First resolutions from Special Synod

( [email protected] ) Nov 10, 2003 11:40 AM EST

The Special Synod this evening passed two major proposals, one re-affirming the position on sexual ethics it stated in 1991 and 1996, and a new proposal which notes the original statements and expands on them further.

Please note that these resolutions have not yet been confirmed.

Proposal 1 was passed by formal majority, 193 votes to 110.

Proposal 1. That the Synod affirms Resolution

1:117 of the Queensland Synod:

(a) Affirms human sexuality is a gift from God

(b) Teaches in appropriate ways a positive and joyous celebration of our sexuality in Christian marriage.

(c) Proclaims the forgiving nature of God.

(d) Recognizes the need for responsible sexual behaviour in the light of human weakness and sin.

(e) Points out that sexual activity outside of loving, equal, committed married relationships is having a damaging effect on many individuals, families and society.

(f) Deplores all sexual abuse and sexual violence which occurs within families and marriage, as well as in other circumstances, and calls on the church to listen to, care for and stand with the victims and all parties involved.

(g) Holds that responsible sexual behaviour is expressed by celibacy in singleness and loving faithfulness between a man and a woman in marriage.

(h) Affirms the need for showing compassion to homosexual men and women, especially during times of injustice and ill-health.

(i) Holds that a practicing homosexual lifestyle is incompatible with Christian principles.

(j) Rejects judgmental attitudes but affirms high moral standards in sexual ethics and witnesses to the renewing grace of God in this as in all areas of human behaviour.?br>

Proposal 8 was passed by formal majority. Clauses 3 (g) and (i) required a secret ballot. The votes were 220 to 94 for clause (g), and 201 to 110 for clause (i).

Proposal 8. Humanity and Sexuality

1. Affirms that the UCA lives and works within the faith and unity of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, and that any determination by the UCA on matters of doctrine and/or the ordering of its life and witness must take account of this reality;

2. Notes Synod Resolution 91:117 which was noted in 96:112; and Synod Resolution 96:113; and

3. (a) Affirms that sexuality is integral to being human as created by God;

(b) Affirms

(i) that God founds marriage for the purpose of fulfilling God’s will for humans created in the image of God for relationship to each other and God,

(ii) that Christian marriage is a sign of the relationship of Christ and the church;

(c) Encourages the church in Queensland to explore and explicate these realities in (b)(i) and (ii) in ways in which it does its theology, liturgy and pastoral care;

(d) Affirms that for Christians a violation of the marriage relationship is a violation against Christ (noting that violation here does not mean separation or divorce);

(e) Recognising that human beings exploit each other'S personhood by casual indiscriminate sexual relationships, affirms that the word of Christ’s forgiveness creates the possibility of new life;

(f) Deplores all sexual abuse, exploitation, and violence within marriage, within families, and within the wider community, and resolves to listen to, and to care for, both victims and other parties involved;

(g) Affirms that Christians are called and set free to live lives of celibacy in singleness and loving faithfulness in marriage;

(h) Affirms its conviction that the rupture in the relationship between God and humankind, which has come about solely through sin, demands both the repentance of humankind and the recognition that true reconciliation may be found only in Jesus Christ;

(i) Recognises that homosexual practice is one sign of many of a disordered creation, but also affirms the need for showing compassion toward homosexual people, especially during times of injustice ; and

(j) Declares its utter reliance on the ability of God in Christ to give life, to create new life in us, and to fulfil God's purposes for creation and humanity.