America Is Dead … Long Live AmeriKa

“In fact official American belief regards the Declaration of Independence as the beginning of an endless process of active movement toward an ever more egalitarian and universalist society. This is because of the intervention between us and the Founding Fathers of that sea-change in the thinking of men that is summed up in the term ‘the French Revolution.”

Dr. Clyde N. Wilson
From Union To Empire

Wilson’s thesis is that American Nationalism has undergone a series of transmutations, the degree of which, has left the successive American Nationalism incomprehensible to the previous American Nationalism. Wilson suggests that the taking of the Declaration of Independence as a document that insures a endless process of active movement toward an ever more egalitarian and universalist society, is the consequence of the second American Nationalism, as crafted by the French Revolution and birthed in America through the war of Northern Aggression. Wilson seems to suggest that the American commitment to the idea that all men are created equal with certain inalienable rights was a far different stripe from the French Revolution egalitarianism that came to be eventually accepted in the American Nationalism that was successive to the form of Nationalism of the Founding Fathers. It would seem that the difference between these two competing notions of equality is the difference between the older belief that men are equal in respect to the application of law and the newer belief that men should be equal in opportunity and outcome.

Wilson goes on to note that there was another American Nationalism that was propelled during the Progressive era and consolidated during the after WW II.

“During and after WWII American society for the third time made a perilous leap into the cauldron of history, boiling down its existing consensus in the optimistic prospect of molding itself into a newer and more daring form. The Civil Rights revolution and a revolutionary alteration of the immigration laws were simultaneously undertaken in the 1960′s. It was as if the Melting pot, having proven itself able to boil down all of Europe, was now to test its capacity to do the same for the whole world.”

The question that Wilson raises is whether or not such a stripped down American Nationalism that is posited only upon unitarian notions of egalitarianism provides enough ingredients in order to make a cultural glue by which a culture may find cohesion.

In a culture where there exist no communitarian mystic chords of memory that includes either a shared ethnicity, a shared literature, a shared music, a shared religion, a shared history, or a shared language there exists nothing that can bind a people together except a shared prosperity. The question that begs being asked is whether or not a nation can stay together when national prosperity turns to national adversity except by brute force as used by the State.

One can easily conclude given Wilson’ taxonomy that America as America no longer exists. Following Wilson we might say America died a slow death in 1861-1865 with the War against the Constitution. In 1913 the American coffin was nailed shut with Banksters achievement of the Centralized Bank. Finally, America’s burial was in 1964 with the work of the minions of the Banksters passing the Javits inspired Immigration act. What we see happening in America now with the disharmony of interests is merely the legitimate children and the cultural Marxist bastards fighting over the estate.

Conservatives know this, but refuse to admit it; the Cultural Marxists know it, and every evening on the Cultural Marxist media outlets are proclaiming it loud and clear. Unfortunately, the name “America” will not go away, and neither will the Constitution, because liberals and Marxists will always appeal to these for legitimacy. They covet the prestige by association, but have not a particle of the pedigree. The Frankfurt School is the perfect example. Very good people labored to establish America’s most honorable institutions, traditions, and customs. They built the buildings, endowed the trusts, and nurtured the culture. Once that very hard work was done, the Marxist Frankfurt cowbirds flew in and laid their eggs, always claiming to be the faithful philosophical heirs of the founders and the progressive realization of their ideals. Now, to take up the mantle of a “Original American” and remind the Christ hating Cultural Marxists and everyone else that they are impostors, frauds, and hoaxers is to bring down upon oneself an onslaught of venom, vengeance, hatred – the very intolerance the imposters attribute to and vilify in anyone who dares tell the truth.

Just one more testimony proving that the last vestiges of Christian Western civilization–which has been dying for decade upon decade–are gone from America. The leaves have all fallen, autumn is over and winter is here. Not only have we left the house of the Christian God who alone is our source of strength and where alone we have protection, but we have forgotten the way home.

Benjamin Morgan Palmer & Bret L. McAtee on “The Gospel”

