the printed page.

Next time we hope to write something about the latest chapter activities.


Classis Huron of the Christian Reformed Church decided at its January 9th meeting to send the following overture to Synod:

Concerned about the change in the Form of Subscription adopted by the Synod of 1973, and delayed for final ratification until the meeting of thc Synod 1974, classis Huron overtures Synod not to ratify the amended Form of Subscription, but to uphold it in its original form.


1. “In times of laxity and doctrinal indifference or in days when undercurrents of error seem to be present, the churches should be careful not to revise their Form of Subscription to their own hurt.” (The Revised Church Order Commentary, by Martin Monsma, 1967, p. 42.)

2. If it is true that the old Form could be signed with mental reservations there is no warrant whatsoever that the amended Form will be taken more seriously.

3. By the inclusion of the term “official teaching” the amended Form seems to distinguish between “official” and “unofficial,” which raises a host of questions. When does an office-bearer cease to be an office-bearer? (s a professor teaching in an official capacity in The Banner or De Wachter, and in an in his study? Does a minister write in an official capacity in The Banner of De Wachter, and in an unofficial capacity in The Reformed Journal or THE OUTLOOK? Does an elder speak officially in home-visiting, but unofficially when he receives his friends? Does not this distinction pave the way for an untolerable double-mindedness?

4. The amended Form of Subscription distinguishes between official assemblies of the church and the church as the body of believers to such a degree that office-bearers who have sentiments differing from the doctrinal standards shall have the freedom from now on to discuss and defend these sentiments publicly (although not officially), that means by all kinds of public means and in all kinds of public circles. This distinction tends to become a disjunction in this way, and to overlook the organic union between the assemblies of the church and the· body of the believers, as expressed in Article 37 of the Church Order, according to which the task of the consistory is “to call a congregational meeting, in which major matters must be discussed (except those which pertain to the supervision and discipline of the congregation ).” Such major matters certainly include objections against the accepted doctrine. Article 37 shows the right way of publicly discussing these sentiments, in these words: “Although full consideration shall be given to the judgments expressed by the congregation, the authority for making and carrying out final decisions remains with the consistory as the governing body of the church.”

5. In order to protect the body of believers against any form of intellectualistic or emotionalistic supremacy in doctrinal matters, it seems to be extremely important to keep on using the way of the ecclesiastical assemblies which represent the unity of the church of God.