Church of Scotland admits to 'historic intolerance'

A working group of the Mission and Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland is to present the General Assembly with an in-depth report on ‘same-sex partnerships as an issue in theology and human sexuality’.

Read the official press release here:

…The report, which is entitled A challenge to unity, takes as its starting point an acknowledgement of the strength of feeling that has already been expressed on the issue of same-sex relationships. However, the considerable body of work that is to go before May’s Assembly does not seek only to study the two sides of the debate – indeed, the idea that the debate has only two primary viewpoints is specifically rejected. A challenge to unity seeks to give a flavour of the wide range of views held within the church, and to identify areas of common ground around which the church might unite…

Read the full text of the report here (RTF).

Read the Ekklesia news article: Church of Scotland admits institutional homophobia:

An influential group of ministers in Scotland’s largest Protestant church has said that its clergy and congregations have been “sinfully” intolerant of gays and lesbians in its ranks.

In a report on homosexuality, a working party has concluded that the Church of Scotland has been institutionally homophobic for much of its history…

Other news reports:
Scotsman Ten years, hundreds of hours of debate and the Kirk finally decides on homosexuality: ‘It’s up to you!’
Guardian ‘Sinful’ Church of Scotland told it must accept gays in its ranks

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NP
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NP

2 Tim 4:3

Kennedy Fraser
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Kennedy Fraser

Just to be clear and avoid confusion, the Church of Scotland is a Presbyterian church and is not the equivalent of the Church of England in Scotland. Although it is the national church it is not established in the same way as the CofE.

The Scottish Episcopal Church is the Anglican church north of the Border (www.scotland.anglican.org).

Apologies if I am teaching anyone’s granny to suck eggs!

Abigail Ann Young
Guest

2 Tim 3.5

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

2 Tim 4:2

Pluralist
Guest

1 Samuel 18: 1-4

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

NP, Might it be possible that 2 Tim 4:3 refers to what happened in Europe around 500 years ago, give or take? Just a suggestion. If it isn’t possible, why isn’t it possible?

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Sad, how quicly a wonderfully crafted and thoughtful report is debated as though it were about scoring points in a tennis match

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

Funny how some of us get hung up on quoting isolated verses in various Epistles in the NT. Anyone who quotes single verses should be ashamed at taking what often turns out to be one half of a sentence and assuming it to be a complete statement. I can’t call this anything less than an abuse of scripture, no matter who does it. I wonder how those poor people in so-called “traditionalist” parishes get by; do their pastors assume they don’t read the rest of the paragraph (even in their own time)? I am sure that St Paul would be… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

The Church of Scotland is the Established Church in and of Scotland. The Queen is its Supreme Govenor also.

She is a Presbyterian in Scotland and an Anglican when in England. There is something to be said for pragmatism you know. But it has to cut both (or all) ways to work …

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Who is Tim ? Popular lad !

Marshall Scott
Guest

Oh! What fun! Can I play, too?

John 3:17

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

The Church of Scotland would describe itself as a National church rather than an Established church, as Kennedy rightly noted above. The Queen most certainly is not the Supreme Governor of the Church of Scotland.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Laurence Roberts asked: “Who is Tim?”

A nom de guerre for whomever some in Smyrna wanted to succeed old Polycarp, it seems…

But you laddies and lassie; do you seriously consider a mid 2nd century forgery in Paul’s name “scripture”?

If so, Why?

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Gay wedding bells in Gretna Green!

Seriously, this is a hugely important document which I look forward to reading in depth. Could this be presented as part of the Listening Process in the AC?

If the established church of one part of UK favours blessing same-sex couples, and now that more and more civil partnerships are taking place across the country, shouldn’t the Church of England’s General Synod be pressing for the same?

Praying that one day the AC will admit its own institutional homophobia.

NP
Guest
NP

Strange how some never want to bring verses into the discussion…..and Kieran objects to a relevant quotationn re false teaching (which is what I see from Scotland) but does not object to a hopelessly out of context quote from the OT! Yes Ford, some may have argued that the reformation was based on wrong ideas – the test would have been whether they could criticise the ideas with the authority of scripture or whether the reformation ideas were based on scripture and the objections were not. And yes, I place much most weight on the authority of scriptures because the… Read more »

northern_soul
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northern_soul

Laurence:

Two things.
1)The Church of Scotland is the ‘National’ Church rather than the ‘Established’ church of Scotland. Scotland doesn’t have an established church.

