No, the title is not referring to Ichabod Crane, he of headless horseman fame. Rather, it refers to what Scripture says in 1 Samuel 4. After the ark was captured, the wife of Phinehas (son of Eli) gave birth and died shortly afterwards. As she was expiring, she named the baby “Ichabod” — the name means “the glory has departed.” Today I’m wondering whether the glory has departed from the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.
According to the website Werken aan Eenheid, the church of Utrecht North/West (a.k.a. Opstandingskerk) is going to ordain female elders and deacons next month. The church made a decision to do this in September 2015 already (you can find it here), but they have waited until now to implement this decision. Apparently, they are going forward with it. Other GKVs have already or will shortly ordain women deacons.
What can one say that hasn’t already been said? This clearly contradicts biblical teaching in such passages as 1 Timothy 3. It contradicts article 30 of the Belgic Confession. It slaps in the face sister churches like the CanRC, FRCA, and RCUS. It endangers the position of the RCN in the the ICRC. In so many ways and on so many levels, this decision and its implementation leaves one wondering: is this the Ichabod moment for our Dutch sister churches? Has the glory departed from the RCN? Are they in the final stages of giving up the right to be acknowledged as a federation of true and faithful churches of Jesus Christ?