Editorial

Don’t Walk Away!

Let’s have the humility, love, and grace to affirm that we may have to reexamine our own certainties in light of what we communally discover in God’s Word.

Synod 2015 was generally in a good mood, merrily, openly, and trustingly going about the business of approving major changes to our denominational superstructure.

Deliberation was friendly—that is, until the question arose of whether or not to make declarations related to same sex relationships. Rather quickly a “hockey game” broke out.

With a study report on the topic headed for Synod 2016, it seems we’re headed for trouble. Why? Because we can’t avoid our disagreements on whether homosexual practice is always sinful. That fundamental question will dog our discussions on how we are to pastorally deal with same sex relationships in our congregations. We won’t agree on what’s pastoral until we agree on what’s sinful. Synod 2015’s discussions indicated that many no longer agree with the position of the Christian Reformed Church that homosexual practice is always wrong or that such practice always requires church discipline.

If we are unwise, we face years of conflict in which, as with the women’s ordination dispute, we oscillate between two extremes from year to year, based on who has more votes at synod. That will restart the hemorrhage of membership on both “sides.”

We dealt more wisely with the issue of whether remarriage after divorce is always a sin. Until 1956, the CRC taught that those who remarry after divorce live in perpetual adultery because Jesus’ words seem unambiguous. But many began to read Scripture differently. While reaffirming God’s clear will that the marriage covenant is a life-long commitment and recognizing that divorce is always a result of our sinful state, Synod 1980 decided to cede to each council the responsibility of providing appropriate pastoral care in each situation where remarriage was being contemplated, without synod tying councils’ hands.

That “local option” helped us to clearly affirm biblical teaching, leave room for different perspectives on what is or isn’t a sin, and allows churches to exercise pastoral care and discipline in line with our understanding that the CRC confers primary authority on local councils.

Would the “local option” erode our commitment to biblical teaching? No. Scripture teaches emphatically that we must “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). And it promises that the Spirit will lead us together into all the truth (John 16:13). Determining together God’s will for folks with same sex attraction will take time. It took us 1,700 years to conclude that slavery is always wrong. It took us nearly 1,950 years to conclude that remarriage, though always a result of sin, may not always be a sin. And it took us nearly 2,000 years to agree to disagree on whether it’s sinful to ordain women in the church.

For Jesus’ sake, let’s have the humility, love, and grace to affirm that we may have to reexamine our own certainties in light of what we communally discover in God’s Word.

Synod 2015 demonstrated that we cannot avoid this conversation. I pray that we search Scripture together so humbly and patiently that this time around we stick together as we have once before. That takes lots of risky love—the kind that sent our Savior where we cannot (yet) follow.

God bless us all.

About the Author

Bob De Moor is a retired Christian Reformed pastor living in Edmonton, Alta.

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Comments

Bob DeMoor rightly observes, "We won’t agree on what’s pastoral until we agree on what’s sinful." Then he wrongly calls for a local option for each congregation to decide whether homosexual practice is always sinful. I echo his title, "Don't walk away," but with a different meaning: CRC, please don't walk away--from God's truth and holiness. The CRC must continue to insist on the biblical teaching that homosexual practice is always sinful. Local option on this matter will mean local option indeed: many congregations and individuals will walk away from the CRC.

 

“Don’t Walk Away!” is exactly right. 

Don’t Walk Away from God the Father who fashioned woman from the flesh of man so that the two could become one.

Don’t Walk Away from God the Son who affirmed the creation order and marriage norms decreed by the Father. 

Don’t Walk Away from God the Holy Spirit who inspired the apostle Paul to affirm God’s good, right, and natural order while also affirming God’s rejection of all rebellion against that order. 

Don’t Walk Away from the historic orthodoxy of the holy catholic church affirmed with near unanimity throughout the centuries. 

Don’t Walk Away from the timeless truths of The Word to chase the latest cultural fad. 

Don’t Walk Away from your brothers and sisters in Christ who have long struggled to live lives of chastity and obedience. 

Don’t Walk Away from the biblical imperative for all Christians to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Christ. 

