>Appeal #1 came from Hills URC and took issue with the procedure used by Synod Schererville 2007 when it adopted the item of pastoral advice that has become known as the “Nine Points.”
The appeal and presenters made clear that the theological content of the “Nine Points” was not the issue; the procedure was. The gist of the appeal was these points did not come from a consistory and that the churches did not have an opportunity to study the theological statements prior to Synod 2007.
This item was of interest to me since I observed the work of the advisory committee that eventually recommended these points at Synod 2007. The same advisory committee recommended the establishment of the study committee whose report on the Federal Vision comes before Synod 2010.
The advisory committee recommeded sustaining the appeal, believing that proper procedure had not been followed. Delegates were divided over the issue; some argued for the importance of following appropriate procedure and allowing consistories to study such statements prior to their adoption. Others argued that this piece of pastoral advice was crucial for the federation.
Because Chairman Pontier wished to speak to the issue, he turned the chair over to Vice-Chair Scheuers.
“I believe that in this case we have to recognize that we procedurally erred,” Rev. Pontier said. “We’re not rejecting the doctrine.”
When Vice-Chair Scheuers wished to speak to the issue at the end of debate, he resigned the chair to Second Clerk Nymeyer.
“If Synod can’t give pastoral advice on an issue, we might as well just send in our votes,” said Rev. Scheuers. “I would plead with you that we not accede to the recommendation.”
The recommendation, and therefore the appeal, was defeated. The Nine Points remain as pastoral advice for the churches.