25 Jun GS 1998 art 138
GS 1998 Article 137 – Request of Toronto re Pro-Life Stance
Committee I presents their proposal re this matter re Toronto’s Request re Pro-life (II-MM)
Request from the Bethel Church at Toronto (II-MM) with enclosure (Report of the Committee to Study the Matter of Abortion of the 38th General Assembly of the OPC, 1971).
The Bethel church at Toronto, because of the involvement of a sister in pro-life activities and legal difficulties encountered, asks Synod to adopt the above Report of the OPC and give it official status in the midst of the churches.
- A. Though churches and their members may benefit from adopting a pro-life policy, the structure of the Canadian Reformed Churches does not allow for a major assembly to make statements about political and social concerns.
- B. The nature of the Reformed church polity of the Canadian Reformed Churches is such that a statement of the Council of the Bethel Canadian Reformed Church at Toronto should suffice also for legal purposes. In the polity of the Canadian Reformed Church, the Council of the church (elders and deacons) is the highest ecclesiastical body, from which all other assemblies derive their authority.
- C. In respect to the matter of abortion, Synod Fergus 1998 has no doubt that the Canadian Reformed Churches are of one mind, namely, that with the possible exception of cases in which the life of the mother might be in jeopardy, the abortion of pre-born human life, from conception to birth, is considered to be contrary to God’s Word (Exodus 20:13; Psalm 139:13 – 16) and the Confession (Lord’s Day 40, Heidelberg Catechism) of the Canadian Reformed Churches. In this respect, reference is made also to the Report of the Committee to Study the Matter of Abortion of the 38th General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 1971.
- D. It is regrettable that this matter did not come to General Synod via the minor assembles as outlined in Article 30, C.O.
Considering the above, Synod cannot accede to the request of the Church at Toronto.