Don’t Walk Away from the good news of the gospel that we are freed from slavery to sin. 

Don’t Walk Away from our identity in Christ to chase a fleeting sense of self-identity. 

Don’t Walk Away from sinners who need to hear the same message that the church has always proclaimed from John the Baptist to Jesus to Peter and beyond: “Repent and believe”. 

Don’t Walk Away from the clarity and perspicuity of Scripture to embrace fanciful and contrived interpretations. 

Don’t Walk Away from your brothers and sisters in Christ who desire for the CRC to remain a faithful witness in the face of cultural winds, however strong they may blow. 

Don’t Walk Away from the God whose grace is always sufficient for us, no matter our weakness. 

Don’t Walk Away from stalwart teachers of the faith to heap up teachers who will say what itching ears want to hear. 

Don’t Walk Away from Jesus who told the adultress to “go now and leave your life of sin”.  

Don’t Walk Away from Jesus who challenged the rich man to give up that which he found most precious. 

Don’t Walk Away from Jesus who prized faithfulness to God over any earthly relation. 

Don’t Walk Away from the God who beckons with open arms for all who are weary and burdened. 

Don’t Walk Away from the moral law that Christ came to fulfill and affirm. 

Don’t Walk Away from the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin. 

Don’t Walk Away from the Holy Spirt who comforts those who mourn. 

Don’t Walk Away from Jesus the High Priest who always lives to make intercession for us. 

Don’t Walk Away from the mortification of the old self. 

Don’t Walk Away from a church governed by the doctrine contained in Scripture to a church ruled by emotion. 

Don’t Walk Away from the infallible will of God to heed the fatally flawed philosophies of man.

 

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16

 

Don’t Walk Away Indeed!

 

“Would the “local option” erode our commitment to biblical teaching?” Yes. Christians have not been without consensus on many issues for 1,700, 1,950 or 2,000 years, regardless of the official statements of the CRC Synod. Neither ‘Dual hermeneutics’ nor ‘local options’ can force Christ into a box built for him by hardened hearts willing to accept disunity over the Word as long as it’s wrapped in a Synodical statement.

"Sanctify them by the truth;your word is truth." (John 17:17)

"O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then i shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on your commandments." (Psalm 119:5)

'It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken. Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way." (Psalm 119:126-128) 

Re Dr DeMoore Editorial about C.R.C.Stand on Homosexuality. Were He recommends," churches local option". how would that work with office bearers signing the form of subscription. Is this local option what caused the demise of the Gereformeerde kerken in the netherlands? And now the new Dutch denomination P.K.N. One of its pastors, Klaas Hendrickse who wrote and distributed the book " believing in a GOD that does not exist"? How can GOD bless such a denomination, yet C.R.C Synod 2015 contiued good relationship with that denomnation. Yes I believe there has to be more compassion for the plight of the homosexuals. I believe it would be very helpfull for C.R.C.members to study the 1970 study report on homosexuality. Hns Visser

John Calvin allowed for divorce and remarriage in instances of adultery or abandonment as the penalty for such under OT law was death, this allowed the innocent spouse to remarry. Likewise see the Westminster Confession of Faith Article 24. The fact that the CRCNA, founded by Dutch pietists held a stricter view in past generations was an aberration from the broader Reformed tradition.

Don't walk away is right. Don't walk away from your covenant children who are LGBT. When we presented our son at the baptismal font 24 years ago, my church family promised to love and support our son. When he came out 10 years ago, he was suddenly a leper, even though his love for the Lord Jesus is so obvious. So, he was the one who's walked away. And in doing so, he saved his sanity by finding a church home that loves him. These are not issues we're talking about here; these are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our aunts and uncles. 

Well said, Veronica. 

The Bible is the holy, inspired Word of God. The apostle Paul's Biblical writings about the sinfulness of homosexual practice are divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit.   The Bible is crystal clear in condemning homosexual practice. Any effort to move away from the CRC's current,  Biblical position - on homosexual practice -  would be contradictory to the clear teachings of Holy Scripture.

Thanks, Veronica, for putting a distinctly pastoral spin on these comments, rather than only a theological one.

