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Scotland: Church minister defects over gay clergy

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  1. Guglielmo Marinaro 5 Oct 2012, 9:33pm

    Sorry to be pedantic, but the Church of Scotland doesn’t have vicars. It has ministers.

    1. To be fair to the writer of this article, he only uses the word “vicar” once he goes on to talk about a Church of England vicar. When writing about the Church of Scotland minister he never refers to him as a vicar anywhere in this article.

    2. tell him to not let the doorknob hit him where the Lord split him on his way out the door.

      It might rattle his prostate and he’d cum in his pants (or panties)

  2. And to second that the Kirk is Presbyterian, not Anglican as could have been interpreted.

  3. That There Other David 5 Oct 2012, 10:06pm

    Another church going through a schism eh? It’s getting to the point where there’s more denominations than Christians.

    1. Scottish Presbyterianism makes a sport of it.

  4. Robert Brown 5 Oct 2012, 10:06pm

    Why doesn’t he simply become a Nichiren Buddhist? . . .



    1. He’s leaving because they aren’t anti-gay enough for him. Buddhism isn’t anti-gay so why would he want to become Buddhist?

    2. I’m confused, is he leaving ’cause they’re too anti-gay or not anti-gay enough?

      1. Not anti-gay enough.

  5. It would be nice if the article indicated whether he defected because he thought the Church of Scotland was too pro-gay or too anti-gay.

    1. My thoughts exactly.

    2. From the Scotsman article link:
      “A FORMER Church of Scotland minister has accused the Kirk of an “erroneous liberal agenda” and of the “systematic dismantling of the true gospel” over the ordination of gay ministers.”
      “It’s not with any sense of bravado or anything like that. But it’s sadly the case that after many years of liberalism and political-style manoeuvring, the Church of Scotland has reached a point where the only thing that’s not tolerated is Biblical orthodoxy.”
      He left because the church isn’t hateful enough for his liking.

    3. New Aussie 6 Oct 2012, 2:57am

      Since the battle around Scott Rennie,the openly gay minister in Aberdeen, there has been an ongoing debate in the church. The general assembly is the democratic parliament of the church and there was an attempt to introduce a ban on gay ministers there, something that the general assembly voted not to do. They instead voted to continue with all the gay and lesbian ministers they have but pause new ordinations until the issue is resolved. A clear majority supports gay ordination but also recognises the debate must progress slowly to keep everyone on board. That is what this minister objects to

      1. New Aussie 6 Oct 2012, 2:59am

        Alo note that the Church of Scotland is not so clearly against gay marriage as some might think. It’s sister churches in England (URC) and on the continent so support gay marriage and if the Cof S can rid itself of all the headbangers like the bloke above it will in time move to the same position.

        1. The Church of Scotland IS clearly against same sex marriage.

          1. New Aussie 7 Oct 2012, 12:49am

            There are significant numbers of people in the Church of Scotland who are pro gay marriage and it is a democratic church. Also, many of its sister churches in England, Canada and the Netherlands already do fully support gay marriage. At present the balance is tipped against gay marriage but most people believe this balance will shift significantly once the legislation is passed. The same cannot be said for any of the other churches opposing SSM in the UK

          2. New Aussie 7 Oct 2012, 4:56am

            Note: there are probably similar proportions of Catholics and Anglicans who are progay but because these are top down episcopal churches rather than Presbyterian democratic churches and because their heirarchies are dead against any change, it is unlikely that they will change for a good long while.

          3. But at the moment the Church of Scotland is quite clearly & firmly against same sex marriage. Just because it may change it’s view in the future doesn’t make it any less opposed to same sex marriage at thd moment.

            I see your point about it being a democratic church, and if a majority of people in the Church of Scotland are in favour of gay marriage then it shouldn’t be long before it comes round to supporting it – but I’m not as optimistic as you about it. When you look at it’s vote to allow gay ministers, for example, it was 351 in favour, 294 against and 208 abstentions – not exactly overwhelmingly in favour.

  6. I mean to say, who gives a jot about the Reverend Paul Gibson. Or the Free Church of Scotland for that matter. Even in Scotland!

  7. I agree with Rich. Why doesn’t this article give us the REASON he quit?

    Was it because the Church in Scotland is AGAINST gays?
    Or because the Scottish Government was going to legislate in favour of extending marriage to gay and lesbian couples?
    Surely that is not something the Church could be blamed for?
    So WHY is he quitting it?

    Please be a bit more clear in your news reports. This has happened before- the stories are too short without enough detail

    1. I’m glad it’s not just me who didn’t understand the article. The Scotsman gives better info:

      ‘A FORMER Church of Scotland minister has accused the Kirk of an “erroneous liberal agenda” and of the “systematic dismantling of the true gospel” over the ordination of gay ministers.
      The Rev Paul Gibson has become the latest minister to leave the Kirk for the Free Church of Scotland over the issue’

      1. My automatic response on the lack of information was that he was sympathetic to equal marriage. Sadly I was proved wrong again. Ah well.

