2004 General Synod Report of the Advisory Committee on Worship and Theology: Overture on Definition of Marriage

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The Classis of the Canadian Prairies overtures
the General Synod to “affirm that marriage is
properly defined as the union of one man and
one woman, to the exclusion of all others.”
Reasons:
1. This is the time-honoured biblical mandate
ordained by God in creation (Genesis 2: 2
and blessed by Jesus in Cana of Galilee (John
2: 1-11; cf. Matthew 19: 5).
2. The legal and cultural landscape in Canada
demands a clear mandate for the church in
the face of recent changes to this definition.
3. The legalization of same-sex marriages in
Canada may place Canadian pastors at risk of
prosecution if they refuse to perform these
ceremonies.
4. Clarity at this time should avoid the difficult
and public schism being played out on the
world scene in a sister denomination.
 

In response to overture 2, the advisory committee
recommended:
R-92
To affirm that marriage is properly defined
as the union of one man and one woman,
to the exclusion of all others.
Reasons:
1. This is the time-honored biblical mandate
ordained by God in creation (Genesis 2:24)
and blessed by Jesus in Cana of Galilee (John
2:1-11; cf. Matthew 19:5).
2. The legal and cultural landscape demands a
clear mandate for the church in the face of
recent changes to this definition.
3. The legalization of same-sex marriages in
Canada may place Canadian pastors at risk of
prosecution if they refuse to perform these
ceremonies.
4. Clarity at this time should allow the
Reformed Church to avoid the difficult and
public schism being played out on the world
scene.
 

A motion was made and supported to amend
R-92.
VOTED: To amend R-92.
A motion was made and supported to table R-
92 until a time uncertain.
VOTED: To not table R-92.
A motion was made and supported to refer R-
92 to the Commission on Theology to study and
report back to the 2005 General Synod.
VOTED: To not refer R-92 to the Commission
on Theology.
VOTED: To adopt R-92 as amended.
 

R-92 amended
To affirm that marriage is properly defined
as the union of one man and one woman,
to the exclusion of all others; and further,
To direct the Commission on Church
Order to consider an amendment to the
Book of Church Order which places this
affirmation into our church order, for
report to the 2005 General Synod.
(ADOPTED)
 

The advisory committee also recommended:
R-93
To instruct the Commission on Theology to
provide a study paper on “human sexuality
and marriage,” and to bring a progress
report to the 2005 General Synod.
(ADOPTED)
Reasons:
1. There has been no study on this subject since
1962.
2. The changing legal and cultural landscape
requires such a study.

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