tonights turn in the homosexuality debate
June 6, 2007
As I’m sitting here, I’m looking over all these tables of people, praying together. They are praying for the 10 moderators of the regional synods, the reason I’ll explain later, but for now, it’s just this picture of all these people praying together. And you know what, I have peace about what just happened, I didn’t think it will be possible that I’ll feel like this after the current debate, but I’m at peace.
To write this is such an extremely difficult task. There is no way that I can give you everything that happened. There is no way that any minutes of this meeting can give you what happened here. And I’m so afraid that I’ll misrepresent something which happened here. But on the other hand, only max 600 of us experienced tonight, therefore all the rest of you will have, is the stories of the 600. So I’ll give you my story. It will consist of some stuff I wrote as we went along, used in this story.
I’ll tell you about the things which I believe really made an impact on the synod, or maybe, it was simply the things which made an impact on me.
“If I can make a guess, the view just presented by a certain speaker would make quite an impact. Instead of making a very technical exegetical argument, which he definitely could, I know him, and know him to be a very good Biblical scholar, he chose to simply ask that the synod will give room to those of them that differ from the more conservative view, since there is an item in the consensus part of the report (the report consisted out of some points on which consensus was reached between all members, and then two different points of view is being presented, which is being debated at the moment) stating that both sides take the Bible seriously.” (This was written at some stage during the dialogical debate).
Then there was the mother who talked, who pleaded that when we experience hurt, we take it to our families. In this case, our families are our congregations. And the guy who simply asked: What really matters? Does the different texts matter? He wasn’t sure. He asked this about a number of other stuff as well. He kind of reminded me about Ecclesiastes, I just finished an assignment on Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 this morning. But what did matter, according to him, was the three gay friends he had, who died.
But basically, it was the same type of arguments as always. Although, things is definitely further along the road than when I attended previous regional synods. Everybody seems to be accepting the fact that gays are people, are part of our communities, and congregations, and may even take on a leadership role in our churches. The debate was quite focused on how we should interpret a Biblical point of view of gay relationships. But there is two groups, and they read it differently. And it doesn’t seem like anything can be done about that.
But then Prof Malan Nel made an amendment. I got to know him as a person for whom peace is very important, as a gentleman, and a guy really loving the church. And tonight this came out in what he asked. Basically he asked that a new committee, consisting of the 10 regional moderators, along with a facilitator I think, should be appointed, that should see if they can find a middle-way solution during the night, which they can then give to the synod in the morning. So, basically what is happening now, is that tomorrow we will give the opportunity to look at their proposal, and vote on it. If it isn’t accepted, we will then vote on the first two proposals. We’ll see how it goes…