I am grateful to the Standard Bearer and to Rev. Kenneth Koole for the editorial “Apostasy Revisited— Reflections on an Analysis of the Apostasy of the CRC in the Last Half-Century” (Vol. 86, p. 316). You have validated concerns I have developed over the last few years.

I came to prison 25 years ago as a “backslidden” (i.e., unconverted) Pentecostal. Through God’s grace, I met brothers along the way who taught me the great Reformed doctrines of grace. Since then, most of my contact, fellowship, and instruction have come from the CRC. I completed Crossroads Bible Institute’s 3-Tier program, and college classes in Christian Doctrine. Three wonderful men of God maintained a correspondence with me, all of whom have served in the higher ranks of the CRC. One in particular has sent me the Banner on a regular basis. I missed their debate on scriptural authority, and I have been disturbed to see some of their articles supporting theistic evolution. However, I read a good deal of their debate to seat women elders at Synod and now their discussion of active homosexuals in fellowship. These issues have deeply upset me.

Professor, I love God and I am jealous for His Word. When the issue of seating women at Synod came up, I wrote to my friends with the best biblical argument against it I could. I remember so well that when Synod debated the issue there was a group of CRC women, all wearing blue, demonstrating their support for seating women. At the time, I commented that they seemed like the CRC’s version of the radical feminist organization “Code Pink.” My CRC friends disagreed with me, supporting the seating of women as biblical and right. When the editor of the Banner kicked off the debate on homosexuals, I was livid. Even his suggestion that we “talk about it” was a contradiction of clear biblical teaching and standing CRC policy. It seems as though God’s Word is taking second place to our personal feelings of esteem, belonging, and “fair treatment.” I wrote to the Banner editor twice concerning this issue. His response was gracious, but the idea was that although I “believe the Bible teaches” against homosexual practice, others believe the Bible teaches it is alright in committed relationships.

Sir, I have prayed a lot for the CRC. I can see that they are being influenced more by our secular culture than by God’s Word. That hurts me emotionally, because the CRC gave me my spiritual nourishment as a Reformed believer. Your article gave me some comfort because now I know I am not alone in seeing that secular influence. I look forward to reading Rev. Koole’s next installment in this series. No, I am not on your mailing list. One of the brothers here receives theStandard Bearer and passes the issues to me when he is done.

You have my permission to share all I’ve said in this letter with anyone you wish. Again, I really appreciate your dedication to truth, and Rev. Koole’s thoughtful and fair analysis of the CRC. God bless you. The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

James Doyle,

Bowling Green, Florida