Sunday, March 11, 2012

Why is the Church of Scotland silent on gay marriage?

According to the last available census figures, some 42.4 per cent of Scots profess adherence to the Church of Scotland, which constitutes the largest profession of religious affiliation in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK. It is therefore more than a little curious that its Moderator, the Rt Rev’d David Arnott, has not yet uttered a word on the question of the Government’s proposal to legislate for same-sex marriage (either at Westminster or Holyrood), apparently preferring to leave it to his brothers in the Church of England and cousins in the Church of Rome to take the flack.

The Westminster Confession remains the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland, and it states rather unequivocally in Chapter XXIV: "Marriage is to be between one man and one woman...". Now, this is as ‘bigoted’ and redolent of the ‘Dark Ages’ (cf Lynne Featherstone MP) as the canonical positions of the churches of England and Rome. Since CofS law has not been amended (and there being no plans to do so), this is what should be taught from its pulpits and advocated by its leadership. The curious thing is that on neither the C4M petition nor the Scotland4Marriage petition has any senior representative of the Church of Scotland reiterated the orthodox position of their Church.

There have been rumours that the CofS National Youth Assembly, which operates under the aegis of the Mission and Discipleship Council, includes a group leader who once worked for Stonewall and who might be in a position to influence the agenda. Further, Fiona Fidgin (of that same Council) last year prevented one delegate from debating the issue at all, and her support for same-sex marriage is well known.

It is curious that, while the leaders of the churches of England and Rome are making their positions clear, the Church of Scotland is mute; its Moderator and chief spokesman has gone trappist. There is a sense in which silence may be taken as indifference or even assent.

Perhaps the Rt Rev’d David Arnott might care to clear up the ambiguity?

49 Comments:

Blogger Stu2308 said...

Its time the Church of Scotland stood up to the bigotry and inhumanity of the Church of England and RC church and supported equal civil marriage.

11 March 2012 at 14:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. More deafening silence from the protesting churches, what !

11 March 2012 at 15:13  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Stu2308

Its time the Church of Scotland stood up to the bigotry and inhumanity of the Church of England and RC church and supported equal civil marriage.

"Inhumanity?" Really? Evidently, it won't be long before any traditional teaching on homosexuality will be considered a matter for the ICC.

"The Defendant is charged with crimes against humanity - to whit, teaching that homosexuality is immoral."

I guess the ICC needs a steady supply of criminals from somewhere to justify its existence.

But didn't they used to call them ... heresy trials?

carl

11 March 2012 at 15:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Wasn't it covered in the consultation a few months ago with an official statement? That said, the flak is certainly exploding all around now. Not a bad time to keep their heads down if they are.

11 March 2012 at 15:58  
Blogger Nik said...

The CofS Legal Questions Committee gave its response to the consultation on same-sex marriage in Scotland at the beg. Dec 2011. That's the official line.
The Mod is not an Archbishop. Different ecclesiology, different ways of speaking publicly.

11 March 2012 at 16:03  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Nik said ...
"Different ecclesiology, different ways of speaking publicly."

Yeah, by not speaking!

It most certainly is an unusual way of teaching the Christian faith. Communicationg exclusively via a 'Legal Questions Committee' to a government consultation paper.

Shame on them!

11 March 2012 at 16:27  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Ps - Is it correct that quite a few Church of Scotland clerics are in openly homosexual realtionships? Rather sensitive issue, if so.

Guess it won't be too long before the General Assembly approves homosexual marriage.

11 March 2012 at 16:32  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Actually,here's the real reason - wanting to avoid a scism.

"Scotland's largest protestant church has voted to allow gay men and lesbians to become ministers.

"The Church of Scotland imposed a temporary ban after the appointment of Scott Rennie, a gay minister, to a church in Aberdeen in 2009.

"The vote follows warnings that allowing gay and lesbian clergy could split the church.

"The commission warned that the issue was extremely divisive, with another 1,800 church leaders and 40,000 parishioners saying they would leave if gay ministers were not admitted. The church has 445,000 communicants, or active members.

