GS 2001 art 77

GS 2001 Article 77Appeal: Church at London re: Article 51 of Synod Fergus,1998.

Committee 1 presented its proposal on the appeal of the Church at London re: Article 51,Synod Fergus 1998. Synod adopted the following:

1. Material

Letter of the Church at London.

2. Admissibility 

This letter is declared admissible since it interacts with the decisions of Synod Fergus 1998.

3. Observations

The Church at London lodges an appeal against Article 51 of Synod Fergus 1998. In 1998 London considered that the recommendation of the CRCA to enter into ecclesiastical fellowship with the RCUS was premature, for five reasons, as found in art. 51 III, b, 1 a-e p.42. Synod Fergus 1998 considered London’s statement “judging the doctrinal integrity of the RCUS” and “calling into question the statement of the CRCA that as we share the same confessions we can conclude that the sacraments are understood scripturally.” The Church at London finds that Synod Fergus 1998 contradicted itself, by on the one hand denying London its concerns, while on the other hand mandating the CRCA to address the very points raised by the Church at London, particularly the issue of doctrinal integrity of the RCUS.

4. Considerations

  • 4.1. It appears that Synod Fergus 1998 overstated itself when declaring that the Church at London judged the doctrinal integrity of the RCUS, since the Church at London was not arguing the statement of the CRCA, but whether the doctrinal standards are faithfully upheld and applied.
  • 4.2. Synod Fergus 1998 stated in Consideration D page 43, “…at the same time honesty demands that we admit to diversity in understanding among our churches as well.” This indicates an admission on the part of Synod that London was correct, but Synod did speak about the Canadian Reformed Churches, while the Church at London is concerned with the practices of the RCUS.
  • 4.3. The Church at London is correct in observing that the statement of the CRCA could be misleading since it is too general.

5. Recommendations

Synod decide:

  • 5.1. That the Church at London did not judge the doctrinal integrity of the RCUS, rather, it requested verification of the faithful upholding and application of the Confessions.
  • 5.2. That Synod Fergus 1998 erred in its interpretation of the first argument of the Church at London.