I'm not interested in walking away from any of God’s children. As a Christian (1st) and a Pastor (2nd), that's non-negotiable. Because God has saved me and is continuing to love me in the midst of my sin and nurture me away from it, I pray that I will continue to do the same for others. I think the tension that we feel over this issue is the question over what that nurturing looks like. While some know the goodness of God and other Christians through a long struggle with putting away unrighteousness, others may not know what that’s like. For many, the ‘how’ of nurturing faith and repentance in our homosexual members needs to be more clearly explained.

If churches bless same-sex marriage, the vast majority of LGBTQ people will be left out. After 10 years of same-sex marriage being legal nationwide in the Netherlands, about 90% of LGBTQ people didn't marry. Marriage percentages may vary from country to country and from survey to survey, but in any case the overwhelming majority of LGBTQ people are not, and probably won't be, married. So if the CRC blessed same-sex marriage and insisted that marriage is the only proper setting for sexual intimacy, then the many LGBTQ people who are unmarried would still feel judged and excluded. The church would have to approve cohabitation and promiscuity to really widen its inclusiveness for unrepentant heirs of the sexual revolution.

If the CRC were to approve same-sex marriage as God's path for LGBTQ sexual intimacy, it would be lose-lose. It would infuriate and drive away those who believe that homosexual coupling violates Scripture. Meanwhile, it would attract few LGBTQ people and alienate the rest, since most prefer not to marry.
You can readily where this discussion is going. There are no compromising solutions to the practice of homosexuality. Those who chose the homosexual life style have made a conscious choice to follow the way forbidden in scripture. We all face challenges in life and sin is always nearby. The current Crc position on homosexuality is the correct one. Those who cannot live with that should find h a church that meets their desires and life style rather than force the rest of the denomination to conform. It is hard to imagine Veronica ' s fourteen year old son to be a practicing Homosexual. But if he decided he was going to join the homosexual life style he did the honorable thing to leave the CRC. Those within the CRC who support the homosexual life style and support marriage of practicing homosexuals should seek their community outside the CRC.

I think the discussion might be better served if terms such as "homosexual practice", "practicing homosexual", and "homosexual lifestyle" were avoided.  I find them to be demeaning and rather disingenuous.  No one says "heterosexual practice", "practicing heterosexual" or "heterosexual lifestyle". What is implied by the use of such terms is that people who are not heterosexual do not really belong with us, will be judged more harshly and against different criteria than us unless, of course, they become like us which for them means renouncing, suppressing, or hiding their sexuality. To say one can be homosexual but not express (practice) it is frankly ridiculous, unless you have an understanding of sexuality that is reduced to genital contact.  A person's sexual orientation frames their longings for a partner, their conception of intimacy, their attraction to others, their perception of human physical beauty, their fantasies, and their hopes and expectations for an honest and deepening life-long relationship.   A friend expressed it best when he said that he grew up believing that one day he would meet that special someone with whom he would want to spend the rest of his life. When he realized he was gay, he did not abruptly abandon the thought that he would someday meet that special someone.  We need to face honestly what is really being said, and what is really being denied, when terms such as 'homosexual practice" are used. As for those who invariably quote or hold up scripture to decrie the influence of culture/modernity's acceptance of homosexual relationships, consider that many, many years of entrenched western cultural prejudice against LGBTQ people may well have led to a selective interpretation of scripture as specifically and unequivocally against LGBTQ relationships. 

Alyce, thanks for your clarification of terms. This is the kind of thing that I believe we do need to be more thoughtful about. What do we mean when we use the terms that have been handed down to us – religiously, academicly, etc.

As to the cultural baggage of Western predjudice against same-sex attraction, we need to admit that the breadth of this “conversation” is greater than our own, current culture. It isn’t new, and it isn’t simply “Western.” The “conversation” about same-sex attraction, transgenderism (and other, more accepted broken sexual expressions such as adultery, fornication, polygamy, etc.) has been taking place for thousands of years, in multiple cultures and global hemispheres, even in the light of Scripture.

