Sunday, October 08, 2006

From "Changing Attitude" England

Nice piece by our UK colleague, Colin Coward, responding to the Kigali Communique just posted over on the Changing Attitude website. Here's a sample to get you going:

The meeting of the Global South group in Kigali approved the document The Road to Lambeth. The document espouses Lambeth 1.10 as authoritative for Anglican policy towards LGBT people. It reminds us that Lambeth 1.10 states ‘homosexual practice is “contrary to Scripture” and “cannot be advised.”’

It ignores Lambeth 1.10 section 3 which commits the bishops ‘to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and … assure[s] them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ’ and section 4 which ‘calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals’.

the bishops indicated that homosexual practice violates the first principle of the Communion’s Quadrilateral and indeed the fundamental basis of Anglican Christianity (as expressed in Articles VI and XX). They were saying: “Here is an issue on which we cannot compromise without losing our identity as a Christian body.” Such was the understanding of the Global South bishops, and hence they were taken aback when Resolution 1.10 was immediately ignored and denounced by bishops of the Episcopal Church.’

The Episcopal Church was by no means alone in reacting against Lambeth 1.10. The passing of Resolution 1.10 was immediately followed by A Pastoral Statement to Lesbian and Gay Anglicans issued on August 5 and signed by 185 bishops from 14 Provinces including 9 Primates. One of the bishops was the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Bishop of Monmouth. [I think I've heard of him!]

It is as true (and equally unhelpful) to maintain that the majority of Provinces immediately ignored Lambeth 1.10 because they refused, and still refuse, to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and assure them that they are loved by God. Global South Anglicans have repeatedly spun the falsehood of the Episcopal Church’s denunciation of 1.10 until it has become accepted as the truth.

‘the Windsor Report was considered a vehicle by which the offending churches might realize the enormity of their actions and turn back’.

The Windsor Report may have been considered such a vehicle by the Global South but that wasn’t part of the mandate from the Archbishop of Canterbury given to the Lambeth Commission.

Due to this breakdown of discipline, we are not sure that we can in good conscience continue to spend our time, our money and our prayers on behalf of a body that proclaims two Gospels, the Gospel of Christ and the Gospel of Sexuality.

Changing Attitude England proclaims one Gospel, the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are offended by the implication that we proclaim a Gospel of Sexuality and it is unworthy of the authors of The Road to Lambeth to impute such a lie about us. We ask the Church to be honest and truthful about sexuality - everyone’s sexuality. The Church is caught by an obsession with genital expressions of sex and is obsessive about homosexuality. We are working for a holy, integrated Christian understanding of God’s divine gift of sexual pleasure expressed in committed, loving relationships. The Church of England’s concern at the high incidence of domestic abuse within marriage highlights but one example of the Church’s failure to help Christians express their sexuality in holy and on-abusive ways.

Here, here! Cheerio! Spot-on, I say! Read it all here ... and give thanks for laborers in the vineyard "across the pond" like Colin and others committed to changing attitudes ... and living the Gospel!

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