BREAKING: Adventist Church in North American Approves Sexuality Document

It is easy to look at this statement and be discouraged and I am discouraged by it, although not that surprised. I do want to try and acknowledge what progress it represents, however minute, while also expressing deep disappointment about some aspects of it.

First, the progress. 1) It is nice to see it acknowledged, albeit it tentatively, that people who have same sex attractions may not be able to do anything to change themselves. It was not that long ago that the church seemed to be saying that same sex attraction was a choice and that with proper counseling and spiritual intervention a person could change this. 2) It is nice to see it clearly stated that those with same-sex attraction can be a member of the church in full standing. This has sort of been policy at a number of churches, but has never been fully embraced at higher levels. These things are progress, but oh so little, in my opinion.

Several things about this statement deeply disappoint me, and two are particularly galling. The first of these is the special kind of hell prepared for LGBT members who do choose to be full members of the church. As the document states:

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual explains the criteria for becoming a member. Individuals desiring membership are expected to affirm and commit to the Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs and the responsibilities and practices of membership. This includes holding to a biblical view on human sexuality. Principles and criteria relative to membership are to be applied with fairness, consistency, and an attitude of love.”

In other words, the same old mantra is repeated, i.e. you can be a member, even if you are gay or lesbian, but you must remain celibate for the rest of your life. This is so heartless. This means that LGBT people, to be fully participating members they must forgo ever having an intimate, romantic relationship with anyone, since the church has decreed that their choice of partner is against official church doctrine. This, in spite of the fact that the Bible says absolutely nothing about same-sex marriage. Now that same-sex marriage is legal in our country, and since there is no clear Biblical prohibition against it, we need to take the step of allowing it. The SDA church, along with most Protestant churches have long decried the celibacy requirement of the priesthood in the Catholic Church, and here we are imposing this same vow of celibacy on a subset of our own members.

It is especially galling when I note this statement: “Principles and criteria relative to membership are to be applied with fairness, consistency, and an attitude of love.” We are already being inconsistent in applying the principles of Biblical sexuality. We essentially give many teens a free pass when they are caught engaging in pre-marital sex, and many the first pregnancy of a newly married couple is considerably shorter than nine months. We also treat divorce loosely, and no longer enforce the words of Jesus where he says: “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”

Now, I am not advocating going back and getting stricter in enforcing rules around pre-marital sex and divorce, because I think we have taken a more grace-oriented approach to these problems, but if we are going to apply rules around sexuality “with fairness, consistency, and an attitude of love” we need to do so with LGBT issues too. This means recognizing that condemning LGBT people to a life of celibacy is too harsh and judgmental. Allowing, and even encouraging LGBT people to get married is a wonderful grace-inspired way to help them live fulfilling, church-centered, God-centered lives. We make allowances for human weakness in other areas of sexuality, why not for the LGBT community too. It saddens me greatly that the administrators of our church are willing to banish LGBT people to such a bleak place, saying you either need to be celibate, or you cannot fully commune with us in God’s kingdom.

My second largest disappointment with this statement is how it treats allies and family members of those who are LGBT. As an ally myself I feel it my duty to help LGBT young people make good choices about their lives. This document basically tells me my hands are tied. If I have a gay student come to me, this document says I need to tell them that being gay is okay, but acting on their gayness is a sin. If I have a gay person see me and they are talking about getting married to their partner, I feel it only ethical that I encourage them in this direction. Marriage is a much more healthy way to live out a monogamous, life commitment to another person than to simply live together without that deeper level of commitment.

Further, what about pastors who have gay or lesbian children, brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces or grandchildren. This document basically tells them that they cannot participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony. What a terrible dilemma to put a pastor in! How can we presume to tell a pastor that they may not preside at the wedding of a beloved daughter who is marrying the love of their life, just because it happens to be a same-sex marriage?