"The general assembly ... is to go on to decide whether to allow gay and lesbian ministers who are sexually active, but only those in stable, long-term relationships, or whether to demand celibacy of gay ministers."
(guardian.co.uk, Monday 23 May 2011)

11 March 2012 at 16:39  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Only the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has the authority to commit the Kirk to accepting or rejecting the Scottish government's proposals.

In a statement last December, the Church of Scotland said:

"The government's proposal fundamentally changes marriage as it is understood in our country and our culture - that it is a relationship between one man and one woman.

"In common with the historic position of the Christian Church, the Church of Scotland has always viewed marriage as being between one man and one woman.

"Scriptural references to marriage, whether literal or metaphorical, all operate under this understanding.

"To redefine marriage to include same-sex marriage may have significant and, as yet, inadequately considered repercussions for our country, for the well-being of families, communities and individuals."

Question: Will the General Assembly endorse this position?

11 March 2012 at 16:48  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

As per usual Your Grace is excellent at asking good questions, but very rarely offers any answers to them. Nothing wrong with this of course, I am simply making an observation.

They may seem rhetorical in nature, but they still seek answers, which I try to give, or at least point people in the right direction from which to find them.

Asking why is fine, finding the reasons why is far more of a challenge to the intellect.

Reasons fall into three general categories, cock-up, conspiracy, or a combination of both.

Our personal experience, and study of history strongly indicates that many things that seemed at the time cock-ups turned out to be conspiracies, and a very few things that seemed to be conspiracies, turned out to be cock-ups.

However virtually everything that happens has an element of both cock-up and conspiracy at play.

Some people have been mind controlled into believing that bad things happen because of the influence of Satan on the world.

They may very well be perfectly correct in this understanding, it is very difficult to be sure unless one has direct experience of messing with the devil, which I don't, as far as I know.

However as we do know, Satan if he actually exists, would need willing or unwitting servants to enact his mendacity upon the world.

Satan may be many things, but I am sure you will all agree, stupid could not possibly be one of them, most especially if Scripture is to believed on this matter.

Therefore Satan must know that society is far easier to subverted from the top, not the bottom of the pyramidical structures of power and control.

Therefore the most rewarding place to find the influence of Satan must be at the very top.

I hope you are all starting to see where I am going with this.

What is, and have long since been the greatest temporal and spiritual power in this world?

There is no prizes for knowing the answer to this question, because it is mind numbingly obvious, as well as extremely well documented.

I will end now with an interesting quotation from The Forth Lateran Council of the western church ( RCC ) decreed in 1215.

" The SECRET MYSTERIES of the faith ought not to be explained to all men in all places..... For such is the depth of divine Scripture that, not only the simple and illiterate, but even the prudent and learned are not fully sufficient to try to understand it."

11 March 2012 at 17:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

If the worst happens and gays can marry, they can do so at a ‘Sod-U-Like’

{AHEM] Just an idea.

11 March 2012 at 17:36  
Blogger graham wood said...

The C of S is not alone. Rnquiries made with the leadership of the Methodist church also reveal a coy silence on the issue.

11 March 2012 at 18:58  
Blogger Joshua Bovis said...

I think you may find that in the silence of the moderator (and the C of S') they are actually saying something about homosexual marriage.

11 March 2012 at 19:10  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace;
Apostasy! In Scotland and in England. Those who betray their Saviour Jesus, just like Judas are Apostates!
By denying the truth of the Scriptures or saying nothing, they lead others as well as themselves into the pit.

Those who question the existence of Satan or how he works his evil in people’s lives should read John Bunyan's 'Holy War'.

11 March 2012 at 19:15  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

When reading that question Charles II came to mind. He once said that "Presbyterianism is not a suitable religion for a gentleman".

11 March 2012 at 19:24  
Blogger Roy said...

I wonder what John Knox, the Covenanters, and other reformers would have thought of the Church of Scotland's stance on this issue? I use the word "stance" rather than "policy" because the Church of Scotland does not seem to have one.

