Last year, I set out to explain why I believe that the denominational office’s interpretation of confessional-difficulty gravamina is not only incorrect, but also immoral and likely to prove damaging to the CRC’s confessional integrity. Some of the arguments that I used in those articles were included in an overture that my council sent to Classis Grandville. In January, Classis Grandville adopted my council’s overture and has sent it on to Synod 2023.
Interestingly, on the same day that Classis Grandville met to discuss my council’s overture, the denominational offices decided to publish what would eventually become the first of two articles by Prof. Kathy Smith (Professor of Church Order at Calvin Theological Seminary) on the topic of confessional-difficulty gravamina. In her first article, entitled, “Gravamen: What It Is and How to Use It,” Prof. Smith reaffirms her commitment to the denominational office’s interpretation of confessional-difficulty gravamina and attempts to justify that interpretation by appealing to CRC church history. Highlighting the importance of these historical claims to her argument, the denominational offices published a second article by Prof. Smith a few days later, entitled, “Summary of the History behind the Guidelines for Gravamina.”