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I’d like to express my appreciation to Laurie Krieg for her article How to Walk Well Alongside LGBTQ+ People (June 2020). Thanks, Laurie, for writing with compassion, conviction, and love. Your insights gave me much to ponder and pray about.
Sonya Vanderveen Feddema // St. Catharines, Ont.
I question the December issue’s description of the world as “post-Christian” (Talking About God in a Post-Christian World, December 2020). True, the position of Christians is shifting in Europe and North America. But we are not the whole world. Christianity is growing in the global South and East. In several countries, the population majority now identifies as Christian. I work, for example, with Christians in Brazil, Central America, Ghana, Kenya, Korea, and Nigeria. They are developing seminaries and universities that educate Christian leaders to serve growing Christian populations. Many of these institutions recognize and value Reformed influence. So let’s rebalance our perspective on the “whole world” and be encouraged.
Shirley J. Roels // Grand Rapids, Mich.
Neland Avenue Decision
I would just like to comment on the decision of Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church (“Woman in Same-Sex Marriage Installed as Deacon,” November 2020). After experiencing along with my family and church family in 2004 a horrifically painful church split, I am deeply saddened at the thought of so many church families who will be affected by this decision. I fear this decision will be the cause of other families leaving their lifelong CRC church families because they simply cannot support a denomination that allows someone who is blatantly living in opposition to God’s Word to be in a position of leadership. If Neland Church could recognize that this is so much bigger than them, and if I could only let them feel the pain that a church split causes for one day, maybe they would reconsider their actions.
Heather DeVries // Goshen, NY
As I read the news of the action of the CRC Council of Delegates (December 2020) with respect to the selection and ordination of a married gay person to the office of deacon, I was grieved. I was reminded (that) when my daughter made profession of faith in our church about 30 years ago, she was “welcomed to full participation in the life of the church … (and) its responsibilities,” except at that time, not as elder or deacon. That has appropriately changed. But now, one can be a church member if gay but not an officer. It seems incongruous to me that my sin did not prohibit my being chosen as deacon or elder on a number of occasions, but the “sin” of being gay (and I am not the judge of this “sin”) is a prohibition. It seems appropriate to me to let the selection process (which I firmly believe is guided by God) active in a church council and congregation be permitted to function as it did at Neland CRC.
Philip Kamps // Gallup, N.M.
Porn in the Sexuality Report
Most of the points in the report from the Committee to Articulate a Foundation-Laying Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality dealing specifically with pornography are excellent. However, I, as one that struggles with porn, would offer a few additional insights. The short section on “How to Stop Using Porn” may be helpful for the casual user, but it is inadequate for the “addicted” user. The prayers of a non-user are often offered fervently but with an expectation that things are now fixed. The idea that after a 30-day fast or a 10-week class everything will be fine is not correct. Recovery from porn is a journey not unlike recovery from alcoholism. If a reader is addicted to porn (visit addictioncenter.com/community/signs-of-porn-addiction if you are unsure), find a support/accountability group TODAY. A faith-based group in West Michigan, Finishing Strong, is what has kept me from acting out for many years in the face of continuing temptations. Lastly, a warning to parents: Porn is now pervasive on the internet and can be obtained freely in total secrecy. Beware of how the devil will use your child’s computer and phone to lead them into addiction at an early age. Install software such as Covenant Eyes or X3watch, and be very careful with virtual reality platforms.
I refer you to The Banner, November 2020, “Same-Sex Relationships and the CRC.” I was horrified to find this edition in my mailbox with the offensive front cover. And then the accompanying article left nothing to the imagination. The one participant quotes a (Bible) passage claiming to find justification for this lifestyle. Now, I have no argument about her finding forgiveness, but in the passage of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus told her to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11, NKJV). … I agree this condition might be victimless, but my Bible clearly defines marriage as one man and one woman. It also condemns the practice of homosexuality from beginning to end.
Derek T. Katz // Phillipsburg, Kans.
Kudos to Gayla Postma for her informative article “Same-Sex Relationships and the CRC.” She presented the differing views very well. I feel I can now better understand the arguments for both sides, and the people behind the arguments. Thank you.
James Doyle // Miami, Fla.
I would like to commend the editor for including a range of opinions on this topic. In view of the narrow perspective of the report to synod on human sexuality, it is time for other voices to be heard. The committee’s desire to affirm confessional status on their findings regarding human sexuality is objectionable. Would they suggest persons like myself will not be accepted as Christians by the church’s leadership?
William de Waal // Victoria, B.C., Canada