06 Dec GS 1986 art 137
GS 1986 ARTICLE 137
Overture Classis Ontario South re Contact OPC
Committee 4 presents:
– Agenda, VIII, J, 2 and 3.
A motion, duly seconded, reads:
- Replace Considerations, 3, by:
- 3. Synod recognize that the “Hofford” issue is a matter which is as yet not finished in the minor assemblies (Art. 30, Church Order).
- Replace Recommendations, 2, by:
- 2. Synod decide to ask Classis Ontario South to cooperate fully with the Commit tee for Contact with the OPC regarding the “Hofford” issue.
- The motion is ADOPTED.
The amended report reads now:
- 1. Classis Ontario South of March 5, 1986, requests Synod to “address the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church with the concern of the Canadian Reformed Churches on the doctrinal and church political issues which compelled the Reformation Church at Blue Bell to withdraw from the OPC. The doctrinal issues are the following:
- a. The doctrine of the covenant.
- b. Confessional membership.
- c. Restricted communion.
- d. The doctrine of the church.
- e. The autonomy of the local church. Grounds:
- a. As Canadian Reformed Churches we have ‘Ecclesiastical Contact’ with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. We have mutually recognized one another as true churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet a local OP Church felt compelled to withdraw from the OPC because its Reformed identity was being jeopardized. This gives reason for concern regarding our mutual recognition of one another.
- b. Doctrinal and church political issues were at stake in the controversy at Blue Bell. On the one hand, the handling of these issues caused the church-members at Blue Bell to withdraw from the OPC. On the other hand, the Canadian Reformed Churches could receive this church without hesitation, and this was due in part to these same Reformed views and practices. This gives reason for concern regarding our doctrinal and church political unity. The Canadian Reformed Churches, which share the Reformed doctrine and practices with the Church at Blue Bell, must ascertain whether this Reformed doctrine and practice is acceptable to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church or whether the Canadian Reformed Churches are compelled to break the temporary ecclesiastical relationship.”
- 2. Classis Ontario-South judged that “the separation of the Church at Blue Bell from their Orthodox Presbyterian Church was warranted in order to continue their Scriptural and Reformed distinctives which were at stake “
- 3. Classis Ontario-South has sent a letter to the Philadelphia Presbytery of the OPC addressing them concerning how they have dealt with Blue Bell.
- 4. Classis Ontario-South also forwards a document “convinced of the need for Synod to seriously take into consideration the report and its conclusions when judging the case of Tri-County Reformed Church , and when discussing our relationship with the OPC.”
- 1. Classis Ontario-South is correct in stating that the acceptance of Blue Bell into the federation of Canadian Reformed Churches has an effect on the relation ship between the Canadian Reformed Churches and the OPC.
- 2. Previous and present General Synods have instructed the Committee for Con tact OPC to discuss the doctrinal and church political divergencies with the OPC in view of the ” new developments.”
- 3. Synod recognizes that the ” Hofford” issue is a matter which is as yet not finish ed in the minor assemblies (Art. 30, Church Order).
- 1. Synod decides to inform Classis Ontario-South that the request is already included in the mandate for the Committee for Contact OPC.
- 2. Synod decides to ask Classis Ontario-South to cooperate fully with the Commit tee for Contact with the OPC regarding the “Hofford” issue.
- The recommendations are ADOPTED.