2)The Queen is not the Supreme Governor of the CofS. The CofS doesn’t have a Supreme Governor. When in Scotland, the monarch is simply a member of the church (albeit a senior and honoured member).

badman
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badman

NP – I think you are capable of a thoughtful critique of the report, and I for one wish you would give us the benefit of it. You give the impression, no doubt wrongly, of having nothing more than knee jerk responses to positions which you do not agree with. All that does is to tell us what you disagree with, which most of us know anyway. For example, you say “I place much most weight on the authority of scriptures because the traditions of men can very easily be corrupt, as we all know” Would you respond to the… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
Guest

2 Chron 7:14.

Merseymike
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Merseymike

I think its refreshing for a church to admit to its own homophobia – which the CofE cannot do – indeed, they fail to even recognise it!

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

My thanks. I stand corrected ! How many hail marys ? / metrical psalms —you choose !

What is the legal and constitutional position of the C of S then please, ?

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

Oops, point taken northern_soul

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

NP, you write that, “And yes, I place much most weight on the authority of scriptures because the traditions of men can very easily be corrupt, as we all know.” Are texts in general incorruptible? Are they never (even unintentionally) altered in the transcribing, centuries ago? Or is this perhaps generally true, but just not true with respect to the specific scriptures we now know as the canon? (Although that canon differs, as you know, with Copts/Ethiopians and Orthodox and RCs all admitting books either lacking from the KJV etc or relegated to apocryphal status in it — and of… Read more »

Kennedy Fraser
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Kennedy Fraser

Just to be clear, The Queen is not the Supreme Governor of the Scottish Episcopal Church either, one reason being that the SEC did not have its origin as a daughter church of the CofE.

NP
Guest
NP

Oh badman, the abuse of the bible to justify racism is very similar to the abuse of it to justify what JC, St Paul, ST James, St Peter, Moses et al would clearly have called sin….as I have said many times, you have to make a positive case from the scriptures for the innovations of TEC. The Timothy quotation I give is part of the teaching of the bible which warns us to keep on putting the highest weight on the scriptures exactly because their have always been people wanting to justify their own sin by ignoring the scriptures (eg… Read more »

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

Gerry, has there been a drought in Scotland, or a plague of locusts that I missed? Or is this some recondite allusion to the likely outcome of the election there?

Surely it can’t be another clever reference cited out of context?

Dion
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Dion

John 11:35

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“whether the reformation ideas were based on scripture and the objections were not” But this assumes that the Bible is a how to book for setting up a church. It assumes that the Bible encapsulates the Tradition of the Faith. Until the Reformation, this idea was unheard of. “I place much most weight on the authority of scriptures because the traditions of men can very easily be corrupt.” And Scripture can very easily be used to justify some very unChristian behaviour. Don’t forget Fred Phelps gets his guidance from Scripture. The prosperity Gospel people have the same attitude toward the… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“relevant quotationn . . . hopelessly out of context quote”

NP, at least the Pope of Rome CLAIMS to be infallible. On what basis are we to accept YOUR judgment as to *which* Scripture quotations are “relevant” as opposed to “hopelessly out of context”?

*****

Good to see that the CofS gets it: that even IF same-sex forbidding interpretations were correct (which they ain’t!), they simply CANNOT support the level of vituperative, HATEFUL condemnation leveled at LGBT people.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Isaiah 10:1-3
Ezekiel 16:49

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“But you laddies and lassie; do you seriously consider a mid 2nd century forgery in Paul’s name “scripture”?

If so, Why?”

Playing devil’s advocate:

Because it became part of the official canon. If we assume that the canon was put together with some kind of divine inspiration, then it doesn’t matter that modern people know that, shock, horror: “Shakespeare wasn’t actually Shakespeare”.

Or would you say the text only has authority because we know the name of its author?

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

How about Matthew 7:1, NP?

pseudopiskie
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pseudopiskie

“I place much most weight on the authority of scriptures because the traditions of men can very easily be corrupt, as we all know”

I love that statement. Didn’t men also write the Bible? How do we know that the men who edited, translated, copied, etc. weren’t corrupt? How much of the Bible we know was subject to the person who was ordering/paying for the edition? Even from the beginning?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Job 38

kennedy
Guest
kennedy

COME ON TIM!!

(with due acknowledgement to the The Now Show)

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Guys, didn’t you read what it said? It’s not saying that the church in Scotland is going to suddenly accept same-sex partnerships etc, just that it’s going to try to work to reconcile the different “sides” of the arguement so Christians can treat each other with respect and love even if they have differing opinions. Plus, it’s not sufficient to just fling in a bible verse. Explain your reference, put it in context and explain your interpretation of it, otherwise what’s the point?

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

2 Tim 3.5
2 Tim 4:2
1 Samuel 18: 1-4
2 Chron 7:14

Mornington Crescent?

