In the December, 1972 issue of the News Bulletin of the Association of Christian Reformed Laymen the above question (which means: “Whither Goest Thou?”) is addressed to the Christian Reformed Church in connection with the recent synodical whitewash of Dr. Willis De Boer’s heretical views of Genesis 1-11. It is asserted in the article referred to that the Christian Reformed Church has reached the point of no return. But then it is added—as though it is possible to return from the point of no return: “To retain many committed members an immediate reversal of position must be shown by the leadership of our denomination and the members of the Boards of our institutions, to make it possible for thousands of concerned members to continue their affiliations with the Christian Reformed Church.”
Now it is not my intention to comment at this time on the Willis De Boer whitewash, except to remark that there is no essential difference between De Boer’s position and that of Dr. Harry Kuitert with respect toGenesis 1-11, and that it is evidently not true, therefore, that Report 36/44 (The Nature and Extent of the Authority of Scripture) excluded such views.
Nor is it my intention to comment on the apparent inconsistency pointed out in the first paragraph of this editorial.
Rather, I want to suggest a plain answer to the question, “Quo Vadis, Christian Reformed Church?”
That answer is two-fold:
1) The Christian Reformed Church is becoming a “modalities church.” For those who might wonder what this term means, let me explain that this means a church in which two or more wings, liberal and conservative, live together (whether by explicit or by tacit agreement) under one denominational roof in so-called peaceful co-existence. It is a church such as the state church (the Hervormde Kerk) in the Netherlands has long been, and such as the Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands are also becoming.
2) In inseparable connection with this, the Christian Reformed Church is becoming (or should I say: has become?) a church in which there will not be and cannot be a heresy trial.
The above two statements may seem blunt—almost unbelievable—to many. I assert that they are indeed blunt, but that they are not unbelievable. I assert, moreover, that it is high time that serious-minded Christian Reformed people see the present situation exactly in such blunt terms, and that they make up their minds whether or not they want to be members of such a “modalities church” and to accept the responsibilities of such membership for themselves and their children.
Furthermore, I claim that the evidence of the events of especially the last 10 or 15 years points to the reality of the above two propositions. The case of Dr. Willis De Boer, cited by the ACRL, is but one link in the chain of evidence; and the ACRL has brought into the open much of the same kind of evidence in the years of its existence.
Still more: I believe that in the above two propositions is represented the thinking of responsible leaders of the Christian Reformed denomination. For my own part, I have no doubt about this. But if the men of the ACRL hesitate to accept my judgment, I suggest that they ask some responsible leaders whether or not this is their thinking, and perhaps, upon occasion, their speech. Let them begin, say, by directing this question to Editor De Koster, of the Banner.