An error crept into the printing of my article entitled above in the Standard Bearer dated Dec. 1, 1953. The year in which the undersigned registered his disagreement with with Consistory’s stand taken on Dec. 20, 1950, against Synod adopting the Declaration of Principles should be Feb. 22, 1951 in place of Feb. 22, 1953.
Since it is necessary to call attention to this error, I will add that the former Holland Consistory never retracted their stand taken on Dec. 20, 1950, against the adoption of the Declaration of Principles.
It came up for action the last time on April 30, 1953 when the undersigned made the following motion. Following up our May 22nd 1952 decision, I move that we rescind Consistory’s Dec. 20, 1950 decision with reference to the adoption of the Declaration of Principles, and express that Consistory agrees with the Declaration of Principles, as amended and adopted in 1951, including the two premises which Consistory (rejected) in said Dec. 20th 1950 action, namely: 1. The promise of the gospel is not conditional. 2. We repudiate that the promise of the covenant is conditional. The former Elder Bouwman supported this motion This placed the motion legally on the floor for discussion The former Rev. Kok immediately objected, and refused to accede to this motion, refused to agree with the Declaration of Principles as amended and adopted officially by said Synod of 1951. He wanted to make amendments giving his own interpretation, rather than accept the official document as amended and adopted by said Synod. This resulted in long arguments against the Declaration, and counter arguments with the result that Consistory tabled that motion and did not act upon it. This motion was still not acted upon on the evening of Oct. 9, 1953, when the former Consistory became schismatic and lost their office and fellowship in the Protestant Reformed Church.
In the action above you see the former Rev. Kok refusing to accede and objecting to the motion, that the Holland Consistory officially went on record as expressing agreement with the Declaration of Principles, as amended and adopted by the Synod of 1951. He refused to agree to the Declaration of Principles as amended, and succeeded in keeping the Consistory from so publicly expressing themselves, by tabling the motion.
Approximately one week later on May 7, 1953, the Consistory officially adopted the answer that was sent to Classis East on my protest. This answer is now filed in the archives of Classis East. Quoting from a mimeographed copy that was distributed publicly you read the following beginning top of page 7. Quote: “nevertheless, now that our Synods of 1950-51 have adopted these Declarations, as revised, and whereas to my (singular) knowledge they are not in conflict with the word of God, we (plural) will maintain them as the official declaration of our Churches, (plural) as long as they are not changed by a General Synod.” End of quote. Words in brackets above are my own.
The above was composed and read in the same Consistory room, by the same Rev. Kok, by the same Members of Consistory, that only a week earlier had witnessed that same Rev. Kok, object to and refuse to accede to adopting that same Declaration of Principles, when it was on the floor of Consistory, by a legal motion made and supported legally to so express itself. But that is not all, that same confession was also part of the answer written on that piece of paper, the former Rev. Kok kept in his pocket, when my protest first appeared on the agenda of the Jan. 7, 1953 Meeting of Classis East. He kept this confession in his vest pocket as long as he was sure my protest would not be treated by Classis. He kept this confession in his vest pocket on that evening just referred to on April 30, 1953 Consistory Meeting when a legal motion was on the floor to express publicly that the Holland Consistory agreed with the Declaration of Principles, as adopted by Synod, choking out this confession by loudly objecting to its adoption. But he took this confession out of his vest pocket, inserted it in Consistory’s answer to my protest, when the waters began to run deep at Classis East in May 1953, as the hour of Classical judgment on my protest was approaching.
It should be clear even to a little child, that anyone so dishonest with his own Consistory, certainly was worthy of being suspended from office. For he used the Consistory as a public spectacle. Over the good names of these Brethren he published that vest pocket confession. Every member of that Consistory could know, that the former Rev. Kok was not telling the truth when he incorporated that confession, in that official answer to Classis dated April 30, 1953, adopted by Consistory on May 7, 1953, with one dissenting vote. For only one week previously, April 30, 1953, the motion was on the floor of Consistory, to do exactly what he now publicly inferred he was doing, and to that motion he loudly objected. He objected to Consistory expressing that they agreed with the Declaration of Principles and adopt it as their own, even to the extent that the motion was not acted upon, the motion was tabled, and remained tabled till the day they lost their office.
I repeat any man so dishonest to resort to such swindling tactics, and muddle up everything into such a state of confusion, that no honest man could keep up with it, knew what was going on, certainly should not be in the ministry, and was worthy of being suspended from office.
—J. H. Kortering.