“It [the gospel] is the only system which undertakes to provide a perfect pardon and to readjust man’s relations to the violated law. In every government, human or divine, the first thing to be considered is our relation to the law. Immediately upon transgression, the law seizes the offender’s person, brings him before the tribunal of justice, convicts him under the evidence, fixes upon him the sentence of condemnation, holds him in prison, awaiting the execution of the penalty. Of necessity, therefore, in seeking relief, his first concern will be to settle with the law and to cancel its indictment. It does not make a particle of difference, at the first, how the man feels as to his transgression; whether he glories in it, or is sorry for it; whether, if released from punishment, he will lead a life of obedience or repeat his trespass to the end. The first and absorbing question is how to escape the infliction of the penalty which he has incurred. How shall he come forth from the shadow of his prison and walk in the free air of heaven with an erect form, and look without a blush in the faces of other men. Now, this is just what the gospel undertakes to do for the sinner. It provides a perfect pardon, and secures it upon principles of strict justice and law. The imperfection of human government is in nothing more manifest than in the fact that it never can exercise mercy except at the expense of justice. The criminal can never escape the penalty without inflicting a certain amount of injury upon the country and the law. If he escape by any defect in the evidence he is turned loose again to prey upon society as before. If executive clemency sets aside the deliberate judgment of the court, a shock is given to the stability of government by the collision between its two departments, which ought to be mutually supporting. But in the gospel, the justice and integrity of God are as completely vindicated as in the punishment of the transgressor. Whilst the sinner escapes the penalty, the law of God is more firmly established than before. Such a pardon, in which every claim of law is satisfied, goes to the root of the sinner’s case, so far as his guilt is concerned, for the reason that it is a pardon which can be sealed upon the conscience and give it perfect peace.”

BY REV. B. M. PALMER, D. D., 1818 – 1902
Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, New Orleans, La.


1.) Dr. Palmer’s burden is to communicate how the Gospel resolves the legal indictment of heaven against us as sinner. Palmer’s concern here is not experiential, or emotional, but rather forensic / judicial. God has a case against us. God, in Christ answers God’s case against His people. In our contemporary Gospel preaching the objective reality of judicial guilty is seldom touched upon and instead we go for felt needs as if what the sinner outside of Christ is emotionally feeling is the primary need to be addressed as opposed to God’s just wrath against sinners. If our Gospel begins with the felt needs our Gospel will forever be jerked about by the vagaries of “felt needs” that both redeemed and un-redeemed experience. Palmer’s Gospel is “from above” and so can reach below. Contemporary “Gospels” are from below and seldom, if ever, provide answer to God’s objective wrath.

2.) Dr. Palmer’s recognition that if mercy is exercised upon a criminal then a punishment is visited upon someone else. In the case of the Gospel we are extended mercy at the cost of punishment to the Son of God. This principle though needs to be understood by our social order structures today. If we turn a blind eye to justice to the guilty and extend “love” we are at the very moment turning a seeing eye of injustice upon someone else and are extending cruelty upon another. There was no cruelty visited upon the Lord Christ because he willingly laid down His life having entered into covenant w/ the Father from eternity but when our modern systems of “justice” ignore the law of God by extending “mercy” to the criminal, then at the same time cruelty is being extended at the same time somewhere else.

3.) Guilt is seen as objective and subjective in this quote. The criminal has objective guilt that must be dealt with and is dealt with in the cross of Christ. However, guilt is also subjective. The guilty must have his conscience quieted. The subjective feeling of guilt is only quieted in the sinner when the objective reality of guilty is answered. How Christian are men unless they know and answer that what they were saved from was a objective guilt that incurred God’s just wrath against them?

Rage Against The Machine — Reflecting on the Belhar Document

We will return eventually to the theme of Unity that the Belhar opens with and insists upon after we have examined the affirmations which the Belhar sets forth. Obviously, as unity is pinioned upon shared truth we can not know, concretely speaking, if we agree with Belhar’s call to unity until we know if we share Belhar’s truth affirmations.

So, with that in mind we will, with the next few entries, look at the truth affirmations and then we will return to the clarion call for unity issued by the Belhar.

Now as we head into this examination of the Belhar affirmations we must keep in mind that the burden of proof is upon the Belhar to be unambiguous about its statements and what those statements mean. Since the Belhar has aspirations for confessional status and since the Belhar is not worldview neutral in its affirmations it should be approached with a Hermeneutic of suspicion in order to expose any dangerous ambiguities that may lie sleeping in its text.

To that end we note this statement of the Belhar that follows its opening touting unity,

“Therefore, we reject any doctrine which absolutises either natural diversity or the sinful separation of people in such a way that this absolutisation hinders or breaks the visible and active unity of the church, or even leads to the establishment of a separate church formation;

Now the ambiguity that enters with this statement is found in the four italicized words above.

In this context what does “natural diversity,” mean?

Folks who subscribe to the Belhar will be rejecting any doctrine which absolutizes natural diversity. Who defines what “Natural diversity,” means and by what standard? According to some neo-Christians “natural diversity,” could very well mean the “natural diversity” that we find among the various sexes. We now have Social Scientists insisting that, biologically speaking, there are many gradations running from female to male; and the Social Scientists are telling us that depending on how one calls the shots, one can argue that along that spectrum lie at least five sexes– and perhaps even more. Are all these sexes an example of “natural diversity,” the existence of which we are not break the visible and active unity of the Church over per the Belhar?

