Should a homosexual person be allowed to be a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church?

Questions & Answers May 22, 2016

Q: Pastor Wilson, I’m writing so I can help answer a question that was asked in our local church: Should a homosexual person be allowed to be a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church? — Jose, from Peru

A: Jose, this is a question that has come up in recent years due to various social and political pressures. It is a question that the church has not taken lightly. Careful study has been given to the subject and related questions and the Church has voted several helpful statements.

During its Annual Council in 1999, the General Conference’s Executive Committee voted a statement on homosexuality (see ). In part, it reads:

“Seventh-day Adventists believe that sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman. This was the design established by God at creation. . . Throughout Scripture this heterosexual pattern is affirmed. The Bible makes no accommodation for homosexual activity or relationships. Sexual acts outside the circle of a heterosexual marriage are forbidden (Lev 18:5-23, 26; Lev 20:7-21; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9-11).”

At the 2012 Annual Council, a statement on “Same Sex Unions” was voted by the Executive Committee (see ). It reads, in part:

“We hold that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are loved by God. We do not condone singling out any group for scorn and derision, let alone abuse. Still, God’s Word that transcends time and culture does not permit a homosexual lifestyle.”

A statement on “Responding to Changing Cultural Attitudes Regarding Homosexual and Other Alternative Sexual Practices” was voted at the 2014 Spring Meetings of the Executive Committee. This statement directly addresses your question in regard to church membership (see ).

“It is inconsistent with the Church’s understanding of scriptural teaching to admit into or maintain in membership persons practicing sexual behaviors incompatible with biblical teachings. Neither is it acceptable for Adventist pastors or churches to provide wedding services or facilities for same-sex couples.”

I hope that you will find these statements helpful in answering your question.

If you have a question that you would like to send in for consideration in my Q&A posts, you may send it to: [email protected].