As To That Straight Record

The Rev. J. De Jong acceded to my request to pub­lish the letter I sent to him from California in re cor­respondence with the Netherlands. In that letter I stated that the letter proposed by the Rev. De Jong to the committee was “perfectly all right for the pur­pose.”

Concerning this statement the following:

1.  I can only say that I am very sorry that I ever made such a statement, and thereby led the Rev. De Jong and also the Rev. Ophoff to believe that I agreed with the entire contents of the letter. I cannot un­derstand nor will I attempt to explain the statement. It certainly did not, at the time, any more than it does now, express my conviction concerning the contents of the letter in question. Of this fact there are more than one witnesses. That I did not agree with the contents of the letter is very evident from the clear cut and splendid editorial written in the last Con­cordia by the Rev. De Boer, whose testimony to this effect is as unsolicited as it is unexpected. How, then, did I ever come to write such a statement? I do not know. All I can say is that, at the time, I was still far below par because of my then recent illness. I was not on the alert. Nor did I feel like arguing, especially not on paper, because it was very difficult for me to write. Nevertheless, I apologize for the statement and say peccavi.

2.  From the rest of the contents of my letter the Rev. De Jong should have and must have received the impression that I did not like his proposed letter. I wanted to wait, and he should have waited rather than press the Rev. Ophoff to sign. I pronounced it a begging letter, and I did not like to beg. The Rev. De Jong was in the hurry, and there was no need for hurry.

3.  This matter proves that important business of any committee should never be transacted by corres­pondence, but only in a properly called meeting of the committee. In such a meeting the matter could have been properly discussed. If that had been done I am sure that the letter as proposed by the Rev. J. De Jong would never have been sent. Had I, as chair­man of the committee for correspondence, been on the alert, this is what I should have replied to the letter of the Rev. De Jong, and nothing more.

4.  All this, however, concerns only a personal blunder on my part, for which I once more apologize. What is far more important is the fact that synod con­demned the letter of the committee, and neutralized its effect be adopting a substitute letter from which all the obnoxious clauses were eliminated. That this is a fact is also corroborated by the aforementioned edit­orial in Concordia by the Rev. De Boer, who, however, is of the opinion that we should have expressed the disapproval in stronger and more definite terms. And the editor, too, was delegate to synod at the time. This is, after all, the important question, for it proves that our churches at the time of the synod of 1948 were not ready to open the door of our churches to the doctrine and members of the Liberated churches.