03 Dec GS 1986 art 136
GS 1986 ARTICLE 136
Letters Re Contact OPC
Committee 4 presents:
- – Agenda VIII, J, 4 Appeal of br. J. Tillema.
- VIII, J, 6 Appeal of Smithville.
- VIII, J, 7 Appeal of Attercliffe.
- 1. The Church at Smithville requests synod “to present the churches as yet with a detailed and complete evaluation of the divergencies between the OPC and the Canadian Reformed Churches and to prove on the basis of Scripture and the confessions that these divergencies do not form an impediment to (continue) to recognize the OPC as a true Church of Jesus Christ,” or if the proof cannot be given:
- a. ” to terminate the official ecclesiastical contact with the OPC:
- b. to continue the contact with the OPC on the basis before 19n :
- c. to evaluate thoroughly the relationship between the OPC and the Christian Reformed Church as well as its relationship to the PCA;
- d. to examine the church-political structure of the OPC with a view to its hierarchical tendencies.”
- 2. The Church at Attercliffe requests synod:
- a. “to present the churches as yet with a detailed and complete evaluation of the divergencies and to give reason on the basis of Scripture and confession that these divergencies do not form an impedimentto (continue) to recognize the OPC as true churches of Jesus Christ … ;
- b. to terminate the official ecclesiastical contact with the OPC in view of the recent developments .
- c. to continue to contact with the OPC on the basis before 1977.”
- 3. Br. J. Tillema requests Synod to “break all contact with the OPC. I will mention only one of the reasons: the OPC allows almost anyone to attend the Lord’s Supper . . . “
- 4. Both the Churches at Attercliffe and Smithville note that the General Synod of 1977 had made a decision without first giving proper grounds and that the General Synods of 1980 and of 1983 left “the important evaluation of those divergencies in the hands of a committee of synod without specifying that this evaluation must yet be dealt with at the broadest assembly of the Canadian Reformed Churches.”
- 5. Both the Churches at Attercliffe and Smithville express concern about the “new developments.” The Church at Attercliffe states that ” it is evident from history of the Reformation Church at Blue Bell as well as Tri-County Reformed Church at Laurel, MD, that the divergencies are greater than some had suspected at first.”
- 1. Although the impression may be given from the decisions of the General Synods of 1980 and 1983 that the Committee for Contact OPC as given the mandate to find the grounds for a previous General Synod decision, they were in fact given the mandate to publish “for the benefit of the churches a detailed evaluation of these divergencies , showing them not to be an impediment in recognizing the Orthodox Presbyterian Church as a true church “
- 2. Although the General Synod of 1983 was of ” the opinion that an evaluation of divergencies should have been given before the General Synod of 1977 decided to recognize the OPC as a true church . . . ,” this ” neglect” itself does not nullify the decision of the General Synod of 1977
- 3. Synod has decided to ” receive this report (‘Evaluation of Divergencies ‘) 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.”
- 4. Although the ” new developments” in the OPC are of concern and may perhaps be reason to review our official ecclesiastical contact with the OPC, the Churches at Attercliffe and Smithville should not overlook that time is needed to solicit a response to our concerns about “new developments” and to evaluate the reply which the OPC gives.
- 1. To inform the Churches at Attercliffe and Smithville , and br. J. Tillema of the decisions made concerning the contact OPC.
- 2. Not to deal any further with the requests of the Churches at Attercliffe and Smithville, nor with the request of br. J. Tillema.
- The recommendations are ADOPTED.