Letter to the Steering Committee from the General Synod of De Gerevormerde Kerken (hersteld) (published in De Bazuin, Vol. 4, #38)

To the Steering Committee of the National Synod from the General Synod of The Reformed Churches (October 16, 2010)

Dear Committee.

The General Synod of the Reformed Churches has received in good order via the Deputies of Address keeping, Contacts with Authorities and National Relations your invitation to take part in a National Synod of protestant communities of faith dated June 17/ 2010. The synod discussed your letter with attachments at its meeting of October 2 and 16, 2010. The synod has decided to give for your consideration the following answer.

True unity depends only on the truth

The synod agrees with you that in this world it is a matter of great priority to give a testimony of faith and that it requires our ongoing attention. The synod however cannot concur with the method, the form and the material that you propose.
The testimony of the church of Christ must always be that she upholds the truth of God’s Word before the people. Particularly then the church has to show that she, as congregation of the living God, is “a the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15)

The synod must refuse your appeal to John 17 with respect to the intended unity and the working together as church denominations. By doing so, you ignore the fact that the Lord, in His High-priestly prayer, prays in particular for the preservation of the truth of God’s Word in the midst of the world. This is done first by the Apostles (John17: 6, 17-19) and subsequently by the catholic Apostolic church, which foundation is the words of the prophets and apostles (John 17: 20, 21). Only the unity so accomplished in the truth through listening to the prayer of Christ may be a testimony to the world (John 17: 21).

Trademark of the church: Keeping God’s Word pure

In Revelation, the last book of the Bible, the Lord teaches us how the church in this world is on its way to the Last Day. The witnessing church, which keeps the Word of God is characterised as those “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” Rev. 12:17.
People can recognise her by the marks of the true church such as we confess in Article 29 of the Belgic Confession of Faith. There these marks are summarised as follows: “In short, it governs itself according to the pure word of God, rejecting all things contrary to it and regarding Jesus Christ as the only head. Hereby the true church can certainly be known”

The lie is placed alongside the truth

The goal that you propose of giving one testimony cannot be achieved by the cooperation of many church denominations where the lie is placed beside the truth and the truth is kept in low profile.
As example of this we point out that you want to be associated with the National Synod of Dordt 1618/19, while in the meantime the steering committee of your synod recognises the Brotherhood of the Remonstrants. This church group upholds a doctrine that the National Synod of Dordt 1618/19 specifically condemned as false and misleading (see the Cannons of Dordt, specifically the conclusions that belong to it).

Your credo keeps the truth hidden

Another matter is the content of the testimony that makes up your credo. Regrettably we see the tendency to minimise the truth, even though there are certainly matters in themselves to which we can give approval.  But when the brotherhood of all men and universal atonement sets the tone then the truth of the Lord and His gospel is perverted. Particularly we see this manifested by the lack of a true statement of the coming salvation fact, that the Head of the church, the Saviour of the world, who is now seated at the right hand of God the Almighty Father shall come from there to judge the living and the dead. This fact is essential for all testimony made to the world. See the words of Peter in Jerusalem, Acts 2: 34 and the words of Paul in Athens, Acts 17: 31. In your credo the antithesis is actually blurred (John 17: 14-36) and you remove the urgency from the scriptural call to repentance which must proceed from this testimony in the world (Rev. 11:3). By doing this you no longer confess the Christ of the Scriptures, Who will return as Judge. In this way not only the testimony is broken but it also becomes misleading and a danger for society.

Therefore it is impossible for the general synod to express its approval to your Credo.

Answer and advice

The synod hopes that you will reconsider the above mentioned points and test them against the Holy Scriptures and the Reformed Confessions which are based on it, among which is the Belgic Confession by Guido de Bres in 1561 that served as a public testimony to the secular king.

Concluding from the above the synod can not reply to the invitation to be partaker of the National Synod of Dordrecht.

Our greetings to you, with the hope of coming to a common understanding regarding the keeping of the truth of God’s Word.

The General Synod of the Reformed Churches (restored)
A. Admiral, chairman
C. Baan, second clerk