Letters From a 14 Year Old: Dear Synod, about sexuality...
Written by Kathlyn Copley
Dear CRC Synod 2023,
I got the honor to visit part of your meetings with my Mom this year. It was during Monday and part of Tuesday. Mom’s excuse was this was an opportunity for her to mentor me and “pass the baton” to the next generation. Or something like that.
But still, it was a good trip and I’m happy I went. I learned a lot of new phrases, like “call the question”, “friendly amendment”, and “lets celebrate - with a litany.” 😆
I’m also glad I went because I met a lot of you, (since my mom seemed to know everyone in the room). All of you were very courteous and kind even if you have a different opinion than what I have.
Watching your meetings in person, on Monday and Tuesday morning, everything seemed to go smoothly. I got to see how you gave reports and how you cast votes. More importantly I got to see you, people from all around North America, come together to sing in one voice to our God (which was very beautiful). I also saw how you are all concerned for our church; you went up to microphones and voiced your thoughts for all to hear and to learn from.
Then when watching at home on Thursday, I saw as you gained more tension and restlessness in your group. But I’m glad for the whole experience to see you in action, and understand how our denomination decides things.
So thank you, Synod 2023.
But now please hear of some opinions I have about specific issues I heard you talk about, and hear me out as one of that group that I see you dearly want in the church. I still have lots to learn, but as a 14 year old I will voice my opinion on two very important issues involving my generation. I know you are no longer meeting and what is done is done, but this is what I would have said in that great meeting place about these two debates: the virtual church and human sexuality. In this letter I will start with the issue of sexuality. In my next letter, I’ll write about virtual churches.
Starting with the issue on everybody’s mind, (for all of my middle-school years and what brought tension on Wednesday and Thursday), was concerning what we believe about the best way to go with sex. With this issue we have seen that there is so much to say (in your experience even a full day and a half couldn’t cover it) so I know I can’t cover everything I would want to, especially in only a 1000 word essay.
But I want to say one thing: that one reason we need to stick with biblical sexuality is that my generation wants the truth.
I heard lots of people say that the best way to get to kids and young people is by affirming the Culture's beliefs on these issues. I mean meet the kids where they are at, right?
But no, what kids want is truth; we want something we can lean on and it won’t let us down. We want something to believe when times are hard (like in the pandemic).
If the church accepts this idea about “love is love”, it won't get kids into churches or to stay in churches. I mean why go to church if it is exactly like the Culture? Cultures come and go but God's Word is forever.
We kids have gone through a lot, and TikTok tells us things like “be your own truth” and “you do you.” These answers don’t help. We want something firm, not wishy-washy. That's what it seems the Bible is becoming. If we say the church for 2000 years has been reading the Bible wrong on sex and sin, what is going to stop people from saying we are reading the whole Bible wrong?
If we say it's okay to not repent over this sin, we start rejecting the whole gospel which is “repent and believe.” The whole Bible shows us what sinners we are and our need for a Savior. Get rid of the sin means get rid of repentance; get rid of repentance means get rid of our Savior; get rid of our Savior means get rid of the gospel; get rid of the gospel means get rid of the Church, and that, of course, means get rid of the CRC.
Synod, I know the CRC wants to love. I received love. A lot. I was taught and shown love in Children's Worship, GEMS and, still am, at youth group. The CRC wants to love, and Jesus came down out of love to show us how. But Jesus shows us loving doesn't mean affirming, especially when it is affirming a wrong sexual desire. When we went to church, we all humbly bowed down and asked for forgiveness from all our sins; what makes the sin of LGBTQ+ so different that we can agree to disagree on whether it needs repentance?
If you want to get my generation into the church, we’d need to stop hearing the word of God out of the mouth of the culture and hear it again from the mouth of God.
I’ve seen trends come and go - trends like fidget spinners, Shopkins, flossing, and Among Us (if you even know what that is 😅). I think the culture is like a trend; it comes and goes, but God's word is forever. Just like Jesus said; “Heaven and Earth will pass away but my words will not pass away” Luke 21: 33.
This is what we want - an everlasting truth.
(And we want face-to-face friends too. But that’s for my
Thanks for listening.
The 14 Year Old
Kathlyn Copley is a member of Trinity CRC in Ames, Iowa and will be entering high school this fall. She loves drumming, longboarding, hiking, her family, and her faith.