United or Untied?

It’s interesting to see what the juxtaposition of two letters can do to the meaning and “feel” of a word. Putting the “i” before the “t” in UNITED gives an assurance of solidarity and hope. Putting the “t” before the “i” in UNTIED can inject uncertainty, drifting, separation.




Feminism in this century has invaded the UNITED fronts of families, churches and government which were based on Judeo-Christian principles. It has UNTIED thousands of husbands-wives, parents-children and churches.

As a movement it began publicly impacting society in the 60s and it has moved on to uproot traditional (Biblically designed) family We and family values, infiltrating education, the media, government and the church—and the Christian Reformed Church has not escaped.


A Committee for Women in the CRC (CWCRC) was organized on June 30, 1975 shortly after Synod 1975 refused to allow women in office. They wanted to “move the church off center from this traditional male-dominated view of the scriptures” (Deb De Jonge, Newsletter, May-June 1985, p.1).

Although only 29% of CRC members support ordained women ministers and only 34% support women as elders, the CWCRC has attracted a much higher percentage of the leadership of the CRC—particularly Its educational institutions and denominational agencies.

Although one cannot paint every member of the CWCRC with the same brush, it can be safely said that the group entertains and advocates positions on male headship in the home, office and authority in the church and the use of feminine pronouns for God which clearly run contrary to traditional, Biblically-based doctrines of the CRC.

A recent Partnership in the Gospel Conference speaker ridiculed man’s headship over wife, and the CWCRC’s Newsletter editor expressed disgust with full-time motherhood and the “sentimentalization of the mother-child relationship in this century.”

A spokesperson for the group recently reiterated the position articulated by the Report of 1973 on Office and Ordination when he said that opposition to women in office came from a wrong view of office. He called the church to practice “foot-washing” of mutual service.

The Newsletter (Mar/Apr., 1984, pp. 22–23) describes men as power-hungry and therefore incompetent for office. It asks how the sacrament of second birth can be administered by one whose body cannot give first birth (?!).

One cannot forget the infamous article of Annelies Knoppers in which she describes the Bible as patriarchal, a “hindrance” to women. She objects to a male Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and charges Moses, the prophets and Jesus with failure to level a clear and sustained critique of the patriarchal structures of their society.

An over-run printing of the issue in which this lengthy article appeared was done for Synod 1990 delegates. So CWCRC can hardly deny endorsement of ideas expressed above—ideas so foreign to historic Christianity and bordering on blasphemy.

The use of feminine language and pronouns to refer to God on the part of several persons associated with CWCRC and at least one institution of the church has already occasioned an overture to Synod ‘92 and another to upcoming Synod ‘93.

In the Holland Sentinel (Holland, Michigan), August 25, 1990, (Rev.) Marchiene Rienstra (fonnerly CRC) was reported by The Associated Press as saying, “Critics are unfair to cry ‘idolatry’ whenever God is referred to as goddess. In fact, the idolatry has already happened with the masculinization of God as King. Jesus said God is a spirit. To make God just male is to make God a masculine idol.” Mrs. Rienstra has recently produced a book entitled Swallow’s Nest: A Feminine Reading of the Psalms in which she paraphrases Psalms by converting masculine pronouns to feminine. According to the grounds for Overture 46 coming to Synod ‘93, Marchiene Vroon Rienstra is a contributor for CRC Publications’ new adult-education curriculum, Viewpoints.

Feminism is becoming entrenched in the unofficial life of the CRC. But it has also invaded the official pronouncements of the CRC.


Synod 1973 In 1973 two study committees reported to synod, one on “Ecclesiastical Office and Ordination” and the other on “Women in Ecclesiastical Office.” Although the study committees functioned separately, there was a strange unity to the conclusions reached by both. In fact, the faulty foundational principles outlined by the committee on office lead directly to faulty conclusions offered by the committee for women in ecclesiastical office. The committee on office maintained that office is a task which is committed to all the members of the church. The fact that some persons are set aside to serve in a special way is only designed to promote efficiency in the church. There is to be no special “status, dominance or privilege attached to these offices. They only differ in function and not in essence from the office of believer which everyone in the church holds.” From these statements one can only conclude that office is basically service and nothing more. Such office requires no submission on the part of the members of the congregation; it carries no authority, it deserves no special honor.

