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Wednesday, July 25, 2012


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Gordon Taylor

The problem for me is one of authority. The Christian understanding on same-sex issues was clear and unambiguous until a few years ago. Now, it appears that the christian understanding is clear and unambiguous in the opposite direction. As a person of homosexual orientation growing up in the 1970s, I was in no doubt that to live within Church teaching, I had to live a single life. Now I am told by liberal ministers and elders that this was wrong. WHY SHOULD I LISTEN TO ANYTHING THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND HAS TO SAY ON THIS OR ON ANY OTHER ISSUE? You have done a one hundred and eighty degree turn. You make it up as you go along.
Oh yes, lets get congregations to decide for themselves. Why? So you don't have to have a reasoned argument? Lets talk about nuclear weapons? Why? Because being against them makes you feel good? Easy enough really. You can SAY what you like about nuclear weapons but it won't affect how you live your lives. In contrast, I and other LGBT people have had to live with the real choices I/we have made regarding same-sex issues. Don't be so glib and self-righteous.



The last thing I was trying to be was glib. Quite the opposite. Allowing congregations to make up these mind is one where there very much is a 'reasoned argument' except it is done locally. Why letting congregations make up their collective mind suggest we don't have a 'reasoned argument'? Indeed a debate at that level allows those people who do not agree with the growing conservative direction of the national church to create space to set free what they believe the Gospel is locally.

Sorry you felt that was glib. It was trying to suggest a way through a debate where it will be a very long time indeed, if ever, before the church agrees anything.

I've been brought up in a Christian culture where understanding changes all the time. There are traditions that set things down for all time but we both know that as we find out more about humanity, see the consequences of our humanity and our religion then understanding evolves continually. To me that always brings hope where bad decisions like the church's attitude towards women, children, divorced people, slaves, to name a few, can be reversed and redeemed.


Having found myself agreeing with the Rev Roddy on the debate that never goes away oh! same sex marriage you mean? I also understand Gordon's reaction. As Gordon says " the problem is one of authority"

Lets remind ourselves that the link between marriage, a civil contract, and Christianity was all about authority. To be specific the church's power to either bless or not the joining of two people.

The Council of Trent whose main purpose was to impose as much authority as possible on the common man passed an edict in fifeteen blah blah that all catholic marriages required to be celebrated at a catholic church by a priest. The obvious inferrence being that to do otherwise would deny ones faith. Not a good move at the time.

How fascinating that almost five hundred years later the church still thinks it can play games with peoples lives, pass some more edicts why don't you?

I understand completely where Gordon is comming from,and his reaction is I suggest not unreasonable and yet when I read again the good rev's blog I don't think I can find anything to be at odds with.

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