Unrest in the wake of CRC synod ‘92 has focused on three basic issues: 1) the ecclesiastical disobedience to the decision of Synod ‘92 on the part of Eastern Avenue CRC, Church of the Servant CRC and other churches who have ordained women to the office of elder subsequent to the synodical decision (and Grace CRC which ordained them prior to Synod ‘92): 2) the misapplication of the word “expound” which allows women to preach, an act which is clearly contrary to Church Order articles 53, 54, 11, 12, 7; and 3) the inconsistency of having Dr. Harvey Smit function as Editor-in-Chiefof the CRC Education Department and Rev. Louis Tamminga as the Director of Pastor-Church Relations while both serve as chairpersons of councils in churches which openly defy the decision of Synod ‘92 (Eastern Avenue CRC and Church of the Servant CRC respectively.)
In a recent meeting with General Secretary of the CRC, Rev. Leonard Hofman, the editors of The Outlook , Rev. Thomas and Laurie Vanden Heuvel were informed that initiation of discipline for the churches in ecclesiastical disobedience and the call for clarification of what “expound” does not mean (preaching), must come by way of consistory, classis and synod. But regarding the denominational employees, Dr. Harvey Smit and Rev. Louis Tamminga, it was revealed that the Synodical Interim Committee (SIC) sent letters to these two men regarding the ambiguity surrounding their roles as servants of the denomination and chairpersons of churches that defy a decision of that denomination. Dr. Peter Borgdorff. Executive Director of World Ministries informed the editors ofThe Outlook that in this communication to the men, SIC reprimanded them and requested a written commitment from each toabide by the decision of synod and the stipulations of the Church Order.
To date a communication has been received from Rev. Louis Tamminga in which he expressed regret and affirmed his resignation as chairman of the council of the Church of the Servant CRC.
May Christ grant wisdom and discernment to His struggling church.
Thomas and Laurie Vanden Heuvel, Co-editors The Outlook