Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met in Randolph, Wisconsin on March 6, 1985. Nine ministers and fourteen elders represented the churches of the West. Elder G. Tolsma (Edmonton) was present for the first time and signed the Formula of Subscription. Rev. G. Lubbers and Rev. R. Van Overloop were present and were given the right to speak. Rev. D. Engelsma led Classis in the opening devotions, explaining and applying Matthew 20:1-16. Rev. M. Kamps presided over this Classis.
Classis judged two appeals brought by members against their Consistories. In the one, a brother appealed the decision of his Consistory on his protest against the Consistory’s authorizing ministers preaching in churches outside the denomination. Classis judged this appeal not legally before it, on the ground that the appeal was, in reality, a protest against decisions taken by the Synods of 1977 and 1978. Thus, Classis upheld its decision of March, 1984 on virtually the same appeal.
In the other, a brother appealed the decision of his Consistory on his protest against the Consistory’s distribution of a letter asking for financial support of a non-ecclesiastical cause. Classis rejected the appeal, sustaining the decision of the Consistory, on the grounds that a Consistory has the right to judge a cause worthy to be supported by God’s people and that the appeal confused the particular cause in question with mission work, as the Consistory had clearly pointed out to the appellant.
The Board of Trustees informed Classis that Classis West has now received the entire inheritance willed to Classis by the late Mr. Cecil Vander Molen of our Pella, Iowa congregation. This generous gift amounted to $181,570.74. Classis has appointed the Council of South Holland to advise Classis on the use of this money.
Five churches—Edgerton, Edmonton, Houston, Isabel, and Pella—asked for subsidy for 1986 in the amount of $73,855. Lynden requested $5,500 for 1985, on account of their present, extraordinary circumstances. Classis sent these subsidy requests to Synod, 1985 with Classis’ approval.
Classis arranged the following classical appointment schedule, in response to the requests of the three vacant churches:
Hull: April 14, 21—J. Smith; April 28, May 5—R. Moore; May 12, 19—D. Engelsma; June 2, 9—G. Lanting.
Edgerton: March 31, April 7—R. Cammenga; April 28, May 5—D. Kuiper; May 12, 19—J. Slopsema; June 2, 9—K. Koole.
Lynden: April 21, 28—T. Miersma.
Hull and Edgerton are instructed to seek pulpit supply from the seminary from June to September.
Results of the elections were the following:
—Assistant Stated Clerk: Rev. J. Slopsema (1987).
—Classical Committee: Elder H. Hoekstra.
—Delegates ad examina:
Primus: Rev. D. Engelsma (1988).
Secundi: Rev. R. Moore (1988); Rev. R. Cammenga (1987); Rev. M. Kamps (1986).
—Church Visitors: Rev. M. Kamps, Rev. G. Lanting.
—Delegates to Synod:
Primi Minister Delegates: D. Engelsma; M. Kamps; G. Lanting; J. Slopsema.
Secundi Minister Delegates: R. Cammenga; K. Koole; T. Miersma; R. Moore.
Primi Elder Delegates: R. Brands (Loveland); Wm. Buys (Edgerton); B. Meelker (Redlands); L. Regnerus (South Holland).
Secundi Elder Delegates: E. Bruinsma, Sr. (Loveland); W. Bruinsma (South Holland); T. Hugg (Houston); M. Smits (South Holland).
Classis meets next on September 4, 1985 in Loveland, Colorado, the Lord willing.
Rev. David Engelsma,
Stated Clerk, Classis West
At an all-day officebearers’ conference the day before Classis, delegates and visitors discussed the views of “Theonomy” (literally, the Law of God). Pastor Jon Smith gave a paper on “Definition of Theonomy”; and Rev. Ron Cammenga gave a paper on “Theonomy and the Civil Magistrate.” Among the issues dealt with were the place of the Law in the New Testament Church; the calling of the Slate in enforcing the Law; and the fulfillment of the various Old Testament laws by Christ. As usual, the conference proved profitable and was the occasion for good fellowship.