If this is an example of leadership, then I greatly fear for the future of Christ's church.

David Feddes has it right.

Watching the comments here, as well as the comments from previous Banner articles on this subject,, I’d guess this is the straw that will break the camel’s back.  This is definitely not a matter (a reality) that will be good for our denomination.  But I doubt that it can be avoided.  Of course, like so many issues in the past (as Bob De Moor suggested) we can interpret Scripture to make it say whatever we want.  Have you ever wondered why there are hundreds, even thousands, of Christian denominations?  Every denomination looks to the Bible as their authority, but the interpretation of the Bible differs in each.  So I doubt that it is the Bible that keeps us from fully embracing homosexuals.  But it may be hard hearts, or not allowing people to be different from us.  I think it is time for the CRC to stop looking for ways to keep gays out of the church, and to start looking for ways to fully embrace them in Christ’s and our love.

This is a response to David Feddes’ comment in regard to percentages of gays who marry.  David, this particular comment by you makes little sense.  What does the percentage of married gays have to do with anything, any more than the percentages of heterosexual people who are married?  Are you assuming that being gay and unmarried necessitates being sexually active?  Does your reasoning also assume that being a heterosexual and unmarried also necessitates being sexually active?  As Christians, we assume that intimate sexual activity belongs in the marital relationship.  That would be true whether heterosexual or homosexual.  And so membership, I would assume, for the heterosexual or the homosexual single person would require abstinence for both, if single.  The same rules or principles would apply to all people.  For married people, whether heterosexual or homosexual, we would assume sexual activity.  That goes with marriage.

"But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, In the last time there will be scoffers following their own ungodly passions. It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit." (Jude vs 17-19)

"Some are now suggesting that humility requires everyone to refrain from treating truth as incontrovertible. As if it is inherently too prideful for any preacher to think he knows what God said about anything. Of course, such a denial of all certainty has nothing to do with true humility. It is actually an arrogant form of unbelief, rooted in an impudent refusal to acknowledge that God has been sufficiently clear in His self-revelation to His creatures. It is actually a blasphemous form of arrogance, and when it governs even how someone handles the Word of God, it becomes yet another expression of evil rebellion against Christ's authority.

Christ has spoken in the Bible, and he holds us responsible to understand, interpit, obey, and teach what He has said-as opposed to deconstructing everthing the Bible says...How could He (Christ) exercise headship over His church if His own people could never truly know what He meant by what He said? Jesus Himself settled the question of whether His truth is sufficiently clear in John 10:27-28, when He said,"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand."-John MacArthur

"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)

 

Thanks, Kevin, for your quotes from the Bible and John MacArthur.  I never quite know who you are rooting for with the quotes.  I guess we should all be encouraged.  So thanks.  Of course, you realize that John MacArthur is not Reformed.  He doesn’t hold to infant baptism and is a dispensationalist in his understanding of Scripture.  So on some important points we differ as to how we understand (or interpret) what the Bible teaches.  So are you using him as an example of what he calls a “deconstruction” of what the Bible says or as an example of one who doesn’t do that.  As I suggested in an earlier comment, the Bible can be interpreted in various ways (as MacArthur demonstrates) and we should be looking for ways that will encourage us to embrace fully our gay brothers and sisters in Christ, rather than ways of pushing them away.

Roger, I think you're on to something here. This is not a matter of ‘the Bible’ but ‘which Bible?’ If our understanding of what Christ says about ‘sin’ is up for (re)interprentation, then we will have a real hard time going forward. if ‘sin’ is to be reinterpreted, then our assumptions of ‘saved’ and ‘faith’ and ‘church’ and ‘brother’ are equally as fluid as human interpretation. This issue of hermeneutics is not the last straw on the camel’s back – it is the camel.

Thanks Michael.  Nearly all Christians claim the same Bible as their ultimate authority, but it gets interpreted differently by different denominations and individuals.  Even sin gets interpreted differently.

For instance Paul claims in Romans 1:18 that “God shows his anger against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”  But then in verses 26 and 27 he turns his attention specifically to homosexuals (women and men) who have not acknowledged God and states that God has abandoned them to their sins.