Even I, as a professor at an SDA college, am presumably barred from the same things. My daughter, who is lesbian, got married to her partner this last summer. Although she did not ask me to preside over the wedding, if she had, I would have done it, gladly. I did attend her wedding, and my grandson was one of the attendants. Presumably, had I presided over her wedding, I could have been subject to some unspecified reprimand. I just cannot see how such a rule for church employees is even conscionable.

It is my hope that this statement is just a piece of paper that the NAD leaders felt they had to produce and that they will not use it as a true guideline for church practice. I already know of SDA churches that are fully accepting of LGBT individuals. And I hope this document will not be used to try and roll back what progress has already been obtained. I also hope that this statement will be revisited, and that input from psychologists, social workers, geneticists and the LGBT community itself will be welcomed. There is always hope, as slim as it seems sometimes.

It was heartening, indeed, @carrolgrady, to see that there were a few stalwart souls who voted against the statement. My hope is that at least some of them saw the damaging aspects of this statement to those in the LGBT community.

I am on this page too, @daneenakers. I am just thankful that there are pastors who are willing to ignore guidance like that in this document and love and fully accept LGBT people as they are.


No. Their blood will be on our hands if we marginalize them and push them away.


Thank you, Bryan, for sharing your thoughts on these issues. Much appreciated.


Odious is how I would describe many of the comments made about this topic! I beg our scholars to research the Hebrew and Greek cultures and the text and translations etc. of all the Bible verses talking about homosexuality.

I beg the negative commenters to do some research in to current science and what things happen during pregnancy and how gender and sexuality is determined etc.

I DO NOT understand how something a child is born with has a moral value! Most of us have imperfections and differences then original creation but only the gender/sexuality differences are classed as immoral! There has to be something deeper behind the Biblical admonitions! I just can’t believe that Jesus would subject a small vulnerable child to feeling shame because they can’t pray the gay away therefore they feel forgotten and not of value to God. Our church has been horrible to certain groups of people all in the name of protecting church. God forbid that certain people would step foot in church, after all church is for saints!!!


And as evidence as to how far into “La-La Land” the authoritative document is, all they have to do is check with the Loma Linda University Department of Psychiatry, a GC entity, what they are teaching their residents.


This “Statement” from the North American Division is just a re-statement of what was voted at SA2015.
But also includes some additive.
The Official Word is that it is just a re-statement of the SDA position.
HOWEVER, I see it as a Backlash to what is happening in the SDA church at the LOCAL levels.
It IS stated this is NOT Policy OR Procedure.
BUT, the WAY it is written, all it would take would be a motion and a Vote at some future meeting to MAKE it Working Policy, Working Procedure.
At this time in a few pockets of SDA we have Pastors who will baptize gays into the SDA. We do have licensed ministers who would willingly conduct Blessing Events.
We DO have Congregations – pews full of lay people – who are OK with their GL, etc. members involved in everything except being the Preacher at the 11 AM service.
For ALL those All Welcoming, All Inclusive Congregations this is a WARNING to Cease and Desist this Objectionable behavior Unbecoming to Seventh day Adventists.

I see this as a Call To Arms against those Pastors and Congregations who believe that ALL are Welcome at the Table.and are allowed to participate fully.


Sorry, I must have missed something.
Where is the “Statement on Human Sexuality” ???

All I could find is a paper addressing LGBT issues. So that’s what human sexuality is about? Sexual child abuse is far more rampant in our churches than all LGBT issues put together (as all studies on the subject show). Any answer? Pornography - in anonymous surveys of pastors … well forget LGBT issues… Adultery and premarital sex? Well, a little bit of an allusion to it, perhaps. But how do you deal with sexual maturity coming something like 18 years before the age typical first marriages? (Quite different from biblical times). Last, but not least - the paper problematizes - fair enough, but whatever happened of celebrating human sexuality as God’s good gift? How are we meant to give pastoral care for normal, healthy living of sexuality?


