Dear Editor of the Standard Bearer:
Would you please place the following in the Standard Bearer for me? Thanks!
I would like to tell the readers of the Standard Bearer, especially those in Pella and Oskaloosa, something about the way that Rev. M. Gritters reports to you readers of Concordia on the letter of me and M. Sietstra to the Consistory of Pella. It grieves my soul a lot that I must call your attention to this. I have sorrow in my heart for Rev. Gritters’ sake and for the sake of Consistory and for the whole congregation. How I long that they would come to a “hearty repentance, and stand with us in the same principles and tenets we have always maintained as Protestant Reformed Churches.” That’s what we asked of them in our letter. And they turned a deaf ear to our pleadings. That gives me great sorrow every day. But now they make matters worse yet. Rev. Gritters, President of the Consistory and Clerk of “Classis West” doesn’t even tell the readers of Concordia the whole truth. He withholds some of the most important facts of our letter.
Brethren, let us speak the truth. Even in a worldly, secular court the record is kept straight: Even there we must solemnly swear to speak, the truth, the whole truth, and all the facts!
Rev. Gritters writes only the following concerning the content of our letter: “In it (the letter) they resolve and petition to reestablish their (should be “our”) relationship with the true continuation of the Protestant Reformed Churches, as represented by Classis West, of which Rev. H. Veldman is Clerk ‘They further’ maintain their, (should be “our”) claim on the property of the Protestant Reformed Church of Pella, Iowa with all its physical assets and give the Pella Consistory until January 31, 1955 to join them.”
I am afraid that there is no room for the publishing of our entire letter. I shall simply tell you what parts Rev. Gritters omitted and quote it. Then the readers in our churches may read it for themselves and judge whether Rev. Gritters told them all of the facts.
Rev. Gritters omitted the body of our letter. This reads: “Dear brethren, We, the undersigned, come to you with heavy hearts, yet also with strong conviction that we are called by our God to build His church. We are convinced, after long and prayerful consideration, that our consistory, and therefore we also, have grievously sinned in breaking down God’s church by supporting Rev. De Wolf and his deposed elders in their schismatic action. We realize now that we have been grossly misinformed about the happenings in First Church of Grand Rapids. We must confess, in as far as tie also have made ourselves guilty, that we sinned before God in supporting this schismatic group.”
That is the chief part of our letter. Here we confess that we have sinned. We repented of this sin and do repent of it. Why did Rev. Gritters keep this information from his readers? Was it “lest his deeds (too) should be reproved?” John 3:30, O, brethren, let us together humble ourselves and in the way of repentance build God’s Church and be built in the faith. Then we shall in love rejoice together in the truth. That will be a healing of the terrible schism in our churches as far as Pella is concerned. Do not stand in the way of this way of repentance, Rev. Gritters. Bow down next to me and then tell all the facts, and admit the grounds on our confession: None rejoices in this terrible sin of supporting schismatics and of casting out the faithful officebearers, as we in Pella have done as Consistory in August of 1953, and which evil we have helped perpetuate on the Classis of September 1953!
Let us in repentance remove this evil.
Rev. Gritters also omitted the reasons and grounds for our claim to the property. He omitted “as has been established in the Articles of Incorporation of the Protestant Reformed Church of Pella, Iowa.” He presents this as the chief part of the letter. That it is not. If Rev. Gritters would awaken to the seriousness ofour sin as Consistory he would see that we have come to that bridge in the road by our act, so that only by confession and return can we claim the property which has been believingly and prayerfully dedicated to these who maintain the doctrine and Church Order of the Protestant Reformed Churches. Otherwise God takes from us in every sense what we think to have.
Brethren, let us return to God in sorrow as did the prodigal son. Then will prosperity be within our gates and peace within our palaces.
Then we will not need to keep back any facts.
They are all open and naked anyway before God. He is not mocked.
Just one more remark. The reader must understand that when we gave the Consistory till January 31, 1955, to join us in. condemning the wrong and loving the right, we did not have in mind that then they Gould need to vacate the buildings of the church of Pella, but we intended, that, should they not join us, we would then tie necessitated to take measures ourselves to seek to be reestablished with the Protestant Reformed Churches as represented by the Classis West of which the Rev. H. Veldman is clerk.
Cecil Vander Molen
201 Morningside Dr., Pella, Iowa