This year marks the 20th anniversary of the momentous resolution concerning human sexuality adopted by the 1998 Lambeth Conference of bishops from around the Anglican Communion. In essence, Resolution I.10 reiterated our long-held doctrine that only marriage is the God-ordained place for sexual relations. Hence one of the opening paragraphs of Resolution I.10 states:
[This conference], in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;
The phrase “in view of the teaching of Scripture” is critical. It is the teaching of God’s word that must direct our lives, and despite its counter-cultural perspective in today’s society – as it was in the first century – our God-given sexual desires are not to be satisfied in casual liaisons or adulterous relationships, nor given expression through homosexual relationships, either male or female. For this reason, the resolution goes on to reject “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture”. Yet it also endorses a pastoral response to those who are same-sex attracted and the need to care for those who struggle to be faithful to Christ.
The resolution, which passed overwhelmingly, reflects the doctrine of Christ. Furthermore, the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Australia affirmed similar teaching about human sexuality in Faithfulness in Service, the national code of conduct of all clergy and church workers.
Let us be candid. This is not how the Western world sees things….