GS 2013 art 174

GS 2013 Article 174 – Appeal of Fergus-Maranatha re: Addition of Hymns

Committee 1 presented its proposal. After some discussion, this was the result:

1.         Material:

Letter from the church at Fergus-Maranatha in which they appeal a decision of Synod Burlington 2010 to add new hymns to the Book of Praise (presumably Article 142) (8.5.27)

2.         Observation:

  • 2.1.      Fergus-Maranatha mentions that it sent a letter to Synod Burlington 2010 regarding the addition of hymns and it is now ‘extending’ its position with this appeal.
  • 2.2.      Fergus-Maranatha does not indicate which article of the Acts of Synod Burlington 2010 it is appealing.
  • 2.3.      Fergus-Maranatha brings forward many quotes from church fathers and others throughout church history to show that the introduction of new hymns led to deviation from the truth.
  • 2.4.      Fergus-Maranatha mentions four Bible texts (Deuteronomy 12:8, 32; Amos 5:23; 8:10; Isaiah 23:16), which it claims prove that we should not introduce hymns.

3.         Consideration:

  • 3.1.      It is not clear which decision Fergus-Maranatha is appealing, nor is there interaction with actual decisions of Synod Burlington 2010.
  • 3.2.      Using quotes from historical figures does not provide new evidence that the introduction of hymns is against Scripture or Church Order.
  • 3.3.      The quotes from Scripture do not speak about the use of hymns and are taken out of context. Fergus-Maranatha does not provide new Scriptural evidence which shows that the introduction of hymns is unbiblical (Article 31 CO)

4.         Recommendation:

That Synod deny the appeal of Fergus-Maranatha.