Live and Let Die – Lessons from the Scottish Parliaments Debate on SSM

Live and Let Die – Lessons from the Scottish Parliaments Debate on SSM

A great day for Scotland.  A great day for democracy.  A great day for equality.  A great debate showing the brilliance of our politicians.  Its time to party, party, party.  Celebrate good times, come on!   But what did we really learn from the historic last week that the Scottish Parliament finalised Same Sex Marriage?

1)   In this Brave New World, some people are more ‘equal’ than others.   Alex Neil the minister responsible for steering the bill through said there was nothing in the bill that would hinder people’s freedom of speech.  But he is missing the point.  There is nothing in the bill that will hinder government and other organisations discriminating against those who hold to the biblical view of marriage.  For example the Church of Scotland and the Humanist Society recently proposed to the Scottish Parliament that those who do not sign up to a schools equality and diversity policy should not be allowed to lead religious observance in that school.  Given that same sex marriage is often dubbed ‘equal marriage’ there is nothing in the bill to stop schools banning those of us who hold to the traditional view.  This is just one of the examples of discrimination that we will face in the future.  Our children will be indoctrinated and our opinions will be mocked and ridiculed.  Jackson Carlaw, Tory MP, cited from South Pacific ‘you’ve got to be taught to hate”.  The implication is that who oppose the new morality are haters.  And our children will be taught to hate ‘the haters’.   And who is to say it will stop there?  Is this really equality and diversity?  When MSPs voted 95:19 to reject John Mason’s amendment to protect those who hold to traditional views, they gave a clear indication of what is likely to happen.

2)   We are governed by opinion poll and the media zeitgeist, as much as we are by politicians and policies.  Several MSPs pointed out that public opinion was on the side of SSM.  Once again we ask simply if they are so confident why did they not actually ask the Scottish people in a referendum? Government by opinion poll does not indicate a healthy mature democracy.  Perhaps in the new Scotland we could a more Swiss style of democracy where we actually get to vote on important issues, rather than being told that politicians are representing the will of the people as expressed in loaded and limited opinion polls?  One MSP boldly declared that the bill would be passed.  It was a foregone conclusion.  Indeed it was.  But not just on the night.  It was a foregone conclusion before the ‘consultation’ even began.

3)   Our politicians are often full of hubris and their own importance.  MSPs congratulated one another as to how brilliant they were and what a great debate they had had.  There is a danger that they will really believe their own publicity.  Those who make truly brilliant speeches don’t need to tell themselves that they are brilliant!  Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.   The truth is that the overall standard of debate was of schoolboy quality and devoid of substantive content. The self-congratulatory nature of the debate still refused to recognise the legitimate concerns and questions of those who just refuse to bow before the dictates of our masters and betters.  We do not share the faith of MSPs that this change will ‘strengthen marriage’ and make it more acceptable.  We wonder if this does not happen, whether they will be willing to return to parliament and apologise for the harm they have done

4)   We have some fine Christian MSPs who did not bow the knee to Baal. Those like Richard Lyle and John Mason who, in the face of incredible pressure, held their own and spoke up for the biblical and sane position.   May God protect and keep them.

5)   Sentiment and not logic seems to be the basis of much of our politicians’ decision making.  Jim Eadie declared that the bill is the measure of a civilised and just society and that loving and committed relationships between two people should be recognised in the law.  Given that criteria Mr Eadie can have no logical reason for not allowing two sisters in a loving and committed relationship not to marry?  And why should he arbitrarily restrict the number to two people?  What if five people are in a loving and committed relationship?  Another MSP said that this now meant that ‘any couple’ could be married.  No it doesn’t. There are many couples who cannot get married if they wish.  But why should logic or truth get in the way of the Disneyesque sentiment that our politicians speak?!

6)    Our Politicians seem unable to define what marriage actually is – this is quite a serious point-not least because the bill actually redefines marriage.  In fact the more I listened the more I thought that this was more about enabling same sex couples to have a wedding day, than it was about marriage.  Given the criteria espoused by most of the politicians it seems as though they have just changed every marriage into a civil partnership. Jacqui Bailey in an appalling self-absorbed speech spoke of how the bill could only strengthen marriage.  Yet neglected to mention how this would actually happen.

