“The goal for the Abide Project is to see the HSR passed,” said Steenwyk, emphasizing that this is not a political goal, but a prayer for the movement of the Holy Spirit. “I do believe that matters of sexuality have confessional status, like many other issues of holiness and discipleship. Where we need more guidance is in pastoral application. We’re finding new pastoral situations every day.”
A group of concerned Christian Reformed pastors, scholars, and church leaders have launched the Abide Project. The new venture features a website and a binational leadership team that, according to its mission statement, seeks to uphold “the historic, beautiful, biblical understanding of human sexuality in doctrine, discipleship, and discipline.”
The Abide Project grew from a Zoom discussion group in late 2020. Pastors and church leaders in the group were alarmed by the decision of Neland Avenue CRC to ordain a deacon who was in a same-sex marriage, and by Classis Grand Rapids East’s lack of reaction to that decision. The group also discussed their take on the CRC’s human sexuality report, published in late October 2020. Soon, the Zoom discussion group grew to include a sea of faces, nearing the limit of 100 participants.
Deciding they needed more coordination, the group nominated a leadership team of 15 people representing specific areas of the United States and Canada. They chose the name “Abide Project,” developed a logo, and on Sept. 1, 2021, they launched a website that features regular articles by contributors. A podcast is also planned. “Dozens of people are taking up different tasks,” said Abide Project chair, Chad Steenwyk, who pastors Central Avenue CRC in Holland, Mich.
The Abide Project aims to reach people who might feel that they are alone in their traditional views about gender and sexuality, according to Steenwyk. “We don’t want anyone to sit up there like Elijah thinking they’re the only one left.”
In fact, Steenwyk asserts, “The majority in the pew hold to the traditional view of sexuality and marriage. There is broad support across the denomination connected to almost every classis.” (A classis is a regional group of congregations.)