23 May 2009

Church of Scotland General Assembly says "aye" to gay minister

According to The Press Association, The Kirk of Scotland's highest governance assembly has rejected an attempt to block the appointment of The Rev'd Mr. Scott Rennie as a minister of the Scottish Kirk. The vote took place about two hours ago.

According to The Herald
Commissioners voted 326 to 267 in favour of appointing the Rev'd Scott Rennie, 37, currently at Brechin Cathedral, who had the support of the majority of the congregation at Queen's Cross in Aberdeen and the presbytery.

The gathered commissioners at the supreme court meeting of the Church of Scotland heard how left handed people were once considered "not normal", how in Roman times faithful homosexual relationships were accepted, and how the Kirk had previously changed its mind over controversial issues such as its stance on female ministers.

We don't stone women, we don't stone adulterers, we've moved on from that. The living word is Jesus and I think the question is, what would Jesus have done?
I should point out that the Church of Scotland is the Presbyterian Church, and should not be confused with the Anglican Church in Scotland which is, officially, The Scottish Episcopal Church.

The Scotsman reported that tough times are ahead for the Kirk
The debate on the subject of the acceptance of Rev Scott Rennie as Minister of Queen's Cross Church in Aberdeen, will certainly divide the church, as I believe it will be impossible to come to any sort of compromise.

The polarisation of conservative evangelical Christians and those of a more moderate and liberal stance has become more evident in recent years. The issue of homosexuality which the church wished would just "go away" must now be faced.
The article continues:
Around 10 per cent of the male population is gay. This has not altered as a statistic for generations, and is constant throughout all races.

These men do not "choose" their sexual orientation. They are born with it.

We know that gay men are often particularly skilled in the areas of art/music/theatre, and also in the "caring professions" such as nursing, and in the hospitality sector.

Where is the church's respect for the individual? Scott Rennie has already been labelled "the gay minister" in people's minds. What about him as a person with feelings, talents and a life to live without fear of discrimination.
Dani Garavelli puts it in perspective:
If there is to be a schism in the Church of Scotland over this matter it will not have been caused by Scott Rennie but by those who quite clearly may feel more comfortable in a church which places more store in the Old Testament than that which celebrates and promotes the teachings of Christ.
And so it is and so it will be. Are we to live in the Old Testament Law with its bondage or in the life Jesus brought us?