7)   The Tory Party in Scotland is finishedUnless it manages to get itself some decent leadership.  There is no reason why anyone of a conservative disposition should vote for the Conservative party.  The contribution of Jackson Carlaw was desperate.  Yet he doubtless thought he was really witty and displaying the nice modern face of the new Tory party.  His next step will be to push for Margo MacDonald’s euthanasia bill.  An economically right wing Tory with a socially liberal agenda – to my mind that’s the worst of both worlds!

8)   There is a strong anti-Christian prejudice in the Scottish Parliament – It was incredible how many MSPs felt that they could lecture the church on what we should believe.  The ridicule and mockery was barely contained. Perhaps some day MSPs will be prepared to let those of us who actually know something about the Bible and Christian theology permission to speak and deal with their ignorant prejudice.  Kevin Stewart and Patrick Harvie for example told us how they knew better than church leaders what our people actually think.  How ironic that this came from a parliament which refused to consult the people!

9)   Some Christians don’t know how to engage the public discourse and would be better keeping silent.  Opportunity was given to the mockers by a minister who sent out a letter telling them that his conscience was clear but they were going to be judged by God.  Telling people they are going to hell because of one particular policy is an absurd way to behave – and really poor theology. And an absolute gift to the scoffers.  And standing outside parliament with placards of scripture verses is to my mind almost as detrimental.  What did the placarders think they would achieve?  Other than encourage those who think the opposition were religious nutcases anyway?  Can you imagine the early church picketing Nero’s palace?!

10)                  The chaos in the Church of Scotland is having a national impactseveral MSPs are elders or members of the Church of Scotland.   They know that their church is in a mess on this, as on many other issues.   They listened silently, or even joined in, as bible believing Christians were openly mocked and ridiculed.   On the Call Kaye programme the morning after the night before, Rev Alan Hamilton demonstrated the weakness of the Kirk’s position, when he declared that the Church of Scotland is a broad church that is trying to discern the will of God.  Does the Church of Scotland really not know the will of God?  Is the will of God ‘discerned’ by church politics and votes in the General Assembly, or by the Word of God?  Should ministers now really be preaching the Acts of Assembly or the Acts of the Apostles?

 11)                  It won’t end here.   Patrick Harvie said that in a few years we will wonder what all the fuss is about.  He may be right.  We will certainly have moved backwards to other things.  The Equality Network will after all need to find another cause to bring the promised Nirvana.

12)                  There were some good promised safeguards.  To be fair to the Scottish government, they have been trying hard. Mike Russell for example mentioned education guidelines which should mean that groups which oppose SSM should not be discriminated against in the hire of school premises.   We will see how long this lasts.

13)                  The government sponsored agency, The Equality Network, and Stonewall have an influence in the Scottish Parliament, well beyond the strength of their numbers or their arguments.  The amendments protecting freedom of speech did not go through primarily because Stonewall pronounced them to be ‘discriminatory’.  End of story.  Few MSPs would dare take on Stonewall and run the risk of being declared discriminatory.  The Scottish government funds The Equality Network, not to campaign against the enormous social and economic inequalities we see in Scottish society, but rather to campaign on LBGT issues.  The Equality Network in turn praise the government and the government praise them, in an incestuous dance of self-congratulation.  And of course the Equality Network in order to find reasons to justify their continued existence and funding, will soon be hunting for homophobes under the bed.  Never mind the next step is according to Patrick Harvie – the Commonwealth Games – where we can use our position as host nation to lecture the rest of the Commonwealth on the most important issue facing humanity today – homosexual rights.   Lets forget about the massacres of Christians, or the 2 billion people in the world living in poverty – as long as we focus on gay rights the whole world will be fine!

14)                  The Press did not seem to share the politicians view of their own ‘historic’ decision.  I was astonished to discover the following day that only the Herald had SSM as its main issue.  Why?  Was it because the papers knew that it was already a done deal?  But if this was truly more important than the referendum, why would that matter?  Can you imagine the press, the day after the referendum, when Scotland votes to remain in the UK, relegating the story to the second page?!    I would suggest that the newspapers, like the majority of people in Scotland, do not really see the significance of what was done.  They have bought into the whole ‘this is just about equality for homosexuals and does not really affect us’ approach.   It’s neither a cause for great celebration, nor great sorrow.  Lets us just get on with life.  The troubles at Rangers and the trials of Justin Beiber deserve more column inches.

