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The final (published) version of the Acts of Synod 2006 is available as a single PDF file here.
The Acts available in HTML format are an "Approved Draft", and contain spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and typos.
These draft acts are being retained online for convenience and ease of access. Quotes should not be taken from these draft acts.
 
Thursday 13th July 2006 - Afternoon Session


Article 45 - Re-opening

The Chairman opened the afternoon session of Synod and invited all present to sing Psalm 92:1, 2 and 6.


Article 46 - Adoption of Acts

Articles 31 - 42 of the Acts are adopted


Article 47 - Relations with Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands (3) - Fourth Commandment and Sunday (Refer Article 37, 44)

I. Material:

Agenda item 12f(iv) - Relations with Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands
Agenda item 10d - Overture re relations with Reformed Churches Netherlands
Agenda item 8x - Letter FRC Kelmscott re Reports Relations with Sister Churches

II. Recommendations:
  1. To acknowledge with thanks that the mandates to stay informed about developments and decisions in the RCN about the Sabbath/Sunday issue and to continue the discussions with the RCN on this matter have been amply fulfilled.

  2. To acknowledge with thanks the progress made in our Dutch sister churches on this pressing issue, and to accept this definitive decision as a satisfactory answer to our concerns.

  3. To make the English translation of the report of the Dutch deputies along with the synodical decision available for our churches on our church website.
Grounds:
  1. The deputies have had to study long reports from the Dutch deputies and interacted with intensive discussions, both by letters and by personal meetings, with our Dutch sister churches on this issue.

  2. The decision adheres to the Scripture and our reformed confessions, especially LD 38, H. C.

    This decision brings together the various views by stressing the authority of Scripture, by following our reformed confessions, by applying the hermeneutic of following the line of fulfilment in the history of redemption, and by applying the doctrine in a practical way for our time so that Sunday can indeed be a glorious day of rest and worship.

    Our churches can benefit from such a comprehensive study of this important matter. It seems prudent to use our FRCA/deputies website for this.
III. Discussion:

After discussion, this recommendation was amended. The final text of this decision is found in Article xx.

IV. Decision: (to be placed in final decision on RCN)
  1. To acknowledge with thanks that the mandates to stay informed about developments and decisions in the RCN about the Sabbath/Sunday issue and to continue the discussions with the RCN on this matter have been amply fulfilled.

  2. To accept Amersfoort's decision as largely allaying our concerns.

  3. To have deputies monitor the application of this decision, seeing there are still concerns about its application and clarity of Sunday, Lordly Day. A Pastoral Guideline.
Grounds:
  1. The deputies have had to study long reports from the Dutch deputies and interacted with intensive discussions, both by letters and by personal meetings, with our Dutch sister churches on this issue

  2. In distinction from synods Leusden and Zuidhorn, Synod Amersfoort took the view that "no matter how you approach Sunday rest, both lines take their starting point in a commandment to rest on Sundays." This means that the RCN has come to the conclusion that the New Testament Church's obligation to cease working on Sunday is based on God's command.

  3. General Synod Amersfoort acknowledged the need "to endeavour, while looking upward in prayer to God, to come to renewed conviction regarding the celebration of the Sunday and its place within a Christian style of life as a whole." (Decision 3) This gives the impression that our Dutch sister churches are determined to insist - on the basis of God's Word - that church members should not work on Sunday.

  4. According to the adopted rules for Sister Relations it is our task to "assist, encourage and exhort one another to live as churches of God in this world."
ADOPTED


Article 48 - Relations with Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands (4) - Divorce and Remarriage (Refer Article 37, 44, 47)

I. Material:

Agenda item 12f(iv) - Relations with Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands

II. Discussion:

After several rounds of discussion regarding Divorce and Remarriage, a decision was adopted. The final text of this decision is found in Article xx.

III. Decision: (to be placed in final decision on RCN)
  1. To express thankfulness that our Dutch sister churches could take a strong Scriptural stance regarding God's teachings against divorce and remarriage.

  2. To express regret that, while the issue regarding the approval of divorces for reasons beyond the Scriptural reasons of adultery and wilful desertion was not endorsed by synod and thus implicitly excluded, synod did not explicitly state this.
Grounds:
  1. Synod Amersfoort in the "Principles and Guidelines" that it approved, gives strong Scriptural guidance showing how divorce and subsequent remarriage are a serious evil and must be so dealt with by consistories.