What would we feel like reading a statement about celestial mechanics or the structure of the atoms produced by a group of contractors that work on construction every day? Would anyone take the statements seriously? Only an insane person would!

So now we have a statement on mental health made by a bunch of adventurers without a single mental health professional present among them, and we are supposed to take it seriously? Only an insane person would fall for such an insane condition.

The Eunuch in the Bible was lucky enough to meet Philip and not one of those Adventist “authorities” upstairs in black suits, otherwise the poor man would have never been baptized. He is actually the first person identified by name in the whole NT to be baptized into the new Christian faith.

What we are seeing is what happens when a bunch of people who are uneducated on an issue make policy on the issue. The result is an evident declaration of ignorance on the issue. How can this not be characterized as intellectual insanity? And we are expected to pay any respect to it?

@elmer_cupino @andreas @bness @ageis711Oxyain @robert_sonter @niteguy2 @bigtomwoodcutter @timteichman @tjzwemer

Those interested in continuing a dialogue on this issue are invited to join us in the LOUNGE.

Would you care telling what is your position on these issues,

  1. Is BEING homosexual a sin per? (I am not talking about sexual relationships)
  2. Should a homosexual person who is not involved in any kind of sexual relationships be accepted and treated in church as anyone else?

Was there ever a reference in this document to Christ’s own words in Matt, 19:12?

Personally, I am concerned about the NAD position, because in order to make homosexuals feel welcome we can not preach or talk about sexual perversity as a sin. Our church does not exist to make sinners feel comfortable. There is a HUGE difference between those that are struggling with sin in their lives, and those who are not. From what I see in these forums, I only hear a voice from the LGBT that requires acceptance of them in their sin. They have either given up trying to change and allowed themselves to become discouraged (a sin) or they don’t even try. Meanwhile they force it down our throats to accept them the way they are. Satan has deceived most into believing that they are born gay. This is a lie…physiologically it is not true. I don’t hear obese people asking me to validate their intemperance. I don’t hear drunks or drug addicts asking to be accepted as they are and that they should be able to continue living in addiction because they were born that way, (BTW, I was an addict and told numerous times by professionals that I was born with an inherited tendency to addiction). The seat that Satan’s wants to dominate is the mind…that is where the battle is lost and won. The church is a hospital for people who want to get well…not people who want to remain in their sin and pollute our congregations. Why go to church if you want to remain in your sin? Church is not for people who are happy being sinners!! Does LGBT really believe, that the day that they stand in front of a Holy God in the judgement He will say: “you are ok…I changed my mind, you are no longer committing an abomination”. HUGE story in the Bible of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah…could any greater light be shed to let us know what God thinks of sexual perversion? Make no mistake here…God hates sin and if you accept your sin and have rationalized that it is good (calling evil, good…)…you are NOT God’s child, no matter how you feel. Homosexuals in our church should be treated like any other sinner (sorry, you are not special because of your sin and sin marginalises EVERYONE), who wants to get well. The path we walk is a narrow one, and it is described that way for a reason. It takes 100% commitment, it takes 100% determination, and it takes spending every waking moment lifting our souls to God. IT IS NOT EASY! Salvation is free but it costs you everything that you are so that you can, with the help of God, die to self and walk with Him

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And that is EXACTLY what Lucifer wants you to believe.


Bah, humbug!

Trust God.


Should the church make sinners feel uncomfortable in the House of God? It would be quickly empty, unless there are some who feel so holy the are not sinners in need of grace.

There are many more sins that Christ taught and the worst was hypocricy: pretending to be holy, the Pharisees were always eager to point out other people’s sins and never saw their own. Only those who feel they are “above” sin are those who are pointing out sins they are not committing. Look at the mote in your own eye before wanting to pluck out the piece of wood in another individual’s eyes. He is not responsible to you but only to God who knows how to handle us all and does not need our help. In fact he has told us NOT to judge!

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