    2. New Aussie 6 Oct 2012, 2:51am

      He is quitting largely because of a debate that has been going on for the last few years. when Scott Rennie, an openly gay minister who had come out while minister in Brechin moved parishes to Aberdeen, a group in the church led by Willie Philip tried to campaign to reverse the decision of the Aberdeen presbytery. They failed, so the matter was taken to the General Assembly, which is the democratic parliament of the church. The head angers like the minister above wanted the church to ban gay people from the ministry. But the general assembly decided instead to allow all gay men and women currently ordained to continue in their offices and change parishes without problems. But they put in a moratorium on decisions about newly ordaining gay men and women. A majority in the assembly were of the opinion that the church has to accept gay people in the ministry but that moves towards that will have to be slow. This is clearly unacceptable to the headbangers in the church.

      1. Could you write these articles in future, please

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Oct 2012, 12:09am

    Who cares? I wish they’d all leave so their “kirk” would disintegrate altogether, one less hate group to contend with.

    1. If this guy is leaving because the majority of the church is in favour of allowing gay and female ministers, then why exactly are you calling them a hate group?

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Oct 2012, 12:10pm

        Just because it may favour the ordination of gay ministers, doesn’t make it a supporter of full equality. Do you know if it supports equal marriage? I doubt it. I’ve not read that anywhere. As long as any religious denomination remains in opposition and doesn’t denounce the hateful rhetoric coming from other denominations which is always based on lies and gross distortion of facts (bearing false witness against one’s neighbour), then I call it what it is, hate.

        1. Robert, the Church of Scotland does not support same sex marriage.

          And it doesn’t support the ordination of gay ministers, it only supports those who were already ordained and openly gay by 2009 or something like that. They are still deciding about ordaining new gay ministers. Here’s a bit from the original Scotsman story:

          “His departure from the Kirk follows the ruling by its General Assembly in 2011 that practising homosexuals already in posts could be inducted into other charges, while a special commission was established to consider the future appointment of openly gay ministers.”

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Oct 2012, 7:58pm

            I figured it didn’t support equal marriage, BennieM. Whatever they do, even if they accept openly gay ministers, you can bet they’ll also follow the CoE by demanding that they remain celibate, an absurd imposition and a cruel one in my view. As long as those offensive, insulting discrepancies remain, they’ll remain hate groups to me. Homophobia is hate anyway and some will try to skew it otherwise. Loving the sinner and hating the sin in my view doesn’t cut it. It’s a cop-out to distance themselves from any homophobic labelling. It just doesn’t work that way. Almost all of them do it, but it’s so transparent to us of course.

          2. I agree with everything you say, Robert! I really have no time for religion and their homophobia. If they can’t be fully accepting of gay people then they are homophobic. Other people can make excuses and defend them, but not me!

          3. New Aussie 7 Oct 2012, 12:59am

            While this is true BennieM, the tactic of setting up a “special commission” is a delaying tactic. Many ministers, elders and managers in last years general assembly voiced support for gay ordination. It is hoped that with time they will win the argument. The attrition of defections such as the above and the demographics that always skew the conservatives into older age brackets as well as the popularity of gay marriage when it comes in, should all move the argument on in the next few years. This after all is the tactic liberals used over divorce and the ministry a generation ago.

          4. I don’t doubt what you say, New Aussie. But at the moment the Church of Scotland is opposed to same sex marriage and only allows gays ministers who were already ordained and open about their sexuality. That may change in future, even the near future but until it does, the Church of Scotland is not fully accepting of gay people and can therefore be called homophobic.

          5. Tim Hopkins 7 Oct 2012, 6:20pm

            Robert is mistaken on the celibacy issue. The Church of Scotland decided some years ago that it would ordain gay ministers who are celibate. The current debate is about non-celibate gay ministers. As Bennie has said, the decision so far is to allow those who were ordained before a certain date to stay. There is a 2-year study (“theological commission”) reporting to the general assembly in May 2013 on possible rules for ordaining new non-celibate gay ministers.

  9. ...Paddyswurds 6 Oct 2012, 1:03am

    The desperation of these Abrahamic homophobic bigots is so obvious by their disingenuous
    utterings. What next they have already made clear their need for incest to be made legal, they want to be able to marry their horse it is hrdly a surprise they are anti something….

  10. New Aussie 6 Oct 2012, 2:42am

    Look, this is a trivial matter. He was a trainee minister at Tain in the Highlands and acolyte of the Willie Philip faction. His estimate that there are ” many” who feel like him is a bit of an exaggeration. The Church of Scotland is a Presbyterian and therefore a democratic church and polling shows that a majority in the church support gay ordination. One less headbanger will make the argument less fraught at the next general assembly.