  2. Synod Amersfoort gave no explicit guidance regarding the danger of moving in a direction that allows divorce for reasons beyond adultery and wilful desertion (Matt 19 and 1 Cor 7).
ADOPTED


Article 49 - Relations with Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands (5) - Liturgy and Hymns (Refer Article 37, 44, 47, 48)

I. Material:

Agenda item 12f(iv) - Relations with Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands
Agenda item 10d - Overture re relations with Reformed Churches Netherlands

II. Discussion:

After several rounds of discussion regarding Liturgy and Hymns, a decision was adopted. The final text of this decision is found in Article xx.

III. Decision: (to be placed in final decision on RCN)
  1. to express appreciation for not developing a separate order of worship on the basis of the Ordinarium texts;

  2. to express appreciation for not releasing for use in the churches the order of worship for the "leerdienst" (teaching-service) as presented by the deputies;

  3. to express concerns about the continuing proliferation and the contents of the hymns from the "liedboek voor de kerken;" and to continue to suggest more time be spent on the Psalms and on songs based directly on Scripture.

  4. to keep monitoring RCN's decisions in accordance with our Rule b (to mutually care for each other that they do not depart from the reformed faith in liturgy) and to become more acquainted, in a selective manner, with the hymns that are approved and are being approved.
Grounds:
  1. Although GS Amersfoort stated that GS Zuidhorn has added to GS Leusden that a hymn shouldn't be in conflict with the Reformed Confession, GS Zuidhorn decided not to change Leusden's criterium into "a good hymn should not be in conflict with Scripture and Confession".

  2. The contents of hymns should be unambiguously biblical and reformed. There are too many hymns in "Liedboek voor de kerken" which are not unambiguously biblical and reformed.

  3. Deputies have asked that the Psalms, the Book of Praise in the Bible, receive more attention. Without replacing the present rhymings and tunes of the Psalms, to work on new rhymings which are more Christ-centered and on tunes other than Genevan ones. Thus more attention can be given to the Psalms.

  4. More than once Deputies have asked the RCN, in line with John Calvin, to put to rhyme Bible texts and passages. It is better to spend time and energy in composing hymns directly derived from Scriptures than in dealing with appeal upon appeal to unbiblical thoughts that have crept into the hymns. And probably those hymns can be sung if the congregations, by singing, every time translate the ambiguous sentences in a reformed way, but always those hymns shall be found inferior to the faithful Cantica which are based on God's own reliable Word.
ADOPTED


Article 50 - Relations with Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands (7) - Sacraments in Military Situations (Refer Articles 37, 44, 47, 48, 49)

I. Material:

Agenda item 12f(iv) - Relations with Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands

II. Discussion:

After several rounds of discussion regarding the use of Sacraments in Military Situations, a decision was adopted. The final text of this decision is found in Article xx.

III. Decision: (to be placed in final decision on RCN)
  1. To express our concerns to the Dutch sister churches that GS Amersfoort's decision regarding the administration of both sacraments for military personnel goes beyond the common consent of the Church Order and leads to the danger of interdenominational (against Art 28, B.C.) administration of sacraments.
Grounds:
  1. GS Amersfoort has not alleviated our concerns that were sent to deputies. We are still not convinced that there is no danger in making exceptions to the commonly agreed regulations of the Church Order and then apply them in exceptional circumstances within the military environment.

  2. GS Amersfoort should have referred to Belgic Confession, Art 28, where we confess that it is everyone's duty to join the church and unite with it, maintaining the unity of the church.

  3. The possibility of administering the Lord's Supper, under certain conditions, to those who are not members of the RCN (or sister churches) has been expanded to the sacrament of baptism (again under certain conditions). Baptising children of believing servicemen who are not members of the RCN (or sister churches) is now also possible.

  4. The exceptional situations, which previously referred to "war zones" and "areas of crisis" have now been broadened to include all military zones where the RCN servicemen are isolated for lengthy periods of time.
Amendment:

Recommend to add two further decisions using the same grounds of the decision:
  1. To express disappointment that our previous concerns have not been adequately addressed by the GKN.

  2. Instruct deputies to investigate whether the last decisions by Synod Amersfoort on this issue are in conflict with Scripture, Confession and Church Order.
DEFEATED

IV. Original Decision:

The original recommendation of deputies indicated in Decision III is put to the vote.

ADOPTED




last updated 21 Jul 2006
 
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