Outcome Press Together meeting SUNDAY August 30-Update September 5th, 2015 - The struggle we see today in the Church and in the world against God and His truth must not bewilder us. It is NOW that God's children must encourage each other that God has a church on this earth, and that they are in it. That Church will see revival and reformation, although not all will recognize it. We are told that entire unions and conferences will be sifted out of His church, but the faithful will remain to the end. Invisible may be, persecuted and tossed about from within and without, but invincible. We need not lose our inner peace when we are confronted with rebellion, but when it comes to speaking against apostasy there is no anonymity and indifference. Those that sound the alarm will never be loved, but they must be strong and courageous. God's faithful will reach the finish line!!!
On August 30 there was a member's meeting in which there was be time and place to express our concerns, ask questions, and together we seek and found honest answers. We discussed the latest developments in the issue Women's ordination and the implications for us members in this Union, of the letter from the GC Secretariat of August 18th 2015.
The present Dutch Statutes and Bylaws of this Union give members the right to meet together to decide how they can corporately bring an urgent matter to the attention of the Union Board and to the EC's of the GC/Division. We lawfully appeal on that right.
We want to be constructive, and prayerful, without causing agitation. We as members have to make decisive choices. We can only do that if we are well-informed and have opportunity to express ourselves, without being afraid of repercussions. Our Church is our personal concern. We must make our voices be heard and sound the alarm, if we expect God to act. At times praying and singing was enough, but not after the people were gathered under His banner.
It was an orderly meeting conducted in a Christ-like manner. We expected all to come in that spirit, and they did. God's Spirit was present and that everyone had submitted himself to His leading. It went wonderfully. God is indeed good. All the time. It was simply marvellous.
There were 82 brethren. The venue could hold 80, there were 87 applications. God has lead with the presence of His Spirit. There was not one discord, no scolding on the Union's EC, rather praying for the leaders who were also in meeting that day.
Though there were differences of opinion between the brethren, there was harmony.
We didn't go into the many arguments for or against women's ordination; that was not the aim of the meeting. Those debates were held in San Antonio.
We talked about abiding policy to prevent chaos in the church, and that EVERYONE has authority above him he should respect; The Bible calls us to respect the civil authority, then respecting mutual agreed church authority should not be too difficult, especially when we say that teh matter is not one of believe. If leaders expect that respect from members, they should set the example first.
The brethren had opportunity to express their grievances and pain, but prayerfully, holding before themselves that we were in the presence of the Lord.
Daniel Klop, from The Hague church, proved himself a good chair, did the introduction and pasted the parts of the meeting together. Emil Ene, from Hoogeveen church, did the sound technic, running to and fro with a hand microphone, do that the brethren could hear each other well what was said. Benito Wijngaarde, from Groningen Church, held a touching meditation on Ephesians 4:1-7 in connection to the anguish of Jesus in Gethsemane; that He could have denied the cup, but He drank it for us although He dreaded it. Reminding the people that He gave all; that God still leads His Church and that we have to finish the race together; that it does not mean that we ought to be silent when things go wrong; that we have many concerns and the aim of the meeting was to agree on which concerns and how to present them in a way pleasing unto God.
It was a composed and respectful gathering. We had a solemn prayer session.
Then first, I briefly explained the parameters of the Working Policy and the implications of the GC motion on WO to the brethren, that it indeed pertained to Divisions; and then I showed them the current Division's WP in which it is clearly stated to what ordination rules the Unions should abide. And that if elder NG said "current policy stands" it was this what he meant.
I also explained to them the responsibility of each member for what is happening in our spiritual home, be it in the local church or Union. We have been negligent for many years, turned a blind eye, pretending to do that "out of love" when in fact it was indifference. Presentation in Dutch on Dutch report page.
Then we gave opportunity to speak out. And it was heart breaking. People spoke with trembling voices, choked up with grief. I pleaded with them to show only "holy anger." We constantly reminded each other to be faithful, for God can only work if we deal rightly and justly. We cannot accuse the EC of stepping over rules while doing the same.
The Spirit moved the souls. We encouraged those who were contemplating to give up their membership, never to leave the church; that we ought to finish strong together and that everyone is precious in God's eyes. That in this time, while the final prophesies are being fulfilled, we should be courageous and fearless. God is on the side of His children! And by His grace, we will cross the river together!
We reviewed the text of a draft manifesto/member's request, got new insights from each other to make adjustments to finish it this past week. The final draft is on the table now and will be disclosed the coming week. And then we would want as many members as possible to sign the petition.
We closed up with a beautiful song of meditation about the Scars Jesus chose willingly to safe us, The scars that will be forever in His hands; and then closed with a prayer session, in which three prayers of thanksgiving and supplication were presented to the Lord. And the brethren left hopeful, with the promise to keep on praying for this purpose.
Some people asked why we didn't video cover the meeting. We didn't to maintain the integrity of the meeting.
There was also an EC board meeting on the same day and the officer's statement of 10th July was on the agenda. We prayed for the leaders to be enlightened by the Spirit, to humble themselves before God and that they would be inclined to give the example of maintaining the harmony with the structures of the church and lead our people faithfully in obedience. As of today - Sabbath September 5 - we don't know yet the outcome of that meeting.
The brethren pledged to take care of getting the at least 500 signatures needed to make a formal request to the Union.
It will be by all means a courteous petition to the Union to listen to what members of this Union have to say about the current situation. To talk WITH us too, for it is OUR church, and we have something to say. So, please sign when you are asked.
This will start next week, September 12, for three weeks.
Don't let anyone discourage you not to sign. It is our member's right by the Union's constitution to do so. That means that the Union or church board, elder or anyone else does not have authority to stop any member for going around the church asking brethren to sign the petition. If you want to help to get the signatures in your church or Church plant, please contact me, via contact form.
Please forward this link to other members, who would want to read this report.