Text of Lambeth Conference
Resolution on Sexuality

Here is the full text of the sexuality resolution approved by the bishops at Lambeth on Wednesday:

This Conference:

(a) commends to the Church the subsection report on human sexuality;

(b) 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;

(c) recognizes that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God's transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships, and we commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual people. We wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptized, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ;

(d) while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialization and commercialization of sex;

(e) cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing of same-sex union, nor the ordination of those involved in same-gender unions;

(f) requests the Primates and the ACC to establish a means of monitoring the work done on the subject of human sexuality in the Communion and to share statements and resources among us;

(g) notes the significance of the Kuala Lumpur Statement and the concerns expressed in resolutions IV.26, V.1, V.10, V.23 and V.35 on the authority of Scripture in matters of marriage and sexuality and asks the Primates and the ACC to include them in their monitoring process.

Supporting documents

The Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality

What follows is the text of the South to South meeting resolution, unanimously adopted by 80 delegates representing the Anglican Church of the South in Kuala Lumpur under the chairmanship of the Archbishop of Nigeria. The churches that delegates represented contain between 80 and 90 percent of the Anglicans in the world. This statement was unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed by the members of the EFAC TRN Consultation as well on Thursday, April 10, 1997.

1. God's glory and loving purposes have been revealed in the creation of humankind. (Rom. 1:18; Gen. 1:26, 27). Among the multiplicity of his gifts we are blessed with our sexuality.

2. Since the Fall (Gen. 3), life has been impaired and God's purposes spoilt. Our fallen state has affected every sphere of our being, which includes our sexuality. Sexual deviation has existed in every time and in most cultures. Jesus' teaching about lust in the Sermon of the Mount (Matt. 5:27-30) makes it clear that sexual sin is a real danger and temptation to us all.

3. It is, therefore, with an awareness of our own vulnerability to sexual sin that we express our profound concern about recent developments relating to Church discipline and moral teaching in some provinces in the North -- specifically, the ordination of practicing homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions.

4. While acknowledging the complexities of our sexual nature and the strong drives it places within us, we are quite clear about God's will in this area which is expressed in the Bible.

5. The Scripture bears witness to God's will regarding human sexuality, which is to be expressed only within the lifelong union of a man and a woman in (holy) matrimony.

6. The Holy Scriptures are clear in teaching that all sexual promiscuity is sin. We are convinced that this includes homosexual practices between men or women, as well as heterosexual relationships outside marriage.

7. We believe that the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Holy Scriptures about human sexuality is of great help to Christians as it provides clear boundaries.

8. We find no conflict between clear biblical teaching and sensitive pastoral care. Repentance precedes forgiveness and is part of the healing process. To heal spiritual wounds in God's name we need his wisdom and truth. We see this in the ministry of Jesus, for example his response to the adulterous woman, "...neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more" (John 8:11).

9. We encourage the Church to care for all those who are trapped in their sexual brokenness and to become the channel of Christ's compassion and love towards them. We wish to stand alongside and welcome them into a process of being whole and restored within our communities of faith. We would also affirm and resource those who exercise a pastoral ministry in this area.

10. We are deeply concerned that the setting aside of biblical teaching in such actions as the ordination of practicing homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions calls into question the authority of the Holy Scriptures. This is totally unacceptable to us.

11. This leads us to express concern about mutual accountability and interdependence within our Anglican Communion. As provinces and dioceses we need to learn how to seek each other's counsel and wisdom in a spirit of true unity, and to reach a common mind before embarking on radical changes to Church discipline and moral teaching.

12. We live in a global village and must be more aware that the way we act in one part of the world can radically affect the mission and witness of the Church in another.

Resolution IV.26

This Conference, noting that no province of the Anglican Communion has voted to change the traditional ethical teaching on homosexuality, in order to have and promote credibility with our brothers and sisters in New Churches and Independent Christian Groups, receives and recognizes the Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality as a contribution of the "South-South Encounter" to the Anglican Communion.

Resolution V.1 Central and East Africa Region

On the Authority of Scriptures in Matters of Marriage and Sexuality

This Conference:

(a) believes in the primary authority of the Scriptures, according to their own testimony; as supported by our own historic tradition. The Scriptural revelation of Jesus the Christ must continue to illuminate, challenge and transform cultures, structures, systems and ways of thinking; especially those secular views that predominate our society today;

(b) consequently, reaffirms the traditional teaching upholding faithfulness between a husband and wife in marriage, and celibacy for those who are single;

(c) noting that the Holy Scriptures are clear in teaching that all sexual promiscuity is a sin, is convinced that this includes homosexual practices, between persons of the same sex, as well as heterosexual relationships outside marriage;

(d) believes that in this regard, as in others, all our ordained Ministers must set a wholesome and credible example. Those persons who practice homosexuality and live in promiscuity, as well as those Bishops who knowingly ordain them or encourage these practices, act contrary to the Scriptures and the teaching of the Church. We call upon them to repent;

(e) respects as persons and seeks to strengthen compassion, pastoral care, healing, correction and restoration for all who suffer or err through homosexual or other kind of sexual brokenness;

(f) affirms that it is therefore the responsibility of the Church to lead to repentance all those who deviate from the orthodox teaching of the Scriptures and to assure them of God's forgiveness, hope and dignity.

Resolution V.10 Latin American Region

Traditional Sexual Ethics

This Conference recognizes the importance of strengthening Christian family values, and thereby reaffirms traditional Anglican sexual ethics.

Resolution V.23 South East Asia Region

On Kuala Lumpur Statement

This Conference receives the Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality with gratitude as an authentic expression of Anglican moral norms.

Resolution V.35 West Africa Region

On Homosexuality

This Conference:

(a) noting that --

(i) the Word of God has established the fact that God created man and woman and blessed their marriage;

(ii) many parts of the Bible condemn homosexuality as a sin;

(iii) homosexuality is one of the many sins that Scripture has condemned;

(iv) some African Christians in Uganda were martyred in the 19th century for refusing to have homosexual relations with the king because of their faith in the Lord Jesus and their commitment to stand by the Word of God as expressed in the Bible on the subject;

(b) stands on the Biblical authority and accepts that homosexuality is a sin which could only be adopted by the church if it wanted to commit evangelical suicide.

United Voice (www.episcopalian.org/eu/uv) is the national newspaper of Episcopalians United. Distribute freely, with credit to United Voice for its reporting.

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