The synodical advisory committee that handled the report saw the fatal flaws, but instead of advising a rejection of the study committee’s recommendations, the advisory committee prepared a set of guidelines which were designed to correct some of the erroneous thinking in the study report recommendations. The guidelines emphasized the difference in essence of the ecclesiastical offices from the general office of believer. The guidelines stressed that office was service but service with authority demanding respect, submission and honor. What synod accepted in 1973 was a package of study committee recommendations going in one direction and guidelines to those recommendations going the opposite direction. It was an attempt to fit the proverbial “round peg in a square hole.” It was like so many reports, a synthesis that has not worked and never will.

Synod 1973 also received and acted upon another report entitled “Women in Ecclesiastical Office.” We want to look briefly at a matter raised all, p. 521, Acts of Synod, 1973. In this section of the report the authors discuss the relationship of the first man and the first woman to each other. The Christian church for centuries has understood Genesis 2:18 and 20 to teach that the woman’s role is to be that of “helper” to the man. The synodical report of 1973 introduced a new interpretation of the word “helper.” It told us that “The best translation of ‘helper fit for him’ is likely ‘partner’…lf woman was created as a helper of man, is she not then by that very token an inferior, a lower human being?” When the synodical report made this kind of substitution of “partner” for “helper” regarding the roles of men and women, and used it as their “point of beginning,” their foundation in developing the Biblical teaching all woman, it had tremendous implications for their views all. headship, submission and women in ecclesiastical office.

In the ensuing years, the wrong definitions of office as service (virtually devoid of authority), of headship as source rather than authority, and helper as partner (equality of role rather than submission) led to hermeneutical gymnastics of unbelievable proportions. Biblical terms were redefined, classic passages bearing on pertinent issues were declared to be “culturally conditioned,” or they were reinterpreted and applied in ways that defy basic rules of exegesis. Artificial “sweeps” of Scripture were constructed to promote the cause of women in office; and most recently, we have been told that really the Bible teaches the legitimacy of both positions (male headship in the church and women in office). So churches ought to be permitted to do as they desire.

Synods 1975 and 1978

Synod 1975 declared “that the practice of excluding women from the ecclesiastical offices recognized in the Church Order be maintained unless compelling biblical grounds are advanced for changing that practice.”

Synod 1975 also declared “that sufficient biblical grounds have not been advanced to warrant a departure from our present practice of excluding women from the ecclesiastical offices recognized in the Church Order.”

But Synod 1975 also appointed a study committee on hermeneutical principles due to “widely disputed” exegesis of key passages. This resulted in the decision of Synod 1978 which opened the office of deacon to women provided their work be distinguished from that of elders.

Synod 1981

The decision to open the office of deacon to women met with a great deal of opposition in the churches, and when implementation was about to fail at Synod 1981, Synod appointed a new study committee to “examine the meaning and scope of headship as it pertains to the relationships of husband and wife and man and woman to as certain: a) Whether headship has implications for authority and leadership in marriage and family, church, business, educational institutions, and government, and if so, how? and b) How these conclusions apply to the question of whether women may hold office in the church.”

Synod 1984

Synod 1984, acting upon the findings of this committee, declared that both Old and New Testaments teach that a man should exercise primary leadership and direction-setting in the home and in the church. Synod then proceeded to reaffirm the decision of 1978 and ratified the amended form ofChurch Order Article 3 and its supplement, and women in the CRC were granted the right to hold the office of deacon provided their work be distinguished from that of elders.

Synod 1985

The repercussions of this action resulted in 5 overtures and 55 appeals to Synod 1985 raising the issue of how the decision to open the office of deacon to women would affect the practice of the church in relation to the offices of minister and elder. The synodical advisory committee recognized that the Biblical support for the headship principle and its application to the issue of women in office was found in the study committee report submitted to Synod 1984. Based on the report to Synod ‘84, Synod ‘85 declared “that the biblical ‘headship principle’ as formulated by the Synod of 1984, namely, ‘that the man should exercise primary leadership and direction-setting in the home and in the church,’ implies that only male members of the church shall be admitted to the offices of minister and elder.” This was the first and only synod in 16 years to reach a definitive statement all, whether women may serve as ministers and elders.

