A three-member task group of Dutch Reformed Church leaders from Namibia spent 15 hours in talks with senior DRC leaders in South Africa last week over differences that threaten to divide the denomination.
The consultations were a sequel to a March ultimatum by the Namibian synod, giving the DRC leadership in SA six months to revoke certain of its decisions regarding same-sex relationships in the church and theological training, failing which it said it would separate itself from the General Synod.
DRC newspaper Kerkbode reported this week that a request by the Namibian delegation that the General Synod “Moderamen” [a senior leadership working group] give an undertaking to find a way to suspend the General Synod’s 2019 decision to allow DRC congregations to solemnise same-sex unions, was “received with little enthusiasm”.
In a statement released after last week’s meetings between the SA and Namibian groups, Ds Nelis Janse van Rensburg, moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church, said the General Synod “Moderamen” does not have a mandate to suspend decisions of the General Synod.
According to Kerkbode, before returning to Namibia, Strauss expressed appreciation for the considerable time that the SA DRC leaders spent listening to the Namibian delegation. Regarding the breakaway from the DRC, he said there are still a few months left before the decision must be made. “The unity in Christ is most important to us,” said Strauss.
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