In the Wachter of June 1, 1948, we read the following from the hand of the Rev. E. Van Halsema, editor of (DUTCH REMOVED):
For the convenience of those who are not able to read the Holland language we will give a resume of the foregoing article:
The theme is expressed in the title: To WHICH CHURCH? Under that title the Reverend Van Halsema points out how this question occupies the mind of many of the brethren and sisters in Holland and that the Christian Reformed Church offered them their help and assistance. Also that many of them found a church home with them. Next, that also the Canadian churches have done their best to offer a church home to these immigrants.
And at this juncture he brings in our churches. He mentions that Prof. Schilder in a lecture in the Netherlands advises his people to affiliate with our churches if they plan to come to this country. And then he quotes an article which he read in DE REFORMATIE from the hand of K. Van Spronsen. Also the latter is of the opinion that his people should join our Protestant Reformed Churches. He mentions that even though there is no official contact as yet between the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, maintaining art. 31 and our churches here, there is nevertheless the fact that the churches here have taken steps to come to such an official status, and also that Prof.
Schilder might speak in our churches and occupy our pulpits in Divine Worship, while it is a fact that the Christian Reformed Churches closed their pulpits to him so that he might not even lecture among them, showing their hierarchical bondage under which they live. In that connection he also quotes from a letter which he received from our own Rev. J. De Jong, telling him (Van Spronsen) that our Prot. Ref. Churches have appointed a committee to seek contact with the liberated churches and brethren of those churches who plan to come to America or Canada.
And the brother advises his people to write him (Van Spronsen) and he will give them the necessary particulars anent the question of church affiliation.
So far the quotation which the Rev. Van Halsema took over in his columns. And then he attaches the following lines to same:
“We present the above to our readers.
We will not enter in upon some expressions even though we might make caption on some of them. One has heard enough of the battle cry in the Netherlands.
That which does interest us is that our immigrant people in the Netherlands do not become victims of those who want to play at the game of church (kerkje spelen). He that would join the Prot. Ref. Churches or the Chr. Ref. Church: let him do so, but let him do it on the basis of reasons that can stand the test of truth and verity.
That puts a heavy obligation on those who give leadership. So easily we mistake strange fire for a holy flame.”
So far the Rev. Van Halsema.
The desire to write much on this piece of journalism which bears the name of Christian fails me.
Imagine: he does not mention one solitary thing or fact which might be used to condemn us or our effort to help those who come to America or Canada. And yet he condemns us. And he does it in an evil way, the way, namely, of insinuation. I used the word “evil” in this connection, and I did so with sober judgment.
His style is calm and serene when he begins to write about the problem and its solution, the solution, namely, of his own church or Canadian churches extending the helpful hand to the immigrants. But after typing the name PROTESTANT REFORMED CHURCHES on his typewriter, his style changes to evil insinuation.
Here are the insinuations:
Number one: We are victimizing the immigrants.
Number two: We play at the game of church.
Number three: We advance false and deceptive reasoning that must serve as a ground for church affiliation.
Number four: We burn strange fire upon the altar of Divine Worship.
What can a man do at this juncture? The Rev. Van Halsema does not come out in the open, so that we can weigh his arguments and answer them. The Rev. Van Halsema does not accuse us honestly and openly of all the corruption which I enumerated above from one to four.
No, but he insinuates; he sneers at us; he shakes the head and sticks out the lip.
What can a man do?
Nothing, but wait patiently for the time when God shall judge the living and the dead.