Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Christian Reformed Church Allows Gays in Church Office

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
First Christian Reformed Church of Toronto has voted in favour of allowing gay and lesbian members who are Òliving in a committed relationshipÓ to be eligible for ecclesiastical offices such as pastor or elder. ÒNo individual or group of individuals drove this process,Ó Nick Overduin, pastor of the congregation of 100 in north Toronto recently told ChristianWeek Online. It Òwas not an act of rebellion against the Christian Reformed denomination,Ó but a result of members of the church community knowing gay and lesbian people in the broader community. But the churchÕs decision worries other Christian Reformed churches in the area. Hendrik Bruinsma, pastor of Maranatha Christian Reformed Church in Woodbridge, Ontario says the church council at First CRC voted in the summer to recommend the policy change to the congregation, and that suggests the spiritual leadership of those making the decision opposes the denominationÕs biblical interpretation of same-sex issues. Henry deMoor, professor of church polity at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan says First CRC TorontoÕs decision is a clear violation of the denominationÕs position on the questions of sexual orientation, lifestyle and ministry. In 1973, the North American Synod that includes both Canada and the U.S. stated celibate gay and lesbian members could qualify for church offices but that engaging in any form of same-sex activity was sinful and precluded such involvement. (From a Lethbridge area newspaper, submitted by Rev. J. Schoeman, and as reported on the religion pages of other Canadian newspapers such as the Brantford Expositor)

Pray that First CRC of Toronto will repent of its decision and stand for what is biblical.

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