Reading verses 18 through 32, it is obvious that Paul is talking about the heathen culture of his day who give little acknowledgment to the creator God and no credit to Christ.  Many commentaries acknowledge this much.

But is Paul talking about the homosexual today who believes in having a monogamous loving relationship with one person, and who desires to honor and serve the one creator God and trusts in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior?  That certainly doesn’t fit the description of who Paul is describing in Romans 1.  This homosexual, like the heterosexual, beside loving the Lord, desires to follow the natural inclination of their heart (a natural disposition toward the same sex) and not be forced into something that is unnatural to him or her.  Many (maybe even most) Christians treat such a homosexual Christian as the infidel described by Paul.

So the question is, who exactly is Paul describing in Romans1?  What is the correct interpretation?

I'm very sorry your son has given in to to the craving of this evil world. You are not alone. It seems many today have given in to the lie Satan crafts! In order to bring order to the CRC we need to get back to basics..... God's Word. And when we pray, " Lead us not into temptation" remember Jesus knows the pain of temptation. Temptations need to be overcome because if we surrender to them we are living in willful disobedience. We have many today who claim to be born again but are giving in to temptation.... greed, jealousy, slander, and the list goes on. It's all sin and none are the 'sacred cows' that can be ignored. Sin is sin. The trouble is today we are weak on repentance and big on grace! God will not allow any into the Kingdom who thumb up their noses to God and walk in willful disobedience. Just read your Bible prayerfully.
A new day and the issue we face is still before us. So let's consider some facts together as we all need to make a decisive stand before we move on. Sad that Kingdom work needs to be interrupted to deal with serious challenges. Never before in the history of the human race has society (not Christian world and life views) allowed same sex couples to unite and become one flesh. We ask, where did these ideas come from, because in the past governing officials have seen same sex attraction as a form of mental illness. They believed that marriage without any rules would end in society's demise. Were they right? Or is the new enlightenment preparing the human race to symbolically hold hands in preparation for a new world order? When did our society lighten up on its stringent view of homosexuality? Are gay pride parades equivalent to the civil rights marches held in the 60's? Does skin colour and sexual orientation have equal merit? These are society's questions; we haven't even touched on Christian conduct in the middle of social change! Now I may be a little old school but my approach goes something like this: the Bible is the Holy living document written by the power of the Holy Spirit and it's the only words I've heard from God since my earliest memory. What does God say in regards to our example to an unbelieving unrepentant world? The words of Romans come to my mind. "Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of the mind." Other words God speaks come to mind to me as well, like Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." I don't know about you, but I've always been a risk taker. Some of the risks I've taken actually paid dividends, but some other risks turned into nightmares! In His mercy God has bailed me out, but what about spiritual, God -relational risks? We all need to decide how far we are willing to push our luck. To me risks with no return were seen as bad business. How about you? Ask yourselves, does allowing the church to sympathize with the cause of the homosexual agenda bring guaranteed blessing from God, according to His words, or the possibility of judgement with no possibility of parole? I think of Sodom. Others, on the other hand, think of a smiling Jesus just delighted that we have changed the natural order of the creation of mankind. Are we finally getting it right, or will God turn us over to our own evil desires like His Word says? Is it worth the risk? You decide, but as for me and my house we see it as poor odds of winning God's good favour. Do the Angels rejoice with man's new found freedom, or do they sharpening their swords for the final judgement? You decide. I might be a little old fashioned but when I read my Bible I always try to prove the Bible with the Bible. What's your approach when you deal with the context of biblical truth? Or does biblical context no longer hold water now that man has a better understanding of what fair non-judgmental love is all about? Tough questions for an ever changing world. You decide.

Thanks Arie for your response.  I imagine you have put a lot of thought into this comment.  Articles like this help to sharpen our thoughts and convictions.  And I don’t take lightly what you have said.  But your comment seems to suppose that the Bible has only a single and unchanging meaning in all of its details.  I would suppose that you hold to an “old fashioned” Reformed interpretation of the Bible.  And you may think that there is no other interpretation of the Bible that is correct. “I’m right and the others are all wrong.”