To think that this lies in the realm of possibility is by recognizing that one of the key framers of the Belhar, Dr. Allan Boesak, in 2008, while Moderator of the Uniting Reformed Church (formerly the DRC Mission Churches) used the Belhar Declaration to justify homosexuality in Church. Now it is true that Dr. Boesak was voted down, in his attempt but it seems that if anybody was familiar with the original intent of the Belhar document it would be one who was an instrumental framer of the Belhar. If one of the framers of the Belhar insists that the original intent of the Belhar was to prohibit disunity over the Church officially embracing the putative “natural diversity” of homosexuality then why would a Church, such as the Christian Reformed Church, which does not justify homosexuality in the Church want to embrace that document as a confession? Certainly in light of this no one can argue with the fact that this phraseology is “ambiguous.”

Now, that this reading of Boesak’s should be of import to CRC people is found in the continual push within the denomination to normalize homosexuality in the Church. In point of fact, the March 2012 issue of the Banner finds a news clip on page 10 that opens with this paragraph,

“A group of members and pastors from several West Michigan Christian Reformed churches have organized to provide educational opportunities for congregations about the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, and transgendered individuals in their churches.”

Now, in light of the push of a significant interest group within the denomination (I say it is “significant” because I cannot imagine the Banner running such a news piece on some obscure group) to normalize homosexuality, and in light of the fact that one of the key framers of the Belhar insisted that the original intent of the Belhar justified homosexuality in the Church then can we really believe that the Belhar, if adopted as a Confession, won’t eventually be used as leverage in the push to bring homosexuality and sexual perversion into the Church and as proof that confessionally we are compelled to unite with homosexuals who call themselves “Christian.”

Our concern with the Belhar does not end on this point, for elsewhere in the Belhar we get other language that allows for a interpretation that would sanction sodomy and sexual perversion.

“Therefore, we reject any doctrine which explicitly or implicitly maintains that descent or any other human or social factor should be a consideration in determining membership of the Church.”

With this sentence we have moved from the ambiguity of the previous statement from the Belhar, as cited above, to a unambiguous statement which a Mack truck could drive through, interpretatively speaking. Those 7 words which are italicized in the above quote section clearly teaches that sodomy, bestiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, or any other human or social factor should not be a consideration in determining membership of the Church. What is sodomy, or lesbianism, or bestiality, or any number of sexual perversions but “human or social factors”?

When we begin to deal with the slippery way the Belhar uses the word “injustice” we will have questions once again about this matter, but for this post it is enough to see that the Belhar should not be adopted as a document because it’s language is not merely ambiguous as to what is being communicated, the language invites and begs those who want to advance a sodomite agenda to read the document as supporting their cause.

It is my belief that the document does support their cause and that is why I am raging against the machine.

Deconstructing A Left-Overture — With Apologies To Kansas As A Wayward Son

Overture from Akron CRC


I. Background

In 2003 the Interchurch Relations Committee (IRC), now called the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee, indicated that the Uniting Reformed Church of Southern Africa (URCSA) was asking churches in ecclesiastical fellowship with it to study the Belhar Confession to determine what place the confession might take among the faith statements of the respective denominations. The IRC informed synod that it had committed itself to review and study the Belhar with a view to making a recommendation to synod about its status sometime in the future. The IRC also informed synod of conversations it was having with the Reformed Church in America regarding this matter. In 2006 the IRC recommended that synod instruct the IRC “to initiate a formal process of discussion and consideration of the Belhar Confession with a view toward making a recommendation to a future synod concerning its applicability to, and
compatibility with, the confessional basis of the CRC.


1. In our ecumenical conversations with the Reformed Church in America, the CRC was asked to study the Belhar Confession simultaneously with the RCA. Classis Lake Erie Agenda March 3, 2012 Page -6-

2. It fills in a gap in our confessions; we do not have a strong confession on race relations.

3. The several Reformed Churches in South Africa have asked the member churches of REC (Reformed Ecumenical Council) and WARC (World Alliance of Reformed Churches) to study this confession and respond to it” (Agenda
for Synod 2006, p. 273).

Synod 2006 adopted that recommendation and its grounds.

