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CANADA: Ex-Gays make submission to Lambeth/Eames Commission

CANADA: Ex-Gays make submission to Lambeth/Eames Commission

Dear members of the Eames Commission:

Greetings and blessings to you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. You have accepted a calling to do what some might consider impossible - to reconcile the two sides on a very divisive issue. We praise you for your willingness to serve and ask that God bless you with His infinite wisdom in seeking a resolution.

We are a small group from across Canada of those who have long felt to be voices in the wilderness. We are people who were once active in homosexual behaviour, or who have struggled with exclusively same gender attractions. We represent a much larger group than appears on this paper. We have understood and accepted God's Biblical condemnation of such activity as sin and in some cases we have experienced His loving and merciful healing of the brokenness which led to our involvement in such sinful activities.

Individually we have often been cowed into silence by those who seek to revise Biblical teachings on this issue. When we have had the courage to speak out, we have been ignored, dismissed, or overruled. What we ask is that our stories be heard. (Attached, please find the letter we have written to the General Synod 2004 / Anglican Church of Canada) The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada this year postponed any decision on the blessings of same gender unions until the next synod in 2007. We were most hopeful that our church had agreed to take this time to listen for the gentle voice of God in this matter and to allow the troubled waters to calm. Unfortunately, the subsequent passage of a motion affirming the integrity and sanctity of adult same sex relationships undercut that deferral, and has caused some of us much personal pain. That was accentuated by the defeat of an amendment to another motion which would have specifically included our voices in the national discussions.

Nonetheless, we remain hopeful that we will be able to participate in these discussions, which is what prompted us to write this petition to you. God has moved us to come together to speak out in favour of His love and healing mercies. Our question is primarily: Why does the church not seek to offer and promote God's healing of the human brokenness which for some has led to homosexual behaviour, and instead seeks to enable this behaviour which is sinful in the eyes of God? Why is the church reluctant to walk the fine line, which declares that God loves each of us as we are right now, while loving us too much to leave us this way? God's character is to heal His people.

We are sure you are aware of the many programmes available to help facilitate this healing process. When one dedicates oneself to the methods, the results can be truly liberating. Some of our group have experienced that liberation and are now in committed heterosexual unions, finding them to be most fulfilling in so many ways which our past homosexual liaisons could never provide.

An important note in our message is that we do not regard the sin of homosexual behaviour to be any worse a sin than all of the rest outlined in the Bible. We do not see any need for special attention to this one sin, other than the immediate pressing need for resolving our divisions surrounding it. All sin is the same - it separates us from a true loving relationship with our Creator. All sin is caused by some brokenness within, which leads us away from God. We have allowed Satan to seduce us with fear-a fear that numbers will decline because the church is perceived as judgmental.

As a result we have desensitized the whole issue of sin (regardless of its nature) and the need for a Saviour. Scripture reminds us repeatedly not to conform to this world and its mores, but to remain steadfast in our love and commitment to God and His ways. We are not judging when we say homosexual behaviour is a sin, because it is God who has declared it so in His Holy Word. What we need to proclaim is that we understand that as fallen human beings, we are broken in spirit and that brokenness leads us to sinful behaviour of all kinds (not just homosexual behaviour). God loves us so much and so unconditionally that He sent His Son Jesus to suffer the death penalty required in order to uphold God's perfect justice, and through that suffering offers us the gift of eternal salvation. The blood of Christ does indeed cleanse us of all our wrong-doings, once we confess and accept this precious gift of forgiveness from God. We have a wonderful and powerful message of Good News. We need to return to that message in complete faithfulness, and God will shower our church with blessings of untold magnitude.

We pray that you will have the courage which comes from the love of God, to proclaim His Good News and to call for re-unification of our church under the authority of God's Holy Word-the Bible. In the face of such popular support for you to go in the opposite direction, this is probably like asking you to stand in front of a tidal wave. It is a daunting task and one not many would accept. We pray that you will, and that you will stand up for God's Word. God's Word is the rock of our foundation. If we have truly built our church on that foundation, then we may be battered and get wet from the oncoming tidal wave, but we will survive and flourish because when God is with us, who can stand against us?

Please be assured that you remain in our thoughts and prayers as you complete your assigned task. God bless you now and always.

The Rev. Dawn McDonald, Diocese of New Westminster
The Rev. Don Alcock, Diocese of Huron
The Rev. Steve Emery, Diocese of Huron
The Rev. Alex Cameron, Diocese of Montreal (on leave)
David Colpitts, Diocese of Toronto
Daryle Duke, Diocese of Rupert's Land
Rob Goetze, Diocese of Edmonton
Alan MacGowan , Diocese of Fredrickton
Tanya Quick, Diocese of Montreal
Michel Schnob, Diocese of Ottawa

cc: Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams

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