Kirk votes on gay minister
The Church of Scotland is preparing to debate the appointment of an openly gay minister.
According to BBC Scotland, there is a possibility of a mass walkout by members if the General Assembly does not overturn the decision to appoint the Rev. Scott Rennie as minister of Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen. It is thought that 20 per cent of the clergy have signed an online petition against the appointment.
The petition states: ‘We urgently alert all commissioners to the 2009 General Assembly to the extreme gravity of the situation. We urge the Assembly to support the position of those who stood to defend Christian orthodoxy in Aberdeen Presbytery and ensure that the Church will practise its clear doctrinal position on all matters of marriage and human sexuality, by refusing to condone homosexual practice in general, and among its leaders in particular’.
An evangelical group within the Church of Scotland, Forward Together, said in a statement on its web site: ‘Mr Rennie has openly stated that he is intending taking his male partner with him to live in the manse. This has caused enormous tremors throughout the Church. Forward Together is deeply concerned over this development and asks for Christians to pray for wisdom for those in Aberdeen Presbytery and the wider courts of the Church. We cherish the peace and unity of the Church and feel this new development will seriously undermine both’.
Members of the Scottish Parliament have also responded to the online petition. SNP MSP Dave Thompson has lent his support to the petitioners, telling one newspaper that ‘active homosexuality is incompatible’ with the Bible’s teaching.
Rev. Rennie, a divorced father-of-one, said in an interview last month: ‘There are differing interpretations of Scripture on the issue of human sexuality and other issues in the church’.