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Gay ministers

July 2011

Gay ministers

Ministers from the Church of Scotland have started to step down after the vote at its general assembly in May allowed the ordination of gay ministers.
    According to the Herald, commissioners voted by 393 to 252 to allow ministers and deacons in same-sex relationships, ordained before 2009, to be inducted into pastoral charges.
    The commissioners also voted 326 to 267, after a four-hour debate, in favour of appointing Rev. Scott Rennie, 37, to full ordination. The confessed gay had the support of the majority of his present congregation at Queen’s Cross in Aberdeen and its presbytery.
    However, more traditional, Bible-believing members from across the world signed an online petition against the appointment.
    Mr Rennie, who was married and has a child, was appointed minister of Brechin Cathedral in Angus ten years ago. The controversy erupted after 12 members from Aberdeen presbytery, none of whom are members of Queen’s Cross, raised complaints over the appointment.
    The vote has generated much publicity. Presbyterian pastor Stafford Carson blogs, ‘While the debate was well managed by the moderator, Dr David Arnott, some of the speeches confirmed my worst fears about the views of many within the Church of Scotland.
    ‘“We know better than the Bible” was the tone of one speech, and, as one speaker said, since the Bible had got it wrong on slavery, the role of women, and the death penalty for adultery, we should not be afraid to discard what it says about homosexuality.
    ‘One feels for the many conservative and evangelical people within the Church of Scotland who must be hurt and depressed by their Assembly’s decision. The conservative voice was not prominent in the debate.
    ‘If ministers, elders and congregations withdraw in numbers as a result of this decision, it may seriously damage the Kirk’.
    Already Rev. Andrew Coghill has announced his decision to resign. He has ministered at Leurbost Church in Lochs, Lewis, for nearly 20 years. His decision follows that of Rev. Roddy MacRae, minister of Glenelg and Kintail.

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