My attention has been drawn to this video, a two minute message from the Archbishop of South Sudan and Chair of the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans (GSFA), Dr Justin Badi, in which, among other things, he calls for Lambeth 2022 to reaffirm Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.
That raises at least two interesting questions in the run up to Lambeth 2022:
1. Will the GSFA be able to turn the current script of the Conference (to not have any resolutions) on its head, and to have the Conference shift into resolution mode?
2. If Yes to 1, for any such resolution mode to result in a reaffirmation of 1.10?
I don’t know the answer to 1, though I’d wager that if a majority of bishops want to change the script, the script will be under pressure to change.
If we are in resolution mode, would we reaffirm 1.10?
Again, I imagine a majority seeking to change the script, if responding to Dr Badi’s message, would be minded to reaffirm 1.10.
But I also imagine that a significant number of bishops would likely press for a reconstituted 1.10 to be affirmed rather than the 1998 version to be reaffirmed.
If we do have a discussion with an openness on the part of all to find as much common ground as possible across the Communion, then here are the elements of a revised resolution I would like to see.
A. An affirmation that when marriage is spoken of in the Bible it is marriage between a man and a woman.
B. An affirmation that the Bible also speaks about variations to the creation “ideal” of one man/one woman being one flesh permanently - as social contexts and other conditions change, there is polygamy, concubines are taken, Deuteronomy allows for woman taken captive through war to be forcibly married (and offers a way for them to be let go if unsatisfactory wives), and in the New Testament, between the gospel of Matthew and Paul in 1 Corinthians 7, the early church finds ways to support divorce in at least some circumstances. An affirmation, that is, that the biblical people of God experienced biblical marriage through time as complex and adaptable.
C. An affirmation of pastoral care for and listening to GLBTQ++ Anglicans, including an affirmation that these Anglican sisters and brothers are found in every Anglican province.
D. An affirmation that Anglican provinces across the Communion face differing circumstances and represent diverse cultures in respect of responses to human sexuality, including differing law codes, and that each Anglican province must determine what biblical faithfulness means, in their respective contextual circumstances, in the light of A, B and C above.
E. A resolve for provinces to both listen to each other in respect of each’s determination and to hold each other to account while maintaining a commitment to not separate. (Archbishop Badi’s video message makes the point that the GSFA is committed to not leaving the Communion.)
Since writing the above I have been reading a few things which some Western Anglicans have been deciding ,,, so their progressive directions are not my progressive directions, and I can see that Lambeth is going to be, er, challenging!