Although we have always been accused of overestimating the evil that those who engineered the Schism of ’53 have perpetrated, the court trial revealed that we underestimated rather than overestimated this evil.
So we wrote last time.
So it actually is.
We will show you a little more of that evil at this writing. We have things to write which four or five years ago, in fact even four or five weeks before the court trial began, we never dreamed we would have to write about those who were formerly one with us. And we can only hope and pray that when they reflect on what we were here that they will repent of their evil and confess it before God.
Would to God that these things had never happened!
But they are now things of history, and they were publicly performed. We publish them for only onereason. If at all possible we would still have those who have been deceived by their leaders and have been advised not to read the Standard Bearer (which only reveals the fear of these leaders of the truth) we would have these learn the truth and understand what kind of men they are following and what kind of things we have had to contend with all these years in Classis and in Synod.
In these classical and synodical sessions no authorized records were kept of the arguments and defense these men made of their stand. They objected to tape recordings of the discussions. But now it took a court trial with its official records to expose them. The truth cannot long be hid!
It is our intention in this writing to show you how Rev. Kok made himself guilty of perjury by not speaking the truth under oath in the Superior Court of the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. And at the same time we will consider his evil deed of last October when in a schismatic way he left our churches. For it was his testimony about this matter wherewith we will now deal.
We will first give you the court records wherein his false testimony is preserved through all time to be. Then we will show you from the minutes of the Classis of last October how impossible it is for him to defend this testimony and that what he “said is not the truth at all!
Rev. Kok had been examined by Mr. Linsey, the attorney for De Wolf’s faction, for direct testimony. Mr. Tubbs then conducted the cross examination. Then Mr. Linsey once again questioned Rev. Kok in redirect examination to try to counteract the evidence which Mr. Tubbs’ cross examination had produced. It was in this redirect examination that we find the following:
Q. As a delegate, did you have the right to vote upon the questions that were before Classis?
Q. And you did vote upon this matter, did you not?
A. Of the suspension, of the refusal to unseat Rev. De Wolf? (This must undoubtedly be “of the refusal to seat Rev. De Wolf.” But we give you the court records as we received them. J.A.H.)
A. I certainly did. I registered my negative vote, which was my perfect right . . .
Q. And by reason of that fact, you were not accepted as a delegate?
A. By reason of that fact, they kicked me out of the meeting.
Q. That is just what happened?
A. Just because I voted negative against that decision, without giving me any opportunity to appeal to the next meeting at all.
Q. That is what they did? You could only vote one way then according.
Q. And by reason of that fact neither you nor your delegate—did your delegate vote with you?
Q. Were you permitted to serve in that adjourned meeting in October?
A. In October when they had—no, they refused to give me a voice.
(The italics are ours.) And yet they were also Rev. Kok’s for he raised his voice very noticeably when he gave the answer which we put in italics.
With that kind of testimony he can move his followers to more bitterness and so further the “Hate Hoeksema” campaign that has been waged for so very, very long both in the West and here in the East. Some of you readers in the West as well as some here in the East know only too well that you formerly resented it whenever you came in contact with the slander and backbiting of this “Hate Hoeksema” campaign. You have expressed it even to others. And now you have so completely succumbed to the crafty deception of that campaign that you now carry it on yourself.
Stop and think once!
Look back into your soul!
And then compare all the evil accusations you have so slanderously heard concerning Rev. Hoeksema with all that this court trial revealed: Compare it with what these engineers of the Schism of ’53 have done, these men who condemned his leadership. Look ahead and see where it is unto which they are now leading you! Be sure they will not turn soon on some of their own men!
As we began to say, Rev. Kok can kindle more brightly the flame of hatred against the Rev. Hoeksema and against all who defend the truth with him with such a testimony. But the facts in the case clearly brand this testimony as perjury, the lie and nothing less! And God in heaven heard it all and is not deceived by it.
Let us turn to the records of the Classis as it was in session last October and see how far from the truth this statement of Rev. Kok is. Having walked so long in error that he could do a thing like this, let him now reflect calmly and prayerfully upon it and confess it.
Art. 301 of the minutes of Classis show that it was on Wednesday morning that a motion was made to unseat Rev. De Wolf and Mr. Sikkema.
Art. 309, which records an action of the afternoon session, declares that the motion of Art. 301, namely to unseat these former delegates, carries.
Then Art. 310 tells us that Rev. Kok handed in that document from his consistory of which we wrote before. And Article 312 tells us that a committee was appointed to study the matter and to give us advice in regard to this action of Rev. Kok.
Art. 313 tells us that Rev. Blankespoor and Rev. Knott also registered their negative votes. And Art. 314 tells us that this action of these two men is given into the hands of this same committee to study and to give advice to the Classis. That ended the work for that day. AND REV. KOK WAS NOT YET UNSEATED, NOR, AS HE SAYS, KICKED OUT!
We met Thursday morning again. Art. 319 tells us that, Rev. Vanden Berg opened with prayer. Art. 323 informs us that the committee appointed in Articles 312-314 gives its report. That report was discussed until dinner time. REV. KOK IS STTLL THERE AS A DELEGATE FROM HOLLAND.
Article 331 is very interesting in the light of (Rev. Kok’s testimony and subsequent n answer to the three questions, presented him. It tells us that Elder G. Bylsma opened the meeting, with prayer. If you please, Eider Bylsma was one of the delegates from First Church whom Rev. Kok would not recognize.
