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All Articles For The Nose of the Camel

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The Arabs have a proverb, so we are told, that one must keep the nose of the camel out of his tent. Failing to keep out the nose, the Arab will soon have the entire camel in his tent. The proverb expresses the rule, well-known in Latin, “Obsta principiis!” – that is, “Resist the beginnings!” Applicable to all of life, the rule is especially urgent for the church. If the beginnings of corrupt doctrine, impure worship, unsound government, or an unholy life are permitted in the church, later it will prove to be impossible to withstand the evils in their...

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Last year, the synod of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (“Liberated” – hereafter GKN-Lib) decided that women may participate in the congregational meeting as voting members. Virtually ignored by the conservative press, this was a significant decision by a denomination of churches that has been sharply critical of other Reformed churches in the Netherlands for caving in to the pressures of worldliness and that has influence with conservative churches in North America. The decision authorized the nose of the camel of feminism within the church-tent of the GKN-Lib and, by example, within the church-tents of all those in fellowship...

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Last year the synod of the Reformed Churches in-the Netherlands (“Liberated” – hereafter GKN-Lib) decided that women may participate in the congregational meeting as voting members. They may enter into all the debate that takes place at this meeting. They may vote on all matters that come before this meeting. Most importantly, they may vote for pastors, elders, and deacons.   By this decision, the GKN-Lib let the nose of the camel of feminism into their church tents. In time, this decision, unanimously taken, will be followed by decisions approving female deacons, elders, and ministers. These decisions will necessarily involve...

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The preceding editorials pointed out the danger that feminism enters the Reformed churches through the “soft spot” of the congregational meeting. This has taken place recently in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (“Liberated”). Their General Synod of Ommen 1993 decided that women should participate in the congregational meeting as voting members. In order to justify this decision in the face of the apostolic prohibition against women’s ruling in the church, the Liberated synod declared that the congregational meeting does not govern and that election of officebearers is not an exercise of authority. No doubt, the declaration was well-intended. But...

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This series of editorials gives a warning. The approval by a Reformed church of women voting at the congregational meeting permits the nose of the camel of feminism to enter the ecclesiastical tent. The occasion for the warning is the recent decision by the “liberated” Reformed Churches in the Netherlands allowing participation by women at the congregational meeting as voting members. In support of this warning, the previous editorial began quoting the esteemed Dutch Reformed theologian, Dr. H. Bouwman. In his authoritative work on Reformed church government, Gerefomeerd Kerkrecht, Dr. Bouwman demonstrated that the election of officebearers at the congregational...

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