Homosexuality and the Christian Reformed Church

The Synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America was in session last week, and there was  one evening where the topic was related to overture 12 and 13, asking the Synod to look at the topic of homosexuality by first affirming the theological conclusions of the Synod of 1973, and to expand the existing ministries.

The Synod vote was 135-43 to form a study committee to study how to give pastoral advice to the churches regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage. The amendments were not passed, as they wanted to revisit the theological issue.

Overture 12 was asking a study committee to expand (not revisit) on the 1973 Report and Conclusions on Homosexuality, which shows solid biblical exegesis on both hte moral and pastoral levels.

In 2002 the Synod recommended the report “Pastoral Care for Homosexual Members“. It is worth to notice that the 1973 report was consistently reaffirmed by the decisions of the CRC from 1981, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2004. In 2011 the Synod rejected an overture to restudy homosexuality because “the 1973 report thoroughly studied the issue from a biblical and theological perspective, and the 2002 report addressed the pastoral issues well. These reports are still relevant today (Acts of Synod 2011, p. 828), although the current public opinion is shifting on homosexuality.”

During the discussions some of the Korean brothers pleaded not to revisit the report of 1973, because if the CRC is opening the door and makes homosexual behavior acceptable, this would force the Korean churches to leave the CRC.

As it stands now, the task of the new committee is not to revisit the conclusions of the 1973 Synod, but to offer guidance as to how members and clergy can apply the biblical standpoint in light of the legality of same-sex marriage in certain jurisdictions, and how to communicate this biblical position in a majority non-Christian culture where the biblical view is increasingly in the minority.

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