For full reports and exact statements of the CRCNA position on a particular issue, see references provided below.
The church has urged all members who use pornographic material to arouse sexual desire to recognize that doing so is a sin. Churches are urged to teach their members the biblical perspective on human sexuality and encourage them to become involved with decency organizations, working to stem the tide of pornography. Such involvement includes prayer for those involved in pornography, education regarding the impact of pornography on society, withholding patronage from establishments supporting pornography, and holding forth biblical standards for sexuality in the public debate over pornography.
In 1987 Classis Grandville overtured synod to take a position against pornography. Synod referred the matter back to the classis, asking it to further research and revise its suggested statement. In 1988 the overture containing the revised statement on pornography and a resolution concerning that issue was adopted by synod.
In 2012 Classis Eastern Canada overtured synod to “take an active stance against pornography,” stating that since 1988 “very little has been done on a denominational level to address this issue and assist the churches in providing healing, while pornographic material has become much more readily available with advances in technology” (Agenda for Synod 2012, p. 477). In response, synod adopted several recommendations urging congregations to address the damage being done through use of pornography today and to “promote a biblically healthy view of human sexuality,” and instructing the Board of Trustees of the Christian Reformed Church to “develop and implement a plan to assist churches” in this endeavor toward awareness, understanding, confession, and healing (Acts of Synod 2012, pp. 758-59).
Synod 2016 adopted a description (updated from 2004) in the Church Order Supplement, citing “participation in pornography” as an example of ungodly conduct (see Church Order Supplement, Article 84; Acts of Synod 2016, p. 716).
The report of the Committee to Articulate a Foundation-laying Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality (deliberated by Synod 2022) includes a section dealing with pornography (Agenda for Synod 2022, pp. 351-71) and is recommended to the churches. Among other decisions in response to this report, Synod 2022 affirmed “that ‘unchastity’ in Heidelberg Catechism Q. and A. 108 encompasses adultery, premarital sex, extramarital sex, polyamory, pornography, and homosexual sex, all of which violate the seventh commandment” (Acts of Synod 2022, p. 922).
References to Agendas and Acts of Synod
Agenda for Synod 1987, pp. 457-58
Acts of Synod 1987, p. 544
Agenda for Synod 1988, pp. 368-69
Acts of Synod 1988, pp. 605-7
Acts of Synod 2004, pp. 611-12
Agenda for Synod 2012, pp. 477-78
Acts of Synod 2012, pp. 758-59
Acts of Synod 2016, p. 865
Agenda for Synod 2022, pp. 351-71
Acts of Synod 2022, pp. 919, 922