Dutch Reformed Church agrees to compromise on gay relationships

Ds Nelis van Rensburg who was re-elected moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church at its general synod in Benoni this week (PHOTO: Youtube screenshot).

The general synod of the Dutch Reformed Church this week agreed on a way forward which it hopes will stop bitter infighting over members’ differences regarding same-sex relationships and allow all to act according to their beliefs.

The agreement was reached after the synod meeting in Benoni decided on Tuesday to nullify its 2015 decision on same-sex relationships, which allowed ministers in same-sex relationships and the solemnisation of same-sex civil unions, on the grounds that the decision was procedurally flawed.

Divisions within the church on the same-sex-relationship issue intensified in March this year after the High Court in Pretoria set aside a subsequent 2016 decision by an extraordinary meeting of the general synod in which it reversed its 2015 decision. The High Court found procedural and substantive faults with the 2016 synod decision.

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Since March the Dutch Reformed Church has been under pressure from within — from congregations and members unhappy with having to accept a policy that conflicted with their biblical convictions, and from without — from Christian voices calling on the church to stand up for biblical truth. A March decision by the Dutch Reformed Church not to appeal against the High Court ruling was seen by many as giving in to the liberal, pro-gay movement within the church.

Unity in Christ
In its resolution on Tuesday the general synod agreed that the foundational unity of the church in Christ should not be broken because of differences in biblical interpretation.

It urged local church councils to appoint leaders and grant members all rights and privileges in the life of the church, irrespective of their sexual orientation or identity.

However, the resolution acknowledged that church councils and ministers differed on their attitude towards affirming same-sex civil unions and would like to give space for all to act according to their beliefs.

It was therefore decided that a task team would be set up to visit each regional synod to work through the matter clearly and thoroughly and develop a policy for confirming same-sex civil relationships and to continue a study of marriage and human sexuality with a view to reporting to the next general synod.

The general synod also apologised to gay members and their families whose human dignity was knowingly and unknowingly denied during deliberations on the same-sex question in recent years.

‘Worst form of compromise’
Christian leader Dr Arno van Niekerk said today (Thursday October 10) that the DRC synod’s resolution on same-sex matters was “the worst form of compromise” and tantamount to official approval of a gay lifestyle.

Commenting in his weekly Christian Consensus WhatsApp update, Van Niekerk, who in August urged the DRC to take a stand on biblical truth on the gay lifestyle, wrote: “Today is a sad day; South Africa church history will never be the same.”

He said the DRC had ignored the warnings of ex-gays and gone against God’s Word “and is now in danger of being viewed in a state of ‘apostasy’ by the rest of the body of Christ”.

He asked SA Christians who do not approve gay marriage to wear black arm bands on Friday as a sign of a state of mourning and for DRC members who disagreed with the decision of the general synod to wear black armbands on Sunday.

“We have a religious freedom right to express our concern about the state of such a church denomination. Because, by implication, it places all other churches also at risk of compromise or otherwise persecution. Let’s take practical action against this,” he said.


  1. Run away from any church that makes sin acceptable so as to fit in. Traditions of man and adapting to worldly customs is carnal, and misleading people out of the Kingdom will be deadly to those who condone it. God’s Word clearly says that a liar, thief, homosexual, etc will not inherit the Kingdom of God, and does not need interpretation as it is clear as day.

    • The writing was on the wall when the DRC agreed to exchange creationism for evolutionism! If the account of creation in Genesis is a mere parable, then Adam and Eve did not exist and there can be no such thing as “original sin”. If this is the case, that we simple evolved how can God (if He even exists ion this scenario) hold mankind accountable for sin – and so, who needs Jesus? The whole of the Judaeo Christian religion becomes a farce and anything goes. Denial of the creation is necessarily the start of the slippery slope towards condoning anything that society deems ok.

  2. Hugh G Wetmore

    Note the language used by the DRC: everyone must be allowed to live ‘according to their beliefs” … No! This is the way of apostasy (Judges 21:25). A church must base its stand on the teaching of Scripture, especially the words of Jesus Christ Himself (e.g. Matthew 19:4-6)

    “Unity should not be broken because of differences in biblical interpretation”. No – this is not a matter of ‘interpretation’. It is a matter of God’s Truth. As Grunt says ‘God’s Word clearly says that a liar, thief, homosexual, etc will not inherit the Kingdom of God, and does not need interpretation as it is clear as day.’ See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 as well as Romans 1:26-27.

    As always the church must manage all its pastoral responsibilities with Love. The most loving action we can do is “to turn a sinner away from the error of his way so save him from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).

    Pray for the real Reform of this “Reformed’ Church!

  3. They are no longer part of His Church when they compromise the Word in order to be Politically correct. This is a self-serving decision and doesn’t please the Commanding officer. They have lost their credibility to be salt and light. Jesus warned His church about the last day generation . There is not a single scripture in the bible that endorces this lifestyle. It has shut the door on healing people and restoring them to their true identity in Christ instead of defining themselves by their fallen identity that’s rooted in the Old man. Sanctification is a doctrine that the DRC needs to revisit. The narrow way is about denying self taking up your cross and following Him. Jesus heals our sexual and relational brokenness and calls us to higher ground of walking in wholeness.We are no longer defined by our brokenness. “I no longer lives but Christ lives in me, I live to please the Father” Gal 2 : 20. Its God’s will that we should be sanctified in body , soul and spirit.We should pray for our lost brothers to come to their sencess and return to a biblical worldview instead of being driven by LGBTQ + agendas. Shame on you.

  4. I agree with the other comments – not saying that gays are to be rejected, but to obey the clear Scriptures. Jesus died for all so we must love everyone unconditionally, but not accept the sins they do and the lies they believe. It’s evident these days that all kinds of sins are accepted in the world, through deception from the enemy, but we must pray that ALL deceived people will receive revelation and restoration, bringing everyone to Jesus. There IS healing through the Cross and Father’s love, for gender confusion.
    Even if / when we, the Body, are persecuted, we must stand for His truth: not aggressively, but with love for Him and the broken world.

  5. Truly a very sad day in South Africa!!!! The churches are “falling and failing” one by one!!! The Anglican church has also made a very sab decision in to join the boycot against Israel and turn their backs on them!!!! Why is it that the christians are being deceivedbso easily and turning their backs on the Word???

  6. When you are standing at the top of a muddy slippery slope, it is almost impossible to recover your balance when you try and compromise.
    The modern liberal idea of “AAAAG SHAME” has been proven not to work.
    If “AAAAG SHAME” worked why did Jesus have to endure the cross???????????????????????
    The Bible says to love the people, but hate the sin.

  7. What can one say? It is unbelievable and sad and unacceptable that the DRC could even entertain such a notion that gay is okay for Christians – not according to God’s Word. It’s because churches will not stand up for the truth of the Word that we see more and more television programmes glorifying the gay lifestyle and actually portraying it as normal deceiving young children and young people. Why would God make men and women different if men can now act as women and women as men? And why would God’s Word deny gay people the Kingdom of God if He created them as gay? For this reason, in my humble opinion to say one is born gay means God is a cruel God! Christians should refuse to watch such television programmes and let the makers of these films know what we think of it.

    • To say that people are born gay would mean that people can be born to be fornicators, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, etc. However we know that these are sinful choices that people make and not something people are born with.

      1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NLT)
      9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

  8. Phillip Marchant

    “For what good is it, that a man should gain the riches of the world, but lose his soul”.

    Are we saying that the DRC are the new doorway to God’s heaven, and that Jesus has become obsolete?