11 March 2012 at 20:21  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Stu2308, you have it wrong.

The proposed introduction of same sex marriage by the Cameron Marxist government is not only culturally insensitive but suggestive of cultural genocide. Both cultural offences may be actionable under some or other human rights legislation by way of class action, brought by those members of the British electorate who disagree with SSM. If we can have war crimes tribunals in The Hague for thugs like Milosevich, why not a similar show trial for the moron Cameron under the much vaunted human rights legislation?

Biter bit, etc.

11 March 2012 at 21:03  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
I have just noticed this 1st March Post on the C4M web site.
Julie Bindel, referred to as Sky News “most famous lesbian” said,
"I would like to abolish marriage for everyone...".


This typifies their desire, not that they want SSM, they want to destroy our society.

11 March 2012 at 21:50  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Roy said ...

"I wonder what John Knox, the Covenanters, and other reformers would have thought of the Church of Scotland's stance on this issue?"

One suspects hey would be horrified that the ecclesiastical freedom and local prysthey sought resulted in such grave departures from scripture.

In a fallen world, local congregations governed by Sessions made up of representatives of the congregation and a conciliar approach to decision-making at national level, is perhaps not the best model.

11 March 2012 at 22:03  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

CofS is very much going the liberal on this matter. As such their silence is to try and keep the traditionalists and evangelicals from breaking away. As has been commented, how the mighty have fallen from whence they came!

12 March 2012 at 00:45  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Whether through silence or the Government's promotion of SSM what is really happening here is that the link between marriage and parenthood is being broken.

And so the little ones will suffer; and children will be against their parents and parents will be against their children.

12 March 2012 at 08:01  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Let us suppose marriage is redefined.

According to lawyers from the CofE under s.29 Equality Act 2010 churches could be forced to provide SSM.

If that risk materializes then our churches will refuse to provide marriage ceremonies for all.

It is predictable that two things may happen:

1. there will be a rush to get married before the churches withdraw the provision of marriage ceremonies;
2. a new generation of youngsters who wished to get married in church and find they cannot do so – will blame the Conservative Party.

12 March 2012 at 08:12  
Blogger D. Singh said...

There is a further thought here.

Under s.29 Equality Act 2010 – the religious places of other faiths will also be forced to withdraw marriage ceremonies (failure to do so will incur civil penalties).

If this scenario materializes - then we can expect civil disorder.

12 March 2012 at 08:26  
Blogger Rory Martin said...

I wouldn't be surprised if the head of the Missions and Discipleship Committee came out for gay marriage. He is in a Civil Partnership already. Nothing seems to shock me about the Church of Scotland any more.
The Church officially joined in with the Coalition for Marriage (in the traditional sense) months ago.

12 March 2012 at 12:21  
Blogger Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Why is the Church of Scotland silent on gay marriage?

Maybe the Church of Scotland is adopting the Escondido 2K theology of Westminster Seminary California that's loudly advocated by Darryl Hart, Michael Horton, David Van Drunen, and Jason Stellman.

Darryl Hart wrote a radically 2k book, "A Secular Faith: Why Christianity Favors the Separation of Church and State" and perhaps this might explain why the Church of Scotland is silent on gay marriage.

12 March 2012 at 18:43  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

OK guys, time out, enjoy some Cirque du Soleil.

http://bit.ly/zuwkgv

12 March 2012 at 20:12  
Blogger David Ould said...

It ill behoves a Church to criticise gays in a nation where men wear skirts.

13 March 2012 at 10:10  
Blogger Oswin said...

Arden Forester @ 19:24: I was amused to read your quotation.

When my father announced his intention to marry, he hit upon stoney ground when he addmitted that the father of his 'intended' was a Methodist Minister. Swiftly glossing over this potential hitch, he rather unnecesarily added ''the family are very respectable''. To which my Grandmother stormed: ''Respectable? Respectable! I didn't enquire as to 'respectability' - I asked if he were a Gentleman! :o)

13 March 2012 at 15:05  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Explains a lot Oswin. And you having descended from an early Saint of the Roman Church too!

13 March 2012 at 23:06  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: Hm. he was an Angle first and foremost, and didn't give a galloping fart for Rome!

13 March 2012 at 23:24  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin: touchy, touchy. It was Rome who canonised him, so he must have done something to find favour with the universal church.