15)                  This shows how far we have come as a societyAlex Neil said it showed that we can live and let live.  That there will be different viewpoints and we can all be together in one rainbow nation.  I disagree with this idealistic notion.   The consequences of this will not be a more just, equal and diverse nation.  It is part of a general regression to a Greco/Roman/Pagan worldview that will lead to increasing disparity between rich and poor, further social control by the elites, and a state imposed morality and intolerance towards all who do not accept it.  It is not live and let live.  It is live and let die.   God have mercy. 

32 thoughts on “Live and Let Die – Lessons from the Scottish Parliaments Debate on SSM

  1. On 2) I have a letter from my MSP making the astonishing and breath-taking admission that polls such as MORI, and Populous and surveys like the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, each of which only poll a tiny proportion of the population, are taken as a better guide of public opinion than government consultations, as the later are “self-selecting and do not necessarily reflect the views of the public at large on every occasion”. In other words the views of anyone who takes the trouble to prepare a thoughtful response to any issue will not be taken seriously because they are “self-selecting”.

  2. “9) Some Christians don’t know how to engage the public discourse and would be better keeping silent. Opportunity was given to the mockers by a minister who sent out a letter telling them that his conscience was clear but they were going to be judged by God. Telling people they are going to hell because of one particular policy is an absurd way to behave – and really poor theology. And an absolute gift to the scoffers. And standing outside parliament with placards of scripture verses is to my mind almost as detrimental. What did the placarders think they would achieve? Other than encourage those who think the opposition were religious nutcases anyway? Can you imagine the early church picketing Nero’s palace?!”

    David the unfortunate and inescapable reality in a post-Christian age with a neo-Pagan population is that it matters not what anyone says or does if it is based on the Bible, all naysayers are ignoramuses.

    Preaching repentance toward God and Faith in the finished work of Calvary IS our ONLY response to ANY and ALL opposition and any other response is Spiritual treachery.

  3. Some interesting comments. My quick thoughts on your points:

    1. In this Brave New World, some people are more ‘equal’ than others.
    I would agree and go further and suggest that this has always been the case. Such is democracy. Nonetheless, it is an ideal (equality) that many strive for. The conservative wing of the church can at times give an impression of holier than thou, which I think requires some addressing if it is to have a voice.

    2. We are governed by opinion poll and the media zeitgeist, as much as we are by politicians and policies.
    Again, I’d agree with much of this. The media has much power.

    3. Our politicians are often full of hubris and their own importance.
    As are all human beings at times.

    4. We have some fine Christian MSPs who did not bow the knee to Baal.
    And they voted as the Spirit led them, on both sides of the debate. It is deeply offensive to suggest that a Christian following what they believe God is saying to them to be referred to as a Baal worshipper, and I suggest as one Christian to another that this is a statement worth repenting of.

    5. Sentiment and not logic seems to be the basis of much of our politicians’ decision making.
    I find the dichotomy of logic or sentiment to be a false one. Sentiment, emotion and concern for people and their feelings is just another form of logic. Including emotions is not excluding logic.

    6. Our Politicians seem unable to define what marriage actually is.
    Again, I broadly agree. The concept of covenant relationship is not common in our culture and the church would do well to educate on this issue and model it.

    7. The Tory Party in Scotland is finished .
    Perhaps. However, it seemed to have been in sharp decline for decades, even before homosexuality was an issue. I don’t believe that standing up as anti-same sex marriage would have saved the Tories.

    8. There is a strong anti-Christian prejudice in the Scottish Parliament.
    I think one of the causes of this is your 9th point.

    9. Some Christians don’t know how to engage the public discourse and would be better keeping silent.
    I totally agree! Christians also need to learn to stop publicly condeming each other and fighting in public. In fact, they need to stop fighting full stop.

    10. The chaos in the Church of Scotland is having a national impact.
    I’m not sure the Church of Scotland has the impact on our nation we might think. It does wonderful work in communities, however, as do many other churches. However, in that work it is Christ glorified and his love made known, not the institution of the church.