In appendix C to its report to Synod 2009 (Agenda for Synod 2009, pp. 269-282) the
IRC reviewed the history of the Belhar Confession’s development and reviewed related
matters in our denomination. The related matters were “the racial tensions and the
flagrant violation of the scriptural principle of equality occurring in society and the
church both in America and in the world” and our denomination’s adoption of God’s
Diverse and Unified Family, an articulation of biblical and theological principles for the
development of a racially and ethnically diverse family of God.
The committee also gave an overview of the Belhar and addressed questions as to
whether the Belhar was biblical and whether it would enrich our confessional basis. The
IRC considered three options concerning the Belhar: (1) propose it as a fourth
confession, (2) adopt it as an ecumenical confession, or (3) approve it as a statement of
faith. “After careful review of the options considered, the IRC decided unanimously to
recommend option one because it is the most consistent with our understanding of the
core of the gospel and previous synodical declarations on racial justice, unity, and
reconciliation” (Agenda for Synod 2009, p. 280). The committee recommended “that
synod propose to Synod 2012 the adoption of the Belhar Confession as part of the
standards of unity of the CRC (as a fourth confession). A three-year period was
proposed so the churches would have time “to adequately study and reflect on the
proposal and be better prepared for response” (p. 281). This recommendation was
The committee also asked synod to “authorize the IRC to promote the study of the
Belhar Confession in the churches during this three-year period, and designate the IRC
to represent Synod 2009’s proposal to adopt the Belhar Confession at the meeting of
Synod 2012” (p. 281). This recommendation was also adopted.
The Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee reported to both Synods 2010
and 2011 that classes, councils and congregations were studying the Belhar, that many
agencies and offices of the denomination were using the Belhar in their work and that
study materials and a devotional booklet were available through Faith Alive Christian
Resources. In its report to Synod 2012 the committee reviews much of the material
presented to previous synods, states that “the CRC has not spoken confessionally to the
Classis Lake Erie Agenda March 3, 2012
Page -7-issues of injustice and racism” (Agenda for Synod 2012, p. ??), and recommends that
synod adopt the Belhar as a fourth confession.

II. Observations

The above history adequately reveals that much discussion and study has taken place as
our denomination considered a response to the Belhar. What was evident early in this
discussion is that the Belhar was identified as addressing race relations. Already in 2006
the IRC encouraged synod to examine the Belhar because “we do not have a strong
confession on race relations.” In its 2009 report the IRC referred to “racial tensions” and
synod’s adoption of God’s Diverse and Unified Family. As mentioned above, the 2012
report states that “the CRC has not spoken confessionally to the issues of injustice and
racism.” To talk about the Belhar in terms of race is understandable because of the
context in which it was written, but a focus on race relations is narrower than the “unity,
reconciliation, justice” description typically used to describe the Belhar.
Talking about the Belhar in terms of race relations has had some unfortunate
consequences among us.

Some have made negative statements about Synod 2011’s decision to establish a goal of twenty-five percent racial minority leaders in our denomination’s positions of senior leadership and have encouraged our members to reject that strategy and also to reject the Belhar as a fourth confession. Some have regarded the coupling of these two matters as an indication of racism. Others have labeled any opposition to the Belhar as an indication of racism, not as
an indication of legitimate misgivings about adopting the Belhar as a fourth confession, saying publicly and repeatedly that opposing the adoption of the Belhar as a fourth confession is simply an unwillingness by Anglos to accept anything written by people in the southern hemisphere. In an article in the Calvin Theological Seminary Forum Dr. John Cooper observed, “Those who challenge adopting it risk suspicion of racism or indifference” (Fall 2010, p 10).

Bret responds,

1.) Some have made negative statements about 2011 Synods decision to establish a goal of 25% racial minority leaders in our denominations positions of senior leadership precisely because such an agenda promotes the very racism that the denomination says it wants to be rid of. When quotas are established we no longer are advancing people based on their ability but based on the color of their skin. To advance one person over another person because of race, despite the fact that the person who is set aside is more competent and able to preform a task can be easily seen as one of the manifestations of “racism.”

2.) When we advance people because of race we are communicating to minorities that their qualification lies not in their ability but in their status as “victim.” By doing so we reinforce the victim mentality in our culture that finds being a victim a status symbol. Would it not be better to employ someone because of the content of their character and ability and not by the color of their skin?

3.) If people in the Southern Hemisphere ink documents that are faulty we do not do them or ourselves any favor by accepting their faulty document simply because it is inked by somebody in the Southern Hemisphere.

4.) In terms of Cooper’s quote I would say that anyone who would say, “those who challenge adopting it (the Belhar) risk suspicion of racism or indifference” is someone who should be suspected of buying into the Marxist narrative that the Belhar represents. Rejection of the Belhar does not mean racism, anymore then rejection of Liberation Theology means “Theologyism” (a hatred of all Theology). A rejection of the Belhar merely means that we reject this particular Marxist inspired demand for social order, just as a rejection of Liberation Theology means that we reject that particular form of theology.

