The RCA General Synod 2016 took place in Palos Heights, IL June 9-14. Look to Room for All’s social media in the near future for a full update on the actions that were taken, but in the meantime, we welcome GS16 delegate Rev. Donna Field to share her reflections.
Mr. President I speak against this recommendation.
On the third day of my advisory group it was stated on more than one occasion that it was too bad I was in the minority voice when it came to the matters at hand.
I am not going to lie, every time that statement was made, I felt battered and bruised and I walked out of the session feeling defeated, not because things didn’t “go my way” but because I understood more—on how the minority is viewed by– – and hence treated by– – many members of the Reformed Church in America.
Other statements that day were made about the absolute and ultimate importance of the few clobber verses of scripture that relate to the word homosexual or could be interpreted as such depending on your hermeneutic of scripture, without the benefit of the context it was written in.
It was evident in this room that those in the majority held onto these verses as if their life depended on it. It was as if these scriptures they were lifting up- were their “immunity idols” (those of you who watch Survivor will understand this) to be used to their advantage. And they were going to use them, even if it meant that someone who they played nice with, but wasn’t the TV audience favorite (hence the minority), was going to not only suffer for it, but the minority’s voice really didn’t matter.
I perceived that the energy expended around these “immunity idols” really prevents those holding them from hearing about what else scripture offers, which ultimately refutes their voicing that their position is that they only believe in an infallible, inerrant Bible. There was such a desperate need to be understood on their part, that once they realized they will be a much larger voice in the advisory sessions that they failed—for the most part—to be understanding.
Once they realized the body count was in their favor, it was a take no prisoners’ atmosphere, and the minority voice was shut down as the collaborative efforts of the first two days disappeared. How awful it was to be discarded merely because I was labeled “the minority.”
This year at General Synod the minority voice has been shutdown, stifled, trampled on and not only oppressed, but told that they are not worthy of the grace that only Christ can give to those who believe in His saving grace. Merely because their minority voice isn’t important to those in the majority.
Which is completely against the scripture that was conveniently left out by the majority voice. Against both the Old and New Testament which teaches us that the stranger, the widow, the abandoned, the meek, the lowly, the minority– are to be lifted up as Christ lifts every single one of us who believe with deep conviction that we are loved and saved by our ever faithful Savior.
My hope and prayer Mr. President is that the Holy Spirit works hard to bring the stiff-necked and hard hearted to a point where grace fills their being and the fear and anxiety that forces them to marginalize the minority because they can, heals them and brings them to reconciliation with Christ and the community that is called to serve Christ.
My hope and prayer Mr. President is that all who are battered and bruised from this year’s General Synod know that they can sit in the healing palm of God, and know that they are not only loved and cherished, but that their voice is an integral part of the beloved broken creation that is so loved by the Triune God and by the ‘minority’ that lives to serve Christ.
Therefore Mr. President, I speak against this recommendation.