The Editor’s Response

I appreciated your response to the review of the 2014 URCNA Synod. It should not be surprising that a group of churches that left a denomination because of actions done by that denomination’s Synods and its committees have a fear of synodical committees. For those who went through the split, those wounds are still very fresh. While that may sound uncharitable, one need but observe the discussions on the floor of Synod to realize it is true.

The problem that we are facing is not a failure to recognize the CanRC as a true church. Rather, it is the perceived insistence that we become identical, that is, same song book, same church order, etc. While that may be a noble goal to attain, many remain unconvinced that such a goal is necessary. Is uniformity what Jesus requires of the churches in His high-priestly prayer? If it is, then we should be working toward that within our own federation before trying to unite with another federation.

CERCU seems to be pushing for uniformity between two federations. At the same time we claim to enjoy the diversity found within our own federation. Canadian Reformed pastor Rev. Clarence Bouwman writes in The Overflowing Riches of My God, “as one considers the catholicity of the church, one notices differences between the churches in Africa and the churches in Australia and the churches in Canada. Do the differences not take away from the catholicity of the church (or its unity, for that matter” (p. 279). Rev. Bouwman answers his own question on the next page: “In no place on earth is the church Christ gathers a carbon copy of His work in another place. In the one, catholic church of the Lord many different historical, ethnic, cultural and linguistic contexts abound. Yet all the while, the same work of redemption is proclaimed and embraced, and people dead in sin are raised to new life. Unity does not mean uniformity, and catholicity does not mean sameness.”

Perhaps this exchange can be the beginning of a dialogue in which CERCU can explain if uniformity between the two federations is being pursued, and, if so, why two federations that recognize diversity within the true church of Jesus Christ seem to be so hard at work trying to become identical.