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Joined: Jan 2003
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Kirk votes to back gay minister


The Rev Scott Rennie dismissed claims the issue would divide the church

Church of Scotland leaders have voted to uphold the decision to appoint a gay minister to a church in Aberdeen.

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland voted by 326 to 267 in support of the Rev Scott Rennie, 37, after more than four hours of debate.

Mr Rennie had been backed by the majority of the congregation at Aberdeen's Queen's Cross Church.

People on both side of the argument protested outside the meeting in Edinburgh.

Divide church

Mr Rennie, a divorced father-of-one, is currently a minister at Brechin Cathedral and said he was open with the congregation at Queen's Cross about being gay and living with his male partner.

Arriving at the assembly earlier, he said: "There are many gay ministers in the Church of Scotland and I hope that justice is done for them tonight."

He also dismissed claims the issue would divide the Church.

"The same talk was about when women were ordained and I think that argument suits those that don't want any change," he said.

He added: "We don't stone women, we don't stone adulterers, we've moved on from that."

However, more than 400 Kirk ministers and almost 5,000 Church of Scotland members are said to have signed an online petition opposing the appointment.

'Acknowledge diversity'

One of those ministers, the Reverend David Randall, said he believed that "a minister is somebody who ought to live by the Bible".

He said: "We believe that the Bible's teaching is quite clear in this matter - that marriage is the right and only context for sexual relationships."

The demonstration at The Mound in Edinburgh on Saturday was led by Pastor Jack Bell of the Zion Baptist Church in Glasgow.

"We are absolutely opposed to that on the basis of what God has to say about homosexuality in the Bible," he said.

A larger demonstration was help by supporters of Mr Rennie.

The Reverand Ewen Gilchrist, interim moderator at Queen's Cross, said there should be more acceptance.

"Sexuality is something that the church doesn't have a good track record about", he said.

"We constantly lock it up and frown about it. Here's an opportunity to welcome it, to acknowledge the diversity of human sexuality and to bring that richness into our life and worship."

www.bbcnews.com

Quote
Here's an opportunity to welcome it, to acknowledge the diversity of human sexuality and to bring that richness into our life and worship."


What will the next sexual "'diversity' which will bring richness into life and worship be" after this victory becomes history ?!?


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The closest I've been to Scotland is Durham but my impression from far away is the Scottish Kirk (the original Presbyterians in their mother country) is essentially the Church of England (a state church) without the claim of having bishops or any Anglo-Catholics (of course); that is, what Americans call a mainline denomination, pretty much riddled with widespread unbelief including among the clergy since the 1700s. The fundamentalist-modernist war in Protestantism was fought in the 1920s and in the mainline groups the liberals won, so these ecclesial communities (Vaticanese for non-churches: the Orthodox are churches) are whatever the government and secular society want them to be. Now they want gay weddings.

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Just to clarify:

The (established) "Church of Scotland" is Presbyterian. Scotland also has some much smaller Presbyterian groups (including one called the Wee Frees!) which are more strongly Calvinist.

The "Episcopal Church of Scotland" is Anglican, and tends to be strongly "High Church". The Episcopal Church of Scotland was involved with the organizing of the (Protestant) Episcopal Church in the USA and with the development of the American Book of Common Prayer.

Fr. Serge

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I guess we should not be surprised at this ... it's just another indicator of the disintegration of moral society as a whole. As strange as this may sound - but possibly indicative of my age (64) - I am just beginning to understand why our elderly are "ready" to pass from this world into the next, which we often will hear them say. Just in my lifetime, I have seen so much major, downhill, moral change that it is, well ..... mind-boggling, to say the least.
abby
<*)))><

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I have heard that when the folks in Scotland decided to leave Catholicism, they diligently sought out a religion unpleasant enough to suit them, and found it in Presbyterianism. wink I have wondered if the Scottish Presbyterian church is as liberal as their counterpart in the U.S.

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Bare in mind that over half actually oppose ths move, and many threaten o leave over it, before we judge them too harshly.


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