Monday, 14 February 2005

InclusiveChurch calls for moratorium

InclusiveChurch has issued this press release:
Inclusive Church calls for a safe space in which gay Christians can speak

The Windsor Report has repeated the call for the Anglican Church to listen to the experience of gay men and women made at the last three Lambeth Conferences. If the church is to take this call seriously, it must create a safe environment in which people can talk. In particular, this means that clergy must be able to speak out without fear of losing their job or having other sanctions placed on them. InclusiveChurch calls for a clear and unequivocal moratorium on the disciplining of lesbian and gay clergy who wish to speak honestly about their sexuality.

The Rev’d Dr Giles Fraser, one of the founders of the movement said, ‘For nearly thirty years, the Lambeth Conference has called for the church to listen to gay and lesbian people. Yet, in many parts of the communion, this process has not begun. In many places those who speak out are attacked and persecuted. The church must make practical moves to enable gay and lesbian people to share their experience of Christ in their lives. Without making a safe space for this to happen, the promises made at Lambeth Conferences, and more recently by the Windsor Report itself, will be seen as hollow.”

Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude, part of the InclusiveChurch network, said: ‘The listening process has begun to happen in the majority of English dioceses. There are now many examples of good practice that other dioceses could learn from. It must be a process that the whole Anglican church engages in, not only in the UK but across the Communion. That means creating the right conditions for listening and putting the necessary resources in place. This is the challenge that the Windsor Report poses to the church.’

The InclusiveChurch website has also published two articles relating to Some Issues in Human Sexuality published last year:

‘Some issues in human sexuality’ - Cambridge biblical scholars critique the CoE Bishops’ report

A Response to ‘Some Issues in Human Sexuality’

Earlier articles can be found listed here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 14 February 2005 at 6:28pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: InclusiveChurch

I met Richard Kirker of LGCM in 1977 or 78 (shortly after it started up I guess), I shared my home with a man who is homosexual for some years, and have several friends who are homosexual (some in relationships, some abstainant).

But I have been convinced beyond reasonable doubt for a long time that homosexual sexual relationships are not compatible with the teachings of Christ and the Apostles.

Does that count as "listening" ? .... or do "Inclusive" Church really mean "listening until you accept we are right" ?

Posted by: Dave on Monday, 14 February 2005 at 9:34pm GMT

Listening is always good, never bad. The more raw data & experience we have to go on, the better equipped we are. This is one ingredient of open-mindedness. Another is that you havent a clue, before you begin, of what conclusion you will come to. If either party is assuming that anything 'must' be concluded, they are thereby wrong.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Tuesday, 15 February 2005 at 1:50pm GMT

Hi Christopher

Yes, mostly. But Open-Mindedness doesn't mean not knowing what we think. Nor does it mean rejecting what we formerly believed because someone else doesn't agree. It means being prepared to honestly consider NEW information, experiences etc, and make changes to what we believe if justified.

But IC et al aren't bringing anything new, just going over the same ground.

The real problem IC have is that, having listened for a long time, thought through the implications of the concept of sexual orientation, considered people's experiences, and having studied the theology of the biblical texts in the light of all this, many of us are convinced that Inclusive Church are wrong!

Posted by: Dave on Tuesday, 15 February 2005 at 10:55pm GMT

Dave, Well, some of us have gone through the same process and concluded that IC is correct, too. So, what can we realistically *do* about this ?

My experience is that the vast majority of mainstream and "progressive" Anglicans would allow you to be part of the AC as well (not all, mind you, but enough that this minority's opinion wouldn't matter). But what about you ? Are people with my viewpoint allowed to be "in communion" with you ? or are we to be expurgated ?

Oh, and to Christopher Shell's comment above: Who are you and what have you done with Dr. Shell ?!? Sorry, couldn't resist ;) <-- humor alert

Posted by: Simeon on Wednesday, 16 February 2005 at 3:21pm GMT

Ahh but, according to the liberal model, you're supposed to either have listened, thought things through and therefore agree with them, or to disagree because of hate, prejudice and ignorance.

As for the question of whether or not I should be allowed to continue to be in the AC, because I think it is sinful for men to have sex with men.. That liberals even entertain such questions shows how narrow and fundamentalist many of them have become.

Surely the attitude we should all have is that people are Christians if they believe and trust in God through Jesus Christ, and show it by being baptised and allowing themselves to be taught to obey everything He has commanded us (well, at least try to) ?

Posted by: Dave on Saturday, 19 February 2005 at 12:24am GMT
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