Church of Scotland Votes to Allow Appointment of Clergy in Same-Sex ‘Marriages’

Church of Scotland-compressedEDINBURGH, Scotland — The Church of Scotland, while stating that it “maintains its traditional view of marriage between a man and woman,” has voted to allow the appointment of clergy who are in same-sex “marriages.”

The 339-215 vote in Edinburgh allows individual congregations who disagree with the denomination’s stance on marriage to opt-out and select leaders who have “wed” their homosexual partners. The Assembly had been attended by 850 commissioners throughout Scotland, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States.

“Today’s decision means it will be possible for Kirk sessions and congregations to depart from the traditional understanding of marriage to call not only potentially a minister in a civil partnership but one who is in a same-sex marriage,” John Chalmers, principal clerk to the General Assembly, told the BBC.

He outlined that the vote does not allow clergy, however, to officiate same-sex nuptials.

“We had a debate which made very clear that we were not interfering with our theological definition of marriage and were not going to the place where ministers or deacons could themselves be conducting same-sex marriages,” Chalmers said. “It is an entirely different discussion.”

A vote on the matter will be held next year after the Theological Forum presents a report.

“[F]or many people, what today was about was simply tidying up and making the law of the church consistent with Scots law,” Chalmers explained. “Today I think people came to this decision with their minds on law and practice and not on theology and future practice.”

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He opined following the vote that he hoped the denomination would now “put this issue to one side and we can now get on with what I believe are important issues—developing our vision for the church, increasing membership and developing our work around mission.”

But others, such as David Robertson, moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, found the outcome of the vote to be disappointing.

“It is a sad day for all the Christian churches in Scotland when what used to be the National Kirk, has now departed so clearly from the Bible,” he said. “In adopting this policy the Church of Scotland has not only dissociated itself from the vast majority of Christian churches throughout the world, but has lost all claim to be the National Church for Scotland.”

“It no longer speaks for Scotland and it no longer represents Scotland’s Christians,” Robertson continued. “We simply state ‘not in our name.'”

The Church of Scotland is known for its part in the Protestant Reformation of the 1500’s, when it broke ties with Roman Catholics under the leadership of John Knox.

“But hereof be assured, that all is not lawful nor just that is statute by civil laws,” Knox once declared.

“Neither can oath nor promise bind any such people to obey and maintain tyrants against God and against His truth known,” he also stated.

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  • meamsane

    I think somebody should remind these people that God is Holy and a God of Justice and what these folks are deciding is clearly un-biblical and dangerous to the church! Any sin that is practiced in the church will infect the church. I’m thinking of the letters to the 7 churches addressed in the book of Revelation. This I have against you Christ said to several of them calling them to repent or he was going to punish.

    In the early church there was a system of discipline in which if a member was found to be sinning, he was warned and then if he did not repent was dis-fellowshipped so as to bring about repentance (anyone remember this teaching?). The notion of bringing in a person as a minister or clergy who is clearly living in sin (rebellion against God) practicing sexual Immorality of any kind, clearly you don’t invite them to be ministers in any church as if this is perfectly alright whether they call themselves “married” or not.

    What is wrong with these churches?

    • LadyFreeBird♥BlessedBeTheLord

      Many Churches are falling away from God’s Truth. The Word of God is very clear on sin. There will be no excuse. It is very sad.

      • meamsane

        Very sad!! Homosexual behavior is clearly sinful, yet many within the church seem to have to “debate” it as if it is uncertain (like the United Methodists church). I think this is happening in just about every denomination.
        Like you say, it does seem as if a falling away from the truth of God is happening and perhaps God is separating the chaff from the wheat?

        • LadyFreeBird♥BlessedBeTheLord

          It is very sad.When the Church becomes like the world then we know something is happening. The Bible said it would happen. And it is happening now.

  • LadyFreeBird♥BlessedBeTheLord

    The way the Churches are Rejecting the truth of God. Is proof that God exist and what the Bible says is True.

  • Nidalap

    Hmm… a great falling away…I’ve seen something about that SOMEWHERE before…

    • LadyFreeBird♥BlessedBeTheLord

      Bible 🙂

  • Weary Warrior

    Another “Christian” branch gone apostate. There will still be a remnant of true believers when Jesus Christ returns.

    • LadyFreeBird♥BlessedBeTheLord


  • Theodore Fenton

    Christians have always slowly, sometimes reluctantly, adapted to changes in culture and society. It took decades for white Christians to accept the reality of legalized interracial opposite-sex marriage. Still, even today, many white Christians regard such marriages as unbiblical.

    • Pererin

      The difference is that the issue of people refusing to accept interracial marriage is not because of Biblical command. It is a the cultural problem of racism. The racism we have today was ‘justified’ by the humanistic writings of Darwin. Since Darwin’s popularisation of macro evolution, racism was ‘justified’ with society because it suggests that different races existed and they we all higher or low than one another. However the Bible teaches that there is one human race, all equal. So you see the problem of interracial marriage is not a problem when the Bible is your authority and not the cultural leanings of the time.
      This issue of homosexual ‘marriage’ is the opposite. In this this instance, homosexually is Biblical stated as being sinful. So a scriptural lay faithful Christian would hold to that belief. A Christian in error would take on the beliefs of the culture, as seen in this story. So you see, they are not the same and cannot be compared.

      • Theodore Fenton

        There is no such thing as human “race.” There is the human species, and within the human species are many different races.

        Scriptural interpretation varies from individual to individual.

