01 Dec GS 1986 art 120
GS 1986 ARTICLE 120
Re The 1983 General Synod of Cloverdale, Acts, Art. 160
Committee 4 presents:
- – Agenda Ill, H, B, 14
- 8. Letter from br. J. DeVos re Art. 160 of the Acts of the General Synod of Cloverdale of 1983.
- 14. Letter from the Church at Smithers re letter from br. J. DeVos, Art. 160 of the Acts of the General Synod of Cloverdale of 1983.
- 1. Br. J. DeVos submits his “objections to the manner in which the General Synod of Cloverdale of 1983 has disposed of the matter” of women’s voting rights.
- 2. He is “very disappointed in the conduct of this synod” and considers it to be a “lack of continuity” and “a lack of respect… for the arguments brought forth “
- 3. He states “that it does not belong to the competence of the general synod to grant or not to grant women’s voting rights.”
- 4. He further states that ” the general synod had the duty to rule whether or not the traditional restriction of voting to ‘male confessing members’ must be maintained .”
- 5. He is of the opinion that “if the status quo does not change, there remains no moral hindrance for any consistory to introduce women’s voting rights by its local regulations.”
- 6. He urges this synod to rescind the decision of the Synod of 1983.
- 7. He ”was shocked to read the following sentence: ‘even if the Report of the Committee would be conclusive and clear with respect to its considerations, which it is not, it would still for the above-mentioned reasons be unwise to grant such voting rights’ ” (Considerations, 4).
- 8. He urges synod “to pronounce that the statement, ‘even if the report… etc.,’ is not a statement worthy of an assembly of Christian churches and it is not, and cannot be, ground for any decision whatsoever.”
- 9. The Canadian Reformed Church at Smithers disagrees with the statement of br. Devos that “there remains no moral hindrance… etc.” (Observation 5).
- 10. The Canadian Reformed Church at Smithers asks synod not to reopen the discus sion on this matter.
- 1. Br. Devos is correct in his statement that synod had the duty to rule in this matter (Observation 4).
- 2. It is therefore incorrect to state that it does not belong to the competence of synod to grant or not to grant women’s voting rights (Observation 3).
- 3. It is therefore also incorrect to state that there is no moral hindrance for any consistory to introduce women’s voting rights by its own regulations (Observation 5).
- 4. Br. DeVos does not prove that the decision of the 1983 General Synod was in conflict with the Word of God or with the Church Order (Art. 31, C.O.), neither does he substantiate his request with new grounds (Art. 33, C.O.).
- 5. The last part of Consideration 4 of the 1983 General Synod of Cloverdale certainly gives rise to misunderstanding and is not a correct consideration, which can be upheld. The basic conclusion of the General Synod of Cloverdale is thereby, however, not removed as binding for the churches.
- 1. not to accede to the request of br. J. DeVos;
- 2. to send this decision as a response to br. J. DeVos as well as to the Church at Smithers.
- A motion “that Committee 4 take back its report for reconsideration to consider the arguments from the floor,” is DEFEATED.
- The recommendations of the committee are ADOPTED.