In 1908, during the reign of Edward VII, the issue of divorce was first raised.
In 1920, contraception crept into Lambeth discussions.
At the 1930 confab, the issue of abortion was broached and the marriage bed was to be considered undefiled although married couples were allowed to space pregnancies.
In 1948, the Lambeth bishops were first faced with women’s ordination by the wartime ordination of Florence Li Tim-Oi in Hong Kong.
In 1958, Lambeth again dealt with birth control usage between a married couple.
In 1968, the battle of ordination of women to the diaconate heated up.
By 1978, women’s ordination was dead in the water as the bell had been rung and there would be no backtracking because The Episcopal Church had pushed the envelope in ordaining the Philadelphia Eleven and the Washington Four in 1975. These were followed by six ordinations in Canada in 1976, and another five priestesses created in New Zealand during 1977.
The 1988 Lambeth decried the growing gap between biblical moral teaching and modern sexual practice both within and outside the church.
But it was in 1998 that the subject of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion came to the forefront, and has stayed there through Lambeth 2008 and now at Lambeth 2022. Lambeth 1998 was also the first time that women bishops joined the Conference table. Today there are 97 women bishops at the 2022 Lambeth Conference table.
Repeatedly, Lambeth Conferences affirmed and reaffirmed biblical teaching on sexuality based on the solid teaching outlined in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral which still stands firm. Heterosexuality is the scriptural norm.
In 1888, the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral was hammered into place securing that the Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary for salvation; the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds are the sufficient statements of Christian faith. It defined Baptism and Holy Communion as the two Sacraments instituted by Christ; and the embracing of the historic episcopate while continuing in the line of Apostolic Succession.
The 1930 Lambeth Conference issued 12 separate resolutions on marriage and sex as a part of the church’s life and witness to the community. The Conference saw abortion as “abhorrent” and called sex outside of marriage as a “grievous sin.”
One hundred years after the implementation of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, the 1988 Lambeth Conference reaffirmed the stand taken by the 1978 Lambeth. That Lambeth called for the Christian ideals of faithfulness and chastity both within and outside marriage to be lived out and emphasized that heterosexuality as the scriptural norm.
However, the word “homosexual” first crept into Lambeth documents starting in 1978.
“We recognise the need for deep and dispassionate study of the question of homosexuality, which would take seriously both the teaching of Scripture and the results of scientific and medical research,” the 1978 Lambeth bishops wrote. “The Church, recognising the need for pastoral concern for those who are homosexual, encourages dialogue with them.”
The definitive statement on human sexuality in the Anglican Communion was issued by the 1998 Lambeth in its Resolution 1.10 which calls “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture,” it also “upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union” as consistent with scriptural teaching and “advises against the legitimising or blessing of same-sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same-gender unions.”
Once the aspect of dialogue entered the Lambeth Conference lexicon, dialogue has occured ever since with the collective homosexual and lesbian voices getting louder. Those voices supporting the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and Lambeth 1:10 are continually shouted down by the increasingly more militant and growing Pride Revolution.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams convened the 2008 Lambeth Conference. He saw Lambeth 1.10 as the deadly third rail. So, he preferred to engage in “Indaba,” an informal African method of on-going discernment or discussion without ever reaching a firm conclusion.
But each year that Indaba continues within the Anglican Communion, the Gay Pride voices get louder and louder and louder and more strident. The demonstrations and the marches get bolder. Pride flags fly from churches and rainbow colors drape the altars and are Incorporated in the vestments.
Not only are the resolutions of the various Lambeths ignored, but the Word of God as written by St. Paul is trampled.
“Flee from sexual immorality,” St. Paul exhorted. “Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (I Corinthians 6:18-20)
To flee from something is to run away from it because of an imminent danger to life and limb or soul. One flees from a burning building. One flees from rising flood waters. One flees from the sound of gunfire. If someone is smart, they will flee from sin.
Even the Holy Family had to flee from an enraged King Herod who was intent on killing the Christ Child.
“Now when they (the Three Wiseman) had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the Child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’” (Matt. 2:13)
Joseph instantly obeyed the angel and he, taking Mary and Jesus, fled in the dark of the night to Egypt.
“But thou, O man of God, flee these things (the love of money); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” (I Timothy 6:11)
“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (II Timothy 2:22)
“Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry …” (I Corinthians 10:14)
Even the devil will flee when faced with obedience to God.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he — Satan — will flee from you. (James 4:7)
The bishops of Lambeth are being fed pablum. They are asked to discuss Sustainable Development Goals, explore the oppression of the LGBTQ community, cozy up to the gay and lesbian bishops, look at the environmental emergency and the climate crisis and change, attempt to pursue peace, consider gender bias, study biodiversity, seek to achieve NetZero carbon emissions … and the list goes on.
Will any of these burning social justice issues bring people into the front door of the church, much less lead them to Jesus Christ Crucified, Buried and Resurrected?
Unfortunately, until the Voice of God, speaking through the Scriptures is heard and adhered to, future Lambeth Conferences will continue to be about sex, gender bias and NetZero carbon emissions.
Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline
IT’S ALL ABOUT SEX!
It’s about same-sex!
By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
July 31, 2022
It’s about sex. Actually, it’s about same-sex when it should be about the Cross.
What is “it”?
“It” is the focus of Lambeth Conference since the latter part of the 20th century with the increasing attention to homosexual issues disguised as “human sexuality” concerns.
Earlier Lambeths gently skirted the issues of sexuality owing in part to the fact that the first four Lambeth Conferences were held during the strait-laced Victorian era. At that time, the very discussion of sexual matters was a very delicate issue — enough to send women to their fainting couches.
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