DR Church synod’s decision on same sex unions (updated)

I am saddened by the recent decision of the General Synod of the NG Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church) on same sex unions.  This official decision (9 October 2019) will only serve to create confusion around what the Bible teaches on the subject and thus be spiritually unhelpful, misleading and dangerous to people.
 
The decision refers to the appointment of office bearers and the acceptance of members regardless of “sexual orientation and identity”. 
 
The Bible never condemns sexual orientation, but only sinful sexual practice.  Christians may struggle with homosexual temptation or heterosexual temptation, but refuse to act on their temptation and desire.  This fight against temptation is to be commended.
 
The Bible also calls us not to place our identity in our sexuality, or in anything else, except in Christ.  
 
Thus the phrase “sexual orientation and identity” is unhelpful and misleading.  
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God’s Word above all things?

Article 6 of the 39 Articles of Religion on the “The sufficiency of Holy Scripture for our salvation” says,

Holy Scripture sets forth everything that is necessary for our salvation. Consequently, nobody should be required to believe as an article of the Christian faith, or to regard as necessary for salvation, anything that is not found in Scripture or that cannot be proved from Scripture…

Therefore, Scripture is to be our highest authority, not tradition, experience or reason. 

We, in the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa, are not necessarily against tradition, experience or reason;  they are simply not our highest authority.

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Why we use the Prayer Book

imagesY5SY0CSROn Sunday I led our church through some set prayers in our REACH SA Prayer Book.  Non-conformists, more independent types might want to deride me as being too clinical and stayed, not allowing “the Spirit to move”.   “We need to be led by the Spirit in our church services!”, they cry.

I understand the concern, but let me explain why we use the Prayer Book to help us with our liturgy.

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How should Christians think about homosexuality and gay marriage?

Public perceptions of homosexuality have changed over the years.  In the Greco-Roman culture during which the New Testament was written, homosexuality was an accepted practice.  Over the centuries that changed.  By 1800’s in England homosexuality was a crime.   The well-known playwright Oscar Wilde was jailed for two years for homosexual practices.  Homosexuality was later seen as an evil that needed to be dealt with by exorcism or shock treatment.

Still later, homosexuality was considered not as evil, but as a psychological disorder that needed therapy or sexual experimentation with the opposite sex.   Now homosexuality is viewed as a viable, healthy, valid, alternate lifestyle, perceived to be a foundational human right.  Public perceptions have radically changed.

Continue reading How should Christians think about homosexuality and gay marriage?