Anglican Bishops at the 1998 Lambeth Conference committed themselves and their churches, through Resolution I.10, ”to listen to the experience of homosexual persons”. At the time it was made clear by bishops of the Global South that any programme of ‘listening’ was to help persons experiencing a homosexual orientation to live in conformity to the churches quoted understanding that homosexual practice was ‘incompatible with Scripture’. It is clear that those participating in the ‘listening process’ are expected to suspend all critical faculties; the aim is to arrive at some understanding of the other persons ‘world and thought’ and an empathy with the person. Listening is a vital part of communication and genuine and vital Christian community. However, the New Testament is clear that there are times when we should not listen to another; when even admitting a person’s presence into our home would mean we ‘share in their wicked work’.
In the face of redefining marriage to now include couples of the same sex, it seems unlikely that we will be able to arrest the ongoing erosion of marriage, when over the course of the last fifty years we have been systematically dismantling the very protections that have brought us to this point. The current moral consensus simply does not appear to support a return to more modest public policies regarding marriage and the natural family and the church is largely compromised. Despite the present futility, I do believe we should always strive-while we still can-to pass legislative measures that promote the well being of individuals and society.
How exactly does the world shape us into its image? I recently asked my eight-year-old daughter a question, and she replied, "Whatever." I asked her where she learned to respond to others' questions in this way. Her response: "Everywhere."