19 Jan Bishop Stewart: The ACNA Sexuality and Identity Statement
Twelve months ago, Archbishop Foley Beach asked me to chair a taskforce to develop a pastoral
statement on same sex attraction and identity, with a focus on the theological language that
might be employed within our provincial ministries regarding this attraction.
The spiritual and theological battle regarding Christian identity is as furious as it has ever been.
The confusion regarding identity creates a storm and ensuing fog that has infiltrated the church
and is currently bringing stunning confusion, especially to our next generation of youth.
Over the past 12 months, in addition to the episcopal voices of the province, 20 additional
contributors and editors have been involved in the formation of this statement. These
contributors include a diverse platform of men and women, theological scholars, ministry
practitioners, lay people, deacons and priests. We engaged conversations with two published
evangelical psychologists with particular expertise in the area of sexuality. Finally, we were
intentional to listen carefully to Next Gen Leaders in our movement who do not all agree with
one another on the complex issues pertaining to same sex attraction and identity.
We have sought to be clear, because it is the commitment of our task force and the College of
Bishops that language deeply does matter. It is our conviction that while this may seem a small
skirmish amidst the increasingly loud challenges in our day, Christian identity and language is
ground that strategically identifies core Gospel matters like biblical anthropology.
This Pastoral Statement was approved by the College of Bishop at our January 2021 meeting,
and can be found here.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us
eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in
every good work and word. -2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (ESV)
On behalf of the task force,
+Stewart Upper Midwest
Enjoy this podcast with Bishop Julian Dobbs, “Identity Matters: Interview with Bishop Stewart Ruch“
Supplemental resource video: