The Dutch Reformed Church did … what?
Notorious for its historic role in promoting apartheid and preventing mixed race marriages, the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa is now under fire for recognising same-sex unions and allowing the ordination of openly homosexual ministers without asking them to be celibate.
According to this report, Christian Action Network coordinator Taryn Hodgson, above, said the DRC’s decision, approved by a 64-percent majority of the church’s synod, is clearly against biblical teachings
This recent decision is further evidence the DRC [has] failed to fulfill the Great Commission — ‘to make disciples of all nations, teaching obedience to all things that the Lord has commanded’.
Hodgson also said that the DRC’s support for homosexual acts will not help in the mission to bring Christ closer to more people.
Their approval of homosexual unions will further undermine their ability to reach people for Christ.
Catholic Church spokesman Archbishop William Slattery agreed that the DRC’s approval of gay marriages and ministers violates biblical teachings.
We would not accept active homosexuals as priests, but no doubt there may be a priest who is an active homosexual in our church, but he is so without the bishop knowing it. As the Catholic Church, we do not accept that position of the Dutch Reformed Church.
But DRC moderator Nelis Janse van Rensburg, above, defended his church’s decision favouring homosexuality, saying it contributes to human dignity.
It is historical because with this decision we actually are at a point where there can be no doubt that the Dutch Reformed Church is serious about human dignity. And you know that we are living in this country where we have so many problems with the dignity of people.
Van Rensburg added that individual churches will not be forced to strictly follow and implement the decision of the DRC synod.
Church councils and congregations are like families. They will eventually decide how they will go about it. They know the context, they know the situation, they know about the faith of these people, so they can decide on that.
Gay marriages are allowed in South Africa under the Civil Union Act enacted in November 2006.
During the apartheid era, the DRC was commonly referred to by those who opposed its hardline policies of racial segregation as “the Much Deformed Church of South Africa”.
Church members believed that:
• South Africa’s apartheid laws were God’s will.
• Races should be kept apart.
• Whites should have better opportunities as they heed God’s “favour”.
• Mixed marriages and relationships were to be discouraged so that races would remained “pure”.
• God is the “Great Divider”.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn