1500 Conscientious Objectors Write to RCN Synod


An appeal by 1500 concerned church members was declared inadmissible by synod of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (RCN [GKv] – Dutch sister churches of the FRCA and CRC) according to Nederlands Dagblad 24 Feb 2014[i]. However, it said that it will accept some representatives of the group to a closed session of synod on 28 Feb.

In January a group calling itself Gereformeerde Kerk Blijven (Remaining Reformed Church) send a letter to synod signed by 1541 members of the RCN. The letter submitted six questions to which they requested clear and soundly substantiated answers. The questions related to such matters as the need to be bound to Scripture and the confessions, the authority of the bible, whether women could be special office bearers (ministers, elders and deacons), catechism preaching and whether Christians could live in a homosexual relationship.

Apparently those who signed the appeal had recognised the possibility of it being declared inadmissible because most of them were individuals and not consistories or broader assemblies. Synod said that the Church Order did not allow for concerns and objections to be tabled at synod in this manner.

Nevertheless, in order to show that it did have an eye for “the deep feelings of concern held by many of those who signed the appeal”, synod invited a delegation from the group. Synod wanted in this way to make “a contribution to the mutual understanding and fraternal relations in the church of Christ”. It expected many to pray for a good result of the gathering.

Gereformeerde Kerk Blijven, of which the emeritus professor J Douma is a board member, has for years expressed concerns about the developments within the RCN, whose synod is this year sitting in Ede.

[i] Redactie nl.nl/geloof, “Bezwaarden te Gast op Synode GKv”, Nederlands Dagblad, 24 Feb 2014.