    11. It won’t end here.
    Nothing in life or the Church or our understanding of God ever stays still. We must face each new challenge with a discerning and Spirit-filled heart.

    12. There were some good promised safeguards.
    I like and appreciate that you took some time to give praise to the Scottish parliament.

    13. The government sponsored agency, The Equality Network, and Stonewall have an influence in the Scottish Parliament, well beyond the strength of their numbers or their arguments.
    This might well be true. There is a world wide focus on the issue of sexuality at the moment. Where you and I disagree is where we think God is in it all.

    14. The Press did not seem to share the politicians view of their own ‘historic’ decision.
    That is interesting.

    15. This shows how far we have come as a society .
    I disagree that we are regressing to a greco-roman world. The real danger is if the church steps out of society and says “we want nothing to do with you”. Then, of course, we will move to a more pagan/secular world. However, we now have an opportunity for those of us within the Church (a growing number I believe) who actually support this direction and see it as entirely consistent with God’s will and the teaching of the Bible, to step up and welcome homosexuals fully into our community of faith and continue to teach about the covenant of marriage alongside the blessing of celibacy and the joy of singleness. We now have more people to minister to and bless in their relationships – people previously shunned and abused by a church that was echoing the discrimination of the culture we lived in at the time.

    1. Monk – thanks. I disagree that Christians should stop fighting. We have to fight for the Gospel – what we must not do is fight amongst ourselves. Your comment on point 4 shows the insanity of the liberal position. Did the Spirit really lead some people to vote against SSM and others to vote for it? Are you really saying the Holy Spirit does not know what the will of God is?! Thats the kind of non-sense and blasphemy that I will always fight!

      1. Thanks David. On the fighting comment, we are saying the same thing, as I was meaning fighting each other should neither be in public nor private. Contending for Jesus… absolutely! And this done in the right way, particularly as your point 9 shows.

        Your logic on the matters of Christians who disagree is one I understand but disagree with as I believe it is a bit naive and simplistic. I don’t mean this in a derogatory way. You appear to believe (forgive me if I have misunderstood) that if one Christian believes God is leading them in a certain way and another Christian believes God is leading them in another (opposing or disagreeing) way, then one must be right and the other wrong. One is obeying God and being true to his Word, while another is disobedient, a heretic or whatever. This makes logical sense, but I think is wrong.

        If you look closely at the teachings of Paul in the New Testament, you will see situations where believers have different responses to situations according to their own consciences and their belief of how to honour God in different contentious issues. Two examples of this would be the food sacrificed to idols and the eating of certain foods and observing certain holy days (1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14). In both these situations, it is crucial to remember that one “side” of each argument had apparent scripture to back up their beliefs, but the Spirit was doing something different in the body of believers that allowed difference of opinion. God was not interested in who was in the right or in the wrong, but wants each of us to seek Him directly on these issues and to continue to love our brothers and sisters, even those with differing views. It is by this love for each other that the world will know we are his disciples.

        Each of us will give an account to God. It is clear that for you to have anything to do with same sex marriage would be a sin, as your conscience does not allow it. However, just as it is wrong for me to try to impose my belief that God wishes the covenant of marriage to be accessible to gay Christians upon you, so I believe it is wrong for you to force your belief on me as it would go against my conscience and what God has revealed to me on this issue through prayer and study of the Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

        This is why I support moves that allow us within the Church to respect the consciences of those who disagree. This already happens with heterosexual marriage in situations of cohabitation or divorce for example.

        My position is not a liberal one. I believe it is a biblical one.

        What we ARE encouraged to do is to discuss, pray together, debate, wrestle with the Word and invite the Holy Spirit to give revelation and discernment. I do not believe we are invited to describe Christians who disagree as Baal Worshippers.

        God bless
        MM

      2. One of the most extraordinary and bizarre justifications I have ever read. Your position is neither biblical nor logical. It is unbiblical and very very foolish. Your reinterpretation of the teaching of 1 Corinthians 8 is an example of this – the teaching of the Holy Spirit is clear in 1 Corinthians 8 . He does not tell some that it is ok to eat food offered to idols and then others that it is not. Your trouble is that you are confusing your own desires and thoughts with the Spirit. The Spirit did not tell some MSPs that he wanted them to support SSM and others that he did not. The fact that you can even suggest that with a straight face. Your complete subjectivism actually makes any rational discussion impossible….there is nothing to discuss if discussion gets reduced to this level of illogicality, distortion and confusion.

