Announcement Date: 2014-10-23

Communication regarding the proposal to open the offices of elder and minister of the Word also to women, from Lawrence K. Spalink, missionary of the Christian Reformed Church in NA, October 15, 2014

 

  1. I regard very highly the gifts and abilities of sisters, and I assert that we have a duty to aggressively and effectively ascertain and employ these in the churches. This is to God’s glory and the blessing of the church, the communication of the Gospel to the world and the bringing of hope to the poor.

 

  1. I pledge my support to the sisters who are serving in this way.

 

  1. However, I believe that the Spirit of God is speaking clearly in his Word. It is an inappropriate way to handle Scripture to make it say “yes” when it says “no.” That “no” is not a naive accommodation to the culture of that day, but it is based in the aim of the Creator and his purposes in his creation in regard to the relationship between male and female. (If this is not so, the basis for opposing the activism of homosexuals and the promotion of same sex marriage is also lost.)

 

  1. The opening sermon of this general assembly and also the report of the Mission and Social Problem Committee point out for us that by employing a new way of interpreting the Constitution, the government is trying to overturn the overt and intended pacifism in the articles of the Constitution in order to justify collective self-defense and increase the nation’s capacity to make war. The proposed communication of protest to the government makes clear how wrong this activity is. If that is the case, reinterpreting the Bible similarly in order to induce precious female members into a path that the Bible forbids is also very unfortunate.

 

  1. I am rather embarrassed that over the years, many of your reports and discussions have pointed positively to and made use of some of the study reports of my own denomination. I pray earnestly that you in the Reformed Church in Japan will not embark on a similar path, which has caused so much damage to my mother church. [I am referring to the departure of about 45,000 conservative and faithful members of the church who felt they could no longer be part of the CRCNA, a matter I had noted to the GA in earlier remarks. The committee’s summary of a survey of churches that have opened the offices to women about fallout afterwards says of the CRCNA only that women still face obstacles and have trouble getting calls, but fails to mention that a major secession ensued.]

 

  1. I promise that whether you adopt the proposal or defeat it, my love for the Reformed Church in Japan will not change. I will by no means regard you as my enemy. Though I would like to make a great contribution, what I can offer is very limited assistance, but I desire that you allow me to continue working together with you in the evangelization and building up of the church in Japan. I urge those churches both domestic and foreign that are also in the relationship of mission cooperation with you to do the same.

 

–Distributed to those in attendance at the Reformed Church in Japan General Assembly, with the prior permission of GA Moderator Rev. Akira Komine

 

教会の長老と教師の職務を女性にも開く提案について

CRCNA宣教師ローレンス・スパーリンクより

2014年10月15日

 

1、私は教会の姉妹たちに与えられている賜物と能力を高く評価し、教会にはこれらを有効的かつ積極的に確認して生かす義務があることをまず主張します。それは神の栄光を表すためであり、教会を祝福するためであり、世の人々に福音を伝え、貧しい者に希望を与えるためであります。

 

2、私はこのように諸奉仕に当たっておられる姉妹たちを応援し続けることを約束します。

 

3、けれども、主の御霊はみことばの中ではっきりと語っておられることを信じます。みことばが「否」と語るところを「然り」と言わせることが聖書の相応しい扱い方ではありません。その「否」はその当時の文化的背景に適切に対応する背後のあるものではなく、天地創造において男女の関係と創造主のそれぞれに狙っておられた意図に基づいています。(もしそうではないならば、同性愛と同性結婚を是正する運動に反対する根拠も失ってしまいます。)

 

4、今度の定期大会は開会礼拝説教で、また、宣教と社会の問題委員会の報告と提案の中で、政府が憲法に無理な解釈を施していること、集団的自衛権を承認し戦争を起こす能力を築く、つまり、憲法の明確に目指している平和主義を引っくり返していることを指摘してくれました。今の政権の行動がどんなに行けないことをやっているか、抗議声明を出すべきことを指示しています。だとすれば、これに近い仕方で聖書に新しい解釈を施すことによって貴い女性教会員を聖書が禁じていることに誘導することが不幸なことです。

 

5、私は今までの諸報告と議論の中で私の母教会の報告が肯定的に評価され、用いられてきたことに非常に恥ずかしい思いがあります。どうか、私の母教会に多くのダメージをもたらしたこの誤った道に日本キリスト改革は教会が踏み出さないことを切に祈ります。

 

6、今回の大会が提案を可決しても否決しても、日本キリスト改革派教会に対する私の愛に変わりがないこと約束します。絶対に敵視はしません。大した貢献を提供しようと思っても、余り役に立つことしかできませんが、引き続きともに福音宣教と教会形成に仕えさせてくださることを願っています。同じような協力関係にある国内外の諸教会にもこのことを是非お勧めしたいです。

 

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