In an article under the caption “Schilder Representative” the editor of The Banner forewarns the churches against the coming of the Rev. D. van Dijk of Groningen, officially appointed by the Synod of the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands, maintaining Art. 31, to inform the churches here about the schism in the old country. There are several errors in that little article. First of all, the brother that is appointed by the Netherland Synod for this purpose is not A. J. Dijk, but D. van Dijk of Groningen, according to my recollection. Secondly, the brother does not come here as a “Schilder representative” but as an official delegate of the Liberated Churches. Thirdly, he is not a Schilder follower, but has already served the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands for years, and has his own, rather pronounced views on the covenant. Fourthly, the brother is not appointed to make propaganda for the new group, but to present the side of the Liberated Churches with reference to the schism, concerning which the Christian Reformed Church have been informed very one-sidedly, as might have been expected. But the purpose of this little article is to warn the Christian Reformed churches to give this man no hearing. The editor writes:
“To permit the men who have cause the rupture in that Church to speak to our own congregations would be a slap in the face of our sister-Church which they have forsaken. Those of us who do not want to see an unnecessary doctrinal controversy transplanted to this country will not look with favor on any one who endeavors to make propaganda among us for an un- Reformed conception of the covenant of grace.”
That settles it.
Very few ministers and congregations in the Christian Reformed Churches (Church, according to Kuiper) will have the courage to face the possibility of denominational wrath. This warning, together with a similar one that appeared in De Wachter, will probably close the doors to the Rev. van Dijk.
At the same time, Prof. Heyns is posthumously ejected from the Christian Reformed Churches by the editor of The Banner. For the editor admits that the doctrine of the Liberated Churches, or rather of some of their leaders (the Churches have no officially adopted doctrine on this point) resembles the covenant conception of the late Professor Heyns. And he adds that this conception is un-Reformed.
Is there no one among the ministers of the Christian Reformed Churches who have sat for years at the feet of Prof. Heyns, and imbibed his covenant conception, and who have faithfully reproduced it in pulpit and catechism-room, who will take it up for him?
The point of this article, however, is to point out that our churches are free from the ecclesiastical shackles of “sister-churches” that compel the Christian Reformed Churches to agree with their “sister” through thick and thin, and that render it impossible to give a man a hearing, that force us to condemn him before he has an opportunity to open his mouth.
The point of this article, moreover, is to emphasize that the Rev. D. van Dijk should have a hearing, and that if the Christian Reformed Churches close their doors to him, we should open ours to let him lecture as often as he desires.
It is well-known that we do not agree with the covenant conception of some of the leaders of the Liberated Churches.
But we are not afraid of contamination.
Let the man have a hearing!
The Christian Reformed Churches gave Barkey Wolf a hearing. And Barkey Wolf has not a Reformed hair on his head. But they refuse to hear the Rev. van Dijk, because of his un-Reformed views that resemble those of the late Prof. Heyns!
We gave Dr. Schilder a hearing when he was here.
We would even have given Barkey Wolf a hearing in our churches had he desired it.
Let us give the Rev. van Dijk a welcome, a home, and a hearing, if he wants it.