      3. Dear David
        It is a shame that you did not take any of the valid points on board, or even address the serious issues raised, and instead resorted to dismissively calling my position very, very foolish, stating that I am completely subjective (whereas you are presumably completely objective?) and that my willingness to engage with your views in a respectful and courteous manner is met with a response that my views are illogical, distorted, confused and therefore there is nothing to discuss.
        I hope that this is merely the result of having caught you on a bad day and I look forward to a more considered reply in due course.
        God bless
        MM

      4. I realise that you think you are being profound and that your points are serious. I’m afraid I cannot take anyone seriously who believes that the Holy Spirit leads some people to think that His will is that SSM is right, and others that His will is that SSM is wrong. I was incredibly mild in my criticism of your position. I did not state I was completely objective. You are courteous. But speaking nonsense courteously does not make it any the less nonsense! Once you can get past the position that the Holy Spirit lies to some people then perhaps we might have something to talk about.

  4. The Holy Spirit does not lie to people. The Holy Spirit does guide us when we seek Him and ask for discernment. With regards the vote, people were led by a mixture of motives and some Christians (most were not I assume) earnestly sought God. There is rarely a case when a human being clearly discerns the Holy Spirit without any influence of their own desires and experiences. However, the result of the vote could well be (and I believe it is) part of God’s greater plan. Just because some vote in a way you agree with and some vote in a way you disagree with does not mean that those who agreed with you must have been doing God’s will and those disagreeing must have been bowing to Baal or disobeying God. That kind of thinking is, in my opinion, simplistic, black and white and leads to the temptation of criticising and judging others who are genuinely seeking God’s will. To judge the spiritual motives of other Christians just by the fact they disagree with you runs the very serious risk of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

  5. On the example of Romans 14, which you didn’t acknowledge, I would like to know how you answer this question: if some Jewish Christians felt God wanted them to honour their Jewish traditions (grounded in Scripture) and to avoid eating certain foods and observing certain holy days, whereas a second group of gentile Christians believed that these restrictions did not apply and they wanted to give thanks to God for these foods and did not feel the holy days required special observance, then does this mean one group was led by the Spirit and the other group was disobeying God? Paul did not take sides in this issue but instead reminded them each of us is accountable to God and that they needed to stop judging each other and start loving one another and respecting each other’s deeply held views. It is not a free for all, of course, but it is neither a simple case of one group must be right and the other wrong. That is where I am coming from. I would appreciate if you would stop referring to my genuine comments as nonsense. I might think the same of many of your views, but I have tried at all times to give a loving reply.

    1. Romans 14 is not a problem. The Holy Spirit does not say that people can eat anything to some, and then you can only eat vegetables to others. He does say that all food is clean, but that there are some people whose faith is weak, and given that it is not that important a matter, they need to be taken into account. This is not the equivalent at all of what you said – that the Holy Spirit had led some people to see that SSM was Gods will and others that it was not. And yes in this case it is simply a case of one opinion being right and the other wrong – they are contrary opinions. Either God says marriage is between a man and a woman only, or he says that it can be between a man and a man. It is not only your lack of logic that disturbs me, but your confusing of Scripture, your rubbishing of the teaching of the Church for 2000 years and perhaps just as disturbing, your attempt to hide all of that behind the ‘respect and love’ that you show. I don’t care two hoots how much respect and love you show me – it is all meaningless if you are going to play so fast and loose with the Word of God. You destroy that and you destroy me…however ‘lovingly’….

  6. It is a shame that you do not care too hoots about how much love and respect I show you. These things are paramount to my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I do not know how to get through to you David. It seems your heart is closed and so from this thread, unless you have more constructive things to say and your personal attacks cease, then I will step back and trust instead in my ongoing prayers for you.

