GS 1989 art 152

GS 1989 ARTICLE 152

In closed session Committee II presents:

Agenda VIII, D, 16


  • 1. Letter from br. G. Kruyswijk
  • 2. Letter (confidential) dated April 3, 1989, from the Church at Grand Rapids


  • 1. From the material submitted it appears that br. G. Kruyswijk was excommunicated from the Church at Grand Rapids. (Appeal March 10,1989,p.2,F)
  • Since br. Kruyswijk is appealing a decision of Reg. Synod (Oct. 1987) Synod decides to declare this appeal admissible. (Art. 31 C.O.)


  • 1. On Sunday, September 14, 1986, the Consistory read a statement at the Lord’s Supper table pertaining to the silent censure applied to br. G. Kruyswijk. He made an oral request for this statement after the service and the next day, and repeated this request in the Consistory meeting on September 16, 1986, to which the chairman of the consistory, Rev. P. Kingma, responded “the Consistory will have to give its consent for that.”
  • 2. Regional Synod East (October 15, 16, and 22, 1987) considers “from the correspondence received, it appears that the request to receive ‘the statement’ read by Rev. Kingma has not been followed up by the Consistory, but at the same time it is not clear whether the request was properly addressed to the Consistory and was therefore finalized in the minor assembly. There is no record available to Regional Synod that this request was indeed refused. In fact, the possibility is still open for br. Kruyswijk to request and receive ‘the statement’ from the Consistory. (letter from consistory May 12, 1987) Regional Synod judges: 1. not to accede to the request of br. Kruyswijk that Classis Ontario South of March 25, 26, and April 1, 1987 was wrong when it decided to answer that the matter of the statement was not finished in the minor assembly.”
  • 3. Br. Kruyswijk requests General Synod to declare:
    • a. That the Reg. Synod erred in its consideration 1. “it is not clear whether the request was properly addressed to the consistory” and assumes therewith that therefore it was not finalized in the minor assembly.
    • b. That the Reg. Synod has failed to deal with what I requested from her under point 1,2,3, and 4 on page one (1) of my letter to her of Sept. 17, 1987. No answer was received on these points.
    • c. That the statement read by Rev. Kingma on Sept 14, 1986, which was read in public should be granted and sent to br. Kruyswijk for the purpose of processing an overture to Classis, Regional, or General Synod.
  • 4. Br. Kruyswijk also requests General Synod to declare:
    • a. That the Consistory of Grand Rapids has wrongfully decided that “We will not consider any issue brought up by you . . .”. Scripture teaches that the elders are to feed the flock, not as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:2,3.
    • b. That Reg. Synod of Oct. 1987 incorrectly observed in its observations, point 2, the content of my letter of Sept. 17, 1987. (see page 3, point 3 of this letter) Therefore her judgments under 2 can not be considered as valid.
    • c. That, in order that communications be restored between the Consistory of Grand Rapids and br. Kruyswijk and vice versa, the Consistory of Grand Rapids is requested to rescind the statement “we will not consider any issue brought up by you . . .” in its letter of Dec. 18, 1986.


  • 1. The Consistory in its letter, dated April 3, 1989, states, “the truth is that (the) Consistory has requested him to ask for it [i.e. the statement] in its letter of May 12, 1987, p.2 and 3.” In this same letter, the Consistory also reports that br. Kruyswijk has refused to ask officially for the Consistory’s statement.
  • 2. Br. Kruyswijk does not give any evidence in his appeal of having complied with the policy of the Consistory to release its statement upon official request by him. Neither does he give evidence that he has inquired with the Consistory what is entailed in an “official request.”
  • 3. It is the prerogative of the Consistory, as authority on behalf of Christ, to rule on the procedures of the request involved. (Ex.20:12; Lord’s Day 39, H.C.; to use this authority is not in conflict with 1 Peter 5:2,3 and may not be construed as lording it over the flock.)
  • 4. Classis judged that br. Kruyswijk’s request should be “re-addressed” to the Consistory, which implies that Classis acknowledged br. Kruyswijk’s previous request(s), but at the same time advised him to comply with the Consistory’s ruling. Also the Regional Synod in its consideration 1 upheld this judgment.
  • 5. Br. Kruyswijk’s request for the statement of September 14, 1986, is needed according to him “to bring this illegal censure to the attention of the the major assemblies.”
  • 6. Br. Kruyswijk’s second request to General Synod hinges on the Consistory’s ruling (with concurring advice of the Church Visitors), to confine its communications strictly to the matter of censure, which can be removed by an apology or be pursued in the ecclesiastical way if so required.
  • 7. The Consistory, in its letter of April 3, 1989 informs General Synod, that, “ The ruling of the consistory in its letters of Dec. 9, 1986, p.2 and of Dec. 18, 1986, against which br. Kruyswijk appealed to Classis Ontario South and to Regional Synod East, he has used as the reason for refusing to ask officially for the consistory’s statement . . .”
  • 8. Br. Kruyswijk would err if he interprets the Consistory’s judgment in its letters of December 9, 18, 1986 to him as a refusal to release the statement required for the pursuit of the way of appeal.


Synod judge:

  • 1. that br. Kruyswijk does not prove that Regional Synod has erred in its judgment that this matter had not been finished in the minor assembly;
  • 2. that the Consistory has expressed its willingness that it will release the statement of September 14, 1986 upon official request of br. Kruyswijk for the purpose of appealing his censure.
  • 3. not to accede to br. Kruyswijk’s requests.