Rev. Mark Tidd is resigning from ministry in the Christian Reformed Church because the church he leads in Denver, Colo., does not comply with the denomination’s position on homosexuality.
Tidd leads Highlands Church, a nondenominational church that welcomes persons involved in same-sex relationships to full participation in church life, including leadership roles.
Tidd’s CRC credentials are held by Horizon Community CRC in Highlands Ranch, Colo. He has been considered “on loan” as an urban missionary to his current church.
Tidd, ordained in the CRC in 1984, said that years of pastoral work and listening to the stories of gay Christians have led him to rethink traditional interpretations of various Scripture passages.
“The same rules of interpretation that keep us from supporting slavery and preventing women from using their spiritual gifts in the church are applicable to our understanding of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters,” he said.
Tidd said that while Highlands Church supports the pursuit of lifelong covenantal relationships between people, both gay and straight, it in no way encourages promiscuity.
Tidd does not accuse the Christian Reformed Church of being homophobic or hateful, and he is grateful for his many years in the denomination.
“However,” he said, “I cannot in good conscience keep my credentials with the church that first grounded me as a young man in the gospel and taught me well at Calvin [Theological] Seminary.”
The official position of the CRC is that homosexual orientation is not a sin, and that the church should lovingly support persons of same-sex attraction—but that explicit homosexual practice is incompatible with obedience to God as revealed in Scripture.
The denominational position can be read in full at www.crcna.org/pages/positions_homosexuality.cfm.