Synod 2021 adopted “an open letter to those who have recently left the PRCA calling them to repentance with the goal of biblical reconciliation.”
Synod instructed the Stated Clerk “to request that this letter be printed in the Standard Bearer. The SB gladly complies with this request.
Dear brothers and sisters who have left the PRCA over the recent controversy,
We write to you out of the sincere love we have for you in our Lord Jesus Christ and the deep grief we have over the division between us. Knowing it to be our solemn duty before God, we earnestly seek reconciliation in the biblical way of confession and forgiveness because such reconciliation is a reflection of the very heart of the gospel of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18-21). When reconciliation is sought and accomplished, God is glorified, which is our shared goal in this life and the life to come. The very gospel of Christ demands that we try to reconcile. In submission and obedience to Christ we attempt to begin a healing of the breach between us.
We come to you in humility. In the events of the recent controversy and the departure of many families we have humbly reflected on the lessons God is teaching us. He has graciously exposed weaknesses, which is more than we can get into by way of letter. We would ask you to approach us with this same humility and desire to confess where you have been wrong.
At the same time, we cannot confess that we have sinned in the suspension and deposition of Rev. Andy Lanning. Synod 2021 carefully adjudicated many protests concerning the deposition and the approval of the Synodical Deputies from Classis West. The synod has determined that this deposition was just and right before God.
Your departure from true churches of Christ and your following of a lawfully deposed man concern us deeply, and lead us to issue an earnest call that you repent of your sin and return to our fellowship, even as Jesus prays this for His church in John 17:21. This plea is sent with the desire of II Timothy 2:25-26, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” We plead with you to reconsider what you have done and return to us. Be assured that we will humbly and mercifully receive you, as those who know the undeserved grace and mercy of our faithful covenant God.
The right way for this to happen is that you would return to the consistories from which you left and begin the process of reconciliation with them. Please prayerfully consider our plea, for the glory of God and the witness of Christ’s church in the midst of this world. Reconciliation would be an amazing witness before a divided world and church world of the beauty of the gospel of reconciliation.
In Christ’s service,
Synod 2021 of the PRCA