Die Kerkbode, the official newspaper of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (DRC/NGK), published an article on 18 February 2019 entitled, “Congregation chooses ‘love instead of fear’ with the appointing of gay minister”.
The article’s title is terribly misleading.
UPDATED On Sunday 14 July 2019, the Dutch Reformed Church in Stellenberg appointed a minister who is in a same-sex relationship.
While many applaud this as a bold move towards the light, many of us are saddened by this deliberate move away from the clear teaching of the Bible. We are saddened by the attempted redefinition of sin and, therefore, the redefinition of repentance (turning from sin).
The Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa voted in 2015 to permit those in same-sex relationships to serve as ministers. The synod also voted to permit same-sex unions to be blessed in Dutch Reformed churches. That decision was then appealed in 2016.
On 8 March 2019 the appeal was upheld and the DRC reverted back to the 2015 pro-LGBTQ decision.
At present the DRC is experiencing huge turmoil as the issue of sexuality continues to be debated.1
Many of those who were pleased with the synod’s original decision to permit same-sex marriage equate discrimination towards those who practice homosexuality as essentially the same as the discrimination towards black people under Apartheid.
For them, the 2015 synod’s decision was a great moment of liberation to be celebrated.2
However, homosexuality is not the new apartheid.
It was largely accepted that there were only two genders and you were either one or the other.
It was largely accepted that males’ anatomy was designed for sexual intimacy with females, vice versa.
It was largely accepted that the best, safest, and most secure place for sexual intimacy was marriage.
It was largely accepted that marriage was between one woman and one man.
Today, these concepts are no longer widely accepted.
Next month, at its provincial synod, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) is considering a proposal about LGBTI clergy and same-sex civil unions. The proposal states that, “clergy who identify as LGBTI and are in legal same-sex civil unions should be licensed to minister in our parishes”.
It also suggests that “prayers of blessing” should be able to be offered for those in same-sex civil unions. However, it also specifically rules out the possibility of marriage under church law.
The proposal, “also accepts that any cleric unwilling to take part in providing pastoral care to people who identify as LGBTI shall not be obliged to do so.”