Evangelicals in the Church of Scotland, as in many other mainstream denominations, are facing a crisis. The crisis has arisen over two issues.
The first question is whether those in civil partnerships may be selected for, or continue in, Christian ministry. The second is whether same-sex marriage, as defined by the State, is acceptable for church ministers and members.
Evangelicals have responded to these issues in three different ways. The first response has been immediately to leave a denomination considering redefining sexual relationships and marriage, in a way so patently contrary to the Bible.
The second has been to stay in the denomination until the issue is decided one way or the other, intending to respond in a way that maintains a scriptural outlook on human sexuality. The third is to stay, no matter what happens, in order to contend for the faith from within the denomination.
Calvin wrote: ‘If the Lord declares that the church will labour under the defect of being burdened with a multitude of wicked until the day of judgement, it is in vain to look for a church altogether free from blemish’ (Institutes, 4.1.13).