The Greater Love Declaration upholds “a classic, orthodox Christian teaching on marriage, sex and identity”. “We will not surrender the ‘Greater Love’ of Jesus”, signatories say.
The declaration stresses that “God designed marriage as an essential part of his pattern for human life in this world [...] Marriage is the public lifelong covenant union of one man and one woman”.
The signatories “affirm the essential and unchangeable place of this teaching in Christian theology, its foundation in Christ’s own example of self-giving love, and our duty and commitment as ministers of the gospel to uphold, teach and proclaim it”.
“We commit to welcoming and loving all who, like ourselves, have fallen short and continue to fall short of this ideal. We will not discriminate or treat people differently on the basis of perceived sexual or gender identities, for all are men and women made in the image of God”, they add.
The statement encourages church leaders to “not surrender the ‘Greater Love’ that Jesus showed us, and to which he calls us, to the far lesser version of love which centres on the satisfaction and even the worship of self, the autonomy of the individual, and the belief that all sexual desires and inclinations are sacred”.
“We will not accept that any perceived identities established by these beliefs justify departure from Christian teaching on marriage and sex. This is not, by our Lord’s standards, love at all, and is profoundly harmful to many, children in particular”.
They point out that neither “the threat of legal sanction, nor of financial penalty, nor of social stigma” will make them “abandon our Lord’s call to love in this way, in sexual matters as in all others, nor to cease teaching it, to all people of every age”.
The declaration has been signed by over 1,000 church ministers and around 1,600 other supporters so far.
Dave Gobbett, lead pastor of Highfields Church Cardiff, and Matthew Roberts, minister of Trinity Church York, are the co-authors of the declaration.
They were also behind a letter sent to the government last year, warning about the ban of conversion therapy, which was signed by over 2,500 church leaders and 5,000 other supporters.
You can read the full declaration here.