A SENSITIVE ISSUE
One of the biggest changes in Canadian society over the past several decades has to do with attitudes toward same-sex attraction. Once an unmentionable subject, it is now openly discussed. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada for over a decade now. Same sex attracted people and couples are frequently the subject of TV shows and media interviews, and the gay lifestyle is widely embraced.
What should Christians believe about same-sex attraction and same-sex marriage? For many of us, these questions are very personal because we have same-sex attracted friends or have same sex attracted loved ones. For us as a church the question is very important because we want to be welcoming of all people while being firmly rooted in what the Bible teaches.
Many years ago the Christian Reformed Church adopted a position on this matter. The church accepted the reality that some people are born same-sex attracted, and that to be born this way is not a sin. However, the church said, the Bible prohibits same-sex activity. This past summer, the church’s broadest assembly, Synod, heard a report from a committee tasked to work out the practical implications of this position when it comes to ministering to those who experience same-sex attraction. (Visit https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/position-statements/homosexuality to read more about the denominations history with this question and to find that report).
In the fall, at a meeting of all of our office bearers, we adopted six principles that describe where we, as a church, stand with respect to marriage and same-sex attraction. You can read those principles at the end of this article. Mark Elvin, who is same sex-attracted, and who interprets the Bible as we do, will be coming to Bethel next Sunday, March 19, at 7:00 to share his testimony and answer questions. Mark is an Anglican priest, a counsellor, and the Associate Director of Urban Sanctuary, a ministry of spiritual training.
Here is the statement our Council adopted:
The following affirmations about marriage and same-sex relationships will guide Bethel’s preaching, policies, and pastoral ministry.
--May God guide us as we continue to seek His will about this important topic. --Pastor Tom
Come here for news on what is happening in Bethel Church from our Pastors.