GS 2010 art 94

GS 2010 Article 94 – Appeal from the Rev. R.F. Boersema re: A Decision of Regional Synod West 2009

1.         Material

Letter from Rev. R.F. Boersema appealing a decision of Regional Synod West (8.5.h).

2.         Observations

  • 2.1       Rev. Boersema asks General Synod Burlington-Ebenezer to make the following judgments:
    • 2.1.1    Since the command to proclaim God’s word to all creatures is a divine command, restricting this proclamation must be based on God’s word.
    • 2.1.2    Since the churches in common have not expressed themselves on this, it cannot be assumed that consistories have jurisdiction over the proclamation of God’s word by their members or ministers in churches not under their oversight when no statement is being made with regard to relationships with the inviting church. A consistory that wishes to make a ruling about this must first demonstrate scripturally that the matter comes under its jurisdiction.
  • 2.1.3    Potential unjustified reactions of others cannot be used as reasons to restrict the proclamation of the word of the Lord.
  • 2.2         Rev. Boersema states that Regional Synod West November 3, 2009 did not deal with these points when dealing with his appeal of the decision of Classis Pacific West (October 6, 2009).
  • 2.3       Regional Synod West decided that Classis Pacific West (October 6, 2009) did not judge Rev. Boersema’s appeal correctly, and provided several considerations explaining their decision.

3.         Considerations

  • 3.1       Regional Synod in its Consideration 2 did deal with the first and second matters in which Rev. Boersema asks for General Synod 2010’s judgment, when it stated, in response to Rev. Boersema’s concerns with respect to founding decisions on the Bible (see Observations 2.1.1 and 2.1.2), “Regional Synod points out that not all decisions taken in matters of polity need to be directly based on the Bible; they must keep to Scriptural principles as confessed in BC Articles 30-32 and commonly agreed upon practice as outlined in the Church Order (cf. CO Article 31).”
  • 3.2       In its Consideration 4, Regional Synod stated that Regional Synod must judge the work of classis and not directly the work of the Surrey consistory. Judgement of the consistory’s reasons “to restrict the proclamation of the word of the Lord” are indeed not in the jurisdiction of the Regional Synod.
  • 3.3       Regional Synod West has addressed these concerns, and Rev. Boersema should be able to work with them in his further interaction with the consistory in these matters. He gives no evidence that he has interacted with his consistory in light of the decisions of Regional Synod West.

4.         Recommendation

That Synod decide to deny this appeal.