The Anglican Church is found worldwide. By the virtuousness of being a planetary Communion, it has been identified with many ethical issues due to diversity complexnesss of traditions, imposts, cultural norms and different Bible reading. One of the important and pressing ethical issues is homosexualism. The preverence of homosexualism is a menace to the continuance of the establishment following the divisions that has characterized it ( Grove, 2008: 208 ) . Despite such menaces, some sectors of the Communion are comfy with homosexualism. But the Church in African, though with different perceptual experiences, position homosexualism as against the Biblical principles and the traditional instruction of the church. Hence the demand for pastoral attack.
In this position, hence, the description and analysis of homosexualism will include definition, causes, contentions, Lambeth ‘s declarations, and Church ‘s response in Africa. I will besides compose my contemplation and so decision.
DEFINITION OF HOMOSEXUALITY:
Sexual activity is chiefly considered as holding intercourse ; and homosexualism happens to fall under this act. Sexual activity, a God- ordained gift that expresses, intensifies and consolidates an sole relationship between a female married woman and a male hubby, has been fragmented into about three dimensions. First, there is heterosexual-sexual fondness between females and males. Second, it is bisexual- sexual attractive force to both males and females and the 3rd point, which is the chief focal point of this paper, is homosexuality-a sexual attractive force between individuals of the same sex. This sexual attractive force can be between males ( homosexuals ) or females ( tribades ) . ( Wehmeier, 2006: 1339, 701, 137, 717 ) .
Same sexual Acts of the Apostless have individualities as K. Ward wrote that homosexualism in societies including Africa exists as transgenerational, transgenderal and classless. Therefore sing the age, the younger takes the inactive functions in the relationship, the 2nd requires releasing of the sexual individuality and frocks in a female manner. The 3rd class involves common interchanging of functions and wonts between the two if they are of the same age ( Ward, 2002: 87 ) . Having said that, I look at the possible causes of homosexualism as follows:
Biologically, homosexualism is genetically motivated. It is an in-born, changeless and orientation-born with fondness to a peculiar sex ; inclinational behavior. But environment and religious has an consequence on the homosexuals ( raising ) ( Russell, 2004: 34 ) . Homosexuals besides indulge in homosexualism for favors, protection, nutrient, and vesture and of class friendly relationship and fondness ( Ward, 2002:9 ) . However, homosexualism is characterized by many contentions.
This subdivision comprises of three parts:
a ) . What the homosexuals say about themselves ;
Sexual activity is an look of love. “ It is a human sexual penchant practiced by all races and all peoples across clip and infinite ” ( Ward, 2002:100 ) . It is culturally normal for them. Races, clip, infinite, regulations, ordinances, principles or instructions do non adhere it. Furthermore, they are God ‘s image, loved by Jesus and know that they are marginalized merely as the castaway in the clip of Jesus. They besides draw a bead oning for engagement in the services of the church like homosexual Bishop Robinson.
Thinking on their behalf, it could be possible that relationships between Ruth and Naomi ( Ruth 1:6 ) David and Jonathan ( 2 Samuel 1:6 ) and Jesus with the adherent he loved would warrant themselves to be homophiles. But others have different perceptual experiences.
B ) . The perceptual experience of the anti-gays ;
Gays avoid duties and letdowns towards the opposite sex. Male-to-male relationship is cheaper than male-to-female matter because economic system is bad and endurance is difficult. So, they are homosexuals because of societal conditions. Same sex pattern is unAfrican. It does non suit into norms of an African community and does non seek for the common good of the community ( Groves, 2008: 208 ) . Biblically, it is sin. It is disorder, unnatural and incorrect ( Russell, 2004: 31 ) . It is the manifestation of wickedness.
degree Celsius ) . The Biblical perceptual experience on homosexualism ;
The Bible disagrees with homosexualism but supports heterosexual as explained above. The Bible condemns it as seen in Leviticus 18:22 ; 20:13 ; Romans 1: 24-27 ; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ; 1 Timothy 1:9-10 ( Ferguson, 1988: 638-639 ) . The Scriptures are used as an ethical usher and authorization though its great importance has been misunderstood as some have yielded to the satisfaction of the flesh ( Galatians 5:17,19-21 ) . Homosexuality was hence discussed at the Lambeth Conference.
LAMBETH ‘S Resolution:
This is the conference of all Anglican Bishops worldwide that has been run intoing decadely since 1867 to discourse assorted maters of the Communion ( Chapman, 2006: 5 ) . At least eight hundred Anglican bishops at the Lambeth conference of 1998, tackled the issue of homosexualism and resolved that this sexual activity was against the Biblical instructions and tradition of the church. The accent was on the attachment on the demands of the Biblical instructions on sexual ethical motives. It was resolved that homophiles should be excommunicated, but it farther concluded that, being the church, there was a pastoral responsibility ; to love, forgive, evangelise, and advocate the unrepentant ( Ward, 2002: 82 & A ; 84 ) . Hence, different responses.
