I was disappointed to see that the traditional Youth Unlimited conventions (still “YCF” to me) are coming to an end (“YU Conventions Discontinued, Live It to Launch in 2011,” August 2010). I was privileged and tremendously blessed to direct eight of those international conventions between 1979 and 1987, and my memories are invaluable. I expect some 30,000 CRC members from across the U.S. and Canada share some of those happy memories. But I understand times are a-changin’!
—Robert S. HoughBeaver Falls, Pa.
I was disappointed to see a photo of a dead mountain lion displayed as a “trophy” in The Banner (“Idaho Woman Bags Huge Mountain Lion,” August 2010). While I understand killing an animal for food, to kill an animal for sport is sad and wasteful—and makes one question, Is this really what God had in mind for his glorious creation?
—Ruth Vander ArkHolland, Mich.
How to Be Catholic
Thank you, Richard Mouw, for your insight in “How to Be Catholic” (July 2010). I strongly believe that if the church of God is to fulfill its mission on earth, its members need to be renewed and become “one true, holy catholic church.” Unfortunately, we tend to forget the words of the apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians about divisions in the church (1 Cor. 1:10-13). It is the indivisible Jesus Christ to whom we belong. As Paul puts it in verse 31, let those who boast, boast in the Lord—not in a denomination.
—Kiese MindanaSaint Albert, Alberta
From “It Was a Quiet Week . . .” and “troll humor” and “Mischief at Synod” to the agenda issues of youth advisers, ecumenical relations, ministry to victims of abuse, and pastoral response to undocumented workers—I want to express my appreciation for the work of the Banner staff in covering Synod 2010 (July issue). Thank you for holding up areas of ministry that need to be further developed and encouraged, and thank you for giving attention to the personal stories that always serve to put a face on this otherwise faceless summer gathering. And thank you for being gentle with the officers of synod, who suddenly found ourselves faced with an unexpected responsibility and privilege.
—Rev. Aldon KuiperRock Valley, Iowa
Regarding “Creation and Science Teaching Restriction Lifted,” Declaration F states, “The clear teaching of Scripture
. . . on the uniqueness of human beings as imagebearers of God rules out the espousal of all theorizing that posits the reality of evolutionary forebears of the human race.” We need strong biblical leadership in our denomination, and canceling Declaration F is certainly not helpful for the stability of the CRC.
—Hans VisserTaber, Alberta
If the theory of evolution is being introduced for future generations taught at Calvin Theological Seminary, we are on dangerous ground.
—Anne TamelingHudsonville, Mich.
Every year it seems like synod is one disappointment after another. This year there were too many disappointments to mention, but for this letter I will focus on one: the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee (“Ecumenical Relations Committee Gets Interfaith Mandate”). It is bad enough that we have had a committee attempting to forge ties with denominations that at their root are opposed to Reformed doctrine, but now we want to build bridges with other religions whose gods are false gods. So desperate are we to engage in this work that we are willing to forgo any witnessing, just so that we can be in their company.
—Julian Ross HudsonPonoka, Alberta
Don’t Speak for Me
“God has poured out his Spirit on our young people. Let’s pay attention to what they have to say.” Accepting Rev. Bob De Moor’s words in his July editorial, “Your Sons and Daughters Shall Prophesy,” I ask you to hear me out. As one of the “young girls” at Second CRC that elder Sharon Broersma DeVries felt sorry for at Synod 2010 (“Michigan Churches Not Allowed to Join Distant Classis”), I would just like to say that she does not need to hurt for us in any way. While I appreciate her concern, it is truly unnecessary.
I have spent many hours on my own researching the hot topic of women in church office. My conclusion is this: the debate is not a matter of women’s rights, simply of women’s roles. There is a very big difference between male domination and male headship. This is not a matter of opinion; it is a matter of doctrinal truth. It is because of my right as a woman that I am able to write this letter against the role of women in church office.
I am more than slightly annoyed that The Banner has continued to be so overwhelmingly negative toward my perspective.
I can honestly say that I am proud to be both a young woman with a voice and a member of Second CRC, Kalamazoo.
—Madison VanOostenKalamazoo, Mich.
Thanks for the article “The Belgic Confession: A Good Teacher” (August 2010). The following sentence, however, is not accurate: "Our newest Psalter Hymnal uses [Guido] de Brès’ original Article 36 and includes the altered version from 1566 in a footnote."
Our newest Psalter Hymnal contains three paragraphs in Article 36 on the relationship between church and state that were composed not by de Brès but by the GKN in the 20th century. These lines were translated and provisionally adopted as a footnote by the CRC in 1958 and then moved into the body of the text of our new translation in 1985. The old Dortian text of those replaced paragraphs (some of whose wording went back to the 1566 synod) was then moved into a footnote.
—Rev. Lyle BiermaCalvin Theological SeminaryGrand Rapids, Mich.