Following a spirited debate, synod decided Monday not to re-examine the Christian Reformed Church’s biblical and theological position on homosexuality, unchanged since 1973.
Classis Grand Rapids East (a regional group of churches) had asked synod to appoint a study committee to consider new biblical and theological resources that have been published since the denomination’s official stance was decided.
Delegates were starkly divided on the question.
“I hear a lot of words of fear, backed by the assumption that the position of the CRC on this issue will change,” said Rev. Arthur De Bruyn, Classis Rocky Mountain.
Rev. Alvern Gelder: “We must stand boldly and not act out of fear.”
Rev. Alvern Gelder, Classis Atlantic Northeast, went further: “We must stand boldly and not act out of fear. We can open the light of Scripture to all that is being done around us and know that Scripture is strong and firm.”
Many delegates were not convinced by those arguments to strike a new study committee, or even to restate the denomination’s existing position.
“The Bible has not changed,” said elder Donald Kloosterhouse, Classis Zeeland. “We should not take an easy route by twisting, trying to look for ways to twist God’s Word to fit the world, to fit current thinking.”
John Kloosterman: “The CRC position has to be able to speak to young adults.”
In a 93 to 81 vote, synod decided not to appoint a study committee on the issue. Yet a challenge from young adult representative John Kloosterman still faces the denomination as a whole as it continues to assert its position adopted in 1973.
“The CRC position on homosexuality must be one that we are extremely confident standing behind,” said Kloosterman, a student at Calvin College. “It has to be able to speak to young adults for whom the position on homosexuality represents an opportunity to splinter away from the church.”
For more coverage while synod is in session, including webcasts, photos, discussion forums, reports, and more, visit the Synod 2011 website.