RESPONSE IN AFRICA:
Homosexuality has received diverse and complex Christian responses in Africa ( Ward, 2002: 82 ) . The graphic tenseness in reacting to it was exhibited at the Lambeth Conference of 1998 as Ward decidedly puts it, “ It was noticed that the harshest attitude towards homosexualism came fromaˆ¦Nigeria and Ugandaaˆ¦Bishops of Southern Africa by and large spoke with a more broad generousness ” ( Ward, 2002: 85 ) . This is the place of the Church on homosexualism as portrayed by the Bishops of the North and East Africa and the two Church Provinces of Southern and Central Africa. The church in Central and Southern Africa has gotten its place due to its Anglo-Catholic background that is broad while the church in East and North Africa takes a conservative place due to evangelical background.
Ward besides brings a comparatively of import point as he says that before homosexualism was “ Unknownaˆ¦Arabs were blamed for presenting the pattern in Africa because traditionally, Africans were expected to get married and bear kids ” ( Ward, 2002: 86 ) . Sexual activity is by and large seen as heterosexual relation-a agencies to reproduction ( Genesis 1: 28 ) . Hence, homosexualism has been condemned because of fright of human expiration from the face of the Earth. But it is of import to cognize that some homosexuals are both hetero and gay, they are married and have kids. They really marry to avoid shame. It brings embarrassments that is why it is being stigmatized as a ‘Western pestilence. ‘ It is an unAfrican. It is foreign and it has betrayed an African individuality ( Ward, 2002:87 ) .
The martyring of Anglican Christians after declining the sexual demand from King Kabaka of Uganda, show that Christians in Africa has rejected it. But Archbishop Desmond Tutu has supported the credence of homosexualism based on the life and instruction of Christ. Tutu was quoted as holding said that, “ It was heart-warming that he really sat at the tabular array with whom the society of the clip considered trash, those whom it despised and vilified-the cocottes, the evildoers, and revenue enhancement aggregators. ” ( Ward, 2002:95-96 ) . This stance indicates that homophiles are like any other evildoers who need pastoral attention. But the act itself is condemned though human right militants are naming for regard for human rights and human self-respect.
Human rights on the other manus should be verified on cultural and geographical evidences because non every civilization is relevant everyplace. Culture should be compatible with Biblical instruction and the tradition of the church. Leviticus 20:13 reflect a similar issue where a cheery twosome was slapped a 14 old ages imprisonment in Malawi. But the move has been condemned as an violation of human rights. Truly, some cardinal scriptural instructions has been compromised because if Bible has authorization in determining ethical motives, so it was supposed to be upheld by all people in all topographic points and at all times. In this position, I will province my contemplation.
Bible reading has been a beginning of division since the clip of the early church. Heretical issues refering Gnosticism, Arianism and many others led to many of them deserting from Christianity. The formation of groups like these mentioned above may be the same stage that the Anglican Communion might be faced with. The Church has already seen the constitution of Gafcon that was held in Jerusalem in 2008. This is conference of Bishops who are against homosexualism.
Having witnessed one homosexual ‘s experience, I have found that he was trapped in a life style of depression, self-hatred, resentment, accusal, dependence, illness, and desperation ( Romans 7:15 ) . Is this non a call to a pastoral attention? Indeed, that is what the church is called to make as Mathew 11:28 provinces. The church must demo love. Homosexuals are human existences, created in God ‘s image. Being judgmental towards them would intend defying God ‘s unconditioned love for humanity as seen in Romans 5:8. But love does non intend accepting everything including things that conveying shame to humanity. Therefore, known homosexuals like Bishop Robinson in Europe should be asked to release his place for church leaders should be free from reproaches ( 1 Timothy 3 ) .
If evildoers will non travel unpunished, so are the homophiles ( Romans 3:23 ; 6:23 ) . They will even be punished by nature as Ward puts it, “ Homosexuals? Do n’t blow energy. Nature will cover with them. ” ( Ward, 2002: 99 ) . Homosexuality is unnatural. There is a natural program of God to hold sex- an sole heterosexual relation. Paul besides refutes homosexualism ( Romans 1:25-30 ) .
However, I feel that Trinitarian Theology should show the compatibility with homosexualism. We are one organic structure. When one portion suffers, the remainder of the organic structure feels the hurting. Homosexuals can complement something to the Anglican Communion. This is what Trinitarian integrity does. Three individuals in the Godhead show the complementarity among them in their different functions they play but they are the same in nature.
Therefore, homophiles should be inclusively thought of as participants of different functions in the relationships and that they should be tolerated to some extent in hope of penitence. The church is a life of tolerance as the cardinal belief of the church. In this state of affairs, the Holy Spirit is really at work in this controversial issue merely as he was during creative activity in Genesis 1: 1f. If the Spirit of God made good things from nothingness, I believe that he can do peace and hope from this chaos-homosexuality issue. Those who justify the issue on the human right land may be objected because God created human existences with freedom of pick ( Deuteronomy 15: 30 ) . Therefore, God is the ultimate justice. This is how I think the church should react to homosexualism in Africa.
Having looked at the topic above, homosexualism is seen as the manifestation of the work of the flesh. It needs pastoral attention. Pastoral attention involves love in integrity as the organic structure of Christ ; made in the image of God. Biting and devouring each other is wastage of clip. Therefore, the head of God should be seen in the church merely as it was exhibited through Christ who hated wickedness and loved the evildoers.