The Overture continues,

Thus, even while we consider a document that we hope will improve race relations among us, racism is evident both in the comments of Anglos and ethnic minorities.

Bret Responds,

I would need to see the above comment substantiated with concrete comments that prove that “racism” is evident in Anglos and ethnic minorities. All because people disagree with one another does not mean that racism is present.

Second, on this score, even if some comments could be brought forth, one would have to know the heart of the person speaking to know if the words said were “racist.” How could that possibly be known short of someone admitting that they were racist comments?

The Overture continues

It is possible that our denomination will adopt the Belhar as a fourth confession for
very good reasons. It is possible that our denomination will not adopt the Belhar as a
fourth confession for very good reasons. It is possible that our denomination will adopt
the Belhar as a fourth confession simply because it does not want to be perceived as
racist. It is possible that our denomination will adopt the Belhar Confession as a fourth
confession, believing that by doing so it has significantly addressed the matter of race
relations. The latter would be a mistake. As many synodical decisions well illustrate,
Classis Lake Erie Agenda March 3, 2012 Page -8-adopting words on paper, though necessary, does not necessarily result in tangible actions that reflect those words.

No matter what we do with the Belhar, our very discussion of it reveals how
insidious and pervasive the matter of racism among us is. Synod 2012 is called to make
a decision on the Belhar, but synod also needs to call all of us, Anglos and ethnic
minorities, to repent of the ways that we hold each other at arm’s length and call us to
strive to love each other as God, in Christ, has loved us.

Bret responds,

How does our very discussion of the Belhar reveal how pervasive the matter of racism among us is?

I am all for loving each other as God, in Christ, has loved us, but I do not at all concede that racism is pervasive among us. For Pete’s sake, in 2008 put a 1/2 black man 1/2 white man in the oval office. How pervasive can our racism be?

The overture continues,

Synod also needs to call the denomination to respond affirmatively to the specific
recommendations that previous synods have made to assist us in becoming a racially
and ethnically diverse family of God. For example, Synod 2005 encouraged each classis
to delegate at least one ethnic minority person to synod, beginning with Synod 2006.
Less than one-third of our 47 classes do that. It also instructed the Board of Trustees to
report in the annual Agenda for Synod and to make recommendations, if necessary, on
the denomination’s progress in attaining its goal of at least one ethnic minority
synodical delegate from each classis. No agenda since 2005 had included such reports or
recommendations. Synod also requested all classes to develop a strategy to intentionally
incorporate ethnic minorities into the life and government of the local church and
broader assemblies and to submit their plan to the denominational Board of Trustees by
March 15, 2007. That did not happen. Someone must hold us accountable to what we
have said in the past so we are continually creating a different present and future.

III. Overture

The Akron CRC council overtures Classis Lake Erie to overture Synod 2012:

A. To call the denomination to repent of the personal and institutional racism that
causes separation between fellow members, excludes some from full participation in
the life of our denomination and hinders the denomination in achieving the
diversity goals it has set for itself.

Bret Responds,

First, we are to “Repent of racism”, because it “causes separation between fellow members.”

I think we need to pause and think about that statement for a moment. Is all that causes separation between fellow members a reason to repent? I have a fence between the properties of my Christian neighbors. Do I have a need to repent because it causes separation between fellow members? Consistently applied this call to repent is a direct assault on the family-structure itself if only because my family being distinct from those who are not in my family is something that causes separation between fellow members.

Second, the fact that institutional racism exists is asserted but it is in no way proven. What is offered up is observations about the way the denomination operates but there is no probing as to why the denomination is operating the way it is. Why do we assume that racism is the reason for the observations made. How do we know that it is “racism” that is the reason for things not being done? It could simply be a matter like not being able to find enough warm minority bodies to fill the quotas that are required. It could simply be denominational lethargy that keeps the denomination from following through on certain commitments — a lethargy that one finds in almost all large Institutional structures. The fact that there is denominational lethargy does not prove pervasive racism. If one desires to hold the denomination accountable that is all well and good but to insist that a lack of following through proves racism is a lack of a charitable reading for a reality that could be attributed to any number of other reasons. I do not grant the assumption that we have this grand problem with racism.

B. To encourage the churches to use the Facing Racism video program in their
education/small group programs within the next two years. (A copy of this
program, created in a collaborative effort by the Office of Race Relations, Christian
Reformed Home Missions, and the CRCNA Foundation, was sent to all
congregations in September 2011. “The sessions offer ways to challenge both
personal and institutional racism, and they include, among other things, the stories
and personal experiences of a variety of people, dramatic readings of Scripture, the
perspective on diversity developed by the CRC in a 1996 synodical study, and
pertinent portions of our denominational history.”)
Classis Lake Erie Agenda March 3, 2012 Page -9-C.

