‘Truth matters even more than institutional unity,’ wrote Peter Jensen, General Secretary of GAFCON on New Year’s Day. I agree. In fact I wholeheartedly agree.
So ‘what is truth,’ as a famous roman ruler once asked before sanctioning an atrocity?
Well, GAFCON and their admirers believe that the truth of the matter is that homosexual practice (maybe even homosexual orientation) is abhorrent to God. In fact it is so abhorrent that active homosexuals cannot, under their theology, be considered as residents of the kingdom, here on earth, or in heaven.
Salvation it seems is about conduct, works and perceptions of morality and not about faith, grace and mercy. Now, for this Anglican that is not a truth, no not at all.
So what is truth? Well, it is true that many homosexuals (just like heterosexuals) live productive, generative and, faithful lives, either as single folk or in relationship with a much loved partner. Isn’t it?
And, it is also true that many homosexuals have and continue to live in fear. Fear, in western society (and churches) of not quite fitting in and being made to feel welcome and, in many GAFCON territories of being brutalized, criminalized and, terrorized.
Marginalization and isolation, or brutalization and criminalization that is frequently the choice; that is the truth of it.
And surely to God, and for God, these are the conditions that the Primates should, in a spirit of unity, be seeking to eliminate, for any unity that fosters the conditions where hatred and violence or even some form of benign toleration rule can never be, in kingdom terms, be a unity worth preserving.