Synod 2015 received the preliminary report from the committee appointed to study religious persecution and liberty. The committee’s final report will go to Synod 2016. Synod is the annual leadership meeting of the Christian Reformed Church.
Rev. Joel Zuidema, Class Illiana, commended the report for its depth of analysis and for its rootedness in the Bible, but suggested that the report’s language “was over many of our heads.” He said that “it needs to be readable and to inspire us to action.” He added, “We would like a report that could go viral.” He urged the writers of the report to tell more stories.
These remarks appeared to resonate with some of the delegates. Rev. Paul Vander Klay, Classis Central California, said that the questions about religious persecution and liberty are “at the nexus of a lot of hot button issues.”
Rev. Scott Elgersma, Classis California South, suggested there are issues for religious liberty not only in places like Egypt but in a different way in North American contexts.
In the end, the synod observed that “this report will shape Christian and non-Christian thought on perhaps one of the most important topics of our time. Much more than an academic work, this report will need to influence with heart, passion, practicality, and clarity to motivate the church.”
The full report will come to Synod 2016.
Synod 2015 is meeting at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, from June 12-18. For continuous Banner coverage, please follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases, webcast, and live blogging, please visit crcna.org. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.