Christians who use the Bible as an excuse for homophobia have been criticised by the Church of Scotland’s official magazine.

According to The Scotsman, an editorial in the latest edition of Life and Work states that even the most vehement traditionalists cannot take everything in the Bible literally.

It says: “Every student of the Bible is a selective literalist. Those who swear by the anti-homosexual laws in the Book of Leviticus wouldn’t publicly advocate slavery or stoning women taken in adultery.

“They presumably no longer accept Biblical teaching on sexual matters such as polygamy and sex with slaves.

“And yet there are many who continue to be bound by a few Biblical verses – none of them in the Gospels – about homosexuality, nowadays understood as a matter of genetics rather than lifestyle.”

Life and Work magazine, founded in 1879, claims to be “editorially independent” of the Church of Scotland.

Between May 21st to 27th, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is to meet to consider whether a gay minister should be allowed to work at a Aberdeen church.

Rev Scott Rennie, 36, was appointed to Queen’s Cross Church in January. He lives with his long-term partner, who works as an RE teacher.

However, 12 members of the Aberdeen Presbytery objected to the decision because they do not approve of his lifestyle.

Despite the opposition, more than 80 per cent of Rennie’s congregation voted for him.