Like most churches, the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) has taken a position on homosexuality. Even though I think the CRC has not always talked about homosexuality in the most nuanced way, I am thankful to represent and be part of a church that is doing its best to take the teachings of the Bible seriously while also trying to respond pastorally to those struggling with homosexuality.
The first paragraph given on the CRC page talking about homosexuality illustrates this, highlighting the need for the church to reach out to those struggling in this area. The paragraph is as follows:
“Homosexuality is a condition of disordered sexuality that reflects the brokenness of our sinful world. Persons of same-sex attraction should not be denied community acceptance solely because of their sexual orientation and should be wholeheartedly received by the church and given loving support and encouragement. Christian homosexuals, like all Christians, are called to discipleship, holy obedience, and the use of their gifts in the cause of the kingdom. Opportunities to serve within the offices and the life of the congregation should be afforded to them as to heterosexual Christians.” (emphasis mine)
Furthermore, the Christian Reformed Church has talked quite a bit about ministering to families and individuals affected by homosexuality. The following are several quotes that are taken from the CRC’s last pastoral report on homosexuality, which I shared with the grad students. I consider this to be a potentially helpful resource as we continue to wonder about what the good news of the Bible might mean to those who are gay.
Beneath all such relationships is the sense that, if others knew about their sexuality, they would think differently about them, esteem them differently, and perhaps not accept them. Keeping this part of themselves hidden produces a sense of falseness, a lack of honesty and a phoniness, and at the same time a strong sense of shame about who they are in a very deep part of their personality.” page 317 Agenda for Synod 2002
“Love and compassion will help us overcome our apprehension about same-sex attractions or about those persons who experience sexuality this way. We need not stop our ears or avert our eyes. We must break down the conspiracy of silence and the walls of separation, which convey judgment, alienation, exclusion, and loss of hope to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to those outside of Christ who have been shut out of the church. We must pray for all who struggle with sexual temptations, some with attraction to persons of the same sex, others to persons who are not their spouses, and still others with deep dark secrets about their sexuality and their sexual behaviors.” pages 325-26 Agenda for Synod 2002
“Some Christians do not support a homosexual person’s family members . . . They believe that if they show any sign of understanding or compassion to the individual or even to that individual’s family members, they are condoning the behavior and therefore participating in the sin. . . Individuals can be a supportive presence for family members even if they don’t agree with all of the decisions that are made. By acknowledging the complexity of the issue, they can empathize with the burden family members experience and can walk with them instead of shunning or shaming them.” page 332 Agenda for Synod 2002