We seek to resist attempts to make the church more narrow and exclusive, and to promote serious study, dialogue and reflection.
People attracted mainly to the same sex have made a significant contribution to the life of the church through the ages, and in recent decades have become more visible. In many countries, there has been growing acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people, and awareness of the damage done by prejudice and discrimination.
Debates around the theology of sexuality have, for the past half-century or so, focused largely on gender and homosexuality. Numerous scholars have contributed to this. Church historians, too, have considered the meaning of same-sex intimacy among Christians in mediaeval times and before. Scripture, tradition and reason have been crucial in addressing the opportunities and challenges arising from the diversity in creation.
In the past couple of decades, some church leaders have taken up the issue of homosexuality as a test-case for whether their particular view of what the Bible teaches can be imposed, in place of traditional spiritual and theological diversity. There has been fierce opposition to appointing senior clergy who are open about being in same-sex partnerships. Yet many believe that unwillingness to include LGBTQI people as full members of the church or even listen seriously to the arguments for inclusion, is contrary to the Gospel.
Resources for Sexual Inclusivity
- Beyond Inclusion: two films that tell the stories of two gay Christians: Lizzie Lowe and John Bell http://stjamesandemmanuel.org/beyond-inclusion/
- Understanding the New Testament and Sexuality by Steve Chalke https://vimeo.com/224160031
- Institute for Welcoming Resources http://www.welcomingresources.org/communityorg.htm
- Room For All https://roomforall.com/
- Queer Theology https://www.queertheology.com