The year was the last time the Lambeth Conference spoke plainly.
That it did so was something of a miracle. These plans were foiled by an alliance of Western conservatives who had seen where the sexuality agenda was leading and courageous Global South leaders who stood up and said No.
I was present at Lambeth and wrote this evaluation of its key Resolution I. The Anglican Communion, in the providence of God, has been thrust into an identity crisis. The planting and growth to independence of daughter churches throughout the world stretched but did not break this identity, as the Lambeth Quadrilateral, use of locally adapted Prayer Books, and decennial Lambeth Conferences built on the original foundation. Anglicanism has had mixed in coping the modernist critique of Christianity.
The differences between West and South came to a head at the Lambeth Conference of While the Conference retained much of the civility of the first Lambeth tea party, the issue of homosexuality ignited a kind of Boston Tea Party, with bishops from the South demanding the right to express their understanding of Biblical teaching on the subject.
The resulting Resolution I. Nevertheless the Resolution has evoked great hostility and non-compliance in the West. The media knew it. The bishops, liberal and conservative, from the West and from the Third World, knew it. The vote on homosexuality was to be the defining moment of the international Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops.
Shortly before he raised his hand in favor of Resolution I. Perhaps his wish will be partially fulfilled: But Lambeth conference 2019 homosexuality and christianity partially, because homosexuality was the presenting symptom of an identity crisis that had to be dealt with in order for the Anglican Communion to speak with credibility on these other issues and prepare itself to present the Gospel in the next century. The deeper question facing the Communion was whether Anglicans hold certain truths to be fundamental.
An earlier Lambeth Conference, addressing the sexual revolution of Sigmund Freud, had not flinched from stating an unequivocal position:. Recognizing that to live a pure and chaste life before and after marriage is, for both sexes, the unchangeable Christian standard, attainable and attained through the help of the Holy Spirit by men and women of every age, the Conference desires to proclaim the universal obligation of this standard, and its vital importance as an essential condition of human happiness.
LambethResolution If Lambeth was correct that marriage is the exclusive and unchangeable Christian standard, then those who repudiate this standard do not stand in the middle way but are outside the bounds of historic Christian and Lambeth conference 2019 homosexuality and christianity teaching.
The question facing the bishops in was whether the historic standard was changeable. And if this teaching were changeable, what other unchangeable doctrines could be revised by some region or church of the Communion?
The sexuality issue forced the bishops to ask an even deeper question: The answer given in the past has been clear: The Anglican Communion can condone or endorse a sexual practice that is forbidden in both Old and New Testaments only by changing its historic foundation. On August 6, the bishops at Lambeth answered the question by passing a strong, clear statement on human sexuality by a majority of to 70, with 45 abstaining.
By this act, they restated the historic teaching of the Christian Church and reaffirmed the foundation of that teaching in the revealed will of God in Holy Scripture. It invites the kind of conversation that begins with a moral compass: The Lambeth Conference had its defining moment when it passed Resolution 1.
Now we in Lambeth conference 2019 homosexuality and christianity Episcopal Church face our defining moment, whether to embrace this teaching or to spurn it. The subsection on human sexuality was the most volatile and publicized group at Lambeth, reflecting the deep divisions on homosexuality that exist between some Western bishops and the Third World bishops Bishop Spong, Lambeth conference 2019 homosexuality and christianity instance, was in this subsection.
Hence the subsection report, unlike the Resolution 1. Nevertheless, when all was said and done, the subsection presented the Conference with the resolution that was finally passed with clarifying amendments. Significantly, the subsection did not issue a minority report.