To encourage individual members, congregations, assemblies, agencies, and other
ministries of the CRCNA to review the recommendations adopted by Synod 1996
regarding the Development of a Racially and Ethnically Diverse and Unified Family of God
and the recommendations adopted by Synod 2005 regarding the Practice Of
Appointing Ethnic Advisers To Synod (cf. Appendix) and to implement the
recommendations that are still relevant in our current context.

D. To instruct the denominational Board of Trustees to review all synodical
recommendations concerning diversity and to report to each synod, making
recommendations if necessary, on the denomination’s progress in attaining these


The following recommendations were adopted by Synod 1996 regarding the
Development of a Racially and Ethnically Diverse and Unified Family of God (Acts of
Synod 1996, pp.616-9):

A. That synod recommend the revised report to the churches for study.

B. That synod adopt the following biblical and theological principles regarding the
development of a racially and ethnically diverse and unified family of God:
Biblical and Theological Principles for the Development of a Racially and
Ethnically Diverse and Unified Family of God


1. The world as God created it is rich and God glorifying in its diversity.
2. The created world with all its diversity has its unity in the one God, who created it
through Jesus Christ.
3. The unity and diversity of the human race and of created reality reflect the unity and
diversity of the triune God (namely, his oneness and threeness).
4. A fundamental effect of sin is the breakdown of community.
New Creation
5. The uniting of all things in Jesus Christ is at the heart of God’s eternal plan for the
Classis Lake Erie Agenda March 3, 2012
Page -10-6. Reconciliation with God and reconciliation with one another are inseparable in God’s
saving work.
7. Already in the old covenant, the scope of God’s mission is racially and ethnically

8. In Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church, God gives new
power to the church—power to break down walls of separation and create a com-
munity that transcends divisions of race, ethnicity, and culture.

Bret responds,

Pentecost was not the reversal of Babel but the sanctification of Babel. Were we to understand Pentecost as the reversal of Babel it would have been the case that all the diverse people would have heard the Gospel in the same tongue but what happened instead was that they heard the Gospel in their own distinct tongues. Suggesting that the community that God intended to build was a community of communities where one could still find diverse communities worshiping the same God, much as our Korean Classis’ worship the same God as non Korean Classis’ and yet as a distinctly Korean Church.

9. The church, in its unity and diversity, is God’s strategic vehicle for bringing into
being his new creation.

10. God calls Christians to find their deepest identity in union with and in the service of
Jesus Christ.

11. Obedience in matters of racial reconciliation calls us, individually and corporately, to
continually repent, to strive for justice, and to battle the powers of evil.

12. Christians live and work in the hope that one day the reconciliation of all things will
be fully realized.

C. That synod, on the basis of the above principles, declare that to be in Christ is in
principle to be reconciled as a community of racially and ethnically diverse
people and that to ignore his calling to turn this principle into experienced reality
is sinful according to God’s Word and the Reformed confessions.


1. The above report demonstrates that the Bible declares this reconciled
community to be God’s will.
2. The confessions declare that the catholicity of the church means that Christ
“gathers, protects, and preserves” the church “out of the whole human
race” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 21).
D. That synod call the whole church—individual members, congregations,
assemblies, agencies, and other ministries of the CRCNA—to respond to the
biblical and theological principles regarding the development of a racially and
ethnically diverse and united family of God by committing themselves

1. To pray and work for the increased enfolding of ethnic-minority persons into
the CRCNA in order to reflect more fully the racial and ethnic diversity of
Canada and the United States.

Bret responds,

But ethnic minority persons who believe what? Who believe the Belhar Confession? I am opposed to people of any hue or background coming into the CRCNA who believe the theology exemplified in the Belhar.

And why should we focus on our makeup? Why not just preach Christ crucified and let the Spirit define and color-code his Church? Do we find anywhere in the Apostolic Missional methodology a concentration on quotas in the Church?

2. To ensure the equitable representation and meaningful participation of
ethnic-minority persons in leadership and other roles of influence at all levels
of denominational life.

