GS 2013 – Article 128
3.1. Burlington-Fellowship had the right to appeal a decision of Regional Synod 2008 according to Article 31 of the Church Order. Synod Burlington 2010 did not declare this appeal inadmissible. By implicitly declaring it admissible, Synod Burlington 2010 had the duty to deal with the appeal and also to provide Burlington-Fellowship with the grounds for denying the appeal. A ruling of the chairman that by defeating a proposal from an advisory committee the appeal is denied is not sufficient.
That Synod decide:
4.1. That Burlington Synod 2010 (Article 177) erred when it denied Burlington-Fellowship’s appeal without providing observations, considerations, nor adopting a recommendation;
4.2. That Synod Burlington 2010 failed to do justice to the appeal of Burlington-Fellowship;
4.3. To declare the resubmission of Burlington-Fellowship’s appeal against Article 10 in the Acts of Regional Synod East 2008 admissible.
GS 2010 – Article 171
3.1 Article 31 of the CO recognizes the right of anyone who complains that he has been wronged by the decision of a minor assembly to appeal that decision to a major assembly. Willoughby Heights does not claim that it has been wronged by the decision of RSW 2009 in the appeal of br. H. Voorhorst against the decision of the consistory of Cloverdale, to use the revised Psalms in the worship services. Willoughby Heights seeks to provide a ground for its right to appeal the Considerations of Article 5a of the Acts of RSW 2009 by speaking about “a dangerous precedent” that could be set by those Considerations with regard to the use of the Church Order.
3.2 The dangerous precedent about which Willoughby Heights is concerned seems to be the fact that RSW 2009 spoke about “the intent” of Article 55. Willoughby Heights judges that, in doing so, RSW 2009 went “against Article 76 CO.” However, it is clear that the provisions of the CO do not address every possible situation or church orderly question that may arise. In fact, therefore, the diligent observation of the articles of the CO (Article 76) frequently requires that their provisions be interpreted, and their true intent discerned, so that they can be properly applied. In principle, therefore, it was not wrong for RSW 2009 to speak about “the intent” of Article 55.
3.3 In its Consideration 2, Willoughby Heights seems to suggest that RSW 2009 read into Article 55 the notion that “a committee appointed by synod can do, what the churches decided should be done by the churches in common.” In its Consideration 2, Willoughby Heights describes the rationale that RSW 2009 followed in arriving at its decision about the relevance of Article 55 to the appeal of br. Voorhorst. However, it does not show that RSW 2009 implied or claimed that “a committee appointed by synod can do, what the churches decided should be done by the churches in common.”
3.4 In its Consideration 3, Willoughby Heights states that RSW 2009 “tries to prove from history what the intent of the present Church Order is.” However, RSW 2009 did not try to prove from history what the intent of Article 55 CO is. RSW 2009 used the historical practice of the Canadian Reformed Churches to show how the provision of Article 55 (formerly Article 69) has been applied in the past. In fact, Willoughby Heights does the very same thing, when it argues that the situation pre-1983 was substantially different, because they “see in the history of the Canadian Reformed Churches a struggle to find their way in a new situation.”
3.5 In its Consideration 4, Willoughby Heights claims that the adoption of Article 55 in 1983 brought about a real change in regard to the singing of Psalms or Hymns not yet approved by a general synod. However, comparing pre-1983 Article 69 with current Article 55 shows that RSW 2009 correctly judged that “there is no significant change between the Church Order prior to and after 1983. Both the older Article 69 and the present Article 55 clearly limit the churches’ singing to synodically-adopted songs.” The issue, therefore, is not simply “What does the article say?” It is rather, “How should the churches apply Article 55 to the use of Psalms and Hymns which have not been approved by a general synod, but have been given to the churches for testing?” It was proper, therefore, for RSW 2009 to use the historical practice of the churches in that regard in order to come to a conclusion about br. Voorhorst’s appeal.
That Synod decide to deny the appeal of Willoughby Heights.
GS 2004 – Article 86
The following was adopted:
4.5 The church at Abbotsford alleges that, “Synod 2001 maintains a double standard by requiring less from the OPC than it does from ourselves under Article 61 of the Church Order” (Consideration 3). In this statement the church at Abbotsford does not give enough attention to the character of the Church Order, especially vis-à-vis the confessions. Based on scriptural and confessional principles, a federation of churches agrees to a certain church order so everything can be done decently and in order. The OPC and the CanRC are not one federation, and therefore, they do not have one and the same church order. This is not a double standard. Rather, this simply indicates the reality of the present situation: we are in Ecclesiastical Fellowship with the OPC; we have not merged into one federation.
5.2 Not to accede to the appeals of the churches at Attercliffe, Abbotsford, Grand Rapids, Owen Sound and Blue Bell.
5.3 To state that the Considerations 4.1-4.10 serve as an answer to the appeals of these churches.