Synod 1990

The decision of 1985 was “settled and binding” (Church Order Article 29), but it was violated in 1990 when Synod ‘90 voted to open the offices of minister and elder to women. Not only did Synod ‘90 not demonstrate that the declaration of ‘85 was in conflict with the Scripture and the Church Order (as Church Order Article 29 requires), but Synod ‘90 furnished no “compelling biblical grounds” for opening the offices, thus violating the stipulations of Synod 1975. In fact, Synod ‘90 generated this momentous decision to open the offices of elder and minister to women with no Biblical grounds at all. After much criticism between Synods ‘90 and ‘91, Synod ‘91 mandated an Ad Hoc Committee to come up with Biblical grounds for ‘90’s decision to be presented to Synod ‘92. Synod ‘92 voted not to ratify the change in Church Order Article 3, and to retain the current wording. One of the grounds was that the Biblical support for ordination presented in Report 31 (the Ad Hoc Committee Report) “is not sufficiently persuasive to win the confidence and support of the church.”


That brings us to Synod 1993 which is about to begin. The Agenda promises a showdown between the advocates and opponents of women in ecclesiastical office. Nine overtures-appeals (from 6 classes and 3 councils) basically ask for a reversal of ‘92 and a ratification of ‘90. Nine classes and one council insist that churches which are disobedient to the decision of ‘92 be made to comply; one asks Synod ‘93 not to accede to the overtures of Classis Grand Rapids East; one urges clarification and limitations on the word “expound”; two urge loyalty of denominational employees to the decision of Synod ‘92.

Needed: Adjudication of Legality

It would seem that the first task of Synod ‘93 must be to determine the legality of Overtures 22–24 and 28–31 . Assurances were received by “conservatives” at Synod ‘92 from two persons authorized by their positions to give advice on church polity, that Synod 1992’s decision “not to ratify Church Order Article 3” could not be overturned by Synod 1993 or a subsequent Synod. Rather, a new study committee would have to be appointed and the entire procedure began again. The same two voices have recently reiterated that judgment on the legality of asking Synod ‘93 to reverse ‘92 and ratify ‘90.

Second, Synod ‘93 must adjudicate the legality of Overture 25 (Classis Grand Rapids East) and Overture 27 (Classis Alberta North) which actually ask for the same thing as Overtures 22–24 and 28–31 but use a different political procedure—that of an Appeal. Strangely, these overtures are listed in the Agenda as overtures and not as Appeals and are not capitalized. It cannot be argued that the overtures’ choice of the word “appeal” is a random choice. Dr. Henry De Moor, professor of church polity from Calvin Seminary was present at Classis Grand Rapids East’s meeting to give his opinion on whether the overture from First CRC in Grand Rapids (an appeal) was different from that of Sherman St. CRC which simply asked (as do Overtures 22–24 and 28–31) that synod “change–Article 3 of the Church Order to read as follows: ‘All confessing members of the church who meet the biblical requirements are eligible for the offices of minister, elder, deacon and evangelist.’”

Dr. De Moor’s response was as follows: “I concur that the overture from First Church is different in form from the others. Ratification of the 1990 change in the Church Order is no longer an option in 1993, so formally speaking there can be no question of ratifying 1990 in 1993; there is nothing there dangling; it is dead. That is why there is this procedure of an appeal to place synod back in the position where it was prior to Synod 1992.”

Rev. Morris Greidanus, pastor of the First CRC of Grand Rapids, Michigan, explained the implications of his church’s appeal as follows: “The intent behind the overture is to appeal Synod 1992’s non-ratification, have synod rescind the decision against ratification and place itself back in the position where it was prior to the non-ratification vote, and then have synod vote again on the 1990 proposal.”

What we have here is clearly an attempt to use the political structure of an Appeal to achieve a goal that is not achievable any other way.

My reason for bringing this to the attention of readers and hopefully delegates to Synod ‘93, is to point out that the word “appeal” in Overtures 25 and 27 is very deliberately taken and the hope is that it \vill be processed as such.

Strangely, the legality of using the Appeal procedure for a case like this never came up at Classis Grand Rapids East. When one turns to the section of the Church Order, Article 30, dealing with Appeals, one finds that it speaks only in terms of minor assemblies appealing major assemblies “next in order.”

