This guest post, and the two that follow, were written by Mike Vermeer, board member of Genesis Reformed Protestant School.
I have been increasingly hearing the question pressed by some in the PRC: “Okay, we understand that you had to go and start your own church. But why did you need to start a school and abandon the PR schools?”
This is an old question. Interestingly, a form of that question was asked early in Protestant Reformed history, which was answered in an excellent 1944 article by Herman Hoeksema, titled “As to our Moral Obligation.” I encourage all to read that; it reveals the attitudes embedded into the very fabric of the PRC from her earliest days.
Fast forward to today, and there are two answers to the repeated question. At first, I thought there was only one answer. In this, and in so many other ways, I was completely wrong.
The first and easiest answer to the question is that we were thrown out, in spite of all attempts to remain. The second answer is more important.
I put my utmost into working out a way that we could continue using the PR schools as we had before we left the PRC, with some form of association membership. For the sake of the families in our church and for the possibility that we could continue to work with the school, I crafted a proposal that the school board would allow the association to address the question rather than making a decision immediately themselves as a school board.
They called a special meeting to address the question. I wanted to show up to the meeting to work with the other board members on a proposal where we could continue to use the school as association members. However, at the request of the board president, I agreed to waive my right to attend the board meeting if he would commit to treating my letter prior to considering a motion to remove me from the board.
In case you think that the association really has control of the direction of the school, let this be clear: No proposal was brought to the association–neither mine, nor any other that would allow continuing cooperation. The school board had a firm grip on the school, and did not want this to be considered by the association. That would have been too messy.
In a very clean and professional response to my letter, sent both by official US mail and email, I was duly notified of my removal from the board and all associated committees.
To my shame, I still wanted to use the school. I was undeterred.
To be continued…