Controversy erupted around synod’s discussion on Third Wave Pentecostalism when, in a process CRC Executive Director Jerry Dykstra called “unusual,” delegates dismissed the minority report without reading it on the floor or debating it.
The more cautious minority report urged synod to “issue a strong warning against the Third Wave as a movement that seriously affects foundational elements (biblical, theological, and ecclesiastical) of the CRCNA’s identity.” Both reports have been available since November 2006 for the churches to study, and were printed in this year's Agenda for Synod.
But synod recommitted only the majority report, and only to the majority committee, while dismissing with thanks and applause the minority report authors.
“That applause was a mockery; it was insulting to us. Three years of work, and they don’t even want to consider it,” said Rev. Mariano Avila, co-author of the minority report and professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary.
Avila also suggested deeper reasons for the report’s dismissal. “They really don’t want to hear minorities,” he remarked. “This is another example of institutional racism. They like to speak about us, but not with us, or let us speak for ourselves.”
The four authors of the majority report are of Dutch heritage, while the two authors of the minority report are not.
“I’m leaving here terribly disappointed,” commented Avila’s co-author, Ruth Tucker. “If the issues had been debated, I could have held my head high. But this seemed like a way to keep our voices off the floor.”
About the Author
Dan Postma is an occasional reporter for The Banner.