  11. I hope he doesn’t follow Pink News or his head might explode! (from last month): “The United Church of Canada elected its first openly gay moderator this week.”

    Or this from The United Church Observer this week: “The new moderator’s first sermon as the elected leader of the United Church was vintage Paterson — erudite, funny, serious, passionate and delivered without notes. Seated below the small raised stage that barb janes had spoken from the day before, Tim Stevenson brushed away tears, no doubt struck by the history his spouse was making, by the struggles and sacrifice it had taken to get there, and by the inescapable fact that their life together was about to change.”

  12. Moving to the Frees doesn’t suggest someone with a fun approach to life.
    The Kirk may have just detectably lightened up as a result.

  13. At first I read the title as “Church minister defecates over gay clergy”
    On second thoughts I wasn’t far off.

    1. lol . . .

      I think that is pretty accurate, especially since we continue to be abject subjects in the eyes of many religous, and non religous people.

      On a serious note, at the one of the Russian pride marches, before they were banned, excrement was literally thrown at those LGBT people taking part in the march

  14. First of all, the Church of Scotland cannot exactly be descirbed as “liberal” or having a pro-gay agenda given their oppostion to same sex marriage and their fudging of the issue of gay ministers.

    Secondly, this minister is the second or third to leave the Church of Scotland over this issue – they’re not exactly leaving it in droves therefore you could conclude that most followers aren’t concerned by gay issues.

    Finally, I don’t really care if a religion splits apart over gay issues. I have no time for religions and their hatred of gay people – and yes, I know not all religions are homophobic, but the main ones are and I couldn’t care less if those ones all folded tomorrow.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 7 Oct 2012, 1:17pm

      Well said, BennieM. They’ve (almost all denominations) had more than enough time to evolve given their centuries old history of institutionalised homophobia. Just look at the CoE for starters. Rowan Williams and that other potential next lead of their church, Bishop Sentamu, have admitted some degree of responsibility, but an official apology and no amount of contrition have been forthcoming. As long as they remain opposed to our equality, they will remain the homophobic churches that they’ve always been. None of them resemble Christians, what few there are, arguably not even in name only. They have much to answer for.

  15. The amount of time and energy wasted squabbling over the assumed wishes of a supernatural entity just makes me want to weep.

    The bible – like any other dogmatic document – is sufficiently ambiguous that you can hold it up to yourself as a mirror and pick out the bits that serve you best.

    Do you want peace, love and snuggling? Sure.

    How about damning your foes? It’s there too.

    Need to cherry-pick a verse or two to support your bias? Go ahead. An example? The odious thing was used both FOR and AGAINST slavery.

    So if you can see whatever you want to see (or whatever your church interprets for you) how can anyone even try to assert the “right” way to believe.

    I am, of course, invoking the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, which amuses the heck out of me given the article.

    1. I’ll stick with the peace, love and snuggling. Thanks.

      1. Because the bible is a mirror – you may hold it up to yourself and see whatever serves your own needs reflected back to you.

        If you are a peaceful and loving person anyway, you can find that has biblical endorsement (although you don’t need it if that is your nature).

        You just have to ignore all the carnage and brutality (or apologise your way around it).

        1. I’m an ex-theology student, and wary of those who need to use scripture of any religion to endorse or justify their lives.

          I see those that use the Bible exactly as you have said, Valksy, a mirror to justify love or violence. Whilst I have faith, I have no patience for those who use ancient worldview scripture to frame contemporary life and condemn the ‘other’ as less than human.

          If preachers had more theology and less faith, there might be less brainwashed flock out there. Mind you, I have the same opinion about rabid atheists as well.

          1. I don’t think your last paragraph made any sense.

          2. Doesn’t it?

            I mean that if preachers should use some theology in their sermons, looking at history and biblical theory, rather than hellfire and damnation based on dangerous cultural rhetoric.

          3. What’s a rabid atheist? I’d like to be one, but it’s quire difficult to be rabid about nothing.

  16. David Millar 6 Oct 2012, 10:07pm

    in my teesn I went , fior awhile,m to a Church of scotland youth club in evening the Minister livened our evening by asking “do you break the law, or does the law break you?”…nowadays they seem to resign instead.

  17. Christopher in Canada 6 Oct 2012, 10:43pm

    39 and so bigoted? Where the hell was he in the 70’s and 80’s – under a rock?!?!?!

  18. and nothing of value was lost

  19. I have to say, this is a very badly written article. It does not clearly state why he left that particular church.

  20. “systematic dismantling of the true gospel”

    What a load of b****cks! There is no such thing as ‘scriptural, Biblical or Gospel truth’. Scripture is and has always been about interpretation and faith is all about interpreting scripture according to one’s pre-existing agenda and prejudice.

  21. God are they still harping on?


  22. t4ell him to not let the doorknob hit him where the Lord split him on his way out the door.

    It might rattle his prostate and he’d cum in his pants (or panties)

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