What does it mean "to submit to the judgment of the council, classis, or synod?"


Synod just sent the revision to the Form of Subscription back for further review.  So, we are still using the current form.

I have been reading and re-reading the form recently in an attempt to understand one part:


"We are prepared moreover to submit to the judgment of the council, classis, or synod, realizing that the consequence of refusal to do so is suspension from office."
What does it mean to submit to the judgement of synod?  I know that it doesn't mean that office-beareres have to agree with synod on everything.  But, it does seem to preclude certain methods of expressing disagreement.  An example of a proper method of disagreement might be taking the issue to classis.  An example of an improper method of disagreement might be writing a blog post online explicitly critical of a decision of synod.
Am I reading that correctly?  Or, is submission to the judgement of synod only applicable to matters of dogma?  (In which case, it might be acceptable to criticize synod publically on a matter unrelated to the confessions)
Posted in:

The Network hosts user-submitted content.
Posts don't necessarily imply CRCNA endorsement, but must comply with our community guidelines.

Let's Discuss…

We love your comments! Thanks for your help upholding the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.

Sorry about the formatting.  It looked fine as I was writing it and now I don't know how to edit it.

That last chunk of writing was actually supposed to be several paragraphs.  I'm not sure how that happened...

Community Builder

The context of "submitting to the judgment" of the assemblies is the person's coming to the assemblies with an expression of disagreement with the CREEDS or CONFESSIONS and doubts whether he or she can fully assent to a part thereof.  The Form of Subscription then says that after a judgment is made, presumably upon appeal by synod, the person must "submit to the judgment" of synod or face suspension from office or, if there is no change of heart, deposition.

We have always held that nobody may disagree with or criticize Scripture.  It is possible to disagree with the creeds or confessions -- they are human documents -- but the individual must agree that the creeds belong to the church as a whole and that we are bound to uphold the doctrine contained therein.  It is even more possible to disagree with or criticize a synodical decision.  We must respect synodical decisions, and we may certainly appeal from them or ask a following synod to reconsider and revise a matter, but such decisions are not at the same level as the creeds and confessions.

I understood your post, Micah :)

Thanks for brining this up. The method of our disagreement says a lot about who we are and whether we love each other - through speaking the truth in love and in submission to the authorities God has placed over us. Blog posts are a dangerous trap for us all.

Are blog posts a dangerous trap?   I would suggest that they are not as dangerous a trap as an individual preacher or teacher making certain statements or pushing positions in an individual church or council meeting or college classroom.  At least blog posts can be accessed by more people and can be addressed by people not under the local influence.   They will tend to achieve a much broader perspective and response, which hopefully will provide illumination about the path of truth that God wants us to follow.