Church leaders launch declaration in defence of biblical sexual ethics

A group of Christian ministers and pastoral workers have launched a new initiative to uphold orthodox biblical teaching on marriage, sex and identity.

The Greater Love Declaration reaffirms “chaste singleness outside of marriage” and “exclusive faithfulness” within the marriage of one man and one woman as the “unambiguous commands of Holy Scripture”.

The Declaration’s co-authors, Revd Dr Matthew Roberts and Revd Dave Gobbett, were behind last year’s protest letter on banning conversion therapy, which was signed by over 2,500 church leaders and 5,000 other supporters.

John 15:13

Revd Dr Matthew Roberts of Trinity Church York explained: “There’s an awful lot of talk about love today. But really what that means is something more like self-satisfaction or self-fulfilment.”

He continued: “Jesus explained in John 15:13 ‘greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.’ Now Christian teaching on marriage, on family, and on all human relationships, is founded on self-denial or self-sacrifice.”

Revd Roberts urged Christian ministers and pastoral workers to read and sign the Greater Love Declaration, “so that we can commit ourselves together to showing ‘greater love’”.

Revd Dave Gobbett, Lead Pastor of Highfields Church Cardiff and a trustee of Word Alive, commented: “Christian ministry is always been about teaching and holding fast to the love that’s defined by Jesus in his word.”

‘One man one woman’

All who sign the Declaration affirm: “God designed marriage as an essential part of his pattern for human life in this world.

“Marriage is a witness to the eternal love of Christ for his Church; it is therefore the public lifelong covenant union of one man and one woman.

“Great blessings flow to all people when marriage is widely honoured.”

Love and sacrifice

Signatories also commit themselves to lovingly and sacrificially “live by, teach and proclaim the goodness of the Christian doctrine of marriage”.

They declare: “There are no circumstances – not the threat of legal sanction, nor of financial penalty, nor of social stigma – which will cause us to abandon our Lord’s call to love in this way, in sexual matters as in all others.

“And therefore there are no circumstances which will cause us to abandon the Christian doctrine of marriage, nor to cease teaching it, to all people of every age.”


The Declaration concludes: “If the cost to ourselves of faithfulness to our Lord, and love for those around us, is high, we nevertheless commit ourselves to these things.

“For in this way too, we recognise that we are called to lay down our lives for the good of others; for there is, as our Lord Jesus Christ said, no greater love than this.”

Simon Calvert commended the authors for “affirming basic biblical truths in a gracious and well-thought-through way” and “committing to teaching and proclaiming those truths whatever opposition they may face”.

The Declaration will be launched on Tuesday 18th October, at 10:30am in central London. The event will be livestreamed on: