12 October 2015
Last week, the synod of the NG Kerk, or Dutch reformed church in South Africa, voted in favour of ordaining gay dominies (ministers) AND allowing gay civil unions.
The synod voted 64% in favour of acknowledging civil unions – BUT they still chose to reserve the term ‘marriage’ for straight couples.
ALSO - The NG Kerk will still leave actual policy to the difference regional church groups in South Africa, which means they may still ban gay unions and ministers in the provinces.
Dutch Reform Church moderator Nelis Janse van Rensburg told South African news station eNCA: ‘Church councils and congregations are like families. They will eventually decide how they will go about it.
‘They know the context, they know the situation, they know about the faith of these people, and so they can decide on that,’ he said.
The new reforms is a huge step forward for the South African Dutch Reformed church which has been notoriously conservative and anti-gay in the past. It supported apartheid in South Africa as recently as 1982 – when it was ousted from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.