“Room for Everyone”: Swedish Union Issues Statement about LGBT+ Individuals

The Swedish Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has created a document about LGBT+ individuals and the importance of taking care of “all people in a loving way, regardless of sexual orientation or identity.”

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/news/2019/room-everyone-swedish-union-issues-statement-about-lgbt-individuals

Room for everybody. OK, why draw the line on the use of tobacco, alcohol, bigamy, and host of other behavior aspects. Certainly to shun is a basic sin. What is the line between fellowship and membership? There are a host of reasons I don’t Want membership. But why do some declare the right to membership if outside the 28? Seems the issue is don’t ask don’t tell. I guess the issue is same sex unions seeking membership, is that the same as approval or mere acceptance. It truly is a Gordian knot. I am glad I don’t have to make the rules. The blessings of my marriage are a loving wife of 70 years, three children, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.


Thanks Tom. It’s unclear here whether church membership is offered practicing LGBTQ+ members or is it the proper understanding that Christians are to be kind to all.
These are the sticky hard questions that need to be honestly answered for any denomination.


Dear Dr. Zwemer - Tobacco, alcohol, bigamy, etc. are not comparable to sexual orientation! The medical/psychiatric professional community in much of the Western world has studied this issue thoroughly and concluded that sexual orientation is neither a disease nor a choice. (Please refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5 — this professional publication confirms that sexual orientation in and of itself is not a disease.)

Furthermore, it is not our place to ask LGBT people what they do privately, any more than it is appropriate for any of us to ask you about your sexual life. Similarly, I’ve known a number of NAD and GC employees who have told me privately that they drink wine, and it is not anyone’s place to discover that. Respect for privacy seems to be a problem for too many Adventists. It is not appropriate to be looking for or making assumptions as to what we think is wrong in other’s private lives.

Praise God for this very redemptive study and document from the Swedish Union!


One of the MAJOR PROBLEMS in Seventh day Adventism is THIS;
We REFUSE to baptize ANYONE who WILL NOT become Seventh day Adventist!
Even though a person accepts Christ as their personal Savior, Church
LAWS FORBID a pastor to baptize just anyone who professes to accept
Christ as their personal Savior.
The person PRIOR to baptism by an SDA Pastor HAS to agree with ALL of
the 28, and abide with other RULES.
In the SDA church, Baptism and Membership are considered BOTH ONE.

NOTE: According to Paul’s letter to Timothy, Paul WAS NOT against the
“limited” use of “Jewish” [maybe even Gentile] wine. In fact, encourage
the use of it for his “stomach’s sake.”


Of course it is not a disease, but it is a behavior, The Church has thresholds of behavioral issues. My point is any institution has the right to define the behaviors it accepts and rejects. I have no fight with the Swedish View. But In a similar vein I have no fight with Ted Wilson. I just don’t Agree with his theology and management style. I think he is a phony as a three dollar bill.



• to approve the document “Room for Everyone” as the official statement on values…

Some folks believe heaven has room enough for the devil himself!

Good point Steve. Christ made wine and the the master of ceremonies said it was the best. Grape juice is grape juice. Not all wines are created equal.

One can be an alcoholic and not drink. Likewise, one can be gay and not commit sexual immorality. The problem is when the church sanctions sexual immorality. You might as well join the world if that’s the way it is.


In the SDA church, does it really matter what Paul says? It is more about what Ellen White says.


The issuing and re-issuing of statements is all well and good, but until LGBTQ individuals see for themselves a full inclusion into fellowship - including the invitation to serve to the utmost as elders and pastors, then the LGBTQ community will not feel welcomed and included - at all - and they will continue viewing us to be hostile to them. I really don’t think any of us would feel welcome in a place where we are not treated as absolute equals in every respect.


What are some other MAJOR PROBLEMS you see in the SDA Church?

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My admiration for Scandinavians, in general, knows no bounds.

The Baltic is one of my favorite tourist destinations and I have spent many happy times in their capital cities.

Plus, NORWEGIAN AIRLINES is my favorite carrier — their fare prices and their service unmatched — check them out!

That said, the statement from the Swedish Union, ROOM FOR EVERYONE is a plethora of pious platitudes.

It is a twice-told tale of trifling trivia, regurgitating the NAD document GUIDING FAMILIES OF LGBT plus LOVED ONES.

Both documents purport to be a loving outreach of inclusivity for our LGBT offspring, and so I suppose that is an advance from the shunning / shaming / stigmatizing / sullying solutions to same sex attractions that have been the prior modus operandi of Adventism,

The problem with both documents is that it does not address the “elephant in the room “ :

The pernicious, punitive penalty that our church imposes on its LGBT offspring :—— LIFE LONG LONELINESS, also known as “ celibacy “.

The Swedes do not subscribe to the US Constitution giving Americans the unalienable right to the “PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS “.

However I am sure the Swedes would agree that a pinnacle in the pursuit of happiness is finding a soulmate and the ineffable ecstasy that erupts from “being in love “ — this “pursuit of happiness “ is egregiously denied our gay children.

Our LGBT community is a significant sub set of our church ( five per cent )…

Most informed, educated people now acknowledge that gays / lesbians have zero input / choice / selection in their same sex attractions.

Everyone also agrees that our LGBT adolescents have identical levels of teen age sex hormones as their straight siblings and cousins,

The church’s insistence on life long CELIBACY. nullifies all the “affirmations “ and protestations of inclusivity and outreach.

We decry the celibacy requirement imposed on Catholic priests and nuns — at least those celibates make an informed ADULT decision to be sexless. — our gay / lesbian adolescents have it foisted upon them, through no fault of their own.