The Revised Church Order Commentary by Van Dellen and Monsma explains: “This means that consistorial decisions may be appealed to classis, and classical decisions may be appealed to synod.” Article 30 of the Church Order says nothing about the Appeal procedure being used by one synod to undo or reverse the decision of the previous synod. Therefore the Appeals cloaked as Overtures 25 and 27 are illegally before the Synod of 1993.

The commentary of Van Dellen and Monsma on Article 31 of the Church Order dealing with petitions and revisions to the body which made the decision in question even says: “Such a request shall be honored only if sufficient and Hew grounds for reconsideration are presented. Sufficient and new grounds must be presented bolstering the request for a change in the decision involved. No one should expect a consistory, classis, or synod to undertake a reconsideration of a matter previously fully considered and then voted upon, to go through this procedure once more, unless new and weighty reasons have come upon the scene.”

And yet, Overtures 22–24, 28–31 and Appeals 25 and 27 are seeking to do exactly this—achieve a change in the decision of Synod 1992, reached after 20 years of discussion and debate, without “sufficient and new grounds,” without “new and weighty” reasons. Further, they are seeking instant ratification of ‘90 without giving the churches a chance to respond to the reversal.

Needed: A Response to Grounds

Synod ‘93, in dealing with all the Overtures and Appeals asking for a reversal of ‘92 insome form or other, and a ratification of ‘90, will be looking at a variety of reasons expressed by the Overtures-Appeals for their requests. We focus briefly on a few.

1) Several argue that the “permitting” of women in office avoids the extremes of “forbidding” or “requiring” women in office; but they completely ignore the ramifications of such permission which impacts all the churches. Examples include the seating of women in consistories which are divided over the matter, seating them at classis and synod. What about the payment of quotas to denominational agencies which advocate, promote or use women in their official offices? What about family visiting, church visitors, pulpit supply? The Ad Hoc Committee report to Synod ‘92 issued guidelines for the implementation of women in all the offices of the church. There was a glaring disparity between their treatment of advocates of women’s ordination and opponents of women’s ordination. Whereas advocates of women’s ordination are cautioned to be patient with the opponents of this practice, displaying a sensitivity and respect for their scruples, opponents of women’s ordination are repeatedly told what they may not do. Basically, “permitting” churches to ordain women will have to give way to “requiring” them to ordain women because that is what the Church Order requires.

It is not at all unrealistic to envision a future synod, subsequent to a ratification of women in office, deciding that churches must be “required” to nominate and elect women to preserve the peace in communities and insure continuity at minor and major assemblies. This is already a consequence in other church communions. This is called the “domino effect.” It makes liberals scoff and conservatives cringe. Remember the predictions of abortion leading to euthanasia, of women as deacons leading to women as elders and ministers, and to a justification of homosexuality, both based on the same hermeneutic? We are not facing academic issues here. We are staring at reality even as we speak.

2) Some of the Overtures – Appeals state that the church is “binding the consciences ofcongregations and members on issues on which the Bible does not insist on uniformity.” It must be clearly demonstrated that this statement betrays a bias—the bias being that the Bible says “yes” and “no” to women in office; the Bible speaks with a “forked-tongue” on this issue; the Bible offers a smorgasbord of choices on this issue. Take your pick. The “progressives” (as they like to be called) in the denomination can live with that kind of dualism regarding Scripture (for a while), but the rest of us cannot. In no way do we agree that the Bible allows for both positions. Its delineation of male headship in the home and the church is very clear.

3) One ground given for a reversal of ‘92 charges that Synod ‘92 was only concerned about “rules for assemblies” and not “justice for women.” We would like to point out that there is no conflict here. The Bible provides rules for religious assemblies and roles for women and they do not conflict unless a conflict is created.

4) Another argument advanced for a reversal of ‘92 is that the church is inconsistent in welcoming women to “full communion with the people of God” when they profess their faith—and then denying them office. But similarly, when “full communion with the people of God” is offered to men professing their faith, it is not offering them “office” either. The truth is that both men and women must conform to certain requirements and conditions in considering the contributions both can make to the life of the church. The church is not an equal opportunity employer.

