With great interest I’ve followed our discussions on homosexuality in The Banner, on the Banner website, and on “Bob’s Blog,” also on the Banner website (www.thebanner.org).
Two things strike me. The first is that these conversations are open, respectful, and keenly concerned about being true to Scripture. That’s hopeful. The second is that so many of us are so sure about stuff—even though what we’re sure of stands diametrically opposed to what others are sure of.
This is what many respondents are sure of:
• The Bible clearly forbids all homosexual practices.
• The Bible does not forbid all homosexual practices.
• The church must discipline those who are in same-sex relationships.
• The church must not discipline those who are in same-sex relationships.
• If parents love their homosexual children, they will support them if they choose a same-sex partner.
• If parents love their homosexual children, they will warn their children away from same-sex relationships.
Interestingly, respondents on both sides of the debate agree that they’re sure the Banner editor raised this issue because he’s secretly hoping that the present church policy will be liberalized. But the one side is sure that’s a good thing, the other that it’s a bad thing.
(For the record, if you refer back to the March issue of The Banner you’ll see that the editor is not at all sure of what’s needed, just that there are a lot of people hurting out there and that we either need to help our churches better implement the policy we have, or we need to adjust it in some way to meet the challenge placed before us by Synods 2002 and 2003 to provide better pastoral care.)
So what might get our conversation unstuck? What might get us beyond our conundrum?
I see hope in the fact that we’re all sure we must do what Scripture would have us do—both in terms of the policy we adopt and how we implement that policy in extending loving acceptance and pastoral care to all our members. Might it help our conversation forward if we parked our certainties at the door and humbly asked our best minds to do some fresh, serious Bible study that is also informed by the latest scientific research on the subject (since Reformed folks do need to consult creation revelation as well)? A new synodical study committee might help us to do that, and, further, to advise our churches on how we are to implement CRC policy (changed or unchanged) in an appropriate manner.
Sometimes the more we study, the less we know we really know. That’s not a bad thing because it opens us up to the Holy Spirit’s leading as we pray, learn, dialogue, and continue to live together in love.
I’m sure that the same applies to the issue at hand. And, yeah, I could be wrong.