Calvin Synod might leave UCC over equal marriage resolution

The Calvin Synod, a Hungarian church-based Conference and the only one of the UCC’s 39 Conferences not defined by geography, said in a resolution passed at its annual meeting in Somerset, Pa., last week that the proposed marriage equality resolution is the “latest manifestation of heresy” and at odds with “the holy scriptures” and “the age old pages of church history.”

If passed, the Calvin Synod – which will send three voting delegates to Synod – may consider withdrawal from the UCC, according to its resolution.

About 1,000 elected delegates from each of the church’s conferences and its four national Covenanted Ministries will debate three different marriage-related proposals in Atlanta. The marriage equality resolution, submitted by the Southern California-Nevada Conference, asks the General Synod to affirm full civil and religious equality for same-gender couples. A second counter resolution, offered by eight geographically-diverse congregations, asks the Synod to define “traditional” marriage as being “between one man and one woman.” A third proposal, submitted by the Central Atlantic Conference, calls for a church-wide time of prayer, conversation and study of the issue.

The marriage equality proposal describes the Gospel as a place where a definition of marriage and family relationships based on affirmation of the full humanity of each partner is found. It declares that the state should not interfere with couples regardless of gender who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities and commitment of legally recognized marriage.

However the resolution passed by the Calvin Synod, comprised of 29 churches and more than 2,500 congregants, claims the Bible records “the constant opposition of God-fearing people to all sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage” and calls unions between homosexual persons to be “unholy abominations, unfit for the sight of the Lord and the righteous.”

It denies that same-gender marriage meets the definition of marriage, declares that such “heresy is intolerable” to its members and ministers and calls on the UCC to “disavow this heresy.”

Categories: United Church of Christ News

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