Rev Judith Kotzé, Director of IAM
There are fears that the decision by the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) or NG Kerk to recognise same-sex unions and allow non-celibate gay ministers could be put on hold for two years.
Conservative members of the DRC have appealed the historic October 9 vote by the church’s General Synod, despite it allowing individual congregations to make their own decision on the matter.
It is believed that this is the first time in the DRC’s history that a decision by the General Synod has been appealed and put on hold.
“This shows how deep the differences lie in how the Bible is interpreted,” Rev Judith Kotzé, Director of Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) told Mambaonline, saying that news of the appeal “is painful.”
She argued, nevertheless, that “differences in how the Bible is interpreted do not mean that we do not take the Bible seriously.”
While the matter is being discussed this week in the church’s “moderamen” meeting, Kotzé believes that the issue may only be resolved at the next General Synod, which is likely to take place in two years.
She expressed concern that the delay in implementing the LGB-affirming decision could have major implications for many people’s lives.
“The DRC must make sure people in the midst of this are looked after while the decision is on hold,” said Kotzé.
“There is a need for safe spaces where there can be dialogue on the issue and we can move forward. We need to journey together. The journey cannot be stopped and we cannot give up on each other,” she added.