5) Some Overtures -Appeals argue that Synod ‘92 violated Church Order by allowing women to “expound”—thus creating another church order, based on gender, next to our present Church Order. This charge can only be made when one deliberately misconstrues what Synod ‘92 meant by the word “expound” whatever “expound” did mean (and that is ambiguous), it could not have meant giving to women the right to replace male proclamation of the Word in the Sunday divine worship mandated by the Church Order. That would have called for a revision of Articles 53, 54, 22, 12 and 11, unless we violate our own rules. The meaning of “expound” was never defined by Synod ‘92. As I recall, a question was asked late in the afternoon of the synodical discussion on women in office: “Does this mean women may preach?” At that moment, the lights of the Fine Arts Center went out for two hours due to a storm passing through the area. When synod reconvened after dinner, that question was not raised again, nor was it answered in any way. But some churches have put their own content into the word “expound” and have now come to Synod ‘93 accusing Synod ‘92 of a dual Church Order. Such is not the case.

6) Several Overtures – Appeals insist that study committee reports have consistently found that there is “no compelling biblical evidence to exclude women from church office,” and thus the CRC cannot continue to prohibit what its own studies have found to be Biblically permissible and defensible. The above is not a true statement but it has a precedent. When Synod ‘90 failed to base its opening of the offices on Scripture, CRC Publications was mandated by Synod 1991 to produce a booklet to guide “the churches toward understanding and accepting the decision to permit the ordination of women.” So the booklet was not so much a source of information, but rather a biased argument for a point of view adopted by Synod ‘90 without Biblical grounds. The bias seems to become apparent when one looks in Appendix B at “Major Recommendations Adopted by Synod” only to find the action of Synod 1985 missing. This is shocking because Synod 1985 was the only Synod in the many years of discussion, to make a declaration on the subject of women as elders and ministers—and that declaration was that the Bible closes the offices of elder and minister to women; and Synod ‘85 based its declaration on the report of Synod ‘84 which says the same thing as the declaration of ‘85. In the rest of the booklet, the action of Synod ‘85 is only mentioned in one sentence. The truth is that the action of Synod ‘85 was the only synodical action on the question of women as ministers and elders until 1990. So to say that synods and their reports have consistently found no compelling Biblical evidence to exclude women from the offices of minister and elder is false. One might ask: Why did Synod ‘90 make no reference to the “settled and binding” character of Synod 1985? Why did Synod 1990 violate Article 31 of the Church Order in not offering any “sufficient and new material” for reversing Synod ’85? Why did Synod 1990 violate Synod 1975 which declared that.” The practice of excluding women from the ecclesiastical offices recognized in the Church Order be maintained unless compelling biblical grounds are advanced for changing the practice? These are the questions Synod 1993 should be asking when evaluating Overtures – Appeals 22–31.

7) Finally, Classis Lake Erie is sending an Overture to Synod ‘93 (no. 30) which picks a relatively obscure series ofevents from Synod ‘87 to ‘89, to serve as a model for what Synod ‘93 ought to do on the matter of reversal of ‘92 and ratification of ‘90. Their presentation and application of the facts is as follows:

In 1987, synod adopted a large number of Church Order changes. These changes were submitted to Synod 1988 for ratification. Synod 1988 ratified the majority of them but, in response to an overture from Classis Minnesota South, did not ratify the changes in Articles 26 and 27 (and the heading of Article 35). Instead, it revised these articles and submitted the revisions to Synod 1989 for ratification (Acts of Synod 1988, pp. 609–10). In response to a recommendation from the Synodical lnterim Committee and an overture from Classis Kalamazoo, Synod 1989 judged that the 1988 readings would not serve the church well. Upon the recommendation of its advisory committee, synod immediately ratified the 1987 changes without submitting them to the churches one more time for ratification in 1990 (Acts of Synod, 1989, p. 523). Even though the 1987 changes had not been ratified in 1988, they were available for immediate ratification because they were still part of the ongoing discussion.

This synodical precedent is directly applicable to our current situation. Synod 1992 declined to ratify the Church Order change adopted by Synod 1990 and proposed something else. Should Synod 1993 judge that the decision of Synod 1992 will not serve the church well, it is able to ratify immediately the change adopted by Synod 1990 since that change is still part of the ongoing discussion.