In court Rev. Kok testified that tie would not give him an opportunity to appeal to the next meeting. Why did he not at this session of Classis protest that the meeting was not opened and that we could conduct no business yet because one who is no delegate (in his judgment) had opened with prayer?
But Articles 333 and 337 give the lie to Rev. Kok’s testimony under oath. Article 333 tells us that instead of the advice of the committee appointed according to articles 312-314 Rev. Kok was placed before the following three questions:
1. That we ask the Rev. Kok to declare that the action of Classis East whereby they seated the Rev. C. Hanko and Elder G. Bylsma as the legal delegates from the consistory of the First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan was not schismatic.
2. That he will consider the above mentioned action of Classis settled and binding, and, therefore, will consider the above mentioned delegates from the First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan the legal delegates, so that he can work with them at the sessions of Classis, until he, at the next meeting of Classis, has proved from the word of God and the Church Order that they are not the legal delegates.
3. That in case he refuses thus to declare himself he has violated the Church Order, forfeited by his own action, the right to be seated as delegate from the Consistory of the Church of Holland, Michigan, to Classis East.
Art. 337 reveals that Rev. Kok gave a negative answer to these questions.
Now is it not plain to everyone from point 3, that he is unseated by this action and not because he registered his negative vote against the unseating of Rev. De Wolf and Mr. Sikkema? And, if you please, Rev. Blankespoor and Rev. Knott, who also registered their negative votes, were allowed to vote on the presenting of these questions to Rev. Kok.
We challenge Rev. Kok to produce the stenographic notes which—as the court trial revealed—Rev. De Wolf hired sonic young ladies to take of that October session of Classis East. Let him publish ALL of it on this matter and not as is his habit, quotations that distort the truth. It will become plain to all that several of the delegates to the Classis advised him to appeal to Synod and not to go the way he plainly was intent on going. We challenge him to put these notes alongside of his court testimony and see once whether “just because” he registered his negative vote we unseated him. WE NEVER DENIED HIM THE RIGHT TO REGISTER HIS NEGATIVE VOTE!
Besides is it not plain from the second question put to him that officially as a body, by our adoption of this question, we ASKED HIM TO APPEAL TO THE NEXT CLASSIS?
But please take note of this: Here is the answer of Rev. Kok to those three questions, “My answer to Nos. 1and 2 is ‘No’ on the grounds I have submitted (in that letter) and Art. 31 of the Church Order. Hence I disagree with the conclusion expressed in the 3rd point and reserve the right to appeal this action of Classis to the Synod of our Protestant Reformed Churches.”
No motion was made to deny him this right, and Rev. Kok knows that such an appeal would have to be submitted to the next Classis, and since we did not deny him the right to appeal to Synod, how can he say that we denied him the right to appeal to, the next Classis ? It is unbelievable yet true that his testimony in court is utterly false.
He must not try to hide behind Article 31 of the Church Order as he did so corruptly on the witness stand in court. He must not try to hide behind that “unless” of the article to refuse the “until” of the second question. Let him look up Article 53 once. He will find two things that SHOW his whole defense in court to be absolutely worthless. Article 53 Says that ministers of the word shall de facto be suspended by the Consistory OR THE CLASSIS from his office UNTIL they shall give a full statement, when they refuse to subscribe to the Three Formulas of Unity.
The Church Order does speak of CLASSIS having the right to suspend. And it also speaks of submitting UNTIL further action can be taken.
Besides, in that second question we asked him to work along with us at the “sessions of Classis.” We asked him to remain with us and—even as he had already done by recognizing the prayer of Elder Bylsma—asked him to stay in order to appeal.to the next Classis. How could he ever under oath before God DARE TO SAY THAT JUST BECAUSE HE REGISTERED HIS NEGATIVE VOTE AGAINST THE UNSEATING OF REV. DE WOLF, AND THAT WITHOUT GIVING HIM AN OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAL TO THE NEXT MEETING, WE KICKED HIM OUT!!?
It is unbelievable that one who was formerly with us could do a thing like that!
And is it not plain that he was unseated as a delegate because he refused to submit to our decision and therefore to work with us any longer? Registering your negative vote and refusing to abide by the decisions of the majority are two widely different things.
But let him and Rev. Blankespoor and Rev. Knott give us the alternative then. They objected to the decision of the overwhelming majority and would not submit to that decision until the next Classis. What does Article 31 mean in their judgment? Does it mean that what has been decided by majority vote must be made null and void for the whole body that took the decision just because a very small minority has proved to its own conscience that the decision is contrary to the word of God and the Church Order? Does this minority then decide for the majority? Is that the meaning of Article 31? Let them explain and tell us what Classis should have done to those who will not submit? What did they intend to do while we conducted the rest of the business on our agenda?
Then, too, after discussing his case for a whole day we adjourned to give Rev. Kok an hour to come to his decision about these three questions put to him. Where does he get that “just because I registered my negative vote” business from?
We have more of his falsifications under oath which will have to wait till next time. We attach his name to this evil witness because we have no alternative. If we could we would gladly also hide the identity from the four corners of the earth of the author of these things. But in this case it cannot be done.
Rev. Kok, we plead with you. Reconsider all these things prayerfully before the face of the God whose name you took in oath. For God’s sake cease to walk in your error any longer.