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A Synodical Ordeal 

Quite frankly, the 2010 URCNA Synod in London, Ontario, was an ordeal.  At least it was for me.

Along with Christ Reformed's elder delegate, I made my way from the OC to London, Ontario.  But our bags remained in Detroit . . .  We finally got our stuff the next day.  Good thing.  I was getting a bit gamey.

Some guy sitting about three rows back on the flight from LA to Detroit was hacking and snorting his head off.  Sure enough, I was getting sick by Tuesday night and spent much of synod stoned on cold tablets trying not to cough, sneeze or make other gross sounds.  Nothing worse than sitting next to someone coughing, snorting and repeatedly clearing their throats.  I did my best to keep quiet, but that meant sneaking off to go blow my nose every 20 minutes or so . . .

The delegates worked from 8:00 a.m. in the morning until 11:00 p.m. for four straight days.  Despite the grueling schedule, the 200 or so sleep-deprived bone-weary men kept plowing ahead with few signs of the usual crabbiness that goes with that kind of stress and fatigue.  I was impressed with the level of civility shown under such duress.  I know I was tired and crabby!

Adding insult to fatigue, apparently, American Reformed ministers are viewed as a security risk by Canadian authorities!  Here I am getting frisked in front of a bunch of my fellow ministers and synod attendees on the same flight out with me (hence the photo).  I'll bet the security people were looking for Cuban cigars--the contraband most likely to be found on a Reformed minister's person.

Yes, synod was an ordeal.  But . . . 

The nine points of Synod Schereville were re-affirmed by a large margin.  When it came time to approve the study report on justification and the Federal Vision, the matter came to the floor in the form of six recommendations.  The first recommendation (to receive the report) passed without dissent.  Then the second recommendation passed.  Then came the third, the heart of the report.  Not a single "nay."  When it became clear that the vote was unanimous, someone out in the hall applauded.  Before long virtually all the delegates inside began applauding.  Then, there was a cheer or two, and I can only describe the atmosphere in the room as one of spontaneous heart-felt joy.  Never seen anything like it!  About as close as the Reformed come to a "second blessing."

So, if synod was an ordeal, it was well worth it.  The gospel was cheered, the Federal Vision was rejected by every one of the delegates to our synod. 

And once I've caught up on my sleep and my cold is long gone, what will remain is the unanimous vote of Synod London 2010, when the delegates cheered as the gospel was affirmed and the Federal Vision condemned!

Thanks be to God!

Reader Comments (20)

What a classic picture! lol!

BTW, thank you for indulging some of my questions during parts of the proceedings at Synod.

I learned a lot about the importance knowing the rules and procedures this week.

Glad you made it back home safe. Hope you feel better soon.
August 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Lenzner
"Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you."
August 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
That is a blessing, indeed!
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhb
Glad the favorable outcome of the synod offset your personal woes, and thanks for coming to church despite your bug.
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn D. Chitty
I wish I could have heard it! Hooray for the Gospel!
August 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBBywaters
I think the beard is the cause.
August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew
I am so grateful for all the sacrifices you men had to make to protect our doctrinal unity.
August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSimonetta
It's the beard that raised the suspicion of the TSA! When did the moustache migrate to the rest of your face?
August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark VPol
My wife had that happen to her on a flight out as well. The embarasssment of standing in front of people and being subject to a frisk is far better than being asked to "follow me to the back room "!
August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharles S
"I am not Tony Rezco."
August 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
Lee n. field:

How do you know I am not Tony Rezko?


And you want to be my latex salesman . . .

Mark VP and Matthew:

I always grow a "don't bother me" beard while I'm on vacation/sabbatical.
August 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim Riddlebarger
Amen. Hallelujah. This should be on the nightly news :)
August 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhiram diaz
Daniel Pipes liked your post and blogged on it. See bottom of this page:
August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark James
I just read the post at Daniel Pipes blog! Unbelievable.
August 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhb
"How do you know I am not Tony Rezko?"

Because reformed pastor and Chicago machine insider just don't go together.
August 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
Praise the Lord!
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark A Priestap
Consider me uninformed...

I know Douglas Wilson is a "Federal Vision" guy, but I dont know what exactly the differences are? Will someone fill me in-

Why did you all want the Federal Vision rejected? What are the differences between it and your position?
August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Svoboda
If you were being searched by Canadian security guards coming into Canada, it wasn't for Cuban cigars... Cuban cigars are legal here in Canada!

Much more liklely has something to do with being a confessional Reformed minister, after all (insert deeply sarcastic tone here) Christians are intolerant, politically incorrect bigots who insist on abosolute truth and an "exclusive" gospel! "Oh Canada... God keep our land, glorious and free!" -<sigh>-
August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRon R
I was offended by your remarks.

Cuban cigars are quite legal in Canada. To your traveling companions you are an ordained minister - to Customs you could be anyone. God may know who you are, Customs officials have to be more cautious.

By the way, the people who checked you on the way out were not acting on behalf of Canada - they were acting on behalf of the United States. They are US Customs officers, not Canada's, trained to uphold your laws, not ours. So feel free to trash your own country, not ours. We're a hospitable people and we welcome your visits - leave your guns at home and come up any time.

It's a hard job. Speaking as someone who works on the Canadian side you should know that just as many people thank us for keeping passenger travel safe as get upset because they think they are too special to be checked. Though the majority of people who get upset are clean we do catch a small number who are carrying drugs or who are over their limit of alcohol or other items and often have to confiscate hand guns - the owner usually protests that they have a permit - which only applies to the US, not Canada.

Hope to see you again, but change the reference from "Canadian Authorities" to "American Authorities". I and my co-workers would appreciate it.
Dear Employee of Canada Customs

Get over it. The frisking business was tongue in check.

I'm offended by thin-skinned government workers who take themselves way too seriously.
December 18, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim Riddlebarger

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