Be-Longing
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Be-Longing

I cried out.“I no longer belong.”You heard my painful cry.You walked by on the other side.Afraid to be contaminated?Concerned about what others might say?Confident in your holiness.You threw out those you judged unholy.Now I sit with them in the ashes. I had belonged.All my life I belonged.I belonged to the church, the schools. The community was…

The porn connection
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The porn connection

During the Christian Reformed Church’s Synod, I was surprised when an overture asking that clergy “curtail pornography use” didn’t pass – especially because “curtail” already sounds toothless in this context. Surely “halt all pornography use immediately” would be better? So I called the Director of Safe Church Ministry, Amanda Benckhuysen, for an explanation. The overture…

The walking wounded
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The walking wounded

“This church had a profound and positive impact on me for decades,” a former Meeting House member reflected. “I’m trying to figure out what to do with the revelations about what was going on behind the scenes. Flashes of Bruxy’s teaching will come back to me at various times and I’ll remember how positively it…

Groundhog Day: The Church Edition
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Groundhog Day: The Church Edition

I recently resumed pastoral ministry in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) after 10 years with the Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC). During those years, the matter of human sexuality dominated the denominational agenda. The engagement was serious, intense and divisive, with each side endlessly quoting their chosen Bible texts. When I attended my first Classis…

Dialogue within the ‘bond of peace’
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Dialogue within the ‘bond of peace’

Since Synod 2016 the Christian Reformed Church has been studying, discussing and agonizing over same-sex relationships. That year, Synod created a committee which produced what is now called the Human Sexuality Report (HSR). Among other issues, the HSR recommended that homosexual activity breaks the seventh Commandment and is thus prohibited. Synod 2022 took the report…

Coren’s conversion
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Coren’s conversion

“My core beliefs haven’t changed,” Michael Coren says. But “I can’t imagine who I was spiritually eight years ago.” The landscape of personal faith can change over time. Scandal, abuse, disillusionment and burnout are just a few of the deconstruction triggers prompting Christians to re-examine what we believe and why. It’s a process that usually…

Did anyone ask the hard questions?
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Did anyone ask the hard questions?

On May 6, the Hesed Project CRC published an open letter by Dr. Mary Stewart VanLeeuwen that gives new information about her role as promotor fidei, or “Devil’s Advocate,” on the Synodical Committee to Articulate a Foundation-laying Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality for the Christian Reformed Church of North American (CRCNA). The committee’s report (commonly…

Faithful friends are good medicine
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Faithful friends are good medicine

My wife sometimes compliments me as a husband. “I’m strictly average,” I remind her. I don’t want expectations to rise. Marriages today are emotionally overloaded. We want someone who will be a lover, spouse, soulmate and friend – someone who “completes us,” as Hollywood suggests. This is much more than the biblical “suitable partner.” High…