        The so-called “sin” of homosexuality becomes a non-issue within the confines of marriage.

        • Pererin

          You would need to explain exactly what you mean by races to discuss the point further. Genetically, races do not exist.
          Homosexuality is a sin. There is nothing to interpret. The bible is clear. It’s only the last 40 years that people have started to have trouble ‘interpreting’ the Bible. Why do you think that is?
          Biblical marriage is between man and woman, homosexual unions are not biblical marriages. You can’t hi-jack biblical terms and expect us to accept it. You can have your homosexual unions, but marriages they most definately are not.

          • Bob Johnson

            Biblical marriage may be one thing, but over the last 200 years the federal and state governments have given over 1500 secular benefits to people who are married. The government is now faced with eliminating all these benefits (taxes, medical, Social Security) or expanding the secular definition of marriage.

          • Pererin

            Or having a separate definition and applying the benefits to them too.

        • Becky

          “Scriptural interpretation varies from individual to individual.”

          Perhaps. However, we are to allow the scriptures to interpret themselves, else we could be gravely misled (eg Isaiah 28:9-13, 2 Peter 1:19-21).

      • SFBruce

        You claim that there is no Biblical basis for opposition to interracial marriage, but as late as the 1960’s Bob Jones, Sr. and Jerry Falwell disagreed. They both believed segregation should be protected, and of course, also opposed interracial marriage. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and was raised as a Southern Baptist church. I remember hearing sermons in which the pastor claimed that it was right for churches to be segregated because African-Americans had a different style of worship that wasn’t right for white people.

        • Pererin

          I stand by my claim. I did not claim that Christians do not hold this beliefs. As I said, these Christians took on the beliefs of the culture and tried to blend it with their Christian beliefs. Always a bad idea. They had no biblical basis for their beliefs on interracial marriage.

        • Becky

          God’s people follow his word alone and not the ways of the world. There isn’t a single biblical verse that supports segregation, nor is there a single mention about different races, much less “interracial marriage”.

      • Bob Johnson

        I find the idea of blaming Darwin interesting as most studies show the term to be much older and in fact defining the races as coming from Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the three sons of Noah. Certainly biologist supported the idea for a while just as astronomers supported celestial spheres and doctors supported the four humors

        • Pererin

          I do not blame Darwin for racism. Of course it existed before Darwin. I said that his works justified racism to the culture of the time. We are still seeing the aftermath of his works today unfortunately.
          Most definately, racism is not a biblically motivated behaviour, it is however a humanistic motivated behaviour which has sadly seeped into the lives of many Christian’s through their apostasy. The issue of homosexual marriage is the same.

  • Vernon Devine

    The church seems to be trying to stay relevant in the modern world and I commend the effort. Of course this conservatives who cannot tolerate change are all upset and can not help sounding stupid. They are the ones who will destroy the church and are not smart enough to understand what they are doing.

  • TallZeke

    The Q activists will be happy to add this to their list of “Christian” churches that approve of sexual deviance. However, two things to remember:

    1. All churches that approve of homosexuality are dying. Rather than drawing people into the church, it does precisely the opposite.

    2. Like all the state churches in Europe, the Church of Scotland in 2016 is a joke, with few people attending service. It’s a relic from the day when governments could require membership and attendance. According to Wikipedia, more Scots identify as “no religion” than as members of the Church of Scotland. In fact, the active membership is only 7.5% of the population.

  • Reason2012

    It doesn’t matter if mankind “votes” that in some cases sin is ok – it’s not. People who give such a stamp of approval of blatant sin are only showing they are in all likelihood not really born again believers in God.

    Jesus pointed out that marriage is between one man and one woman:

    Matthew 19:4-6 “And he [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

    Jesus even points out that for the cause of making them male and female, this is why male will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.

    Mark 10:5-7 “And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. (6) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. (7) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;”

    Jesus said God made them male and female – not male and male – not female and female.

    Jesus said man shall leave father and mother, not father and father, not mother and mother.

    Jesus said man shall cleave to his wife, not to his husband, not to her wife.

    1 Corinthians 7:2 “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

    Not to mention Jesus is God, so the entire Word of God is the Words of Christ. As Jesus is The Word.

    John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

    John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

    The Lord rebukes us for our attempts to destroy what He defined as one man and one woman.

    It doesn’t work anymore to call any who do not agree with the attempts of activists to legally re-define morals as having a phobia or being a bigot – people are realizing those are the only hateful actions here.

    We need to get back to the truth of God.

    May God / Jesus Christ be glorified.

    • Becky


  • WorldGoneCrazy

    ““[F]or many people, what today was about was simply tidying up and making the law of the church consistent with Scots law,” Chalmers explained.”

    Indeed. Trying to cram God’s Word into man’s law. Let’s see how that works out for them.

    • Ronald Carter

      To clarify, not “God’s word” but “what man elects to call God’s word”. I am certain we will see that it works out just fine, as it always does.

      • Oboehner

        Whatever you “elect” to believe.

        • Ronald Carter

          Much the same as yourself, I should think.

  • ComeOnPeople!

    I find it noteworthy to mention that the seal in the picture is the BURNING BUSH of MOSES… The man whom GOD chose to write down the instructions of GOD as he was moved upon by the SPIRIT. The burning bush was not consumed because it had the SPIRIT of life within it, yet disobedience to the instructions that GOD gave mankind is what brings forth death. If they continue to walk away from GODs’ ways , they may want to change their seal to something more befitting .