Adventist Position Statements and Other Semi-Official Statements on Homosexuality

[We have copied the statement directly from the General Conference Beliefs Statement section. For current statements, you may click on the title below to go read it on the GC site.]

2012 Official Statement on Homosexuality

The Seventhday Adventist Church recognizes that every human being is valuable in the sight of God, and we seek to minister to all men and women in the spirit of Jesus. We also believe that by God’s grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God’s Word.

Seventhday 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. The Scriptures declare: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen 2:24, NIV). 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, Lev 18:26; Lev 20:7-21; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9-11). Jesus Christ reaffirmed the divine creation intent: “‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?” So they are no longer two, but one'” (Matt 19:4-6, NIV). For these reasons Seventh-day Adventists are opposed to homosexual practices and relationships.

Jesus affirmed the dignity of all human beings and reached out compassionately to persons and families suffering the consequences of sin. He offered caring ministry and words of solace to struggling people, while differentiating His love for sinners from His clear teaching about sinful practices. As His disciples, Seventh-day Adventists endeavor to follow the Lord’s instruction and example, living a life of Christ-like compassion and faithfulness.


This statement was voted during the Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee on Sunday, October 3, 1999 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Revised by the General Conference Executive Committee, October 17, 2012.

2012 Official Statement on Same-sex Unions

Over the past several decades the Seventh-day Adventist Church has felt it necessary to clearly state in various ways its position in regards to marriage, the family, and human sexuality. These subjects are at the heart of many pressing issues facing society. That which for centuries has been considered to be basic Christian morality in the marriage setting is now increasingly called into question, not only in secular society but within Christian churches themselves.

The institutions of marriage and family are under attack and facing growing centrifugal forces that are tearing them apart.  An increasing number of nations are not only debating the topic of “same-sex unions,” but some have already passed various pieces of legislation, thus making it a world issue. The public discussion has engendered strong emotions. In light of these developments, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is clearly restating its position.

We reaffirm, without hesitation, our long-standing position as expressed in the Church’s Fundamental Beliefs: “Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship.” 1 Though “sin has perverted God’s ideals for marriage and family,” “the family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred of any human relationship,” and thus “families need to experience renewal and reformation in their relationships” (An Affirmation of Family, 1990). 2   God instituted “marriage, a covenant-based union of two genders [male and female] physically, emotionally, and spiritually, spoken of in Scripture as ‘one flesh.'” “The monogamous union in marriage of a man and a woman is . . . the only morally appropriate locus of genital or related intimate sexual expression.” “Any lowering of this high view is to that extent a lowering of the heavenly ideal” (An Affirmation of Marriage, 1996).3

Homosexuality is a manifestation of the disturbance and brokenness in human inclinations and relations caused by the entrance of sin into the world. While everyone is subject to fallen human nature, “we also believe that by God’s grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God’s Word” (Seventh-day Adventist Position Statement on Homosexuality, 2012). 4

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. The Bible’s opposition to same-sex unions/marriage is anchored in God’s plan at creation for marriage (Gen 1:26-28; Gen 2:20-24), in divine legislation (Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13; 1 Cor 6:9-11), and in Jesus’ explicit confirmation of a permanent, monogamous, and heterosexual marriage relationship (Matt 19:4-6).

1Seventh-day Adventists Believe: An exposition of the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh?day Adventist Church, Doctrine 23 on ‘Marriage and the Family.”

2Public Statement, An Affirmation of Family, released July 5, 1990, at the General Conference Session, Indianapolis, Indiana.

3Statement voted by the General Conference Administrative Committee on April 23, 1996.

4Statement voted by the Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee, October 17, 2012.


This document was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee, October 17, 2012.

1999 Seventh-day Adventist Position Statement on Homosexuality

The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes that every human being is valuable in the sight of God, and we seek to minister to all men and women in the spirit of Jesus. We also believe that by God’s grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God’s Word.

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. The Scriptures declare: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24, NIV). 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. 20:7-21; Rom. 1:24-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11). Jesus Christ reaffirmed the divine creation intent: “‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?” So they are no longer two, but one'” (Matt. 19:4-6, NIV). For these reasons Adventists are opposed to homosexual practices and relationships.

Seventh-day Adventists endeavor to follow the instruction and example of Jesus. He affirmed the dignity of all human beings and reached out compassionately to persons and families suffering the consequences of sin. He offered caring ministry and words of solace to struggling people, while differentiating His love for sinners from His clear teaching about sinful practices.

This statement was voted during the Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee on Sunday, October 3, 1999 in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Our comments:

From correspondence we understand that the statement above, “The Bible makes no accommodation for homosexual activity or relationships,” was intended to cover sexual relationships and was not intended to forbid friendships between homosexually oriented persons. The same applies to other official Seventh-day Adventist statements dealing with homosexuality (see below). We have requested a change in wording to minimize misunderstanding.

