GS 1986 art 119

GS 1986 ARTICLE 119

Letter from Br. VanHuisstede re Election of Office-bearers

Committee 4 presents:


-Agenda VIII, H, 4 Letter from br. B. VanHuisstede re Election of Office­ bearers by the Congregation.


  • 1.    Br. VanHuisstede states that the submission is “a letter of appeal concerning objections which I have against the application of what you and I confess in Art. 31 of the Belgic Confession and what the churches have stipulated in Art. 3 of the Church Order, namely: ‘That the ministers of God’s Word, elders, and deacons ought to be chosen to their offices by lawful election of the church.’ “
  • 2.     Br. Van Huisstede also states “that this letter of appeal has nothing, I emphasize, nothing to do with the so-called Women’s Voting Rights.”
  • 3.     Br. VanHuisstede emphasizes in his submission that “the congregation is called by the Lord to choose her office-bearers,” while “only a small part of all the communicant members is involved.”
  • 4.     Br. VanHuisstede expresses the hope and the prayer that the 1986 General Synod “may come to the same insight about this matter and will take the decision to find ways to have that wrong-doing changed in the midst of the churches of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”


  • 1.     Although br. VanHuisstede states that this submission “has nothing to do with the women’s voting rights,” the purpose of his letter is to permit women to take part in the election of office-bearers.
  • 2.     The General Synod of Cloverdale of 1983 considered that there is an obvious lack of concensus on this matter (Acts, Art. 160, C, 1).
  • 3.     The General Synod of Cloverdale of 1983 also considered that “various churches have expressed their conviction that the matter of women’s voting rights does not live in the midst of the churches and that granting women’s voting rights would definitely cause great concern and even division.”
  • 4.    Br. VanHuisstede asks this general synod to make a decision on a matter, dealt with and decided upon by a previous synod, without substantiating his request with new grounds (Art. 33, C.O.), or proving that the previous decision was in conflict with the Word of God or with the Church Order (Art. 31, C.O.).


Synod decides not to accede to br. VanHuisstede’s request. The recommendation is ADOPTED.