The Church of Scotland this month will finally confront the issue of whether a homosexual can be ordained into the ministry. There is a real danger that the church will end up on the wrong side of history.
By Ron Ferguson
Sunday 5 May 2013
GEORGE Bernard Shaw once said that if all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.
The Church of Scotland this month confronts the issue of gay ministers
The same might be said for theologians. The Church of Scotland has got its ecclesiastical knickers in a twist once more; this time over the question of whether a gay or lesbian Christian in a civil partnership can be ordained to the ministry. The issue will come to a head on May 21 at the Kirk’s General Assembly in Edinburgh, where a report by a theological commission on same-sex relationships and the ministry will be presented. However, after two years of study, the only conclusion that the commission has come to is that it cannot reach a conclusion.
Here’s the back story: the Church of Scotland, like many other churches, is divided on the issue of homosexuality. There are two main groupings, usually identified as “liberals” and “conservative evangelicals”, but which the commission labels “revisionists” and “traditionalists”.
Revisionists take the Bible seriously, but not literally. They point to contradictions within the sacred text, and argue that while the Bible is an inspired treasury of spiritual wisdom and is indispensable written testimony to the foundational events of Christian faith, parts of it deal with historical situations that have no direct relevance for today. Traditionalists love scripture and fear that a revisionist-dominated Kirk would emasculate the Christian gospel and turn it into a mirror of the world rather than providing an alternative critique.
read more – Herald Scotland.
- Church of Scotland to decide whether to ordain gay clergy (news.queerchurch.com)
- Williams urges Kirk not to split over gay ministers (scotsman.com)
- update on same-sex marriage in Scotland (thinkinganglicans.org.uk)
- Queering the Bible (ptrentolsen.wordpress.com)