No Top-Down Strategies for Great Commission

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“What this overture might be trying to get at is that we need to prioritize everything we do to get the message out that Jesus is Lord,” said young adult representative Cedric Parcels.

Synod 2013 voted down a request to “develop concrete strategies to carry out the Great Commission.”

The overture from Classis Northern Illinois states that the Christian Reformed Church’s “faithfulness has been ineffective.” It cites declining membership numbers as evidence that “the CRCNA is in a state of continuing decline.”

The rejected overture also stated that focusing on social and environmental issues distracts the CRC from carrying out “the fundamental talk to which Jesus called us.”

But the committee that dealt with the issue “came to the conclusion that there is a good balance [in the CRC] of proclaiming the gospel in word and deed,” said committee reporter Drew Sweetman.

“It seems to me that what is being talked about is institutionalizing the great commission,” said Rev. Stanley Jim, Classis Red Mesa. “The great commission is lived out, not dictated.”

Several delegates spoke in favor of the overture. “It doesn’t matter what people think, our mission should come from the Bible,” said Rev. Jason Jun, Classis Pacific Hanmi. “Environmental issues are important but should not come before saving souls.”

“What this overture might be trying to get at is that we need to prioritize everything we do to get the message out that Jesus is Lord,” said young adult representative Cedric Parcels.


Synod 2013 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. from June 7-14. For continuous Banner coverage of Synod 2013, please follow The Banner on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at www.thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit www.crcna.org/synod. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.

About the Author

Roxanne VanFarowe is a freelance writer who lives in the woods with her artist husband James and their five children in Hillsborough, North Carolina. They are members of Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham.

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"The rejected overture also stated that focusing on social and environmental issues disracts the CRC from carrying out the "the fundamental talk to which Jesus called us."

The committee that dealt with the issue "came to the conclusion that there is good balance..."

I beg to differ with the committee. As a church we are weighed down with the United Nations Millenium Development Goals (UN social justice and the redistrubution of wealth) and the UN evironmental goals that are promoted through the Office of Social Justice of the CRC.

We run lock, stock, and barrel with ecumenical movements like the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the Canadian Council of Churches and others that fund the UN Sustainable Development Goals through World Renew. All these programs are incorporating us under the umbrella of the United Nations Agenda 21 program which is a nice way of saying, one world government, one world religion. By slipping in the back door and rallying the church around these issues, the government has our denomination working and believing the way they want us, without the Great Commission.

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