    1. You misunderstand me. Its very easy for people to talk about love and respect. I hear it a lot. I want to see it. I fully accept that you speak in a respectful tone and a gracious manner. But that is not the issue – if you are running towards the end of the cliff and I speak nicely to you – and you continue to run, it would be unloving not to speak a bit more firmly! Your love and respect (although you do not know me) does not stop you saying that my heart is closed. Why? Just because I question how rational and biblical it is to say that the Holy Spirit guides some people that it is Gods will to accept SSM, and others that it is not? I may speak robustly but they are not personal attacks – I don’t know you so why would I attack you. I do think however that what you are teaching is so wrong and harmful….poison is still poison even if it is administered with sugar. I appreciate your prayers but I simply ask who you are praying to? The God of confusion ( who tells different people different and contradictory things) or the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Scripture?

  7. Dear David (I spent almost an hour composing a thought out reply, but the IT gremlins stole it! Please ignore any previous version of this reply).

    Firstly, thank you for this – I found the tone and language much more conducive to healthy conversation and am happy to continue. It is appreciated.

    I don’t think you fully understood my use of the examples in the early Church. I don’t believe that the Holy Spirit was saying the Jewish Christians were wrong to continue to observe their holy days or to avoid certain foods or that Christians whose conscience did not allow them to eat food sacrificed to idols were wrong to believe so. The issues here are not at all unimportant and for these early brothers and sisters were deeply held issues and the Jewish Chrisitans could point to Scripture to justify their positions. I do not believe that complex situations like these can be boiled down to one side being right and bringing God glory and the other side being wrong or not spirit led (or worse). That is what I mean by simplistic and naive logic.

    The gentile Christians were not rubbishing the faith and beliefs and traditions of the Jewish Christians (as you suggest I am doing with the last 2000 years of traditional views on marriage). But Paul, inspired by the Spirit, was wanting them to stop judging and condemning each other. I appreciate that you believe you are “firmly” calling to me because you believe I am falling of a cliff (and presumably asking others to follow). However, for the most part, all I see is derogatory criticism on a regular basis against other Christians (especially those within the Church of Scotland). These are not the voices we listen to and certainly do not cause any who disagree to pause and consider a new direction as we do not hear the voice of a loved one trying to save us but only condemnation and judgement.

    There is of course place for disagreement and lovingly challenging others. But when someone genuinely hears God speaking in a way that is different to your understanding, the way forward is to pray for discernment and to seek dialogue with that brother or sister to find out more, rather than label them as followers of Baal, or a liberal heretic, just because logic dictates that if their view is different to yours, it must be wrong. Sometimes both sides are wrong and God calls us together to a third way that does not force us against our consciences, as Paul teaches clearly in the examples I gave.

    There is a tendency in many (sadly more often among conservatives) to speak harsh, critical words and then claim they are spoken in love. This does not justify the public condemnation of other Christians. When we speak against other believers who are acting in accord with what they believe the Holy Spirit is saying to them, we run the very serious risk of speaking unwittingly against the Holy Spirit. The divisions in the early Church were equally heated and we should not dismiss them as unimportant issues about food.

    You have previously implied that in pointing out your flaws in criticising others, I am hypocritically doing the same. I hope you can see the clear difference in that I am lovingly asking you to consider that there might be other things happening than just one group following God and another disobeying or bowing to Baal.

    I know from experience that you will in all likelihood disagree with almost all my points. But please do not accuse me of spouting nonsense, spreading poison coated in sugar and the like. Before I write and submit, I pray carefully and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and speak through me (and yes, I am praying to God, our Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture and who resides in us through the Holy Spirit when we give our lives to following him). I may not always be right and will make mistakes, but I am still a follower of Christ and the words we speak against each other can at times be spoken against Christ himself. Jesus clearly said that the world would know us by the love we have for one another and I hope that you and I (and all readers of this blog) can find common ground that we can build true Christian fellowship together and leave aside the judgemental condemnations of those who see some situations differently.

    God bless
    MM

    1. Thanks MM…..however that still does not take away from the point that you were speaking nonsense when you said the Holy Spirit is the author of confusion – telling some Christians to support SSM and others not to do so. I have no idea of genuinely discerning whether someone is genuinely hearing GOd or not – unless they speak according to the Scriptures. Paul does not clearly teach a third way and your exegesis of these passages is a case of eisegesis – reading into the Scriptures what is not there. The simplistic and naive logic is to think that we just go along with whatever our feelings (guidance from the Spirit) is. The trouble is that you set up the game so that anyone who disagrees with your basic premise (that SSM is just an indifferent matter which Christians are free to disagree on) is automatically unloving, ungracious etc. And you set up yourself as loving, gracious and humble because you are willing to listen to other points of view (except the point of view that says that SSM is sin). Whether you do it deliberately or not, its a neat trick – that nearly always works in our culture. But I don’t accept it is biblical. I do not believe that the Holy Spirit is the author of confusion. I’ll stick with the Word of God. Whatever you may call me….

