'...the need to transcend the common habit of discussing the 1993 Resolutions as if they were solely about homosexuality.'This got me wondering how many Methodists have actually read the resolutions? Because homosexuality isn't really their main focus. They are - as the title suggests - about human sexuality.
Here is a link to the resolutions on the official Methodist Website: Human Sexuality The page also includes a bit of further discussion and some links.
As I understand the 'debate' about reviewing these resolutions within our denomination, there are people on 'both sides' of the homosexuality issue who want the possibility of individual interpretation closed on the matter of homosexual acts. Some want a clear condemnation of all homosexual acts. Others want a clear permission to bless Civil Partnerships in church.
Why were these resolutions not reviewed? I was present at Conference when the possible review of the resolutions was discussed. Conference had asked for written responses from the Methodist people and the response was huge by normal standards. I don't remember the exact number, but David Gamble said that on most consultations if they received 5 responses from churches or Methodist members, this could be considered 'a deluge of opinion'. There were apparently hundreds of responses to the consultation request on Human Sexuality ('Pilgrimage of Faith') and the results indicated that views were about equally divided on both sides of the homosexuality issue. Results also indicated that most respondents did not want to review the Resolutions.
In light of what is happening at Lambeth, our decision not to review might seem contentious, but it didn't seem that way at the time at Conference. The mind of Conference seemed to be that the most preferable solution was to hold Methodism together.
I agree with this decision because I believe that the ability to live peaceably with those with whom we don't agree is actually a more important issue of discipleship and behaviour than the sexual activity (or not) of members. Sex is, of course - er - a 'sexier' topic than reconciliation and being able to get along with each other. Of course, as human beings, we resist being disciplined for the sin of refusal to reconcile because we all want to save other people from themselves. And we all commit the sin of non-reconciliation.
(And before anyone asks, yes, this does mean that I hold myself accountable for civil interaction with people with whom I disagree.)