Homosexuality

Homosexuality

Position

Homosexuality is a condition of disordered sexuality that reflects the brokenness of our sinful world. Persons of same-sex attraction should not be denied community acceptance solely because of their sexual orientation and should be wholeheartedly received by the church and given loving support and encouragement. Christian homosexuals, like all Christians, are called to discipleship, holy obedience, and the use of their gifts in the cause of the kingdom. Opportunities to serve within the offices and the life of the congregation should be afforded to them as to heterosexual Christians.

Homosexualism (that is, explicit homosexual practice), however, is incompatible with obedience to the will of God as revealed in Scripture. The church affirms that it must exercise the same compassion for homosexuals in their sins as it exercises for all other sinners. The church should do everything in its power to help persons with homosexual orientation and give them support toward healing and wholeness. A synodical report titled Pastoral Care for Homosexual Members is available at www.crcna.org/SynodResources.

History

Homosexuality: a condition of personal identity in which a person is sexually oriented toward persons of the same sex.

Homosexual: a person who has erotic attractions for members of the same sex and who may or may not actually engage in homosexualism.

Homosexualism: explicit and overt homosexual practice.

Since 1973 the matter of homosexuality has come up repeatedly at synod through overtures from the churches and in ecumenical relations with other denominations. Synod has consistently sustained the 1973 position in spite of pressure from within and outside the denomination. Synod 1999 reviewed the report of its Committee to Give Direction about and for Pastoral Care for Homosexual Members. The report was sent to the churches for responses. Synod 2002 received a final form of the report and adopted it with some alterations.

In 2013 synod received two overtures requesting guidance on applying the CRC’s position in light of the legalization of same-sex marriage in many states and provinces of the United States and Canada, and synod responded by appointing a study committee to report to Synod 2016.

References

  • Acts of Synod 1970, pp. 120-21, 540
  • Acts of Synod 1971, pp. 16, 541
  • Acts of Synod 1972, pp. 17, 396
  • Acts of Synod 1973, pp. 50-53, 609-33
  • Acts of Synod 1974, pp. 78-79, 633-34
  • Acts of Synod 1977, pp. 16, 680
  • Acts of Synod 1981, p. 66
  • Acts of Synod 1983, pp. 147-48, 150, 153, 480-82, 497, 502-3, 575, 677-80
  • Agenda for Synod 1992, p. 157
  • Acts of Synod 1992, pp. 566-67, 617
  • Agenda for Synod 1993, pp. 206-7, 279-80
  • Acts of Synod 1993, pp. 367-68, 411-13, 420-21, 504-5, 544
  • Agenda for Synod 1994, pp. 271-76, 278-79
  • Acts of Synod 1994, pp. 447-50, 459-60, 522, 524
  • Agenda for Synod 1995, pp. 221-22, 233-37, 528-29
  • Acts of Synod 1995, pp. 597-98, 614-15, 701
  • Agenda for Synod 1996, pp. 283-91, 309-10
  • Acts of Synod 1996, pp. 382-83, 394, 404-5, 572-74, 582
  • Agenda for Synod 1997, pp. 31, 230-31
  • Acts of Synod 1997, pp. 554-57, 622-23
  • Agenda for Synod 1999, pp. 237-79
  • Acts of Synod 1999, pp. 601-3
  • Agenda for Synod 2002, pp. 313-51
  • Acts of Synod 2002, pp. 483-84
  • Agenda for Synod 2013, pp. 418-20
  • Acts of Synod 2013, pp. 640-41