GS 2013 art 47

GS 2013 Article 47 – Appeal of Attercliffe re: OPC

1.         Material:

Letter of appeal from the church at Attercliffe against Article 27 of Synod Burlington 2010 (8.5.22)

2.         Observations:

  • 2.1.      Attercliffe appeals the decision of Synod Burlington 2010 to declare Attercliffe’s 2010 appeal regarding the OPC inadmissible on the basis of Article 33 CO.
  • 2.2.      Synod Burlington 2010 provided a history of the relations between the CanRC and the OPC and the way in which the respective committees reached a statement of agreement on the matters of fencing the Lord’s table and confessional membership.
  • 2.3.      In Article 27 Synod Burlington 2010 provided four considerations to Attercliffe:
    • [3.1.]    Synod Smithers 2007 indeed did not deal with the issue of confessional membership. However, this matter was dealt with extensively by Synod Chatham 2004. Attercliffe did not bring up any new grounds for revisiting this decision.
    • [3.2.]    To simply state that the Acts of Synod 1998 contain the scriptural and confessional proof for both amended insertions is not an interaction with the considerations of Synod Chatham 2004 and thus cannot be considered “new grounds.”
    • [3.3.]    To speak about a “historic continental Reformed position” is nebulous and not helpful. While Attercliffe speaks about the “burden of proof” lying with others, the decisions of Synod Neerlandia 2001 were based on lengthy considerations with which Attercliffe did not interact.
    • [3.4.]    Using quotations from authors has its place but does not negate the necessity to interact with the lengthy considerations of Synod Neerlandia 2001.

3.         Considerations:

  • 3.1.      Attercliffe is correct in pointing out that the matter of confessional membership was not dealt with extensively by Synod Chatham 2004. However, they do not provide interaction with the other considerations of Synod Burlington 2010 (3.2-3.4).
  • 3.2.      Synod Burlington 2010’s considerations in Article 27, Considerations 3.2-3.4, remain valid grounds and as such Synod was correct in declaring the appeal inadmissible on the basis of Article 33 CO.

4.         Recommendation:

That Synod deny the appeal.