The celibacy issue is a callous cruel condemnation creating a companionless existence.

As I have said elsewhere, while sex is an important element of marriage, the affirmation aspects of matrimony — the validation, companionship, devotion, loyalty, support, approbation, acceptance, are an ineffable component of marriage.

To permanently deny romance with all its affirming attributes to people who have done no wrong is surely sadistic.

Another inalienable right to happiness,’s surely being able to find employment and adequate housing, which was the goal of the US EQUALITY ACT recently passed in the US Congress

While the NAD and Swedish statements are an improvement, no amount of pontification will counteract the recent toxic travesty of the GC who actively opposed the EQUALITY ACT that would have ensured employment and housing for LGBT individuals.

Our church hierarchy threw our LGBT offspring under the bus, denying them protection from discrimination in employment and housing and protection from hate crimes.

This should be a red flag / wake up call, for all Adventist gays and lesbians, that the church does not have your best interests at heart.

The hateful, hurtful homophobia of our hierarchy eclipses attempted outreach from Swedes and the NAD to ameliorate the fate of our same sex family members!



You can’t generalize this and say it of every Adventist church! I don’t see the Swedish Union statement as pontificating. I see it as compassionate progress. Change is often best accomplished incrementally - and I believe the Swedish Union’s statement is an encouraging step in the right direction. Sorry, but I believe you’re seeing the glass as empty rather than partially full.

While I don’t believe the GC has a healthy/fair interest of LGBT people, there are Adventist congregations that do have the best interest of LGBT people in their hearts, and show it by their inclusive acceptance. You were, for many years, a member of such a church. So I’m saddened at your seemingly blanket criticism of our church.

Please remember that there is really no denomination that totally has the best interest of LGBT people in mind. The Methodist Church, ELCA Lutheran, United Church of Christ can be known as supportive - however some of their congregations are quite the opposite. It is wonderful that you’ve found a very positive experience with a Methodist Church. Unfortunately, that can’t be translated to ALL Methodist churches.


AKA Chick-fil-A types :wink:

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Great article, Room for everyone it is, the explanation on the LGBT+ Is also unprecedented and there’s the sexual practice that those identifying with LGBTQ may not necessarily practice.

Discriminating against them is confirming mission is for the “righteous” and not the fallen

Good point, David. Not all wines are created equal. And if one didn’t trust a master of ceremonies evaluation, there are a number of reviewing venues to help with the selection process. :slight_smile:

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Peter –
Great response!
Yes, ALL Christian Protestant and Catholic denominations, groups have
difficulty with the issue of “What to do with GLT+ who are God lovers
and want to be a part of His family here on earth.”
Fortunately, more and more INDEPENDENT groups of believers within
these Denominations are discovering that, as Peter discovered, “God is
no respecter of persons.” And are inviting them and any “partners” into
their fellowship. This includes Baptists, Methodists, and EVEN some of
our Seventh-day Adventist Local congregations. [other Christian
denominations have been inclusive and inviting for a very long time.]
For many, it has been incremental, as you have pointed out. But IT IS
It took Peter a VERY LONG time to be comfortable with the idea of
entering a non-Jewish home even, and then to HAVE to eat with them.
Plus, someone TOLD ON HIM back in Jerusalem! and he was brought
before the high church committee to be charged with a “grievous sin.”
Later, he became careful in doing this when “the brethren” visited. And
Paul later stated how he went toe to toe with him for being two-faced in
his deportment with the Gentiles when his friends were around.
Our SDA church leaders [the NAD] have NOT learned the lessons of Peter.
Our Swedish Union appears to be learning the “Lesson of Peter” and the
sheet. And hopefully more Union Leaders will learn the “Lesson of Peter
and the Sheet” and not call any person “Common or Unclean.”


Thanks Michael. I’m a wine maker too so I know a little about wine and the difference between it and grape juice. My wine is probably better than the stuff Noah made but it will never compare with what Jesus made! :slightly_smiling_face:



I agree with what you say in so many ways, but also have come to realize that the church will not arrive at the fully affirming stance that is so essential for LGBTQ+ people to feel truly welcome. I see the Swedish Union document as an incremental step that takes us one step closer than the NAD stance. At least the document does not explicitly require celibacy for those who are LGBTQ+. It doesn’t address it directly, either, but does imply that same-sex committed relationships are not condemned outright. It also seems to leave it open to local congregations to make their own decisions about church membership, implying that same-sex couples could be full and active participants in church life. I am not sure they could have gone further than that and not caused open controversy.

I do hope this is not the last incremental step we see. I do hope that someday, hopefully not too long from now, that full acceptance and affirmation of LGBTQ+ people occurs, and that same-sex couples can be seen as equal in all senses in the church community.


Bryan –
the Swedish Union did what they could to “open the doors” to Love
of Neighbor.
One cannot command Love.
Only the One who IS Love can command Love. And only as individual
members receive Love from the One who is Love, can love be shown.
THIS is WHY it Requires that acceptance be up to individual congregations.
But the PERMISSION to Love has been put on paper. It is OK to Love NOW!


Indeed, and why I do appreciate what they have done. I have many LGBTQ+ friends who recognize this as positive progress, but many of them also still, even with statements like this one, feel rejected. I just hope that the more church members get to know LGBTQ+ people and the more they understand the biology behind what makes a person LGBTQ+, they will eventually give full acceptance. Being LGBTQ+ is not something a person can make a conscious choice about, it is just who they are and that is what we need to recognize.