The Church of Scotland decided to throw Christ’s teachings out the door on May 23rd by allowing its ministers to officiate same-sex weddings. The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland redefined marriage in a vote that passed 274 to 136.
The assembly changed its rule to give clergy the option to submit an application for authorization to wed gay couples. The overture wouldn't apply to pastors who do not wish to participate in these celebrations under a conscience clause, according to The Christian Institute.
Words in the Recognition of Marriage Services Act (Act I 1977) were also altered to change the words “husband and wife," to only “each other” when referring to the nuptial parties involved.
Rev. Dr. Iain Greenshields, who moderated the General Assembly, acknowledged the great controversy in the church surrounding the issue.
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"There has been a lengthy, prayerful and in-depth discussion and debate about this topic for many years at all levels of the Church to find a solution that respects diversity and values the beliefs of all," Greenshields said.
Ministers opposed to same-sex marriage are rightfully concerned.
“When asked, ‘Can you marry us?’ the answer will have to be, ‘No, because I choose not to,’ rather than, ‘No, that’s something that I cannot do,’” Ben Thorpe, a minister at Sandyford Henderson Memorial Church in Glasgow told The Independent.
Of the 41 presbyters at the assembly, only 12 opposed the redefining of marriage, The Christian Institute also reported.
Rev. Phil Gunn of Rosskeen Parish Church condemned the vote, saying that the proposition is “stating loud and clear that the Bible, God’s word, is no longer our authority, that it’s OK for us to pick and choose what we like and ignore the rest, that it is OK for us to rewrite Scripture so that it looks good in the eyes of a society.”
The law of loving others, Rosskeen said, “does not mean we are to conform to the ways of society and the world."
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