By: C.A. Teunis
This annotation gives ten forms of Incorrect information that can be heard concerning De Gereformeerde Kerk at Mariënberg (De Ark). The inaccuracies are first given, followed by a Refutation.
- A Short Summary
“A Short Summary” is building on the quicksand of acceptance of one-sided and incorrect information.
Everyone who propagates that, participates in gossip, slander, evil talk.
The “Short Summary” gives factual material, studies and summaries of published documents with the sources.
The ” Short Summary” gives facts on the dealings and not about persons, it shows the incorrect dealings of the church federation. It is information that the church federation does not give. By remaining purely factual and by not mentioning any names, it is a struggle for the truth instead of slander.
- The church-orderly way
A church member, with objections against the Publication of 16 December 2017 by General Synod, should to go to classis via the local DGK consistory with his concerns about the spreading of this Publication.
The nature of the Publication by General Synod is a notice intended for all members of DGK.
By spreading the Publication DGK-consistories took responsibility for the content of the Publication.
DGK-consistories did not confess guilt on the spreading of the Publication, although some consistories were asked to do so.
DGK-consistories have made no attempt to rectify this spreading of the Publication.
DGK-consistories have defended the content of the Publication.
The General Synod was the second, and therefore the last and definitive authoritative body of appeal. This made the path to Classis impossible and the church-orderly way was closed.
In addition the General Synod declared inadmissible the appeals to revoke the Publication, to confess guilt and to ask forgiveness from the church at Mariënberg, the minister and the DGK-church members.
(Explanation: sectarian is heretical, that is: deviation from the Reformed doctrine)
In its Publication GS Lansingerland rightly calls the path of Mariënberg (De Ark) sectarian. What this path consists of is described in the Publication itself: The Publication states that the consistory (De Ark) pulled the congregation along with it, outside the church federation.
The consistory has, together with suspending the deliberations, submitted an appeal to the next ecclesiastical assembly. That is the correct ecclesiastical path: to appeal to the designated ecclesiastical assembly in matters of objection (Art. 31 Church Order). This is not sectarian; it is Reformed. The fact is that Classis North-East nevertheless declared that the church at Mariënberg (De Ark) is outside of the church federation.
It is therefore incorrect to state that the consistory (De Ark) pulled the congregation along with it, outside the church federation.
(Explanation: Independentism is wrong form of independence)
The showing of the behaviour of independentism is described in the Publication.
It was stated in the Publication that the independentism went together with a form of consistoriocracy (that is: lording it over by the consistory).
The suspension and deposition of the own minister “in own resposibility” was completely in accordance with the decisions of General Synod Rotterdam-Delfshaven 1964-1965 concerning the suspension of Rev. Van der Ziel by the consistory of Groningen-Zuid (see chapter 5 of “A Short Summary”).
Mariënberg (De Ark) recognized the value of the church federation by submitting an appeal.
Setting aside the Church Order does not mean that Mariënberg acted independently. The purpose of the Church Order is to preserve peace in the congregation.
- Disclosure of the matter
Further disclosure of the matter in the Publication in a confidential matter is not possible.
Accusations are only allowed to be made public if it can be shown with facts that these accusations are based on the truth. The Publication does not provide this proof.
In addition to the public Acts, GS Rotterdam-Delfshaven also has confidential Acts. In this way the doctrinal and the church political aspects are available for everyone and the personal aspects remain confidential.
- Suspension of the cooperation
Mariënberg suspended the cooperation of the church federation because it did not receive its own right, without the doctrine of the church being an issue.
The Publication does not state that: “Mariënberg suspended the cooperation of the church federation because it did not receive its own right, without the doctrine of the church being an issue”. That is an incorrect presentation of matters.
The suspension of the cooperation and at the same time submitting an appeal is in complete accordance with the Church Order (Art. 31 and 48 (Art. 44, CO – Book of Praise 1984)) and the earlier decision by GS Rotterdam-Delfshaven.
The observance of the Church Order is the fulfilment of the given promise to adhere to the Church Order. “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” (Matth. 5:37) This is not breaking with, but remaining in the church federation.
Adhering to a once given word is entirely according to the doctrine of the church.
See also question and answer 8 and 9 in the “Brief explanation”.
Mariënberg can appeal to the next synod.
The first authoritative body of appeal after classis North-East is classis South-West. The second authoritative body of appeal is the General Synod. Both bodies of appeal have rejected the objections of Mariënberg (De Ark).
With that the ecclesiastical path has definitively been followed to the end.
A further procedure for appeal is not possible with a next synod.
This was also the case in 2003, when faithful church members liberated from a church that had become unfaithful, after the rejection of letters of appeal by two appointed authoritative bodies of appeal: the General Synods of Leusden (1999) and Zuidhorn (2003).
DGK Mariënberg (De Ark) separated itself because of futilities.
In this the church erred and is still erring seriously.
Futilities are trivialities, small things.
DGK Mariënberg (De Ark) came to stand on its own because classis North-East and later on also the authoritative bodies of appeal interpreted the word “suspend” as meaning “to break”. In normal language usage the word “suspend” means “to postpone, to defer until a later moment”, see the “Short Summary”, chapter 5.
DGK Mariënberg (De Ark) has shown in its call to reformation, that the ecclesiastical foundation of the Church Order has gone. That was also the case in 1944, when the ‘Synodicals’ began to abuse the Church Order.
- Smear campaign
DGK Mariënberg (De Ark) has gone the way of a smear campaign to draw people away from the church.
In the notation “Return to the firm foundation of the true Church!; A call from De Gereformeerde Kerk Mariënberg and environs”, consistory of ‘De Ark’ gives the grounds for the continuation of the church at Mariënberg, and also the grounds for reformation for all members of the DGK-church federation that has become unfaithful.
See chapter 6.1, page 8:
- Impure administration of the sacraments;
- Impure practising of ecclesiastical discipline;
- Ecclesiastical/Classical hierarchy, e.g. per classical decision to declare a church as unlawful and to recognize a schismatic church as true church, which has been maintained by both the authoritative bodies of appeal.
DGK Mariënberg (De Ark) has responded minimally to the publications of the DGK (restored), which contain untruths and these were refuted by Mariënberg (De Ark). That is a rectification of untruths and not a smear campaign.
- Duty to Liberate
One may not condemn an authoritative body on the basis of one-sided information.
If we do not follow the path when appealing, then we commit revolution.
The Publication of 16 December 2017 has been issued by the General Synod itself.
The Publication has been issued by the lawful authoritative body and must therefore be taken seriously by the DGK-church people.
The DGK-church people have not received any other official information from the General Synod.
The Publication contains unproven accusations and incorrect information and is therefore a sin against the 6th, 8th and 9th commandment.
The Synod, the second and last body of appeal, has not revoked the Publication – despite requests – and therefore perseveres in its sins.
Consistories defend the spreading and the content of the Publication.
Then there is only one designated way for believers that wish to remain faithful to the Lord: liberate from a church federation that has demonstrably followed the path of persevering in sin, just as in 2003/2004.