SOUNDINGS FROM THE SOUTH

Here are the texts of the Kula Lumpur Statements on Anglican Reconstruction and on Human Sexuality of the Second Anglican Encounter in the South, together with the text of a letter from the bishops of the Episcopal Synod of America and related material

STATEMENT ON HUMAN SEXUALITY (2nd Anglican Encounter in the South, 10 to 15 February 1997, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

1. Godís glory and loving purposes have been revealed in the creation of humankind. (Rom. 1:18; Gen. 1:26, 27). Among the multiplicity of his gifts we are blessed with our sexuality.

2. Since the Fall (Gen. 3), life has been impaired and Godís purposes spoilt. Our fallen state has affected every sphere of our being, which includes our sexuality. Sexual deviation has existed in every time and in most cultures. Jesusí teaching about lust in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:27-30) makes it clear that sexual sin is a real danger and temptation to us all.

3. It is, therefore, with an awareness of our own vulnerability to sexual sin that we express our profound concern about recent developments relating to Church discipline and moral teaching in some provinces in the North -specifically, the ordination of practising homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions.

4. While acknowledging the complexities of our sexual nature and the strong drives it places within us, we are quite clear about Godís will in this area which is expressed in the Bible.

5. The Scripture bears witness to Godís will regarding human sexuality which is to be expressed only within the life long union of a man and a woman in (holy) matrimony.

6. The Holy Scriptures are clear in teaching that all sexual promiscuity is sin. We are convinced that this includes homosexual practices between men or women, as well as heterosexual relationships outside marriage.

7. We believe that the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Holy Scriptures about human sexuality is of great help to Christians as it provides clear boundaries.

8. We find no conflict between clear biblical teaching and sensitive pastoral care. Repentance precedes forgiveness and is part of the healing process. To heal spiritual wounds in Godís name we need his wisdom and truth. We see this in the ministry of Jesus, for example his response to the adulterous woman, Ē...neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.Ē (John 8:11)

9. We encourage the Church to care for all those who are trapped in their sexual brokenness and to become the channel of Christís compassion and love towards them. We wish to stand alongside and welcome them into a process of being whole and restored within our communities of faith. We would also affirm and resource those who exercise a pastoral ministry in this area.

10. We are deeply concerned that the setting aside of biblical teaching in such actions as the ordination of practising homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions calls into question the authority of the Holy Scriptures. This is totally unacceptable to us.

11. This leads us to express concern about mutual accountability and interdependence within our Anglican Communion. As provinces and dioceses, we need to learn how to seek each otherís counsel and wisdom in a spirit of true unity, and to reach a common mind before embarking on radical changes to Church discipline and moral teaching.

12. We live in a global village and must be more aware that the way we act in one part of the world can radically affect the mission and witness of the Church in another.

RESOLUTION OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE of the Province of South East Asia passed at the meeting held on 19 and 20 February 1997 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Standing Committee of the Province of South East Asia do hereby unanimously resolve:

I) To adopt and endorse the ďStatement on Human SexualityĒ unanimously passed by the 2nd Anglican Encounter in the South held at Kuala Lumpur from 10 to 15 February 1997 and appended hereto. II) That this Province supports and be in communion with that part of the Anglican Communion which accepts and endorses the principles aforesaid and not otherwise.

LETTER FROM ESA BISHOPS to The Most Revíd Moses Tay Primate, The Church of the Province of S. E. Asia, May 1st, 1997

Most Reverend and Dear Brother in Christ; We send you greetings in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, rejoicing in the reports which have come out of the recent meeting of Anglican Primates in Jerusalem. It is our understanding that you made it abundantly clear to the American Primate that you felt his Province should be expelled from the world-wide Anglican Communion should the American Church fail to reverse its de facto acceptance and endorsement of the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions.

Since that meeting of Primates, we are most encouraged to learn that the Province of South-East Asia has unanimously accepted the twelve-point Kuala Lumpur statement in its resolution of 19-20 February, and declared itself in communion with those parts of the Anglican Communion which support the Kuala Lumpur principles and not in communion with those which do not.

We, the undersigned bishops of The Episcopal Church in the United States of America, affirm the Kuala Lumpur statement and celebrate our continued communion with the Province of South-East Asia and other like- minded Provinces. We are also confident that other orthodox American bishops will affirm the Kuala Lumpur statement... Our gratitude comes to you for this encouragement to orthodox believers within the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Faithfully yours in Christ,

The Rt. Revíd Jack Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth The Rt. Revíd William Wantland, Bishop of Eau Claire The Rt. Revíd John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin, The Rt. Revíd Keith Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy, The Rt. Revíd Donald Parsons The Rt. Revíd Edward McBurney (Retired Bishops of Quincy).

STATEMENT ON ANGLICAN RECONSTRUCTION of the Second Encounter of Anglicans in the South.

1. We are glad to belong to a Communion of different traditions and cultures. Nevertheless we are deeply concerned about its future unity and ability to respond to the challenge of a radically changing world and a new millennium.

2. Diverging views of Scripture, different understandings of ministry, and a breakdown of discipline and teaching related to social ethics all have placed serious strain on the internal unity of the communion. There has been discussion about the permissible limits of diversity, but who sets these limits and according to what criteria?

3. We question the wisdom of retaining the compete autonomy of our many provinces and believe we should look for ways of strengthening mutual accountability and interdependence. It is vital for our mission that we have effective ways of seeking Godís will together, of reaching a common mind, and of encouraging and admonishing one another.

4. therefore, promoted by out study of Nehemiah 8, we call for a careful review of our instruments of unity and ask the Lambeth Conference to consider organisational and governmental changes in the Communion. We believe such reforms must be matched with spiritual Ďreconstructioní based on Biblical renewal.

5. The new century will demand changes of us. But we are already a changed Church with its majority membership in the South. We are experiencing new opportunity and growing hostility to the Christian message.

6. From the South we call on Anglican brothers and sisters of all traditions to be of one heart and mind in Christís mission and to effective mutual accountability in his service.

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