  8. Musing Monk,

    You say you speak out of love, but love can be misguided and I truly believe you are on this issue.

    We are told to love, but to love God and to seek His Glory above all, not to seek unity within a denomination, or unity with the current changing cultural mores we live in above all else.
    There can be no unity with the world in the sense that they do not believe the Gospel message, so what should we do? It seems to me reading your posts that you want to change the message, whereas David clearly feels that God’s message is clear and stays the same whatever the age we live in.

    With regard to the current topic I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where homosexuality is spoken of in a favourable light. Instead of which it is always spoken of as being a sin, a sin amongst others certainly, but a sin nevertheless.

    The argument which you put forward as to Paul only referring to temple prostitutes, doesn’t really stand up as we are never shown any examples of same sex relationships for us to emulate. Do you not think if God had felt this was something we should have free choice in He would have told us in His Word?

    Similarly with marriage. It is always spoken of as being between a man and a woman. From Genesis through to the time when Jesus himself mentions it it is spoken of as between a man and a woman. Again do you really believe that God just forgot to mention same sex marriage as a positive thing?

    You keep referring to the love and respect you have for others but mostly I find that you have no intention of dialogue unless it is on your terms, which seem to be based on a personal and emotionally led response to the Scriptures, which I don’t think is how we are meant to interpret them.

    So, sorry, I hope I haven’t caused you offense by my comments but I think you are a person who is sincerely seeking, but sincerely wrong on this issue.

    1. Thank you Grace. A very grace-ful reply indeed!

      I appreciate your points, and the loving way they are delivered. You make some interesting points, and I wholeheartedly agree that love can be misguided.

      Please do feel free to continue to dialogue with me on my own blog, as I would be happy to expand and continue to explore the topic of same sex marriage and homosexuality and scripture there (I do not wish to abuse David’s space here, which is a thread about a slightly different topic). David also moderates all comments, so I do not wish to give him extra work of moderating a conversation between others.

      With regards your comment about unity, I would agree wholeheartedly that we are not to seek unity with culture (although of course, we are called to love all, regardless of their cultural beliefs). We are, however, to avoid division between believers and to promote unity in the Church (the whole church of Christians, not just denominationally). If I did not seek this myself and did not love my conservative Christian brothers and sisters, I would not be here on this blog today, but would rather find an enclave of like-minded people and avoid interaction with people I disagree with.

      The message I proclaim is that God loves the world and Jesus died for us and rose again and calls us to be his disciples and when we give our lives to him, the Holy Spirit comes to reside within us and act as our guide and counsellor. Our job is to show the world around this love that all might know it. Is that a million miles away from the message you believe I should be proclaiming? Where there are contentious issues is where we as Christians are often drawn into temptation against one another and the focus is taken off God and onto our squabbles instead. Again, I appreciate that conservatives mostly do not think this issue is contentious, but each side tends to see his or her views as clear and unambiguous.

      My main issues with David’s posting that we were discussing above was his describing other Christians as bowing down to Baal and the frequent condemnation of other believers. This is something that I think is very serious and requires much consideration. I fully accept that some hold strongly to a belief that the Bible is against homosexual relationships. My issue is the judgement that is made about other Christians who disagree and the consequent division and disunity that follows.

      I have on other places been accused of not having a saving faith and even here there were questions of the God I worshipped. All because of one single issue, and that is the place of homosexuality in God’s Kingdom.

      I am sad to say you do not see me as keen for dialogue. Perhaps you have only read my interchanges with David, which at times I find very stressful indeed! I am very keen for dialogue among Christians and extend a warm welcome to you on my own blog if you wish to discuss things more.

      God bless, and thank you again David for this space.
      MM

      1. [Hi David. I notice my reply to Grace wasn’t published. I assume this is because you are incredibly busy and have missed it. I do not want Grace to think I was ignoring her. Any chance you could post it?]

