I am aware that many Bishops are unhappy with the events surrounding a meeting in 1998 and the creation of a resolution on homosexuality - Lambeth 1.10, which uses the controversial phrase, "while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture". This blog is often a method for me to try to educate myself about what is going on and has gone on in the church I love. I am a believer that my family history impacts me as a person, and likewise church history also impacts me. Hence, it is important to be aware of these things.
There is a wound surrounding Lambeth 1.10 and this is the reason, from Archbishop Njongonkulu (Modern Church website).
During the first two weeks of our three weeks together, Bishops spent considerable time working on particular questions. I chaired Section 1, which had the overarching theme of 'Called to Full Humanity'. Some 200 bishops opted for this Section, of whom 60 signed up to consider human sexuality. Let me tell you, these 60 spanned the broadest spectrum imaginable, from the hardest line conservatives to the most radical liberals!
Someone calculated that we devoted 800 bishop hours to this thorny subject. It was the most difficult group of the whole conference - there was huge pain and division as discussions began. But 800 bishop hours later, we had thrashed out a common position. The result was the 11 carefully crafted paragraphs of Theme 3 of the Section 1 Report...
We recommended that the Conference Resolution should not go into details, but merely accept and affirm our report, and refer it to the Provinces for discussion. The rest of the 200 Bishops of the Section agreed with this approach, recognising that it resulted from refining in a real crucible of fire.
Now this is where clumsiness prevailed. The Archbishop of Canterbury (Carey) found himself under considerable pressure for there to be a fuller resolution on homosexuality. Contrary to all the usual normal procedures for handling resolutions, a draft was presented, and then debated and substantially amended in an hour-and-a-half plenary meeting, of over 600 bishops, spouses, observers, guests, and all in the full glare of the cameras.
Personally, I am convinced that scripture does not reject homosexual practice. There was no possibility of marriage between people of the same sex in Biblical times, and hence the homosexual sex in the Bible would be extra-marital and as the Bible advocates faithfulness, it would equally condemn homosexual or heterosexual sex that is extra-marital. Sometimes the creation story is used to suggest that as God created Adam and Eve to be together then this is the model that is expected. If we take this line then we must equally condemn people who choose to be single and well as those who are homosexual.