14 March 2012 at 00:43  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: I'm sure he did, but that doesn't detract from his choice of non-Romish mentor: Aidan.

However, I don't suppose he objects to ordinary R.C's; he was that kind of guy.

Anyhows, what exactly did you mean by : ''explains a lot'' eh? I've only just now focused upon that bit! On second thoughts, don't bother, you might feel the need to dally 'in verse' again... :o)

14 March 2012 at 14:04  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Just teasing you Oswin. You know how it is!

14 March 2012 at 14:45  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Oswine the King of Deira
Ruled in a difficult era
Raised amongst Gaels
His Christianity prevailed
With loyalty to Church and to Papa

14 March 2012 at 16:14  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 March 2012 at 16:25  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Poor Oswine’s descendants
Proved unfaithful adherents
Leaving the Catholic Church
For truth they did search
Leading to unruly disagreements

14 March 2012 at 17:41  
Blogger Oswin said...

I just knew I'd made a mistake...sighs...must have a quiet word with Cressida...sighs...

14 March 2012 at 18:03  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

But Cressida is the one encouraging me to express myself in poetic verse!

14 March 2012 at 22:25  
Blogger len said...

Cressida, see what you have started now?

15 March 2012 at 08:25  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo@ 22:25 : indeed; thus the need to revoke her licence before more misery is unleashed upon the world. By the by, I lied, I don't much care for 'Vogon' poetry; so stop it now!

15 March 2012 at 14:35  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Oswin begged

"I don't much care for 'Vogon' poetry; so stop it now!"

Our first mistake, as tolerant readers and commenters on this blog was;

'On no account should you allow a Vogon/Defunct Bird to read poetry at you.' Argggghhhhhhhh.

Please, let us all not make a second!

Ernst Slartibartfast (Magrathean for Stavro) Blofeld

15 March 2012 at 20:22  
Blogger Oswin said...

Ernst: 'implored' not ''begged'' if you please; a small point I know, but we are discussing Dodo here. Ater all, a chap has certain standards.

16 March 2012 at 14:32  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Ernst and Oswin begged and implored
Yet Dodo’s verse still outpoured
In agony they squirm
For peace they do yearn
Their pleading assiduously ignored

16 March 2012 at 17:07  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo refuses to be implored begged or even bleed'n halted from his Vogon 3rd rate poetry.

If you persist dear boy, Ernst will limerick in latin on the delights of stuffed roasted duck with the parson's nose left attached.

If your attempt at poetry is a literary form of Colonic Lavage, then please continue, as you appear to be in dire need a good clean out! :o)

Ernst

ps

There once was a Dodo quite quaint,
Who swallowed some samples of paint.
All shades of the spectrum
Flowed out of his rectum
With a colourful lack of complaint. Boom Boom!

Are you the Vatican's officially appointed Poet Laureate?

Nighty Nighty ;-)

17 March 2012 at 02:17  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

There was an old boy named Ernst
Who refused all requests he be nursed
He showed such persistent resistance
To all offers of assistance
That eventually he had to be coerced

17 March 2012 at 15:51  
Blogger Oswin said...

Ernst: Dodo's poetry: ''...a literary form of colonic lavarge...'' - multiple guffaws!

Dodo's dastardly doggerel defies decency, whilst Ernst's reaches the parts that others can't; ethical cleansing?

17 March 2012 at 23:34  
Blogger len said...

Ernst,

Pure magic.

'All shades of the spectrum
Flowed out of his rectum'. (
Is this the famous 'rainbow effect?)

18 March 2012 at 08:04  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

There’s a silly wee weasel named len
Who feeds on the ideas of men
He’ll sniff and he’ll grovel
Like a fool in a brothel
Desperate to find a friend

18 March 2012 at 22:48  
Blogger Erikretallick said...

It is a non-issue, as a marriage is between a man and a woman. You can't have a marriage between two people of the same gender. A civic-partnership, maybe, but God created marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman and it can't be any other way, despite the lie that is being put out by politicians (who are often well-practised in lying and deceit anyway).

19 March 2012 at 02:07  

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