Church in The Netherlands Commits Itself to Being a Safe Place for LGBTI Individuals

The Netherlands Union Conference has advised all churches in the Netherlands to "fully commit themselves to ensuring that LGBTI individuals feel safe in the church." In addition, NUC leadership says it would "strongly advise against any steps to revoke the membership of LGBTI people, given the unsafe environment this would create in churches."

This statement was agreed after the recent General Conference vote to adopt guidelines for "responding to homosexual and other alternative sexual practices."

A vote was taken at a recent meeting of the Netherlands Union Conference Executive Committee to publish the statement, which follows in its entirety (translated here):

"There is a great deal of discussion about sexuality, and specifically LGBTI individuals (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex), at this moment. The General Conference recently held an international conference on this topic in South Africa, and last week the board of the world church voted on guidelines regarding LGBTI individuals.

In the Netherlands the topic of sexuality has been under discussion for quite some time, and in 2012 the delegates of the local churches voted the following:

Following the example of the ‘Safe Church’ initiative, the delegates, gathered together in committee, charge the Executive Board in the coming administrative period to consider the problems of and concerning people with a non-heterosexual nature, so that they can feel safe in the church.

Following this vote, the Executive Committee has committed itself to ensuring that LGBTI individuals feel safe in the church. In taking this decision to heart, the Netherlands Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist church would like to respond to the General Conference’s recently-voted guideline.

Although we acknowledge the biblical ideal of a monogamous, heterosexual relationship, we continue to emphasise that it is an ideal. The basis of Christianity is that all people fall short of God's ideal; this is why we require God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice. This leads to the conclusion that we, as Christians, must welcome all children of God – who all fall short of God’s ideal – into our churches with love.

We advise the churches in the Netherlands to fully commit themselves to ensuring that LGBTI individuals feel safe in the church. We would strongly advise against any steps to revoke the membership of LGBTI people, given the unsafe environment this would create in churches."


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/5955

I guess the church will be forced to decide if it wants to go by the Bible.

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i think the real question is what hermeneutic will the church follow…i know many people feel that the current wo debate has introduced a new hermeneutic that can essentially justify anything, which is why they’re opposed…

from a layman’s perspective, i think the two issues are quite separate…

Wow! This subject is not going to be in the back burner for very long. Many fear the movement for women’s ordination because the next thing will be the acceptance of gays in the membership of the church. What will happen then? The Netherlands faithful are following in the knowledge of a “present truth” Adventists claim to believe in.