Classis Lake Erie Agenda March 3, 2012
Page -11-Note: The total estimated ethnic-minority membership of 5 percent in the CRCNA
compares to an ethnic-minority population of approximately 20 percent in Canada and
the United States.
E. That synod call the churches
1. To articulate the biblical vision for a racially and ethnically diverse and united
family of God by means of the preaching, teaching, and study of the above
biblical and theological principles.
2. To evaluate their life and ministry with regard to their racial and ethnic
composition, the social factors contributing to their composition, the selecting
and training of their leaders, their worship style, and their ministry to
congregational members and to their community in light of their sense of
God’s vision and call for them as congregations.
3. To develop racially and ethnically diverse congregations by all appropriate
models and strategies, such as
a. Established churches becoming more inclusive ethnically and culturally.
b. Planting and developing multiethnic congregations.
c. Sponsoring new congregations that are ethnically and culturally different
from the
parent congregation, in the same or separate facilities.
d. Developing relationships (e.g., joint worship, workshops, and work
projects) with
congregations from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
e. Supporting persons and programs at home or abroad that are committed
to racial
4. To witness publicly against racism, prejudice, and related unemployment,
poverty, and injustices and in defense of all people as image bearers of God.
5. To call individual members to promote and establish interracial and crosscultural relationships in their neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities.
F. That synod request the classes, with the assistance of the CRCNA offices and
1. To arrange during the next twelve months for the careful classis-wide study
of this report and its implications for the churches and their ministries.
Classis Lake Erie Agenda March 3, 2012
Page -12-2. To provide to the churches and ministries of classis guidance in support of
racial and ethnic diversity (and unity) by means of public forums and
learning events, multi-congregational worship celebrations, and joint cross-
cultural ministry ventures.
3. To assist the churches in developing and supporting new churches and other
outreach ministries that are committed to ethnic diversity and racial
4. To recruit and assist persons from ethnic-minority groups to participate in the
ministries of classis, including representation to synod, agency boards, and
other ministries of the CRCNA.
G. That synod mandate the Board of Trustees, under the leadership of its CRCNA
staff and with the assistance of the Race Relations division of Pastoral Ministries
and other CRCNA agencies,
1. To coordinate and monitor the role and response of the agencies in providing
guidance and assistance to the churches and classes in support of ethnic
diversity and racial reconciliation as outlined above.
2. To serve Synod 1998 with advice and recommendations for ensuring the
equitable representation and meaningful participation of ethnic-minority
persons in leadership and other roles of influence with the classes and synod,
the Board of Trustees, denominational agencies, and other ministries of the
CRCNA. The recommendations should include transitional and long-term
strategies, training and support needs, financial implications, and periodic
reporting to synod on efforts and progress.
3. To continue to explore ways whereby the biennial Multiethnic Conference can
assist the churches, classes, and synod to respond more completely to God’s
call for ethnic diversity and racial reconciliation in the CRCNA.
4. To review CRCNA policies and practices in relation to the training,
credentialing, and compensating of ethnic-minority pastors and to give
recommendations and advice as indicated.
H. That synod respectfully urge future synods
1. To include in their worship times the articulation and celebration of the
biblical vision for a racially and ethnically diverse and unified family of God.
2. To encourage the development of specific recommendations and specific
practical guidelines for supporting ethnic diversity in all aspects of
denominational life, including interchurch relations in general and ministries
of the Reformed Ecumenical Council in particular.
Classis Lake Erie Agenda March 3, 2012
Page -13-3. That denominational response to the above decisions be reviewed by Synod
1998 on the basis of an interim progress report by the Board of Trustees.
I. That denominational response to the above decisions be reviewed by Synod 2000
in the light of another progress report with advice and recommendations by the
Board of Trustees to Synod 2000.
J. That synod recommend that the Board of Trustees ask representatives of various
language groups in the denomination to translate the document into the
languages of their groups.
K. That synod ask Calvin Theological Seminary’s Morren Conference Committee to
consider organizing a conference on “racial and ethnic reconciliation with
repentance and justice” to explore the theological meaning of racial reconciliation
and the implications for ministry, pastoral care, ecclesiology, and social justice.
! ! Grounds:
1. Racial reconciliation with repentance is urgent in the light of the above report.
2. Reformed theologians are well positioned historically and theologically to
address this issue.
3. The Reformed churches of South Africa are presently experiencing such a
The following recommendations were adopted by Synod 2005 regarding the Practice Of
Appointing Ethnic Advisers To Synod (Acts of Synod 2005, pp. 748; 755-56):
1. That synod encourage each classis to include at least one ethnic minority person
in its synodical delegation beginning with Synod 2006.
a. Although synods have repeatedly encouraged classes to delegate ethnic
minorities to synod, the response of most classes has been minimal.
b. There are classes that can achieve this goal by 2006 because a number of
ethnic minority officebearers already serve in their member congregations.
2. That synod request all classes to develop a strategy to intentionally incorporate
ethnic minorities into the life and government of the local church and broader
assemblies and submit their plan to the BOT by March 15, 2007.
! ! Grounds:
a. Submitting strategy plans provides an intentional accountability to one
another by way of a denominational board that can report such plans to
Classis Lake Erie Agenda March 3, 2012
Page -14-b. Sharing classical plans has the benefit of classes’ learning from one another.
3. That synod encourage ethnic minority members of the denomination to
participate in the meetings and activities of their classes.
Ground: Such participation gives people familiarity with how the denomination
functions and helps members of classes become better acquainted with each
other’s gifts.
4. That synod encourage classes to specifically invite ethnic minorities to participate
in the meetings and activities of classis.
Ground: Such participation gives people familiarity with how other cultures
function and helps members of classes become better acquainted with each
other’s gifts.
5. That synod remind councils and classes that the CRC Office of Race Relations is
available to assist with leadership development and other services to incorporate
ethnic minorities into the ongoing work of the church.
Ground: The Office of Race Relations is the agency mandated to assist councils
and classes in this work.
6. That synod continue the position of ethnic adviser as long as the number of
ethnic minority delegates is fewer than twenty-five, after which time it shall be
discontinued. The Board of Trustees should appoint as many ethnic advisers as
are needed to reach twenty-five, except that no more than seven (and no fewer
than two) shall be appointed.
Ground: Continuing this position only to the point where the number of ethnic
minorities at synod is comparable to current levels reflects synod’s desire that
this position be a temporary catalyst to encourage classes to delegate ethnic
7. That synod instruct the Board of Trustees of the CRCNA to report in the annual
Agenda for Synod, and to make recommendations if necessary, on the
denomination’s progress in attaining its goal of at least one ethnic minority
synodical delegate from each classis and on the denomination’s progress in
incorporating ethnic minorities on denominational boards.
Ground: Because our Board of Trustees acts for synod between sessions and
because it supervises all denominational ministries, this Board is uniquely
qualified to measure denominational progress and to encourage us in it.