(apologies to non-Brits)

Dennis
Guest

Bible Battles! Just like at the Baptist Summer Camp our neighbors talked my parents into shipping me off to for a week as a child. How much fun! I thought only Fundies got to play this game! Thanks for bringing out this old game, NP! Now all of you try to remember the rules of Bible Verse Spades: 1. always open with a gospel verse. It makes you sound like a real Christian. 2. No one can play anything from Leviticus until they have played all of the Gospel cards in their hand. 3. Verses from Revelation always trump the… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

You’re right Charlotte. Quickly scanned the articles earlier and missed the crucial bit about local presbyteries overturning a general assembly vote in favour. Shame about that.

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

Fr Jerome Murphy O’Connor argues persuasively that 2 Timothy is an authentic writing of Paul!

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

NP wrote: “… the traditions of men can very easily be corrupt, as we all know.” This is one such occasion, NP – as must surely know by now. And scriptures of men are even more liable to corruption – as can be guessed from capital punishment for forgeing documents (there has never been any for mis-quoting ;=) As the Bible (with the exception of 1 Cor 7:1-7) does not say anything at all about either the Philosophical category of the “Spilling of Semen” nor the Modern category of “Sex”, the 1st, 7th and 10th Commandments have been changed and… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Thanks for the verses everyone. Now, we can think about what they meant in their context, how they fit into the whole bible and how they apply to current situations – some will be illuminating if we do the work. The debate in the AC is at its heart about the authority of scripture and what it teaches so this is where we need to spend our time too (sociological and rights-based arguments are not going to be convincing – so searching the scriptures is a positive thing to do – especially if you disagree with conservatives and want to… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP,
you started this thread with a statement about the authority of the bible. Many people made very thoughtful comments and asked you very serious questions relating to this.

Before you want us all to do bible study together, would you please be so kind as to engage with what has been said, so we might arrive at a common basis for this study? It is not helpful if you simply ignore all contributions and insist, by implication, that only yours is valid.

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

NP: “The debate in the AC is at its heart about the authority of scripture”

Is it? Why was there little fuss about remarriage of divorcees in church or when the future Head of the CofE and his wife were blessed by the ABC after their wedding?

No. The current debate has more to do with bringing ancient taboos out into the open. It’s an unavoidable step before widespread acceptance can be achieved.

Using scripture to oppose reform is idolatrous.

NP
Guest
NP

For example, Erika?

I engaged with Ford

There is little point responding to people who think the bible is “bronze age” and can be rejected when inconvenient with one’s own preferences – Paul wrote to Timothy about such people, as you know.

Gerry Lynch
Guest

Mynsterpreost:

we’re playing with the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway variant of the rules which means that Rawcliffe’s Decision is always in play when there are discussion on same-sex relations. You didn’t move to John 3:16 before Mornington Crescent and are therefore eliminated from the game.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP, For example: Would you respond to the report’s point that the weight placed on the authority of scriptures can also be corrupt, as we also know? Posted by: badman on Wednesday, 25 April 2007 at 4:05pm BST Are texts in general incorruptible? Are they never (even unintentionally) altered in the transcribing, centuries ago? Posted by: Viriato da Silva on Wednesday, 25 April 2007 at 4:52pm BST And Scripture can very easily be used to justify some very unChristian behaviour. Don’t forget Fred Phelps gets his guidance from Scripture. The prosperity Gospel people have the same attitude toward the authority… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

No-one thinks all the Bible is Bronxe Age –i ask you !

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Mynsterpreost: we’re playing with the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway variant of the rules which means that Rawcliffe’s Decision is always in play when there are discussion on same-sex relations. You didn’t move to John 3:16 before Mornington Crescent and are therefore eliminated from the game. Posted by: Gerry Lynch on Thursday, 26 April 2007 at 12:06pm BST David, I’m afraid Gerry is right and gets points. “And points means prizes!” Rawcliffe’s Decison is even recognised in Leeds and England ! Humphrey Littleton would be truning –turning (even!) in his grave (if was dead)…. your mrs. trelis of north wales… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

The big question for me is, will the C of S bring forth fruit worthy of repentence (or return to the mire of intollerance) ?

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Dennis You made me laugh. Thank you. Does anyone on this forum still take NP seriously? The postings are simply to prove that NP exists and NP does not consent to “other” intepretations. If NP and their cronies had any hope of saving humanity, the debate would be worth it. But as they don’t, debating with them merely gets in the way of saving humanity. And if God does not want humanity saved, then why do we still exist? If you do a word search for “instant”, you will see that God does not drag out suffering e.g. Job 34:20,… Read more »