See also these official statements:

Seventh-day Adventist Response to Same-Sex Unions–A Reaffirmation of Christian Marriage 2004

The statement reads in part:
[Click on subject line above for full text.]
“We reaffirm, without hesitation, our long-standing position. As expressed in the Chur ch’s Fundamental Beliefs, “marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship.” 1 Though “sin has perverted God’s ideals for marriage and family,” “the family tie is the closest, the most tender and sacred of any human relationship,” and thus “families need to experience renewal and reformation in their relationships” ( An Affirmation of Family, 1990). 2 God instituted “marriage, a covenant-based union of two genders physi cally, emotionally, and spiritually, spoken of in Scripture as ‘one flesh.'” “The monogamous union in marriage of a man and a woman is . . . the only morally appropriate locus of genital or related intimate sexual expression.” “Any lowering of this high view is to that extent a lowering of the heavenly ideal” ( An Affirmation of Marriage , 1996). 3″Homosexuality is a manifestation of the disorder and brokenness in human inclinations and relations caused by sin coming into the world. While everyone is subject to fallen human nature, “we also believe that by God’s grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God’s Word” ( Seventh-day Adventist Position Statement on Homosexuality , 1999). 4″We hold that all people, no matter what their sexual orientation, are children of God. We do not condone singling out any gr oup for scorn and derision, let alone abuse. However, it is very clear that God’s Word does not countenance a homosexual lifestyle; neither has the Christian Church throughout her 2000 year history. Seventh-day Adventists believe that the biblical teaching is still valid today, because it is anchored in the very nature of humanity and God’s plan at creation for marriage.”
This document was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM), March 9, 2004
A Statement On Pornography
Public statement released by the General Conference president, Neal C. Wilson, after consultation with the 16 world vice presidents of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, on July 5, 1990, at the General Conference session in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Statement on AIDS
Public statement released by the General Conference president, Neal C. Wilson, after consultation with the 16 world vice presidents of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, on July 5, 1990, at the General Conference session in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Church Manual, Chapter 13: Standards of Christian Living 2005 (PDF download)
Homosexual practices (a euphemism for gay sex) are  included in a list of sexual perversions (pp. 170, 171):
“Sexual perversions, incest, and sexual abuse of children prevail to an alarming degree. Millions have abandoned Christian standards of conduct and are bartering the sweet and sacred experiences of marriage and parenthood for the bitter, remorseful fruits of lust. Not only are these evils damaging the familial structure of society, but the breakdown of the family in turn fosters and breeds these and other evils. The results in distorted lives of children and youth are distressing and evoke our pity, while the effects on society are not only disastrous but cumulative.
“These evils have become more open and threatening to the ideals and purposes of the Christian home. Adultery, sexual abuse of spouses, incest, sexual abuse of children, homosexual practices, and lesbian practices are among the obvious perversions of God’s original plan. As the intent of clear passages of Scripture (See Ex. 20:14; Lev. 18:22, 29 and 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10; Rom. 1:20-32) is denied and as their warnings are rejected in exchange for human opinions, much uncertainty and confusion prevail. This is what Satan desires. It has always been his plan to cause people to forget that God is their Creator and that when He “created man in His own image” He created them “male and female” (Gen. 1:27). The world is witnessing today a resurgence of the perversions of ancient civilizations.
“The degrading results of the world’s obsession with sex and the love and pursuit of sensual pleasure are clearly delineated in the Word of God. But Christ came to destroy the works of the devil and reestablish the relationship of human beings with their Creator. Thus, though fallen in Adam and captive to sin, those who are in Christ receive full pardon and the right to choose anew the better way, the way to complete renewal. By means of the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit, all may be freed from the grip of sinful practices as they are restored to the image of their Creator.”
Church Manual, Chapter 14: Reasons for Church Discipline  2005 (PDF download)
Among “Reasons for church members shall be disciplined,” (pp. 184/185) is the following:
“4. Such violations as fornication, promiscuity, incest, homosexual practice, sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults, and other sexual perversions, and the remarriage of a divorced person, except of the spouse who has remained faithful to the marriage vow in a divorce for adultery or for sexual perversions.”
Removal from church membership is the severest form of discipline, and the manual gives the following context (p. 189): “When a person has been removed from church membership, the church should, where possible, maintain contact and manifest the spirit of friendship and love, endeavoring to win him/her back to the fold. A person previously removed from church membership may be received again into membership when confession of wrongs committed is made, evidence is given of real repentance and amendment of life, and it is clear that the member will fully submit to church order and discipline.”
Church Manual, Chapter 15: Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage  2005 (PDF download)
Among other statements, we find the following on page 195:
“2.Unfaithfulness to the marriage vow has generally been seen to mean adultery and/or fornication. However, the New Testament word for fornication includes certain other sexual irregularities. (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10; Rom. 1:24-27.) Therefore, sexual perversions, including incest, child sexual abuse, and homosexual practices, are also recognized as a misuse of sexual powers and a violation of the divine intention in marriage. As such they are just cause for separation or divorce.
“Even though the Scriptures allow divorce for the reasons mentioned above, as well as for abandonment by an unbelieving spouse (1 Cor. 7:10-15), earnest endeavors should be made by the church and those concerned to effect a reconciliation, urging the spouses to manifest toward each other a Christ-like spirit of forgiveness and restoration. The church is urged to relate lovingly and redemptively toward the couple in order to assist in the reconciliation process.”
An Affirmation of Marriage
Statement approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) on April 23, 1996.
A Statement of Concern on Sexual Behavior
Statement approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee at the Annual Council session in Washington, D.C., October 12, 1987.
Let’s Talk: Homosexuality
Summary of live, unscripted response by Pastor Jan Paulsen on the “Let’s Talk” Website. The following questions are covered:
What is the church doing to minister to homosexuals?
I feel God wants me to become a pastor, but I am gay. What should I do?
What is the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s stand on gay marriage?
Can a gay or lesbian person go to heaven?
What should be the attitude of the church toward homosexuals and homosexuality?

 


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