The Holocaust and The Holocaust Offering

Dear Pastor, I have read where you have said, “The only true holocaust is the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Any other use of the word is sacrilegious.” Now, Pastor according to my dictionary the word holocaust means, “destruction or slaughter on a mass scale” Granted, the Crucifixion was death and destruction at its most massive (as well as a part of victory on its grandest scale). But are you really proposing that it is sacrilege to acknowledge that there was ever any other instance of slaughter on a mass scale? Marcia Whittum Woodward

Dear Marcia, Thank you for a very good question. In Leviticus 4:7 we read,

7And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense before the LORD that is in the tent of meeting, and all the rest of the blood of the bull he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

What is being taught here and what is taught throughout the Old Testament is that there was to be no approach to God but by way of Atonement. The claim of the altar had to be met first before God could be approached. The offering required that was to be given had to be given totally to God. The ancient term for this offering, much used in earlier centuries is “holocaust.” Indeed, that word was used by the ancients because in earlier translations of the Bible it was referred to as the “Holocaust offering.” Today our Bibles typically translate it as “burnt offering.” It is a offering wholly given to God and setting forth full devotedness. The only true holocaust thus, is the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Paul, in Ephesians 5:1-2 refers to Jesus Christ as a wholly given offering – a holocaust offering – on our behalf.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 

Paul’s phrase here in Ephesians 5 for the offering of Jesus Christ is the same as the Greek word used in the Septuagint for Leviticus 1:9 where we find the world “holocaust.” Since the word originally had to do with sacrifice and offering and was used in the context of worship and specifically is associated with the death of the Lord Christ on the Cross I would say that any other use of the word “holocaust” demeans that word’s original meaning and is a move to try to compare matters which can not be compared. The death of any people group in no way compares to the death of Christ on the cross and because that is true the use of the word “holocaust” to describe anything but the offering of Christ ends up diminishing the work of Jesus Christ by suggesting that others have experienced what He alone could and did experience. Let the word “genocide” be used instead of “holocaust.” “Holocaust” belongs to Christianity and the cross. One wonders if the translators changed the translation in order to be sensitive to the Jews, but I would contend that sensitivity to the Jews on this issue means that their sensitivities are being prioritized over the nature of reality. The reality is that Jesus Christ is the holocaust offering and no other holocaust can remotely compare to the holocaust offering of the Lord Christ. The Jews have for some time insisted that they themselves, as Israel, are the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53. By yielding the word “holocaust” to the Jews to describe their suffering they advance their idolatrous status seeking and make themselves their own Messiah. Jesus Christ alone was our holocaust offering.