GS 2001 art 81

GS 2001 Article 81Church Order Article 4B2

Committee 3 presented its proposal regarding the suggested change to Article 4B2.

1. Material

  • 1.1. Proposal by Regional Synod East of November 10-12,1999.
  • 1.2. Letter from the Church at Ottawa.

2. Admissibility

The two items are declared admissible.

3. Observations

  • 3.1. Regional Synod East proposes “to change Article 4B2 as follows: ‘have served in churches with which the Canadian Reformed Churches do not maintain a sister-church relationship, and have been well tested for a reasonable period of time and examined by the classis in which they live, with due observance of the general ecclesiastical regulations adopted for that purpose: or …’” (the underlined words are the addition).
  • 3.2. The Church at Ottawa believes this addition contains enough ambiguity in it to undermine its intention. Ottawa mentions the following:
    • 3.2.1. There is no specification as to the length of the time period or who determines it.
    • 3.2.2. There is no specification as to what determines being “well tested.” The Church of Ottawa believes that the churches would be better served by inserting the word “carefully” into the clause that speaks about classical examinations as in CO Article 7, or make the recommendation that the general ecclesiastical regulations include the possibility of preaching consent for these ministers, as is done with students of theology.

4. Considerations

  • 4.1. The proposal from Regional Synod East seeks additional assurance that ministers coming from outside our federation are suitable for the ministry according to 1 Timothy 5:22, and must first be well tested as in accordance with 1 Timothy 3:10.
  • 4.2. Even though some safeguards are in place (CO Article 4), this does not exclude having some additional safeguards. Experience has shown that extra care is required.
  • 4.3. Practical regulations as to what determines “well tested” and what will be a reasonable period of time are the responsibility of Classis.
  • 4.4. Ottawa speaks about the ambiguity of the addition but does not recommend that Synod deny the proposal of Regional Synod East. The proposed changes by Ottawa cannot be granted since they need to be brought through the ecclesiastical assemblies.

5. Recommendations

To make the change to the Church Order, Article 4B2, as proposed by Regional Synod East and to instruct the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise to insert the change into the Book of Praise.

A notice of motion was given.

The committee proposal was put to a vote. Synod adopted the proposal.