Sometimes the best committee is the one that doesn’t meet at all. That was the case at the CRC Synod when they turned down a recommendation
That synod appoint a study committee to explore and define “confession” in the CRCNA context as it applies to the standards of unity of the CRCNA and report to Synod 2015.
There was an understandable rationale for this. For the past three years the denomination has wrestled with the question of what sort of status it should accord the Belhar Confession, and in the process of that discussion it became quite clear that the sticking point was the notion of “confession.” More importantly, it was also clear that laity and members alike were unsure as to the weight they wanted to give to the notion of confession. So who can blame them for maybe picking it up again.
However, some things are better left undone.
By picking up the notion of defining the confession the church begins to sanction a movement away from using confessions. After all the process of definition would mean that in some sense the confession is subject to Synod, that it is legislated rather than constitutional.
At a deeper level, a confession arises from a common mind, a common p ractice. That’s why there could come a day when Belhar attains that role. but without a common mind already in place, any study committee action would only be a lessening of the force of Confession.
No one intends this consequence, yet history is littered with meetings to consider something akin to revision only to find that they have launched a revolution. Unintended consequences abound. And that was a bullet worth dodging.