01 Dec GS 1986 art 126
GS 1986 ARTICLE 126
Report on Contact OPC (See Art. 46, 53, 56, 67, 70, 125)
The discussion continues. Committee 4 presents:
– Agenda , VIII , J, I, point A.
A. Synod 1983 gave the mandate to the Committee for Contact OPC as follows:
- “To continue contact with the OP C, while taking into account the rules for ‘Ecclesiastical Contact.’ “
- These rules for ” Ecclesiastical Contact” (Synod 1977, Acts , Art. 91, p. 42) are as follows:
- a. “To invite delegates to each other’s General Assemblies (G.A.) and to accord such delegates privileges of the floor in the Assembly or Synod, but no vote;
- b. to exchange Minutes and Acts of each other’s General Assemblies and General Synods as well as communications on major issued of mutual concern, and to solicit comments on these documents;
- c. to be diligent by means of discussions to use the contact for the purpose of reaching full correspondence.”
- 1. The committee reports that it sent a delegate to 52nd and 53rd General Assemblies of the OPC (pp. 1 & 2). Reports of these delegates are included in the Committee Report.
- 2. The committee reports that it has invited the OPC to send a delegate to the 1986 General Synod (p. 2).
- 3. The committee reports that copies of Acts of the G.A. and the General Synods of the Canadian Reformed Churches were exchanged (p. 2).
- 4. The committee reports that it “did mention contact by means of correspondence and delegates to their General Assemblies.”
- 1. That the Committee for Contact OPC has seen to it that delegates were invited to the General Synod and sent to the General Assemblies (G.A.) of the OPC and has therefore executed the section ” a” of the Rules for Ecclesiastical Contact ;
- 2. that the Committee for Contact OPC has exchanged Minutes and Acts of each other’s General Assemblies and General Synods and has therefore executed the first part of rule ” b” of the Rules for Ecclesiastical Contact ;
- 3. that the committee gives evidence that it communicated with the OPC as required by the second part of rule “b”;
- 4. that although the committee has been diligent, there is no evidence from the Committee Report that there is progress in “reaching full correspondence,” re rule “c”.
The recommendations re point A are ADOPTED.
B. Synod 1983 gave the Committee the mandate to “publish for the benefit of our churches a detailed evaluation of the confessional and church-political divergencies , showing proof that these divergencies do not form an impediment in recognizing the OPC as a true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- 1. Synod notes that the committee published an “Evaluation of Divergencies.”
- 2. The committee recommends synod to •’adopt this report (Evaluation of Divergencies) given for the benefit of the churches as showing proof that these divergencies did not form an impediment in recognizing the OPC as a true church.” (p. 2, end of IV)
- 1. This Report may reflect the situation at the time recognition was given to the OPC (1977).
- 2. Because of various developments in the OPC after 1977, further discussion with the OPC concerning the divergencies remains necessary (Synod of 1983, Acts, Art. 55, C, 2, a).
- 1. Synod thanks the committee for publishing this report and discharges the committee from this part of its mandate.
- 2. Synod decides not to adopt this evaluation as final in view of the recent developments in the OPC.
The recommendation re point 2 is DEFEATED.
A motion, duly seconded, reads:
To replace Considerations and Recommendations re point 2 as follows:
- 1. General Synod 1980, Acts, Art. 97, 11, C. Recommendations decided:
- a. “To express regret that the evaluation of the divergencies, as discussed in the letter of April, 1976, was not explained in detail by the General Synod of Coaldale of 1977, before stating that these divergencies “do not form an impediment to recognize the Orthodox Presbyterian Church as churches of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- b. To admit that this neglect may have given the impression in the churches that this recognition was ” premature.”
- c. For the benefit of our churches a detailed evaluation of these divergencies, showing them not to be an impediment in recognizing the OPC as a true church, should yet be provided. To incorporate this task in the mandate of the Committee for Contact with the OPC.
- d. To declare that this does not imply that the statement made by the General Synod of Coaldale of 1977 re the OPC as a true church was wrong.”
- 2. Though the Committee for Contact had objected to this part of its mandate, the General Synod of 1983 repeated and continued this part of its mandate.
- 3. This part of the mandate was for historical purposes, i.e. to provide the detailed evaluation not given by the General Synod of 1977.
- 4. This mandate was not connected with the ongoing evaluation of recent developments.
- 1. Synod thanks the committee for publishing this detailed evaluation of the divergencies for the benefit of the churches.
- 2. Synod receives this report as the detailed evaluation of the divergencies which the General Synod of 1977 neglected to give for its decision to recognize the OPC as a true Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This motion is ADOPTED.
Synod adjourns for supper.