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The Independent Online
From the Rev C. Green

Sir: Your editorial (9 March) is quite right that the Christian church has no theology of sexuality, but misses the reason why.

Orthodox Christians have a profound and wonderful theology of heterosexuality. From the Bible's opening chapter to its closing one, there is a consistent picture that heterosexual sex in its right place - marriage - is a great gift from God to be enjoyed and celebrated. We are even told that love in marriage mirrors the love that Jesus has for us. How much more positive can we get?

We have, however, a different theology of homosexual acts, which is inevitably a negative one - just as negative, in fact, as our view of any sexual acts, however heterosexual, outside marriage, and a considerable number within. Such issues cannot be limited to questions of liberty, consent or self-expression, because everyone, no matter how Christian, has an imperfect sexual drive.

To ask for a Christian understanding of sexuality is like asking for the Christian understanding of law, economics or political systems. We cannot answer the question without making some basic distinctions that can allow us to affirm some, but not all, and on the basis of other arguments than libertarianism. To be that counter-cultural takes courage - the kind of courage shown by the Bishops of Chester and Maidstone in swimming against, rather than with, the tide.

Yours sincerely,


Emmanuel Church

Tolworth, Surrey

9 March