“To the extent that we are principled people and not wishy-washy in our convictions on these matters, we will be ineffective and divisive. Our churches will turn into two-headed monsters that bite and devour one another with arguments and shaming tactics. We will constantly be hurting and offending one another until we can acknowledge that regardless of who is right or wrong, we are not of the same mind.”
(Aaron Vriesman – The Banner) By now you have heard many arguments on LGBTQ matters. You have likely been present in some discussions and heated debates surrounding civil same-sex marriages as well as LGBTQ inclusion in church life. Society has made up its mind. The church is still responding.
This will not be another argument for LGBTQ rights (the “inclusive” position) or biblical marriage (the “traditional” position). The truth of the matter is that the two positions are fundamentally incompatible. The conversation needs to shift from trying to convince each other to a pragmatic discussion of where we go from here.
The Christian Reformed Church currently holds what is sometimes called the traditional position or biblical marriage. A group called All One Body is advocating for the CRC to adopt an inclusive position. A study committee is due to produce a comprehensive report on sexuality in 2021.
A fellow CRC minister once asked me why I would make such a big deal about this topic, because, no matter what, my congregation is not going to change their mind. Why can’t we just let local congregations decide and agree to disagree? The CRC took the agree-to-disagree route on ordaining women to the offices of minister and elder in the 1990s. After a long showdown over many synods, Synod 1995 decided there were two valid biblical positions on the topic and that we can agree to disagree.