Is it possible in the CRC Church Order for pastors to have their ordination removed without cause?
The intent of Church Order Article 17a was simply to assist churches and pastors in their effort not to repeat their own past mistakes, but the way 17a is written...
Let me tell you a story, and then leave you a question.
In 2009 I worked out an amicable separation agreement with the church I pastored. After submitting it to Classis, 17a was administered. I went to a counselor who gave me a clean bill of health after six sessions and recommended that I return to the ministry. It was not what Classis wanted to hear. They removed my ordination at the end of the year without even reporting my counselor's findings.
Because 17a does not require any due diligence, or any hearing, or any witness of wrong doing as required by Scripture, I could not defend myself. I asked for what I had done that was worthy of the discipline of removal of my ordination, and I was simply told that I was not being disciplined - that would have required a hearing and charges and witnesses.
I was at a loss. How could our denomination allow for a loop hole that allowed ordination to be removed without "discipline" - without being discipled?
God is so good. I came to understand further the errors I made as a pastor and have grown immeasurably from this process, but it has been over a year now and no one from my Classis has contacted me. There has been no effort made to disciple me or walk along side me. I love the CRC, having come into it through a Home Mission church. I love Calvin Seminary for what it taught me. I love my CRC church and the healing I have found there. But I am confounded by the cold shoulder and lack of love I have experienced from my classis, my brother pastors, and my denomination.
The church is broken, but it is also the bride of Christ. I will not leave the ministry and the calling God placed on me. I love the church and will serve her. If the CRC does not want me as one of its ordained pastors, I can live with that. My only question is why have the pastors of the CRC allowed a loophole for the removal of their ordination without cause to remain in the church order?