Our answer to Classis Lake Erie is at least three-fold:

a) Synod ‘88, in response to an overture, made changes in the Church Order articles and resubmitted them to Synod ‘89, which means that the proposed changes recommended by Synod ‘87 were still in process. There is no parallel here between ‘90 and ‘92. Synod ‘92 is finished, concluded. It sent nothing on to Synod ‘93 to revise and/ or ratify like Synod ‘88 did. It is no longer in process as the proposals of ‘87 were until ‘89. At most, all the advocates of women in office can get from Synod 1993 is a new study committee to start from square one.

b) Synod ‘92 declined to ratify Synod ‘90 but did not “propose something else.” The “expounding” and “pastoral care” were not given official status via: Church Order changes—even though some churches have applied it this way. Officially as a denomination, we stand on the pronouncements of 1975 and 1985 unless or until, in response to “new material,” Synod appoints another study committee, beginning the process all over again.

c) There is no comparison between the substance of Articles 26 and 27 (and the heading of 35) and the issue of women in ecclesiastical office. While the ‘87 matters were significant, they certainly did not qualify as “substantial alterations” to the extent defined by the Committee for the Organization of the Church which reported to Synod ‘89, Recommendation 2a: “That synod define ‘substantial alterations’ as any alteration which changes the essential (or actual) meaning of the creeds or articles of the Church Order…” (Acts of Synod, 1989, p. 526).

It is quite obvious that women in office is just such a “substantial change” and it is unthinkable that ‘90 could be ratified in ‘93, having been finished business in ‘92.

Needed: Approval for Overtures Requiring Obedience

Synod will be looking at overtures requiring conformity on the part of denominational employees to the decision of Synod ‘92 (nos. 32 and 40), and conformity on the part of churches in ecclesiastical disobedience to the Synod 1992 (Overtures 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44). In this connection it would be well for synodical delegates to consider The Revised Church Order Commentary of Van Dellen and Monsma on Article 29 concerning the “settled and binding” character of a synodical decision: “If after due consideration the assembly concerned decides that its decision is unbiblical, then instant reversal is naturally in order. If, however, the appellant cannot persuade the assembly, and the assembly fails to persuade the appellant, and the appellant does not feel free before God to submit and conform himself, then the churches must bear with the aggrieved brother, if at all possible. If however, the matter be of far-reaching import, then the aggrieved brother should be asked to conform and submit as long as he remains to be a member of the church concerned. If his conscience will not at all permit this, he should ultimately affiliate with a church not so binding his conscience.”

In the recent past, a total of more than 7,000 conservatives have left the CRC. This is regrettable. With due respect to those who have been fighting for women in office in the CRC, they comprise a relatively small percentage of the church population and they are espousing a cause that has been rightly judged to be “not compelling” in Biblical warrant. If they cannot accept the decision of Synod 1992, they should affiliate with churches that do not so “bind their consciences.” Not only the Bible, but also the history of the CRC and the history of Christianity in its many branches has been and is on the side of male headship in the home and church.

If Synod 1993 were to accede to the Overtures – Appeals that call for a reversal of ‘92 and a ratification of ‘90, they would betray the trust and covenant they have with the congregations and members of the CRC via: the Confessions and the Church Order which is designed to be glue holding the churches together. If Synod ‘93 violates its own rules and allows ‘92 to be reversed and ‘90 to be ratified, then we will be forced to agree with those who have left: “We have not left the church; the church has left us.”


In closing, I want to give a personal testimony which I have never done before. I love the Christian Reformed Church. I was born into it, baptized by Dr. William Hendriksen who later honored me with a request to review his new book for The Banner. I was raised in Oakdale Park CRC under the ministries of dear pastors and friends, Dr. Peter Y. De Jong and Rev. John Piersma under whom I made profession of faith at age fifteen. I went through the entire Christian School system, sitting at the feet of Dena Koriker, Dorothy Westra and Nelle Vander Ark. I graduated from Calvin College and have taught in CSI schools for over twenty years. My husband and I have been blessed by the Lord to serve six wonderful congregations in the CRC across many miles. We have had a strong and loving bond with all our congregations and are welcomed back to each with overwhelming affection whenever we return. We have known our people and their communities and neighboring churches well, and we know for a certainty, that the vast majority of them share our convictions on this whole matter which has been troubling the church for twenty years. It is time to accept the decision of Synod ‘92 as final-and move on to greater and better things. Truly, the task before Synod ‘93 is to stand “UNITED” on the decision adopted last year, or we run the grave risk of becoming “UNTIED.”

This article was written for Reformed Witness and is printed here with permission.