But you do realize that even the CRC has changed on a lot of issues from the time that John Calvin gave his distinct perspective to Scripture all the way up until the present time?  Just one recent and evolving issue is how the church views women and their worth and use of gifts. But beyond the many issues that have evolved or changed in our denomination over the years, are the differences between Christian denominations.  With the hundreds of Christian denominations, there are thousands of differences as to issues, principles, rules and view points within Christianity.  And these differences come primarily from differing interpretations of the Bible, our rule and guide for life and living.

God given logic and the ability to reason also plays into how we interpret Scripture.  You may be right to say “the past governing officials have seen same sex attraction as a form of mental illness.”  But today science and logic would inform us that nothing could be further from the truth.  A person (or a Christian) can divorce logic and hold to what (in the past) made no sense by today’s logic, but such reasoning would only make Christians look foolish (as well as be foolish).

What I’m saying is that there is no one single interpretation to Scripture (this side of heaven) that seems to be absolutely correct.  And that applies to the issue of homosexuality.  Already, there are many different viewpoints (even though you don’t think so).  I’m suggesting that we as a denomination and as individuals be open to those (who love their Bibles) who believe that Christ’s love fully envelops gay people and are willing to envelope gays into the full life of the church.  There are valid interpretations of relevant Bible passages that support such a perspective.

Roger, you need to understand when no words written or spoken will change the mind of man that's extremely dangerous. Because no new reinterpretation of Bible meaning will convince God to change His mind. Something's got to give and it's not me or you. It's not my cause I'm defending but when I consider this matter I think of Isaiah 6:3b, "Holy,holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full his glory". And also Hebrews 10:26, "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left..." It's not you I am trying to bring low but it's the fear for you on the day of judgment that concerns me. I need to keep in mind that we can't just keep debating whether or not a certain act is sin. Like I wrote earlier, you decide, but as for me and my house this issue will never be accepted because God has spoken clearly on this matter. If you believe you can't live with God's decision then go to a church that believes God has special rights for same sex partners. Go ahead and take your chances, but before you do read 2 Timothy 3. It's too long to write out but you should read it. Remember always that rewriting Scripture is not going to change the context of the Bible, and that's what you are demanding the rest of us to do for you. Not going to happen!!!!

Thanks Arie for referring me to 2 Timothy 3.  Great chapter.  But as you read this chapter, remember that Paul was one of the biggest (if not the biggest) revolutionaries among the Jews and the pagans.  The Jews of his day accused him of changing the whole thrust of their religion. (Sounds familiar to me)  Most of what you read in Paul’s letters was a revolutionary reinterpretation of the Old Testament, so much so that the Jews thought he should be killed.  And certainly Jesus was the epitome of revolutionary change.  If we held to the Old Testament teachings of the Bible, we would be killing the infidels surrounding us (like the extreme Muslims do) because wasn’t it the Old Testament God who told his people to kill all who lived in the land of Canaan (men, women, and children)?  But Jesus reinterpreted such teachings, as well as the Sabbath day teachings and ceremonial teachings of the Old Testament.  So when I read 2 Timothy 3 and even the New Testament, I realize how much of Old Testament religion has changed and been reinterpreted.  So I hear you when you criticize those who are reinterpreting your own understanding of the Bible, but I’m not personally upset.  It doesn’t bother me in the least that I should try to understand the Bible’s teachings in the context of the 21st century.  And I’m not in the least worried about the day of judgement, either for you or for me.  But if I am concerned about our understanding of gays and God’s love for them, then it’s not enough to simply say, find a sympathetic church.  So I’m hoping that we as a denomination can look at God’s word with new eyes and a new heart.

Again enough said but I will add one more comment and that's all. Our local church's need to start carrying out church discipline not just on those living in sin but also on those promoting ungodly theology.

Local option only extends the issue.

2 Corinthians 6:14Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Why would a faithful local congregation want to be bound with unfaithful or lawlessness of a parent boidy.  I think the choice would be clear for my family which way we would head, and it would not be a matter of walking away, but rather staying where we were and the church left us.

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