The Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) should take urgent and appropriate action to withdraw its approval of a gay lifestyle, says Christian leader Dr Arno van Niekerk in a letter of concern to the leadership of the DRC.
In a letter sent to the DRC synod last week on behalf of Christian Consensus South Africa — a movement grounded in 10 shared biblical principles — Van Niekerk says the synod should “move in the right direction” at this “most critical moment for the DRC”.
While acknowledging people’s constitutional right to adopt different lifestyles and the need to look at people with alternative sexual orientations with great sensitivity, the letter of concern says the Church has a higher calling not to bow to political correctness and the patterns of the world by allowing a subjective interpretation of the SA Constitution to become a higher moral authority than the Word of God which does not condone homosexuality.
He says developments such as a court ruling in March compelling the DRC to accept ministers in same-sex relationships, and the recent ordination by a DRC church of a dominee who is in a same-sex marriage, are dividing and weakening the Church in SA.
Honest introspection about the consequences of legitimising gay lifestyles and allowing gay leaders “must lead one to move towards a firmer foundation so that unity in truth can be established within the Church”, says the letter.
“The Church does not discriminate unfairly when her convictions appear to be different than that of the Constitution; that is why provision is made for freedom of religion (including the Church’s autonomy to determine her own doctrine). If the (secular) Constitution prescribe (or force) onto the Church her convictions, freedom of religion counts for nothing. It is not happening, so let’s not invite it in,” writes Van Niekerk.
Pointing out that Christian Consensus is “supported by almost two million Christians countrywide” and that thousands of believers, including “many NGK-members, ex-gays, members of other churches and well-respected Christian leaders in the country” have endorsed the letter of concern, he calls on the DRC leadership to follow correct procedures to withdraw its approval of a gay lifestyle.
In ruling against the DRC in March the Pretoria High Court found that the DRC synod had not followed correct internal procedures when it reversed a 2016 synod decision to allow homosexual ministers and conduct same-sex marriages. The synod subsequently voted not to oppose the High Court ruling.
Van Niekerk told Gateway News yesterday that Dr Gustav Claassen, general secretary of the DRC synod had confirmed receiving the letter of concern and that DRC leaders Ds Dirkie van der Spuy and Dr Chris van Wyk had “responded very positively to the letter”.
“I trust that the letter would bring a deep introspection at both the NGK [DRC] and the broader body of Christ about not just the gay issue, but how we treat Scripture under current secular pressure. Now is exactly the time that the Church must stand firm on the foundation of God’s Word, and not doubt due to worldly pressure. I also trust that the letter would support NGK members and encourage them to stand up for biblical truth, without compromise, so that change can come,” he said.
In a WhatsApp message to Christian Consensus supporters, he says: “May this letter lead to a fresh awakening within the NGK and the broader body of Christ to STAND UP for Biblical truth on this issue.
“I pray for a groundswell of believers taking a stand in truth and love. The liberal agenda is to divide & weaken us. Let us NOT allow this as we dispell the compromise of God’s Word.”
Van Niekerk said that anybody who would like a full copy of the letter of concern can request one by emailing him at TheStandSA@gmail.com