Abbotsford Canadian Reformed Church
P.O. Box 66, Abbotsford, B.C., V2S 6Z4
September 3, 2007

Dear Br. and Sr. [Vantil/Thalen/John vanLaar/Richard vanLaar].

[1]  It is with sadness that the members of the Consistory take note of the letter dated July 17th, 2007, in which you addressed the members of the Canadian Reformed Church at Abbotsford. To date, the Consistory has not received any Scriptural evidence nor any confessional statements to support your action to separate yourself from the Church of Christ, at Abbotsford under the name Canadian Reformed Church.

[2]  The consistory also takes note that despite the different approach between you and the consistory in trying to resolve the existing divergencies that still exist between the Canadian Reformed Churches and the churches which you have listed, there is still our common conclusion that these churches may not be considered false churches. Such a position would prove to be very short sighted with respect to the Reformations the Head of the Church has worked among them, specifically in the twentieth century.

[3]  The change of Ecclesiastical Contact to Ecclesiastical Fellowship did not lead any Synod to decide that the existing divergencies should not be dealt with. In fact, there is ongoing understanding that we, as Canadian Reformed Churches, are called to share what we have gained since 1944 and 1950 in understanding the relationship between the doctrines of Election, Covenant and Church.

[4]  The consistory considers it most uncharitable to expect all the Churches you have listed to understand and embrace the very doctrines which took our forefathers a number of years before the liberation of 1944 to understand.

[5]  Therefore the Consistory very much deplores your actions of schism, We believe that they constitute terrible shortsightedness toward the work of the Head of the Church, as well as a deplorable underestimation of what is still presently confessed and proclaimed as the Reformed faith by these Churches (despite the presence of divergencies as listed by our Synods).

[6]  The consistory, therefore, urges you to examine this whole matter once more, so that you may come to repentance and return to the Church where the Consistory continues to call the believers together in unity of the true faith, in keeping with the Holy Scripture, according to what we confess in the three Forms of Unity, on the basis of the principles of the Reformation, Scripture alone, Grace alone, and Christ Alone.

[7]  Therefore, if there is no repentance and the withdrawal of the letter mentioned above, the consistory sadly has no choice but to consider you, br. [VanTil/Thalen/vanLaar/vanLaar], as withdrawn from the supervision and oversight of the Consistory of the Canadian Reformed Church at Abbotsford.

[8]  We do, however seek clarification on the position of sr. [VanTil/Thalen/vanLaar/vanLaar], whether or not, she supports this letter and consequently agrees with the action you have taken, since she did not sign the letter you distributed to the congregation.

[9]  If we do not hear from you, brother and sister [VanTil/Thalen/vanLaar/vanLaar] by Sept. 30th, 2007 we will proceed with announcing to the congregation that you by your schismatic actions have broken with the identifiable Catholic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ here in Abbotsford, and that you no longer are willing to submit yourselves to the authority of the Elders He has given you.

On behalf of the Consistory.                  J. Pruim(chairman)         H. deBoer (clerk)