Letters Sex and sexuality The Church in Scotland

Letter in Scotsman on Ministers in Same-Sex Relationships

The Scotsman ran an editorial in support of the Church of Scotland decision to permit ministers in gay relationships.  This was hardly surprising coming from a liberal non-Christian newspaper.   They did so on the basis that the ministry should be open to every category!  They printed my obvious response today –

“Dear Editor,

While I am sure the Church of Scotland appreciates the
 support of your editorial (22 May) it is, in fact, still the case that the Church does and should restrict being a minister to “only some categories of people”.

Not everyone has the right to become a minister. It should be self-evident that someone who is called to be a “minister of word and sacrament” should be someone who actually believes the word (the Bible) they are supposed to be teaching.

And therein lies the nub of the issue.  The concern is not with
 homosexuality but whether the Church is to be governed by the word of God, or the passing 
fashions of the age.   The old adage remains true –she who marries the spirit of the age will be a widow in the next.

David A Robertson

St Peter’s Free Church

St Peter Street




  1. Clear and brief – well done

    They will of course argue that bible’s stance on homosexuality needs historical, contextual unpacking

    But the overall point about the ministry not being open to all remains – what if a self-proclaimed Sikh, Muslim or Buddhist wanted to have go

  2. David, thank you for writing your letter which I agree with wholeheartedly.

    However……. I thought this was an interesting turn of events.

    This in today’s Telegraph at the Hay Festival. Richard Dawkins is the author being questioned.

    “The author made the comments after being questioned by an American minister in the audience who claimed that he no longer believed in miracles or that Jesus was resurrected, but still considered himself a Christian and preached the teachings of Christ.
    “I would describe myself as a secular Christian in the same sense as secular Jews have a feeling for nostalgia and ceremonies,” said Dawkins.
    “But if you don’t have the supernatural, it’s not clear to me why you would call yourself a minister.
    “But I am a secular Christian, if you want to call me that.” ” …….

    So I suppose, alongside those who see same sex relationships as being no barrier to admission to training for the ministry, these people also might feel that they have the right to train as ministers in the denomination of their choosing. Even when they do not adhere to its beliefs.

    Richard Dawkins as a secular Christian,I suppose it’s a step in the right direction!

    1. I once heard a female protestor at the anti-capitalist sit in at St Paul’s a few years ago describe herself on radio as a Christian Atheist!

      1. I guess she means she stands for Christian moral values, but without its historical underpinning.

        It is in large part the church’s fault that outsiders think that this is a valid stream within in Christianity – they have heard so much from us about moral imperatives rather than moral impossibities that they conclude that the solution is self-application not salvation

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