Resolution 13 – Mutual Respect and Acceptance
This resolution was passed at the 2018 Synod of the Moravian Church, Southern Province.
Resolution #13 (Proposal 37)
Subject: Mutual Respect and Acceptance
From: Community Committee
Topic Area: Community
WHEREAS, The 1995 Southern Province Synod acknowledged “we are not agreed on the question of the morality and acceptability of sexual relations between homosexuals”; and,
WHEREAS, The 1995 Southern Province Synod resolved that “on the question of homosexuality we will strive at all times in our hearts and in our actions to love one another, to respect one another’s understanding and search for truth and God’s will concerning the question of homosexuality…” and further resolved “that we affirm certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons”; and,
WHEREAS, Moravian pastors in their ordination “freely accept the obligations of an ordained minister to study, pray, care for souls, preach, and administer the sacraments in Christ’s church”; and,
WHEREAS, although we do not specifically list homosexuality in our non-discrimination clause, “We realize that all areas of Christian life and conduct cannot be covered in this statement of principles by which we live and bear our witness, and we call attention, therefore, to the Christian’s responsibility to follow Christ as Lord of all areas of life.” (MCCL, V. Our Witness in the World, E. Other Areas, par. 34.), meaning that many who believe that sexual orientation should be included in our non-discrimination statements see how that would fit in our current understanding of the MCCL; and,
WHEREAS, we claim “We will not hate, despise, slander, or otherwise injure anyone.” (MCCL, V. Our Witness in the World, A. Love Toward All, par. 29.); and,
WHEREAS, the MCSP PEC has acknowledged, “The decisions made by the 2016 Unity Synod do not set aside the resolutions made by the 2002 Unity Synod which said: ‘[Unity Synod] urges the Provinces towards further, in-depth examination of the subject of homosexuality and the church,’” and ‘This issue does not rise to the doctrinal equivalent of the New Testament confession, “Jesus is Lord,” but it is a biblical, theological and pastoral issues on which the church must dialogue,’”; and,
WHEREAS, no legislation passed by the 2018 Southern Province Synod will likely result in the complete agreement of the delegates and other members of the Southern Province, on topics related to homosexuality; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Moravian Church Southern Province will recognize among its membership the adherence to and expression of differing opinions related to homosexuality; and,
RESOLVED, That any person, group, congregation, agency and entity within the Southern Province retains the right to make opinions related to LGBTQ+ issues known, without fear of recrimination, provided such opinions live up to our covenant: “We will not hate, despise, slander, or otherwise injure anyone.” (MCCL, V. Our Witness in the World, A. Love Toward All, par. 29.).