      2. [here it is again!]

        Thank you Grace. A very grace-ful reply indeed!

        I appreciate your points, and the loving way they are delivered. You make some interesting points, and I wholeheartedly agree that love can be misguided.

        Please do feel free to continue to dialogue with me on my own blog, as I would be happy to expand and continue to explore the topic of same sex marriage and homosexuality and scripture there (I do not wish to abuse David’s space here, which is a thread about a slightly different topic). David also moderates all comments, so I do not wish to give him extra work of moderating a conversation between others.
        With regards your comment about unity, I would agree wholeheartedly that we are not to seek unity with culture (although of course, we are called to love all, regardless of their cultural beliefs). We are, however, to avoid division between believers and to promote unity in the Church (the whole church of Christians, not just denominationally). If I did not seek this myself and did not love my conservative Christian brothers and sisters, I would not be here on this blog today, but would rather find an enclave of like-minded people and avoid interaction with people I disagree with.

        The message I proclaim is that God loves the world and Jesus died for us and rose again and calls us to be his disciples and when we give our lives to him, the Holy Spirit comes to reside within us and act as our guide and counsellor. Our job is to show the world around this love that all might know it. Is that a million miles away from the message you believe I should be proclaiming? Where there are contentious issues is where we as Christians are often drawn into temptation against one another and the focus is taken off God and onto our squabbles instead. Again, I appreciate that conservatives mostly do not think this issue is contentious, but each side tends to see his or her views as clear and unambiguous.

        My main issues with David’s posting that we were discussing above was his describing other Christians as bowing down to Baal and the frequent condemnation of other believers. This is something that I think is very serious and requires much consideration. I fully accept that some hold strongly to a belief that the Bible is against homosexual relationships. My issue is the judgement that is made about other Christians who disagree and the consequent division and disunity that follows.
        I have on other places been accused of not having a saving faith and even here there were questions of the God I worshipped. All because of one single issue, and that is the place of homosexuality in God’s Kingdom.

        I am sad to say you do not see me as keen for dialogue. Perhaps you have only read my interchanges with David, which at times I find very stressful indeed! I am very keen for dialogue among Christians and extend a warm welcome to you on my own blog if you wish to discuss things more.

        God bless, and thank you again David for this space.
        MM

  9. Today’s verse of the day (my online Bible app – I did not seek this out to back up my point, but it appeared when I prayed and asked God to give me a word for today) is, I believe, a word for us all and a definite word from the Holy Spirit to us here:

    1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV

    “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

    May God bless all readers this day as we strive for this unity together.
    MM

    1. I agree. But the only way we can experience that unity is if we stick with the Word of God. Anything else is just false. Do you really think Paul was advocating unity with the circumcisers, the false teachers, the Nicolatians, the Pharisees…..?

      1. Hi David
        I’m glad you agree!
        No, Paul was not advocating unity with these people. He was advocating unity in the Church among followers of Christ.
        That, I believe, includes both you and I?
        MM

  10. Re your Point 7,

    If we look at the actual voting statistics (by Party) for those voting
    against this we find that of 18 MSPs there were 8 Conservative Members
    out of a total of 15 (53% of the Parliamentary Party). This compares with the
    SNP who had 7 Members voting against out of a total of 65 (11%) and Labour
    who had 3 MSPs voting against out of 38 MSPs (8%).

    Given the above I find it strange that the Conservative Party should be singled
    out for criticism.If anything they should be applauded (I don’t mean the leadership
    here). Could you ever imagine over half the Parliamentary SNP or Labour parties
    voting against this?

    Apart from this I’d like to thank you for another very good and incisive Post.

  11. “Do you not think that everyone in the Church claims to be a follower of Christ?”
    I didn’t really understand the point of this question, apologies if I’m missing the obvious.

    I think many people go to Church for different reasons. I don’t think every Church attender is a Christian as it draws many folk at different stages of their walk of faith.

    1. It is interesting, because I was just logging on to ask David’s views on the current situation in Arizona – I would be interested to know the views of those in this country and if they agree with what is portrayed as the American conservative evangelical view.
      Would those who oppose SSR go as far as to support the kind of legislation that was vetoed in Arizona?
      MM

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *